Creating A Leopard Gecko Desert Oasis
Eddie the leopard gecko is getting an exciting upgrade from her current enclosure to a new, enriching bioactive habitat! Eddie is our female leopard gecko that resides at our Zen headquarters. Due to having metabolic bone disease, she has been housed in a more simplistic setup to allow for ease of moving around her habitat. Due to proper care and careful oversight, Eddie has become a lot stronger, so our animal care manager Kasey believes that it is time to give her a bioactive enclosure!
If you are interested in creating your own bioactive leopard gecko enclosure, keep reading for inspiration!
Features to Include in the New Setup
- Enriching decor
- Plenty of digging opportunities
- Natural hiding places
- Live arid plants
- Textured surfaces using natural wood
Creating the Build
To bring this build to life, Kasey uses the Josh’s Frogs Arid Bioactive kit, which includes bioactive substrate, plants, cleanup crew, and wood. This kit is a wonderful base for creating a beautiful bioactive setup!
A 48x24x16” PVC Meridian Zen Habitat Enclosure will be the habitat of choice for this build. This enclosure size is perfect for leopard geckos since it provides plenty of room for them to roam, and also a bit of height to allow for climbing opportunities. The Meridian design is our patent pending easy assembly enclosure that can be assembled and disassembled in only a few minutes! With PVC that can support any humidity level, and strong panels that can support 100 lbs of substrate, this enclosure is well suited for bioactive builds!
In order to add a thick layer of bioactive substrate, Kasey adds the included substrate shield into the enclosure. To prevent any substrate or moisture leaking from the enclosure, she installs a 4x2 BioBasin liner that will act as a protective barrier to hold the organic material inside of the habitat.
With the substrate shield and BioBasin installed, Kasey empties several bags of Josh’s Frogs Arid Bioactive substrate into the enclosure and mixes a bit of water into the dirt to rehydrate it. Next, Kasey begins to sculpt with excavator clay. She explains that the excavator clay comes in a sand like consistency, but once water is added, it becomes a clay that is moldable. Using the clay, she creates several hides and structures for climbing. She then adds the hard-scape materials into the setup, consisting of various pieces of wood. After the wood is placed where she is satisfied, it is time to add the live plants! She plants several arid plants into the enclosure including echovaria, haworthia, snake plant, and various succulents.
The enclosure is placed into the reptile room and Kasey begins to add Eddie’s lights back into the enclosure. She hangs a halogen basking light for her basking spot, a linear UVB light, and an LED grow light for full spectrum lighting for plant growth. Thanks to the mounting bars on the inside of the Zen Habitat screen, she is able to secure the LED and UVB lights inside of the enclosure for more intense lighting that is not blocked by the screen mesh.
With everything in place, Eddie is added back into her brand new bioactive build! She wastes no time and begins to explore all of the wonderful new enrichment opportunities in her habitat!
To learn more about leopard geckos, or creating bioactive enclosures, check out our Care Sheets and Articles section!