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How Do I Set up a Leopard Gecko Tank?

By Christina Edwards
Updated Jun 04, 2024
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An aquarium can typically be used for a leopard gecko tank, but it should have a secure screened top. Sand can be used to cover the bottom of the tank, but some individuals choose to use artificial turf. Half of the tank should also be heated, and several hide boxes should be provided. A food bowl, a water bowl, rocks, and branches should also be placed in a tank for a leopard gecko.

The first thing that you will need when setting up a leopard gecko tank is the tank itself. Most experts recommend using a 20-gallon aquarium to house one leopard gecko. Larger aquariums can also be used. Since leopard geckos like to climb, you may also want to consider a tall tank.

When keeping leopard geckos, you will want to add a top to their tank. A screen top is usually recommended for a leopard gecko home. This will allow air to circulate throughout the enclosure, but it will also prevent your pet from escaping. Screen tops will also help keep unwanted visitors, such as insects or hungry cats, out of leopard gecko tanks.

After you choose a leopard gecko tank, you will need to add substrate, or bedding, to the bottom of the tank. Sand is usually the substrate of choice for many leopard gecko owners. Clean sandbox sand or reptile sand should be used. Sand comprised of very fine granules is also recommended, since geckos may ingest some of it while eating.

If a gecko ingests too much sand while eating, the animal could develop serious health problems. For this reason, you may want to use another type of substrate in your leopard gecko tank. Artificial turf is one option. It is usually best to have a few pieces of turf that can be rotated when cleaning the cage.

When caring for leopard geckos, you must also provide a heat source. An under-tank heater is usually recommended, since heat rocks can cause serious burns in a leopard gecko tank. The heater should only be placed on one side of the tank, which will leave the other side cooler.

Two thermometers placed inside a leopard gecko tank are also recommended. One should be placed on the side with the heat source, where the temperature should be around 85 degrees F (29 degrees C). The other thermometer should be placed inside the part of the tank with no heat source.

At least three shelters, known as hide boxes, are recommended when setting up a leopard gecko tank. These can be made from just about anything, from a terra cotta pot to an old butter tub. One should be placed on the heated side of the tank, and another should be placed on the cool side. The third shelter should also be placed on the heated side, but the inside of this one should be kept moist. The moisture inside of this one will help your gecko shed.

At least two shallow bowls should also be placed in a leopard gecko tank. One bowl can hold food, such as mealworms, while the other should be used to hold fresh water. Some leopard gecko owners also choose to add a third small dish containing calcium.

Rocks and branches should also be added to your gecko tank. These should be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized first. They can then be dried by placing them in an oven set on low, or by setting them out in the sun.

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