Keeping a Leopard Gecko means you need to ensure optimum temperature and humidity in its enclosure. The temperature plays an important role in the leopard Gecko’s life and temperature below or above the optimum range can cause issues for the leopard Gecko. But what is the ideal temperature for keeping the leopard Gecko?
The ideal temperature for keeping Leopard Gecko is 70-77°F for the cool end and 90-92°F for the warm side of the terrarium. The basking temperature should be around 94-97°F. Leopard Geckos can also tolerate a drop in temperature up to 60°F which means the night temperature can drop down to this level.
If you want to know more about the ideal temperature for Leopard Gecko and its regulation processes, keep on reading!
The temperature affects the health and growth of Leopard Geckos a lot.
The Leopard Geckos naturally live in nature where they become compatible with the fluctuation of temperature. For instance: if they face winter, they choose to go into brumation, a process where the metabolism is slowed down so they do not need to hunt for food repeatedly on cold nights.
But in captivity, the temperature needs to be maintained at optimum as they do not learn how to cope with the fluctuation just like the normal Leopard geckos.
When it is too cold in the enclosure, the Leopard Gecko’s metabolism slows down automatically and it creates problems in digestion. It may also result in impaction which is a very harmful health condition for any reptile.
When the temperature is too high, Leopard geckos may exhaust and die out of the rising temperature.
None of the cases are acceptable which is why the temperature range should be kept at an optimum level so that your Leopard gecko can survive well and for a long time too.
There are many ways to keep the ideal temperature inside the enclosure of a Leopard gecko. There are multiple types of equipment that can be used for this purpose:
- UVB lights
- Heat Mats
- Heat lamp
- Ceramic Heat Emitters
UVB lights can be a great source for the temperature and also for the lighting in the enclosure. Generally, 5-6% UVB lights are required for keeping the temperature optimum. This light basically works as an alternative to sunlight.
The maximum exposure to UVB lights can be up to 10% and if Leopard Gecko’s body is exposed to more percentage of UVB lights than this, then it can damage the Leopard gecko’s eyes and skin.
Generally, the UVB lights do not emit temperature but a mercury vapor-based UVB light can perform this function really well.
UVB light can also be a good source for producing vitamin D3 and the absorption of calcium in the body. This helps the Geckos not go through metabolic bone disease (MBD) which causes death too.
You can go for Blue UVB light or red UVB light for creating a good range of temperature inside the tank. Both of the UVB lights can also help in creating an environment that is non-disruptive to the sleep cycle of Leopard Gecko.
You can keep a heat mat inside the enclosure underneath the warm side to provide both temperature and belly heat for your Leopard Gecko. The belly heat helps in the proper digestion of food.
The heat mat is a great source of warm temperature in the enclosure. Once the heat mat is set, it cannot be moved as it gets glued to the surface. Removing it altogether can affect the other equipment present above the mat.
The heat from the mat can be measured using a thermostat and a probe that is placed above the heat mat. It helps the wonder to gauge the temperature and to understand if a sufficient amount of heat is being produced or not.
If the temperature rises to an extreme amount, then the owner can take further steps to reduce the temperature. Thus it helps prevent the burning of Leopard geckos.
Heat lamps are also provided in the enclosure for creating an optimal temperature. The heat lamps are placed in a way that they do not go near the ground but stay in a way that provides proper light and warmth to your Leopard gecko.
For example, such heat lamps could be halogen lamps. The halogen lamps can produce both infrared A and infrared B which have wavelengths similar to the sun. This penetrates into the body of your Leopard Gecko thus allowing a proficient form of heating. Moreover, it also reduces the time required for basking.
A ceramic socket can be used to ensure that the bulb attached to the lamp does not overheat. Thus you can maintain a proper environment and temperature for your Leopard Gecko to survive.
Ceramic heat emitters are another sort of heat source in the enclosure for your Leopard gecko. The ceramic heat emitters emit heat using the infrared portion, making it the actual infrared bulb for your Geckos.
The ceramic bulbs should be used with a porcelain socket to avoid melting the socket by the produced heat.
Ceramic heat emitters however can produce ample amounts of heat sometimes which can be avoided using the thermostat and a probe.
