This week we will be talking about leopard geckos, and how to care for these awesome animals.
Temperature and Humidity
Leopard Geckos are nocturnal, which means they like to come out and explore during the nighttime. They get their heat from rocks that have been warmed up throughout the daytime, and not by basking in the sun like other animals (i.e. Bearded Dragons, Chameleons, Uromastyx), because of this we recommend using an Under Tank Heater (Heat Mat). This is helps recreate the natural heat they get in the wild, unlike heat lamps, which would give your Leopard Gecko a basking spot.
You should always provide your leopard gecko with a humid hide. This is a cave, with wet sphagnum moss. Having a humid hide like this helps your leopard gecko shed. This cave should be on the opposite side of the tank as the heat mat.
A 10 gallon is a minimum for one adult leopard gecko. This is a great size for a Leopard Gecko’s entire life. Have more than one Leopard Gecko in the same cage? I would make sure you add 10 gallons for each gecko. For example if you had two Leopard Geckos in the cage, you would get a 20-gallon tank. I would never keep two males together but females should be fine, just make sure they are all eating and none of them are being left out or bullied.
We never recommend you put a loose substrate in the cage like Dirt, Sand, Walnut Shells, Cyprus Mulch. Your Leo could ingest some of the substrate and could become impacted, I have had it happen personally, and I have seen hundreds of similar stories on the Internet. I don’t like to take the risk, so we use reptile carpet, paper towels, tile, anything that is a solid so that the gecko can not ingest it by accident. To learn more about impaction you can check out this Blog Post The Harmful Facts of Impaction.
Leopard Geckos eat many different types of insects. We feed our Leo’s a staple diet of Mealworms, and Crickets. We routinely give them BSFL, Dubia, Super Worms, and Horn Worms. We will feed them Mealworms, and Crickets every day except for Thursdays, which is when we give them one of the four other insects I mentioned above. This way they get a variety without ever getting bored of any one single insect. I feed my collection once a day, right before I go to bed (around 10-11 PM), this way my Leo’s have been up for a little bit and are hungry. I hate feeding them and having the bugs go under the paper towels or reptile carpet.
I also dust the crickets, with Calcium with out D3, this helps our Leopard Geckos grow without developing a disease called Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD). MBD can cause their spine to grow crooked, frail bones, and could possibly end up killing your animal. I also offer a small bowl of Calcium with D3, for my Leo's to lick whenever they feel like.