Why you shouldn’t buy a leopard gecko starter kit

When I was researching leopard geckos as a potential new owner, it was really hard to know what to buy for them, and in which size, so discovering that there were Leopard Gecko Starter kits seemed like such a blessing.

exo_terra_leopard_gecko_kit_2However I did not go down this route, and I’m glad I didn’t, because I now know that the ones I have seen are problematic for a few reasons.

Let’s take the Exo Terra Leopard Gecko Starter Kit.

This kit contains…

  • Exo Terra Natural Terrarium Small/Low (PT2603) 45 x 45 x 30 cm / 18” x 18” x 12”
  • Exo Terra Day/Night LED Fixture Small (PT2335)
  • Exo Terra Heat Mat 8W (PT2016)
  • Exo Terra Sand Mat Small (PT2562)
  • Exo Terra Terrarium Thermometer (PT2455)
  • Exo Terra Water Dish Medium (PT2802)
  • Exo Terra Reptile Cave Medium (PT2852)
  • Informative Care Guide

Here are the problems:

  1. You do not need a day/ night LED fixture. Additional overhead heat or light is stressful and unnecessary for leopard geckos, and is a waste of your money
  2. Sand mats may get small bits dislodged and be eaten by your leopard gecko. Also they’re not so easy to scrub and get bacteria off. I find Vinyl much easier to clean and it doesn’t need replacing as often. See: Vinyl substrate for leopard geckos: Review
  3. There’s no food dish. This isn’t essential but is REALLY handy for keeping insects like dubia roaches and mealworms in one place, so strays aren’t escaping and hiding elsewhere in their vivarium
  4. There is only one reptile cave. You’ll still need to buy a moist hide at LEAST, and preferably one other hide too

See: A beginner’s guide to leopard gecko housing and setup


In my opinion, you’re much better off purchasing everything you need individually – it may cost a little more, however you’ll be getting the right stuff, you’ll be getting the correct quantity of items (you definitely need multiple hides!!) and also it’ll be a little more individual if you’ve chosen it yourself.

IMG_6783If you do decide to go ahead with purchasing a starter kit, then make sure it has everything you need. Take a look at my downloadable care sheet for a handy PDF checklist of things that are needed: Free download – leopard gecko care sheet

It’s a good idea to get EVERYTHING for your leopard gecko before you bring him/ her home, so they can settle straight in. I have created a post with things I have in my own vivariums here: What’s inside my leopard gecko’s vivarium…

I have also created an Amazon store with most of the things I use in my Vivariums: here

Please make sure you measure everything before purchasing, and also read my “beginner’s guides” for more info about how to do your initial setup:

How to Set Up Floor Heating for Leopard Geckos
Beginner’s Guide to Leopard Gecko Housing and Setup


 

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