Substrates and Floor Coverings for Gecko Enclosures

As geckos in the wild live in rocky regions with soil covered by sand, it's important that in captivity they have the same environment too. When keeping geckos, you'll need to place substrate or floor covering at the base of their enclosure.

A popular choice for baby geckos is to use newspaper or paper towels as their substrate. This method is relatively cheap and easy to maintain. Something more natural and easy on the eye however is fine sand or a mixture of sand and soil. Substrates for your gecko like these aren't too expensive and are available from good pet shops.

Here's a selection of vivarium substrates available on Amazon.

Some gecko owners have heard reports that baby geckos can ingest soil and sand substrate and as a result die of sand impaction. This is why some experts recommend paper based substrates for young geckos until they are grown to about 6 inches in length.

Part of this impaction problem is actually due to the availability of calcium. Many geckos will ingest their substrate as a source of calcium. To avoid this problem, many gecko experts will coat the insect feed in calcium or provide small bowls of calcium carbonate for their geckos. This should reduce the amount of sand substrate that leopard geckos may ingest.

When choosing t ouse sand as a substrate for your geckos, always choose fine sand rather than coarse sand. This is much less likely to lead to dangerous impaction issues.

Another measure to reduce sand ingestion is to place your gecko's food insects in a bowl rather than loose on the bottom for the enclosure.

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