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View Full Version : Thinking about getting a Leopard Gecko



Jaycies
08-30-2013, 12:27 PM
Hi all,

I am thinking about getting my first leopard gecko and am wondering if you all can tell me what it's like to have one of these cute little peeps? :)

ChiTea
08-30-2013, 02:33 PM
hi Jaycies,

Welcome! I'm still a newbie too, but I've learned SO MUCH from this site - everyone has been super helpful whenever I've had a question, and Elizabeth Freer has compiled a very helpful care sheet (I'm sure she'll chime in and post a link ;-) )

My first piece of advice would be to make sure you research all of the things needed to make a proper set-up - do not buy a ready made kit from the pet store. Make sure you have the space for (at least) a 20 gallon long tank (30" x 12" x 12") - that is the minimum tank size recommended for a leopard gecko. All of the materials needed for set up can also be costly, so make sure you can afford everything at once.

I love my little leopard gecko. I recently inherited him and he's the cutest thing ever. I had to get used to feeding him live crickets - super gross at first (I usually have to feed him by hand) but now it's no big deal. Leopard geckos don't like to be handled much, so if you're looking for a pet to cuddle with every day, this is not for you. But after a while, they'll get used to you - mine actually likes it when I pet his back.

There's lots of experienced leo owners on here, so I'm sure you'll get some good advice from them, too. Good luck!

GeckoManiac91
08-31-2013, 01:02 AM
Welcome to GU :)

ChiTea pretty much covered all of it ;) She learns fast :D

As said by her, contrary to what people believe, these geckos don't "like to be handled", they tame out nicely to tolerate it but have no need for interaction. Not to throw you off from these amazing animals!

Don't mean to steal the show from Elizabeth but here is a link to her care sheet :coverlaugh:
http://www.geckosunlimited.com/community/gecko-care-sheets/55211-leopard-gecko-caresheet-eublepharis-macularius-demo-video-4-jan-2013-update.html#post302242

Any questions you have post on this thread and we'll try to help you out :)

Muffins94
08-31-2013, 12:47 PM
Welcome & congrats on thinking of adding a leopard gecko to your home!

While geckos can make very nice, hardy pets, they do require every bit of their care to be up to par. This means buying a lot of supplies at the beginning and continuing to keep that care 100% throughout their life (which can be very long if well taken care of, about15-20 years.

You will need many many supplies and to set your tank up before getting your gecko.
First off I will say do not purchase one of those desert kits sold at pet stores, they don't provide nearly what you need. Realistically, it's better to purchase everything separate to make sure it's the right product and to save money.

You will need to buy:
A tank. Glass enclosures work well, as well as the wood/ glass tanks. As for size it will need a minimum of a 20 gallon LONG tank (30 inches long) with a future upgrade to a bigger tank recommended. You could skip the upgrade and purchase a 40 gallon tank and provide your little one with a lovely sized tank for life.
Under tank heater (UTH) that covers 1/3 of the tank.
Substrate/ flooring. Tile works the best, as long it is normal width. You can get this at your local home improvement store and have it cut to fit. Other substrates you can use are paper towel and reptile carpet. However carpet can harbor bacteria and your gecko can get their claws and teeth stuck in the fibers. Don't use sand or any loose substrate- impaction can be fatal!
Thermostat connected to your UTH set between 90-93
3 hides minimum, humid filled with Eco earth or moist paper towels on the warm side, warm hide over the UTH and a cool hide on the cool side.
Decor (optional) to spruce up your tank
Water/ calcium bowls
A house bulb or open blinds to provide a photoperiod for your gecko. This tells it is day time.
Digital thermometers with probes to measure temps
Heat bulb for the times like winter when a little extra heat is needed
Supplements, calcium d3 plus multivitamins. Some brands like Repashy and Zoo Med have all in one supplements
Feeders: crickets, Dubia roaches, mealworms, hornworms etc.
Gutload for your feeders
Feeder container

I hope I am not leaving anything out, but Elizabeth's care sheet provides all this info in more detail

GeckoManiac91
08-31-2013, 02:09 PM
Just have to say one more thing :)


Hi all,

I am thinking about getting my first leopard gecko and am wondering if you all can tell me what it's like to have one of these cute little peeps? :)

If you're passionate about it, it's amazing. Seeing these animals hunt, watching their odd behavior like how they can fit into tight spaces and STILL manage to get out, I love it.

I also love telling my friends "I can't do anything, I have tanks to clean" or "animals to feed". Then getting told I'm crazy for this hobby I love so much. Getting asked "You already have one gecko, why do you need another one?" It's amazing to own reptiles and even though they might not "love" us back, or appreciate our company all the time I think a small little part of them knows "Hey, I have this amazing life because of that 6feet tall, non tail possessing, freak." :lol:

If you're passionate about it and ready for the commitment then you'll enjoy this animal :) Just please don't buy this pet and then within 6months give up :( Simply not fair to the reptile.

^^ I have been waiting a long time to post something like that :D You finally gave me the thread to do it! So thank you :-P

Remember do your research, read tons of care sheets and then after your done that read the care sheets all over again. You can never be too prepared :)

If at all possible try to avoid big chain pet-stores when purchasing your gecko. Breeders are best :)

Elizabeth Freer
08-31-2013, 03:39 PM
Besides that covered above by Muffins94 and GeckoManiac91 I always recommend an UTH as well as an overhead bulb on the warm end. Those together provide warm zones for your leo and not just warm spots. Leos are more active with warm zones and do not feel like staying glued to the heat mat when only warm "spots" are provided.

Muffins94
08-31-2013, 04:36 PM
Ah zoo med is what I meant, not exo terra. I was referring to reptivite. Got my brands mixed up whoops. :lol:

Elizabeth Freer
08-31-2013, 10:35 PM
Hi all,

I am thinking about getting my first leopard gecko and am wondering if you all can tell me what it's like to have one of these cute little peeps? :)


A well-cared for leo can live for 20+ years. Almost need a LTC policy for them :biggrin:.

One maybe downside is that leos are crepuscular geckos, active (maybe) at dusk, dawn, and during the night when most of us sleep.