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The Advantages of Housing Leopard Geckos in Tubs

I'm an avid herpetoculturist. I hope to pursue a career in herpetology and eventually start my own online reptile business.

Consider an alternative housing setup for your Leopard Gecko.

Consider an alternative housing setup for your Leopard Gecko.

Leopard Gecko Tub Setup: Alternative Housing Options for Geckos

Keeping reptiles in tubs or rack systems is becoming more popular among your average reptile hobbyists. Rack systems used to be seen only in large collections and large breeds. As more people discover the advantages of tubs vs. typical housing (tanks, for example), keeping even small collections in tubs has its benefits.

Pros and Cons of Plastic Tub Housing


Saves space

Not a display case

Maintains proper heat

Not aesthetic


Easy to clean


Private and secure


Leopard Geckos can do very well in plastic tub housing if assembled properly.

Leopard Geckos can do very well in plastic tub housing if assembled properly.

Should You House Your Leopard Gecko in a Plastic Tub?

You can successfully keep Leopard Geckos in tubs with proper planning and research. Many people immediately put tubs totally off the list of possible housing options and wonder why anyone would choose to keep a Leopard Gecko in a plastic tub. While using tubs may not work in every situation, they are fairly versatile. Let's take a look at some of the pros and cons of keeping your Leopard Gecko in a tub.


  • Saves space
  • Easier to maintain proper heat
  • Requires very little maintenance
  • Easy to clean
  • Inexpensive
  • Provides your gecko with privacy and security
  • Lightweight


  • Not a display cage
  • Not aesthetically pleasing

The only real con of keeping your Leopard Geckos in tubs is purely from the human perspective. Many of the tubs available are colored or opaque and can be difficult to see through. If you are keeping only a few "Leos" as pets and watching their natural behavior is very important, I would suggest staying with glass tanks or specially made reptile enclosures. If you are looking for a safe, space-saving, beneficial way of housing that is inexpensive and easy to maintain, I would suggest plastic tubs.

Necessary Supplies for Your Leopard Gecko's Tub

  • Appropriately sized tub (listed below)
  • Thermometer
  • Soldering iron
  • Two hides (minimum)
  • Humidity hide
  • Water and food dishes
  • Substrate
  • Heat source
A simple tub setup

A simple tub setup

How to Set Up a Proper Habitat for Your Gecko

Setting up your Leopard Gecko's tub is very much the same as setting up a normal enclosure—the only key difference is actually making your tub habitable.

Select a Tub Size

Decide which size tub is ideal for your gecko based on its age. The guidelines below describe the minimum size requirement for any gecko. If you can give it more space, go for it!

  • Hatchling to young adult: 6-quart tub
  • One adult: 15-quart tub
  • Multiple females or for breeding purposes: 28-quart tub
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Read More From Pethelpful

Make Air Holes

After you have chosen the appropriate-size tub based on the above recommendations and your own personal preference, it's time to put air holes in your tub. I recommend using a soldering iron to melt holes into your tub. Some people use a drill, but there is a very good chance that it could cause your tub to crack. Make enough holes to let fresh air in and to keep your humidity down.

Set Up the Habitat

After putting in your holes, it's time to start setting up your tub. Lay down your favorite substrate, and place your hides, humid hide, dishes, thermometer, and anything else you like to include inside your Leopard Gecko's enclosure inside the tub. Remember to provide the proper heat source, such as a UTH or a Flexwatt.

There You Go!

When done properly, the setup and maintenance of a Leopard Gecko plastic tub environment should be fairly easy and affordable. And your "Leos" will love their new home!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2011 misspeachesx


spambortner on January 07, 2020:

I love this idea. I have to rescreen my Anole's reptibreeze and I am using a tall 64 quart for her temp home and it looks amazing. I cut out the center of the lid and glued screen on the inside with hot glue. I laid down frog foam and a nice moss mat, a huge moss cave and a 6" cork roll on that. Fake plants made from picks placed in clay and hand painted. She has her worm bowl, baby crickets, cricket food and a wet paper towel. It's a jungle in there.

Jill on July 09, 2019:

I agree on the 28q per gecko. Gives them more space to explore and thrive. Wouldn’t go below that ever.

Sick of it ALL on July 31, 2018:

20 Years Ago, I saw my first Gecko. Now they are everywhere. Why doesn't the US Government make it illegal to import Nuisance crap like this. They apparently have few natural enemies. I do know that some snakes love to eat them. I stepped out of my door one night to find a snake staring me in the face. It had climbed up the bricks of my house to catch Geckos. Typical way of one imported pest causing other problems.

Now, I hear that Poisonous Dart Frogs are being imported as pets. They are so small and colorful. Their diet in their normal habitat is supposedly what causes them to be poisonous. Nothing to worry about here. I have a feeling that they just haven't found the right food in the wild here.

Large Constrictor Snakes are slowly spreading through the Southern States. No natural enemies here. I saw a photo of one trying to eat a large alligator. The gator was so large that it split open the snake. So maybe we can breed alligators that grow large enough to split open the snakes and release them in the areas known to have Large Constrictors.

In Arkansas we have Piranha in Lake Ouachita. Thankfully in the winter the water temperature gets cold enough to cause the population to die down. However, the springs that feed the Lake have a high enough temperature to prevent a complete die off. Unless some disease kills them all, they are now a permanent fixture in the Lake.

South East Asian Snakehead Fish that can walk from one pond or lake to another are taking over in the eastern states. They kill off the native fish and animals in and around each body of water they invade. They can and will kill a human being that may unknowingly get near its young. I read that If we import crocodiles, they will eat some of the Snakehead Fish.

If you just have to have an exotic pet like a Gecko, Poisonous Dart Frog, Constrictor Snake, or whatever, please do not release it when you get tired of it. KILL IT or TAKE IT BACK TO WHERE YOU GOT IT.

Zachary on August 14, 2016:

I prefer to use 28Q for each adults. Anything smaller is not good in my opinion. :)

tango on June 03, 2012:

15qt is 14. Somethin litres so just swap qt for litres

William on May 09, 2012:

Hi , u sed you need to use 6 qt hatchling - young adult, 15 qt one adult and 28 qt group of females. I'm in the UK what is 6 qt , 15 qt and 28 qt in litres. As I can get tubs in litres but don know what size thy need exact. Please help thanks

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