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Leopard Geckos Care Sheet

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Whitney has raised and bred different species of geckos, snakes, lizards, tortoises, and other exotics since 2003.


Leopard Gecko Books

Eublepharis macularius

Leopard geckos are naturally found in Iran, Afghanistan, Western India and Pakistan. India sent leopard geckos to the United States from 1960- 1973 for legal protection. Pakistan began exporting their leopard geckos worldwide later on; many captive-bred leopard geckos are the descendants from Pakistan ancestors.

They reside in deserts and arid grasslands with dry and rocky landscapes, and because they are nocturnal animals, they spend the day beneath rocks and in burrows. Leopard geckos are terrestrial animals, spending much of their time on the ground; they rarely climb, and when they do, they can become clumsy

Handling: Leopard geckos are relatively docile animals, so when it comes to handling them, they are usually at ease. You must be careful when it come to picking them up. NEVER pick them up by the tail, because they will drop it, and it will not grow back as pretty but more a rounded bulge.

Temperament: They rarely bite and are tamed easily with regular handling. However, be careful how you hold the gecko. Never by its tail! Gecko tails break off rather easily as a defense mechanism. Although they will grow back, they never look as nice as the original. Baby leopard geckos are so small and, to them, you seem huge; handling young leopard geckos must be done carefully. If spooked, the baby may drop its tail, and as mentioned earlier, it will not grow back as visually appealing. Overall, the leopard gecko is one of the most docile of the reptile species in the pet trade today.

Lifespan: With proper care, leopard geckos can live anywhere from 15-20 years.

Size: Usually leopard geckos will grow between 8-10 inches in length, but many individuals only reach the about 8 inches in length. Many times, breeders will breed geckos as to achieve specific lengths and sizes that are beyond the normal, average size.

Books About Leopard Geckos

Housing Leopard Geckos

Enclosure size: A 10 gallon aquarium is the minimum size for one leopard gecko, and a 20-gallon, long aquarium will house up to three geckos. NEVER house more than one male together because they are very territorial and will fight! With adequate housing, several females can live with one male for life, but this is not recommended.

Substrate: Leopard geckos should never be housed on loose substrates, to include, play sand, Calci-sand, or wood shavings, as they can cause impaction. There are several different things that can be used as substrate, to include paper towels, reptile carpet, and tile.

Décor: When landscaping, include shelters for the geckos to hide in. Remember, they are nocturnal animals. Putting at least two shelters in the terrarium: one on the hot side and one on the cool side. Make sure to have plenty of room so the gecko can maneuver around the terrarium with ease; not having enough room to walk comfortably can cause stress on the gecko.

A humid hide is also recommended to have in the tank; this creates higher humidity for easier shedding.

Slate tiles are a Great substrate. Enclosure has a fake rock layout.

Slate tiles are a Great substrate. Enclosure has a fake rock layout.

Reptile carpet is another good substrate to use. This is a simple layout. Add a humid hide and it'd be perfect.

Reptile carpet is another good substrate to use. This is a simple layout. Add a humid hide and it'd be perfect.

Stackable caging system with carpet substrate. Simple layout with multiple hides and humide hides. Great designs. Examples of fake rock are also seen.

Stackable caging system with carpet substrate. Simple layout with multiple hides and humide hides. Great designs. Examples of fake rock are also seen.

Cali-Sand is a BIG NO-NO. Very simple enclosure setup. Needs a humid hide.

Cali-Sand is a BIG NO-NO. Very simple enclosure setup. Needs a humid hide.


Lighting, Heating, Humidity of a Leopard Gecko Enclosure

Lighting: As leopard geckos are nocturnal, UV lightning is not necessary nor is a regular cage light. However, having a light helps create a 12 hour day and 12 hour night scenario. Because leopard geckos are terrestrial, they get their heat through their bellies. A light will only add heat to the air temperatures in the enclosure.

Tip: If you decide to use a light for you enclosure, regular light bulbs from a grocery store can be used. They are cheaper than reptile bulbs, yet serve the same purpose.

Heating: Because they cannot produce body heat, leopard geckos need a warm spot and cooler spot from which to choose. Daytime temperature should range between 85F-90F, and night temperatures can go into the low 70's. Under Tank Heating Pads, which attach to the bottom of the tank, work well to provide the proper temperatures necessary. Follow the directions for the heat pad carefully so that injury to your leopard gecko is limited and cracks to your terrarium is prevented.

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Use a digital thermometer to gauge the temperature. DO NOT estimate the temperature because temperatures that are too high or too low can harm your gecko.

DO NOT USE HOT ROCKS! They develop hot spots and many lizards have been badly burnt by them!

Humidity: Leopard geckos require a low humidity level that doesn't exceed 40%. When the humidity levels are too high, respiratory, bacterial, and fungal infections can occur. A humid hide can be provided to aid in shedding. Use a hygrometer to gauge the humidity levels.


Reptile Supplements

Leopard Gecko Diet

Leopard geckos are insectivores, meaning they eat insects. The diet of a leopard gecko can be based mainly on crickets, but a varied diet will insure optimum health. Leopard geckos can eat roaches, mealworms, waxworms, butterworms, silkworms, and phoenix worms. No matter what is fed to your leopard gecko, it needs to be size appropriate; insects must be at least ½ the width of the gecko's head and no longer than the length of the gecko's head.

