There are several options for buying a home for your new leopard gecko; vivariums and terrariums come in many materials, shapes and sizes, so I’m going to briefly discuss what I think are the benefits and drawbacks for each one.
They are most commonly available as a vivarium made from some sort of wood with a glass sliding door, or as a terrarium made primarily from glass.
Wooden vivariums tend to insulate heat a little better, so may be better if you live in a colder climate, and they offer more shade for your leopard gecko as the wood prevents light from coming in at all angles.
I also think that they also can compliment your home decor more, as you can get them in a range of wood colours. They are not too expensive, and are great for if you want multiple leopard geckos as they can be stacked if you’re careful.
However, the opening is smaller and front-facing, possibly making it a little more tricky to get into; either for handling your gecko or for when you want to clean them.
I also think they’re harder to decorate, as suction-pad decorations will not stick to the wood, so you have to find other ways to secure things like backdrops, canopies and hammocks (without using glue, as the fumes can be harmful to geckos).
Glass vivariums will let out more heat, however they have the ability to stay more humid. Also many of them will come with a few opening options; you can get them with front, side and overhead openings, which will give easier access for handling, cleaning and feeding.
I like this terrarium Exo Terra Glass Natural Terrarium, Medium/ Wide as it has multiple openings, is a trusted brand, and will give you easy access to your geckos if you need to open it up.
As mentioned, glass terrariums are easier to decorate as you can get decorations that use suction pads to stick to the sides – this just isn’t an option with a wooden vivarium.
It’s also much better for spying on your leopard geckos, as there are more transparent walls for you to see what they’re up to.
I get quite jealous of people on Instagram who get some great photos and videos of their geckos in a glass terrarium, because it’s much harder for me with my wooden one.
However, these vivariums are a little more expensive, so may not be the best option if you’re worried about the initial costs of getting a leopard gecko, or if you want to buy multiple geckos.
Your vivarium shouldn’t be smaller than 2ft (60cm) in length for a single leopard gecko, and you should not house more than one leopard geckos in the same vivarium. See: Is it safe to cohabit leopard geckos?
Even though leopard geckos are ground-dwelling, it is still nice to give your leopard geckos a bit of height, so they have vantage points where they can view their surroundings. A height of around 45cm is good, as it will give plenty of space for your leopard gecko climb on top of its hides.
You can choose a taller vivarium, but anything too high will probably be a waste as your plump, clumsy gecko will struggle to get too high up. The two products shown above (and below) are a great size for a leopard gecko; they will be suitable for them as babies and for when they reach full size within a year.
The vivarium you buy is largely down to your personal choice, and I hope this gave a very basic overview of some of the pros and cons of each. If you have any other comments or things I could add, please comment below 🙂