Reptile terrariums are very popular housing enclosures for Leopard geckos. Terrariums are attractive looking, readily available and easy to keep clean. They are made from glass and can be obtained from most pet shops or can be home made.
Popular enclosures used to house Leopard geckos include cabinets, large plastic boxes and glass tanks – each with their own set of pros and cons. Glass tanks, mainly purposed for aquariums or terrariums, can be transferred into beautiful, themed housing for Leopard geckos. The correct size terrarium can house one or a couple of Leopard geckos and, with a little imagination, can be transferred into a little artificial desert environment.
Terrarium types and sizes
Terrariums can be in the form of an aquarium or cabinet-like glass enclosure. Although most terrariums will be commercially available as set sizes, custom sizes can also be made.
A single Leopard gecko can be housed in an area as small as 30 x 30 cm / 12 x 12 “. One to three Leopard geckos can be housed together in a 10 gallon / 40 -50 ℓ glass tank / aquarium. Commercial terrariums are available in various sizes. The floor space should increase with at least 25% for every Leopard gecko added after that.
Commercial terrariums are made by companies such as Exo Terra, ZooMed Laboratories, Inc. and many others.
Glass tank users are often confronted with creating proper ventilation. Ventilation openings, popularly installed as grills on the side of Leopard gecko enclosures, allow for the escape of hot/used air and give way for fresh/cooler air. In the case of glass tanks, a proper ventilation needs to be present in the lid. Commercial terrariums often includes ventiation openings.
Terrariums are heavy and fragile. The first thing to do is to decide where it will stand. Usually a well lit area with a strong table/cabinet to support the tank will do well. Don’t forget a plug point for the electrical equipment. The bottom of the terrariums can be protected by using styrofoam. The floor space of an terrarium should preferably not be larger than the area it rests upon.
Substrate and furniture
Unlike cabinets and plastic enclosures, aterrariums and glass tanks have floors that are made from glass – which can easily crack when heavy objects (e.g. basking rocks) are placed or dropped onto it. The same goes for unstable furniture and falls over.
To make the glass floor a little less fragile, a deep, bulky substrate can be used. Newspaper is often used to separate the glass and substrate layer. Deep layered substrates will act as some degree of shock absorber and can be used to hide cables in.