Do not get insects from your backyard because insects travel and can carry pesticides and chemicals used by either you or your neighbors, which can be detrimental to the gecko's health.

Although leopard geckos do not drink very much, water should be provided at all times. When keeping a baby leopard gecko, do make sure that the bowl is not so large that the baby can drown.

Leopard Gecko Information


savannah on October 25, 2012:

baby leopard geckos are so cute i love them i also have one for a class pet so cool

Whitney (author) from Georgia on May 12, 2012:

no that will not be ok. you need to have a heat source, and a way to let the gecko cool off when needed. they do not thermoregulate.

saker101 on May 06, 2012:

if i dont give a cold and hot side in the tank ut i give him a hideing place will he be ok

Whitney (author) from Georgia on March 23, 2012:

1. you can use a glad tupperware container. cut a hole in the lid, place moist paper towels in the container.

2. you can use a bottle cap lid with pure calcium in the enclosure. this will ensure the gecko is getting enough calcium. also you want to dust crickets in calcium and vitamins.

3. some females will fight and some will not; you will have to watch closelly for bullying and signs of stress. it's ideal to house leopard geckos alone.

4. crickets daily for younger geckos, but every other day for juvies and adults. you will start to see how much your gecko is eating, and will be able to gauge how much and when to feed.

Sam Tibault on March 23, 2012:

1)How do you make a humid hide as you said some of the enclosures needed?

2)And I read somewhere that you needed to have a calcium bowl in the tank or that you need to dust the crickets with calcium. Do you?

3)So two females can live in a 20 gallon tank just fine?

4)And how much do you feed them and how often? I heard that you feed them crickets every day and then like keep a few mealworms in their dish all the time so that they can eat if they are hungry or is that wrong? Thank you

lukas bowen on March 18, 2012:

what does it mean when your lizard scrath you when you hold the lozard sometimes

Whitney (author) from Georgia on March 03, 2012:

It can increase stress which can increase risk of ailments

hannahperry on March 03, 2012:

if i hold my baby gecko to much will it die?

Whitney (author) from Georgia on February 05, 2012:

Use a digital thermometer with a probe to measure the temps to decide if the UTH is providing enough heat. A thermostat won't make the UTH get hotter than it would without it; the thermostat will only ensure it doesn't go above a certain degree, but if the UTh isn't getting to that temp anyway, it won't be any good. The humid hide should be on the hot side, or in the middle. The gecko will use it when he needs to.

Olievertraiqn on February 01, 2012:

Thanks for the information. I got my gecko a couple days ago, he's a little more than three months old. I was glad to see that the store I bought him from used repti carpet. He's eating, going to the bathroom, drinking and all that regularly, but I do have a concern. I'm positive my UTH isn't producing enough heat. It doesn't seem to be the biggest deal as he seems healthy, but I can't say for sure. I know I should go purchase a thermometer with a probe and a ZooMed brand UTH, but the one I have now DOES work, just not as well as it could. I've heard that you can use heat tape, but I'm not sure if I know exactly what that is. Do you think adding a second UTH would be too much? Is there any other way of heating the surface of my tank that doesn't involve buying a whole new UTH? I've looked for thermostats, but I can't seem to find any beside from online. Also, because the UTH isn't as warm as it probably should be, I think my moist hide is too cold. He hasn't started shedding yet, but he could soon. Could the cold moist hide make him sick? I'm using paper towel for my substrate and in my hide. Sorry this is all so long, but I really want to keep my gecko alive and well.

Olievertraiqn on January 30, 2012:

Okay, awesome thanks! I'm getting him today, pretty stoked! (:

Whitney (author) from Georgia on January 30, 2012:

1. It doesn't matter where you put the water bowl, at least as far as I've ever seen

2. Use vitamins to dust crickets, but make sure to leave the calcium bowl in the enclosure. You can also dust with calcium, as well.

3. I've found that ZooMed has worked best for my enclosures. Just keep an eye on the temperature to ensure that it's correct. A digital thermometer with a probe will best read the surface temperatures where your gecko spendds its time. As for putting it on the side, I've heard many people doing this, but I've always had best results with the UTH on the bottom of the tank for the best surface heat.

Olievertraiqn on January 25, 2012:

Hey Whitney, I'm looking to get my first leopard gecko (first pet other than simple fish, actually) and you have some great advice! I tried to read all the comments starting from the beginning, but there are too many, lol. Here is what I'm curious about:

1. Is the food/water supposed to be on the warm or cool side? I'm not even sure if it matters, but I think I recall reading it somewhere and I don't want to get it wrong if it does. I was actually googling it when I came across your page.

2. I know you're supposed to give your gecko calcium, but I've also heard stuff about vitamins, are those a must?

3. I have a Zilla UTH, the worker at the store told me she liked hers (although the adhesive side left a lot to be desired), and I was just wondering if you've used it, and if you have if I could get your opinion on that brand.

renom23 on January 03, 2012:

I'm not sure if my Leopard Gecko is eating but his pooping every night so does that means hes eating?

josh on October 25, 2011:

my juvenile leo is eatting good and hes alert but i dont think hes being active at night what should i do to make him more active?

