Leopard Gecko Care and Helpful Information
Leopard geckos make very great pets. If you care for them and treat them right, they can be your best friend for twenty years or possibly more. Before you purchase your gecko, I suggest reading this care sheet and doing a little more research before you make a decision. That way, you will make an informed decision about whether or not you want this kind of reptile.
When housing a leopard gecko, you should know that you should have only one gecko per tank. This helps due to safety issues. You don't want to come home to two dead geckos. If your gecko is young, you can use a ten gallon tank. As your gecko grows to adult size, I suggest that you use a twenty gallon tank. This will give your gecko more room to explore. These geckos can reach up to 10 inches long, so keep that in mind when choosing a tank. I also suggest that you should get a tank that has doors that open in the front, not on the top. This type of tank will be easier to clean. You can reach your gecko a lot better and you don't have to deal with a lid.
I know there is a lot of argument on the web of what to use for a substrate. Geckos can get sick by eating substrate; it can cause blockage and can lead to death. I highly suggest you use paper towel or tiling. If you decide to use paper towel, I would lay down a few layers of it. Using paper towel will make the tank easier to clean. You don't have to lift the tank to dump it out. Tiling is great and can be easier to clean as well. You can choose the different styles and color. You can pick up tiling at your local home improvement store. We will discuss how to clean your tank later on in the article.
Your leopard gecko will need areas to sleep and relax. Pick a side of the tank that you want to be the hot side. This side will be warmer than the other side of the tank. You will need to have a hideaway in that spot. In the middle of the tank, you should have another hideaway. The opposite side of that hot side, will be another hideaway. Your gecko will choose which hide to sleep in. If your gecko is a little cold, he or she will sleep in the hotter side of the tank. If your gecko wants to sleep in between the warm side and the cold side, he or she can. If your gecko feels a little too hot, than he or she will move to the cooler side. These hides are important to help your gecko regulate its body temperature.
Females can lay infertile eggs, so you will need to provide a lay box. Use a Tupperware and cut a hold on the top of the lid. Fill it with a few inches of organic potting soil and moss. Make sure there is no fertilizer in the soil and that it's a 100% organic. Spray this lay box off once a day. Don't soak it and place it on the warm side of the tank.
Food And Water
Leopard geckos are insectivores. Your gecko can eat: mealworms, super worms, dubia roaches, and crickets. Be careful with crickets, because they can carry parasites and make your gecko sick. Young geckos can eat more than adults. You will need a ceramic dish for food, because all these bugs can climb out. A ceramic dish is smooth, so it will be harder the insects to climb out. If you have a gecko that will not eat for a while, you can feed a few wax worms. Wax worms are very high in fat content. Do not feed that many and only feed wax worms when your gecko is refusing to eat. Don't forget to add a water dish. Your gecko will drink water when he or she needs it. You can also add a calcium dish. Add calcium without D3 to this dish and he or she will lick it when he or she needs it. Dust your bugs by adding the bugs to a bag with calcium D3 and gently shake it up. You can find these insects and the ceramic dishes at your local pet store or online.
Heating And Lighting
Leopard Geckos regulate their body temperate by using belly heat. You will need an under tank heater. Put this under tank heater on the hot side of the tank. You should also use a thermostat as well. A thermostat will regulate the temperature on the hot side of the tank. Make sure this hot side is 85 F- 90 F. The cool side of the tank needs to be 75 F- 80 F. Purchase a thermometer, so you know the temperature of the tank. If you have troubles heating up the tank, you can purchase a ceramic heat emitter. You will need to use a special dome to hold your ceramic heat emitter. This ceramic heat emitter, does not give off any light. Use a thermostat with a ceramic heat emitter, because that way you can regulate the tank temperature. Do not over heat the tank, doing so will kill your gecko. Leopard geckos need fourteen hours of light during summer and twelve hours of light during winter. Leopard geckos do not like bright light. You can use a red light to achieve this. A red light will not hurt your geckos eyes as much as a regular white light would. You will want to place these lights and ceramic heat emitter above the hot side of the tank. Turn the red light on in the morning and turn it off before you go to bed.
Your leopard gecko will need some humidity to help him or her shed. On the cool side of tank, add some fake moss in the hide. Spray the moss off once a day. Your gecko will climb in there to cool off. When your gecko is shedding, this humid hideaway will help your gecko shed. The humidity will help the shed come off a lot easier. This can help your gecko not have any stuck shed. You can find the fake moss at your local pet store, a home improvement store, or online. The humidity level should be around 40% or lower.
Plants And Decorations
Add some fake plants and decorations to your tank. Don't overcrowd your tank, but add a few items. This can make your tank look more natural. Your leopard gecko will feel right at home. You can find fake plants and decorations at your local pet store or the dollar store. You can also add a background to your tank.
Cleaning The Tank
Once a month, you should clean your leopard gecko's tank. Remove everything in the tank and set it aside some where. Spray the inside of the tank with water and vinegar and let it soak. Dry it with a paper towel and make sure it is completely dry. Meanwhile, fill the sink up with hot water and add vinegar. Put your hideaways, tiling, food dishes, plants, and decorations in the sink. Use a sponge and wipe everything down. Rinse very well and let it air dry on a towel. You can use white distilled vinegar. Make sure everything is completely dry before you add everything back to the tank. Vinegar will help disinfect any bacteria in the tank. This process will take about an hour to complete. Cleaning the tank is very important to make sure your leopard gecko lives a clean and healthy life.
If you take care of your leopard gecko the proper way, your gecko will live a long happy life. We love our animals and we show that love by the way we take care of them. I hope I have taught you everything you should know about taking care of your leopard gecko. If you would like to look up more information, there are some links at the bottom of this page that you can look at.
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© 2017 Brittany Banks