How To Lower Humidity In Leopard Gecko Tanks

Is your Leopard gecko’s tank extra humid?

Have you noticed condensation dripping down the sides, or maybe the tank has a steamy appearance?

If so, this article is for you.

Today, we’re going to show you how to lower humidity in the Leopard Gecko tank while also diving into why humidity levels are so crucial for the Leopard gecko and what can happen if a Leopard gecko is consistently exposed to high humidity. 

There are several things you can do to lower humidity in a Leopard gecko’s tank. For example, increase the tank’s airflow by adding a screen top, get a dehumidifier, reduce the water bowl size, and remove live plants, to name a few. 

how to lower humidity in leopard gecko tank

What is Humidity?

Before we dive into the ins and outs of lowering the humidity in your Leopard gecko’s tank, let’s first define what humidity is and why it’s vital to a Leopard gecko’s health. 

Humidity is the presence of water vapor in the air.

The higher the humidity level, the more water vapor is present in the atmosphere.

Heat causes water to evaporate and rise as a vapor into the air, meaning hot climates tend to have higher humidity levels than colder climates.

Why Humidity Levels are Important for Leopard Gecko Health 

Leopard geckos are native to dry and semi-desert areas in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, and northwest India.

If their captive environment does not closely mimic their natural habitat (temperature, humidity levels, etc.), their health and quality of life will suffer. 

For example, if your Leopard gecko’s tank humidity levels are regularly too high, it could develop serious respiratory issues, pneumonia, and skin-related infections.

High humidity levels also promote unhealthy fungal and bacterial growth in tanks, which can lead to other health issues. 

On the other hand, if your Leopard gecko’s humidity levels are too low, it can suffer a whole host of health issues, including problems shedding, dehydration, and increased risk of infection. 

What Is The Ideal Humidity for a Leopard Gecko’s Tank

We now know why it’s crucial to maintain the right levels of humidity in your Leopard gecko’s tank, but just what is the ideal humidity for your Leopard gecko, and how can you gauge and measure it? 

The ideal humidity for a Leopard gecko’s captive environment is somewhere between 30 to 40 percent humidity.

This should most likely match the normal humidity levels in your home.

However, if you live in an extremely humid or arid region, your home may have lower or higher humidity levels, meaning you may need to work harder to maintain proper humidity in your Leo’s tank. 

The best way to keep tabs on your Leopard gecko’s tank humidity levels is to invest in a high-quality hygrometer like this Zoo Med Labs Digital Thermometer Humidity Gauge.

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It not only measures humidity levels but also tracks the tank’s temperatures, so will always know the temperature and humidity and adjust it as needed. 

One important thing to note is Leopard geckos require higher humidity levels  (somewhere between 70 and 80 percent) to support their normal shedding process.

The #1 reason why Leopard geckos experience problems shedding is due to low humidity levels. 

But since geckos shed anywhere from every week to once every other month (depending on their age and growth rate), this means they regularly need access to high levels of humidity.

However, we already know their ideal humidity is between 30 and 40 percent, and constant immersion in a high humidity environment is dangerous for a Leopard gecko.

So, what’s the solution to giving them adequate humidity to support good sheds (70 to 80 percent humidity) while ensuring their overall tank levels stay between 30 and 40 percent humidity?  

The best way to balance this issue is to provide your Leopard gecko with a humid hide full of moist sphagnum moss.

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You’ll want to place the humid hide on the warm side of the tank and regularly measure its humidity to ensure the hide stays between 70 and 80 percent.

This ensures your gecko has access to high humidity whenever it needs it, but keeps the rest of your tank in the healthy 30 to 40 percent range. 

How to Tell If Leopard Gecko Tank is Too Humid

One of the best ways to monitor your Leopard gecko’s tank humidity is to invest in a hygrometer, as we mentioned earlier.

However, if you don’t have one of these right now, there are other ways to determine if the humidity is too high in your gecko’s tank. 

