Considering leopard gecko as first reptile

FishWithTim

So I’m interested in getting a leopard gecko, I already have a tank. It’s a 29 gallon I recently had fish in but I cleaned it. I was wondering if the 29 gallon would be ok and whether or not the heating pad has to be on all the time? How to do the calcium bowl? And the moist hide.
 

angelcraze

My first pet were my leopard geckos I got a boy and a girl baby leo and when they turned 10 months they started laying eggs! I don't recommend getting a pair unless you want to breed them, I ended up having to separate the two and hatched 7 baby leos (gave them away to friends and family and kept one). Now my geckos are 16 and the parents are 17!

I have the male by himself now (for years) in a 29 gallon tank. It's fine for him, imo, a perfect size for leos. I only have an undertank heater pad because leos aren't really the basking type. They will hang a leg out of a cave in the wild to soak up some vitamin D, but mostly stay in hides during the day.

The moist hide can be a shallow container of moss or coconut shavings kept moist and covered with a cave. Or a container with an entrance hole that can keep the humidity inside and act as a cave. This should be placed on the warm side of the tank. I also mist the tank with a misting bottle, especially when they are about to shed.

Maybe not super helpful, but I figured my leos are doing alright.
 

FishWithTim

My first pet were my leopard geckos I got a boy and a girl baby leo and when they turned 10 months they started laying eggs! I don't recommend getting a pair unless you want to breed them, I ended up having to separate the two and hatched 7 baby leos (gave them away to friends and family and kept one). Now my geckos are 16 and the parents are 17!

I have the male by himself now (for years) in a 29 gallon tank. It's fine for him, imo, a perfect size for leos. I only have an undertank heater pad because leos aren't really the basking type. They will hang a leg out of a cave in the wild to soak up some vitamin D, but mostly stay in hides during the day.

The moist hide can be a shallow container of moss or coconut shavings kept moist and covered with a cave. Or a container with an entrance hole that can keep the humidity inside and act as a cave. This should be placed on the warm side of the tank. I also mist the tank with a misting bottle, especially when they are about to shed.

Maybe not super helpful, but I figured my leos are doing alright.
Thank you for your response! Wha about feeding how exactly does that work with the calcium? How often do I need to mist the hide? Also if the under tank heater covers the whole floor, where would the cool side be? Pretty dumb I know.
 

angelcraze

No not dumb lol! I shake calcium and vitamin D on my crickets in a bag like shake & bake chicken. I only feed worms as a treat, so I don't bother to coat the worms. As long as they get some calcium and vitamin D (the latter they get from the sun in the wild) they are ok.

Mist the hide when it gets close to drying out. Just try to keep it moist. Not saturated, but moist. I also mist the whole tank, decor and substrate on occasion especially when they are about to shed. It increases humidity until it dries, but you want it to dry and just provides temporary humidity. It's just something I always did.

The undertank heaters come in different sizes, for my 29 gallon I only have a 4 x 4" heater. My other terrarium houses two females (mother and offspring) and has an 8 x 4" and 4 x 4" heater. I have a moist hide over half of one heater and a regular cave over half the other heater. My geckos either go into the heated hide for more warmth or stretch out in the sand (and flat rock) over the heater in the open. The hide only has half of it over the pad, so they can move to the unheated part in the cave of they want to.

But they will also need a cooler side to self regulate temperature.
 

FishWithTim

D
No not dumb lol! I shake calcium and vitamin D on my crickets in a bag like shake & bake chicken. I only feed worms as a treat, so I don't bother to coat the worms. As long as they get some calcium and vitamin D (the latter they get from the sun in the wild) they are ok.

Mist the hide when it gets close to drying out. Just try to keep it moist. Not saturated, but moist. I also mist the whole tank, decor and substrate on occasion especially when they are about to shed. It increases humidity until it dries, but you want it to dry and just provides temporary humidity. It's just something I always did.

The undertank heaters come in different sizes, for my 29 gallon I only have a 4 x 4" heater. My other terrarium houses two females (mother and offspring) and has an 8 x 4" and 4 x 4" heater. I have a moist hide over half of one heater and a regular cave over half the other heater. My geckos either go into the heated hide for more warmth or stretch out in the sand (and flat rock) over the heater in the open. The hide only has half of it over the pad, so they can move to the unheated part in the cave of they want to.

But they will also need a cooler side to self regulate temperature.
So the heater doesn’t have to cover the whole footprint of the tank? And is there a certain amount of calcium and vitamin d or just sprinkle some?
 

angelcraze

So the heater doesn’t have to cover the whole footprint of the tank? And is there a certain amount of calcium and vitamin d or just sprinkle some?
Yeah so you need a cold side as well as a warm side and moist hide. The gecko will move to the area it needs atm. If he gets too hot, he'll move to the cold side, and vice versa of he's cold.

