Leopard geckos are some of the easiest lizard to take care for but it is still very important to set up their habitat properly. Leopard geckos are long and shallow. The minimum length of one gecko is 10 gallons, and if you’re having more than one gecko then you need to increase the size of the terrarium. A pair will need 15 gallon tand and if there are more then you will require atleast a 20-gallon tank. Leopard gecko must be provided and housed in a glass terrarium for their safety and specially to prevent them from escaping. Leopard geckos cannot climb grass very well, so wire cages are not acceptable.The terrarium should have a wire mesh lid that provides proper ventilation and allows light through.
Though, Leopard geckos skin are super sensitive so one should keep in their mind that the substrate which you use should be non-abrasive and non-irritating to their sensitive skin. It should be something that you can easily clean and replace, and should not create any type of dust. Substrates which should be avoid are cedar, pine, hardwood chips, gravel, cat litter, sawdust, and corncob bedding, and substrate that you can use in your Leopard gecko’s enclosure are artificial turf, paper toweling, and newspaper. Though many people use sand also but if there is any problem generating from sand or any substrates, switch them immediately.
The more items you put in your Leopard gecko’s cage, will help him to live in a natural habitat and environment. Substances more like rocks and logs will provide him places to climb and exercise and that will also create a natural space for him to live and in end all will encourage your gecko’s natural behaviour. Before planning to keep a live plant in your gecko’s cage, do consult the veterinarian, as plants are toxic to some plants-so choose wisely and carefully.
Leopard gecko loves hiding, activity and basking so the cage should be made according to that only. Hiding areas consist of commercial hide boxes, overlapping rocks, inverted clay pots and sections of curved bark, and any other shelter that supplies your gecko with a place to sleep and conceal himself. There should be atleast two hiding places for Leopard gecko, and the more geckos you house in one terrarium, the more hiding spots you will need.
Leopard geckos cannot climb much, but they love doing that and that is the part of their activity. Activity area are open area so that geckos can climb much easily, or just move around. You can place smooth rocks or even big rocks so they can climb and exercise and even wood boxes also which facilitate climbing.
Basking areas can be a flat, smooth rock or wood under a light, and there should be at least one spot per gecko. The more geckos you have, the more space you need for their climbing, hiding and basking activities. If you’re planning to keep rocks, avoid using sharp rocks as they can injure your leopard gecko’s skin during shredding. Cedar and other resinous woods should also be avoided, as they are toxic to Leopard Geckos.
For Leopard geckos, basking is important as they are “ectothermic” which means that they cannot produce their own body heat, so they need more supplement sources. Their tank should be approximately 80° to 85°F during the day, and the basking area should be about 88°-90°F. Night time temperature should be in the 70s. For proper temperature, one can use thermometer also. Leopard Geckos practice “thermoregulation,” meaning that they will move into hotter or cooler areas to raise or lower their body temperature as needed. Leopard geckos should be provided with several different temperature gradients.
Light is the another source which is equally important as others for Leopard geckos as they helps to recreate light cycle when setting up their natural habitat. During the summer time, they should approximately get 14 hours of light followed by 10 hours of darkness and during winter time, they should get shorter period time so 12 hours of light followed by 12 hours of darkness is sufficient for them. For the desired time period, use automatic timers. As Leopard geckos are nocturnal reptiles, they do not like bright light, so use of UV bulbs should be strictly prohibited. Infact, being exposed in bright white light, Leopard geckos become stressed. So make sure, there should be plenty of areas for hiding so that they can easily hide and get out of the light. All the bulbs should be placed outside the terrarium above the lid.
Maintaining a healthy habitat, one should keep its leopard gecko clean and tidy.
Remove waste, dead feeder insects and shedder skin. Remove and cleand if there’s any fecal matter on them. Remove disinfect water bowls and fill it with fresh water.
Clean enclosure thoroughly. Clean interior items such as wood box, rocks, feeding and watering items, any other item in the terrarium.
Noticable point, avoid using cleaners that contains, phenol or pine scents, as they are toxic to your gecko. If you are unsure of what products to be used while cleaning the cage, consult your veterinarian. As Leopard geckos are nocturnal, so the best time to clean the enclosure is at dusk or the early morning hours. This will help you preventing their night cycle and then causing them stress.
Leopard gecko need clean water, so their water bowl should be regularly cleaned and provide them with clean and fresh water. If there is any fecal matter or dead insects in their water bowl, immediately remove them and then clean it. Avoid using deep bowls, as it will be drowning hazard to both your lizard and any other feeder insects.
Pure Leopard geckos are usually $20 to$40, while morphs can fetch prices well over $100, depending upon the pattern. Leopard geckos can live and breed at 20 years of age, so they are unusually long lived reptiles. There are three known sizes, including “normal,” “giant,” and “super giant.” Most Leopard geckos available in the U.S. are normals. Super giants are incredibly massive when you’re used to seeing the normals—around twice the mass. These lizards are naturally gentle and non-aggressive, so they make excellent captive reptiles. Leopard geckos are even slow.
For mating purpose, it’s best to keep one male gecko with atleast two or three female geckos in the same cage. Leopard geckos become sexually active and mature approximately after nine months of age, and then can begin breeding once this milestone is achieved. Weight wise, they can start breeding at 45 grams, but it’s always best to let them grow more. Provide a small dish of calcium in the terrarium year round, as the females will lick it as needed.
You often need a healthy male and female gecko for fertile eggs. There are no special requirements for initiating the breeding process. Breeding season lasts from January to September or October. During this time, female may lay from 6-16 eggs, two in each clutch. The mating happens usually at night, so it’s rarely observed. The male will bite the back of the female’s gecko neck while placing his tail under hers. So you should keep more female geckos with one male gecko-to prevent bullying. One male leopard gecko can breed with upto 6 female leopard geckos.
Don’ts of Leopard geckos Breeding-
Never breed leos that have any genetic disease or any malformation.
Start breeding your leos in smaller amount like breed 1-2 females in first season which is the best option for gaining experience.
Do not breed too young or too old geckos, let their right time come for breeding. You need to prepare your geckos correctly for breeding season.
Since there are many types of morphs available, so firstly you need to find out the about them and and their genetic offsprings. As different combinations will bring different results. One should study basic leopard gecko genetics before deciding on your breeding pairs.
For mating stock, you should take one male and atleast 2 female leopard gecko that are completely healthy and in a fairly good shape plus having no genetic disease, between two anf five years old.