Whitney (author) from Georgia on September 10, 2011:

It is very unlikely that you found a leopard gecko loose in your home unless you already had one that got out of its enclosure.

cdndallas on September 09, 2011:

I caught a baby leopard gecko in my shower. We already have a chameleon which my ex husband bought for our son. I always wanted a gecko so I bought a 5 1/2 gallon tank with a screen top. I am glad that I read your HUB about calcium sand. I have some in the tank, luckily I just put a little on one side and paper towels everywhere else. I have gotten a lot of great info from this HUB, thank you. My son named the gecko Speedy which is very appropriate. He can move very fast when he wants to. He seems to be adjusting to the tank very well. He must have just hatched a couple of weeks prior to us finding him in our shower, he was 1/2 the size of my baby finger, length and width. He has already shed once, which is why he didn't eat for one day, unlike the chameleon he/she eat the shed skin. I read something that said that this is normal. How can you tell if you have a male or female? My ex caught another one and was going to put it into the tank with Speedy, but luckily I told him to wait till I got online and found out that you should not put 2 different sized geckos together because the larger one will bully the smaller one. So I told him to let the other Gecko go. The bigger one is still hanging around on our patio. I'm glad I read through your HUB it has helped me to figure out how to take care of my new gecko

CindyD on July 01, 2011:

Eye issue - follow up to yesterdays posting - Vet said Cornea Abrasion...gave me Tobramycin drops...1 drop ea. eye 2 x day. Praying it works.

CindyD on June 30, 2011:

Eye issue - Have a 1 yr old...noticed she was keeping her eyes closed more than ususal...I got a peek at one eye and I do not see a "bright" pupal, color is wrong, one looks "scratchy" the other one does not but it's not "bright"...color dull...kinda dark looking...ever come across eye issues? I have an appt with a vet later today...not sure how knowledgeble w/herps...trying to find a good vet has been tough...she looks good otherwise, doesn't seem to have lost any weight despite the fact that she does not seem interested in meal worms right now...even left some in a dish overnight and she didn't touch them (normally never leave food in overnight)...ate one cricket last night...

Any advise? Many thanks -

Whitney (author) from Georgia on March 17, 2011:

Sorry for your loss.

This is a perefct example of why males and females DO NOT need to be housed together, especially if you do not have the proper experience or knowledge.

michelle on March 17, 2011:

i have a male and had a female. she got pregnant and was about ready to lay her eggs but she was to young. she couldnt pass the eggs and ended up dieing around 11 last night. so my advice to anyone looking to breed. make sure you female is old enough and big enough to be able to pass her eggs.. she was moving when my mom got home then when i got home had almost no life left to her. i took her out and tried to get her to move but she just couldnt hold on. i had to watch her die. it was heart breaking.

jackson on March 07, 2011:

I got a female leopard gecko on craigslist and she is pregnant I hope I can hatch the eggs.

xtexterx from kent, uk on February 26, 2011:

brilliant hub, i got 2 awesome leopard geckos, i love them to bits

Whitney (author) from Georgia on September 20, 2010:

I'm sorry to hear that.

Jamie on September 18, 2010:

he died....

Jamie on September 17, 2010:

should i make the slurry by golden gate geckos?

Jamie on September 17, 2010:

I dont have a camera to watch him but I know he isnt getting around any better at night. he is getting worse. He can barely pick up his head now. yes, he has lost alot of weight. it's been a while since he ate getting close to a week and a half. when i offer his food by putting it in front of his face and touching his mouth with it he'll shake is head and try and get away from it. I'm desperate and really want to take him to the vet but my mom wont allow it. how much do you think a vet bill will cost? i'm hoping i have enough...

Whitney (author) from Georgia on September 17, 2010:

Do you have a camera or anything watching him throughout the night? He could be walking around and moving fine while you're sleeping. Otherwise, you'll need to check for retained skin in or around the eye that could be causing complications. Is the gecko losing weight? When's the last time he ate?

Jamie on September 16, 2010:

i'll try putting paper towels under the reptile carpet.

it isnt just during the day that he keeps his eyes closed, it's during the night too. he seldom moves at all and he is refusing to eat. how do i get him to eat? i hold the cricket in front of him but he moves away from it.

Whitney (author) from Georgia on September 14, 2010:

You can use the ceramic bulbs (no lighting) in a regular clamp. The regular light bulbs don't do anything but heat the air. Without the surface temperatures as provided for by an under tank heater, the gecko may have trouble digesting. Sounds like illness, improper temperatures, etc. The gecko's eyes are closed during the day because you use the light, which more than likely hurts the gecko's eyes, especially if it's an albino (they have sensitive eyes).

The price of the ceramic bulb will vary on the watt. I personally, recommend using the UTH, and you won't need to buy anything else. If you think that it's too hot (over 92F) Prop the tank up better, and use a thicker substrate (more paper towels, paper towels under the reptile carpet, tile, etc). Or, buy a thermostat to regulate the temperatures

Jamie on September 13, 2010:

yes ma'am, the heating is sufficient.

i didnt know about ceramic heat lamps. how much is the ceramic heat lamp? what i have now is the flunkers clamp lamp but instead of using the clamp i put the lamp ontop of the heat resitant screen top. Would a ceramic bulb work ok inside the lamp and placed ontop of the screen? or do i have to buy a diff lamp to put the ceramic bulb in?

