Leopard Gecko Care Sheet

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    Default Leopard Gecko Care Sheet

    Ok here is the updated version...


    SCIENTIFIC NAME: Eublepharus macularius

    SIZE: 8-11" Giants an Super Giants are at the top of this range. Average adults are about 50-75 grams. Giants can get up to 100 and Super Giants can get to 150. The largest Leopard Gecko is 170 grams and 11 1/2 inches long.

    LIFESPAN: Leopard Geckos can live 15-20 years, possibly longer if kept very well.

    TYPES OF SETUPS: Leopard Geckos can be housed in Glass or Acrylic Terrariums or Tubs of somekind. Glass/Acrylic Terrariums are great for naturalistic setups or if you house a small amount of Leopard Geckos. Tubs are good for rack systems when you have a larger collection.

    THE TERRARIUM: Inside the terrarium you need a couple different things. These are substrate, hides/decorations, a water bowl, and a heating element. I will discuss each one in detail.

    Substrate- Substrate means the bottom or bedding of the enclouser. You can use paper towels, slate/tile, sand, or repti carpet.

    Paper Towels- Paper towels are among the easiest substrates to use. Simply replace them once a week. I use this substrate and have had no problems with it. Although it doesn't look very natural it is the main substrate breeders use for tubs and racks.

    Slate/Tile- Slate and Tile is a great substrate for naturalistic tanks. It absorbs heat well, looks nice and is very easy to clean. A lot of people use this for naturalistic setups. Most breeders do not use them for racks, though, as buying a lot can add up fast, unlike paper towels which are cheaper.

    Sand- There has been a lot of controversy about this substrate. If you want to use sand I highly reccomend not using calci sand. Most Pet Store employees will tell you that it is a great substrate because the Leopard Geckos can lick Calcium as needed. But Leopard Geckos cannot digest that sand properly it gets stuck in their system causing impaction, which ultimately leads to death. If you insist on using sand, use play sand.

    Repti Carpet- Repti Carpet has it's ups and it's downs. It looks better than paper towels, but Geckos can get their claws and mouth stuck on it when they are hunting. I used to use this substrate but after those things happened to me I switched to Paper Towels.

    Do not use these following substrates: Ground Walnut Shells, Wood chips, Calci Sand, Aspen Bedding, or Vita Sand.

    HIDES/DECORATIONS: Hides/Decor are a must. Their should be one hide directly above or below the heating element (warm side). Many Leos like to lay here to get heat. Their should also be one on the cool side so he can feel secure without getting heat. Humid hides are hides that contain more moisture than the rest of the terrarium. They are optional for staying in the tank all the time but should be used when your Leopard Gecko is going into a shed. Leopard Geckos don't usually climb so a climbing place is not neccesary and is usually used for a naturalistic setup.

    WATER: Leopard Geckos should be provided with a clean waterbowl at all times. This can be placed in the middle of the terrarium and needs to be cleaned and refilled daily. It shoudn't be to big where it raise the overall terrariums humidity. Humidity should be around 35-55%. Getting a hydgrometer is a great idea.

    HEATING: Heating devices can include Under Tank Heaters (UTH), Lamps, Ceramic Heaters, Heat Tape, or another kind of Reptile related heat source. DO NOT USE HOT ROCKS. These get WAY to hot and will quickly burn your gecko. Let's talk about heating devices.

    Under Tank Heaters- Also known as UTH for short, Under Tank Heaters are, in my opinion, the best heat source for your geckos. Geckos need belly heat to digest their food properly and these heaters go under the tank to send heat up torward their belly. Although these heaters are great they are not the best choice for rack systems because if you have a large collection UTH's can get very expensive.

    Lamps- Lamps should be used with a UTH if you use it at all. Leopard Geckos need belly heat to digest their food, not heat from above. You might be thinking that in the wild they get heat from the sun from above but the sun heats up the clay/sand mix and they lay on that. Lamps should only be used if your UTH does not get the warm side to the proper temps. If you do use a light don't get a bright white one because they will hurt your geckos eyes.

    Ceramic Heaters- Ceramic heaters I like lamps but they don't give off light. As with lights they give heat from above and should be used with a UTH if all. They give off an even distribution of heat.

    Heat Tape- Heat tape is good for rack systems. It gets very hot so it needs to be controlled on a thermostat. It is very cheap though so many breeders buy a whole bunch of it for a low price. It also goes under the tank and will aid in digestion.

    TEMPERTURE: Temperature is a very important factor in keepig reptiles. A thermometer is a must. Leopard Geckos need thermoregulation, meaning that they need to be able to move between hot and cool temps easily. See the bottom of the temperature part to see how to set up thermoregulation. During the day temperatures on the warm side should be 90-95, 97 being the maximum. Cool side temps should be about 70-80. Your room temperature is the cool side temperature. So unless your room temps are very cold or warm you do not have to worry. During the night, temperatures could drop 5 degrees but this is not neccesary and I don't do this.

    Thermoregulation- your tank should be somewhat like this

    70-80 90-95

    FEEDING: Food that can be offered to your Leopard Geckos are Crickets, Mealworms, Super Worms, Wax Worms, Butter Worms, Silkworms, Roaches, Phoenix Worms, and an occasional pinky mouse. Let's go over each food item.

    Crickets- Very nutritious, but often noisy, and can smell, relatively cheap
    Mealworms- very easy to maintain, cheap, not as nutritious as crickets
    Super Worms- Cheap, more fattening than crickets or mealworms
    Wax Worms- highly fattening
    Butterworms- easy to feed, highly fattening, expensive
    Silkworms- very nutritious, expensive
    Roaches- easy to breed, expensive
    Phoenix Worms- very nutritious, expensive

    A staple Leopard Gecko diet means that you usually feed it that. The best staples are crickets but many people do mealworms including me. Waxworms are very addicting and unhealthy and should only be used for fattening your gecko up if needed.

    GUTLOADING: You may or may not have heard of the term gut loading. Gutloading is simply feeding healthy things to your feeders which eventually go to your geckos. Good gutloads are vegetables like carrots, spinach, lettuce, etc. Also dog food is acceptable. Their is also some specific products for gutloading which are great.

    SUPPLEMENTS: Your Leopard Geckos should always have a small dish of Calcium without d3 in the tank. Feeders should be dusted with calcium d3 once a week.

    Daily Care: Once a day you should clean and refill the water bowl, feed your gecko, and regularly check the temperatures. That is pretty much it and as you can see Leopard Geckos are easy to care for.
    Last edited by Taquiq; 09-03-2010 at 08:09 PM.

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