How To Care For Leopard Geckos
Care For Leopard Geckos. Follow Mark Amey's step by step guide to looking after Leopard Geckos. These lizards make good pets as they are friendly, outgoing and easy to handle. Watch the video and learn how to care for leopard geckos.
Step 1: Housing and bedding
A single leopard gecko should be kept in a well ventilated wooden or glass tank called a vivarium. It should measure about 60 centimetres by 35 by 45. Your pet will need a UV light with 2% UVB which should be on for 12-14 hours a day in summer and 8-10 hours in winter. Fit a heat pad with a thermostat at one end of the tank so there is a warmer and cooler area. The temperature should be kept between 27 and 30 degrees during the day and 20-22 degrees at night. Use a thermometer to check. Line the floor of the tank with calcium sand or newspaper. Don't use other types of sand as they will cause health problems for your lizard if ingested. Include plenty of crevices and caves and a food and water bowl. Provide a container of moist moss within the enclosure which will help your gecko shed it's skin. Never keep males together as they will fight.
Step 2: Handling
Don't pick up your gecko by it's tail or handle it roughly as the tail may fall off. Place one hand over the lizard and gently grasp it around the middle between your fingers. Put your other hand under the lizard to support it.
Step 3: Diet
Feed your leopard gecko live insects such as locusts and crickets every other day. The insects themselves should be fed beforehand with a nutrient rich mixture available from pet shops. Dust them with a vitamin and mineral supplement beforehand. Give your lizard just enough to be completely eaten in about 15 minutes, and don't leave uneaten insects in the tank. Ensure they have fresh drinking water every day.
Step 4: Exercise and play
Don't pick up your gecko too regularly as they don't particularly enjoy being handled, and they should never be handled roughly.
Step 5: Cleaning
Clean the water bowl every day and clean out faeces once or twice a week using a sand sifter which sieves the dirty area. Change the substrate and clean the tank with a reptile friendly disinfectant once every few months.
Step 6: Health
Leopard geckos must be kept in the right environment to prevent health problems. They should be energetic and bright-eyed and have a fat reserve around the base of the tail. If the pelvis or ribs are protruding, it may be a sign of poor diet, dehydration or parasites. If your gecko doesn't have access to the correct moisture, it will have problems shedding it's skin. Old skin can get stuck around the feet and tail, and can eventually cause digits to fall off. Take your lizard to the vet if it loses it's appetite, becomes lethargic or you notice anything abnormal.
Enjoy your leopard gecko.