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Leopard Gecko Q&A

leopard gecko q&a


Q: What do Leopard geckos eat?

A: Leopard geckos are primarily insectivores, which means their diet consists mainly of insects. Common choices include crickets, mealworms, waxworms, and superworms.

Q: My Leopard gecko is not eating. What do I do?

A: There could be various reasons why your gecko isn’t eating, such as stress, shedding, or illness. Ensure their habitat is set up correctly with the right temperature and lighting. If they still don’t eat after making adjustments, consult a veterinarian experienced with reptiles.

Q: What size cricket or mealworm will my Leopard gecko eat?

A: Generally, the insect should be no larger than the space between the gecko’s eyes. This prevents the risk of impaction.

Q: What is a balanced diet for a Leopard gecko?

A: A balanced diet for Leopard geckos primarily includes a variety of gut-loaded insects (feeding the insects nutritious food before offering them to the gecko). Additionally, calcium and vitamin D3 supplements should be provided, especially for younger and egg-laying females.

Q: Can Leopard geckos eat fruits and vegetables?

A: Leopard geckos are insectivores and do not naturally consume fruits and vegetables. However, the insects they eat should be gut-loaded with vegetable matter for maximum nutrition.

Q: How often should I feed my Leopard gecko?

A: Young Leopard geckos should be fed daily, while adults can be fed every other day. Ensure to provide a few appropriately sized insects in each feeding session.

Q: Are there specific insects to avoid feeding my Leopard gecko?

A: Avoid feeding insects that have been caught from areas treated with pesticides. Additionally, some insects like fireflies are toxic to geckos.

Q: Do Leopard geckos need supplements with their diet?

A: Yes, to prevent nutritional deficiencies, sprinkle their food with calcium and vitamin D3 supplements. This is especially crucial for growing geckos and breeding females.

Q: How do I provide water for my Leopard gecko?

A: Always ensure there’s a shallow dish of fresh water available in their enclosure. The dish should be stable and shallow to prevent drowning.

Q: Is it safe to feed wild-caught insects to Leopard geckos?

A: It’s generally not recommended as wild insects might carry parasites or might have been exposed to pesticides, which can be harmful.

Q: Can I feed my Leopard gecko pinky mice?

A: While not a staple in their diet, adult Leopard geckos can occasionally be given a pinky mouse as a treat. Ensure it’s not a frequent addition to their diet.

Q: How do I ensure the insects I feed my Leopard gecko are nutritious?

A: Gut-loading is the process of feeding insects nutritious foods before offering them to the gecko. This ensures the gecko receives maximum nutrition from its food.

Q: Should I gut-load the insects before feeding them to my Leopard gecko?

A: Absolutely! Gut-loading ensures the insects are as nutritious as possible, which in turn benefits your Leopard gecko.

Q: What are signs of nutritional deficiencies in Leopard geckos?

A: Signs might include weakness, lack of appetite, difficulty shedding, and in severe cases, metabolic bone disease, which causes soft, easily fractured bones.

Q: Can Leopard geckos overeat? How can I prevent obesity in my pet?

A: Yes, like many pets, they can overeat if given the chance. It’s essential to feed them the appropriate amount and monitor their weight and health. Avoid fatty treats like waxworms as a regular diet item.

Q: Are there any specific foods that are toxic to Leopard geckos?

A: Fireflies are known to be toxic. It’s also essential to ensure that any insect they consume hasn’t been exposed to pesticides.

leopard gecko


Q: What is the ideal habitat for a leopard gecko?

A: The ideal habitat for a leopard gecko is a well-ventilated terrarium that replicates their natural desert environment. This includes a dry environment with appropriate heating, hiding spots, and substrate that is safe for them to walk on.

Q: How big should a leopard gecko tank be?

A: For an adult leopard gecko, a 20-gallon tank is typically recommended. Juveniles can be housed in a 10-gallon tank, but they’ll need to be moved to a larger space as they grow.

Q: What type of substrate is best for leopard geckos?

A: Reptile carpet, newspaper, or paper towels are the safest substrates. Loose substrates like sand or wood shavings can be ingested and lead to impaction.

Q: Do leopard geckos need UVB lighting?

A: While leopard geckos can live without UVB lighting due to their nocturnal nature, providing a low level of UVB can be beneficial for their overall health and bone strength.

Q: What temperature should a leopard gecko tank be?

A: The warm side of the tank should be between 88°F to 92°F, while the cooler side should be between 75°F to 80°F.

Q: How often should I clean my leopard gecko’s terrarium?

A: Spot clean the terrarium daily for waste and completely clean and disinfect the habitat once a month.

Q: Do leopard geckos need a heat mat or lamp?

A: Yes, they need a heat source. A heat mat placed under the tank is commonly used, but overhead ceramic heat emitters can also be effective.

Q: What kind of decorations or hides should be in a leopard gecko’s tank?

A: They should have at least two hides (one on the warm side and one on the cooler side), some rocks or logs for climbing, and artificial plants for decoration.

