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The 9 Best Habitats For Leopard Geckos

The leopard chameleon is a great reptile pet, especially for first-timers, because it is tame and easy to care for compared to other lizards.

However, you should still provide it with healthy, species-appropriate food. In addition to providing food, water, and shelter for these terrestrial reptiles, you also need to control the temperature and humidity in their environment.

Choosing a suitable terrarium is the first step to providing a suitable habitat and environment.

The aquarium should be big enough to accommodate your kids. Size is important, but this also meets the specific requirements of the gecko; choose the largest option available, as the creeper can never have too much room.

You will need fixtures and fittings that will allow you to provide heating, light, and humidity while also making it easy for you to access and clean the tank, as these floor species prefer floor space over height.

Below you'll find BestForPets (bestforpets.org) summary of the best habitats for leopard geckos we could explore, as well as a selection criteria checklist to help you out. Then narrow down your own options.

Buying Advice

The leopard gecko is a kind of lizard that is found in the tropics and lives on the ground. The distance from their snout to their tail is 10 inches, and they may live up to 20 years.

They are nocturnal, so you won’t see them during the day, and while geckos are often thought of as having sticky fingers that make them very capable climbers, the leopard gecko does not have them and is hence not particularly skilled at climbing.

If you’ve ever wanted a lizard but weren’t sure how to care for one, these guys are your best bet. In addition to being one of the few creatures with eyelids, they also exhibit a number of other unusual traits and habits.

Because of these factors, they make a great pet even if you’ve never had one before.

Things to Consider

If you’re thinking about getting a leopard gecko as a pet, you’ll need to provide it with a proper habitat in addition to meeting its dietary needs.

Their home, which may be called a vivarium, terrarium, or tank, requires the following extras: ultraviolet B (UVB) lighting, heat lamps, heat mats, a suitable substrate, bowls for water and some food, and hides.


That big tank is the terrarium. Both plastic and glass versions exist. It is simpler to offer the living conditions that your small lizard demands with a glass terrarium because of its thermodynamic qualities and since glass is generally considered to be the stronger and longer-lasting alternative. In contrast, glass is more cumbersome to install and remove, more costly, and heavier.

  • Size of a Terrarium

Leopard geckos, unlike many other types of gecko, are more at home in a horizontal than a vertical orientation. As a species, they don’t climb very well, but they may hide in vegetation, under rocks and logs, or in the hides you give.

A ten-gallon tank should be fine for an adolescent leopard gecko. The lizard will need a larger, 20-gallon aquarium once it reaches adulthood.

It may be more cost-effective and convenient to begin with a larger tank than to buy a replacement tank when your gecko reaches adulthood.

Insulating Pad

Your lizard’s terrarium should be designed to provide an environment as close as possible to its native habitat as possible. To relax, your leo lion would choose to snooze on a rock that has been warming itself in the sun.

The use of a heat pad placed beneath the substrate is a suitable stand-in for this.

The heat pad should be heated enough to raise the temperature of the substrate above it, but not so hot that it will burn your gecko’s belly.


Your lizard will spend most of its time on the substrate you set at the bottom of its terrarium, so it’s important to choose this carefully.

Like before, it ought to look like something a gecko may find in the wild. As such, the substrate should be suitable for dry, hot climates like those found in the desert.

Sand is a common choice, but a substrate carpet is more practical since it requires less upkeep and is more manageable.

Light That Is Both UV and UVB

Whether or not leopard geckos need UVB light is a topic of heated discussion.

You may rest assured that your gecko will prosper if you provide him access to a sufficient amount of UVB light. Getting your gecko some UVB light can help it produce vitamin D, which in turn will help it absorb and use the calcium it consumes.

Calcium provides a wide range of physiological advantages, including but not limited to promoting immunological health and ensuring healthy teeth, claws, and bones.

Without ultraviolet B (UVB) illumination, geckos can live long and happy lives, but only if their owners adhere to an extremely strict and difficult diet and feeding schedule.

Utilizing a UVB lamp is both more convenient and more efficient. If you want to establish a UV gradient for your gecko, you should hang the lights high and point them in one direction at the terrarium’s end. This will expose them to a higher concentration of UVB rays.

Dish for Water

The leopard gecko has a low water need and may survive for up to two days without drinking. In addition, a small dish filled with clean water should be kept in their enclosure at all times.

They’ll have plenty of water to drink anytime they want with this much on hand.

One Cover and One Hide

Your reptile can do just that in a hide. If it ever feels frightened or stressed, which we hope won’t happen often, it will retreat into the hide and sleep there.

Even though you may use cardboard boxes to fashion hides for your gecko, you should check for any hazards first.

Logs and other objects, such as planters, can be used to fashion concealing spaces.

As an alternative, you might purchase professional hides and provide both dry and wet options for your pet’s comfort. When your lion-hearted pet becomes too warm, provide a third, cooler hiding for him to retreat to.


This terrarium has to be heated such that one end is significantly hotter than the other. There should be a basking area heated to 93 degrees, with temperatures ranging from around 77 to 83 degrees.

In order to get the air in the tank to the right temperature, you can use heat lamps, and you need also have two good thermometers, one at each end of the tank.

Relative Humidity Indicator

Geographically, leopard geckos are at home in dry, desert climates. In light of this fact, a vivarium with humidity somewhere in the range of 30-40% is ideal for your gecko.

Use a hygrometer or humidity gauge to check the level of moisture in the air. Take out the live plants or reduce the size of the water bowl, which will reduce the quantity of water in the tank, to lower the relative humidity. If you want to increase humidity, do the opposite.


Leopard chameleons are an interesting pet because they require less care than other types of lizards, but you still need to give them a balanced diet, clean water, a safe environment, and a place to hide and dry. sunny.

The Exo Terra Allglass Terrarium is another good option for them, and because it’s made from glass, it’s harder and more durable than plastic alternatives.

But there are plenty of options out there, including PVC and glass, and we found the Zilla Tropical Reptile Terrarium to be a high-quality and affordable option for young leopard geckos.

Reviews and buying guides for BestForPets (bestforpets.org) will shed some light on which environment is the best habitats for leopard geckos.


Top Choice: Zilla Tropical Reptile Terrarium

This simple, low-cost, 10-gallon tank has all you need to give your gecko the proper lighting and temperature. A snake, a gecko, or any other small reptile will do well in this 20″ x 10″ x 12″ aquarium.

The unit contains a blue daylight bulb and heating mat, a carpet base, and temperature and humidity meters. Though a water dish, hide, and plants are seen in the photograph, these are not included with the set.

Maintaining ideal conditions for your lizard’s temperature and humidity is crucial to its well-being. Brumation sluggishness may be induced in your gecko by temperatures only a few degrees below optimal, and shedding their skins can be made more difficult by temps just a few degrees above ideal.

The carpet’s backing is impermeable to scents and cannot be consumed. As an added bonus, it’s far less of a hassle to clean and clear out than other substrates.

The pricing is right, and it comes with all the essentials, but an adult gecko will outgrow its 10-gallon tank quickly, so this setup is better suited to younger geckos.


  • A majority of initial setup necessities are provided.
  • Inexpensive
  • Simple to assemble
  • Instrumentation for measuring temperature and humidity is included.


  • Neither a water dish nor a hiding place are included.
  • Adult geckos can’t fit here


Best Price on the Exo Terra Allglass Terrarium

A 12-inch cube indicates that this tank holds somewhere about 7.5 gallons of liquid. At about 12 months of age, a leopard gecko will outgrow this and require a larger, more spacious tank.

The tank’s elevated base makes installing a substrate heater simple. The vivarium’s front-hinged glass doors and transparent construction make it simple to tend to its routine maintenance.

In comparison to the Zilla above, this is more costly despite its smaller size since it is constructed of glass, which is more durable, simpler to clean, and better maintains heat. A far superior material to any other option.

The Exo Terra Allglass Terrarium is one of the most affordable and high-quality options for housing a leopard gecko.

Though the tank itself is provided, you are just given a rock backdrop and must buy the rest of the equipment like as lights, heaters, bowls, and substrate separately.

