Making a moist hide for a leopard gecko requires a container 2-3 times the size of the reptile and a substrate that retains moisture without getting moldy. Place the substrate and container on the warmer side of the tank (where applicable) and let your pet enjoy.
Hides are an essential part of any leopard geckos habitat, and they dont take much to set up. These dont take much effort to make on your own, and doing it yourself may save quite a bit of money.
This is why we made this guide on how to make a moist hide for a leopard gecko. For more details and answers to related questions, check out the rest of the post. Make it out of a recycled sour cream or margarine container!
When picking one, the two main things you need to consider are the size and ability to handle the heat. Your standard substrate of pea gravel or reptile carpet works just fine for the rest of the tank, but in this case, it wont provide the humidity retention and moist hide needs. Out of these, we recommend coconut fiber bedding for most situations, but in this case, sphagnum moss is the best choice.
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you. It retains moisture, resists mold, and leopard geckos respond well to it. Youll only need enough to cover the ground inside the hide.
It doesnt have to be scissors; a knife will also work as long as the object can cleanly cut through the containers material. This section covers all you need to know about making a moist hide for your pet. This gives the leopard gecko a place to rest if it gets too cool.
Placing directly under a light may make the interior of the moist hide too hot for the leopard gecko, and it wont use it. Theres no hard and fast rule for how much to spray, but most owners agree the substrate should look wet yet not show any standing water. Nothing actively wrong will happen if its too dry, though it needs to be damp to raise the humidity.
For some containers, youll need to take scissors or a box cutter and cut a hole for the leopard gecko to use as an entrance. The entrance should be twice as tall and wide as the gecko for it to enter and exit easily. Youve made your moist hide for your leopard gecko and probably saved some money while doing it.
As long as you make sure you use the proper substrate in the warm spot with a suitable container 2-3 times the size of the leopard gecko, the moist hide will work, and your pet will have a little bit of a better life. If you start spraying down the tank 3-5 times per day when you notice signs of shedding, you shouldnt have any problems. As mentioned above, the moist hide needs to go on the warmer side of the tank (where there is one) and not directly beneath any heating lights.
While nothing terrible is likely to happen, consistent high humidity may give them respiratory issues. Leopard geckos will look for more humid hides during the hottest parts of the day and year, but they dont need to be sprayed down. If you follow our recommendations, youll only spray down the gecko when you see signs of shedding.
The change in light will signal that its time to come out (remember, leopard geckos are nocturnal). Now you know how to save money and make a moist hide for a leopard gecko.
Why is my leopard gecko always in his warm hide?
Leopard geckos that are always on the warm side of the tank are usually unable to heat up their bodies correctly due to a too low temperature in the warm area of their enclosure. Other reasons for this behavior can be shedding, stress, or too low temperatures on the cold side of the terrarium.
How humid is too humid for a leopard gecko?
The ideal humidity level should be between 30% and 40% in leopard gecko vivariums. That should match with the dry and semi-desert areas where their natural habitat is. Note that it’s normal if the humidity is higher than 50% for a few hours or a few days.
Should humid hide be on warm or cool side?
Humid hide should be moved to the warm side.
The hides in your leopard gecko tank are an essential part of their environment. This is where your gecko will go to find shelter from anything that scares them, too much light or even to hide from the heat.
A hide can be any shape and design, as long as it provides the security and comfort your gecko needs. Leopard geckos cannot regulate their own body temperature, which means when they get hot, they need to find a way to cool themselves down.
This should be on the coolest side of your tank, offering a secure hideaway for your gecko where they can cool down. When it comes to sizing, you need to ensure it is large enough for your gecko to get in and out in comfort, while being able to move around their hide with ease. In addition to this, it is very important that you note if there are any sharp edges and sides to the hide, which could potentially injure your reptile.
Your gecko is going to spend a lot of time in their moist hide and therefore the substrate you choose is imperative. While you may find some information online recommending you use wet kitchen roll in the hide, this is not the best option. Made from a natural material, the SunGrow Raw Coconut Husk Hut with Ladder is perfect for not just leopard geckos but also other small arboreal reptiles, small birds, hermit crabs, and pocket pets.
You can add some moss as the bedding inside the hide to increase the humidity level. This hide helps to reduce stress and can be added with confidence to your tank design. The gecko cave offers a secure hiding spot to help reduce stress and ensure the best health for your reptile.
This gecko cave has a natural look with a sturdy design, reducing the risk of it tipping over. Simply soak, clean in anti bacterial cleaner, rinse and dry. A wonderful natural hide for your leopard gecko to reduce stress and relieve pressure.
Remember this is a natural coconut shell and therefore the sizes may vary slightly from the five inches expected. The coconut shell is a natural product which can be more appealing to your gecko, offering a safe place to hide, play and grow. Before use you will need to give the hide a clean with some mild soapy water, rinse and dry thoroughly before including it in the tank.