The ideal temperature range for the night time in Leopard Gecko’s tank is 67-74°F but it can go below or near 60°F as well.
The Leopard geckos are crepuscular reptiles who hunt at night and rest during the daytime. After the hunting, they require a proper sleep cycle to maintain, and without this, they cannot remain active for later.
At night, if the temperature rises beyond the ideal range, there is a chance that the sleep cycle of your Leopard Gecko will get hampered. This will make your Gecko exhausted and it may also remain inactive the next day due to tiredness and extreme heat.
If the temperature is too cold, it can also affect your Gecko’s health by slowing down the digestion process. Generally, a ceramic heat emitter is used to generate or regulate the temperature at night.
The more the cold temperature, the more your Leopard Gecko can sleep peacefully after its activity at night. The researchers however do not suggest going below 60°F as it can cause impaction or brumation in Leopard Gecko.
Many owners use light as a source of heat at night time. This cannot be used in any means especially if it’s bright in color. The reason behind this is very simple, it will affect the sleep cycle of your Leopard Gecko.
Moreover, Leopard Geckos do not need light for hunting as they know how to do their activity or hunt for food in the nighttime. Make sure not to use any light source for heat purposes during the nighttime.
You can measure the temperature of your Leopard Gecko’s tank by using a thermometer or thermostat and a probe.
The thermostat is attached to the heat generator device to ensure optimal temperature development in the enclosure. The thermostat device allows you to measure the temperature when it is compatible with the heat source.
The thermostat should not be overloaded with other amps or watts which can later create malfunctions in the device.
The thermostat can be used to accurately measure the temperature of a Leopard gecko’s tank when used with a probe or thermometer. The probe can read the temperature and since the heat source is connected to the thermostat, the heat generator stops once the ideal temperature range is crossed.
The thermometer can also play an important role by measuring the temperature accurately using the thermostat. The thermometers should be placed in each warm, cool, and basking place to give a proper reading and measure the temperature with accuracy.
When your Leopard Gecko becomes exhausted from the temperature, you can see it by looking at its movements and activities.
Your Leopard gecko will have sunken eyes or it may do glass surfing to get out of the tank. In such situations, you need to follow some steps.
- Firstly, you need to take out your Gecko and put it into another tank or a small enclosure where it gets air and water properly.
- Next, check the thermostat reading and see how much regulation is required to bring the optimum temperature.
- Turn on the AC of the room and also turn on fans if possible which will help to circulate the air from the room. Use a cooling fan if possible.
- Keep the tank away from the sunlight to prevent the rising temperature of the tank.
If your Leopard Gecko is too cold, you can still know that by looking at its movements. Your Leopard Gecko might try to reach the surface where the light or heat source is very near, which is one of the most common signals of all.
When the temperature goes too low, you should first check the thermostat reading as sometimes it might provide a faulty reading which can overall affect your Leopard gecko’s health.
If the reading is perfect, you can increase the temperature of the air conditioner or you can move your Leopard Gecko’s tank somewhere which is warm.
There are a few external factors that might affect the temperature of your leopard Gecko’s tank. For example:
- If the tank is placed in a drafty location, it can surely affect the temperature and make it lower than usual.
- If the tank is placed under the sunlight, it will eventually raise the temperature of the tank, making your Leopard Gecko dehydrated and exhausted.
- Indoor space heaters or air conditioners, both of the products can equally have major effects on your Leopard Gecko’s health.
Other than these factors, if the temperature raises or lowers a bit, it will not have a great impact on your Leopard Gecko’s health but the drastic fluctuations will definitely create major differences in the growth of your Gecko.
Temperature plays a major role in Leopard Gecko’s overall growth and development. Not only temperature but also the humidity level needs to be controlled and maintained every time which can otherwise affect the health of your Leopard gecko drastically.
There are many ways you can regulate the temperatures and increase and decrease them. But you need to be very careful in choosing the temperature as it will ultimately affect your Leopard Gecko’s health.
You should always look for signs that Leopard Gecko gives when it is not comfortable in its enclosure. Thus, you can help your Gecko maintain a healthy lifestyle by proving a good source of temperature.