Compared to many other pet lizards, Leopard geckos are fairly easy to keep as pets. Here are some Leopard gecko housing guidelines.
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Introduction to Leopard gecko housing
The enclosure for a small lizard such as Leopard geckos is referred to as a terrarium. Popular enclosure types used to house Leopard geckos include cabinets, large plastic boxes and glass tanks – each with their own set of pros and cons. Glass tanks, mainly purposed for aquariums or reptile terrariums, are popularly used and are available from specialised pet shops. Also see Leopard gecko terrariums fro more information.
A single Leopard gecko can be housed in an area as small as 30 x 30 cm / 12 x 12 ″ with an escape-proof roof. One to three Leopard geckos can be housed together in an 13 ℓ / 3.5 gal (US) ADDIS™ (35 x 25 x 15 cm / 14 x 10 x 5.5 ″) container. A 10 gallon / 40 -50 ℓ glass tank/aquarium can also be used to house a few Leopard geckos. The floor space should increase with at least 25% for every Leopard gecko added after that. “Pal pens™”or “Desert dens™” can also be used.
The recommended sizes for Leopard gecko housing mentioned here are based on what worked in previous and popular setups for myself and other breeders and keepers. Sizes and what you use will often be determined by what is commercially available in, for example, your own country or community. The amount, type and size of the environmental enrichment objects (‘furniture’) will also influence the overall size needed for your own Leopard gecko(s).
The height of Leopard gecko housing is not too important as long as it is high enough to prevent escapes and adequate ventilation can be achieved. Leopard geckos do not have the ability to climb(30). For this reason, broader, flatter enclosures are preferred over taller ones.
Adequate ventilation in the form of an open roof (if the height allows), plenty of drilled holes or for example mesh or fine wire should be supplied. Any protrusions or sharp pieces should be avoided to prevent injuries.
Terrarium setup & environmental enrichment
The average Leopard gecko housing setup should consist of a large enough housing container with the following “furniture”:
- One or two hide boxes (very important)
- a suitable substrate
- some basic aesthetic furniture items to add some heights and distraction
- food and water bowls
Make sure that the housing setup is not too crowded and that the furniture is not too high and secure enough to prevent falling injuries.