This reptile shelter offers a fantastic security hide for your leopard gecko and comes in a choice of sizes. It is a very durable product made from resin, making it quick and easy to clean. The Exo Terra Reptile Cave is a natural looking hide that can easily be incorporated into your enclosure design to prevent stress.
Made from food grade resin, it offers a realistic rock design. The Exo Terra Glow Mushroom Hideout provides your leopard gecko with a secure hiding place that looks natural, so it works with any enclosure design. The Zilla Reptile Habitat Decor Hideouts Bark Bends is the ideal choice for leopard geckos who are seeking privacy.
The hide is made from a non porous exterior which reduces the risk of bacterial growth, while offering an easy to clean product that simply requires soapy water, a rinse and dry off before being returned to the enclosure. The design is to provide the security and privacy your reptile needs to become more confident and well rested. This is an easy to clean product that comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, for additional peace of mind.
You can soak the hide and decorations in a bucket of warm water and anti bacterial cleaner . The ground temperature needs to be checked to ensure your gecko isnt overheating when using the warm hide. Maybe you have just brought your leopard gecko home and he hasnt settled in yet, which means he is nervous and stressed.
If the gecko doesnt eat within ten days, seek expert assistance.
Leopard geckos are one of the most popular reptile pets. Not only because of their cute appearance but also because they are pretty easy to take care of. However, that does not mean that you can go and buy a Leopard gecko and everything will fall in place.
If you are reading this article you are one of those awesome people who actually do their research, because you really care about your pet and want it to be happy. Leopard geckos come from Asia, you can find them in Iraq, Iran, India and in a couple of more countries.
If you place it directly under the basking spot, the moist substrate will dry out quickly and it wont be a wet box anymore. Some people just use a cricket box or something similar as Leopard gecko humid hide, however, that is way too small. This micro climate cave (click here) is absolutely perfect as humidity box for a Leopard gecko.
On top of that, you can open this little cave easily and check if your gecko is okay or if it even laid eggs. It fits perfectly into a natural habitat and you can get it in two sizes, so if you have a giant Leopard gecko breed you can use this cave as well. This cave has an incredibly high rating on Amazon at the moment and most people use it for their Leopard geckos.
As I told you before, female Leopard geckos lay eggs in those caves and before they do that, they dig off a little bit of substrate.
Are you one of those responsible people who does their homework before bringing a cool pet home like a leopard gecko? If yes, you know that its important to provide your new pet with the right environment it needs to live a happy and healthy life.
Native to hot and dry places like Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, India, and other Asian countries, leopard geckos thrive in deserts . In the leopard geckos natural environment within the cracks and crevices of rocks and stones, the humidity level ranges from 70-80% during the summer months and 60-70% during the winter.
Image Credit: Dr.Pixel, Shutterstock You can make your own leopard gecko moist hide using a common household object like a small box, plastic container, or a planter pot. A coconut shell is a natural object that can be more appealing to your gecko, offering it a safe place to hide, play, and grow. Once youve selected the object to use for your moist hide, cut an opening in it so your leopard gecko has easy access to it.
Pick A Spot In Your Tank
Before doing anything, you must pick the right spot for your moist hide.To start, you need to figure out if your tank has a warm side or a cool side.For those using a large cover heating mat, you may not, and this is OK.But your heating mat should stay a little more to one side or the other.This gives the leopard gecko a place to rest if it gets too cool.When you have a warmer and cooler side in your tank, pick a spot on the tank’s warmer side, not directly under any lights.Placing directly under a light may make the interior of the moist hide too hot for the leopard gecko, and it won’t use it.However, if you keep the substrate wet (as we’ll mention later) but place the hide on the cool side, you’ll increase the risk of respiratory and breathing problems.
Spread Out The Substrate
Once you find a spot, look at how much space the hide will take up.You need to spread out your substrate of choice to cover the whole area.Those whose tank uses a reptile carpet or other liner put the humid substrate over the carpet.An inch would be enough.If you use a real substrate such as pea gravel, move it out of the way where the hide will go and replace it with the moss or other moist substrate.Make sure the depth of the substrate matches your original.
Wet Down The Substrate
Take a spray bottle of water and lightly spray/dampen the substrate.There’s no hard and fast rule for how much to spray, but most owners agree the substrate should look wet yet not show any standing water.We recommend erring on the side of dry instead of sopping wet.Too much water will increase the risk of mold and bacteria growth.Nothing actively wrong will happen if it’s too dry, though it needs to be damp to raise the humidity.
Place The Container
With a proper container and substrate down in the right spot, you’re ready to put it down.Place it in your chosen spot.Push the container down a little into the substrate or use substrate (or small rocks) to hold the edges down.Once this is done, you’re good to go!You’ve made your moist hide for your leopard gecko and probably saved some money while doing it.For those who would like another way to look at the process, check out the following video.Remember, there are many ways to do this, so get creative.As long as you make sure you use the proper substrate in the warm spot with a suitable container 2-3 times the size of the leopard gecko, the moist hide will work, and your pet will have a little bit of a better life.Speaking of size, we have a post on how big leopard geckos get for those interested.