Also my leo stopped eating.

i offer him crickets and he attempts to eat it but then he gives up and refuses the cricket. he hasnt been eating for 3 days...he also doesnt move much. he'll just stay in the same spot unless he has to use the bathroom.

Whitney (author) from Georgia on September 13, 2010:

The bulb gets hot, but does the surface of the tank get hot enough to be sufficient? What I probably said was that there's no difference between a regular light bulb and the reptile day bulbs. Or, that there doesn't have to be a night bulb. Or that there is no need for a light period, as they just heat the air. The only way to really get the proper temperatures is via an under tank heater or a ceramic heat lamp (no lighting, just heat). The two different bulbs aren't going to make any difference.

Jamie on September 12, 2010:

i'm using reptile carpet and paper towels.

i am using lighting and i think he may be keeping his eyes closed or he is blind because of the lighting. i used a bulb instead of the under tank heater because the UTH gets too hot. I have only used the "day" bulb because i read somewhere on one of your answers or something that day and night bulbs wouldnt really make a difference(i dont remember exactly but it was somewhere along those lines) so instead of switching between the two i just left the day bulb. so that may be the problem i guess. :/.. i use a probe thermometer. and the temps stay around 88. As of now i took out the day bulb and i am just using the night one to see if it'll make a difference.

Whitney (author) from Georgia on September 08, 2010:

Jamie/felix. There's no such thing as a dwarf leopard gecko. What are your temperatures on the surface of the tank based off of a digital thermometer? What substrate are you using? What morph is the gecko? Are you using any lighting?

felix on September 07, 2010:

how do you know if you have a dwarf leopard gecko?

and is there a specific rate at which leopard geckos grow? he is a juvenile.

jamie on September 07, 2010:

I'm worried my leo may be going blind or that he may have a piece of shed in his eyes or something. He keeps his eyes closed most of the time and when i put a cricket in his cage he still keeps his eyes closed (he still eats the cricket though). I dont see any shed around his eyes and i havnt seen any signs of him shedding at all. i've only seen him shed once in the 4months that i've had him.

I'd call the vet and set up an appointment but at the momment i cant afford a vet bill as I am only 17 and jobless :/.

any advice?

thank you.

Whitney (author) from Georgia on August 31, 2010:

Tile is a great option. You can purchase slate tiles from Home Depot or Lowes, and that will be fine. I bought mine from Lowes in a pack of 10. You'll find that eight 6"x6" tiles fit perfectly in a 20 gallon long tank (surface of hte tank is 12"x 24"). If you are using a 10 gallon, you'll have to have some of the tiles cut, as it doesn't even out exactly.

mmm on August 31, 2010:

can i use like tile for home depot or what cuz i want my tank to look appealing and i was gonna use sand but after two days of research i dont think i should. what should i use?

Whitney (author) from Georgia on August 31, 2010:

Well, whatever you want to do. There is just a lot of risk. The species is not native to sand. Tile is actually a more natural substrate.

Emily on August 31, 2010:

Yes I know it can cause impactation but from my personal experience it has NEVER happend. My parents always had geckos and lizards from me being a child and they never had that problem either and all geckos living to very healthy ages. My friend did try repti carpet wich got stuck around the geckos toes :( I would say to use paper towels for babys. Also I noticed the post about the gecko moving it's tail slowly... I have come across this with mine, it can be for a number of reasons..

Gecko feels threatend or scared.

A love intrest...(another gecko)

hunting (b4 the kill)

tummy and bowl problems... (after a big meal)

I think it's always good so share knowledge and experience :) p.s sorry about the poor grammer :( I'm on my phone and on the go :)

Whitney (author) from Georgia on August 31, 2010:

Cindy, I could keep an eye on it. typically those are signs of hunting.

Emily the sand is bad, as it can cause impaction. Mealworms and super worms eating the gecko from the inside is a HUGE myth that has been proven untrue many times over. The stomach acid will kill the mealworm before it ever has a chance to eat the gecko. There's not much confusion, as long as you have the facts straight.

Emily on August 31, 2010:

Hi, I just felt the need to add that I have my gecko on sand... And have for 7 years, iv never had any problems with it at all. And ther is abit of ooaah about feeding mealworms ? That they can eat the gecko from the inside?? I always have a bowl of mealworms in the viv and again have had no problems in 7 years. I have 3 other geckos wich are also housed on sand. I think people can get confused and upset about substrate and feeding so thought this might help :)

cindy D on August 30, 2010:

Thanks for the response. Yes...she has gone to the bathroom ... she goes once at night...every night...Tonight was "mealworm" night...she ate fine...walking normal...she seems just seemed odd when she would walk so slow...she would pick her feet up soooo slow as if she was trying not to be seen moving...I have seen her lift her tail & shake it when she was going after a cricket or meal worm...quite entertaining...but she was doing it with no food in the tank...seems fine though...

