Do you know what the proper leopard gecko equipment is?
Are you considering a gecko for a pet but aren’t sure what their needs are?
Leopard geckos require a specific setup to achieve a habitable environment.
It’s important to understand what your new pet needs to help them live a healthy life.
What Equipment to Put in a Leopard Gecko Tank
Leopard Geckos require a tank setup mimicking their natural environment. The desert species requires a proper amount of lighting and heat to survive. It’s important to have the best products and everything set up for your Leopard Gecko before you bring them home.
Leopard Geckos are often seen as a great starter reptile and as a pet easily managed.
While this may be true, it’s still vital to understand the commitment you make when bringing one home as a pet.
Don’t forget to check out our leopard gecko book for more help.
If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed about the process, sit back and keep reading.
We have done all the work for you.
Here’s a look at everything you need to know about Leopard Gecko Equipment.
Having a Leopard Gecko as a Pet
Leopard geckos also referred to as leos, are great pets for beginner reptile owners.
The lizards don’t mind gentle handling and are, overall, fairly low maintenance.
With this being said, there are important care guidelines to follow to provide your pet gecko with the best habitat possible.
If you decide to add a type of gecko to your family, we recommend finding a reputable breeder.
It’s best to ask as many questions as possible to ensure they are coming from a safe environment.
If you find a breeder online, make sure to thoroughly research them to make sure they have positive reviews.
Why The Right Leopard Gecko Equipment is Important
While leopard geckos are a desert species, they usually call rocky spots and grasslands home.
Leopard geckos are native to Pakistan, Afghanistan, and parts of India and Iran.
In the wild, the hot temperatures make a suitable living environment for the geckos.
Summers can produce temperatures over 100° degrees Fahrenheit (38° C).
Keeping their natural habitat in mind, it’s easy to see why providing a proper setup is crucial in giving your pet a healthy life.
Like a lizard, these pets can’t regulate their body temperature.
It’s all based on the environment.
This is why you need to provide separate temperature gradients throughout the tank.
Use a thermometer or temperature gun to get spot readings for the different areas of the tank.
What Equipment Does My Leopard Gecko Need?
Gecko owners need to be aware of exactly what to put in their pet’s tank.
Otherwise, the reptile may become sick if their environment isn’t habitable.
You likely will come across a leopard gecko starter kit at your local pet store.
Before you make this leopard gecko purchase, it’s a good idea to make sure it includes everything you need to make the right home for your pet.
Unfortunately, they often don’t have the proper equipment, and you will have to spend extra money buying it separately.
Make sure to have this list handy to ensure you have everything your pet requires.
We have a great post on leopard gecko starter kits you should check out before picking anything up.
For starters, you need a place to put your new little pet.
Glass aquariums are preferred over wire ones, so they don’t get their feet caught.
Also, wire cages don’t hold heat as well. Male and female geckos are cold-blooded, which means they need warmth.
Leopard gecko enclosures & cages should be at least 10 gallons in size.
And if you want to learn more about the minimum tank size we have a post on why leopard geckos need at least a 10 gallon tank with additional information.
The cute reptile requires a fair amount of horizontal space.
In the wild, you find the geckos on land vs. up in trees.
You don’t want to go too huge when selecting your aquarium.
It will make it difficult for your healthy gecko to find its appropriate heat spot.
They may also have a hard time catching their food.
Leopard geckos aren’t climbers, so you won’t be seeing them on the sides of your tank.
Because of this, I don’t recommend putting tall tree branches inside their tank since they likely won’t want to climb it.
However, you should still put a screen on top of the enclosure, so they don’t escape.
Leopard Gecko Lighting Needs
Technically, leopard geckos don’t need UVB lighting to survive.
However, you greatly improve their health and well-being by doing so.
It is a good source of Vitamin D for your pet.
You don’t want to go too bright since a leopard gecko may suffer a sunburn because of it.
Giving your leopard gecko lighting will aid in improving their immune system.
This is crucial in fighting an illness whenever your pet gets sick.
Leopard geckos are nocturnal and should not be exposed to bright lights.
It can end up stressing them out over time.
Leopard geckos are native to the middle-east and should have a lighting cycle similar to what they would have in the wild.
|Summer||14 hours||10 hours|
|Winter||12 hours||12 hours|
Make a point to gradually change from season to season.
Aim for 15-20 minute intervals for one or two months before making the switch.
I recommend using light timers so there is no chance you will forget to turn the lights on or off.
Check out our post on leopard gecko lighting fundamentals for an in-depth look at this topic.
A reptile heating pad is recommended underneath your lizard’s tank.
The pad helps create the proper temperatures for your pet.
To ensure your gecko has a warm spot and a cold spot, we recommended only having the pad cover about 2/3 of the bottom.
Various types of lamps and bulbs are also available, but it is easier to maintain the correct cage temperatures with the heating pad.
A leopard gecko’s tank should be between 80-85° degrees Fahrenheit (29° C) during the day and no less than 70° degrees Fahrenheit (21° C) at night.
A basking area should be around 88-90° degrees Fahrenheit (32° C).
Reptile carpet is a very popular choice for a substrate.
