If you’re about to get your first leopard gecko or are ready to move your current pet out of his starter tank, you might be wondering if a 10-gallon tank is big enough to house a leopard gecko. That said, I think the better question is whether or not a 10 gallon tank is the ideal size for a leopard gecko.
A 10-gallon tank is not big enough for a leopard gecko. Adult leopard geckos can grow up to 10 inches long and require a tank that is at least 24 inches long, 15 inches high, and 12 inches deep. The ideal tank size for an adult leopard gecko is 20 gallons.
Many people online and perhaps at your local pet shop might argue that a 10-gallon tank is big enough for a leopard gecko. Though I am not saying it would be animal abuse to keep a leopard gecko in a 10-gallon tank, I do believe that a 20-gallon tank is an appropriate size.
After all, a leopard gecko’s size can get up to 10 inches in length as adults. Because of this a 10 gallon tank is probably not a good choice for an adult leopard gecko.
What Is The Best Tank Size For a Leopard Gecko?
There is no downside to having a slightly larger enclosure for your leopard gecko. That is perhaps beside a slightly higher upfront cost when purchasing your equipment. That said, you will be purchasing a tank that will last for your leopard geckos entire life and it will likely produce a much happier pet.
The leopard gecko is my number one choice for reptiles that can fit in a 20-gallon tank. We’ll get into the details of tank size and setup below, as well as a little more about leopard gecko care in the new tank.
Getting the correct type of tank and setting up the right tank environment is one of the most important factors to consider when it comes to the health and happiness of your leopard gecko.
A 20 Gallon Tank Is Best For Leopard Geckos
There was a time when most leopard gecko owners thought that leopard geckos would become overwhelmed in larger tanks, and therefore should be kept in smaller environments.
Modern experts have proven that this is not the case, though, and as long as the gecko has many places to hide and climb on, they’re happiest in a larger tank where they can get some exercise. With that in mind, I do not think that a 10-gallon tank is big enough for an adult leopard gecko.
If you haven’t bought your gecko yet, it’s worth considering purchasing a 20-gallon tank (or larger) right away, instead of the smaller starter kits that reptiles often come in. The gecko will outgrow it so quickly that you’ll have to replace it soon anyway.
Adult leopard geckos should be kept in tanks no smaller than 24”x15”x12”. This would equate to slightly smaller than a 20-gallon tank.
How Long Can You Keep a Leopard Gecko In a 10 Gallon Tank?
You can keep a leopard gecko in a 10 gallon tank when they are babies or under 5 inches long. After this I would suggest upgrading into a 20 gallon tank.
That said, unless you already have a 10 gallon tank I would not waste my money on purchasing one. Instead, I would purchase a 20 gallon tank from the start. This way you don’t need to buy another tank when your leopard gecko reaches adulthood.
How To Know When A Leopard Gecko Needs A Larger Tank
If you follow the guidelines in this post, you should have no problem choosing the right tank size for your leopard gecko. Again, a 20-gallon tank is satisfactory for an adult leopard gecko.
If you have any doubts, though, some sure signs that your tank is too small are:
- Frequent climbing and escape attempts
- Fighting among geckos housed together
- Listlessness and boredom, not showing interest in his environment (assuming he’s otherwise healthy)
Remember that leopard geckos aren’t naturally huge climbers, so it’s best to choose a long shallow tank rather than one that is tall and skinny.
Leopard Gecko Behavior To Look For
Leopard geckos are native to semi-dry environments like Iraq and Afghanistan and are often kept as pets because of how easy they are to care for and their non-aggressive nature.
However, even low-maintenance pets like leopard geckos do have needs, and they’ll let you know if those needs aren’t being met. Here are some signs to look out for that indicate your gecko is unhappy with his tank or environment.
Leopard geckos are solitary animals and don’t generally do well when kept with others. If you do decide to keep more than one together, make sure to house them in a large enough tank so that they won’t compete for food and territory. This will reduce the likelihood of fights, which can be common among geckos.
It’s generally agreed that for each additional gecko, the tank should be upgraded by 5 gallons.
If you notice your geckos are acting aggressively, separate them immediately and don’t house them together, or at the very least, upgrade them to a bigger tank, so they have room to avoid each other. Leopard gecko fights can get pretty nasty, resulting in severe injury and death.
Of course, on the opposite end of the spectrum, if male and female geckos are housed together, and they get along too well, you might end up with unexpected offspring to take care of. With that said, you may need to invest in a separate tank for the second gecko.
Although it’s nice to provide your gecko with things to climb on occasionally so he can get exercise and check out his surroundings from a higher vantage point, leopard geckos aren’t huge climbers.
If your gecko is climbing all the time, it might be a sign that he’s uncomfortable with his environment or needs a larger tank roam. This is especially true if he seems to be trying to climb out of the tank.
A 10 Gallon Tank Is Not Ideal For Adult Leopard Geckos
Make sure your leopard gecko has a large enough tank with plenty of hiding spots, and you’ll be well on your way to success with your gecko. Simply put a 10-gallon tank is not ideal for a leopard gecko.
Instead, shoot for at least a 20-gallon tank and you can’t go wrong. You can also purchase many leopards gecko starter kits that will provide everything you need. That said, you want to buy a quality kit because many leopard gecko kits come with a 10-gallon tank that you will soon want to replace.