Approx how many mealworms can I feed her? I rotate crickets one night, mealworms the next night...Is there a such thing as over feeding? Also, should I dust the crickets at every feeding? She is about 6 inches clue on her age...

Thanks again.

Whitney (author) from Georgia on August 30, 2010:

Typically, they shake the take when catching food. They may lift it when going to the bathroom. It's hard to say about moving really slowly. Has the gecko gone to the bathroom recently?

Cindy D on August 28, 2010:

We've had "Lilly" for a few weeks now...she didn't eat too much tonight, only about 3 crickets...unusual for her...however, she did eat quite a few mealworms last night (13 small ones)...she was acting a little odd tonight...walking around very s-l-o-w-l-y, sometimes lifting her tail and slowing wagging the tip...(uneaten crickets were already removed from the tank)...any idea why she would walk sooooo slow and why she'd lift up her tail? Thank you again for your advise and sharing your knowledge and experience...

Robbodude on August 25, 2010:

Ok thanks so much! YOuve really helped me out, if any of my friends want a leo and need help, ill recommend here!

Thanks Again :D

Whitney (author) from Georgia on August 25, 2010:

I'm not sure what you mean by a glass top, unless you're referring to a solid glass tank all the way around. That's up to you, but if you do, I would not recommend lights at all.

Buy a leopard gecko from a breeder. They are healthier and typically cheaper than what you'll find at the pet store. You will have much more options. Breeders will ship to your door, if you can't find one locally or at least close enough that you're willing to drive to.

Pet store reptiles are prone to parasites and respiratory conditions. I wouldn't recommend getting any pet from a pet store, unless it's an adoption agency using the pet store as a facility to get publicity for their adoptable animals.

Robbodude on August 24, 2010:

Ok thanks, will it be ok to use a glass top aquarium?

Also where do you recommebd getting a leo gecko from?

Ive read that pet stores' geckos have parasites etc. and there is no adoption centre within 30 miles of me and i wouldnt want to get a leo from there as the journey will most likely be very stressful. Although there is a breeder quite near to me where you can see the mum and dad, theyre sending me pictures soon aswell so should i get my leo from there?



Whitney (author) from Georgia on August 24, 2010:

Starter kits are a waste of money. You can't use half the things that are in them.

I wouldn't worry about the thermostat for heat mat temperature adjustment; not unless the digital thermometer reads that the uth is providing too much heat. I also wouldn't worry about lights. The lights are just for your benefit. You can use them, but I'd opt for a small watt since the heat mat will provide most of the temperatures.

You'll need the tank and the screen lid. A 10 gallon (16Lx8Wx17H) is bare minimum, a 20 gallon long (30Lx12.5Wx13H) is better.

Robbodude on August 23, 2010:

Ok then screw the Starter Kits :P

It was in centimetres, my mum changed her mind now D:

Yea, the things i was going to buy were...

Heat Mat

Digital Thermo. w/ Probe

Reptile Carpet

Meal Worm Feeder

2 Hides

Water Bowl

Calcium Stuff (Rep Cal)

Clear Light and Red Light (Clear at day Red at night right?)

Something to adjust the Heat Mats Temperature

And it'll be ok to use an aquarium? Because ive found one from my local pet store which is 24x15x12inch or if thats too big an 18x10x10inch one.

Am i missing anything from my list?

Thanks :D


Whitney (author) from Georgia on August 23, 2010:

Rob, you don't necessarily need a cage with sliding doors. You also don't necessarily need lighting, but you do need an under tank heater. You also need a digital thermometer with a probe. For substrate, you'll need reptile carpet, tile, or paper towels.

Is that tank in inches or cm? If inches, that's going to be too big for a leopard gecko.

Robbodude on August 21, 2010:


Ive been wanting a leopard gecko for ages and now ive nearly got enough money for it, my mum is giving me a 60x45x30 fish tank soon, is that good enough for a leopard gecko? Also ive read that you dont actually need lights for the leopard gecko home, jus a heat mat. Can you please just confirm that you either do or do not need lights. Also im getting a 20x20 heat mat is that big enough?

RobL on August 20, 2010:


Ive been thinking about getting a reptile for a very long time and one of the main reason is price and choice of reptile (Mainly out of Bearded Dragons and Leopard Geckos).

After asking quite a few people about the different aspects ive decided to get a leopard gecko.

As im only 15 i need a bit of help with getting what the gecko will need, im only going to get one because my mum wont let me get anymore. Ive looked at quite a few pet stores to see what they have to offer and its mostly starter kits (ranging from £80-£120). Which include;

- Full Glass Terrarium

- Dual front doors for an escape free access

- Includes all necessary decoration items

- Unique front window ventilation

- Full metal screen for top ventilation

- Natural-looking rock terrarium background

- Compact Top Lighting system

Also: Substrate, Water Dish, Rock Outcrop, Plant, Hiding Cave and Reptile Care Guide.

Im curious as to if all this stuff is needed or if anything is missing. It dosent say the dimensions of the tank but the products name has the word "Small" in it.

P.S Can you also write up a little shopping list for me aswell because different stores have different things included in their Starter Kits

Thanks! Rob :D

Whitney (author) from Georgia on August 17, 2010:

That will all vary on the brand that you buy, where you purchase the equipment, and where you get the gecko.

