Wondering if a 10-gallon tank is a good choice for your leopard gecko? This guide is for you!
One question any newbie must contend with is how big a tank they need for their leopard gecko. First, they will have to consider whether a 10-gallon tank is big enough to house their pet.
This is a valid concern, considering you’d want to know how far a tank will push you before buying a new one.
A 10-gallon tank is a good choice if you’re talking about baby leopard geckos. In fact, this tank size can house two babies. However, the ideal tank size for an adult leopard gecko is 20 gallons. As such, you can start with a 10-gallon tank with the babies and consider upgrading as they age.
Many leopard gecko owners start with a larger tank to avoid the hassle of upgrading as the leo grows.
However, you’re free to take the best route based on your pocket and space availability in your current home.
How Many Leopard Geckos Can You House in a 10-Gallon Tank?
Up to 2 leopard geckos can live in a 10-gallon tank. However, they have to be babies, no older than 2 months old.
They’ll feel cramped and confined in the tank as they grow bigger. The environment will get too stifling, and your little lizard friends will be susceptible to stress and physiological disorders.
It is always good to save, to push things to the limit – but don’t do this with your leopard geckos. These pets need to feel safe and comfortable to thrive.
Concerning your leopard geckos’ accommodation, the bigger, the better. Leopard geckos need ample space to thrive.
As a loving pet parent, you owe them this.
Is a 10-Gallon Tank a Good Choice for a Baby Leopard Gecko?
A 10-gallon tank provides adequate space for your baby leopard gecko. Actually, a very small baby can even fit in a 5-gallon tank.
However, keep in mind that, unlike humans, leopard geckos grow very fast from baby to juvenile to adult.
Be ready to make regular upgrades if you start with a 10-gallon tank. This is because a 10-gallon tank can hold 2 leopard gecko babies up to the age of 2 months.
After this, you’ll have to upgrade to a bigger tank to accommodate the two babies. By the time they hit adulthood, each baby will need to be housed in a 20-gallon tank.
Bear in mind that leos get stressed by change. As such, you need to avoid moving them all the time by investing in a large tank from the word go.
Some of the happiest and healthiest leopard geckos are those with enough room to grow. We’re sure this is what you’d want for your leo.
Is a 10-Gallon Tank a Good Choice for an Adult Leopard Gecko?
A 10-gallon tank is too small for your adult leopard gecko. As stated above, this tank size is suitable only for babies below 2 months.
To house an adult leopard gecko, you need a 20-gallon tank. An adult gecko will be stressed if you force him to live in a small tank.
Stress is a significant contributor to this reptile health complication. It leads to all sorts of issues, including lethargy, low immunity, loss of appetite, and dehydration.
A 10-gallon tank will not be adequate to create the environment your pet needs to live a comfortable life.
For example, where do you get the space to allocate the hot, warm, and cold zones? How do you create the dry and moist hides?
Leopard gecko keepers who insist on housing their pets in a 10-gallon tank put these animals at a significant disadvantage.
These reptiles live miserable lives, and are unlikely to live for long. They are utterly disadvantaged during shedding, and in case they fall sick.
Unless you’re housing a baby leopard gecko, a 10-gallon tank is not a good choice.
What’s the Perfect Tank Size for My Leopard Gecko?
The perfect tank size is the one that fits the number of leopard geckos you have in mind comfortably. It is ideal because it can safely house these reptiles based on their sizes and ages.
For example, a 10-gallon tank is perfect for one or two baby leos below 2 months. But, it is unsuitable for even one juvenile or adult leopard gecko.
Also, a 20-gallon tank is perfect for an adult or several baby leos. However, it is not a good choice for two fully-grown adults.
From the above, you can see there’s no such thing as the perfect tank size. It all depends on the number and ages of the leopard geckos you intend to keep.
Some leopard gecko keepers prefer to start with a 10-gallon tank for the babies, and upgrade as the leos grow.
This is okay if you are initially constrained by space and finances. However, if you have the room and the finances, we recommend starting with a 20-gallon tank from the onset.
What Are the Consequences of Overcrowding Leopard Geckos?