Q: How do I set up a moist hide for my leopard gecko?

A: A moist hide aids in shedding. Use a container with an entrance hole and fill it with moist sphagnum moss or paper towels.

Q: How important is humidity for a leopard gecko?

A: Leopard geckos thrive in a relatively low humidity environment of around 20-40%. The moist hide will provide localized humidity to aid in shedding.

Q: Do leopard geckos need a basking spot?

A: Yes, they benefit from a basking spot where they can absorb heat, typically provided by the heat mat or lamp on the warmer side of the terrarium.

Q: How to provide proper ventilation for a leopard gecko enclosure?

A: Most commercial reptile tanks come with mesh tops, which provide ample ventilation. Ensure the mesh isn’t blocked by any lamps or decorations.

Q: Can I house multiple leopard geckos together?

A: Females can be housed together, but males may fight. Never house a male and female together unless breeding is intended.

Q: How to set up a bioactive terrarium for leopard geckos?

A: A bioactive setup includes live plants, beneficial microorganisms, and cleanup crews (like isopods). Ensure plants and substrates are safe for the gecko and maintain proper humidity and temperature.

Q: Are live plants safe for leopard gecko habitats?

A: Yes, as long as they are non-toxic and free of pesticides. Ensure the plants can thrive in the terrarium’s desert-like conditions.

Q: Can I use sand as a substrate for leopard geckos?

A: Sand, especially calcium sand, is not recommended as it can lead to impaction if ingested.

Q: What are the risks associated with using loose substrates for leopard geckos?

A: Loose substrates, when ingested, can lead to impaction, a potentially life-threatening blockage in the intestines.

Q: Do leopard geckos need a water dish in their enclosure?

A: Yes, they should always have access to fresh water in a shallow dish.

Q: How do I maintain the right humidity level in my leopard gecko’s habitat?

A: Monitor with a hygrometer. If it’s too dry, misting or a larger water dish can help. If too humid, increase ventilation.

Q: What type of tank or enclosure material is best for leopard geckos?

A: Glass tanks with mesh tops are commonly used due to their easy availability, good ventilation, and ability to maintain appropriate temperature gradients.

leopard gecko questions and answers


Q: Why is my leopard gecko licking everything?

A: Leopard geckos often lick their surroundings to explore and get a sense of their environment. Their tongues help them gather information about textures, tastes, and possible threats or food sources.

Q: Is it normal for leopard geckos to shed?

A: Yes, it’s entirely normal. Leopard geckos, like other reptiles, shed their skin regularly as they grow. The frequency of shedding depends on their age, with younger geckos shedding more often.

Q: Why is my leopard gecko hiding all the time?

A: Leopard geckos are crepuscular, meaning they’re most active during dawn and dusk. They naturally seek out hiding places during the day to avoid predators and rest. Ensure they have appropriate hiding spots in their enclosure for comfort.

Q: Why won’t my leopard gecko eat?

A: Several factors can influence a gecko’s appetite: stress, shedding, incorrect temperatures in the enclosure, illness, or even the type of prey offered. It’s essential to check their habitat conditions and consult a vet if the behavior continues.

Q: How do leopard geckos communicate?

A: Leopard geckos use a combination of body language, vocalizations, and pheromones to communicate. Common behaviors include tail waving, head bobbing, and chirping sounds.

Q: Why is my leopard gecko wagging its tail?

A: Tail wagging can signify various emotions. A slow wag can indicate curiosity, while a fast and aggressive wag might be a sign of irritation or a warning.

Q: Do leopard geckos recognize their owners?

A: While they may not “recognize” in the way mammals do, leopard geckos can become familiar with their owner’s presence, especially if associated with positive experiences like feeding.

Q: Can leopard geckos be handled?

A: Yes, with care. Start with short sessions and always handle them gently, letting them walk from hand to hand.

Q: Are leopard geckos nocturnal?

A: They are crepuscular, meaning they’re most active during the twilight hours of dawn and dusk.

Q: Why is my leopard gecko digging in its tank?

A: Digging can be a natural behavior, especially in females who might be looking for a place to lay eggs. It can also be a sign they’re trying to regulate their body temperature or that they’re uncomfortable with the substrate.

Q: Is it normal for leopard geckos to lose their tail?

A: Yes, they have a defense mechanism called “caudal autotomy,” where they drop their tail to distract predators. The tail will regrow, but it might look different.

Q: Do leopard geckos need company or can they live alone?

A: Leopard geckos are solitary animals and do fine on their own. Housing them together can lead to stress or aggression, especially between two males.

Q: Why does my leopard gecko squeak or chirp?

A: Vocalizations like these can be signs of distress, discomfort, or a warning to other geckos. It’s crucial to check for any potential stressors in their environment.

Q: How often do leopard geckos shed their skin?

A: Younger geckos shed more frequently, sometimes every week, while adults might shed every 4-6 weeks.

Q: Can leopard geckos see in the dark?

A: Their eyes are adapted to low light conditions of dawn and dusk, giving them excellent night vision.