It is safe for your pet and an effective source of a substrate.
Just be mindful of keeping it clean.
Your pet gecko will leave plenty of insect pieces, shed skin, and poop all over the carpet.
Other suitable substrates include newspaper, paper towels, tile, or stones.
If you choose stones, make sure they are not small enough to digest.
If you do use newspaper or paper towels, just ensure they do not get too hot.
Otherwise, they can become a fire hazard.
Tiles are the easiest to clean but not necessarily the most comfortable option for your pet.
There is often a debate on whether sand is an appropriate substrate for leopard geckos.
If indigested, sand can lead to impaction in the reptiles.
Also, the dust from sand can lead to respiratory problems.
Keep in mind; wet sand can grow bacteria or mold, making it unsafe for your pet.
In general, sand is only acceptable for healthy adult leopard geckos.
If you are finding sand in stools, you should immediately switch out for a different substrate.
Overall, you want to find something non-irritating and comfortable for your pet.
For your sake, it’s good to find something easy to clean.
Maintaining Humidity Levels
The ideal humidity level for your lizard’s enclosure is between 40-60%.
To help achieve this, we recommend a reptile fogger.
The humidity is sent through a hose into your pet’s tank.
You just want to be sure you don’t create too much humidity.
While they do need some, they are native to the desert, and too much humidity can cause your pet’s problems.
A reptile fogger with controllable settings is ideal, so you are easily able to monitor the levels inside your enclosure.
If you choose moss for your substrate, it can help with humidity.
Simply mist the moss.
If you are concerned about keeping the proper humidity level, there are hygrometers available to make it easy for you.
Decor is a great way to spruce your lizard’s tank up.
In addition, it doesn’t only help the appearance; it aids in mimicking the look for their natural environment.
You should provide leopard geckos with at least two hide spots, one on the cool side and one on the warm side.
Feel free to add more if your tank size allows it.
One of the easiest ways to add decor to your tank is by adding rocks. It will offer your pet a great opportunity to climb and make them look like the desert landscape geckos come from.
Make sure to inspect any rocks or stones for sharp edges.
This is especially true if you get something from your yard.
Your lizard will rub up against the rocks when they are shedding and will be injured by any sharp edges.
Avoid anything with cedar because it is toxic to the geckos.
Finally, adding plants adds a nice touch to the decor of your tank.
You are able to choose either real or artificial.
If you add artificial plants, make sure to wash them first.
Real plants should be suitable in a dry environment and should always be nontoxic.
Consider a gecko decor kit that will provide you with several options for your tank.
It’s important to give your gecko access to clean water.
The dish should be large enough for them to soak in.
In addition, plan on letting your pet soak in a dish of warm water for about 20 minutes a few times a week.
This is even more important when they are shedding.
You may notice your leopard gecko not drinking from the water often.
In fact, they can even go up to 1-2 days without drinking any.
Make a point to mist your gecko a few times a week to help with hydration.
Maintaining Your Leopard Gecko’s Habitat
Daily, you want to make sure to clean any bowel movements your gecko has left behind.
Also, you should always clean their water each day.
If you are using any moss substrate, make sure to dampen it by lightly misting it.
At least once a month, you should do a deep cleaning of your leopard gecko’s enclosure.
Run all items through the dishwasher and bleach the inside of the tank.
You should also make a point to clean their hide spot every week.
If you do not provide your pet with a clean environment, they are more at risk for illness caused by bacteria.
For a complete guide we have a post on how to clean a leopard gecko tanks to help you.
What to Feed Your Leopard Gecko
In addition to knowing what equipment a leopard gecko, it’s important to understand their diet.
Leopard geckos have a diet consisting solely of insects.
Their bodies are built to digest foods humans eat, like fruits, vegetables, and meats.
Crickets and mealworms are the two most popular insects to feed to leopard geckos.
However, there are other insects to offer.
This includes dubia roaches, grasshoppers, silkworms, and waxworms.
Keep in mind, the size of the insect should not be bigger than space in between the eyes of your leopard gecko.
Brumation and Leopard Geckos
When temperatures begin to get colder in the wild, a leopard gecko will begin to brumate, which is similar to hibernation.
Typically, captive leopard geckos don’t always brumate since their temperatures are better regulated inside their tank.
Some breeders choose to encourage it since it promotes breeding.
Housing More Than One Leopard Gecko
As a rule, we don’t recommend housing two leopard geckos together.
If you do, make sure you never house two males together.
Even a male-female combo isn’t safe as the male will repeatedly mate with her in adulthood, potentially causing stress and early death.
If you house a female-female combination, make sure the geckos are of similar size, or one will become the dominant and possibly injure the other.
Even so, you’ll need to watch out regularly for signs of aggression or injury.
Gecko owners need to remember the right leopard gecko equipment will ensure your pet lives in a healthy habitat.
Overall, leopard geckos are low maintenance, but it is still important to understand what goes into keeping one as a pet.
Since your leopard gecko has the potential to live up to 17 years, or even 20 in some instances, it’s best to have the proper equipment from day one.
We hope you found this information about leopard gecko equipment helpful!