Leopard Gecko Caresheet
Originating from Pakistan the Leopard Gecko is on of the most common lizards kept in the pet industry. They are relatively easy to care for and feeding them is easy do to there main diet of crickets or meal worms. Leopard Geckos are one of the ground dwelling geckos that do not stick to everything that they touch. As babies they can be a little bit nippy but they generally grow out of this stage and can be handfed as adults readily taking food from between the fingers. They are a nocturnal species that require simple lighting sources. Leopard Geckos are very sought after do to there many different color variations: Snow, Albino, Carrot Tail, Pattern Less, Tangerine, High Yellow and many others. Adults generally grow to 8 inches for females and 12 inches for males. The reach adulthood around a 1 to 1.5 years of age.
NEVER PICK ME UP BY MY TAIL, This type of gecko will release it's tail as a defense. Also when keeping more then one male in an enclosure a tail may be released as well during a fight.
A single Gecko can be kept in 10 or 20 gallon tank. With this type of gecko floor space is more important then height. If you wish to keep more then one together use this ratio. 2 to 3 females in a 20 gallon tank. 1 male to 2 females or 1 male to 1 female or 2 males per enclosure. NEVER keep more then one male in an enclosure where there are any females as the males will fight over the females do to there breeding and territorial instinct. If you are setting up a breeding program and have a larger enclosure such as a 55 gallon tank or something comparable to it's length then you may keep 2 males to 4 to 5 females. The males in an enclosure this size will set up there own territorial boundaries. Some fighting might be expected during this process.
Heating and Humidity
The geckos temperature gradient should be from 80 to 85 degrees. This can be done with the use of bulbs, or under tank heat pads. Two hides should be used in there enclosure. One on the cool end and one on the warm end. The hide on the warm end should be lifted and misted once to twice daily. The gecko will seek out the warm moist hide especially during shedding. The moist hide can also be accomplished by using a small plastic box placed on the warm end with a hold cut in the lid or in the side. This moist hide should be filled with vermiculite or repti moss. The substrate should be misted as least once a day to maintain humidity levels inside the moist hide. Humidity level should be maintained around 80% in there humidity box.
Since Leopard Geckos are nocturnal. If there enclosure temp can be maintained with the required temperature no daytime bulb is required. For your viewing please an infrared light bulb should be used at night as geckos can not see that wavelength of light and you will not disturb the nocturnal habits.
Sand should not be used in very young geckos and can cause sand impaction in adult geckos as well. It has been known that if leopard geckos become calcium deficient they may eat the sand in there enclosure. It is best to keep the cage floor as hard as possible. Tile, Linoleum, newspaper, paper towels.
Place a small lid of calcium supplement in the corner of there enclosure and they will generally seek it out on there own and consume the calcium they need.
Leopard Geckos do well on meal worms and crickets. To maintain a healthy gecko there prey needs to be well fed before feeding. The best way to gutload your crickets is with Cricket Quencher that is calcium fortified. You should also feed cricket chow. Your meal worms can also be placed in cricket chow to gutload them as well. Remember to supply a potato or apple for moisture. There prey should be gutloaded at least 24 hours in advance of feeding. When using mealworms place them in a container with high enough sides that they cant crawl out. A dish of water should be kept in there enclosure and should be changed on a daily basis.
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