Leopard Geckos Care? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 36 Old 10-18-2008, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
Leopard Geckos Care?

My 10G Reef tank is going to be emptied in December (For a bigger tank, no worries), and I want to add something I have never had before: A reptile. I narrowed it down between a Green Anole and Leopard Gecko, and I have decided to go with a Leopard Gecko. Every site I read says that a 10G is perfect to house one. I already have a screen hood, too.

For the aquarium itself, I will be purchasing the following. Let me know what is good and what should be changed.
Substrate=Green Reptile Carpet Terrarium Carpets for Reptiles: Turtle Turf and Repti Cage Carpet at Drs. Foster and Smith
Heat Source=Under substrate heating pad* Reptile Temperature Control: Repti Therm Under Tank Heaters at Drs. Foster and Smith (8W)

*Would it be better to use a lamp setup? IE, ESU Reptile Clamp Lamp at Drs. Foster and Smith: Portable lighting for pet reptiles

Driftwood: Terrarium Decorations for Reptiles: Mopani Wood at Drs. Foster and Smith

And then a water bowl, food bowl, regular cave, and moisture cave.

Would those work?

Now, the one thing I am still confused on is feeding. I know they need insects (I can supply Crickets, Mealworms and Worms), but would I keep these in like a Critter Keeper for a day while I feed them? Also, do I offer like Pellets or Fruit as well?

Thanks everybody.
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post #2 of 36 Old 10-19-2008, 03:59 AM
willow's Avatar
hi cody
for a baby a 10 is perfect,you may want to go bigger as he grows,
the drift wood wil be fine,gives the gecko something to climb on.
have you had a look at Kates setup about her gecko charlie ??
a heat pad is fine,no need for UV light as they are nocturnerl.
you can put a night blub in if you wish to observe them of a night. :)
the crickets can be housed in a critter keeper for ease of feeding
to gut load them before feeding,you can give them an opened
orange with the supplement sprinkled on the night before you wish
to feed your gecko.
one gecko on his own is adviseable as two males will fight,if you want
females that;s fine,i don't want to shovel loads of info on you,
do you know how to sex a male and female ?
oh yeah and i have to tell you i'm now insainly jealous of you.
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post #3 of 36 Old 10-19-2008, 04:30 AM
Amphitrite's Avatar
With the correct setup a leopard gecko is an awesome pet to keep.

As long as the tank is two feet in length it should be okay - height isn't a real issue since they're not great climbers. I started out with my leo in a spare 15 gallon fish tank and that was fine. I changed to a terrarium after a while though as I didn't like only having access through the top of the tank, it's much easier with sliding glass doors at the front.

Heating and Lighting

In terms of heat and lighting, I started out with a heat mat covering just over a third of the tank, a heat lamp and a UV lamp. You'll get conflicing information as to whether a UV lamp is necessary - I think I've used mine twice since getting my leo (he hides as soon as it's switched on). I think it's too bright for him. As for the heat lamp, I haven't found it necessary to use - the heat mat is adequate. The only thing the light is good for is taking photographs of him.

Be sure to get a temperature regulator (you don't want to fry the little guy) - I use Habistat which has a sensor just above the floor.


As for substrate, I started out with the repile carpet but felt it was a little rough on the leos little feet so I took it out and now use thick paper instead. Using paper means it can be discarded and replaced on a regular basis. Don't use anything like sand as this can be ingested and cause the leo to become impacted.

As for feeding, the best choice of food is either crickets or mealworms (crickets are better if he'll take them). There are different things you can use to gutload the insects - I use a mixture of fruit, veg and also gut-loading dry food which I get from a reptile store.

There are a couple of different supplements I give to my leo. Firstly is cricket dust which I coat the food with on each feeding. Secondly , I keep a shallow dish of calcium powder in his tank at all times. I see him eating it fairly reguarly. I also use a product called Leopard Gecko Dust which contains a variety of nutrients, but I only use this once per week and give it by lightly dusting his food with it.

A water dish with daily fresh water is essential.

