Thursday, August 21, 2014
Leopard Gecko Husbandry
Leopard geckos can live their entire lives happily in a 10-20 gallon aquarium. Too large of a tank can actually inhibit the gecko from being at the appropriate temperature. Newspaper, pea gravel, or flat stones work best as bedding. Reptile carpet is also an excellent substrate that can be easily washed once dirty. Sand or particulate bedding tend to cause impactions and can pose a serious health risk.
Leopard geckos require a hotspot of 86-90° F, and the cooler side of their tank should be around 75-80° F. This can be done using a heat lamp on one side of the cage. A natural heat gradient will occur to allow your gecko to choose what temperature it wants to be at any time. Heat rocks are not recommended because they can get too hot and burn your gecko.
Leopard geckos prefer hide spots in their tank. There are plenty of ornate hide spots that will spice up your gecko’s cage.
For leopard geckos, crickets are best for feeding. They should be dusted with a calcium/vitamin D3 powder every other day to help with bone growth. Leopard geckoes should also have their food dusted with a multivitamin once weekly. Zoo Med makes ideal products for ensuring your gecko has enough nutrients in his or her diet. A small amount should be readily available in a dish for the gecko at all times. A good feeding guideline is to feed 2 insects for every inch of the animal’s total body length every other day.
Fresh water should be available at all times for your gecko. He/she might also require soaking in lukewarm water every couple days when they are in shed.
Signs of health Problems
Retained sheds can cause deformities in leopard geckos, so when your gecko goes into shed, which is marked by a dulling of their color, that they have moisture available or are sprayed with water at least once daily until they have shed their skin. Retained sheds can sometimes be removed after soaking your gecko in some lukewarm water.
You should contact Kingsbrook Animal Hospital in Frederick, MD if you think your gecko is having any eye problems or impactions, as these can become very serious health risks an should be addressed by a veterinarian.