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Please note: This care sheet is just one of many sources - it is up to you as an individual to research properly and to look at multiple sources before taking on the responsibility of an animal.

Life Span: 15 - 40 years
Social: Strictly solitary
Size: Female 7- 8 inches, males 8 -10 inches. Weight can vary from 35 grams to over 100 grams.

Originating from the rocky grasslands of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and North-West India, Eublepharis Macularius, more commonly known as the Leopard Gecko, is a small ground-dwelling gecko known for its distinctive fat tail and movable eyelids.

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ENCLOSURE

Leopard geckos thrive in a large tank. I recommend giving a leopard gecko a 90x45x45cm tank.

Glass tanks available at around £300, wooden vivariums available from ProVivs for £90 and Amazon for £100 are all appropriate. Despite the large price difference, there is no difference other than aesthetic between the tank styles recommended above.​

You can also use tubs, as long as they are of an appropriate size.

I would recommend having a tank fully set up and running at least 7 days before taking an animal home, to make sure everything is working and ready for the new inhabitant.​

SUBSTRATE

Substrate is the bedding on the bottom of an animals enclosure. Choose a substrate can be a difficult task as there are a lot of different opinions on which is best. 

For the first 6 weeks of owning a leopard gecko (or any reptile), its necessary to quarantine them on paper towels. After quarantine, provided the gecko is over 6 months old, I would recommend any of the following options. 

Homemade Mix

 

This is a mix of 60 - 70% organic topping soil, and 20 - 30% play sand. You can also add in small amounts of Sphagnum moss, excavator clay, and charcoal. I would also recommend having a few large pieces of bark (larger than the geckos head at least) so if you choose to make the tank bioactive, the clean up crew can hide somewhere!

Find the Organic Topping SoilPlaysand, and moss we use in the links here!

Paper Towels

This is the ideal substrate for young or sick geckos, or geckos going through their quarantine period.

Although paper towels are very safe, they do not offer a natural environment for Leopard Geckos and I always recommend using a safe loose substrate where possible.

Arcadia's Earth Mix Arid

This is a premade substrate mix which is perfect for Leopard Geckos. One 10 litre bag fills a 90x45cm floorspace perfectly.

Unsafe Substrates

Crushed Walnut Shells, Seeds - Unnatural, bad for joints, can cause impaction

Calcium Sand - Minerals in the sand encourage ingestion which then leads to impaction. Very dusty which can cause respiratory issues.

Shelf Liner / Any Plastic Based Substrates - Plastic degrades with long term exposure to UVB and high temperatures which causes it to give off toxic gases over time. Long term health implications.

Reptile Carpet - As above with added risk of toes and claws being injured by loose fibers.

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HEATING

Hotspot: 36°C

Ambient: 25°C

UVI: 1 - 2

Leopard geckos need a humidity of 35%-55%, ambient temperatures of 23 - 26C, and a hot spot temperature of 34 - 36C.

These should all be measured by a digital thermometer and hydrometer (Amazon / Internet Reptile).

To heat the tank, you will ideally need an incandescent bulb (Amazon / Internet Reptile). Alternatively, a Deep Heat Projector would work (Amazon / Internet Reptile). 

 

For more information on different heat sources, check out this article.

 

To control the temperatures of your heat sources, you will need a thermostat.

 

This stat had a built-in timer (Amazon / Internet Reptile).

This thermostat does not, so will either have to be manually switched on and off, or attached to a timer. (Amazon / Internet Reptile).

We use this timer, which works with an app on your phone.

Make sure you have slate, or a rock hide (Amazon / Internet Reptile) underneath your heat bulb which will act as a basking platform for your gecko.

I would highly recommend avoiding red bulbs, heat mats and heat rocks. These are either inappropriate or dangerous for Leopard Geckos. 

LIGHTING / UVB

Leopard Geckos thrive with UVB. I recommend using the Arcadia Shadedweller kit (Amazon / Internet Reptile).

If you use UVB, you will need to use supplements that do not contain Vitamin D3, such as the Arcadia EarthPro-A calcium (Amazon / Internet Reptile) in combination with Calcium Pro Mg (Amazon / Internet Reptile).

Ensure you are changing your Shadedweller bulb once per year, and are following Arcadia's guidelines on setting up which can be found here.

Please find our recommended supplement schedules here

Ensure your leopard gecko has no lighting elements on overnight, as this will interfere with its circadian rhythm. We follow Reptfiles guidelines and leave lights on for 14 hours in summer, and 12 hours in winter.

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DIET

I feed my adults 2 or 3 medium Dubia Cockroaches every 2 - 4 days.

Healthy staples include:

- Crickets (Internet Reptile)

- Dubia Cockroaches (Internet Reptile)

- Mealworms (Internet Reptile)

- Locusts (Internet Reptile)

- Silkworms (Internet Reptile)

For a full list of what food Leopard Geckos can and cannot eat, see here.

 

Adult Leopard Gecko's tails should be the same width as their necks, and they should have visible muscle in their arms and legs.

Please find our recommended supplement schedules here*

 

As a treat, leopard geckos can be fed wax worms, mealworms, hornworms (illegal in the UK) or super worms. Don't overfeed these insects or your leopard gecko will quickly become overweight.

 

Once a year you have the option of feeding your gecko a frozen-thawed newborn mouse (pinky mouse). This is entirely optional, but many of mine, especially girls who lose weight during the breeding season, love this yearly treat. After feeding a pinky, don’t feed again for 5 or 6 days, and don’t handle for about 3. These are very fatty and a bit harder to digest than insects, but make a good treat. 

 

Leo's choose one corner of their Vivarium to defecate and only go there so cleaning up is very easy. Like birds, their urine is solid and white, and it's all together. 

 

You should make sure the insects you’re feeding your gecko have been fed themselves. You can use carrot, sweet potato, courgette, broccoli or cucumber (raw). 

*Credit: Leopard Gecko Discord

MISC

All links are affiliate links, so we make a small amount of money if you purchase off of them. Be assured that the products linked are all either ones we have used for years, or ones highly recommended by science-based husbandry groups.

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FURTHER READING

It's important to research from more than one source, here are some to get you started

Other Caresheets

UVB & Heating Guides

Bioactive Guides

Groups & Forums

Additional Resources

Leopard Geckos London Ltd is not affiliated with any of the above links, nor does it earn money when you click on them.

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