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Gecko cages are typically glass or plastic aquariums and terrariums with escape-proof lids and temperature control. These gecko cages can be of any shape or color, but pet care guidelines generally recommend specific sizes, depending on how many geckos will inhabit the habitat. Geckos need sturdy, stable water containers, recreational decorative elements, and structures in which they can hide.
The size of the gecko cage chosen depends entirely on the size of the gecko and the number of geckos being housed. African fat-tailed geckos are 5 to 8 inches (12.7 to 20.32 cm) long, while some giant male leopard geckos are over a foot (30.48 cm) long. One rule of thumb gecko owners use to determine gecko cage size is to allot 10 gallons (37.85 liters) per gecko.
Geckos are able to flatten themselves and fit into very small spaces, so a tight-fitting, wire mesh lid is generally recommended. Mesh is often used to allow for proper ventilation. Some types of gecko cages attach a light source to the lid. A dim light to view the gecko in its habitat can generally be left on at night. Geckos are nocturnal, most active at night; they do not require an ultraviolet light as some reptiles do.
Cold-blooded like all reptiles, the gecko is unable to regulate its own body temperature and must seek warm or cool surface areas. Some gecko cages have heating pads under them to keep temperatures between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 32 degrees Celsius).
Other gecko cages rely on radiant heaters or incandescent lamps for warmth. Heat rocks are usually not recommended, since they can blister the gecko’s delicate skin. It is generally advised that only a portion of the habitat be warmed, so the gecko can find a cooler area if it needs to lower its body temperature.
Some gecko cages include tree branches for the pet reptile to climb on, as well as plastic boxes for them to hide inside. A water dish shallow enough to climb in and out of should be heavy enough not to tip over, since keeping the cage floor dry is important.
Flooring is typically sand, newspaper, or specialized carpet for reptiles. Pea gravel or artificial turf can also be used, and even bare flooring is acceptable in many cases. Geckos reserve a corner for eliminating waste so one area can be left bare for quick clean-up.