Leopard Gecko Heating
Leopard Gecko Heating - Heat Gradients
Just about every leopard gecko enthusiast has heard or read the term "heat gradient" in the past. A heat gradient is when temperature zones are created within an enclosure that offer an array of varying temperate locations. This may not make complete sense to some, so I direct your attention to the image below.
In the example above, I have outline 5 different temperate zones. An enclosure should have at least 3 temperature zones within it. Larger enclosures can have many more. As the picture depicts, the further away you get from the primary heat source, the cooler the enclosure should get. At undetermined intervals, the amount of heat present in that area will be lower than where the primary heat source is focused. This creates a gradient of varying temperatures within the enclosure. In creating this gradient, you are offering your leopard gecko varying degrees of heat in which it can use to thermoregulate its body temperature.
Day Time Temperatures
Leopard geckos do well when their enclosures basking spot is between 87-90° during the day. (The basking spot for a leopard gecko is the location where the heat is directed. This is typically the warmest location in the enclosure.) These temperatures are more than adequate for digestion and thermoregulation. The ambient temperature of the enclosure should fall between 74-78°. The ambient temperature is the temperature of the air that is not located at the basking spot location. Ideally, you should have a heat gradient in which the temperatures decline to the suggest temperatures.
Night Time Temperatures
At night, temperatures can safely drop down to 68-74°. For most people, this falls within "room temperature" range. While leopard geckos can withstand cooler temperatures than this, unless you are using an under tank heater that never turns off, lower temperatures should be avoided.
Author: Richard Brooks