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A Guide to Clutter

Have you ever heard reptile keepers talk about adding clutter to a vivarium, but wondered what they meant by clutter and why it is so important?


Leopard geckos are prey animals and enjoy hiding in tight, dark places. While it is common for keepers to add a few medium-sized hides to an enclosure and consider it sufficient, this does not fully utilize the space and does not adequately satisfy the gecko's natural instincts.


So, what should you add to your leopard gecko's enclosure to provide clutter?


Corkbark

Photo and Setup Credit: Jessica Tresek / @federalbureauofcats


Corkbark is an excellent choice when adding clutter to your gecko's enclosure. It is relatively cheap, lightweight, and adds a natural appearance to the landscape. Piling corkbark creates numerous small crevices for your gecko to explore and hide in, and the lightweight nature of the material minimizes the risk of injury or your gecko getting stuck. You can also use cork rounds (circular corkbark pieces) to create tunnels by partially burying them in substrate, increasing the usable floor space of the enclosure and encouraging digging behavior in your gecko.


You can buy corkbark here! 5kg seems like a lot, but you will find that it makes a huge difference in how your enclosure functions.


Live Plants

Photo and Setup Credit: Jessica Tresek / @federalbureauofcats


Live plants require a bit more maintenance, but they can add a beautiful touch to your enclosure. I recommend avoiding plastic plants as they can cause problems if accidentally ingested by your gecko and the long-term effects of plastic under UVB and heat are not beneficial for these long-lived animals. Live plants provide a variety of textures, improve air quality, and offer additional shelter for your gecko. To keep plants alive, you will need more substrate and an LED light (I recommend this one). While caring for live plants may require extra effort, the benefits are well worth it.


Branches

Photo and Setup Credit: Alina E. / @fourlittlegecks


Branches provide excellent climbing opportunities for your gecko. You can find some really good branches here!


Rocks

Photo and Setup Credit: Jessica Tresek / @federalbureauofcats


Rocks are an excellent way to create different levels in an enclosure. It is highly recommended to use slate under your basking bulbs because it absorbs heat exceptionally well, but you can also use other types of rocks elsewhere in the enclosure. These can add texture for your gecko and can be visually appealing, just make sure they are securely placed to avoid crushing your gecko. When introducing new rocks to your enclosure, do not bake them. If the rocks contain any air, the heat can cause the air to expand and potentially cause the rocks to fracture or explode.


We hope you love the items on this list - just so you know we may collect a share of sales if you buy via the links provided.


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