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Courtenay asked in PetsReptiles · 5 years ago

I am looking at getting a leopard gecko. I want to know what is best for heating/lighting?

I have owned and currently own a chameleon. The heating/lighting is quite simple, day time need the heat and the Uv then night switch to a red/blue lamp with lower watt. But with the gecko , I understand i need a heating mat for at least 1/3 of the cage. I know that I should use a nighttime lamp as well, but how does that work... During the day I would have them both on.. But then at night should i turn off the lamp and keep the pad on? OR do i keep the lamp on and turn off the pad? I know that the cage needs to be cooler at night, and im quite confused about how to go about this dilemma.

5 Answers

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    You just need a heating mat. Not only do you nor need a light, but it will just irritate your gecko. If you decide you want a light get a low wattage red light. You don't need it for heat at all, just so you can look at your gecko when it's dark. Leopard Geckos need heat through their belly for digestion. That's why a heat mat rather than a light is important for heat.

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  • 5 years ago

    My family has had our leopard gecko for a few years and she's been doing great. What we do is put the heating mat on one side of her tank, and put her light on during the day. At night we turn off the light BUT keep the heating mat on.

    This is to ensure that if at night it gets too cold, the gecko is able to move to the heated side to prevent it's body temperature from dropping too low. She moves to either side depending on what she prefers ^-^

    • Ethan5 years agoReport

      well someone should tell u DO NOT USE LIGHTS 4 LEOPARD GECKOS they are nocturnal and it will raise there stress if u want any light use infra-red because they cant tell that there is light

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  • 5 years ago

    you should have a heat mat under the tank because leopard geckos get there heat through their bellies and for lighting infer red is the right one cuz it cant tell there is light light stresses them out because they are nocturnal

    • Aron
      Lv 5
      5 years agoReport

      if you dont think they can see red light put a laser in front of them and see how they react. even though they may not be able to see the color red they are still able to see some type of light.

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  • 5 years ago

    Get within 2 miles of the sun..

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  • 5 years ago

    Here is some information about Leopard Gecko care. It talks about much more than just heating/ lighting:

    Leopard Geckos are small hardy reptiles that come from the middle east countries such as Pakistan and Afghanistan. Many people think that they are very easy to care for. But, that is not always true. They may be easy for one person but for another, they may be hard to take care of. Please remember to do more research about a Leopard Gecko before you get one because I am making this care guide with my own information so just checkout some other websites which will talk more about Leopard Geckos. Here is a supply list of everything that you will need:

    A 10-20 gallon long terrarium (Leopard Geckos need more floor space as they do not have sticky toe pads to climb on glass)

    Reptile Carpet (No matter what people tell you please get reptile carpet or a substrate that is not particle based as particle based substrate such as sand can easily cause impaction in Leopard Geckos)

    2-3 Hideouts (Leopard Geckos like every other reptile, are cold blooded species meaning that they need warmth to survive. So it is important that you provide 2-3 hideouts for your gecko. One of them should be a heated hideout, the other a cooler hideout and the third one should be a moist hideout to aid in shedding.)

    Under Tank Heater (Leopard Geckos rely on belly heat to properly digest, so it is important that you provide an under tank heater for them.)

    Water Dish (Like all reptiles, Leopard Geckos need water and a water dish to survive.)

    2 Thermometers (You will need 2 digital thermometers with a probe to maintain proper temperatures in the tank. You will need 2 thermometers. One for the warm side and one for the cooler side.)

    Crickets (You don't have to feed your Leopard Gecko crickets. You can also feed them Dubia Roaches and mealworms. But, crickets are proven to be the healthiest main food source.)

    Calcium without Vitamin D3 (It is VERY important for Leopard Geckos to get plenty of calcium as without it, they can get Metabolic Bone Disease. You will be keeping this calcium in a small dish in their habitat at all times.)

    Calcium WITH Vitamin D3 (You will need calcium WITH Vitamin D3 also. Not only do most reptiles require plain calcium, but they also need calcium with Vitamin D3. This vitamin is necessary for reptiles but you will only need to powder their prey with this 1-2 a week, as too much of it can be fatal.)

    Multivitamins (You will also need multivitamins as they have many vitamins and minerals which are very needed for your Leo's well being.)

    Prey's Food (You will need to feed your prey, food also because when you first purchase your prey they are not worth anything. Some people call them empty insects. They usually have very little or no nutritional value to your Leopard Gecko so when you feed them they get more vitamins and nutrients. You can purchase your prey's food online or you can feed them fruits and vegetables. If you feed them fruits and vegetables, try to feed them high calcium foods.)


    Climbing Decor. (Most Leopard Geckos usually do not climb, but my Leopard Gecko loves climbing. He especially really enjoys climbing on his driftwood.)

    Cricket Keeper (I put this in the optional because it depends on what kind of food you will be feeding your gecko. If you will be feeding crickets, then you will need to purchase a cricket keeper.)

    Plants (Since Leopard Geckos are desert animals which come from the middle east, you can spruce up the habitat by adding some cacti and desert plants.)