As for housing, you'll need to have a moist box in the tank to aid with shedding of his skin. Make sure it's fully enclosed to retain moisture. I used an old icecream tub with a hole cut out for a door. It has a couple of centimeters of spagnum moss on the bottom which is kept damp at all times. It needs replacing fairly regularly, and I've started buying blocks of dried moss which can be broken off as required - it's great stuff.

He'll usually shed his skin every couple of weeks or so. He'll eat his skin as he sheds so you don't need to worry about removing it. What you do need to watch out for is that he sheds properly - sometimes skin can be left behind on their little toes which you would need to remove. As long as he has the moistbox it shouldn't be too much of a problem though.

He'll also need a cave or some sort of enclosure to hide in. The moist box I keep on the warm end of the tank, the cave on the cooler end.

Leos are quite good with their toilet habits and tend to go in one chosen place which they'll stick to. One you know where that place is, you can put down a piece of kitchen towel and replace it every day.

Leopard Gecko Morphs
There are loads of different morphs of leopard gecko available, so you should have a look around and see what kind you prefer. They change dramatically in appearance when they start to mature - you can see a dramatic change in Charlie in my Leopard Gecko thread


If I think of anything I've missed out I'll let you know and keep asking loads of questions.

Hope this helped

ʎɐqǝ uo pɹɐoqʎǝʞ ɐ ʎnq ı ǝɯıʇ ʇsɐן ǝɥʇ sı sıɥʇ

Last edited by Amphitrite; 10-19-2008 at 04:41 AM.
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post #4 of 36 Old 10-19-2008, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
Thank you guys.

I probably wont use the Carpet from what I have been reading.
I will most likely give Mealworms as a staple. How often do I offer them?
I know how to make a DIY Moisture box with like a tupperware container turned upside-down. Could I keep moist paper towels in there, or would moss be better?
Regular Cave and Driftwood will be in.
I will get a Heat pad, and maybe a light just to see him.

If I have anything else to ask, I will put it here. Thanks again.
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post #5 of 36 Old 10-19-2008, 11:28 AM
Amphitrite's Avatar
Moist paper towels can be used, but I don't feel they're as effective and dry up a lot more quickly.

Mealworms should be offered daily. I put in a small see-through dish to prevent them from running off before they're eaten.

ʎɐqǝ uo pɹɐoqʎǝʞ ɐ ʎnq ı ǝɯıʇ ʇsɐן ǝɥʇ sı sıɥʇ
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post #6 of 36 Old 10-19-2008, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
Ok. So I will try to find some moss.

I will keep some Mealworms in like a Critter Keeper before I feed him, so I can gut load them.
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post #7 of 36 Old 10-19-2008, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
Well, I have been looking around on forums that specialize in reptiles, and then looking at member's vivariums for their Leo's, and it has opened up a lot to me.

I guess Leo's like marble/granite/slate for substrate. Also, I read that two levels can increase room for them (and look nice). This is my plan:

Slate tiles on the whole bottom (already have)
Second level will be on the whole back wall, coming out 5". This will have the repti-carpet.
Heat pad will be on the bottom level, along with a Humid Hide and a Warm hide. I may also add some driftwood to the bottom. The bowls will all be down here.
The second level will have the cool hide, and just some fake plants for looks. I will have two ladders with cardboard underneath (like what birds use) to get up to the top. The floor will be made of plywood with the carpet on top.
I will also have one light on top of the screen. The main color will just be clear or blue, and I will switch out the bulb for a red one when I want to view nighttime activities.

Does this make sense? How does everything sound?
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post #8 of 36 Old 10-19-2008, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
Oops, forgot to add...

For a heat mat, how many watts should it be? 8, 10, 16?
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post #9 of 36 Old 10-21-2008, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
Sorry for having 4 straight posts, but little update...

I am trying to get a 20 gallon long for the Leo instead of a 10. Today, I purchased a Water Bowl (nice and sturdy), a 8.5" Lamp (not for heat; for my personal viewing preferences as I plan to use a red bulb at night, and either a blue/white light during the day sometimes), and a log hide (will be one of two cool hides; still need a dry hide). I will be making the moist hide soon.

I am buying things in bits and pieces here.
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post #10 of 36 Old 10-21-2008, 05:45 PM
willow's Avatar
looks like you're getting there,where are you going to get
the tank from ?
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