Compared to many other pet lizards, Leopard geckos are fairly easy to keep as pets. Their housing requirements are fairly cheap and simple and they will thrive in almost any safe housing container when all their other needs are met. Here are some Leopard gecko housing guidelines.
The ‘cage’ or enclosure for small lizards such as Leopard geckos are referred to as a terrarium – “an enclosure, container or structure adapted or prepared for keeping animals under semi-natural conditions for observation, study or as pets; an aquarium or terrarium” (www.dictionary.com).
Today, there are many commercial lizard and reptile ‘terrariums’ available from specialised pet shops.
The recommended sizes for Leopard gecko housing mentioned here are based on what worked in previous and popular setups for myself and other breeders and keepers. Sizes and what you use will often be determined by what is commercially available in for example your own country or community. The amount, type and size of the environmental enrichment objects (‘furniture’) will also influence the overall size needed for your own Leopard gecko(s).
A single Leopard gecko can be housed in an area as small as 30 x 30 cm / 12 x 12 ” with an escape proof roof. One to three Leopard geckos can be housed together in an 13 ℓ / 3.5 gal (US) ADDIS™ (35 x 25 x 15 cm / 14 x 10 x 5.5 “) container. A 10 gallon / 40 -50 ℓ fish tank / aquarium can also be used to house a few geckos. The floor space should increase with at least 25% for every Leopard gecko added after that. “Pal pens™”or “Desert dens™” can also be used.
Generally the height of Leopard gecko housing is not too important as long as it is high enough to prevent escapes and adequate ventilation can be achieved.
Adequate ventilation in the form of an open roof (if the height allows), plenty of drilled holes or for example mesh or fine wire should be supplied. Any protrusions or sharp pieces should be avoided to prevent injuries.
Terrarium setup & environmental enrichment
The average Leopard gecko housing setup should consist of a large enough housing container with the following “furniture”:
- One or two hide boxes (very important)
- a suitable substrate
- some basic aesthetic furniture items to add some heights and distraction
- food and water bowls
Make sure that the housing setup is not too crowded and that the furniture is not too high and secure enough to prevent falling injuries.
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