I may range from $75 to $150 at the low mark.

George Shuttleworth on August 17, 2010:

How much would a tank and complete set-up including the gecko cost?

Whitney (author) from Georgia on August 16, 2010:

Nope. They will breed.

Melinda on August 16, 2010:

I want to house multiple geckos in one tank, but I don't want to breed. I have 3 tanks w/ 2 females and 1 male and would love to have them all in one big tank. Is it possible to play God and them not breed?

Whitney (author) from Georgia on August 13, 2010:

I would wait it out anyway, at least until you know what's going on with this gecko.

H.F on August 13, 2010:

Well, I guess I can wait it out a little bit, and if he isn't gaining weight (I have him eating gutloaded mealies now), and if he gets lethargic, stops eating, ect. The clicking noise did go away to an extent, I think it was just due to stress.

I am looking for something in specific when I go, so that will narrow my choices down a lot. But the expo by me is a ways away(October), so I have some time to think it all out.

Whitney (author) from Georgia on August 13, 2010:

If it's respiratory, there's no alternative other than a vet. You can bump up the temps, but that won't do anything to cure the illness, that will help boost the temps in attempts to help the gecko.

Do be careful as not everyone at an expo is reputable. You just have to weigh the odds and look around before purchasing.

H.F on August 13, 2010:

Okay. My one gecko only eats crickets, but they are too big for my new one. I got him to eat a meal worm today, though.

If it was a respiratory illness, what would be an alternative to taking him to a vet? Making sure that the humidity is lower than it normally is? The nearest Reptile Veterinarian is well 5 hours from me, and I doubt that one of my parents would be willing to take me there. He has all of the necessary things in his tank, a humid hide, 2 cool/dry hides, food, water, calcium, and UTH, ect.

Yeah, from now on I will only buy from responsible breeders online, or in person at an expo.

Thanks for your help! :)

Whitney (author) from Georgia on August 13, 2010:

1. Don't feed waxworms. They're fatty and not healthy. Plus, they can be quite addictive. They're best to be avoided. The best way to add weight to a reptile is to just feed a steady diet of healthy foods- appropriately sized crickets, mealworms, butterworms, silkworms, roaches (discoid, dubia, and laterallis), etc.

2. It sometimes takes time for geckos to get adjusted to the new environment, especially if the gecko is really small. I would just keep the gecko in that tank for ever. If you're planning on mixing them, you can't until they're of the right size and you know what gender the new one is.

3. The blue dot is the liver. Nope, the morph doesn't matter, a younger gecko will have the liver showing no matter what.

4. The clicking noise could be signs of stress or respiratory illness.

By the way, big apple is a wholesaler, and typically isn't the best place for reptiles or amphibians. Leopard geckos should not be shipped until they are at least 15 grams.

H.F on August 12, 2010:

Hi, I've recently bought a baby leopard gecko from, and he worries me a little bit. Maybe you can help?

1) He was shipped to me really skinny and small. I am quite new to leopard geckos, but even I wouldn't ship that small. Are there any ways I can put weight on him? I do have waxworms for my other leo, but they are too big for him to eat right now.

2) He also hasn't eaten or defecated since I've had him. Though its only been 2 days that I've had him, should I be too worried with this? He's on paper towels, and in a 20gallon Q.T tank where he's gonna stay for probably 90-120 days. I have provided him meal worms in a bowl, but none are touched. Could this be from the stress of shipping?

3) He also has a blue dot on his right side on his belly. What could this be from? Also, there is a mass which I am guessing to be his internal organs behind this. Is this common in younger geckos, because my other gecko didn't have this when she was younger. Does the fact that he is a Mack Super Snow, and she is a Murphy's Patternless make a difference?

4) He also makes a clicking noise quite a bit(even when he licks his surroundings, and opens his mouth), and when he does so, his neck expands and snaps in weirdly. Is this a sign of stress, or something else?

Thanks so much for posting this!

Whitney (author) from Georgia on August 06, 2010:

He's young and in a new place. It will take time for him to get used to you.

hate or just young? on August 06, 2010:

hello, i have had my leopard gecko for a little bit more than a week now and after 4 days began the taming process of handling him for about 15 min a day. I have noticed though that he seems really just scared of me, and i know it is probably because he is young and i probably have a case of overparanoid new pet owner syndrome but i am just concerned because on the first day i walked in and was looking at him walking around when the heat bulb that i had exploded (faulty bulb :() and i just want to be sure that his timidness is due to his youth and that it is something he will grow out of. Basically when i put my hand in his cage to see if he will crawl into it on his own will he hides in one of his hides and avoids my hand as best he can. sorry for the long post i wanted to be detailed so you knew everything

Whitney (author) from Georgia on August 03, 2010:

There shouldn't be any sand in the enclosure, for safe precautions. Just use the UTH. Place it over the entire bottom of the tank. You can try feeding him a small meal any time.