    Mealworm Dish (Once again, this depends on whether you will be feeding your Leopard Gecko mealworms or not.)

    Moss (You can fill your moist hide with moss and spray it to make it moist)

    Spray Bottle (You will probably need a spray bottle but it is optional. You can use the spray bottle to spray the moist hide and the cool end of the habitat. But make sure to use dechlorinated water !)

    Nightlight (I did mention before that geckos need belly heat, but you can also use a nightbulb at night for viewing.)

    Light Dome (You will need a dome for housing your night bulb if you are going to purchase the night bulb for viewing.)

    Here is some more information about Leopard Geckos:

    Tank Size

    When I first purchased my Leopard Gecko, he was only 6 weeks old. So, I kept him in a small 10 gallon enclosure. But, now he is turning into an adult, so a few days ago I purchased him a 20 gallon long tank. Now I see that he is much happier and much more active in a bigger tank. You can keep them in a 10 gallon enclosure throughout their entire lives, but I would definitely recommend you buying a 20 gallon tank for him because he will be much happier. You can also did what I did and purchase him a 10 gallon tank first and then as he grows older, purchase him a 20 gallon enclosure. But, if you would buy the 20 gallon enclosure first, it would definitely save you money.


    Reptile carpet, paper towels, slate, and kitchen rolls are the safest substrates to use in a Leopard Geckos's habitat. Other substrates such as sand, calci sand, walnut shells, and Eco Earth, are small particles that the gecko may get impacted from because he may ingest it while hunting for his prey. Once he gets impacted it is very hard to break down sand in a gecko's small body so usually large impactions become fatal. Many pet stores recommend that you buy calcium sand because it has calcium in it, but actually Leopard Geckos can easily get impacted from these kinds of sand. Also, many are artificially colored which is not safe for your gecko. Besides that, there is actually no real calcium in the sand. Stores just say that to make money on you. Another reason why sand is not a safe substrate is because sand is not even in a Leopard Gecko's natural habitat. When people think of the word desert, they think of a dry area with sand dunes. But, where the Leopard Gecko originated in Afghanistan, there are mostly rocks not sand. So to be on the safe side, stick with reptile carpet and paper towels.


    As the primary food for your Leopard Gecko, crickets and mealworms are the most popular. I give my Leopard gecko crickets because they are more nutritious and healthier than mealworms. Also, mealworms have a harder exoskeleton which sometimes can get impacted in a Leopard Gecko's stomach. Even though crickets need to be kept in a cricket keeper with cricket food cubes, I believe that they are safer to feed your Leo than mealworms are. As treats, Superworms and Waxworms are the best to use. They are both pretty fatty so they cannot be fed as primary food, but they make a very good weekly treat for your Leopard Gecko.


    Calcium is a VERY important part of a Leopard Gecko's diet. Calcium keeps their bones strong and prevents them from getting Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD). Calcium also, helps keep their body healthy. You will need to purchase 2 different types of calcium. Calcium with vitamin D3 and pure Calcium without vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is a very important vitamin and it keeps their body healthy. But, you should only powder their food with calcium with D3 only twice a week and place a small dish of calcium without vitamin D3 in the tank at all times. Also, multivitamins are very important in their diet so just powder their food with multivitamins once a week.


    Hideouts are very important for a Leopard Gecko. In the wild they hide under logs and driftwood. So, in order to mimic their environment, you need to provide hiding areas for them to feel secure in. They need at least 2 hides. They need one hide to be a warm hide in which they will get warm in. They need another hide as a cool side and this one should be placed on the other side of the tank so that they can cool down. Lastly, you will need a moist hide to help them in shedding. The warm hide should be between 85-92°F (29-33°C) , the cool hide should be between 75-80°F (23-26°C), and the moist hide should be around 85°F (29°C).

    Heating/ Lighting

    Heat is very important for Leopard Geckos since in the desert it is pretty warm. Leopard Geckos need belly heat to properly digest so they will not really need a heat lamp during the day. I use a heat lamp during the day in addition to his heat mat. I like when the air temperature is also pretty high in addition to the floor temperature. You can use an Under Tank Heater or a heat mat to maintain a Leopard Gecko's proper belly heat. You should also get a thermostat so that you can monitor how high the temperature on the heat mat is. You will also need a thermometer to check the air temperature of the tank. I recommend a digital thermometer with a probe since they usually give the most accurate readings. For the night, you can keep the heat mat on, or you can use a night bulb for the night. I use an incandescent infrared red bulb which is 60 watts. This night bulb usually heats up too much, too fast so I would get a 40 watt bulb.


    Humidity is also pretty important for Leos. The desert is usually pretty dry so you will need the humidity to be about 20-40%.

    I recommend the brand Rep-Cal for your calciums and the multivitamins. It is a very good brand that most people recommend. They sell both calcium with and without D3. They also sell Herptivite multivitamins. You can purchase their products on Amazon and at most other pet stores.

    Here are some links to other websites that explain more about Leopard Geckos:

    Hope I helped !

    Source(s): I made this myself.
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