Leopard Gecko Habitat

The Best Leopard Gecko Habitat: Make Your Lizard Feel Right at Home

Leopard geckos make wonderful, easy to care for pets. If you’re thinking about adding a new reptile to your family, you need to choose the correct habitat for them to thrive in. In this article, you will learn how to take care of your new friend and what kind of habitat it will need. Listed below will be some popular habitat choices along with reviews from buyers pros and cons. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you will have enough knowledge to make an informed decision about your new lizard’s home.

The lifespan of a leopard gecko is longer than the average lizard, they can live up to twenty years in captivity. Careful consideration before purchase is necessary because they do require such a long-term commitment. Their care is easy though, so do not let their long lives scare you off from bringing a leopard gecko into your home.

Leopard geckos are very unique creatures. They are nocturnal and thus do not require a UVB light to mimic the sun’s rays. They also are a good size lizard, the females can grow to eight inches and the males ten. Their needs are simple and straightforward: food, fresh water and a warm, safe place to hide and sleep.

Below are five different terrariums suitable as a leopard gecko habitat. Each one will have a detailed description along with the pros and cons and also what people are saying about the habitat after they have made the purchase.

best leopard gecko habitat

Top 5 Best Leopard Gecko Habitat

Buying Guide: Things to consider when purchasing a leopard gecko habitat

Now that you have all the information you need about different habitats available for your leopard gecko, you need to know what to look for yourself when buying a habitat and also caring for your new friend. Read on to find out what you should keep into consideration when choosing a home for your new pet.

What should your gecko habitat be made of?

All of the habitats reviewed above are made out of glass, but that is not the only choice you have. There are also tanks made out of acrylic. The benefit of a plastic tank is that they are lighter than glass and also do not shatter. A glass terrarium is heavy and if dropped will shatter into dangerous shards. An acrylic one will break if enough force is applied, but the resulting damage is not sharp. The problem with acrylic is that it does scratch very easily, an abrasive scrub pad is enough to do damage. Also, plastic is not as insulating as glass so you may have trouble keeping your gecko’s home at an optimum temperature.

Accessibility

When choosing your habitat, one of the things to consider is the doors. A front opening terrarium will be much easier to access for water changes, feeding time and spot cleaning than one with only a removable lid. Also, give some thought to potentially having to remove a heat lamp, or other fixtures you may have installed on the top of the tank every time you need access to your lizard.

Room to move

Depending on how many leopard geckos you are planning on joining your family determines the size of the habitat you need to provide. Leopard geckos need ample space to move around in to feel comfortable and happy. When you add more than one gecko to the mix, it ups the size requirements significantly. Consider initially purchasing a larger terrarium than needed for one gecko if you think you might want to add one or two in the future.

