Is a 20 Gallon Tank Good For a Leopard Gecko? Our Investigation

Leopard geckos are wonderful creatures that can be your pets. These geckos are relatively friendly, very beautiful and they will obviously appeal to anyone who loves reptiles. They may look dangerous to someone, but actually, these geckos are harmless, they tend to love people who they get used to and live their calm life in an enclosure making their owner a happier person.

If you want to have a leopard gecko, you will want to know which kind of a tank you should buy. At first, you will need to get some data about how these creatures live. When you take a gecko home, you should already know how to make the life of your animal absolutely comfortable and trouble-free.

Here’s what we are going to discuss today:

  1. Leopard gecko living habits – what should you know?
  2. Is a 20-gallon tank OK for geckos?
  3. What should you include in your tank for a gecko?
  4. Problems your gecko can face in a too small or a too large tank.

Let’s get started!

Leopard gecko – what should you know before buying one?

A gecko is thought to be a nocturnal animal, so many sources say that this reptile is active at night. It has some rational logic under the statement because originally leopard geckos live in deserts. And they go out after the sunset. But many vets and experts say that geckos are active exactly during the sunset and sunrise.

These guys will sleep most of the time during the day. So if you work from home and want a buddy to talk with and have fun, a gecko is not your choice. You will have to respect the life patterns of your pet and you will not see much of each other.

Now, we want to tell you some facts about the enclosure and hides:

  1. A baby gecko will not need a big tank. A 10-gallon tank will be large enough to place a small pet.
  2. But when the leopard gecko grows, it will need a larger tank. You may choose a 15- or a 20-gallon tank depending on the size of your gecko.
  3. Choosing a too small tank is not an option, your animal will be stressed all the time because of lack of space. It will feel like in a prison.
  4. The big tanks are OK, but sometimes geckos will not feel comfortable. If you have a big tank for your gecko, you will have to make a lot of decorations and hides.
  5. A 20-gallon tank or a bigger one can be used to place two adult geckos. But they should have enough hides.
  6. Bear in mind that you may only have one male per habitat. Otherwise, your leopard geckos will fight all the time and they may even fight to death.
  7. If you place a male and a female gecko together, get ready for selling young geckos soon. These animals can lay eggs six times a year.

As you see, you should know some rules before you buy a gecko and bring it home. These animals are not so easy to maintain and care for. Because they require a lot of settlements in their tanks so that they could feel comfortable and be OK.

If geckos don’t like the environment, they will fall ill, they will be aggressive and stressed all the time. The adaptation period may be quite long, especially if you take an adult gecko. These guys get used to their habitats and they hate when something changes in their lives. So, make sure you can arrange comfortable life for them.

A 20-gallon tank question. Not too big?

We’ve heard a lot of opinions about the size of the tank for leopard geckos. And we should say that most of these opinions are just fakes or myths. Geckos can live in any size of tank, but you should make this tank cozy for them.

We would say that a too small tank is bad because the animal will not have any place to move around. For example, putting an adult leopard gecko into a 10-gallon tank is not the best idea you can come up with. Your gecko will feel depressed because the animal will soon realize it’s in captivity.

A 20-gallon tank is thought to be optimal for one or two adult geckos for some reasons:

  • it’s big enough to have some walks and even to actively play, so the animal will not feel like in captivity;
  • it’s not big for your gecko to get lost – the animal will get used to the new tank very fast and will be glad to use all the hides and decorations;
  • you can place some hides in the tank and ensure that the tank is comfortable for your animal;
  • you can put two geckos in one tank and even breed them if you want, the 20-gallon tank is optimal for this;
  • you will be able to look at your animal through a big glass window seeing more of the pet’s life;
  • also, you’ll be able to organize a beautiful enclosure with a wonderful atmosphere and beautiful decorations.

Unfortunately, small tanks look cramped and you will not be able to make them beautiful enough. Your animal will be glad to have more space, and you will also be glad to look at the happy gecko. But can the tank for your leopard gecko be too big?

Yes, a tank can be too big, but the main question is not in gallons of this tank. The main question is in the architecture of the enclosure. If you put a lot of hides and wonderful decorations as well as some plants, your enclosure will be cozy for the animal and also beautiful for you. But if the tank is big and empty, your gecko will just feel lost.

What do you need for a big enclosure with a leopard gecko?

We don’t recommend very big enclosures like 40 or 50 gallons for a single gecko. Your animal will spend months before it gets used to the new environment. And you will need to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars to fill the tank with decorations and hides.

Just check the price of ready-to-use hides in a shop near you to understand that a 50-gallon tank is too big for a gecko. Your leopard gecko will be happy with a 20-gallon tank. You may take a 30-gallon one and we think this is the maximum size.

Here’s what you need to think about:

  1. Temperature control. Your gecko will need a temperature between 75 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit and with a local heated spot with a higher temperature so that your pet could warm up. Bigger tanks are more difficult to heat up and maintain.
  2. Humidity control. Again, the bigger the tank, the more expensive equipment you will need to buy to control the humidity in the aquarium.
  3. Your gecko will not need a lot of additional light. But still, some lamps you should buy and install in order to control the light phases when it’s not sunny outside or when the enclosure is located in a dark spot in the room.
  4. Please make sure that the hides you buy are suitable for leopard geckos. These animals will feel better if the hides are made of natural materials.
  5. These things are more for you than for your gecko, but they are still important. Make sure the decorations are completely safe for the animal.

As you see, buying a larger tank is not a very economical idea. You will need to spend much more money to arrange a big tank for your gecko. And this will obviously bring more problems to you.

Even if you are ready to invest in a bigger tank, it’s not always a good idea. Your gecko will have to get used to the new environment. And this is a stressful process for an animal. So, we still recommend a 20-gallon tank which is completely enough for a leopard gecko. Want a bigger tank? Get ready for expenses and problems with maintenance.

What kind of a tank should you buy for a leopard gecko?

We recommend just simple glass tanks. They are OK for arranging everything you will want to arrange. Geckos are very curious guys and they will try to escape once they have any chance for this. If you buy an enclosure in the form of a cage with some holes in it, you will then try to catch your gecko all over the house. And you will not love this because catching a leopard gecko is not as easy as you may predict.

Also, cages of different types may be dangerous for your leopard gecko. Just because the animal can try to escape and then get stuck and suffocate or just starve to death. You shouldn’t leave your gecko for a long time without any care.

Final words

Always think about the health and good conditions for your gecko. If you decided to have a reptile as a pet at home, please make sure that the enclosure is optimally arranged and safe for the animal. Leopard geckos are very sensitive creatures and they will not survive unless you provide them with everything they need for their life. Consult a vet if you have an urgent question about the arrangements of the enclosure.