Q: Why does my leopard gecko keep climbing the glass?

A: This behavior, known as “glass surfing,” can indicate stress, discomfort, or curiosity. Ensure their habitat meets their needs in terms of space, temperature, and enrichment.

Q: Is my leopard gecko stressed?

A: Signs of stress include lack of appetite, excessive hiding, glass surfing, and aggressive behavior. Ensure their environment is optimal, and consult a vet if necessary.

Q: Why are my leopard geckos fighting?

A: Leopard geckos can be territorial, especially males. If housed together, they might fight for dominance. It’s generally best to separate aggressive geckos to prevent injury.

Health and Wellness

Q: How can I tell if my leopard gecko is sick?

A: Signs that your leopard gecko might be sick include a lack of appetite, lethargy, irregular bowel movements, cloudy eyes, difficulty shedding, weight loss, or visible wounds. A change in behavior or appearance can often be the first clue that something is wrong.

Q: Why is my leopard gecko not eating?

A: Several reasons can contribute to a leopard gecko not eating, including illness, stress, improper habitat conditions, or shedding. If your gecko refuses food for an extended period, consult with a veterinarian.

Q: Is it normal for leopard geckos to shed their skin?

A: Yes, leopard geckos periodically shed their skin as they grow. Providing a moist hide can facilitate the shedding process.

Q: How do I care for a leopard gecko with metabolic bone disease (MBD)?

A: MBD is often caused by a lack of calcium or improper lighting. Ensure your gecko gets adequate calcium supplements and UVB lighting. Consult a vet for specific treatments and adjustments to your gecko’s care.

Q: What causes a leopard gecko’s tail to become thin?

A: A thin tail can be a sign of malnutrition or illness, as leopard geckos store fat in their tails. Ensuring a proper diet and regular feeding can help.

Q: Why does my leopard gecko have a white, chalky poop?

A: The white, chalky part of the poop is urate (similar to urine in mammals). It’s normal, but if it changes significantly in consistency or color, it could be a sign of dehydration or other issues.

Q: How often should I bring my leopard gecko to the vet?

A: It’s good practice to have an initial vet visit upon acquiring a new leopard gecko and then annual check-ups. However, if you notice any signs of illness or distress, you should consult a vet immediately.

Q: Can leopard geckos get parasites, and how are they treated?

A: Yes, like many reptiles, leopard geckos can get internal parasites. They are typically treated with specific anti-parasitic medications prescribed by a vet.

Q: Why is my leopard gecko’s eye cloudy or shut?

A: This could be due to an infection, injury, or a problematic shed. Ensure their habitat is clean, and consult with a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis.

Q: Is it normal for leopard geckos to drop their tails?

A: Leopard geckos can drop their tails as a defense mechanism when threatened. The tail will regrow, but it might not look the same as before. Ensure the gecko’s environment is stress-free and monitor the tail stump for infections.

Q: Why is my leopard gecko’s belly dark?

A: A dark belly can be a sign that your gecko is absorbing heat. However, if it remains dark for an extended period, it could be a sign of stress or illness.

Q: How do I treat cuts or wounds on my leopard gecko?

A: Keep the wound clean and the habitat sanitary. For minor cuts, you can use a reptile-safe antiseptic. For deeper wounds or if signs of infection appear, consult a veterinarian.

Q: Can leopard geckos get respiratory infections?

A: Yes, symptoms include wheezing, mucus around the nose and mouth, and difficulty breathing. Such infections often result from incorrect humidity levels. If you suspect a respiratory infection, seek veterinary care.

Q: What are the signs of impaction in leopard geckos?

A: Impaction occurs when a gecko ingests something it cannot digest, like sand or a large insect. Symptoms include a swollen belly, lack of appetite, and no bowel movements. If you suspect impaction, consult a vet immediately.

Q: Why are my leopard gecko’s toes black or falling off?

A: This is often due to shedding problems where the old skin restricts blood flow to the toes. Always ensure a moist hide is available during shedding and monitor the process.

Q: How do I know if my leopard gecko is dehydrated?

A: Signs of dehydration include sunken eyes, loss of skin elasticity, and a thin tail. Ensure they have constant access to fresh water and consider misting their enclosure lightly.

Q: What kind of supplements do leopard geckos need?

A: Leopard geckos benefit from calcium and vitamin D3 supplements to support bone health. These can be dusted on their food.

Q: Why is my leopard gecko acting lethargic or sleepy?

A: While it’s normal for leopard geckos to be less active during the day, prolonged lethargy can be a sign of illness, incorrect temperatures, or impaction. Monitoring their behavior and habitat conditions is crucial.

Q: Is it normal for a female leopard gecko to lay eggs without mating?

A: Yes, female leopard geckos can lay infertile eggs even without mating. Ensure she has a suitable laying spot in her enclosure.

Q: How can I prevent and treat mites in leopard geckos?

A: Keep the habitat clean and avoid contact with other reptiles that might be infested. If you suspect mites, consult a vet for treatment options.

Pierre And The ReptileCraze Team
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