Leopard geckos are popular pets because they are relatively easy to care for, and they don’t require a lot of space. But before you purchase one, it’s important to find out what types of tank mates will work best with them.
Leopard geckos do not need tank mates to live happily. They are live perfectly in solitary, but with proper care and conditions, you can introduce same-species tank mates. Provide a lot of extra space in the tank to prevent competition for resources and territory.
Introducing bigger reptiles as tank mates is not a good idea as your gecko might get eaten by the new tank mate. This article discusses different leopard gecko tank mate possibilities that can be paired with your pet leopard gecko in order to create the perfect shared home environment.
Do leopard geckos need tank mates?
Leopard geckos don’t need tank mates in order to live healthy lives, but they can be beneficial. The geckos can live with some other reptile pets but only if conditions are right.
Lizards and other possible tank mates that are considered ideal for leopard gecko tanks should have a similar care level. This is just an idea to make sure there isn’t too much work involved with keeping both of them happy and well-fed.
So, that’s about tank mates, but do leopard geckos need companions? The straight answer is NO. Leopard geckos don’t need companions because they prefer to be alone. However, you can still introduce other leopard geckos in same tank because these lizards are sociable. They just don’t feel lonely though so it is not a requirement.
One of the major general rules of thumb is to keep within the same species when planning to introduce a tank mate in a leopard gecko tank. Also, not all lizards and similar pets are going to work well as potential tank mates for a leopard gecko because they have different care requirements and diet.
However, there are some exceptions like the bearded dragon lizard (Pogona vitticeps) or blue-tongued skink (Tiliqua rugosa) that would make a great tank mate for leopard geckos.
More on compatible tank mates later below.
Can leopard geckos live with other reptiles?
No. It is not a good idea to keep leopard geckos with any other reptiles, including other leopard geckos. These lizards are very territorial animals and can become aggressive in confined spaces. If some other reptiles are introduced in an improper way, it can lead to aggressive behavior in your Lgeckoes such as fighting and biting.
Different reptiles may need very different living conditions than a typical leopard gecko setup can provide. For instance, bearded dragons require higher humidity levels than what is generally recommended for leopard geckos.
This, however, does not mean you cannot introduce new tank mates in your gecko’s enclosure. It is generally a trial and error process, so remain watchful to make sure you safely and successfully introduce good tank mates.
In the next section, I’ve discussed some great tank mates you can pair with your leopard gecko with a great chance of success.
Leopard Gecko Tank Mates
What can live with a leopard gecko? If you’re considering a leopard gecko for your next pet or already have one, then it’s important to know that they are primarily solitary animals. They don’t need to be housed with other lizards in order to feel content and happy. However, the key to leopard gecko tank mates here will be how big your cage is. A very large enclosure = more room for more friends.
Here are some leopard gecko tank mates to try:
If the tank is set up properly, turtles can live together with your leopard gecko. You’ll need to be sure the turtles can’t climb out of the tank, however. This is because they are usually quite large and don’t have any claws on their feet that will allow them to get back up if they fall down.
Leopard geckos tend to stay near the top or bottom of a tank during daytime hours, so it’s important that there is no less than one inch (two centimetres) between the surface height in those areas and where your turtle lives in order for both pets to feel comfortable by not feeling too exposed or shy around each other.
However, it also means you might need additional hiding spots for your leopard gecko since he won’t always want his little head sticking out from underneath a piece of substrate.
You’ll also need to be prepared for your turtles spraying the walls of their tank with water, which might then seep into the leopard gecko’s habitat.
It might also be worth researching whether or not turtles are safe to keep with your other pets. Some turtles are dangerous to frogs and fish, so it’s important to know if you have any of those in the tank before adding a turtle.
While turtles make an excellent companion for your leopard gecko, they can be hard to maintain at times and might require more effort than you’re accustomed to with your gecko.
Bearded dragons should not be kept together with leopard geckos because of the difference in size. The beardie is much bigger, and could potentially eat the leo.
However, there are some circumstances where bearded dragons can be introduced as tank mates for leopard geckos:
- When introducing them into the tank at the same time – probably as young pets so that they can get used to each other as they grow
- If the tank is very big such that these lizards won’t have to compete over space
These conditions need to be met as a set if you’re considering a bearded dragon as a leopard gecko’s tank mate.
The key aspect to keeping both leos and bearded dragons happy is having a large enough enclosure so that they have plenty of room to roam around. As such, these two species would likely spend most of their time trying to avoid each other rather than interacting if kept together for long-term or even for short-lasting periods (such as overnight).
