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How to Build a Leopard Gecko Habitat/Cage/Terrarium

Updated on July 12, 2011

Leopard Gecko Cages


The place your new pet is going to live is extremely important. It needs to provide an environment similar to the wild environment where these creatures developed, be easy for you to clean, and allow you to see your pets. Before you even bring your new leopard gecko home, you're going to need to have housing already set up.

This can be purchased at the same pet store or reptile show where you buy your gecko, but don't do it on the spur of the moment. It's extremely important to know in advance what you'll need to keep a gecko happy and healthy, so you don't spend money on the wrong thing or end up with inappropriate housing. Fortunately, compared to many other types of lizard, a leopard gecko has minimal requirements, which are fairly easy to provide.

Geckos are most commonly housed in a terrarium, usually a glass tank (such as an aquarium for fish) with a lid and appropriate ventilation, temperature control and humidity control. This is relatively simple and inexpensive to set up, but do remember to factor in the costs before you buy your new gecko.

Size will be your first consideration. You'll need to decide how many geckos you'll be housing. Many people make the mistake of buying a cage for their pets that's too small. Just because the animal will fit doesn't mean that the cage is large enough for it to live there!

Avoid small plastic cages with handles (often called critter keepers). These are excellent for transporting leopard geckos to the vet and other locations, but are far too small for any but hatchlings to live in, and hatchlings will outgrow them quickly. Likewise, small tanks intended for bettas and other tiny fish are unacceptable.

Leopard geckos can be kept alone or together, and will not experience distress if kept by themselves. Groups can be a problem in the wrong combinations, however. Males often fight when housed together, and females sometimes do.

Make sure that any cage you decide to use will be at least a foot tall, with a secure screen or ventilated lid on top. This top should be able to keep out other pets that might be interested in the geckos, support lights, and provide enough ventilation for your animals. Special clips for screen lids are readily available at pet stores.

It's also a very good idea to provide a wall, piece of furniture, or decorative background on one side of the tank, to prevent your geckos from feeling overly exposed. They prefer to have some kind of shelter at all times, and four glass walls may cause them to be agitated and stressed. Provide terrain, such as rocks, branches, and greenery, to give your geckos a feeling of being under cover.

Any leopard gecko enclosure will need to have temperature control available. Unlike most tropical lizards, leopard geckos don't require an extremely hot cage to thrive. However, they do need a warm spot at one end of their enclosure. Like every other type of reptile, leopard geckos are cold blooded, taking on the environmental temperature, rather than generating their own heat.

How to set up your cage-quick and easy!

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