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REPTILE / new pets

A Set-up Guide for Golden Geckos or White-Line Geckos

Tips for home, health and fun


Five things to know about your gecko

  • Geckos can live up to 10 years
  • They grow up to eight inches long
  • White-line geckos are named for the stripe down their back
  • Geckos are excellent climbers
  • Geckos prefer not to be handled

How to set-up your gecko’s home

These two gecko species are solitary creatures that prefer to live alone. Choose a terrarium that’s a minimum of 20 gallons. Because geckos are climbers, the terrarium should be relatively tall with a screened lid.

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What to put in your gecko's habitat

  • Line the bottom the terrarium with two to three inches of coconut-fiber or bark bedding. Scoop the poop at least once a week and replace their bedding completely once a month.
  • Add a rock or wooden place for hiding on one side of the terrarium (this will become the habitat’s cool side).
  • Provide lots of branches, either live or artificial, for climbing.
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Heat & lights

  • Geckos need lighting that mimics day and night. If their habitat is in a dim room, light the terrarium for 12 hours a day with a fluorescent bulb.
  • At night, switch to a night-specific bulb so you can watch your gecko with minimum disturbance.
  • A gecko’s terrarium should have a warm side and a cool side. By day, the temperature should be between 85 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit on the warm side, and between 70 F and 85 F on the cooler side. At night the whole tank should be between 65 F and 75 F.
  • A heat bulb or ceramic heat emitter will keep the warm side at the right temperature. A thermometer at each end can help you regulate the habitat temperature overall.
  • Your gecko’s habitat humidity should range of between 50% and 80%. Use a hygrometer — a device that measures humidity — to keep track.
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Help keep your gecko healthy

Geckos need an adequate supply of Vitamin D in their diet.

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Try not to handle new geckos for three or four days to give them a chance to get acclimated to their new surroundings. Whether your gecko is new or settled-in, be sure to contact a vet if you notice any of these symptoms of illness or distress:

  • More time spent hiding
  • Eating or drinking less; weight loss
  • Discolored skin
  • Swollen joints
  • Discharge from the eyes, nose or mouth
  • Runny droppings for more than two days


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The PetSmart Promise: If your pet becomes ill during the initial 14-day period, or if you’re not satisfied for any reason, PetSmart will gladly replace the pet or refund the purchase price.