Small lizards can make great tank mates for your leopard gecko if introduced in the tank at the right time. They are climbing reptiles and will therefore need a lot of room to explore.
Provide plenty of hiding spots and tall plants in the tank for them to climb over.
Keep in mind that your leopard gecko is a nocturnal reptile, so if you introduce lizards that are diurnal they will naturally wake up at the same time as your gecko which can result in a problem. Try introducing these lizards during the day instead of nightfall or evening when other reptiles may be asleep!
Make sure all inhabitants get along with one another before adding any new pets into the tank (this might not always happen, but it’s worth trying out).
Crickets and dubia roaches
Crickets are the most unlikely creatures to add to your lizard’s tank, but they are more than ideal because they are a great source of food for the gecko. If the enclosure is big enough, your leopard gecko will hunt and eat crickets and enjoy a good meal and source of calcium.
If you want to keep crickets in with your lizard, this is how you can do it:
- Get a small, plastic container with air holes in the top and place dry cat food inside. The crickets will come to eat and lay eggs there for your gecko to find!
- Fill up another smaller clear container such as an old water bottle halfway full of water and put some sticks in it for the crickets to lay eggs on.
- Put some egg cartons inside with a little hole in each and fill them up with dry cat food so that when the crickets come they can eat easily and then lay their eggs there!
Other food-type tank mates for your leopard geckos are mealworms and dubia roaches. Your gecko will be happy and well-fed while you enjoy having these creatures around!
READ ALSO: Can Leopard Geckos Eat Grasshoppers?
Can leopard geckos and chameleons live together?
Typically, leopard geckos and chameleons cannot live together. The very nature of their physical differences prevents them from living in the same environment with one another.
Leopard geckos are nocturnal while chameleons are diurnal. They require different environments to thrive which is why they cannot live in the same one. It is clear that the gecko will disturb the chameleon while it is resting at night.
How to introduce a tank mate safely
Before introducing a new tank mate to live with your leopard gecko, you might want to take some precautions to ensure that one animal does not kill another. Also, you don’t want the new friend infecting each other with parasites and diseases.
Here’s how to introduce a leopard gecko tank mate safely:
Go for same-sized geckos
Leopard geckos can live together with other leopard geckos but it is important that they are of the same size when introducing them to each other.
It will be extremely difficult for a small or medium-sized lizard to coexist in a tank with one or more large-sized leopards so if you’re going for this make sure they all meet on the first day, no exceptions!
Bigger space is better
They need at least an 18×18 inch cage (or bigger) and should never be housed alone unless for breeding purposes. If housing males together, females should not remain inside their enclosures as there may become territorial disputes between the two sexes.
Don’t mix species
When introducing a new tank mate, choose from the same species to avoid any competition, disruptions, and cases of some pets eating others. There have been cases of large bearded dragons eating small leopard geckos when placed in the same tank!
Different species, like leopard geckos and chameleons, do not live together while others of the same species can. For example, a female-to-male pair of leopard geckos might get along but be aggressive with another type of lizard such as an iguana or bearded dragon. It is, therefore, best to stick with the same genus when mixing reptiles.
Don’t limit to one male
Male geckos are generally very territorial, but so are the females. If you’re introducing new tank-mates, you might want to mix them up instead of limiting the number of males.
The ideal situation is to keep each gecko separately, but you can have them ask tank mates if you have a large vivarium, which can help mitigate problems such as leopard gecko fights, biting, and competition for food and mates.
Do health checks and quarantine
The health of your reptile pet is important. Therefore, before adding a new tank mate to the enclosure, do the necessary health checks to make sure the new reptiles are healthy and free of parasites.
You might want to quarantine and treat sick reptiles before introducing them as tank mates for your leopard gecko. I’d recommend taking the new candidates to your reptile veterinarian for a quick check-up before going with them back home.
Some lizards that make great leopard gecko tank mates include bearded dragons, juvenile anoles, juveniles blue tree monitors (or any species of monitor lizard), collared lizards, some types of chameleons – though not all due to dietary requirements – captive-bred corn snakes or kingsnakes, etc.
You can have other nocturnal lizards with your Leopard Geckos such as an Albino African Fat-Tailed Skink (with caution). You could also house two Repti Glo Bulbs at opposite ends of their tank for nighttime lighting needs while in separate containers during daytime hours when they’re not needed. This way each reptile can have its own light schedule.