Hello my dears ^_^ I am proud to present the GGB Leopard Gecko Care Sheet! This isn’t all you’ll need to know before buying a leo, but it’s a good start. In this guide, I will be going over housing, heating and lighting, feeding, handling, substrate, cage mates, hides, and other things about these amazing creatures!
One leopard gecko could live in a ten gallon tank, but I prefer to use a twenty gallon long. If you have the option, always go long, because leopard geckos need more floor space than climbing space. There are quite a few options as to the type of enclosure, but I would recommend a glass aquarium or terrarium. Other options include (but are not limited to) plastic bins, acrylic aquariums, breeding racks, and custom cages. Be sure to have a screen covering the enclosure. Although leopard geckos do not have toe-pads, if there is a tall hide or other sort of decor near the side of the tank, your beloved pet might escape! My leopard gecko, Sammy, has a reptile hammock and it was very high up, and while I was cleaning his tank, he was this close to getting out. His whole half side was out of the enclosure, and thankfully I caught him before he got any father. So, as you can see, it’s a pretty good idea to use a screen cover.
Heating and Lighting
Leopard geckos are “belly-heat” animals. This kind of infers that they get their heat through their belly, and that is absolutely correct! So, to provide for this need, you will have to get an under tank heater, often referred to as a UTH. Another option could be heating tape, although I have never used that. Leos don’t really need extra light, as they are nocturnal. Sammy gets his lighting from the natural light that is already in my room. If you need extra heat though, you can always purchase a lower wattage of bulb. If you are thinking about getting a nightlight for your leo, there are three colors that are usually available: red, blue, and black. My personal favorite is black, as it glows in a purplish shade, not black.
There are many different types of insects you can feed your leopard gecko. I usually feed mealworms, but you can also feed crickets, superworms, dubia roaches, along with many other main foods. It is good to give them a varied diet, but isn’t absolutely necessary. One way that I vary Sammy’s diet, is by giving him treats every so often. Now, when you think of the word, “treat” you might think of something like a dog treat, or something sweet. Well, a treat for a leopard gecko is yet another kind of bug, like waxworms. It is very important that you do not feed too many waxworms, as they are very fatty. It is also super important that you only feed live food. It is much healthier than freeze dried, and some reptiles will just refuse freeze dried. Pet stores might also try to sell you pellets. Never in my life have I seen a leopard gecko actually eat them. So, in my opinion, stick to live.
Handling leopard geckos is pretty simple, but there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. Never pick your leo up by his or her tail, they are very likely to drop their tail if you do so. Also, I recommend “scooping” them up. By “scooping” I mean placing your hand in front of your gecko, and sliding your hand underneath of him/her. I feel that it is safer to “walk” them from hand to hand, as some leos get quite squirmy. This being said, you probably don’t want to hold your gecko too high off the ground, just in case they try to jump.
There are quite a few types of substrate to choose from, but my two favorites are reptile carpet and tile. Some people are against using reptile carpet because they say their leopard gecko’s toenails get stuck on it. Well, one side of it is fluffier than the other. To fix the issue of their toenails sticking, just flip it over so the less-fluffy side is up. Simple as that. Another controversial substrate is sand. With sand, your leo might accidentally eat some of it while stalking their prey. If they eat too much sand, they are at the risk of impaction, which can kill your gecko. Tile is really easy to keep clean, but can be kind of expensive depending on where you purchase it. Another option is paper towel. Many people use paper towel just because of how cheap it is. However, you should replace the old paper towel with clean at least once a week. There are other options of substrate out there, as these are just a few.
There are a couple things to keep in mind while choosing cage mates for your leo. First of all, all of the cage inhabitants need to be leopard geckos. Second, you need to make sure there is enough space for all of the geckos. Males should never be kept in the same enclosure, as they might be territorial and will fight to the death. A male can be kept with females, but I wouldn’t risk it, because again, males are territorial and could kill the females (or the females could kill the males) plus, they will most likely mate if they are kept together. Females can be kept together, though. However, if they ever end up fighting, you will need somewhere to separate them.
You should have three hides for your leopard gecko: a warm hide, a humid hide, and a cool hide. The warm hide should be placed over the UTH. The cool hide should be on the opposite side. The humid hide can be placed pretty much anywhere, but I like to keep mine in the middle. A humid hide is absolutely necessary for proper shedding and digestion. You can make one of these very easily. Here is a D.I.Y. guide to making a humid hide for your gecko.
There is sooooo much other stuff you NEED to know before adopting a leopard gecko. This is just an overview of the basics. You will need calcium powder, with AND without vitamin D3. You will need to know about brumation. So PLEASE do much more research before buying yourself one of these beautiful creatures! I researched them for a whole year and a half before I got Sammy. You can get help at Gecko Forums, Geckos Unlimited, and many other reptile forums online. Good luck!
P.S. If there is anything major I missed, please let me know in the comments and I will add it! Thank you!
Alsoooooo. I will be getting a new phone around the 18th of March, and the one I want has a MUCH better camera than my BlackBerry, so I will most likely be posting a lot more pictures! Yay!
Okay, that’s all I had to add ^_^ byeeee.