Wondering about the perfect night temperature for leopard geckos? This guide is for you!
The temperatures you subject your leopard gecko to determine its health and overall wellbeing. This little animal’s temperature needs differ during the day and night.
The perfect temperature requirement for a leopard gecko at night is 200C (680F). Unfortunately, temperatures higher than this are likely to affect your pet’s physiology, leading to a raft of health issues and conditions.
Leopard geckos in the wild are often seen lying on rocks. This is because they are running away from cold temperatures and seeking the warmth of sun-kissed rocks.
The rocks provide them with the perfect night-time temperature. Therefore, it’s important that you simulate these kinds of conditions with your leo in captivity.
What’s the Perfect Night-Time Temperature for Your Leopard Gecko?
Leos like lying on the rocks at night to absorb heat. Therefore, you’re more likely to see a leo on a rock at night than during the day.
This is because these reptiles are crepuscular – they come out at twilight and are more active at night.
Leopard geckos enjoy an array of activities when their world comes alive at night time – such as hunting, playing, feeding, and mating.
Your leopard gecko needs optimal temperature conditions to carry out these activities effectively. Therefore, you should simulate this animal’s temperatures in the wild at night.
For a vibrant, healthy lifestyle, keep your leopard gecko at 200C (680 F). However, your pet will survive in temperatures as low as 160C (610F); some keepers keep their pets at this.
All the same, these are not ideal conditions, and such a low temperature is not recommended for your pet.
The perfect night-time temperature is suitable for your pet for a number of reasons. For example, it enables this animal to fall into a deep sleep after hunting.
Your leopard gecko may have trouble falling asleep if the temperatures are too warm.
However, this is not to say that your leopard gecko should be subjected to extremely low temperatures.
Granted, cold night-time temperatures are better than warm temperatures. However, never subject your leopard gecko to temperatures below 150C (600F).
Keeping your pet under such low temperatures has its unique health issues and problems.
If you have a heating problem and temperatures drop dangerously, consider getting a secondary heat source for the leo’s enclosure.
Maintaining the Perfect Night-Time Temperature for your Leopard Gecko
To keep the night-time temperatures from dropping too low, you may want to have a reliable heat source. These include ceramic heat emitters, heat mats, and well-placed lights.
Use of Ceramic Heat Emitters
Ceramic Heat Emitters (CHEs) are an excellent supplemental heat source if the cage temperatures consistently fall below the recommended level.
However, only use this heat source when absolutely necessary.
Ceramic heat emitters are known for raising the cage level quite fast, and this may be detrimental if there’s no temperature in the first place.
Closely monitor the temperature levels in the cage when the CHE is in use to ensure the entire cage is not being overheated.
The best way to go about this is to have a CHE with a thermostat. This will turn on/off the heater when it goes beyond the required temperature range.
At the same time, ensure that the leopard gecko’s hiding spot is intact. Your gecko will need to cool often, especially with the CHE in place.
Use of Heat Mats
If the cage if too cold for your leopard gecko, using a heat mat is one of the best ways to correct the situation.
Heat mats come in handy during the particularly cold months of winter. They are also an ideal supplementary heat source in unexpected heat loss due to blackouts.
Using a summer heat mat is also recommended if the air conditioner is turned on at night. The heat mat provides your leopard gecko with a warm spot to up its body temperature.
The good thing about using a heat mat is that it doesn’t require bulbs or fixtures. A heat mat also saves on space as it is placed at the bottom of the tank.
Heat mats can be used for a long time because they don’t wear-and-tear fast. As such, investing in these devices gives you value for money.
All the same, ensure that you use the right products from reputable dealers. Do all due diligence as you shop for your heat mat.
At the end of the day, you need to use products that meet the needs of your leo.
Lighting Setup for the Perfect Night-Time Temperature
How Does the Right Lighting Setup Help?
Installing and using the right setup during the day can help regulate the temperatures in the cage at night.
The warmth of the light during the day keeps the cage and your leopard gecko well-adjusted.
If you have a well-set-up lighting system, you don’t have to use heat mats and CHEs to keep the enclosure warm at night.
Remember, the goal here is to maintain the perfect night temperature of 200C (680 F). The key here is in installing the right lighting system.
Choosing an inappropriate lighting setup puts your leopard gecko in long-term danger. This is because a good lighting system simulates the natural night-day cycle; a poor one doesn’t.
The right lighting setup employs a switch that turns the lights on/off at the appropriate times. Of course, these times differ depending on the time of the year.
The lights are left on longer in summer to simulate the longer summer days. In winter, the lights are switched off earlier.
It is recommended to use UVB lights, as these boost your leopard gecko’s immunity and overall wellbeing.
Indeed, leopard geckos are believed to become more active after being under UVB light for some time.
Why Are Infrared Lights Bad for Your Leopard Gecko?
Although lighting is very important for your leopard gecko, care should be taken to have the right setup.
You should try as much as possible to simulate the natural conditions your leopard gecko would live in were he in the wild.
One of the things you should avoid is the use of infrared (red) light. This light penetrates deep into your leos tissues, causing irreparable damage.
Infrared light has been known to cause gene mutations.
Also, take care not to use fluorescent-type lights that emit dangerous UVB. Short-wave UVB is responsible for a myriad of health issues, such as the photo-kerato conjunctivitis eye problem.
While some lighting products cause this problem, others are okay to use and will not make your leo’s eyes swell.
In case you find your pet with this issue, immediately seek the help of a vet. Additionally, have the infrared lighting system replaced with a more appropriate one.
- The perfect night-time temperature for your leopard gecko is 200C (680F).
- The wrong temperature in your home can affect the temperature in your leo’s cage.
- There are various heating options for maintaining the right night temperatures in the enclosure.
- Good supplementary heat sources include heat lamps, mats, and ceramic heat emitters.
- Ensure the quality of the products you purchase is above board. Deal with only reputable manufacturers and dealers.
- Never use infrared lighting in the enclosure. Red lights damage your pet’s tissues and eyes.
- If any issues arise from low temperatures or poor lighting, don’t hesitate to consult an expert vet.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are Thermostats Necessary When Using Heat Mats?
It’s important to use a thermostat with a heat mat. Thermostats automatically control the temperature, so the cage does not get too hot or too cold.
Without a thermostat, the enclosure may overheat and accidentally burn your leo.
What is the perfect night-time temperature for my leopard gecko?
The perfect night-time temperature for your leopard gecko is 200C (680F). However, leos have been known to survive in lower temperatures for quite some time.
It is recommended that you maintain the ideal temperature for your gecko as much as you can.
Is maintaining the perfect night-time temperature for my leopard gecko difficult?
Maintaining the perfect night-time temperature for your leopard gecko is not hard if you know how to go about it.
You need to install the right devices to keep the temperatures constant during winter or in case of emergency unexpected power failure.
What can I use as a supplementary heat source for my leopard gecko’s enclosure?
Good supplementary heat sources include heat lamps, mats, and ceramic heat emitters.
What is the ‘thermal gradient’ in a leopard gecko’s enclosure?
A thermal enclosure should have a basking area and a cooler side. The basking area is heated directly with an appropriate device. The hiding spot where the leopard gecko can run to and cool off is the cooler side.
The humidity of the terrarium follows this natural thermal gradient.
Leopard geckos originate in hot and dry deserts. As such, they need to be kept warm and dry.
The ideal daytime temperature of these reptiles is between 240C and 290C (750F and 850F). However, the optimal temperature is 200C (680F), and it should not be allowed to drop below 180C (650F).
Never subject your leopard gecko to temperatures as low as 150C (600F), as this is fatal.