The terrarium itself is of high quality, but you are missing several essential accessories, and there have been reports of tiny reptiles escaping via the vents at the back of the tank.


  • Containment system made of glass
  • A solid, watertight foundation
  • Much less expensive than comparable glass options


  • For infants above the age of 12 months, this is an insufficient size.
  • Not as cheap as plastic
  • Escape is made possible through vents.


The REPTI ZOO Glass Reptile Terrarium is the Best Option

At 36″ x 18″ x 24″, the Repti Zoo Reptile Glass Terrarium is significantly bigger than its predecessors. Leos should pick the horizontal layout since it provides greater room to move about.

It’s a pricey tank that must be assembled from cardboard boxes. There will be some assembly necessary, but it’s simple to accomplish and, since it’s delivered in a flat box, there’s less of a risk that you’ll find shattered panes of glass within.

The terrarium features many apertures and safe vents, as well as an elevated, waterproof foundation. Sealable vents for wires and cables are included, and the top front piece of the tank can be opened and closed for easy cleaning.

Although it’s clear that this tank is more expensive than the first two, it’s worth noting that at 30 gallons, it’s large enough to house a fully grown gecko without being too cramped.

There are some flaws with the tank, such as the doors and the seals for the wire holes not aligning or fitting quite correctly, but it is a fair size, is easy to get into and clean, and the glass is of great quality, so it is worth the price.


  • All-Ages 30-Gallon Tank
  • Geckos that are a leopard’s size
  • Two-leaf door hinge


  • Expensive
  • A few pieces aren’t fitting together


Air Screen Reptile Habitat R-Zilla SRZ100011868


Tanks of around 18″ x 12″ x 20″ are the bare minimum dimensions for a gecko habitat. The manufacturer guarantees that this product, which has an aluminum frame and a black screen mesh, cannot be opened from the outside.

In order to fulfill its purpose of providing residents with access to clean air, it will require careful regulation of temperature and humidity levels (unless you happen to be located in a tropical area).

You can provide your gecko with the right heating and living circumstances by misting it often throughout the day and providing it with various heat lamps to maintain an acceptable air temperature.

The PVC base makes it resistant to moisture but not waterproof. A cable access point lets you plug in accessories without worrying about your reptile escaping. It’s simple to put together, but it’s not the sturdiest terrarium out there, so most gecko owners will have trouble maintaining adequate temperatures and humidity levels.

The R-Zilla is almost big enough to pass as an adult gecko, but it would be preferable if it were a little bigger.


  • Super simple to set up
  • Lightweight
  • Provides a Home with Fresh Air


  • Flimsy
  • Hard to warm up


To Begin Your Journey With Your New Exo Terra Leopard Gecko, You Need This

Exo Terra’s Leopard Gecko Starter Kit is ideal for new owners of baby leopard geckos. Since it’s just a 10-gallon tank, you’ll have to upgrade to a larger one, preferably a 20-gallon one, after your leo reaches roughly a year of age.

The tank is not adequately heated, despite the kit’s assurances to the contrary. A warming pad is included, however it can only warm the floor where you sleep.

Not only is the bulb an LED, but the two together won’t warm the air enough to maintain your gecko in good condition. The tank is durable and simple to maintain because to the sand substrate mat that lines the whole bottom.

Even though a thermometer is a must-have in any gecko terrarium, the package does not contain a humidity gauge despite including the light and heat pad.

Also, you only get one hide instead of the two that are recommended, so you’ll have to buy another bowl to hold water. Even after spending several times as much on additional items as the cost of the beginning kit, you won’t be fully prepared.


  • Essential tools are included in the starter pack.
  • Includes temperature gauge


  • Not enough of the necessary tools were present.
  • Miniature – the first year’s supply alone

Author Image

Dr. Barry Buttler

Dr. Barry Buttler, DVM, MS, DACVIM, is an experienced veterinarian who specializes in the care of small animals, specifically dogs. Dr. Barry K. Buttler is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and holds multiple certifications in small animal emergency medicine and geriatric pet health.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Barry Buttler


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