leopard gecko

Frequently Asked Questions

How big should a leopard gecko’s tank be?
A: Leopard geckos are ground-dwelling creatures, meaning they do not have sticky feet like some lizards to climb vertical walls. They prefer to stay low to the ground. Not saying they won’t climb on to the top of a rock or their hide, but they won’t be hanging from the ceiling of their terrarium like you often see with other types of geckos. Because they like the ground, they need ample space to move around in, that’s why a short, wide terrarium is better than a tall, slim one. If you are planning on having a single gecko, then a 10-gallon tank will suffice. If you even have an inkling that you may like two lizards at some point, get a 15-gallon tank at a minimum. The duo of lizards will need to have enough room to feel comfortable with each other. Adding a third gecko raises the required size to a 20-gallon tank. For reference, a 18inx18inx18in tank is roughly 20 gallons.
What should I put in my leopard gecko’s tank?
A: The Leopard Gecko is a pretty easy lizard to take care of and doesn’t require anything fancy. They need a source of fresh water, a place to hide, a heat source and access to food.
Flooring
The substrate you choose for your lizard is important. You can choose newspaper, artificial (plastic) flooring, disposable liners or sand. Any substrate you choose should be easy to clean or disposable to remove when it gets soiled.
Water
A source of fresh water is necessary to have available at all times and should be changed daily. A shallow bowl would suffice.
A cozy place to hide
Leopard geckos require a hide for them to sleep in and to also shed in. Leopard geckos need to shed their skin like many other reptiles. A constant humidity level of 40-60 percent is needed so they can shed their skin periodically. If the humidity in their tank is low, you can put some moist peat moss in their hide so they can shed. A humidistat can be helpful to tell you exactly the conditions inside the terrarium.
Extras to make a house feel like a home
In order to make your gecko as happy as possible, you should also include items from its natural habitat. Some examples would be a hollow long to run through and climb over, large rocks and woody bushes (natural or artificial).
How do you clean a leopard gecko’s tank?
A: Cleaning your lizard’s tank is easy. Leopard geckos are relatively clean creatures. Often times, they only use one area of their terrarium as a restroom so cleaning is easy. Daily, you need to change the water, remove old food and spot clean the areas used as a toilet. Weekly you should remove everything and give it a deep clean. Do also change the substrate when it becomes soiled and remove any food, dead or alive a few hours after feeding.
Do leopard geckos need UVB light?
A: The short answer is that they don’t need any extra light provided you aren’t keeping them in a pitch black closet. The light from the room you keep them in should be fine. Often times lizards need UVB lights to simulate sunshine. Leopard geckos are different in that they do not need the UVB light since they are nocturnal. They may need a heat lamp if you struggle to keep the temperature in their enclosure high enough at the recommended 80 degrees Fahrenheit. An LED light can be mounted and used, but know that it is just for your viewing, the gecko does not require it.
Is sand bad for a leopard gecko?
A: Their natural habitat is rocky, grassy terrain, not desert sand. There is concern that if you use sand as a substrate, your gecko could ingest large amounts while eating and cause intestinal impaction which can be deadly. It is recommended that if you choose sand that you do not feed your gecko in that same cage.
What temperature do leopard geckos need to live?
A: It is very important that you monitor the temperature inside your gecko’s terrarium. Leopard geckos thrive in a warm environment. They need to have an ambient temperature of at least 80 degrees Fahrenheit and they should also have a “hot side”, often times where a heating pad is located at around 90 degrees. They are cold-blooded creatures and need to keep their body temperature up in order to function correctly and lead healthy lives.
What is the natural habitat of the leopard gecko?
A: The leopard gecko’s home is in the Eastern Hemisphere and Asia where there are dry grasslands and desert-like areas. They prefer rocky terrains and low to the ground shrubbery. Although, the leopard geckos that are available for purchase are almost always bred in captivity.
Do leopard geckos like to live together?
A: If you want your new pet to have a pal, you should follow these guidelines. Make sure that you have purchased a large enough tank for multiples. A 20-gallon terrarium could house a maximum of three geckos. Do not put males together, they will fight each other and be very unhappy living in such close proximity. If you choose to have a male and female, they will reproduce. The leopard gecko is quite easy to breed if you choose to do so. Male leopard geckos are very territorial, that is why you can only ever have one in the same habitat. Females generally do not have an issue living together but may become territorial if their habitat is too confined. If you are wanting to have three geckos, you should only have one male with two females. Do know that if you keep an opposite-sex pair, they will breed.   
Do leopard geckos like to climb?
A: As discussed above, the answer is no. They are not prolific climbers and do not have the sticky hair on their feet to help them grip vertical surfaces like their kin. They do like to scurry about on uneven terrain and low rock formations though so make sure to have plenty for them to do in their terrarium.

References:

  1. Animal Planet, Leopard Gecko: Stats & Facts
  2. That Pet Place, The Ideal Gecko Terrarium
  3. OnlineGeckos, Leopard gecko terrarium setup

Hopefully, you are now able to purchase a home for your new friend, armed with the knowledge that you know exactly what they need to start off their new life with you in the healthiest and happiest way possible. Keep the general guidelines and rules outlined above in mind when purchasing your new lizard’s home and you will have a friend for many, many years to come.

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