General care for your pet leopard gecko
Things You’ll Need
• 10 gallon tank, per each gecko (20 gallon long for 2 leopard geckos)
• Heating pad or Heat Tape
• Thermometer with probe
• Thermostat (or basic light dimmer)
• At least 2 Hides (preferably 3)
• Paper towels (or other substrate)
• Water dish (optional)
• Calcium + Vitamin D Powder for dusting
A 10 gallon aquarium houses one leopard gecko from hatchling to adult. A secure screen top is always recommended. Please note: Never house 2 males in the same enclosure.
At minimum of 2 hiding places should be available to your leopard gecko. One on the hot side and one on the cool side. A third hiding place is preferred for when your leopard gecko is shedding. That one should be a humid hide placed between the hot and cool side and kept misted, at all times. Improper shedding can lead to loss of toes, etc.
Paper towels are recommended as the easiest and healthiest for your leopard gecko. For a more aesthetically pleasing look, flat stones (e.g., ceramic tile) could also be used.
For the hot side of the enclosure, your surface temps should be in the to 88-92°F range. To create a hot side for your enclosure, an undertank heating pad or tape should be used. As for ambient temps, leopard geckos will acclimate just fine to your average home temperature. These animals will tolerate being a little cool much more than they will tolerate being overheated.
To regulate surface temperature, a thermometer with a probe should be used with a thermostat to ensure the temperature is accurate (a basic light dimmer can be used in lieu of a thermostat, if necessary). Stay away from heat rocks and/or basking lamps as these are not basking animals and can be very dangerous, if not lethal to your gecko.
It is not necessary to use lighting for your leopard gecko, but can be used for viewing purposes. A simple low-wattage light can be placed overhead on the screen top and can be left on for up to 12 hours. It is not advised to leave the light on without being present. Monitor the ambient temperature on the hot side while the light is on to be sure it does not exceed 90°F.
Gut loaded Mealworms or Crickets, dusted with a Calcium + Vitamin D supplement (I use a 1:1 mixture of Vionate and Osteoform). Feed them approximately 6-10 mealworms/crickets three to four times a week. You can also treat your pet to waxworms or superworms, but no more than once a week, as these foods are “treats” and have a high fat content.
A shallow dish of water can be available at all times. However, it's common misconception that Leopard geckos need a constant supply of water. In our racks here, we mist the geckos, fairly heavily, once per week and they will take in as much water as they need until the next time we feed/clean their enclosure. The idea is not to have standing water, but rather, it should evaporate from walls, etc. within a few hours. Every single gecko here is 100% conditioned to consume water in this manner and will likely continue to, should you choose to employ the same method.
For us, this is a much more sanitary option and was one of the best decisions I ever made regarding husbandry. Filtered or purified water is preferred, but not necessary, and vitamin drops should NOT be added to the water. It should be noted, if you do choose to use a water dish, it should be kept clean, at all times. Water dishes can easily become a haven for bacteria.