If you are looking to take care of a Leopard Gecko, then one of your most important investments will be the terrarium in which you look to home them. Being aware of this fact, I have spent the last couple of weeks researching around to find the best terrariums and what they simply need to have. I would like to share with you my findings here today.
So, what is the best terrarium for a leopard gecko? The best terrarium for leopard geckos are sufficiently large, retain heat and are well ventilated. This ensures sufficient space to roam, add decorations, cohabit, breed, the ability to add decorations along with ensuring their temperature needs and requirements are met. A good sized terrarium for an adult Leopard Gecko is around 40 gallons. The dimensions of this terrarium are close to 36″ x 18″ x 18″.
A Leopard Geckos habitat must be designed in such a way to remain optimal and safe at all times; they are important considerations when making this purchase.
In this buyers guide, we will be covering the basics of a terrarium in the care and health of a leopard gecko and some suggestions on the best ones currently out there on the market.
The 5 Best Terrarium For Leopard Geckos
Here are recommendations that I’ll be covering in greater depth shortly below:
How Big Does A Leopard Gecko Terrarium Need To Be?
Leopard geckos are unique in the fact that they spend the majority of their waking hours on the ground, unlike other species who spend their time climbing.
For this reason, one of your foremost considerations when purchasing a terrarium is ensuring that it has sufficient horizontal space (wide instead of tall).
Anything over 20 gallons is therefore recommend to ensure this satisfies this need.
Even though your leopard gecko is unlikely to attempt to climb the glass wall of the terrarium, it is still important that the closure is secure.
A screen top is generally recommended – and it also comes with the added benefit of ensuring sufficient ventilation and clean air flow for your gecko. Plus, it will prevent things like insects from entering uninvited!
You can also look to place lighting and heating elements on the screen top – which tends to work well.
What To Look For In A Terrarium
I’ve already mentioned some of the aspects you will need to consider in a terrarium, but lets now explore this a bit further.
You can expect your leopard gecko to live up to twenty years in your care, growing to around 10 inches in length during this time.
You must consider their natural environment; one in which is hot with a specific humidity range.
Its also important to consider their way of life; geckos are nocturnal and will spend most of the daylight hours asleep.
For these reasons, your geckos habitat must be set up and optimized in specific ways. Getting the right equipment and planning ahead can make this easier than at first seems.
In a nutshell, here are the elements you need to ensure your geckos terrarium has:
- Sufficiently sized – 10 gallons is considered the minimum size and is often only recommended for juveniles. Adult geckos do better with a terrarium of at least 20 gallons although 40 gallons are preferable.
- Wide in dimension – geckos likes to roam about naturally. The leopard species are also not known for their climbing, so preference should be made on width over height.
- Heat retention – Leopard geckos are native to desert environments. Therefore you need to ensure their habitat is warm at all times. Glass terrariums do best at retaining heat opposed to plastic.
- Has a screen top – which will provide adequate ventilation and quality air flow in and out of the terrarium. These are also considered to be more secure.
With a rough idea of what makes a good terrarium, let us now look at some of the best options on the market.
Of course, these and other factors have been taken into consideration along with price (value for money), average customer review, and the quality of materials used.
Top 5 Picks
REPTI ZOO Reptile Glass Terrarium (Best For Adult Leopard Geckos)
The REPTI ZOO Reptile Glass Terrarium is my recommended and top pick, with a great reputation among many Leopard Gecko Owners. It is very well designed, sturdy, and also very functional.
The dimensions of this enclosure are it 32”x 18”x 18”, making it a large and spacious habitat for your gecko. The measurements also support the fact that leopard geckos do not like to climb and therefore require more width than height.
No space is essentially wasted.
It comes with double hinged doors that you can open separately plus a raised bottom where you can place an under-tank substrate heater.
This bottom and sides of this terrarium and entirely made up of glass – making it entirely waterproof and making cleaning effortless – it is also durable, unlikely to scratch and great for retaining heat.
Reviews are incredibly positive of this terrarium; benefits of note are that feeding and changing substrate can be done quickly and effectively.
The size and separately opening doors make it a standout option.
- Tough screen top to provide ventilation while also allowing UVB penetration
- Extended window ventilation – on the left, right and on top. Each can be opened/closed for wires and/or tubing.
- Easy assemble or take down. Takes around 5 minutes and comes with step by step instructions.
- Free replacement service provided for damaged parts.
2. Exo Terra Glass Terrarium (Runner Up)
Another excellent option is the Exo Terra; which comes in a variety of sizes. The one here, and one most suitable, is the medium wide that has 24”x 18”x 18” dimensions.
Its great if you are looking for something slightly smaller than the REPTI ZOO above while still being sufficiently large.
It is made entirely of glass giving you great visibility, heat retention and ideal for cleaning. Again it has a raised bottom where you can place a heater.
- Front panel has two locking doors that function separately.
- Bottom is waterproof, ideal for containing spills and liquid waste.
- The removable top is wire mesh for durability.
- There are five holes for wires and thermometers that can be closed.
3. Carolina Custom Cages Terrarium
Carolina Cages are notorious for producing high-quality reptile enclosures. This specific terrarium does not disappoint.
For its dimensions, it comes in at 24″x 18″ x 18″ and therefore provides sufficient space with a preference for width.
