Basic care

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Basic Leopard Gecko Care

Below you will find the basic information about how to care for a Leopard Gecko.

Housing

There are a few basics to housing Leopard Geckos. For tank size, generally a 10 gallon tank is perfect for one Leopard Gecko. When you have more Leopard Geckos, generally it is about 10 gallons per gecko. So if you have two Leopard Geckos, a 20 gallon tank is preferred.

Inside your tank, you will need to provide a few basics for your Leopard Geckos such as a dark hide, humid hide, water bowl, supplements, and food dish. Leopard Geckos are nocturnal animals, meaning they are active at night rather than the day. They need a hide that will stay dark while it is light outside or in the room to reduce stress.

Although Leopard Geckos are from the desert, they still require a source of humidity. The easiest way to provide this is to create a humid hide. A humid hide can be as simple as Tupperware container with a hole cut into it for the gecko to enter. Inside, you will need to have a moist substrate. At MK Geckos, we use Bed-A-Beast for all of our humid hides; moist paper towel can be used too.

For a substrate (what goes on the bottom of the tank) many breeders prefer paper towel. Lots of Leopard Gecko owners use Repti-Carpet, Slate or Ceramic Tile. One thing to keep in mind when choosing a proper substrate for your Leopard Gecko is to stay away from loose substrates. Loose substrates lead to impaction which usually results in death.

Heating

The best way to provide heat for Leopard Geckos is through an under tank heater. An under tank heater gives Leopard Geckos the heat where they need it. Since they are nocturnal animals, Leopard Geckos do not get their heat from the sun, but from the rocks that have absorbed the heat from the sun. With that said, one might think a heat rock would be the best source of heat. It is not; heat rocks tend to get hot spots which can burn your Leopard Gecko. As for temperatures, Leopard Geckos are best kept with a hot side of the tank between 87° F and 92° F (though some people prefer to set temperatures a bit higher, up to 95-97) with a cool side between 70° F and 78° F.

Feeding

There are a few different options when feeding Leopard Geckos. The two best ways to offer food to your Leopard Geckos is either a bowl of gutloaded mealworms or offering gutloaded crickets. Both food options need to be gutloaded. It is best to offer the crickets fresh carrots, lettuce, and bread. For mealworms, potatoes and wheat bran are sufficient. Cody's Pro Geckos also sells a gutload called Cody's Pro Gutload which many breeders including MK Geckos uses.

When offering mealworms to your Leopard Gecko, it's best to do so in a bowl. Simply refill the bowl as needed. The Leopard Gecko should be allowed to eat as much as it wants. For crickets, put the crickets into the cage, and give the gecko time to get the crickets. After about an hour or so, take the crickets that have not been eaten out. If they are not taken out, the crickets will nibble on the gecko's body.

Supplements are also needed for your Leopard Gecko. A multivitamin and calcium are a necessity. A Gatorade cap worth of calcium should be offered at all times in the cage. Along with the cap, the food source should be dusted with calcium (with vitamin D3) about once a week. The multivitamin should be used to dust the food source two to three times a week.

A water dish must be available for the gecko at all times. You might not see your geckos drinking, but they are using it.

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