Which Geckos Are Best for Beginners? A Comprehensive Guide

When it comes to pets, geckos are one of the best options for beginners. They are relatively low maintenance and don’t require as much attention as other pets like dogs or cats. They are also quiet and don’t require a lot of space, making them perfect for apartment living or small homes. Additionally, geckos are fascinating creatures that come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, making them visually appealing pets. Finally, geckos have a long lifespan, which means you can enjoy their company for many years to come.

Factors to Consider


The cost of a gecko can vary depending on the species and where you purchase it from. Some geckos can be quite expensive, while others are more affordable. Additionally, you’ll need to factor in the cost of a tank, food, and other supplies. It’s important to consider the long-term cost of owning a gecko, as they can live for many years.


Geckos are relatively low maintenance pets, but they still require some care. You’ll need to keep their tank clean, provide them with food and water, and make sure they are healthy. Some gecko species require more maintenance than others, so it’s important to choose a species that meets your lifestyle and preferences.


Geckos have different temperaments, and some species are more docile than others. If you are a first-time pet owner or have children, you may want to consider a gecko that is known for being friendly and easy to handle.

Gecko Species for Beginners

Leopard Gecko

One of the most popular gecko species for beginners is the leopard gecko. These geckos are docile, easy to handle, and relatively low maintenance. They come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, making them visually appealing pets. Leopard geckos are also affordable and readily available, making them a great option for first-time pet owners.

Crested Gecko

Another great option for beginners is the crested gecko. These geckos are known for their friendly temperament and are easy to care for. They are also arboreal, which means they like to climb, so you’ll need to provide them with plenty of hiding spots and branches to climb on.

African Fat-Tailed Gecko

The African fat-tailed gecko is another great option for beginners. These geckos are docile, easy to handle, and have a friendly temperament. They are also relatively low maintenance and don’t require a lot of space.

Day Gecko

If you are looking for a more colorful gecko, the day gecko may be right for you. These geckos are known for their bright colors and are active during the day, making them fun to watch. They are also relatively low maintenance and don’t require a lot of space.

Choosing a Gecko

Buying from a Reputable Breeder

When choosing a gecko, it’s important to buy from a reputable breeder. A good breeder will be able to provide you with information on the gecko’s lineage, health, and temperament. They will also be able to answer any questions you have and provide you with guidance on how to care for your new pet.

Checking for Good Health

Before purchasing a gecko, it’s important to check for signs of good health. Look for bright, clear eyes, healthy skin, and a healthy body weight. The gecko should also be alert and active.

Assessing Temperament

When choosing a gecko, it’s important to assess their temperament. You want a gecko that is friendly and easy to handle, especially if you are a first-time pet owner. Spend some time observing the gecko before making a purchase to ensure that it has the temperament you are looking for.

Housing and Set-Up

Tank Size and Type

A gecko’s tank size and type will depend on the species you choose. Some geckos require larger tanks than others, so it’s important to research the specific needs of your chosen species. Generally, a 20-gallon tank is suitable for most gecko species.

Lights and Heat

Geckos require heat to regulate their body temperature, so you’ll need to provide a heat source in their tank. A heat lamp or under-tank heating pad can be used to provide heat. You’ll also need to provide UVB lighting to help your gecko synthesize vitamin D.


Substrate is the material that lines the bottom of your gecko’s tank. The type of substrate you choose will depend on the species of gecko you have. Some geckos prefer sand, while others prefer a coconut fiber substrate.

Decorations and Hides

Geckos need hiding spots in their tank to feel secure. You can provide hiding spots by adding plants, rocks, and other decorations to the tank. Make sure to provide multiple hiding spots to give your gecko plenty of options.

Feeding and Care

Dietary Requirements

Geckos require a balanced diet that includes live insects, such as crickets and mealworms. Some species of geckos also require fruit or nectar in their diet. It’s important to research the specific dietary requirements of your chosen species to ensure that you are providing the right nutrition.

Feeding Schedule

Geckos should be fed 2-3 times per week. The amount of food you feed will depend on the size and age of your gecko. Make sure to remove any uneaten food from the tank to prevent spoilage.

Water and Hydration

Geckos require fresh water at all times. You can provide water in a shallow dish or use a misting system to keep the tank humid. Some geckos also require regular misting to stay hydrated.

Grooming and Cleaning

Geckos require regular cleaning to maintain good health. You should spot clean their tank daily and do a full clean once a month. It’s also important to regularly check for signs of illness and seek veterinary care if necessary.

Common Health Issues and Concerns

Metabolic Bone Disease

Metabolic bone disease is a common health issue in geckos. It is caused by a lack of calcium in the diet and can lead to weak bones and deformities. To prevent metabolic bone disease, make sure your gecko is getting enough calcium in their diet and provide a calcium supplement if necessary.

Respiratory Infections

Respiratory infections are another common health issue in geckos. They are caused by poor husbandry, such as an unclean tank or inadequate temperature and humidity levels. To prevent respiratory infections, make sure to keep your gecko’s tank clean and provide appropriate temperature and humidity levels.


Parasites, such as mites and ticks, can also affect geckos. They are usually introduced to the tank through contaminated food or substrate. To prevent parasites, make sure to regularly clean your gecko’s tank and provide fresh, uncontaminated food.

Shedding Problems

Geckos shed their skin regularly, but sometimes shedding can be problematic. If a gecko is having trouble shedding, it can lead to skin infections and other health issues. To prevent shedding problems, make sure to provide your gecko with a humid hiding spot during shedding.


Geckos are great pets for beginners, but it’s important to choose the right species and provide proper care. When choosing a gecko, consider factors such as cost, maintenance, and temperament. Once you’ve chosen your gecko, make sure to provide appropriate housing, nutrition, and care. With proper care, your gecko can be a wonderful addition to your home for many years to come.

ThePetFaq Team