According to Matt Davies Harmony Communities, exotic pets have taken over a lot of homes. Exotic pet owners usually recommend a gecko as the first exotic pet since they are easier to care for compared to other popular exotic pets in the market. Let’s check out what geckos need to survive in captivity.
- Gecko Habitat – Since geckos are cold-blooded animals, they need a warm environment to survive and stay healthy. Its habitat should be a tank of appropriate size. While a 10-gallon tank is enough for a small Leopard gecko, you’ll need to buy something much larger for housing a large Crested gecko.
The tank should have enough room for the gecko to move around along with a hiding place where they can feel safe and secure. You can make such areas with logs and rocks or buy one from the pet store. The tank should also contain proper climbing areas and a warm basking area.
- Bedding material – Bedding material is very important for geckos since it helps them maintain their humidity levels and body temperature. The type of substrate you choose for bedding material depends on the type of gecko you have. For instance, Leopard geckos, which are native to the desert, require sand or calcium sand substrate.
On the other hand, Crested geckos that come from tropical regions require coco coir or moss substrates. While choosing a substrate, make sure that it hasn’t had any contact with pesticides or chemicals that may harm your cold-blooded friend.
- Humidity and heat – Since they are cold-blooded replies, geckos rely on the environment to regulate their body temperature. In their native environments, all geckos bask in the sun to raise their body temperature and hide under the shade to cool down. You need to create a similar environment for them in captivity.
Keep the tank close to a window to create a basking spot for your gecko. Use a thermometer to make sure the basking spot reaches a temperature of 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. You may also use artificial light to create a basking spot. The rest of the habitat should be at 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and the humidity in the tank should be around 50 to 60 percent.
- Gecko diet – Geckos mainly eat insects including spiders and other small prey in the wild. While in captivity, you need to feed them live insects including super worms, crickets, and other such gecko food from the pet store. Dust the live insects with calcium powder to prevent nutrient deficiency. It’s also important to always keep the water dish filled up so that your gecko stays hydrated.
Matt Davies Harmony Communities suggests that you use the above-mentioned tips to care for your gecko. While they may be easier to handle and care for compared to other exotic pets, it’s nothing like having a pet dog or a cat. You’ll need to create a nice habitat and be very careful with its diet and ambient conditions.