African fat-tailed geckos are nocturnal ground dwelling lizards that originate from desert areas in West Africa. African fat-taileds are becoming an increasingly popular pet, in part because of their ability to thrive in captivity but also because of their docile dispositions and their openness for being handled. This care sheet includes reptile supplies and husbandry tips for Reptile health and wellness. Fat-tailed geckos have a similar body shape to a leopard gecko but typically have a larger head and sturdier feet. Hatchlings will typically be about 2 inches and will grow to around 9 inches. Males will be slightly larger and have wider heads. When cared for properly, fat-tailed geckos have been known to live for 15-20 years in captivity. Regardless of whether you are a hobbyist/breeder or a pet owner our advice is the same and that is to keep it simple. For pet owners your best option for caging is a reptile terrarium, while the hobbyist/breeder who will be keeping several geckos should look to a rack system. A 10 gallon aquarium can a pair of geckos. Multiple female geckos can be housed together or can be housed with a single male. It is very important to never house two male fat-tailed geckos together as males will defend their territory through aggressive fighting that can cause serious injury. African fat-tailed geckos should be exposed to light for 10-12 hours per day but because they are nocturnal they do not require a UVB light. We believe it is best for the heat to be provided from below. In the case of a glass enclosure one can use an under tank heat pad, while the breeder’s best option for a rack system is heat cable or heat tape controlled by a thermostat. A simple thermostat that can be used for single housed geckos is the Zilla Terrarium Heat & Habitat Lighting Controller for reptiles. Because reptiles are cold-blooded and rely on their environment to control body temperature it is important that the heat source remains at approximately 90F and is situated at one end. You can use a reptile thermometer to monitor temps. This will give the gecko(s) the ability to thermoregulate by moving from the heat source to a cooler area of the enclosure ranging in the high 70s to low 80s. In other words do not heat the entire enclosure.
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