The Leopard Gecko

Eublepharis Macularius





The leopard gecko is a nice little lizard! Easy to handle and very quiet, it can be manipulated by children ... with parents not too far of course! To own a leopard gecko, you don't need a great knowledge of reptiles.

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Equipement needed:


Aquarium or tank

The aquarium don't need to be very high as the leopoard gecko is terrestrial. Larger aquariums are perfect for them. A 15 gallons wide or a 20 gallons is a nice habitat for 2 or 3 geckos. 10 gallons is a good size for one lonely gecko.  


There is alot of discusion about this topic. in my opinion, you should avoid sand at all cost (and it's not because it is sold at your local petstore that it is good, trust me!) The sand can be compacted in the gecko's stomac when he eats some of it, and yes he will consume sand. Some say that the gecko is able to digest it properly but I prefere not take any chance. There are carpets of felt cloth sold in petstore. It is in my opinion the best compromise between good look and safety. Just buy two and rotate them while you clean one. If the looks don't matter at all for you, you can simply place paper towel at the bottom of the tank and change it when it's dirty. Many big breeders will tell you it's be best and easiest thing to do... but it don't look so nice.


Leopard geckos don't need UV lamps compared to most other reptiles. Those geckos are nocturnal and go out their hiding place only at night. But they need light to balance their day/night cycle. Any light can do the job, a desk lamps with a 60 watts bulbe is enough. But don't use compact fluorescent light because they don't produce enough heat. For more convinience, use a timer. The day night cycle should be of 12 hours of light and 12 hours of night.

Some would say that the use of UV radiation is beneficial, but personally, my geckos are in great shape and are more than 5 years and have never had any UV Neon.

Heat and temperature

You MUST instal a self-adhesive eat pad under your tank. NEVER use heat rock sas they been know to burn hundred of lizards. The geckos take their heat from the ground and won't sun bask like turtles or other diurnal reptiles. Place the heat pad under the tank at one end preferably on the light side. There must be a cool side and a warm side at all time. In the day, the warm side should be between 32 and 35°C (89 and 95ºF) and the cool side 25°c (77 ºF).  At night, the warm side should be at 22°c (71ºF) and the cool side 20°c (68 ºF). The idea is to always have at least one hidding place for each temperature at any given time. This way, the gecko will find the place that he prefers. He must have the choice. I personnaly place three hidding place, one on each side and one in the middle.


Hidding place and decoration

The hidding place can be made of anything. Ranging from beautiful rocks imitations to a empty margarine container with a hole on the side. You can use rocks and pebbles to create crevices and hiding places. Install everything securely so it does not fall down on the gecko. If you want to add branches taken outside, you will need to clean with diluted bleach and let soak at least half an hour. Scrub with a brush to remove all particles.

Food and feeding

You must feed your gecko once a with a dozen crickets or meal worms. The item to be eaten must be smaller than his head if you don't want your gecko to chokes. It is very important to feed your crickets before giving them to your geckos. It may sound stupid but the crickets (if you buy them from a pet store) are often in a "survival" mode and may not have eaten for days. Add fruits, vegetables, fish food or powder from cat, dog or rodent food, 24 hours before feeding your gecko. Your crickets will be packed with nutritious element which will then be used by your gecko! You can also give them mealworms, silkworms, wax worms, pinky from mouse or small rodent. It is best to dust the crickets with calcium powder. (you can find at pet stores) Lizards living in captivity are often deficient in calcium.
Uneaten crickets must be removed, otherwise, they can cause stress to the gecko. If he wants to eat more than 10 crickets in a meal, just give him some more until he is no longer hungry.


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