Is the leopard gecko the easiest reptile to look after? 0 750

Leopard Gecko

If you’re a fan of reptiles but think you don’t have the time or space to keep a reptilian pet, then think again! The leopard gecko may just be the easiest pet reptile to look after and the perfect pet for you.

Easy housing for leopard geckos

Leopard geckos do not need a lot of space, so a moderately sized vivarium will suit them well.

Make sure that one side is heated to 28-32ºC with the opposite side at around 20ºC. They will need a moist area to allow them to shed their skin and plenty of ornaments to allow them to hide and climb.

The simple leopard gecko diet

Leopard geckos aren’t very demanding when it comes to feeding either. They are insectivores, so a variety of crickets, cockroaches, mealworms or other small insects is all they need. Make sure they have a good water source to keep them hydrated, and your gecko will stay happy and healthy for a long time.

Few demands

As you’re already finding out, leopard geckos are super easy to look after. They are not exceptionally sociable so they do not require a large amount of your time. It’s also perfectly fine to have just one gecko, as they do not need an additional gecko for company.

How to acclimatise your leopard gecko

When you bring your gecko home, make sure you don’t do anything to make them feel threatened.

Instead of trying to lift them, try and encourage them to make the first move. You can do this by placing your hand down near them to see if they will approach you. Be patient. Leopard geckos can be nervous, and it can take time for them to feel comfortable and to realise you are not a predator.

What not to do with pet leopard geckos

Never pick a leopard gecko up by the tail, it is extremely delicate and may break off!

Don’t leave a gecko alone with a small child. The gecko isn’t the danger, the child is. Leopard geckos are small and fragile, and therefore easily hurt. Give anyone working with them good instruction.

There’s lots more to learn about leopard gecko care, but we hope this has been a useful introduction. If you are thinking of getting a pet reptile, it really is easy with the leopard gecko!

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Five snakes that are good for beginner reptile keepers 0 678

Pet Ball Python pet

Snakes are the most popular reptile pet to keep, but are they easy to look after? They do make unusual pets, but with good pet care – the right equipment, food and environment – they will thrive.

If you’re a beginner, what snake should you get to start you off? Here’s our rundown of five snakes that will make a great pet for first time snake keepers.

Corn Snake

Corn snakes are one of the most popular first time snakes to buy. They don’t grow too big – an adult corn snake needs a 20 gallon tank. They will live for around 20 years.

They’re easy to handle and to look after. They feed on mice. Corn snakes are quite active, so will need time outside their tank for exercise.

Royal or Ball Python

The royal python (also known as the ball python) can live for up to 30 years, and grow up to five feet.

Royal pythons are a timid species, so don’t appreciate much handling – they need somewhere to hide within their tank. For tank size allow 1 square foot to each foot of snake in length.

Royals eat mice or rats, depending on the size of their mouth.

King Snake

King snakes live for about 15 years. There are lots of different types, with some growing up to six feet.

King snakes are active, so will need time out of their tank, and can bite when cornered, but with careful and regular handling should settle.

They feed on mice and rats, and need the same sized tank proportions as a royal python.

Rosy Boa

Rosy boas are fairly docile, but can bite if caught unaware. Rosy boas grow to about four feet in length and will live for about 30 years. They need a reasonable size tank, and places to hide as well. Rosy boas feed on mice.

Garter snake

Garter snakes grow up to three foot long, and live to about 10 years.

They need around a 29 gallon tank to be comfortable. Garter snakes do eat mice, but prefer fish, and food like frogs, so it’s best to give them a varied diet.

How do you home a terrapin? 0 480

A terrapin is an excellent and unusual pet to own. As amphibians, they need access to both water and land. When housing a terrapin you’ll need to create an environment for them that mimics their natural habitat as closely as possible and gives them plenty of space to enjoy both the land and water. Here we explore some pet care advice for keeping terrapins in your home.

Plan ahead

The most important thing to note with these unusual pets is that they will live for up to 30 years in captivity. Before you take a terrapin into your home you need to be prepared to care for them for their entire life. While they’re small when you first get your terrapins, they will also grow rapidly. In the first 2-4 years, your terrapins will over quadruple in size and the larger species will grow to 25cm within 5 years.

How to home the terrapin

While a tank with constructed land areas will be suitable for the terrapins at first, they will quickly grow out of a standard tank and you will need to expand their living space. Terrapins should be homed in a large tank or secure pond that has both adequate heating and lighting. The pond needs to be secured to prevent the terrapins from getting out and also to prevent children or pets from falling in. You’ll also need to control the heat, light and water carefully:

• Temperature – The terrapin needs a varying heat in their tank. They need both a basking area under a hot light and an area where they can cool down again.
• Light – You will need to install a 7-12% reptile lamp. This will expose them to UVB, which they desperately need to store calcium. The lamp will need to be regularly replaced and caution needs to be taken to prevent any exposure to broken glass for the terrapins.
• Water – Terrapins will make a mess of the water so you will need a powerful filter. A pond-standard filter will be required and this will need to be properly maintained and regularly cleaned.

Terrapins are fantastic and unusual pets to own, but you need to plan ahead seriously to do so. They will take up a large amount of space in the home and will need a great deal of kit to get started.

Photo: DSC02846 by acme licensed under Creative commons 2