Friday, February 18, 2011
Leopard geckos make great pets. I listed them as one of the best beginner reptiles in a past post. They are easy to care for and can live 20yrs.
Housing: A ten gallon tank is fine for one adult. Use a safe reptile sand, turf, or newspaper as a substrate. I like sand because it is more naturalistic. Provide the gecko with a hiding spot of some kind, and a water bowl. Sticks, rocks, and fake plants may be used as decoration.
Heating and lighting: Leopard geckos come from warm regions in Afghanistan into Pakistan. They thus require added heat. An under tank heat pad will serve this purpose perfectly. The temperature can be in the 80s during the day and drop down to 68 degrees F at night. They are nocturnal and thus do not require special lighting like most other reptiles, but a UV light will make the tank easier to see into and it certainly won't hurt.
Feeding: Leopard geckos are insectivorous. Feed them crickets, mealworms, waxworms, and any other insect. A big adult can even eat a pinkie mouse (but these should not be fed often). Dust the food with a calcium powder once a week.
Handling: Leopard geckos are not very fast, and are very docile, so they can be handled. Don't handle then excessively, though, and be gentle with their tails.