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Getting your first Leopard Gecko

Updated on February 6, 2015

Picking out the right lizard

Now you might be thinking, why would I need to get a certain lizard? well there are a few factors that can play into which type of lizard you should, or can, get. The first thing is money, if you have a few extra bucks to spend than you can focus more on getting the lizard you want, but if your strapped for cash then that's really going to limit which ones to get. And what do you want with this lizard? do you want to be able to take him out and play with him a lot, or do you just want to watch him in his enclosure? Those are the major factors in picking the right lizard, so lets see which ones right for you.


Picking the right lizard

lizard
cost
playfulness
upkeep
Leopard Gecko
50-100$
can be tamed but harder to than others
intermediate
Bearded Dragon
100-175$
very easy going and easily tamed, love coming out of their enclosure
intermediate
Anoles
50-75$
cant really be tamed at all
beginner
Based on this table you can see which one may better fit to you!

Picking a healthy Leopard Gecko

When picking out a Leopard Gecko you will want to look for signs that he is healthy, it's pretty easy to tell, but there might be a few things that you could over look.

1.Clean mouth

2.Clear nose(free of discharge)

3.Well developed body

4.Alert behavior

5. Round tail

6.And the obvious, intact toes and claws

And you want to be extra picky about the Leopard Gecko's at Petsmart or Petco. But if you are shopping at a specialty store then you most likely wont need to look very carefully because if they really care about their animals they wont have a sick leopard gecko out in the stores ready to sell.

Putting together your tank.

Setting up where your Leopard Gecko will live is extremely important, so for someone who is just getting one, I will tell you what you need to set up the perfect environment.

The smallest tank size that one Leopard Gecko can live comfortably is a 10 gallon tank but you might want to jump for the 20 gallon so if you decide to get more you can. Some people will say that you need at least 20 gallons per gecko but I've seen two adults live in a ten gallon tank at the same time so i think a ten gallon will be fine.

I would not put sand down for the flooring. It sounds weird but I've heard from many people say that sand in their tank is bad, even though their native home is in the desert, the Leopard Gecko may eat it and become impacted. You can buy the felt from Petsmart or can put paper towels down, I've also heard of people using tiles because they absorb and hold heat better.

You will also need at least two hides, one on the cooler side and one on the warmer side, and if you want to, put one in the middle. And one of the hides needs to be sprayed with water occasionally to keep it humid. I strongly suggest that if you are on a tight budget that you do not buy the 12 dollar hides from Petsmart but to make your own, that's what i did and easily saved 12-20 dollars.

Its also a good idea to keep two thermometers on either sides of the tank to make sure that the tank is the correct temp. And you'll want to get a humidity gauge for the tank.

Your heat source is going to be the one to break your wallet like it did mine. There are two options to chose from when picking out the heat source, the under the tank heater, and the over head lamp. I have both because mine is a 40 gallon tank but if you have a ten then one or the other will do the job just fine (anything over a ten gallon is too big and will need multiple heat sources). Leopard Geckos gather heat from their stomachs so you will have to have a under the tank heater, but they can be pretty expensive, 1 dollar for every gallon (so if you have 20 gallons its going to be 20 dollars). So if you have a big tank its going to cost more, that's why I think that a smaller tank is better than a larger one. But even if you have a small tank and you need additional heat then go to Target or Walmart and get a 50 watt lamp to shine into the tank and it'l do the trick, that what i did at first.

Getting your Leopard Gecko settled in

Its going to take a little while to let your Gecko get used to its new surroundings, bringing your gecko home will stress it out, so give is some space before handling it.

When you get your Leopard Gecko you should leave it alone for a couple of days, you'll know when it has gotten used to its new home when it is out and looking around its new enclosure. slowly begin to introduce yourself to your gecko he will slowly start to get used to your presence and start to let you pick him up (unless you pick a turd of a gecko and he wont let you pick him up at all).

would you rather a Leopard Gecko or Bearded Dragon?

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© 2014 alexanderwhite199

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    • alexanderwhite199 profile image
      Author

      alexanderwhite199 2 years ago

      thanks!

    • tsadjatko profile image

      TSAD 2 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

      Excellent advice Alex! Don't know were you live but if you are in the US the Repticon shows are a great place to go to look for and/or trade reptiles!

      http://www.repticon.com/