Two new Leopard Geckos with... weird behavior?


New Member
Milford, DE
Hi guys!
I’m new to reptile ownership in general, but I’ve done a lot of research over the past six months and I’m pretty sure I have general care... down-ish. I know what vitamins and different types of calcium to use, what feed to give them, what their environment needs. They’re both lovely little geckos, but I’m concerned about a few things.
The geckos came to me in a 29 gallon tank (tall, basically as good as a 20 long. ugh) with sand substrate, one hide, one water bowl, and like three different heat lights. No underbelly heat, no separate housing, just those things. They apparently had been living with a red “night light” (yeah right) for the entire time they’d been with the previous owners.
I know that people have a ton of different opinions on cohab. I personally chose to separate the geckos, because I’m unsure of the gender of either and didn’t wanna take a risk. That’s just me!
However, the one that’s been moved to its new tank is being... a little odd. It’s walking around and refusing to use the new hides, instead opting to try and climb the glass walls and lay flat on the open ground. Is this something I should be worried about? I don’t wanna put it back in the old tank, because... one, it’s a squinter and there’s calcisand (not for long) in there. I know loose substrates can cause eye problems in certain reptiles. The other gecko is fine, totally alert, doesn’t seem to have any problems. Two, again, I’m not into cohab.
The new tank is set up with paper towel substrate, a corner hide, a moist hide and a new water bowl until I can get a second hide in the mail pretty soon here. They both now have heating mats under their tanks, regulated with thermostats.
Does anyone have any advice on this? Am I doing something wrong? Is this just normal behavior and I’m being too paranoid as a first time gecko parent? Please help!

TL;DR: Got two geckos. Moved a gecko from sand, overhead heat and cohab to alone on paper towel, belly heat and new hides. Isn’t going into the hides for more than a few mins before coming out to lay on the open substrate. What’s going on here?


Staff member
Somerville, MA
Welcome! It's not unusual for some geckos to take longer than other geckos to get comfortable. I'm going through this with my day gecko now who has been moved into a much nicer and larger enclosure and is hiding on the ground (she is arboreal). As long as you're sure the temperature is correct (floor temperature not too hot), just give her time and she'll settle in. It can take as much as a few weeks.


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