Pet Gecko species list
Even though leopard geckos are among the easiest reptiles to care for, they come from a unique environment that they have adapted to and need an identical habitat to stay healthy. Because of this, it is up to the owner to make sure their enclosure mimics their natural habitat.
Leopard Gecko TanksSince leopard geckos are ground animals and rarely climb, the tank will need to be long and wide (not tall and narrow). You will need to make sure that your gecko cannot easily climb out of the tank, so a tank with glass sides would be a good choice since leopard geckos cannot climb glass. Most leopard gecko owners recommend rectangle glass fish tanks/aquariums since they are easy to get and meet all the requirements.
Do not use wire or mesh cages for your leopard geckos. Wire cages will not hold heat very well, are easy to escape from, and you risk your leopard gecko getting his/her foot or toes stuck in the wire.
Tank Covers and LidsYou will need to cover your tank with a wire/mesh lid. This lid will help to keep unwanted insects, pets, or children from getting into the tank and it will also support the lights for your leopard gecko.
Do not get a glass, plastic, or any other type of solid lid. The lid has to be a screen-type cover that will allow fresh air in and out of the tank. Solid tank lids will cause the temperature and humidity in the tank to increase to unsafe levels.
- # of Geckos Tank Size
- One Gecko 10 Gallon
- Two Geckos 15 Gallon
- 3-4 Geckos 20 Gallon
Tank SizeLeopard geckos do not require a large tank. In fact, a tank too large can make it more difficult for your leopard gecko to find the heat source and their hide.
LightingSince leopard geckos are naturally from the middle-east, you will need to make sure their light cycles mimic the same cycles as their natural environment. This means in the summer they should have 14 hours of light, followed by 10 hours of darkness, and in winter they need 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. When you do transition from summer to winter hours, try to do it gradually in 15-30/minute intervals per week for a total of 4-8 weeks.
It is best to use automatic timers for your lights because it can sometimes be inconvenient or you may forget to turn on/off your gecko's light. Automatic timers are inexpensive and can save you time and frustration.
Since leopard geckos are nocturnal, they should not be exposed to bright white lights or UV lights. In fact, excessively bright lights can make them feel stressed.
Your leopard gecko will be sleeping for most of the day, but he/she will still need a heat source as well as a light source. Even though leopard geckos are nocturnal, you should try to mimic their natural environment's light cycle.
If you are concerned your leopard gecko's tank may not be the right temperature (even with the use of under tank heaters), you should use a basking light to provide daytime heat as well. The basking light will provide both heat and light so you will not need to purchase multiple bulbs.
Nighttime LightsAgain, since leopard geckos are nocturnal you should not use any type of bright lights, especially during night because that's when they are most active. Providing the correct amount of heat is important for leopard geckos, so if your tank cannot maintain a proper temperature with an under tank heater you will need to get an infrared heat lamp to use at night. Infrared heat lamps will provide your leopard gecko with heat overnight and are specially designed to use with nocturnal animals as the light's color doesn't affect leopard geckos.
HumidityHumidity is important for most reptiles and is important for leopard geckos as well. Improper humidity can make it more difficult for them to shed properly, cause hydration issues, or increase the chances of leopard geckos getting an infection.
The leopard gecko's tank humidity should be 20%-40%. You should use a hygrometer (humidity sensor) so you can monitor your leopard gecko's tank humidity levels. If your humidity is too high, try increasing airflow to the tank and provide a smaller water dish. If the humidity is too low, try adding a larger water dish or moist moss to the tank (specifically for leopard geckos).