Leopard Gecko Environment3 min read
Whether you’re a mass breeder or just a hobbyist with one leopard gecko, the environment is kept pretty much the same. In the case of mass breeding more food and hiding areas are introduced into the reptiles environment to avoid tail nipping.
Heating is another very important step in the health of leopard geckos because they must thermoregulate their body temperatures. I personally like under tank heaters, but you can use lights or heat rope. Pet stores sell heat rocks, but beware that they can burn your lizard. Temperatures should be kept at 72 degrees on the cool side of you enclosure and 88 degrees on the warm side of your enclosure. This allows your leopard gecko to thermoregulate their body temperature by moving to the side that it requires. Keeping minimum temperatures at no less than 68 degrees and making sure their are no cold air drafts.
A 30 gallon fish tank is a popular enclosure for leopard geckos to live in. I personally like to use bamboo to make my own cages, other materials can be used as long as they are safe. When making your own cage be sure to check for sharp edges and that none of the materials used are toxic. The enclosure must be escape proof because like most reptiles, leopard geckos are little Houdini’s.
In my cages I use aquarium safe rocks partially covered in reptile sand as my substrate, there are a gauntlet of other substrates available. Impaction is one thing to consider when choosing substrate, so do not be afraid to ask at the store where you buy supplies about alternatives. Impaction occurs in reptiles when they consume something that they cannot digest. I use a worm dish to avoid this from happening, another way to avoid substrate impaction is to feed leopard geckos in a separate container. Another benefit of feeding outside the enclosure is your leopard gecko will not be stressed by left over insects crawling all over them. Crickets are notorious for nipping reptiles for a water source, this can cause stress that can make your pet sick and possibly kill it.
Never house two males in the same enclosure because they will fight and hurt each other. Females can be housed together but they can still kinda bully each other. I prefer to keep all my leopard geckos separate from each other and supply them with two hides per enclosure. One hide is kept in the cool side and the other in the warm side of the enclosure. The cool side is kept dry and the warm side is moistened when I see that my leopard gecko is almost ready to shed. A water dish is used in the cool side to supply fresh drinking water. Some people also put a calcium dish in the enclosure but I just ad that to the food supply. You can also decorate the enclosure with rocks and non toxic plants that are thornless and survive in dry environments. Driftwood can look nice and also supply hiding areas at the same time.
Some enclosures can be very exotic and amazing looking, others can be simple and plain. When set up properly and cleaned regularly it doesn’t matter to the leopard gecko what it looks like it will be happy and healthy and that’s what really matters the most.