The leopard gecko – terrarium

Setting up a desert terrarium appropriate for the species or building one yourself is not that difficult.

OSB wooden terrarium

In the trade there are all-glass terrariums, which are well-suited just by an unproblematic and quick cleaning. Wooden terrariums made of OSB boards are also offered. The choice is not so easy. Glass terrariums are very expensive in initial cost compared to wooden terrariums and also require more energy to heat up. Many terrarists therefore build their terrariums rather from wood. In addition, you can design the appearance and size according to your own ideas and space.

In order to guarantee a species-appropriate attitude and the animals feel well, a nature-near mechanism is to be aimed at.

  • The Substrate should be a mixture of sand and clay. Such ready soil substrates are now available in many good pet shops. Who wants to save, can also fine-grained play sand (hardware store) and in the ratio 5:1 with loam powder (eco-building stores) mix. Using only pure sand is fundamentally wrong, because the ingestion of sand can cause blockages, which often leads to death. It does not correspond to the way of life of the leopard geckos, because they rather avoid such substrate. They tend to sink into it rather than being able to move around well. A mixture of sand and clay allows the animals to dig, which is their natural way of life.

ready-made sand/clay mixture from Terrabasic

Suitable sand mixtures for the leopard desert terrarium are commercially available in various colors. Mostly these are however without loam addition. Therefore, clay powder should be additionally mixed in here. Good terrarium stores (or just google sand/clay mix) also carry products where the ratio of sand and clay is already offered ready-made.


These sand mixtures are available in different colors (z.B. normal, orange and red). Whereby these soil grounds are often moistened and thus also influence the color tone.

The picture shows the sand just taken out of the package and next to it the same sand in the dried state.

The sand-loam mixture is brought into the terrarium. It should be noted which Hardness condition of the substrate to be achieved. If you offer enough wetboxes or caves, digging of the animals is unnecessary to the greatest possible extent. Here is only a slightly harder substrate sufficient. This is sufficiently stable and can still be undermined. However, a ground height of at least 12 -15 cm is to be planned for. However, if you do not want the leopard geckos to dig, because the floor height may not be given, a very firm substrate should be aimed for here. This is achieved by the addition of water and the corresponding pressure on the substrate. Due to the pressure (compressing the sand) it compacts more and reaches a solid state.

soft substrate:

  • moisten only slightly already when mixing sand and clay powder together and put it into the terrarium; only press it on very lightly

medium hard substrate:

  • place the substrate in three or four layers; before adding a new layer of sand, moisten it slightly and press it down lightly

hard substrate:

  • put the substrate in four layers; water it well and press it down, so that a small puddle of water is visible on the substrate layer; do the same for each additional substrate layer

Substrate after five days drying time

If you have reached the bottom height and puddles of water have formed, these can be soaked up with kitchen paper towels. The more water you use, the longer it will take to dry the substrate. Even when using a good going hair dryer to evaporate the water faster, one should allow at least. allow 7-10 days.

On our own account:

At this point I would like to thank my hair dryer, that it was kept at approx. 20 hours running time and has lasted almost 10 days without any downtime. Respect. Likewise my thanks go to the energy economy of my city, which by constant supply and to the emergency some shutdowns of individual city areas me a around the clock, free supply made possible. I will respectfully show my appreciation by paying the electricity bill as soon as possible. My thanks also to all my over, under and side tenants for the, especially at night, created soundscape. Money for the cost of earplugs, sleeping pills and tranquilizers are on the way.

Back wall

self-built back wall

Leopard geckos love to climb and hide between crevices. A corresponding self-made back wall of styrofoam can be easily built by yourself.

For the construction of a self-designed back wall you need Styrofoam plates (4cm thick), Flex-Fleisenkleber, 2 brushes, solvent-free paint, aquarium silicone and some utensils needed for processing (see also detailed instructions "Terrarium back wall build yourself")

Water bowl& cuttlebone

alt="Bowl with grated cuttlebone powder" width="220" height="189" /> Bowl with grated sepia powder

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