The Ideal Night Temperature For Leopard Geckos

The Ideal Night Temperature For Leopard Geckos

The temperature for a leopard gecko’s tank is essential to maintaining their health. Getting the correct temperature for your leo is particularly essential during the evening when the temperature cools. 

Your leopard gecko tank should be 68 °F in the evenings so they can get a deep, restful sleep.

The Ideal Night Temperature For Leopard Geckos

Warmer temperatures in the evening may stop them from entering a deep sleep, which can impact their health over time. 

In their natural habitat, leopard geckos emerge and rest on a warm rock at night once the temperature has dipped. It is important to replicate their natural habitat in their tank.

In our article we’ll take a look at how you can keep your leopard gecko at the optimal temperature at night!

How Warm Should A Leopard Gecko’s Cage Be At Night?

Leopard geckos are crepuscular creatures that tend to hide in warm nooks in the day and emerge at night to hunt and rest on warm rocks.

These rocks are at the ideal temperature for a leo to relax on either during or after hunting. It also gives the leopard gecko an amazing view for looking for prey.

You should try as hard as you can to mimic the natural habitat inside the cage so your leopard gecko can have a healthy, happy life.

The temperatures in your gecko’s tank at night should be set between 68 °F to 70 °F. While these are agreed to be appropriate temperatures, we do advise keeping the tank at 68 °F.

There are some leo parents that keep their tanks at 61 °F in the evening (as leopard geckos can handle temperatures as low as 60 °F.), but these owners tend to have a lot of experience, so we advise avoiding such low temperatures 

The colder evening temperatures help your leopard gecko slip into a deep sleep once they’ve hunted. If the temperature is too high then this could disrupt your gecko’s sleep. 

Research has found that drops in nighttime temperature are better for your gecko than if you were to keep the tank at the same temperature all day. 

If you have a particularly cold home, then it may be worth installing a heat source for your gecko’s tank. 

Let’s take a look at some popular sources of heat for your leopard gecko, and what source you should avoid. 

Should You Use Heat Mats In Your Leopard Gecko Cage?

Heat mats can be the perfect solution to boosting the temperature in your leopard gecko’s tank if it’s getting too chilly.

During the winter months when the weather isn’t so great and your house is colder, heat mats are a great addition to your leopard gecko cages.

However, a heat source could be helpful during the summer when you’re blasting the air conditioning.

Leopard geckos may be uncomfortable at these temperatures and may find it difficult to find somewhere in the tank where they can get warm. 

Set-up for a heat mat is easy as you just place it right at the bottom of the cage. If you would like to save on your electricity bills, you don’t need fixtures or bulbs to power your heat mat.

Furthermore, heat mats have a good shelf life too, making them great value for money.

While some leopard gecko owners may not agree with this, bulbs might be the most effective way of mimicking the day and night cycle that geckos would experience in their natural habitat.

We also recommend buying a UVB light bulb with the mat. If you can only purchase a heat mat right now, then you can upgrade your tank with a bulb later.

Heat mats can assist your leopard gecko in achieving the right body temperature needed for them to properly digest their food.

Without a heat source, your leo may not be able to properly digest food and experience problems with excretion. This may also affect how they can move around too. 

Do You Need Thermostats In Your Leopard Gecko Tanks?

Another crucial point to keep in mind is that you will need to buy a thermostat as well as a heat meat. Thermostats are essential devices that control and regulate your gecko’s tank automatically. 

Without a thermostat, you may experience serious issues such as your gecko sustaining burns. Not having a thermostat in your tank can even be fatal for your gecko. 

Do You Need Ceramic Heat Emitters In Your Leopard Gecko Tanks?

When you are experiencing issues with your tank temperature regularly dropping under 68 °F, ceramic heat emitters make a great supplemental heat source.

Ceramic heat emitters do increase the temperature of the tank, but they should only be used in certain circumstances where temperatures are regularly low, as they can heat up quite quickly!

Ceramic heat emitters are perfect for leopard geckos and can give off heat without emitting light. However, it’s important to ensure that these heat emitters are not overheating the whole tank.

You also need to make sure a thermostat is installed, and your gecko will still require a cool space in their tank.

The Ideal Night Temperature For Leopard Geckos

Should You Use Infrared Lights In A Leopard Gecko Tank?

Lighting is crucial, and a lot of attention should be paid when providing light for your pet leo. Leopard geckos thrive from sunlight, heat, or the artificial light in their tanks. 

Still, you should never use infrared light in your tank as your leopard gecko can absorb the light and it can cause a lot of damage to their skin tissue. 

It’s also important to be aware that some manufacturers of small and tube-shaped fluorescent lights give off dangerous short-wave UVB.

