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LEOPARD GECKO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS






Does my Leopard Gecko need a UV light?

No, your leopard gecko does not need any type of UV/UVB lighting. Leopard Geckos are crepuscular, so try to avoid using bright white lights during the day, as they are stressful for your gecko.

My Leopard Gecko has stopped eating. What do I do?

Ideally, when leopard geckos stop eating, it is generally environment issues. Ensure your warm side of the tank (under the UTH) is approx. 89 to 91 degrees and the cool side of the tank should be room temperature (approx.72 degrees). If you have a smaller tank, it might be hard to get a cooler temperature on the cool side and this might be another reason your gecko has stopped eating. If your gecko is too hot or too cool, this would lead to a loss of appetite.

My Leopard Gecko has lost its tail. What do I do?

There is nothing much you can do. Remove the piece of tail from the enclosure and try to provide the gecko with her own space. She will look after herself in regards to cleaning but you will need to make sure her substrate is as clean as possible. The tail should regenerate itself within 4 to 6 weeks. If you suspect any type of infection around the tail area, please speak to a local reptile vet for further directions.

How do I tell if my new baby Leopard Gecko is male or female?

Baby leopard geckos are nearly impossible to sex. The only way to find out would be to ask the breeder what temperature it was incubated at. Leopard gecko gender can be manipulated during egg incubation by temperature control. Eggs incubated at between 79-84 degrees generally produce females; at between 86-90 degrees males are produced. Eggs incubated at 85 degrees may produce a mixture of male and females. If the breeder or local pet store does not know the gender, you would need to wait until the gecko matures a little (approx. 6 months old) to be able to sex them. Below is a picture of the difference between a male and female. See also Temperature Sexing below.

http://www.reptilecare.com/LGsexing.jpg

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How can I tell if my gecko is shedding?

As your leopard gecko gets older, it will shed the old skin and make new skin. This is a very natural process for most reptiles. It is very easy to tell if your gecko is going to shed. Usually within a day of shedding, you will find your gecko to be very faded and almost white looking. This is the tall tail sign that when you check on him tomorrow, he will be a lot brighter than before.

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What should my temperatures be in the tank?

You will need to try your best to provide your gecko with a “temperature variant”. This means you are going to want a warm side and a cool side to allow your gecko to warm up and cool down as they require. The best way to do this would be a Under Tank Heater (UTH). These, in conjunction with a thermostat, will provide the heat required for the warm side.

The ideal temperature under the warm hide is 88 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. The ambient air temperature of the room they are housed in should be above 72 degrees.






How often should I be feeding my leopard gecko?

Juveniles should be fed once a day and adults should be fed every other day.

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Do leopard geckos drink water?

Yes leopard geckos do drink water. There should always be a fresh clean bowl of water available to your gecko at all times. If your gecko is very small, it is always best to use a flat shallow bowl (ie Gatorade cap) for your water source so there is no chance your gecko could drown.

Should I be feeding my leopard gecko calcium/vitamins?

Yes you should. The easiest way to to provide vitamins and calcium for your leopard geckos is to mix 50/50 calcium and reptile viatmins into a container and then fill a small dish (I use the lids from Gatorade bottles), and place those in the terrarium or gecko tanks. The geckos will readily eat the vitamin powder when they need it. Allternatively, you could start a routine during your feeding that includes dusting your feeders (meal worms, crickets, etc.) with calcium powder and a vitamin supplement. This will ensure your geckos are getting the supplements required. Another important note would be to ensure you “gut load” your feeders to ensure your reptile gets the most nutritional value out of their food (please see the care sheet for further instructions on gut loading). - Gut loading is basically feeding your worms 24 hours before they are themselves fed to your leopard geckos. That way your geckos are eating food that is, itself, full of nutrients.

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How big of a tank should I be using?

A 10 gallon (10”x20”) would be sufficient enough for one adult leopard gecko. A highly recommended size would be a 20 gallon long (30”x12”x12”) which would give your gecko more of a living space and yet still allow the food, water and head be close at hand. An important part of providing for your leopard gecko is giving them a choice of temperatures to live in. By using a longer tank, you can place a hot light and heating pad on one side and let the other end of the tank remain cool. This way the gecko can choose where along that temperature gradient is best and most comfortable.






What should I be using as a substrate?