Change of Behavior
A caring pet parent would want their leopard gecko to be happy and healthy. However, putting your leopard gecko in a space too small for him has the opposite effect.
Your pet’s behavior will be erratic to show you he is unhappy with the living conditions you have subjected him to.
This animal will stay hidden most of the day and night, rarely coming out to take part in the usual activities.
Aggressiveness and Fighting
Keeping more than one leopard gecko in a space too small for them makes them aggressive. They will constantly fight over the limited space and resources.
Your leopard geckos’ aggressiveness and hostility indicate they are unhappy because they are overcrowded.
Leopard gecko fights can be pretty nasty. These reptiles have been known to cause each other severe injuries and even death.
Heightened Stress Levels
In the wild, leopard geckos have as much space to themselves as they need. So when a leopard gecko finds himself confined in a small tank, he reacts negatively because he isn’t meant to live this way.
Your leopard gecko will rapidly develop stress. Although stress in leopard geckos is not a killer, it opens the avenue for assault by other health complications.
Keeping your leopard gecko in a small tank makes him susceptible to life-threatening diseases, such as crypto.
This is because small spaces are harder to clean and maintain. It is easier for parasites to sneak in and thrive in cramped spaces.
As a result, opportunistic infections and diseases easily find their way into this tank.
When to Upgrade Your Leopard Gecko Tank
If you started with a 10-gallon tank when your leopard gecko was a baby, you’d have to upgrade when this baby gets to 4 months.
This is the period your little lizard friend moves from being a baby to a juvenile. A juvenile would be comfortable in a 15-gallon tank.
However, it is recommended that you get a 20—gallon tank because this is what’s suitable for an adult.
What’s the use of upgrading from a 10-gallon to a 15-gallon, then to a 20-gallon in months.
If you have the means and space, you should start with a 20-gallon tank. You’ll not have to upgrade this tank when your baby leopard gecko matures into an adult.
Unlike most other reptiles, leopard geckos don’t keep growing. The male leopard gecko reaches a maximum length of 12 inches by the age of 24 months.
The female leo reaches a length of 9 inches at the same age. As such, a 20-gallon tank is a good choice for your adult leopard gecko.
The good thing about investing in a 20-gallon tank from the onset is that it can accommodate a leopard gecko of all ages.
As long as you feed and care for your leo, he will be comfortable and well-balanced in a 20-gallon tank.
You may only want to upgrade if you want a bigger tank that can hold more equipment. As such, anything larger than a 20-gallon tank is a matter of choice; it is not absolutely necessary.
However, if you want to keep two leopard geckos together (male and female), you need a bigger tank. An enclosure in the range of 30 – 40 gallons would suffice.
How Many Leopard Geckos Can You Keep Per Tank?
An adult leopard gecko needs a 20-gallon tank as the barest minimum. If you want to house more than one leo, you need an extra 5 gallons for every new companion.
Of course, it is not advisable to house 2 males together; they would never get along. But you can keep a male with one or more females together, especially for breeding purposes.
You should always bear in mind that leopard geckos need their space. Therefore, the more geckos you intend to keep together, the larger the tank should be.
So, while we say that a 20-gallon tank is large enough for an adult leo, the same space cannot accommodate two leopard geckos comfortably.
You will experience the same challenges as housing an adult in a 10-gallon tank. Consider that housing more leopard geckos means creating more hides.
Cramped leopard geckos will constantly fight for resources. They will fight to enjoy the different temperature gradients in the tank.
A sole leopard gecko will need about 3 hides in the tank. If you keep two of these reptiles, you’ll need 6 hides.
Three leopard geckos living together will require 9 hides, and so forth and so on. Leopard geckos spend considerable amounts of time in their hides.
This is the one facility your pets will constantly fight over if you don’t provide enough of them.
The point here is that the more leopard geckos you keep together, the more facilities you’ll have to provide for them.
This is your cue not to pack too many leopard geckos together. Remember, it will be harder to maintain cleanliness when looking after too many leos in the same tank.
For example, you’ll have more poops to clean. The substrate will have to be changed much more frequently, and you’ll be required to provide more food, Vitamin D3, and calcium.
