If you’re curious about how people set up their vivariums, or if you need help visualising a first-time setup, then look no further…
If you are a complete newbie and need more detailed information, then I recommend reading my posts A beginner’s guide to leopard gecko housing and setup and How to set up floor heating for leopard geckos to get you started.
Both of my vivariums are set up in more or less the same way, and very importantly, each houses only one leopard gecko. See: Is it safe to cohabit leopard geckos?
From a distance
I have two vivariums placed on top of a black console table which has some handy pull-out draws, where I can keep the bugs, calcium powder, cleaning things etc.
It means that my vivariums fit in really nicely with my living room decoration, and add an interesting feature.
At first guests aren’t sure what it is, and then they’re thrilled that I have two lizards!
It’s called the Regis Extending Console Desk and is from Amazon, and there are several suppliers who stock it.
It comes flat pack and was relatively easy to assemble and is on wheels so its easy to move around even with two vivariums on top of it.
I also added two candles and a mini sculpture to the top of the vivariums – they fit in so nicely with my living room decor, and guests are always super interested in the back corner of my room!
My vivariums are by Vivexotic ‘Repti-Home’ Vivariums, and for each adult lizard I have found the ‘small’ size is more than enough (W575 x D375 x H421mm). Again, these are flat pack but so easy to assemble.
They’re made of FSC certified wood, and there is no exposed chipboard on the vivarium floor, so no mites or moisture can penetrate the wood. Wood is a great option for leopard geckos because it is more insulating than glass vivariums, and more efficient at retaining heat.
The two sliding glass doors make it easy to add or remove things from the vivarium, and make it easy to pick up your gecko wherever he/ she is sitting.
Let’s take a look inside…
Here’s what the inside of my vivarium looks like from above.
It was a bit hard to get a photo that shows everything but I did some other angles further down.
The substrate I use for the base of my vivarium floors is Vinyl; it’s cheap, safe for geckos, easy to clean, looks great and conducts heat really well.
I have written a lot in another post about why it is my favourite substrate, but to summarise, it’s cheap, safe, easy to clean, conducts heat well and looks great too.
Moving onto the under-floor heating, which is the part you definitely can’t see from the photo…
Under the vinyl, the top third of the ground space is covered by a Komodo heat mat (which I have indicated within the red square on the photo), and this gives the geckos a warm side and a cool side.
This allows them to regulate their own temperature more effectively, which is essential to your gecko’s health and well-being.
Habistat Mat Stat Thermostat 100W White This is then connected to a thermostat, which will keep the mat at the temperature you set.
You don’t want it to overheat, and also on a colder day you don’t want it to get too cool in there, so having this to monitor the temperature is essential.
See more about How to set up floor heating for leopard geckos.
The warmer side
In the foreground on the very left you’ll see some columns, these are purely for decoration but my gecko likes hiding behind them too.
I got them from eBay and they are actually meant for aquariums.
They’re perfect for vivariums too because they’re made from easy to clean materials, and are also bottom-weighted, meaning they will not tip over easily if they’re secured properly, so there is a low chance of injury to your gecko.
At the very back is my gecko’s warm hide, “Rock Den Brown” in Large, by Komodo. This is the hide placed directly over the heat mat and is where he spends most of the day sleeping, but he also likes to sit on top of it and observe what’s going on around him in the evening.
The large size seems perfect, and it was a great size even when he was a baby. I wondered if he would grow too big for it, but he is a giant and still fits comfortably (I have this for my female too and she’s a supergiant).
In the foreground, you can see the Komodo Terraced Dish which I use for the water. The small steps were great for when the geckos were babies because it ensured they would be able to get out again, should they climb into the water by mistake.
Next to this I have a glass ramekin which I tend to keep some mealworms in every day and night, for my geckos to help themselves to whenever they’re hungry.
You can bend them into whichever shape you like – a wave shape, an arc, or even a cylinder.
The cooler side
You can get a better view of the Flexi Stix here – there’s loads of space under it, and it provides a great platform for nosey geckos.
It’s in the middle of the vivarium so benefits slightly from the warmer temperatures but without having any direct heat.
In the back right-hand corner, is another hide by Komodo – The Corner Basking Ramp/ Hide, which both of my geckos have conveniently decided is their poop area, hence why I’ve put some kitchen paper under it (this makes it easy to spot clean).
Finally in the foreground we have the moist hide by Exo Terra which comes in three sizes. I used the have the large, but it was far too big for a vivarium this size. Even though I have a giant and a super giant leopard gecko, they didn’t need one that big, so I switched to medium which has been perfect.
I really like the vivariums to have a natural feel to them, so I have attached some Komodo fake plants to some hooks in the back of my vivariums, such as the one on the left (Komodo Croton Plant)
There are also some great free-standing options which can be placed directly onto the floor – I chose the Komodo Jungle Canopy and Komodo Spider Orchard, and then finished it off with purchasing a chain of autumn-coloured leaves from eBay which I randomly hook into the other fake plants.
Last but not least…
My other photos didn’t draw much attention to the feeding dishes, so here’s how they look.
As mentioned above, I have a large water dish by Komodo, and next to that there is a clear glass ramekin where I keep fresh mealworms.
I like to use these clear ramekins as the geckos can see the worms wriggling around, and also they’re super easy to clean in the dish washer. You can buy them from many places, including Amazon, eBay and many home-ware stores.
Beneath that, I have small a tealight holder full of calcium powder which my geckos can help themselves to if they need it. Again, I use this because it’s the perfect size, is cheap and looks nice, but you can use other things too – I’ve even seen people using milk caps for their calcium dishes.
I hope you enjoyed looking around my vivariums! I sometimes change it up a bit and try new hides in slightly different positions, because I think the geckos sometimes like new things to explore.
Here’s a list of the products I have mentioned in this post:
- Regis Extending Console Desk £89.99
- Vivexotic ‘Repti-Home’ Vivariums £60
- Komodo Heat Mat £16.00
- Habistat Thermostat £24.00
- Vinyl Substrate £25.00
- Aquarium Decoration Columns £9.99
- Komodo Rock Den £8.75
- Komodo Terraced Dish £6.45
- Komodo Flexi Stix £4.39
- Komodo Corner Basking Hide £26.85
- Exo Terra moist hide £14.95
- Komodo Croton Plant £4.09
- Komodo Jungle Canopy £11.49
- Komodo Spider Orchard £13.99
- Glass Ramekins £10.00
Here are my two geckos, each in their own homes, waiting to be fed!