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Leopard Gecko Care: leopard gecko care tips and more!

Updated on May 23, 2010

Leopard Gecko

Leopard gecko care: get the right housing

Here's some useful information on leopard gecko care


When you're fixing up a home for your leopard gecko, you need to take care to make sure all bases are covered.

Here's a useful checklist ("WHHHS"...ok, so HOME should be the first on your checklist, but it's easier to remember this way!)

1. HOME : cage, vivarium, terrarium, glass or plastic or what?!



4. A place to HIDE

5. A SUBSTRATE (floor covering)

You should purchase, clean and organize your housing before you bring your leopard gecko home from the pet store or your leopard gecko breeder. Leopard geckos are fairly hardy, but still, it's not a good idea to have them sitting around waiting in a carrying box while you rush around getting their house in order...literally.

The best option is a glass vivarium (aquarium) which should be available at most good pet stores. Glass is better for cleaning than plastic, and it means you can observe your leopard gecko from all angles. And she, of course, can enjoy looking at you too!

A ten gallon tank is a decent size, in fact, you can house two geckos in a ten gallon vivarium. Crowding your geckos might cause stress and stress often leads to health issues. Bigger is better of course, but the beauty of owning a leopard gecko is that they're fairly small and you don't need an awful lot of space to keep them in, unlike other reptile pets such as bearded dragons.

Arrange your tank so that the temperature is around 90 degrees Fahrenheit on one side (30 degrees centigrade) but there's also an area which is cooler...around the mid 70s (23C). Having a temperature gradient is key, so your leopard gecko can regulate its own body temperature. Humidity should be around 50-70%. Adding peat moss, paper towels or similar materials can help with the humidity.

You can use heat lamps such as ceramic bulbs to regulate the heat. A thermometer is a must have too, and make sure you check the temperature at different times of day when you're first setting up the heating sources. Undertank heating might be useful too especially if your house is particularly cold. You can buy special heat mats or heating cables for this purpose. Leopard geckos like to absorb heat in their bellies so they'll love a heat source coming from underneath.

Giving your gecko a place to hide will make him feel secure. In the semi-arid deserts of Afghanistan, where the leopard gecko originated, the fierce conditions meant that the leopard gecko liked to hide under old branches, bricks, plants and similar. Inverted plant saucers, dry wood, rocks, old branches, dried cactus skeletons...these all make great hides and you can have a lot of fun arranging them so they work for your leopard gecko pet and look attractive to you too. There are some very impressive leopard gecko habitat arrangements out there!

Lastly, be careful about the substrate you choose (bedding/flooring). Avoid aquarium gravel, calcium sand and walnut shells. If the leopard gecko swallows these, they can cause an impaction (obstruction of the bowel) which can lead to health problems, a costly trip to the veterinarian and even death if untreated. Newspaper, paper towels and wood chips are good options.

This might all sound complicated, but it's actually really easy to look after once you've set it all up, and it'll be worth it, for the hours of pleasure your leopard gecko will give you. And if you take care of your leopard gecko properly, they can live 10 years, even up to 20 following the tips above can be well worth the initial effort.

How many leopard geckos do you have?

Owning a leopard gecko can be addictive! How many do you have?

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What's your best leopard gecko care tip?

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    • Leopard Gecko Gal profile image

      Leopard Gecko Gal 7 years ago from Usually in an airport lounge

      Thanks so much for your comment Grace. I think your parents are very wise and happy to see that you are taking them up on their advice!! If you want to know anything else, let me know. You can also check out for more info! Hope all goes well at your new school!

    • profile image

      Grace Cone 7 years ago

      Thank You sooooo much! i don't have a leopard gecko, but i have always wanted one, and my parents said i had to learn more about them first, and now i have! thanks! (p.s. my name is grace cone im 11 yrs. old and i go to rosemount elementary school, soon to rosemount middle school next year! yay! so anyway, thanks! bye!

      Love, Grace