Customers appear very satisfied with the ease of assembly, along with how durable it is once erected.
Plus, it has a number of specifications making it a great choice; dual hinged doors, a raised base, and a secure screen top.
- Very durable, screen top is very well made.
- Several holes to secure wires.
- Opens and closes easily and is very secure.
- Key latch to hang keys on terrarium.
- Very well packaged during transportation and delivery.
4. Hagen Exo Terra Short All Glass Terrarium
The Hagen Exo Terra is a low, yet very wide terrarium. The dimensions read 35″ x 17″ x11″.
So, these are only really suitable for reptiles which are known not to climb. Leopard geckos therefore fit the bit.
Due to the dimensions, its allows easy access to your gecko; added to the fact that this comes with two front doors that you can open up separately.
- Screen top is split into quadrants (which provides greater stability)
- Front doors can open separately
- Closable inlets for wires and/or tubing
- Waterproof bottom
5. Exo Terra Outback Terrarium
The outback terrarium was designed to naturally mimic a reptiles natural environment. It has a limited-edition 3D hand-painted rock background which helps a gecko to feel more at home.
Again this is another sturdy, durable and all-glass terrarium with a secure screen top providing adequate ventilation.
Plus it also comes with dual hinged front doors making it easy to open and close and minimizing the chance of your gecko escaping when opening!
- Very aesthetically pleasing while being equally functional
- Deep area for substrate and easy access to interior.
Other Important Habitat Elements
Lighting and Heat are two of the most important aspects of gecko care. Geckos cannot regulate their own body temperature so need to use the environment to do so.
When in captivity, they do not have access to the sun or the warm sand of the desert/rocks as they normally would.
Humidity is also important and you need to ensure it is not too high. Being desert reptiles, leopard geckos require a somewhat dry environment to stay healthy.
Humidity should hover around 30%-40%. Thankfully, this should match the humidity of most homes naturally.
While it it is easy to regulate the temperature and humidity levels of your terrarium, you will need to take the appropriate precautions.
Getting the right UVB lighting, heaters, substrate, and then monitory devices like hygrometers will all go a long way to ensuring you provide an optimal environment at all times.
Security is another main concern and the security of the terrarium is essential. Geckos will take the opportunity to escape if presented and they see the opportunity.
Therefore you need to ensure your gecko does not escape while you are away or during any habitat cleaning.
A secure top, well-designed doors, safety locks and sufficiently sized holes make up a secure terrarium.
These are all imperative to ensure your gecko does not take a wonder when you are not looking!
Finding them can be incredibly difficult and they may not survive for long outside of their optimized environment. Therefore keeping them secure in the terrarium at all times is essential.
Tips for Caring for Leopard Geckos
Reaching only 10 inches in length, leopard geckos are not large by any stretch of the imagination. Therefore while they need sufficient space to roam and move around – they do not need as much as other reptiles.
A terrarium between 20-40 gallons is often recommended by reptile experts for adult geckos.
Of course, if you are homing a juvenile, a 10 gallon tank may be suffice during this stage of life. Equally, if you are looking to house more than one gecko in the same habitat, you’ll need as much space as possible.
Here are some essential tips when taking care of leopard geckos:
- Ensure the screen top provides sufficient ventilation and enables you to install UVB lighting and heating lamps
- Under-terrarium heaters should be used to warm the habitat, keeping it around 88 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit at all times.
- Place a low-wattage light bulb at the opposite end to your geckos hide box.
- Lights should be switched on for around 12 hours per day; this will make sure your gecko only comes out during the darkness. Remember geckos are nocturnal!
- Regularly clean the terrarium. Conduct a regular deep clean weekly with more infrequent spot cleans each day.
Selecting the best terrarium for your leopard gecko can be a little confusing at first, but hopefully with the information presented to you hear today, you will now be able to make an informed choice.
Be sure to take a look at each of the options and consider the reviews; in no time you will have a terrarium that is fit for purpose and most suitable for your reptile.
Frequently Asked Questions
How big should a leopard geckos terrarium be? A leopard gecko requires at a minimum, a 10 gallon terrarium. A 15-20 gallon terrarium however is advised – providing sufficient space for them to move and roam around. A larger terrarium will be required if you did want to raise more on than one gecko in the enclosure. Leopard geckos are also ground-dwelling and less likely to climb. The terrarium should therefore be be short and wide as opposed to that’s why a short tall and slim.
What should I put in my leopard geckos terrarium? Leopard geckos need fresh water, food, a place to hide, heat sources, UVB lighting and substrate this is routinely changed. Other items like logs and rocks can make the enclosure more habitable for them.
How do you clean a leopard gecko’s terrarium? Cleaning should be undertaken frequently. Daily spot cleaning – such as changing the water, removing food and removing soiled substrate should be undertaken. Weekly deep cleaning of the terrarium is also required and will also keep germs and other bacteria at bay.
Can leopard geckos live together? If you want to keep leopard geckos together, you will need to follow some best practices. The terrarium should be at least 20 gallons, you should never put males together (they are territorial and will fight) and a male and a female will likely breed and reproduce. So, you can either keep two females together or home three geckos (one male to two females). However for the latter, you can expect breeding.
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.