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When setting up a leopard gecko habitat, it is necessary to meet their unique housing requirements. A leopard gecko must have a specific sized cage. Since geckos naturally live in warm climates, the cage must contain a heater. The substrate used in the leopard gecko habitat must be nonabrasive and easy to clean.
An enclosure for a leopard gecko should be shallow and long. The recommended size for a terrarium is 10 gallons (37.85 liters) for one gecko. Owners with more than one gecko should increase the size of the cage accordingly. Wire cages are not recommended for leopard geckos. The ideal cage for a gecko should be made of glass and have a wire mesh lid to allow ventilation.
The liner or cage carpet found in a leopard gecko habitat is referred to as substrate. Leopard geckos have extremely sensitive skin, so the substrate must not irritate it. Owners who purchase improper substrates increase the risk of their gecko developing an infection, respiratory problems, and toxic reactions. Substrates to avoid include gravel, hardwood chips, and cat litter. A leopard gecko habitat with artificial turf or newspaper as the substrate works well.
Owners should strive to provide a natural setting for a leopard gecko. Adding items usually found outdoors encourages a gecko's natural behavior. Ideal items to add to a leopard gecko habitat are logs and rocks. These provide geckos a place to exercise and climb. Experts recommend researching live plants before adding them to a leopard gecko habitat, as they could be toxic.
Leopard geckos do not produce their own body heat. For this reason, owners must supplement their heat source. The leopard gecko habitat should be monitored for the proper temperature with a thermometer. A portion of the cage should be heated. Leopard geckos will move to cooler or warmer areas of the cage to regulate their body temperature.
A leopard gecko habitat also has specific humidity requirements. The humidity encourages shedding and prevents dehydration. If the humidity level is too high, it can increase the risk of infections. Owners can monitor the humidity in a gecko habitat with a hygrometer. The habitat must also have a box with moss inside to help the gecko shed properly.
Lights are an important part of a leopard gecko's environment. Owners should recreate natural light cycles for the gecko habitat. The amount of light the geckos need depends on the current season. Automatic timers can regulate the lighting schedule and eliminate the need to monitor the lights.