The Best Leopard Gecko Humid Hide Box
I tested some things as humid hides for my geckos. For example lunchboxes or Tupperware containers. The problem with that was that I always had to cut holes in it, which sometimes had sharp edges.Then I had to make sure that those edges would not hurt my geckos … hah, it was just annoying. Half coconuts or other “hide halfs” that you can buy from a pet store did not really do the job since it was hard to keep the humidity high.This micro – climate cave (click here) is absolutely perfect as humidity box for a Leopard gecko. You can easily fill it with substrate and keep the humidity high in there. On top of that, you can open this little cave easily and check if your gecko is okay or if it even laid eggs.It fits perfectly into a natural habitat and you can get it in two sizes, so if you have a giant Leopard gecko breed you can use this cave as well. This cave has an incredibly high rating on Amazon at the moment and most people use it for their Leopard geckos.So a lot of Leopard gecko owners are very happy with it, it is not just me :). There are a lot of costumer images on Amazon where you can see their Leopard geckos in this cave. Click here to see those images – simply scroll down till you see “Customer images” on the right.
The Right Leopard Gecko Moist Hide Substrate
You definitely need substrate inside of this cave. As I told you before, female Leopard geckos lay eggs in those caves and before they do that, they dig off a little bit of substrate.Some people use kitchen roll inside a humid hide, which is a very bad idea. A lot of geckos do not lie their eggs then, which increases the risk of egg binding.The best Leopard gecko moist hide substrate is coco hummus (click here) or sphagnum moss (click here). Those substrates are normally used for Toads. Both are very easy to keep moist.Leopard geckos really seem to like this kind of substrate, not only for egg deposition, but also for just hanging out. Many Leopard gecko owners told me that their Leopard geckos were more often in their hide after the owners started to use this substrate.Just be careful that you do not mist it too much. This kind of substrate can get mold, so let it dry out from time to time or replace it with new substrate.Ah, did I mention that there is no risk of impaction when using this substrate?I am sure you are happy to hear that :)If you need information about substrate for your entire tank as well, read my Leo Substrate Guide!
Why is a Moist Hide Necessary?
Native to hot and dry places like Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, India, and other Asian countries, leopard geckos thrive in deserts. While it’s true that they live in hot and dry environments, it doesn’t mean that they don’t require humidity.The desert environments where leopard geckos live are made up of more than hot dry sand. There are also many stones and rocks in these environments to give the leopard gecko cooler and darker places to hide.In the leopard gecko’s natural environment within the cracks and crevices of rocks and stones, the humidity level ranges from 70-80% during the summer months and 60-70% during the winter. Leopard geckos need moist holes to both hide in and thrive.Just like we humans need water to regulate our body temperature,A leopard gecko kept as a pet needs a moist hide to shed properly and to lay its eggs. When your leopard gecko needs to shed its skin, it will go to the moist hide because the humidity will help soften the skin for easy shedding.
Making a Moist Hide
You can make your own leopard gecko moist hide using a common household object like a small box, plastic container, or a planter pot. A good object to use as a moist hide is a coconut shell that’s been hollowed out. A coconut shell is a natural object that can be more appealing to your gecko, offering it a safe place to hide, play, and grow. Whatever object you choose to use for the hide, just be sure it’s large enough for your lizard to comfortably move around inside.Once you’ve selected the object to use for your moist hide, cut an opening in it so your leopard gecko has easy access to it. To ensure that your gecko doesn’t get injured, don’t leave any sharp edges on any part of the moist hide and especially the entrance/exit.The moist hide should be large enough for your lizard to move around inside with ease. If you have more than one leopard gecko, you will need to make a larger hole in the hide. The general rule of thumb is to make a moist hide two to three times the size of the reptile.
Choosing the Right Substrate
Your leopard gecko will spend a lot of time in its moist hide. That’s why it’s essential to choose a proper substrate. While many novice leopard gecko owners use damp paper towels as substrate, this is not the best choice. A leopard gecko will not lay eggs on the damp towels, increasing the risk of egg binding.A good substrate to use inside a moist hide is sphagnum moss. Since you’ll have to mist the moss with water, it can develop mold if kept too wet. Don’t over-soak the moss, keep track of your misting, and change the substrate if you notice it’s becoming moldy.
Placement of the Moist Hide
It’s important to place the moist hide on the cool side of the tank away from the heat. This way, heat cannot cause fast evaporation of the moisture inside the hide that can lower the humidity levels.
Cleaning the Hide
Now that you know how important a moist hide is for a leopard gecko, it’s vital that you keep the moist hide clean. A good rule of thumb is to clean the hide every time you clean the tank. Use warm soapy water to do the cleaning and be sure to rinse the hide well when done scrubbing away the dirt and grime.