One of the most common things I get asked online is “what are your top tips for looking after leopard geckos?” and to follow up with my first Top Tips post, I am now creating part 2.
Aside from the obvious things like making sure you have the correct housing, set up, and food for your leopard geckos, here are some of my favourite tips and hacks that I’ve picked up over the course of being a leopard gecko owner which make my life a lot easier.
Use unwanted fruit and veg to gutload your feeder insects.
Feeder insects need gutloading, and you can buy pre-mixed bug food which contain protein, vitamins and minerals, however this can be expensive to use frequently as a staple gutloader.
I will keep some bug grub as a backup, however I usually have so much fruit and veg in my fridge, and unfortunately it can sometimes get a bit past its eat-by date.
To prevent wastage, and as a quick, cheap gutloader, I will give this to the feeder insects. This can also include skin shavings of potatoes, carrots etc rather than throwing them in the bin or putting them in compost. The worms will benefit greatly from the variation in diet, and you’re saving yourself money too.
Bottle tops to contain bug gel
I have recently started using bug gel and jelly pots as an additional hydration and nutrient source for my feeder insects, but if you put this directly in their tubs, it can get soaked into the substrate and cause mould.
Instead, I collect bottle caps, and place the gel into the cap. The worms/ roaches/ crickets can easily access it, and it keeps the substrate from getting too moist.
Bottle tops are also fantastic little calcium bowls for your leopard geckos, and are easy to dispose of and replace when you need to!
Dressing gown pockets for a sheltered and happy gecko
In the wild, leopard geckos are prey, therefore they instinctively seek shelter and like to be covered.
This can sometimes be problematic if your leopard gecko seems agitated when you are trying to handle them out of their vivarium, so giving them somewhere to shelter usually keeps them calm.
In my last Top Tips post, I showed the leopard gecko tent I purchased for my geckos, but something else that works perfectly is my dressing gown pocket. Its warm, sheltered, and sometimes slightly challenging to get them to come back out again!
Re-usable heat pads for quick, portable heat
If your leopard gecko needs to be out of their vivarium for whatever reason, such as if you are transporting them, cleaning them out, or even if there is a power cut, it is good to have some of these re-usable heat pads.
You simply snap the metal inside them, and the gel will crystallise and form heat which will stay warm for an hour or so.
It’s probably a good idea to put some fabric over the pad, so your gecko isn’t placing its skin directly onto the heat source.
Once the heat has gone, you can reset the heat pad by adding it to a pan of boiling water simmering until the crystals have completely dissolved. Allow to cool totally before handling. You can then re-use in the same way the next time your gecko needs some quick, portable heat.