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.
However 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:
- 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
- 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
- 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
- There is only one reptile cave. You’ll still need to buy a moist hide at LEAST, and preferably one other hide too
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.
If 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: