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Three Great Geckos for Beginners

New to Keeping Reptiles as Pets? These Geckos are Ideal Pets for Beginners


All of these geckos do require conscientious care and are a major commitment, but they don't need a lot of expensive equipment and are pretty low maintenance as far as lizards go. Leopard geckos top my list of the best geckos for beginners, but there are also some other choices if you are looking for something a little different. Things to remember:
  • Always try to find a captive bred gecko
  • All of these species can be kept in pairs or trios, but only one male per tank
  • See the care guide for each of these geckos for more detail on their needs and care

1. Leopard Geckos

Leopard Geckos
Photo © Lianne McLeod
Leopard geckos are always a good choice for beginners. They are usually easy to find and can be found in an array of patterns and colors. Leopard geckos can be kept in a 20 gallon tank, and no specialized UV lighting is required. A diet of gut loaded crickets along with a few other assorted pet store bugs will keep them healthy and happy. These geckos can usually be handled quite readily, and can become quite tame.

2. Crested Geckos

Crested Gecko - Image Courtesy Pangea Reptile LLC
Photo © Pangea Reptile LLC (used with permission)
Crested Geckos get their name from a fringed crest that runs over their eyes and down the neck and back -- which is also responsible for their other common name, the eyelash gecko. They can also make do with a 20 gallon tall tank, though a larger tank will be appreciated by these active arboreal lizards. Crested geckos need space to climb on branches and plants. They are can be fed a commercially available diet made specifically for crested geckos. Though they can be handled and are generally docile, they do tend to be skittish so are a bit trickier to handle than leopard geckos.

3. Fat Tailed Geckos

Frodo and Ophelia - Fat Tailed Geckos
Photo © Natalie
African fat tailed geckos are much like leopard geckos, except their tails function as fat storage, so a healthy fat tailed gecko will have a large tail. Their care is similar to that of leopard geckos; a 20 gallon tank is sufficient, no special lighting is required, a diet of crickets and other insects will suit them just fine. They are also quite docile and suitable for handling.
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