One obvious sign of high humidity levels is a foggy or steamy tank.

If your tank appears steamy or foggy, it is most likely too humid for your Leopard gecko’s ideal environment.

Another sign of high humidity is condensation droplets running down the sides of the tank. 

If you observe any of these signs, you most likely need to lower your gecko’s tank humidity. 

How to Lower Humidity in Leopard Gecko Tank

If your Leopard gecko’s tank hygrometer is registering humidity levels of over 40 percent or seeing visible signs of high humidity (like a steamy or foggy tank), it’s time to work on lowering your tank’s humidity levels.

There are several easy and practical things to do to decrease tank humidity, let’s look at six of them. 

Increase Airflow

Start by increasing the tank’s airflow. If a tank doesn’t have enough airflow and circulation running through it, the heat and condensation can build up and spike humidity levels.

One of the best ways to ensure your Leopard gecko’s tank has adequate airflow is to purchase a tank with a screen top.

If your tank didn’t come with a screen top, you might consider buying a screen cover like this Zilla Fresh Air Screen Cover

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The extra airflow provided by a screen top helps keep the enclosure dry and humidity levels low. 

Reduce Water Bowl Size

Another way to instantly decrease humidity in your Leopard gecko’s enclosure is to reduce its water bowl size.

Since humidity is just evaporated water, having a large water bowl inside the tank means there’s more water around to vaporize and turn into humidity.

So try swapping out a large dish for something a little smaller.

If you go with a smaller water bowl, make sure to check in more often to make sure your gecko has enough water to drink.

Get a Dehumidifier

If your gecko’s tank has consistently high humidity levels, you may want to use a dehumidifier to remedy the problem.

Dehumidifiers suck up extra humidity (water vapor) in the air, safely and effectively lowering humidity levels.

If you purchase a small, portable dehumidifier like this one from Amazon, you should be able to fit it directly inside your Leopard gecko’s tank.

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When using a dehumidifier, regularly check to make sure humidity levels don’t drop too far below 30 percent and always provide a humid hide so your Leopard gecko can retreat to a damp space if he needs to. 

Turn Up the AC

Another easy way to decrease your Leopard gecko’s tank humidity is to turn up the AC in your house.

Remember, more heat equals more water evaporation, which creates more moisture.

Turning up the AC should help regulate and lower the humidity levels in your gecko’s tank. 

Remove Plants

Live plants retain water and release it slowly into the environment, meaning they add to an enclosure’s humidity levels.

Live plants are often used in reptile tanks to increase humidity and moisture.

However, if you have a low humidity reptile like a Leopard gecko, you may want to reduce the number of live plants you have in the tank.

Opt for faux plants and vines like these Hanging Silk Terrarium Plants with Suction Cup or these Sockeroos Jungle Vines Flexible Reptile Habitat Décor for Climbing.

That way, the tank stays dry, but your gecko still has plenty of branches and vines to climb on. 

Replace Substrate

The final way to lower humidity in your Leopard gecko’s tank is to replace traditional substrate with tiles or a low-moisture substrate option.

If you have been using soil or something like Cypress mulch, chances are, your substrate is holding on to moisture and adding to the high humidity levels.

Try using a dry, reptile-safe liner like the Zilla Reptile Terrarium Bedding Substrate Liner, or if you still want a soft substrate, opt for heat-treated Aspen chips like the Zilla Snake and Lizard Litter

Conclusion

If your Leopard gecko’s tank is too humid, we hope this article on how to lower humidity in a Leopard Gecko’s tank gave you the information you need to remedy the problem.

Start by increasing ventilation and airflow, consider purchasing a dehumidifier, reduce the water bowl size, remove live plants, turn up the AC in your house, and replace your substrate with a dry or tile-like flooring option.

Remember to closely monitor your Leopard gecko’s humidity levels with a high-quality hygrometer, and adjust the tank’s humidity when needed to prevent future health problems and illnesses.