Leopard Gecko Care and Helpful Information
A leopard gecko can make a great pet. If you care for them and treat them right, they can be your best friend for twenty years or possibly more. Before you purchase your gecko, I suggest reading this care sheet and doing a little more research before you make a decision. That way, you will make a decision about whether or not you want this kind of reptile. Never house a different species of animal with a different species.
When housing a leopard gecko, only have one gecko per tank. You don't want to come home to two dead geckos, because they are territorial. If your gecko is young, you should use a ten gallon tank. As your gecko grows to adult size, you will need to upgrade to a twenty gallon tank or more. This will give your gecko room to explore. This type of gecko can reach up to 10 inches long, so keep that in mind when choosing a tank. Make sure the top has a screen for proper ventilation. Some keepers will use a tub. If you decide to use a tub, make sure to have holes for ventilation.
I know there is a lot of argument on the web of what to use for a substrate. Geckos can accidently swallow substrate which can cause blockage and will lead to death. You should use paper towel or tiling. If you decide to use paper towel, you would lay down a few layers of it. Using paper towel will make the tank easier to clean. You don't have to lift the tank to dump it out. Tiling is great and will be easier to clean as well. You can choose the different styles and color. You can pick up tiling at your local home improvement store. We will discuss how to clean your tank later on in the article.
Your gecko will need three hides to sleep in to help regulate its body temperature. One hide needs to be on the warm side of the tank. Add another hide in the middle. At the cooler end, there should be a humid hide. The humid hide will help your gecko shed easier, so there is no stuck shed. You will need to add sphagnum moss or paper towel in this hide and spray it off with water once a day. Try to find hides that are enclosed, but large enough for your gecko to get in and out of. This will give your gecko privacy.
Females can lay infertile eggs, so you will need to provide a lay box. Use a Tupperware and cut a hold on the top of the lid. Fill it with a few inches of organic potting soil and moss. Make sure there is no fertilizer in the soil and that it's a 100% organic. Spray this lay box off once a day. Don't soak it and place it on the warm side of the tank.
Food And Water
When you first get a leopard gecko, he/she may not eat right away, it could take up to two weeks for them to get used to their new environment. Once they are comfortable enough, they will eat. Leopard geckos are insectivores. Your gecko will eat: meal worms, super worms, dubia roaches, horn worms, and silk worms. Be careful with crickets, because they can carry parasites and make your gecko sick. Young geckos will eat more than adults. You will need a ceramic dish for food, because all these bugs can climb out. A ceramic dish is smooth, so it will be harder the insects to climb out. If you Don't forget to add a water dish. Your gecko will drink water when he or she needs it. You can also add a calcium dish. Add calcium without D3 to this dish and he/ she will lick it when he or she needs it. You can also have a multivitamin in a dish. Dust your bugs by adding the bugs to a bag with calcium D3 and gently shake it up. Always gut load your bugs by feeding them fresh fruit and veggies.
Heating And Lighting
Leopard Geckos regulate their body temperature and digestive system by using belly heat. You will need an under tank heater. Put this under tank heater on the hot side of the tank. You will need to use a thermostat as well. A thermostat will regulate the temperature on the hot side of the tank. Make sure this hot side is 85 F- 90 F. The cool side of the tank needs to be around 75F. Purchase a temperature gun, so you know the temperature of the tank. Do not over heat the tank, doing so will kill your gecko. Leopard geckos need fourteen hours of light during summer and twelve hours of light during winter. Leopard geckos do not like bright light. Natural lighting in your house will be fine to achieve this. If your house is too dark, you can use a tall lamp next to the tank. Turn it on in the morning with low lighting and turn it completely off at night.
Plants And Decorations
Add some fake plants and decorations to your tank. Don't overcrowd your tank, but add a few items. This can make the tank look more natural. Your leopard gecko will feel right at home. You can find fake plants and decorations at your local pet store or the dollar store. You can also add a background to your tank.
Cleaning The Tank
Once a month, you will need to clean your leopard gecko's tank. Remove everything in the tank and set it aside some where. Spray the inside of the tank with water and vinegar and let it soak. Dry it with a paper towel and make sure it is completely dry. Meanwhile, fill the sink up with hot water and add vinegar. Put your hideaways, tiling, food dishes, plants, and decorations in the sink. Use a sponge and wipe everything down. Rinse very well and let it air dry on a towel. You can use white distilled vinegar. Make sure everything is completely dry before you add everything back to the tank. Vinegar will help disinfect any bacteria in the tank. This process will take about an hour to complete. Cleaning the tank is very important to make sure your leopard gecko lives a clean and healthy life. You can also use a chlorhexidine solution that need to be diluted to clean the tank. It can last a long time, so you won't need to buy much to often.
If you take care of your leopard gecko the proper way, your gecko will live a long happy life. We love our animals and we show that love by the way we take care of them. I hope I have taught you everything you should know about taking care of your leopard gecko. If you would like to look up more information, there are some links at the bottom of this page that you can look at. Check back once a week for updates on this care sheet.
What is your favorite gecko?
Information Gathered From:
Facebook Groups: Leopard Geckos, Reptile Connection, and Reptile Enthusiasts
Andy Holmes: member of Leopard Geckos
Lia Bella: member of Northwest Animal Lovers Facebook group
Jerry Bussell: member of Reptile Connections Facebook group
Josh Hawley: member of Spokane/CDA Reptile Addicts Facebook group
Bri Borges: member of The Reptile Circle Facebook group
Rick Sensale: member of Reptile Connection Facebook Group
© 2017 Brittany Banks