Habitat Sweet Habitat: Leopard Gecko

Setting up a habitat for your new leopard gecko? Here’s what you need to know.

Choosing a Habitat

  • Up to three leopard geckos can be housed together, although ideally they should be of similar size, and only one male per habitat.
  • Adult leopard geckos require a terrarium 20 gallons in size or larger. A smaller habitat may be used for juveniles under a year old and less than 6” (15 cm). It should be large enough to fit two hide houses, food and water dishes, and décor for hiding and climbing.
  • A shorter, wider cage is recommended to provide more surface area. Your leopard gecko won’t mind as they spend most of their time on the ground.
  • There should be a hiding spot at both the cool and warm sides of the habitat.
  • Although leopard geckos cannot climb glass, ensure that the habitat is fitted with a secure screened top to prevent escape.
  • Leopard geckos are nocturnal.

Heating & Lighting

  • A temperature gradient (warm side/cool side) habitat must be provided so your leopard gecko can regulate their temperature.
  • The habitat should be equipped with two thermometers; one on the cool side and one on the warm side.
  • During the daytime, the cool side should have an ambient temperature of 75-80°F (26-30°C), and the warm side should be 85-95°F (29-35°C).
  • Nighttime temperature should be 75-80°F (26-26°C).
  • An under-tank heater, blue daylight, red infrared and/or ceramic heat emitter can be used to supplement heat if necessary, especially at night if the temperature is low.
  • Ensure you install the under-tank heater on the designated warm side of the habitat.
  • Leopard geckos are desert reptiles and should have low humidity (10-30%) with a moist retreat (shed box).
  • You can make a moist retreat out of a small plastic container (sandwich size with a hole cut in it) that is filled with moist coco husk or reptile moss. Mist daily to maintain moisture. It should be moist, but not wet.
  • A hygrometer should be installed in the habitat to monitor the humidity level.
  • Leopard geckos are nocturnal (most active at night) and as a result do not require ultraviolet light, however a consistent light-dark cycle (12 hours of light) must be provided.
  • For night viewing you can use a night-specific bulb.

Décor & Substrate

  • Decorative rocks and plants can be used in the habitat to add personal touch.
  • Hiding spots should be just large enough for the leopard gecko to fit in comfortably and should be available in both the cool and warm sides of the habitat.
  • Leopard geckos are desert dwelling reptiles and adults should be kept on sand specifically sold for reptiles or on reptile carpet. For leopard geckos less than 6” (15 cm), use reptile carpet only to prevent impaction due to ingested sand.
  • Substrate should be spot cleaned daily and completely changed at least once a month.

Shopping List
❏ Habitat (10-20 gal for juveniles, 20 gal or larger for adults)
❏ Secure screen lid
❏ Rocks and plants for decor
❏ Lamp fixture
❏ Infrared heat bulb
❏ Blue bulb for night viewing
❏ Ceramic heat emitter and fixture (if needed)
❏ Sand or reptile carpet
❏ Two hide houses
❏ Two thermometers
❏ Hygrometer
❏ Reptile calcium supplement with vitamin D
❏ Food and water dishes
❏ Spray bottle for misting
❏ Cricket keeper
❏ Cricket food
❏ Commercial diet
❏ Crickets, mealworms or waxworms

How to Clean Your Terrarium

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