Leopard Geckos are from the Middle East and India region. They live in the rocky outcrop in the scrub land. These geckos come in a variety of different colors and patterning, ranging from oranges and yellows, all the way to whites and blacks. These geckos have the ability to move their eyelids which is not as common for gecko species.
SIZE & LIFESPAN:
Leopard Geckos are a medium sized gecko. When they hatch out, they are no bigger than 2 inches in total length and weigh only a few grams. By the time they are full grown, they are 10-11 inches in total length and weigh between 50-80 grams. These geckos are very hardy and can live between 15 and 20 years with the proper care and set up.
Leopard Geckos are great eaters! They will eat a variety of bugs including: crickets, dubia roaches, phoenix worms, meal worms, and super worms. We dust all prey items in Calcium D3 supplement every other feeding. We recommend Minerall because it is a human grade calcium based supplement with over 50 trace minerals that help with growth and bone density. We also recommend placing worms or roaches in bowl to make sure the insects don't burrow into substrate. Give the gecko as many insects as it can eat in 15 minutes. We usually give the geckos about 10-15 insects each feeding. Be sure to feed the right sized insects. Baby geckos should be fed small mealworms and ¼” crickets, whereas, adults can eat large mealworms and ½” crickets. Babies and Juveniles should be fed daily. Adults usually only get fed 1-2 times a week to prevent obesity. A healthy adult should have a fat tail, but the tail shouldn't be bigger than their body width. If your gecko develops bulges under its armpits, it is extremely obese and needs to be put on a diet.
Leopard Geckos need lower humidity. You want to keep the tank humidity between 30-40%. Typically your house humidity is good enough so that no additional devices are needed to raise the humidity. You will want to provide your gecko with a moist hide though. We usually put reptisoil or a mix of sphagnum moss, sand and peat moss in the moist hide. The moist hide is essential to make sure these geckos have a nice clean shed.
All geckos should be provided with a small, shallow water dish. Although these geckos do not usually drink from bowls it is always good to offer water in case the gecko gets thirsty. Be sure the water dish is shallow enough so that the gecko can stand in it. If the water is too deep, there is a potential of the gecko drowning. When using water, be sure to either use spring water or tap water with dechlorinator added to it.
Leopard Geckos are a medium sized gecko and require a minimum of a 20 gallon long enclosure. If you want to spoil your Leopard Gecko, a 40 gallon breeder tank will provide your gecko with far more room to explore. We reccomend keeping Leopard Geckos separate. Females can be kept together successfully, but should only be done by experienced keepers. We keep all our babies and breeders separate because it's safer for the gecko. If you do decide to cohab, you need to add an additional 20 gallons for each gecko added to the tank. So if you have two female Leopard Geckos housed together, the absolute minimum cage size would be a 40 gallon breeder. Males and females should never be kept together. We only put our pairs together for a week during the breeding season before separating them back out.
We recommend using tile or non-adhesive shelf liner for bedding. It's easy to clean and is readily available. Sand should never be used with this species since they will taste things with their tongue and may try to eat the sand. If the gecko eats enough sand, they can become impacted which is fatal. This species can do well in a bioactive enclosure, but heat needs to be spot on so that if bedding is accidentally ingested, the bedding can pass through the digestive system properly. We recommend keeping your gecko on shelf liner to begin with and getting temperatures correct before pursuing a bioactive enclosure. We always provide geckos of all ages with a moist hide. The moist hide should have a dirt mix in it to help aid in shedding.
Leopard Geckos should be provided with three hides, one moist (on the warm side), one on the cold side, and one on the warm side. We recommend putting either Reptisoil or a mix of peat moss, sand and sphagnum moss inside the moist hide to aid in shedding. We also use fabric leaves from craft stores for cover as well. Place them between hides to provide the gecko with cover so that it feels safe and secure in its habitat. Be sure to rinse off any new decor in case it has any chemical residue on it. Alongside those items, you can also provide these geckos with rocky outcrops. Be sure the rocks do not have any jagged edges. You don't want your gecko getting injured on sharp rocks. Leopard Geckos will climb if given the opportunity. We recommend hammocks, bridges and coconut hides with bridges to give your gecko some good enrichment in their enclosure.
HEAT & LIGHTING:
Leopard Geckos need a warm and cold side in their tank. This is easily achieved by placing a heat mat or ceramic heat lamp on one side of the enclosure. Be sure any heat source is attached to a thermostat so that the heat is regulated. IF you don't use a thermostat, the heat mat or lamp could easily get to hot and possibly burn your gecko. The hot spot should be around 90 degrees. A warm spot is essential for digestion. The cool side of the tank should be between 78-82 degrees. These geckos will self regulate their body temperature by moving between the cool and warm zones of the tank, so making sure the tank has a nice heat gradient is essential to a healthy, happy gecko. These geckos are nocturnal, so do not require UVB. However, they can benefit from a 5-6% UVB light if you want to provide them with one. We recommend the Arcadia shade dwellers for Leopard Geckos. Be sure if you do provide the gecko with UVB, that there are enough hiding spots for the gecko to get away from the light if it wants to move away from the light source.
Leopard Geckos are s bit spunky when young, but start to become more docile as they start to gain size. After your gecko has settled in, you can start handling them 2 times a week for 15 minute intervals. They geckos will get used to you very quickly and do not have a strong urge to run away from you. We also recommend tong feeding worms and other insects so that the gecko can associate you with feeding time.
We recommend spot cleaning the cage at least once a week and doing a full bedding change and tank cleaning once a month. Every week look for poo, dead insects, shed, and food smears on the ground or glass and remove it from the enclosure. When cleaning the entire cage out, first remove all bedding and wipe down all surfaces with hot soapy water. Put the decor into a bucket with warm water & a capful of vinegar. Let it soak for 15 minutes & then rinse off the items & place them in bucket of hot water. Once the decor have soaked for 15 minutes, rinse them off again & then they are ready to go back into the tank once cleaning is complete. Then you want to be sure to disinfect the tank with either vinegar or a commercial reptile cleaning product. Once you have disinfected the tank, thoroughly rinse your tank out with hot water until it is free of any cleaning products.
☐ 20 gallon long tank minimum
☐ Crickets, Mealworms or Dubia Roaches
☐ Calcium D3 Powder
☐ Ceramic Bowl for bugs
☐ Shallow water dish
☐ Fake silk or plastic plants
☐ Moist Hide
☐ Dry Hide
☐ Non-adhesive shelf liner or tile
☐ Digital Thermometer & Hygrometer
☐ Heat mat or Ceramic Heat Emitter