I just use the same bag to shake&bake my crickets. I sprinkle some new stuff in and shake until they look white or white-ish.

I've had the same tub of calcium for like 10 years lol!

Have you looked up any info? Disclaimer, i'm probably out of date since the last time I researched them was 15 years ago lol!
 

FishWithTim

Yes I’ve been doing research, I’m just overthinking it a bit. Chances are I’m probably not getting one now because my parents don’t want crickets in the house. Thanks anyway.
 

angelcraze

Well you could feed him worms and Repashy gel food. The 'Grub Pie' formula is a good choice. I can't really get my geckos to eat Repashy at this point because they are not used to it, but maybe you could train the baby easier. I know I will be training any new leos on Repashy because pinhead crickets are so pricey to get. But I think my leos are to old to breed now. Not sure how long they will live, but they can live up to 30 years in captivity! Not a common age to reach, just saying, they can live a long time!
 

Princethepurplebetta

I keep my leos in 40 gallon tanks The heat pad should only cover a third or half the bottom of the tank. I use a reptile rock cave with moss as my moist hide. For feeding my geckos will only eat giant mealworms, I just toss them into a ceramic dish with calcium.

Id recommend watching Leopard Gecko's youtube chanel for more infor on leos, she has amazing informational videos

My tank atm:
You must be registered to see images
 

Prism

The calcium should just be lightly sprinkled on the insects that you are feeding, not in a bowl.
I just have a Ziploc Container I put the crickets in, sprinkle some in and lightly shake it around.

Most problems with a 29 gallon that was made for fish is that it is really tall, and not long or wide which leopard geckos prefer long, and wide.
Leopard Geckos are one of the only geckos without sticky pads on their feet, making it very hard to climb, so they don't usually climb.

Of course they will hang around on hammocks, rocks, or sturdy plants if they can manage to climb it, but usually they will stay low.

If kept in good hospitality they should be fine being kept on dirt. I have been keeping mine on Eco-Earth for 2years now with no problems. She has at least eaten 5-8mouths full of dirt, and had no problem with constipation.

Leopard Geckos enjoy an arrangement of foods, worms, crickets, but I would stick to crickets mainly, and if you can feed worms 2-4times a week, or keep a bowl of them dusted with calcium in the tank.
Remember, if the worms/crickets are not living the gecko will most likely turn them down.

I cover 60% of the bottom of the tank with a heatpad, and a Heat bulb to keep her warm in the cold nights and days. If not properly heated with the pads, it will make it very hard to digest the food that it has eaten, which shouldn't be a problem if you have a decent pad.

I would recommend also buying a heat controller, I have an Inkbird, and it keeps the temperature of the heatpad at the desired point. Make sure while using one of these, put the thermometer on top of the substrate, so it will measure correctly, and I set mine around 91F max, and 89F low.

Stay away from wax worms because they are very fatty, and addicting, like chocolate, and your gecko might turn down other foods after having them. Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions.
Here are some pictures of my enclosure
 

FishWithTim

Thanks again for the amazing replies! So with my parents not wanting crickets and them being on the pricey side, it's reassuring to know that I can still have a gecko now. My stepdad apparently doesn't like crickets. So if I was to just feed mealworms I would be ok? I will be checking out Leopard Gecko's channel as soon as I can.
 

angelcraze

Thanks again for the amazing replies! So with my parents not wanting crickets and them being on the pricey side, it's reassuring to know that I can still have a gecko now. My stepdad apparently doesn't like crickets. So if I was to just feed mealworms I would be ok? I will be checking out Leopard Gecko's channel as soon as I can.
Maybe some different (a variety of worms) and try the Repashy?
 

Prism

Crickets aren't that pricey around here, but I do understand people not liking them.
Try to feed superworms, mealworms, and maybe once (s)he is big enough a hornworm as a source of protein once a week.

For me crickets are 11cents per cricket, and we buy around 60-100 of them, because she eats around 8-12 crickets per meal.
Remember also, have 3hides for your leopard gecko, cool, hot, and moist. Make sure the hot hide does not have a bottom, so a half log hide would work well, and it is over the heat pad.
I personally dampen a rag with warm water and put it in the moist hide, because moss is a little too messy.
The cool hide should be kept in the corner farthest away from the heat pads.

Like mentioned above, make sure your gecko is getting the correct vitamins, and calcium and Repashy is a great source of nutrients, but can be tricky to get them to like it, but with worms it is easier, than with crickets.
I currently am feeding Repashy Grub Pie, and I dust the crickets with a light calcium.

Also, make sure to gut-load any of the insects before feeding them, with a variety of vegetables, and fruits, or anything healthy. I usually feed my insects the butts, or scraps of the veggies we use for meals.
For the water I use Water Storing Crystals that I bought from Home Depot.
 

Africandwarffrogfan

I don't recommend getting a pair
 

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