These lights can also lead to a dangerous eye condition known as photo-kerato-conjunctivitis. However, some manufacturers have solved this issue while others are still fixing it.

If your leopard gecko is struggling to open their eyes or they become swollen following a new lamp installation, we recommend speaking to your vet immediately.

Whether the lamp is placed – and what kind of lamp it is – may be responsible for your gecko developing this condition.

Why Lighting Setup Is Important

When you use a good lighting set-up in daylight hours, you can create the ideal temperature for your gecko in the evening. The lighting during the day is what lets the cage remain warm at night.

Even the substrate and rocks will warm up during the day and retain their heat in the evening.

It is simple to achieve the right temperature (68 °F) without ceramic heat emitters and heat mats with the proper lighting setup. 

Some gecko owners don’t use heat lamps, and in this case, you should use a heat mat as this would help to simulate your gecko’s natural habitat as they like to rest on warm rocks.

Keep in mind that if you decide not to set up an appropriate lighting system, your leopard gecko might be vulnerable to serious long-term health problems as lights are crucial to establishing a night and day cycle for your gecko. 

You can use a time switch to set up times when you would like the lights to turn on and off every day in the tank. UVB lights are believed to have a positive effect on your gecko’s health. 

In fact, studies have shown that UVB lights are good for leopard geckos, which is something gecko owners have observed for years.

Tips For Lighting Your Leopard Geckos

It’s important to keep a few lighting tips in mind when you’re setting up a light system for your gecko’s tank:

Instead of directing the light from the sides of the tank, instead place them right above the tank.

Your leopard gecko has ridges slightly above its eyes that look like eyebrows and act like a visor that shades the sensitive areas of your gecko’s eye.

Still, if the lighting is placed in the wrong parts of the tank, then this can make your gecko more vulnerable to eye damage.

Your leopard gecko may also suffer serious eye damage with incorrect placement or misuse of the UVB light.

Placing your light above the tank rather than the sides of the tank is ideal, as are lamps that rest on the tank’s mesh lid.

It’s important that the strength of the light bulbs is appropriate for the tank size. For example, a 75W heat bulb is recommended for 20 gallon leopard gecko tanks. 

There should be an appropriate distance between your gecko and the lights, preferably six inches.

You should always monitor temperatures under the heat lamp. We definitely recommend investing in a temperature gun to keep an eye on the hot spot, warm zone, and cool zone temperatures. 

Put caves and hides on the light and darker sides of the tank.

How To Reduce Humidity For Leopard Gecko Tanks

If your tank has high levels of humidity, you may be wondering what you should do. Let’s take a look at how you can manage and reduce the humidity in your leopard gecko tank. 

Other than the moist hide or your gecko if they need assistance shedding, do not spray the tank.

Make sure the tank has good ventilation so evaporating water can escape. Since leopard tanks are heated, the humidity tends to evaporate.

If you have a plastic or glass lid and the humidity levels aren’t budging, go for a wire mesh lid instead.

Put a smaller water tray in the tank. While you will need to refill the tank frequently, it will reduce evaporation.

Think about changing the substrate, like swapping the traditional soil-like substrate with reptile carpet, tile, or a similar substance that isn’t absorbent.

If this isn’t possible, use dry rice socks or silica gel bags to reduce the moisture on the bottom of the tank.

If you live in a coastal or tropical area, then the ambient air might be responsible for the humidity, and this is the most challenging humidity issue to overcome.

First, you will need to handle the room humidity. Opening windows and creating drafts, installing a fan (like a ceiling fan), and switching the HVAC on will lower the ambient humidity.

In extreme circumstances, you may need to install a dehumidifier which should be placed close to the tank.

If this investment isn’t possible, then keep in mind that the optimal humidity level for humans is between 30% and 60%.

Achieving ambient humidity at the lower end of the scale will be ideal for you and your pets.

Or, you can install a mini-dehumidifier in your gecko’s tank if you have enough space.

If you have a room designated for numerous reptiles, you may experience high evaporation from a lot of mist or water in a warm space.

In this case, we recommend keeping your leopard geckos in a separate room, as it can be difficult to tackle evaporation from multiple terrariums. 

Final Thoughts

The perfect temperature for a leopard gecko tank in the evening is about 68 °F. 

If you’re having some trouble maintaining this temperature in your home, then this will impact how warm your gecko’s tank is.

There are a variety of heating options for you to choose from in the form of ceramic heat emitters, heat lamps, and heat mats to boost the temperature. 

It’s also worth keeping in mind how dangerous infrared light can be and to make sure you are protecting your gecko from possible light damage to their eyes.

Leopard Gecko Heating and Lighting Guide

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