The majority of people recommend buying your gecko as young as possible. This saves you money and allows for an earlier chance to form a bond. This will also allow your pet to get accustomed to being touched.
In addition to the gecko itself, you’ll also want to consider the total cost of ownership. Your lizard companion will need a place to sleep, creature comforts, and food.
Price of the Gecko
A gecko may be one of the most cost-effective options. The price of a gecko runs from $30 – 50 at your local pet store. Private pet stores usually have competitive pricing. Adult reptiles have more time and care invested, so they may be slightly more expensive.
If you want to start with a simple glass aquarium, prices can range from $30 – 100, depending on the size. For an aquarium, a lid may run in the $10 to $15 dollar range.
|Light Fitting and Bulbs (pricy UV lights unnecessary)||$30-50|
|Heat source (under tank heat pads)||$12-20|
|Substrate (carpet or sand mat)||$12-15|
Monthly expense Routine:
The majority of the monthly expenses will be spent on lighting, food, and substrate. Geckos need a basking spot in their tank that is 87-90°F. This basking spot can be warmed with either a basking bulb, spot bulb, or a heat mat. This depends on your heating and lighting setup:
- Heating spot bulbs will cost $10-$15, but they need replacing every month or two.
- UVB basking bulbs normally cost $30 and will need replacing every six months.
- Heat mats cost around $30 depending on their size and need replacing every few years.
- The substrate is another supply that needs to be replaced every month.
Gecko carpet is cheap and will only cost $7-$10, depending on the tank size. It needs to be replaced once every four to six weeks. When the carpet begins to look ragged and the fibers are loose, you will know it is time to replace it.
The minimum size should be 20 gallons or equivalent (30 x 12 ft.). The enclosure should be constructed with solid walls that have adequate top or side ventilation, with three sides darkened or covered. The enclosure should be secured with either latching doors, or a screen held on with clips/locking mechanism.
Primary basking heat should be provided with an under-tank heater. Additional heaters in the form of a ceramic heat emitter or a blue heat bulb may be necessary if air temperatures in the home are too low.
The chosen heat source must be hooked up to a reliable thermostat, preferably a digital one. The temperature should be monitored with a reliable digital thermometer or heat gun.
Use a solid substrate that is safe and easy to clean. Particle substrates (sand, dirt, or wood chips)shouldNOT be used. Recommended substrates include tile, reptile carpet, or newspaper.
A shallow water dish should be provided (so your gecko does not drown).
There should be at least three hides, large enough for the gecko to be fully enclosed when inside. One should be situated on the warm end, one on the cool end, and a humid hide should also be provided. Other decorative items such as fake plants, climbing branches, etc., are recommended.
Geckos bought should be fed a diet of appropriately-sized live insects such as crickets, mealworms, super worms, butter worms, phoenix worms, or roaches. A calcium supplement should be dusted on insects regularly and in a dish inside the enclosure, too.
Gecko adoption is a wonderful way to provide a gecko a second chance at a caring environment. Some geckos are very costly because of the special requirements they have.
Average life expectancy is also a major reason. It’s usually a good idea to get to know a little more about gecko habits, temperament, and relationships with humans before adopting one.
Research before adopting
Here are critical components of owning a gecko
- The average life expectancy of the pet
- Cost of food
- Vet costs, especially for exotic breeds
- Specific needs in the long-term like vaccinations, heat lamps, or maintenance
Things to Remember when purchasing from a Pet Store
Regardless of who you buy from, try to find out when their new geckos are delivered. If you can buy a gecko as soon as it’s received by the store, you have a better chance of minimizing stress. The fewer transitions, the easier it is getting adjusted to the new home.
A significant perk of buying from a store is you can buy the exact same food they were feeding your gecko. Keep the food as consistent as possible. This will be a huge help during the transition to your home. Be courteous and ask what the store policy is.
A healthy gecko should be active, alert, have a strong appetite. The gecko should be able to walk without dragging its body. Both eyes should be open, and they should be responsive to stimuli. Pay close attention and see to it that the nose, mouth, and vent are clear of any crust or discharge. All toes should be intact. There should be no stuck shed.
Avoid rescued geckos!
We all know the familiar strain of a rescue animal; we see weakening in a pet store. Try to avoid buying the rescued geckos and taking them home. Instead, try finding a thoughtful and polite way to bring it to the staff’s attention.