Snelgrove222 on August 02, 2010:

I have had my leo for about 6 years and i would say that hes always been pretty healthy and as of yesterday i discovered he has became impacted as he no apatite and had not passed in about 4 days. somehow in the 6 years ive had him i had not read that they should not be in sand mostly because when i got him he was my first pet and i was young and dumb enough not to research him. But as of some time last night he has passed the blockage and i have put in some reptile carpet that i had leftover for my cresty .So after this long rant i have two questions for you ,one is it safe to put reptile carpet over a heat pad? right now i have a buffer zone of sand under the carpet between the heat pad as a precaution but id like to know because there is a small drop in heat in my leo's heat zone now. My second question is should all the blockage be gone now and should i wait to feed him for a day or so?(keep in mind hes had 2 tank cleanings and 2 substrate changes in 5 days so he may be pretty stressed.)

Whitney (author) from Georgia on July 28, 2010:

Keep in mind water will evaporate. A few days is fine for healthy adults, but I wouldn't leave babies, juveniles, or sick geckos for too long.

Julie on July 27, 2010:

How long can we leave our leopard gecko without fresh crickets? Our "geckositter" has had to cancel and we leave on vacation. He does have a heat lamp on a timer and plenty of water.

Whitney (author) from Georgia on July 24, 2010:

Feeding in the evening time is ideal. 10 to 15 minutes is good so that the gecko can get its fill. Sometimes you can leave mealworms in the tank if you can find a bowl that will keep them in the bowl and prevent them from getting out into the tank.

I keep humid hides toward the middle of the tank. There should already be a hide on the warm side and one on the cool side, so putting it in the middle is perfect.

Cindy d on July 23, 2010:

I am a little confused on the it better to feed in the morning? If so, how long do I leave the crickets/mealworms in the tank w/them? Or, do I feed them at night, removing anything that hasn't been eaten in the morning?

And.... the humid hide...does it stay on the "cooler" side of the tank or the warmer?

Thank you for your help!

cindy D on July 20, 2010:

Thank you for your quick response...Your wonderful !!! Thank you for sharing your knowledge. God bless

Whitney (author) from Georgia on July 19, 2010:

You can find breeders who will ship, most will. It may cost $30 for overnight shipping if you find a breeder within your state, or up to $60 depending on location and whatnot. I prefer this option, as you know you're getting a good gecko, as most breeders take more time in caring for their reptiles than pet stores.

They are happiest when housed on their own.

Also consider adoption. Adoptable pets go to the vet, where pet store animals don't. There are many reptile adoptions that you can find. I've seen several leopard geckos available on pet finder. It's just harder to find an adoption facility that will ship reptiles. Many will ship dogs or cats, but not many will ship reptiles.

Cindy D on July 19, 2010:

I knew I could come up with another question! When purchasing a leopard, should I buy two or are they fine alone...

Thanks :)

Cindy D on July 19, 2010:

Thank you for answering my questions - I really appreciate your help...We found some L.G.'s at Petsmart that "look" healthy...I normally buy pets directly from breeders...not pet stores...never have... but can't find a local breeder...any suggestions?

Whitney (author) from Georgia on July 19, 2010:

Cindy, they really don't need any lighting. Being nocturnal animals, they don't really experience it. As long as you have the under tank heater that appropriately provides enough heat, you won't need the light. Many use the light just to stimulate a day/night scenario. If you want to do this, you don't need two lights; just the day light. As for the under tank heater, I wouldn't attach it, as that makes cleaning the tank harder, having to deal with the attached cord and whatnot. You can prop up the tank and the UTH with tile or something like that. I try to use a piece of tile on each corner of the tank and one under the UTH.

Brandi, Be careful of climbing walls, as leopard geckos are not good climbers. I doubt the tail has gotten smaller over just a few days, it typically takes some time unless the gecko is really sick. If the temps are fine and he's still eating, then I wouldn't worry. Moving shouldn't be an issue, as he'll be sleeping during the day. It'll be best to take everything out of the tank though, as you don't want anything falling one him.

Brandi on July 18, 2010:

Ok. So my boyfriend and I just changed our Gecko's tank. It's bigger now and we put a wall in for him to climb. The temperature over his normal hide that he sleeps in is the same as it was in the old tank but he isn't sleeping in there now and his tail has gotten a little smaller. He's still eating the same. We checked to make sure there wasn't moss in his hide because he won't sleep in it if there is moss but there isn't. He's still sleeping in a hide it's just a different hide that's more exposed to the light. Is he ok or did we stress him out by switching him into a bigger tank. Also we're moving in a week. Would it be better to move him at night after he wakes up and comes out of his hide?

CindyD on July 16, 2010:

Planning on purchasing a leopard - have been reading everything I can get my hands on to make sure I can provide a good home...Your site has great information...thank you...I have two questions...(at this time :)

Lighting...I'm looking at a 20 gallon low aquarium...someone had told me I needed 2 different types of for daytime and one for nighttime...would this be correct?

And, how do I put a a heater under the aquarium AND have tank propped up? I saw one heater that sticks underneath the tank but I would think this would eventually "unstick" and fall off...

Thank you for your help.

Whitney (author) from Georgia on June 27, 2010:

nicholas, I wouldn't recommend getting a reptile from petsmart or any pet store. Pet stores are common for selling reptiles that are sick or have parasites.

