Newest Review: ... they can not eat vegetables or anything dead unless you wiggle it in front of them. The most popular food for Leopard Geckos is cr... more
The Amazing Leopard Gecko!
Member Name: DanielBebb
Advantages: Clean, Don't Require Much Space, Beautiful, Fun
Disadvantages: Initial set up cost is high and not one for those who don't like bugs!
I must admit that before I actually got a leopard gecko, I had never even seen or heard of one. They are not that big and are quite innocuous at first glance. It didn't seem the sort of reptile that would make you or your friends go 'wow'. How wrong I was.
I fell in love my first leopard gecko and have found them to be one of the most rewarding and easiest of reptiles to keep. 90% of leopard geckos sold are now captive bred and not wild caught as many people assume that they are 'wild'.
I got my first leopard gecko as a surprise present and it was a female which was just over three months old and had a beautiful yellow and purple pattern on her back. She was only around 4 inches back then and has since grown to 9 inches which is her full adult size (males can go up upwards of 11"). Leopard geckos are striking reptiles to look at and are expert hunters (when they hunt their tail wiggles through excitement). They are a very interesting pet to watch as they have a range of different behaviours. They don't require much space either which is a huge plus and they also have a couple of other benefits. They don't smell and are extremely clean animals. Everytime they go to the loo - they go in the same place making it quick and easy for you to clean up.
Leopard geckos also don't require a great deal of space to flourish either. They are a ground dwelling species of gecko so require more width than height. A 45" x 45" vivarium is more than enough room to house one or two adult leopard geckos very happily. this can be a glass vivarium or a plastic one. I prefer a glass vivarium as I find it keep the heat better. The temperature in the vivarium will not go higher than around 85c to 90c in the hot side (leopard geckos like a hot side and a cool side so they can regulate their body temperatures).
One thing that I think is essential is that you hold your leopard gecko as it builds up a huge degree of trust. I have always held 'Gwen' (that's her name) and this has resulted in her to actually enjoy being stoked and handled. Sometimes even crawling into my hand and going to sleep. She also sleeps in a hollowed out rock in full view if I'm in the room for a few hours, as I think she likes a bit of company. Leopard geckos are smooth to the touch and easy to tame after a few weeks of consistent handling.
The most expensive aspect of keeping a leopard gecko is the initial equipment that you need to set up. It costs over £100 for a good vivarium and all the equipment that goes in it. Which sounds a lot but in the long term it works out around the same (if not cheaper) than having a dog or a cat.
Here is a basic list of what you will require in order to get a leopard gecko:
2. Substrate (Not sand as this can cause impaction, use paper towels)
4. Live food
5. Calcium supplement
6. Humid hide
7. Water bowl
8. Heat pad
The only drawbacks to having a leopard gecko is that you may be uncomfortable with feeding them the live food and they only generally come out at night (well most of the time). The initial cost is also a factor to consider too as it is quite high.
If you're interested in getting leopard gecko then there is a lot of literature available. Be careful what you buy however as a lot of books are written from a leopard gecko breeders point of view and I have found myself at odds with what they say in some aspects. The 'for dummies' leopard gecko book is the best I have read about these amazing reptiles.
Overall the leopard gecko is an ideal reptile pet both for novice and advanced reptile keepers. They are also long lived animals - anywhere from 10 to maybe even 40 years according to some stories. the avaerage lifespan of a gecko is around 16 years if card for properly. They are child friendly and can become part of the family as they each have their own personalities. Leopard geckos will both amuse and intrigue you for hours.
Summary: A beautiful pet that will bring joy to your home
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