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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    North Fort Myers, FL

    Default Lighting/Substrate/Gender&Age??

    I have a Mack Snow juvenile leopard gecko. I don't know how old he is or what his gender is. I got him about a month ago or so but I'm not quite sure. The pet store person that I got him from told me he is still maturing so u cant tell the age or gender-hence why I dont know. Is this true? if not how can you tell how old he is or the sex of it? Also, I use the zoomed daylight blue bulb for the day time heat and the zoomed moonlight bulb for night. Is this the correct lighting? One last thing, Ive been using paper towels for its substrate. I do have eco earth coconut fiber substrate that I was planning to use for my panther chameleon but im planning to return if the coconut fiber substrate can be used. I heard sand and all those substrates cause impaction in the stomach and I use paper towels because its cheaper, softer, and so my gecko can see the crickets and stuff I feed it.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Sophomore indyana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Massachusetts, United States


    Hi, and welcome to leopard geckos!

    You can't tell whether geckos are male or female until they grow large enough. Males get bulges and a clear line of waxy pores under the base of their tails and females do not. When young, they all look female, which is why you have to wait for them to grow. It's difficult to tell age, but most geckos at pet stores are very young babies, so you may need to wait several months.
    Here's a link about sexing geckos:

    For lighting, usually an under-tank heater (UTH) is used for leopard geckos. They are nocturnal and actually pretty prone to dehydrating, and using heat lamps can cause problems if they don't have humid hides to keep hydrated. If you're using lamps, you need to be extra careful to have one or more hides with slightly damp paper towels or coco fiber inside. The goal is to get the warm side of the tank to have a floor surface temperature around 88-90 F. This is just the surface temperature, not the air temp, so it's best measured with an infrared temp gun or a digital thermometer with a probe laid flat on the ground. The cool side of the tank can be let drop to room temperature.

    Paper towel or flat ceramic tile is the best substrate, especially if your gecko is young and this is your first time keeping one. You can save the coco substrate for using inside a humid hide.

    I usually hand out this care sheet to people. I think it's very well written and shows a simple but safe way to keep a leopard gecko.

    I know that was a lot of info, so let me know if you have any follow-up questions.
    Rachel Gratis ~ Leopard gecko hobbyist, animal aficionado

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