Making a home for your Leopard Gecko

Leopard Gecko

The vivarium

As a general guide you will need at least 16inch x 11inch of space for a single gecko or about 36inch x 18inch for 2-3 geckos living together. Ideally with a height of 18 inches if you want to install lighting.

Adult males should not be house together as they can fight.

Hides

Leopard Geckos need somewhere to hide so that they don’t become too stressed. You can either buy a hide or make your own using a margarine tub.

Moist Boxes

Geckos should always have access to a moist box (eg a box of moss which is sprayed regularly with water). This will help provide moisture and substrate for your gecko during shedding times.

Heating/Temperature

Geckos need heating to help them regulate bodily functions. You can place a heat mat under the tank or the substrate. It should cover a third or half of the tank. The temperature on the floor of your enclosure where the geckos bask should be between 29-31 degrees Celcius.

Lighting

Leopard Geckos do not need UV lighting but they need to know if it’s day or night so some lighting is advisable.

Substrate

There are many different substrates available for geckos but they can cause impaction when eaten, so be careful when using them. Hatchlings and young Geckos should be kept on kitchen roll. Once they are around 6 inches in length, they can be moved on to something else.

Diet

Hatchlings/young geckos can be fed 4-8 items a day and Adults can be fed 4-10  items every 2-3 days. As geckos are nocturnal, they should be fed after dusk. We recommend that you use Nutrobal, a calcium and multivitamin supplement, once a week on your gecko’s food to help bone growth. Fresh clean water should be available at all times.

Leopard geckos eat a variety of insects, including:

Crickets: As a rule you should feed your gecko items which are no more than the length, and less than half the width, of the lizards head. Black crickets are slower than brown crickets thus making them easier for your gecko to catch. Crickets are known to nibble on geckos, so it is not advisable to leave crickets in the enclosure overnight without something to eat like a small amount of grated apple or carrot. Crickets can be ‘gut loaded’ by feeding them a vitamin calcium supplement.

Mealworms

Locusts

Waxworms: You should only give one or two waxworms a week as they have a high fat content.

Silkworms

Shedding

Leopard geckos shed their skin every 2-5 weeks. They generally eat their skin after shedding to gain some of the vitamins and minerals from it. It is important to check if the skin has been totally removed, especially around the toes and tip of the tail. If not, try raising the humidity in the hide or giving your gecko a 5-10 minute bath of lukewarm water (1/2 and inch deep). You can attempt to gently remove the dead skin with a moist cotton bud. If you are not managing then it is best to get help as geckos can lose their toes if the skin is not shed properly.

Leopard Gecko Hygiene

Your gecko will generally go to the toilet in the same area each time. You should clean it out daily and wash your hands after doing so. The substrated should be kept clean. We stock special disinfectants which are safe for cleaning vivariums.

If you would like any more information then phone 01621 818282 (Tiptree Veterinary Centre) or 01206 561407 (Willows Veterinary Centre) to book an appointment with one of our vets. You can also visit our websites at www.tiptreevets.co.uk or www.willows-vets.co.uk

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One response to “Making a home for your Leopard Gecko

  1. Pingback: Leopard Gecko Environment

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