Some substrates you can use include artificial turf, paper toweling, slate tile, newsprint or cloth towels. I would tend to stay away from sand (especially with hatchlings and jeuveniles). Geckos love to taste their environments and can often be seen walking around licking things. They will eat dirt and sand when they need minerals, (which is why we place dishes of vitamIn powder and calcium in their tanks). Sand has been known to cause impaction if ingested while feeding (or tasting). There are some other products out there that can be used to give you a more natural feel like Zoo Med's Excavator Clay Burrowing Substrate! and Coco Fibre.

Uromastyx shown on "Excavator" Substrate from Zoo Med which can be sculpted prior to drying.

How long do leopard geckos live?

When you purchase your leopard gecko, be prepared for a long commitment to that animal. The average life span of a Leopard Gecko in captivity is 15 to 20 years. There are some leopard geckos that have been known to live up to 30 years in captivity.

What should I put in my leopard geckos enclosure?

Most people love to decorate their tanks with what THEY think the leopard gecko would want but in reality, the less is better. You do need to provide your Leo with a few hiding places and something to climb on. Your hiding places can vary from the Exo Terra caves to rocks stacked up to something as simple as a margarine container flipped upside down. The simpler your décor, the easier it will be to clean it up.

Will my baby leopard gecko retain the same colors?

No. All hatchlings will eventually change their colors as they shed and mature into adults. The degree of change will depend on the individual animals.

Can I keep multiple leopard geckos together?

Yes, housing multiple leopard geckos is possible. You must first ensure the ones you are housing are all females. If there is a male involved with a few females, then you will be expecting eggs soon. If you house 2 males together then there is a very good chance they will fight and one may end up killing the other one. Generally speaking, females usually can live together with little conflicts.

You will also need to be aware of any size differences among the females. Try to ensure that they are all relatively the same size. Last, you want to make sure they are all getting to the food, water and heat as needed. If you find that one of your females in the colony is losing weight, you will want to separate her from the rest and get her back up to her weight.

If I think my gecko is sick, what should I do?

This is a very common question that people ask…………..What do I do if I think my gecko is sick?? Well, the first thing you will want to do is make sure your husbandry is correct (warm side, and cool side). If you think you are doing everything right then the best bet would be to contact your local reptile vet.

You can spend lots of time on the internet trying to figure out what is wrong with your animal and try to self-diagnose it yourself or you could do your animal the favor and take he/she to the vet and be checked out by a professional. This would be my recommendation!!

What are Giant Leopard Gecko’s and Super Giant Leopard Gecko’s?

Giants and super giants are genetically predisposed to become large in size. These giant-sized leopard geckos have two classes called Giant and Super Giant. Giant: Males reach 80-110 grams and females 60-90 grams by one year of age as typically seen in the heterozygous state. The largest Giants are called Super Giants: Males are over 110 grams and females over 90 grams by one year of age as typically seen in the homozygous condition. They can be any pattern or color. Unless both parents are known Super Giants there are no visible ways to tell a Giant from a Super Giant until 10-12 months of age.

Super Giant X Super Giant = 100% Super Giant
Super Giant X Giant = 50% Super Giant / 50% Giant
Super Giant X Normal = 100% Giant
Giant X Giant = 25% Super Giant, 50% Giant, 25% Normal
Giant X Normal = 50% Giant / 50% Normal




What does “50% chance of Super Giant” mean?

It means that that particular gecko has a 50% chance (one in two) of carrying the Super Giant gene.

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What are “hets”?

It is a slang term for the word heterozygous. A "het" outwardly looks like a normal example of a given species, but genetically carries one or more less dominant (or recessive) traits, such as being albinistic or striped patterned.






What does "Dominant Recessive" mean?

This term is applied to a recessive genetic characteristic (like being an albino) that when bred to itself only produces offspring that resemble itself. For example, when you breed an albino with another albino you will get only albino offspring.





What is "Temperature Sexing", and how accurate is it?

Leopard gecko gender is determined by the temperature of the eggs during incubation. Leopard gecko breeders are able to produce specific genders of leopard geckos by incubating the eggs at specific temperatures. This process has an accuracy rate of 99%, meaning that if a leopard gecko is being sold as "Temperature Sexed for Female", then there's in a 99% chance it will be female. Therefore, we cannot guareantee 100% that our hatchling and juvenile leopard geckos will be either female or male. There is still a 1% chance that it will be the opposite sex.