Housing & Substrate:
A minimum size enclosure for
one Tokay Gecko is a twenty gallon tank but they would be much happier
with more space (add ten gallons per every added gecko) They are arboreal lizards meaning they spend most of their time up
high due to their ability to climb and stick to flat vertical surfaces. You want more height then ground space and plenty
of branches vines, plants, rocks, and logs to bask on. Avoid play sand, “Calci-sand”, “Repti-sand”,
or any other sand. Some packages will say “Digestible” on it but most pet stores just want to make money off of
you. If your animal eats sand it will harden with the fluid in their stomach and wont pass through the intestines causing
impaction. This can be fatal if not caught early enough. Young geckos are more perceptible to this then adults are.
Safe substrates include but are not limited to: Reptile carpet, Shelf liner, Tile, Linoleum flooring, paper towels, newspaper,
or outdoor/indoor carpet (be sure to melt the edges down so the frays don’t come loose or harm your Gecko)
Humidity & Water:
The humidity needs to be somewhat
high. As they do live in a pretty tropical environment. Anywhere from 70% to 90% humidity is comfortable for them. This can
be achieved by misting the cage several times a day, a water drip mechanism, automatic mister, or a humidifier. You can provide
a dish of water but its common that they will not drink from it. It will help with humidity. They will drink the water droplets
on the wall of the enclosure or off of leaves in the enclosure after misting.
Temperature & Lighting:
The enclosure needs to be kept between 75˙F and
80˙F on the cool side of the tank and the warm side between 85˙F and 95˙F. Tokay Geckos are nocturnal (awake
at night) and it is a controversial subject whether they need to be supplied with UV lighting or not. Tokays do not require
the special UV lighting that other lizards do. Providing a UV light will not harm them and some people provide it anyways.
You should supply a night light for them during the late hours because they are nocturnal and need heat through the night
and you want to see them when its dark. These lights come in red, blue, black, and purple. You can keep these lights on all
day and night or just during the night. Do not put your gecko near a window as the magnifying through the glass can turn the
tank into an oven. Nobody likes a cooked pet. They can see without the special night lights and its mainly an optional accessory.
It is ok to see your gecko out of the hide or awake during the day. They rarely sleep all the way through the day. So nothing
to worry about there.
Feeding & Supplements:
Babies, juveniles, and adults can eat a staple of crickets
(no bigger then the space between their eyes!) with a variety of, butter worms, super worms, silk worms, and roaches. Adults
can also eat pinkie mice but it is not a required food item these should be fed no more then one a month. The adults should be fed every day to every other day and juveniles/babies daily. Dust
the insects with a calcium/multivitamin supplement. This is crucial to your pet’s health and needs to be done to all
food items every other feeding. Dust the insects with a calcium/D3 supplement at least once a month.
At around 6 months old you should be able to tell if
the gecko is a boy or girl. And it is really simple. Lift your little one up (don’t lay them on their back as this can
stop their breathing and crush their lungs) (or look at them while they are up against the glass of the enclosure to get a
good look) If it is a boy then he will have little bumps near the vent. These bumps will be raised,darker in color, and
formed in rows. If she is a female then the bumps will be nearly impossible to see but still somewhat visible. Smooth and
the same skin tone as the rest of her belly.
Shopping List/Minimum Requirements:
- You will need an enclosure (size is mentioned above)
- Thick Gloves for handling (mentioned below)
- Plenty of fake or real plants, and branches, logs and items to climb on.
- (optional read above) A UVB producing fluorescent light
- A heat light or ceramic heat emitter (this basking light should be outside so the pet does not get burnt)
- A digital Thermometer (the stick on plastic dials can be up to 20 degrees inaccurate )
- A shallow water dish
- Substrate (above)
- A nocturnal/red heat bulb if you are not using a ceramic heat emitter to maintain night time temperatures
- A misting mechanism as mentioned above
are many items that these geckos should not have in their enclosure. Heat Rocks and Heat Caves can severely burn your lizard’s
stomach and feet and should be avoided for all lizards. Do not use any Sand, Gravel, Walnut Shells, Wood Chips or Repti-Bark
substrates. Do not feed mealworms, their hard exoskeleton can easily cause impaction
they are also very low in nutrients and aren’t healthy.
*CAUTION* THESE GECKOS ARE
NOT FOR CHILDREN AND CAN LEAVE NASTY BITES NEEDING STITCHES AND GIVING SCARS. Tokay Geckos can be extremely agressive and
are known for their hard bite. They don't tend to let go either. You should always where thick gloves while handling. If they
choose to not let go after biting do not force them. Instead either mist them with water or try to set them in a bowl of water.
This will encourage him to let go. These lizards are nocturnal and not too active during the day. They will sleep most of
the day and come to life at night. Two males should never be housed together, they can and will fight to the death.
Any new reptiles should be taken to the vet before bringing them home to ensure that he or she is fully healthy and if they
aren’t they can get the treatment they need. They don't tolerate being handled.
An interesting fact about Tokays
is that they get their name from the sound they make. The mating call sounds similiar to a croaking "Tokay, Tokay" It
is a normal sound so don't fear it. I think its pretty cool.