Becky, you can leave him at home and have your aunt come over every other day to feed and check the water bowl.

Becky on June 25, 2010:

I'm going on vacation in 2weeks.

the trip will last 1week.

my leopard gecko is a juvenile and i feed him crickets everyday. my mom says i have to take my leo to my aunts house so she can watch him. i dont want to do that because my aunt has alot of kids at her house under the age of 8 and i dont want them getting into my leos cage. And also i dont want to him to stop eating because of the change in enviroment.

If i were to leave my leo at home would my aunt have to come to check on him everyday or would every other day be ok? do you have any suggestions?

nicholas osburn on June 25, 2010:

Hi im thinking about buying a gecko and i saw that you posted that some pet stores have parasites and i was wondering if petsmart was okay...i might forget how to find this website so if possable please email me. thank you

Whitney (author) from Georgia on June 25, 2010:

I wouldn't worry about it. I've never heard of this. Crickets are a safe and good feeder.

bre on June 25, 2010:

alright, thanks.

is it possible for a leopard gecko to get pinworms from crickets?

i was told that I should stop feeding my leo crickets because of that. is it true?

Whitney (author) from Georgia on June 24, 2010:

If you are successful breeding crickets, you'll end up with many more than you'll need for one gecko, but below is a hub that I have on breeding crickets.

Here is a link to a hub that I have on fake rock:

bre on June 23, 2010:

could you also give me a link to

the fake rock forum please?

i'm thinking about making one soon.

thank you.

bre on June 23, 2010:

do you have a forum somewhere on how to breed crickets?

i really dont want to but my parents are getting tired of taking me to the pet store...crickets repulse me so much but my leo loves them and prefers them over anything do you know where i can find information on breeding them?

please and thank you.

Whitney (author) from Georgia on June 20, 2010:

Becuase leopard geckos are the best gecko for those who want to handle them. They're the most docile and the most tolerable to handling. Crested geckos are ok, but some are really jumpy and won't really tolerate handling, although there are some that are perfectly fine with handline. AFTs are just as handleable as leopard geckos. The others are more look at pets than play with. You may get one that you can handle, but for the most part, they're look at pets.

ariana78 on June 19, 2010:

hey, i was at a local pet store, and they told me they had leos, panthers, cresties, golden and fat-taild african, but they said if i wanted to buy one to handle i had to choose the leopard . why?

Shaun on June 17, 2010:


thanks so much.

Whitney (author) from Georgia on June 17, 2010:

The tail is a little thin, but that is fine, as the gecko appears young. Just make sure that the gecko is eating regularly, and you won't have anything to worry about.

Shaun on June 16, 2010:

got it working now.


Shaun on June 15, 2010:

here is another.

if these are not good enough let me know and i'll

send more.

thanks for the help!

Shaun on June 15, 2010:

I got it a month ago...

i'm not exactly sure how old he/she is.

i tried sending more pix but it isnt working so

i'll try and send more later maybe..?

Whitney (author) from Georgia on June 15, 2010:

Jess, If you use the D3 just for a little while, you won't have to worry about it. You can use it sparingly, like once a week, and be fine. You have to purchase silkworms and butterworms; sometimes some pet stores will sell phoenix worms, but otherwise online is a good source. It's hard to buy phoenix worms online and get them to the house alive, as they are very susceptible to heat. Any brand is fine of pure calcium. You want to feed it as much as it'll eat within 10-15 minutes, removing any uneaten crickets or worms.

Shaun, you can upload the picture to photobucket or an online hosting site, and post a link to it in the comment box. I would gladly check out the gecko's size. About what age is it? An under tank heater is most ideal at supplying appropriate belly heat.

Jess on June 15, 2010:


do you know where to find silk worms, phoenix worms, and butterworms?

petco and petsmart don't have them.

would a bait shop have those kind of worms?

AND i went out to get some pure calcium yesterday... but was a little lost. i wasnt sure which was best. could you help me out please and tell me what exactly i am looking for? i took the d3 stuff out of my leos tank.

oh and sorry how much should an average leopard gecko eat? or how much should they eat at one time..i was watching mine eat the other day and then he yawned and i saw worms in the back of his that normal? freaked me out a little bit..


Shaun on June 15, 2010:

Would it be ok if i sent you a picture

of my leopard gecko?

If so do I just use the email that is on your


I just want to make sure my leopard gecko is where

its supposed to be ( i dont know if it is a girl or boy yet...) and isn't too skinny or something.

and also, I don't have an undertank heater either but after reading your post and such i've decided to go and get one. What happens if the undertank heater gets too hot? Do you just put more space inbetween the tank and the heater?


Jess on June 14, 2010:

How do you know if they have d3 overdose?

Whitney (author) from Georgia on June 14, 2010:

I would try to get the pure calcium soon. You don't want to cause a D3 overdose.

Jess on June 13, 2010:

Is the rep-cal w/ d3 ok until I get pure calcium?

Whitney (author) from Georgia on June 12, 2010:

The under tank heater is a necessity.

You don't want to bring the gecko along. It will cause serious stress on the gecko. You could find someone to watch the gecko or come to your house a few times while you're gone (depending on how long you're going to be gone) and check on the gecko, and you can still go on vacation.

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