It would be better to keep each leopard gecko in its own tank. This way, monitoring their health and general wellbeing will be easier.
When a leopard gecko is in his own tank, it’s easier to take care of him. He is low-maintenance and is unlikely to cause a lot of challenges.
Can a Leopard Gecko Tank Be Too Big?
Leopard geckos in the wild have unlimited space to explore. They know where to get their water and food, and the best spots for heating their bodies for digestion to take place.
Wild leopard geckos also know where to hide when faced with a threat. So if you can recreate the same conditions in your leopard gecko enclosure, you cannot say the tank is too big.
A tank is not too big if it has all the facilities needed. But, you have to ensure that the temperature and humidity are right, food and water are made available, and all stressors are eliminated.
A leopard gecko will lead a full, happy life if you recreate the conditions they enjoy in the wild. Indeed, leopard geckos that grow in vast spaces lead healthier lives.
Just imagine the kind of space the desert affords wild leos. Although you can’t go that big, it wouldn’t harm anyone to set up a 50-gallon tank for your little lizard friend.
There’s only one catch: the tank setup must be beyond reproach.
Big Tank vs. Small Tank: Which is Better for My Leopard Gecko?
Small tanks are appropriate only when your leopard gecko is a baby. For example, a 10-gallon tank is suitable for a baby leo, but it cannot serve an adult’s needs.
Once the baby becomes a juvenile, the 10-gallon tank will no longer be safe.
However, if you’re comparing a 20-gallon tank with a 50-gallon one, it doesn’t really matter which one you set up for your adult leopard gecko.
Both have enough room for your pet to safely and comfortably move around. Also, you’ll be able to create all the facilities your leopard gecko needs to lead a happy, healthy life.
Having said that, you need to keep in mind a larger tank calls for extra effort and resources to equip.
For example, maintaining the correct temperature and humidity in the larger tank will be harder for you.
Also, you’ll have to create more hides for your pet to feel safe regardless of where they are in the tank.
If you opt for the larger tank, budget for more substrate, heaters, lights, and humidifiers.
The main advantage of the larger tank is that it gives your leopard gecko more freedom of movement. Also, it is easier to clean.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What’s the Ideal Tank Size for My Adult Leopard gecko?
The best tank size for your leopard gecko is the 20-gallon one. However, you’re not restricted on the upper size limit as long as you know what’s involved in equipping and maintaining a larger tank.
How Can I Tell My Leopard Gecko is Happy in His Tank?
An unhappy leopard gecko will let you know through his behavior. For example, if the tank is too small, he will turn aggressive, restless, and moody.
He’s likely to spend considerable time in his hide. He may also constantly bark or hiss to express his displeasure.
What’s the Long-Term Effect of Keeping Your Leo in a Small Tank?
Among other things, your leopard gecko will grow slower than his age (stunted growth). Also, he will experience problems shedding.
His immunity will be compromised, exposing him to all kinds of opportunistic diseases and infections.
Which Two Leopard Geckos Can Live in the Same Tank?
Keeping two or more females together is possible if the tank is large enough. Also, you can house a male and a female for breeding purposes.
However, you cannot house two males together. This is because male leopard geckos are highly territorial and fight whenever they meet in the tank.
It doesn’t matter how big the tank is; one make cannot tolerate the sight of another in the same space.
Can I House Leopard Gecko Babies Together?
You can house leopard gecko babies together only for a limited time – maybe until the age of 2 months.
After this age, leopard geckos grow at different rates, and the larger ones are likely to bully the smaller ones.
Generally, it is not advisable to cohabit geckos unless for special reasons such as breeding. But, even then, these reptiles should not be made to live together for long.
A 10-gallon tank is a good choice for a baby leopard gecko – or two if they are under 2 months old.
However, you’ll have to upgrade this tank as your pets grow. This is because you can’t house a juvenile or adult gecko in this tank size.
A good number of seasoned leo keepers find it pointless to start with a 10-gallon tank because they’ll have to upgrade it anyway.
Make the best decision, bearing in mind that leopard geckos grow very fast.