Leopard Gecko Habitats

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A 10 gallon aquarium is perfect for one leopard gecko as a habitat. Learn how to set up a leopard gecko habitat with tips from a reptile expert in this free exotic pet care video.

Part of the Video Series: How to Care for Leopard Geckos
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Video Transcript

As far as housing goes for your leopard gecko, when purchasing your leopard gecko's vivarium you're going to want to get probably a standard ten gallon aquarium. If you're housing just one leopard gecko. The aquariums work very well for this species of lizard. I've found it to be much more convenient than any type of wire cage. You'll never find anything wired that is small enough to house a hatchling. Now a standard ten gallon is the right size for one leopard gecko but if you plan on getting a pair or even three, you're probably going to want to go with a twenty long, which is a twenty gallon aquarium, it's just elongated rather than tall. So this is something that you can find at your local pet store. Also, these are desert animals, so the substrate you use, you're going to probably want to use a sand. This is something I really like. It's a calcium substrate. This calcium substrate is one of my favorite products to use because it is made from a calcium base. It's easily digestible. Not always in the smaller hatchlings, when you're having a very new born leopard gecko you may want to try to use newspaper or paper towels, at least till they get a little bigger. The calcium substrate can sometimes cause impaction from ingesting it, and it can also build up on the toes too. So that's something you might want to watch for. You can also use a sand-soil mix. Some people like to mix it together in one. I like to have it separated a little bit. What I've done here, is I've put the sand over here on this side so we have the dry desert area over here, and then over here I have the soil-bark mix, and this holds moisture really well. So I'm able to mist this and give him a little bit of humidity every now and then. As far as shelters go, you're going to want to provide him a dry shelter and an area where they can go to get some humidity. Which is this shelter I have over here. So I've got two different shelters going, and this is something that she can move in and out of as she feels necessary. A lot of people like to use orchid bark, which is also something that you can find at your local pet store. Orchid bark is a very fine soil. This is something that mixes very well with the sand and also holds moisture really well. So its a good option if you do want to use the soil-sand mixture. Just remember, if you do use the orchid bark you're going to want to rinse it with some cool water first, because it is very dusty. This will eliminate the dust. Then you're going to want to spread it out and let it air dry, and then it will be ready to go into your terrarium. Now I also have the plants in here and the background. This terrarium I created to create more of a naturalistic design. A naturalistic design will provide for a lot of different behaviors. If you have a simple set up in your terrarium, it's going to be more of a simple behavior. Your leopard gecko is not going to display very many different types of behavior if it doesn't have many things in its environment to interact with. In here I've created a little bit of an elevated site, with those flat rocks. Not only does it provide shelter but it also provides the elevated site there. This stick I have in here is actually not real. It's made from a rubbery material with a wire inside. I picked that up at my local pet store, and I like it because you can bend it to shape however you would like. I've put it to where the leopard gecko is able to climb up on it, and is able to climb up to here if she feels like doing so. I've also got decorations in here, like the skull. That's more for my appreciation, I like that way it looks, but it also provides a sort of hiding spot for my gecko. Over here I keep her water dish, and I also have a thermometer in the back there so I can monitor the temperature of her cage to make sure that she is able to thermo-regulate. Now you want to make sure that your terrarium is well ventilated. You don't want excessive moisture, even though it is suggested that you mist a small area, you're going to want to make sure that you don't have excessive moisture. Leopard gecko's feces have a lot of uric acid in them, and when the uric acid mixes with water it forms ammonia, which can cause almost like burns on their skin. It can irritate their eyes and can cause respiratory infections as well.

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