One of the reasons why leopard gecko becomes a popular pet is because it requires minimum care. As long as they live in a livable habitat, they will not demand too much. They can eat rotten food and they don’t need to be bathed as frequently as other pets do. So, to keep a leopard gecko as a pet, you only need to make sure that they can live in a livable leopard gecko natural habitat. Fortunately, this habitat is easy to recreate. Leopard geckos originally live in Asian highlands, such as those in India and Afghanistan. By recreating similar environment, your leopard gecko should be able to live comfortably at your home with no trouble.
If you want to keep a leopard gecko as a pet, be sure to pay attention to the following factors when recreating their natural habitat.
Because you want to recreate the miniaturized version of a leopard gecko natural habitat, it is important to understand how large your virtual habitat should be. The general rule is that a leopard gecko can stay comfortable in a 10-gallon enclosure, or 45.5 liters. If there are additional leopard geckos in the pen, additional 5 gallons of space is needed to accommodate one additional animal. A 20-gallon enclosure is enough for three or four leopard geckos. The terrarium should be properly enclosed to prevent escape but be sure to keep it well ventilated. You can use a screen mesh to create ventilation that allows proper air circulation but prevents your cute pet from escaping. Be sure to provide the enclosure with water and always monitor its humidity level (keep it at 40% or lower).
Inside the terrarium, you should design a virtual environment that makes your lovely leopard gecko pet feel at home. Just like other lizards, leopard gecko loves to hide, so make sure that your leopard gecko natural habitat includes décor and structures that allow them to play hide-and-seek. If you choose to have multiple pets in your virtual environment, make sure that it contains only one alpha male because leopard gecko is a territorial animal.
Although leopard gecko is a nocturnal animal that mostly sleeps during the day, you still need to provide them with light that is enough for basking. A dome lamp installed on the top of the enclosure can provide your leopard gecko natural habitat with enough lighting. If your leopard gecko doesn’t get light from the sun, be sure to add artificial light source and recreate natural light cycle with it. Turn on the light for 14 hours in a summer day and 12 hours per day in colder seasons. Keep the enclosure dark for the rest of the day.
As an ectothermic animal, leopard gecko needs supplemental heat sources to heat their body. Be sure to keep the temperature of the terrarium at around 75 to 84-degree Fahrenheit at daytime and 10 degree warmer at night. Adding a thermometer to the terrarium helps you constantly monitor the temperature degree of your pet’s habitat.
Don’t forget to prepare the substrate in the cage. The best substrate is also important to create a cage just like with a great natural habitat. You can use newspaper, sand, pea gravel, artificial turf, flat stones. Just put those substrates on the floor of the cage. By putting the material, they can walk, hide, and even release their stool just like what they do in the natural habitat. Indeed, it makes them comfortable while spending time on the cage because it is similar to their natural habitat.
You may choose specific materials such as an aquarium, terrarium, or vivarium. The different of those cages is in its materials. An aquarium cage is made of glass whereas a vivarium cage is made of glass along with a wooden frame. A glass cage is a perfect option so the gecko doesn’t climb.
Space to Move Around
It is also an important thing to consider the space to move on the cage. The key is not putting too many accessories there. Just make sure that the leopard gecko can move freely just like in their natural habitat though they don’t walk as much as the other animals. The size of the cage as well as the space to move is depending on the size of the leopard gecko. The larger the size of the gecko, it means you need to prepare a larger cage and space to move. For example, if you have a single adult leopard gecko, it is better to prepare a 10-gallon size cage and even better if you have a bigger one. The 20-gallon size cage is an ideal size to make sure that the adult can move just like what they want. You may also use the cage to put two or three medium adult leopard geckos.
Consider choosing the best decoration for the cage to make it looks like their natural habitat. Besides using a newspaper, you can also use small and flat stones. Moreover, it is also a good idea to use a Tupperware container as the place to sleep. For the cold area, you can put a natural rock which you can buy from the local pet store. Those materials are used to give the best place for the leopard gecko. In this case, there will be a place for a warm area and also a place for a cold area. The leopard gecko also has a comfortable place to sleep and a safe place to hide.
Create a moist area is also an important thing to consider. The simple option is by using a plastic container. Just make a hole on the side of the plastic container. Spray the plastic container every day but make sure that it is not too wet. Remember! You want to make the area moist and not wet. It is better to put the food and the drink in a pan. Just make sure that the position is similar to their natural habitat so they can eat and drink anytime they want. Sometimes, they just want to pass through the foods and the water so just make sure that you don’t put their diet too deep.