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Golden Gecko/Madagascan Giant Day Gecko Care Sheets
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Care Sheet for Geckos

Average Rating Given To This Care Sheet Is 0    (1=lowest, 5=highest)    Last Updated: 02/22/2008

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Years Experience:

Under 1 Year


Golden Gecko/Madagascan Giant Day Gecko

Other Species or Phases this Care Sheet May Cover:

Tropical geckos in general

Sexing and Characteristics:

The male will have larger preanal pores than the female. These pores are found near the vent. Females tend to be duller in color than males, although this is not always the case. Males are usually brighter, though.

Mostly Active During:


Substrate and Water Needs:

Keep a moist layer of Bed-A-Beast or Eco-Earth for tropical species. This will keep the humidity high enough for comfort and healthy shedding. Add a waterfall or a water dish (or both) to increase the humidity in the terrarium even further. Green sphagnum moss also helps hold humidity, and a layer of this can be spread over the top of the original substrate.

Lighting and UVB:

Most gecko species need a source of UVB lighting. Use a fluorescent bulb for UVB lighting and a separate heat lamp for a basking lamp. 100W bulbs put out a good amount of heat and light. At night, a red IR light in a separate lamp is good for warmth as well.

Temperatures and Humidity:

Temperatures for tropical species should be kept at at least 75 during the day, preferably higher in the 80-85 degree range. At night, 75 degrees is fine. Humidity should be kept at at least 70% if possible. This can be accomplished through misting the terrarium 2-3 times (or more) a day and using substrate that holds humidity.

Heating and Equipment:

For heat, a basking lamp of 100W or so works well, with a separate IR lamp of 100W at night. Ceramic heat emitters can be used as well. Heat rocks can be used if they are properly chosen for the environment you are attempting to create. Using a desert heat rock for a tropical environment does not work. A heat rock that periodically warms and cools is preferred. That way, the gecko can self-regulate its own body temperature better. Be careful with heat rocks, though, as they can malfunction and burn your pet.

Caging Provided:

Caging is a personal choice, but for even a small pair of geckos, you need at least a 20 gallon tank with a tall screen top that allows for climbing room. Provide hiding places and climbing spaces within the terrarium. A glass aquarium with a tall cage top works well.



Description of Diet:

Geckos’ main staple food is crickets. These should be no longer than the length of the gecko’s head and no shorter than the distance between the gecko’s eyes to be of proper size. Geckos also enjoy the occasional treat consisting of fruit baby food, mashed up bananas, or papaya. Do not feed them superworms, as the superworms’ exoskeleton is composed of chitin, which geckos cannot digest.

Supplements, Nutrition and Usage:

Once or twice a week, the crickets should be dusted with a vitamin supplement powder before feeding. Crickets should already be gut-loaded (fed a high-vitamin, high-calcium diet). Vitamin supplements can be mixed into treats. Another way to get the calcium and D3 the geckos need is to treat their water with liquid supplements. Do not overdo the D3, though, because it can be toxic to your pet in high doses.


Clean fecal matter and dead crickets out of the enclosure daily. Every 4-6 months, do a complete cleaning of the entire terrarium, top to bottom. Use a cleaner that will not be toxic to your geckos if encountered by them, even though they will not be in the terrarium when you clean it. A cup of bleach in a gallon of water works well for disinfecting all terrarium contents. Make sure to rinse everything off and let everything sit to dry thoroughly before reassembling your terrarium. Attempt to recreate the terrarium setting as closely as possible, as this will stress your pet less when it is reintroduced. If you change the setting, it is like throwing your gecko into an entirely new environment and nothing will be familiar, thereby causing stress to your pet.

Some Words on this Species:

I have two Golden Geckos and two Madagascan Giant Day Geckos. The same general care has worked for both species so far. None of them have gotten sick or behaved oddly. Golden Geckos are nocturnal, so if they hide during the day, do not be surprised. The Madagascan Day Geckos are very active during the day. If the gecko’s activity or behavior changes, watch them closely for signs of stress or illness. Never keep two males of any species together. A breeding pair may be kept together if watched carefully and given enough room that they can each have their own territory. IF YOUR GECKO ESCAPES, move slowly. Do not rush toward it, because it will only make your gecko run farther away. Instead, get a clear plastic container and slowly bring it up from behind the gecko as you distract it with a finger from the front. Place the clear container over the gecko, then slide a stiff piece of paper or cardboard under the container with the gecko in it. Be careful of toes and tails during this process. Take the whole works back to the terrarium and put it inside the terrarium before releasing the gecko. This works extremely well and is recommended over grabbing the gecko and risking injury or tail loss.
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The information contain in these care sheets represents only the opinions and husbandry care of members and therefore is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate or reflects the advice or opinions of It is always advised to seek additional information or the advice of a qualified veterinarian or qualified reptile dealer. It is also advisable for you to a good amount of research before implementing any of the ideas and care described in these care sheets. We also recommend you ask many questions in their related forums before acting on any information.

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