Eublepharus macularius (leopard gecko)


Here is a care sheet about Leopard Geckos I wrote myself.

Size: 8-11", up to 80 gram, Giants can get to 100, Super Giants can get to 150, Usually 45-60 grams.

Lifespan: 15-20 years

Setup: 1 leopard gecko can live in a 10 gallon tank. Tubs are also an option for a person who has a lot of geckos.

Hides: Leopard geckos should have at least 2 hides if not three. There should be one on the warm side. It should be not to big to where they will feel uncomfortable. It should have an easy entrance way so they can retreat to it fast. The next hide should be a humid hide in the middle. The humid hide can be anywhere from a hide with paper towels that could be sprayed or a container with moist vermiculite. It does not have to be permanent but should be put in when they are shedding. The cool side should be just like the warm side but placed on the cool side.

Heating: Heating is an important dynamic in Leopard Geckos. Heating products include lamps, Under Tank Heaters, Heat Tape, and Ceramic Heaters. Lets start with lamps. Lamps are good because they can keep good temperatures. But they have bad problems to. They don't heat the ground very well, Leos don't climb. They also reduce humidity. The humidity should be 35-50%. Under Tank Heaters (UTH) are excellent and I strongly recommend them. They give belly heat to induce proper digestion. They also use less wattage. Heat Tape is great for racks. It may sound simple but it is not the easiest to install. I wouldn't use heat tape for regular tanks. Only for Rack Systems. Also you NEED a thermostat for heat tape. It gets to hot.

Lighting: Lighting is not important in Leopard Geckos. They do not require any UVB lighting because they are nocturnal. Basically a room light on for a little bit at night until about 7 or 8 pm will do. They should have 12 -14 hours of daylight.

Substrate: There has been a lot of disagreement as for substrate. The safest thing to use is paper towels or slate. But some people like sand. Let me just warn you do NOT get Calcium Sand. It has calcium in it and leos tend to lick it. The bad thing is that it can lead to impaction, which is eating too much of it. Don't say I didn't warn you. If you want sand use play sand. Another good choice is Repti Carpet. It looks natural but they can get there mouths stuck on it during feeding. Do not use walnut shells or coconut bark. It is toxic to reptiles.

Feeding: Leopard geckos eat Crickets, Mealworms, Waxworms, Superworms, Butterworms, Dubia Roaches, and an occasional Pinky mice. The best staple diet is Crickets but Mealworms and Superworms are acceptable to. Staple diets should make up 90-95% of there diet. Waxworms are high in fat and could cause FLD (Fatty Liver Disease). Butterworms are not recommended. You can feed adult Leopard Geckos a pinky once a month or so. They are used for fattening your leo up. All leos should be dusted.

Vitamins: Leopard Geckos meals should be coated with Calcium atleast once a week. To do this place food items in a plastic bag containing calcium. Shake the bag and then feed to your leos. All food items should also be gut-loaded. To do this putin some vegetables or other healthy foods in with your feeders. Let them eat for 24 hours and then feed them to your geckos. They should be nice and healthy. Now lets talk about the kind of calcium. First off don't get calcium with phosphorous. To dust your feeders use calcium with d3. Place calcium without d3 into the tank so they will lick up to sustain there calcium levels. The reason to not put calcium with d3 in the tanks is that to much d3 is not healthy for them. Keep a constant supply of calcium no d3 in the tank. I place the calcium in a water bottle cap.

Cage Maintenance: Caring for Leopard geckos is easy and will last you many years. All you need to do is feed once a day, fill up the water once a day, check temps daily with a thermometer and probe, and clean the tank once a week. To clean the tank the first thing you should do is take out everything so only the substrate is there. First boil some water in a pot until you see it bubbling. This usually takes 20 minutes or so. While the waters boiling clean the substrate. If you are using paper towels, replace them, sand clean all the feces. For sand you should change the sand once a month. If you got repti carpet clean the feces also. Once your water is done boiling pour it into a bucket. You can get a 5 gallon bucket at Home Depot. Put each hide in there and let it sit for a minute or so. Also put the waterbowl and the repti carpet if you are using it. The reason to boil the water is so you can kill all the bacteria in the hides. After you are done replace everything and you are good to go.