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african fat tail gecko habitat

African Fat-Tailed Gecko Habitat – Choose The Best Cage For Your Gecko

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The African fat-tailed gecko (Hemitheconyx Caudicinctus) is a nocturnal gecko of mid-size that is found in Western Africa. Their natural habitat is arid Savannah, which has a humid macroclimate. These reclusive and timid geckos are the ideal choice for a beginner pet. Taking their natural humid habitat into consideration, you are able to choose an enclosure which will make your gecko feel comfortable and at home.

In a Hurry? Here's Our Top Picks...

Our Pick

REPTI ZOO 34 Gallon Large Reptile Glass Terrarium

  • 24'' x 18'' x 18'' (34 gallons)
  • Dual front doors and screen top for ventilation
  • Raised bottom 
  • Wire outlet hole on the side

Zilla 15-Gallon Critter Cage

  • 24” x 12” x12” (15 gallons)
  • Sliding metal top
  • Lockable latch for security

Exo Terra Outback Terrarium

  • 24'' x18'' x 12''
  • Dual front doors for escape free access
  • Raised bottom for heat mat safety

African Fat-Tailed Gecko Cage Size

The minimum size for an African fat-tailed gecko is a 10-gallon tank, this is best suited for a single gecko offering 20” x 10” x 12” of space. However, most  gecko owners recommend a 24'' x 18'' x 12'' (20 gallons) enclosure for building a perfect African fat-tailed Gecko habitat.

If you intend to housing more than one African fat-tailed gecko, you will want to consider at least a twenty-gallon enclosure.

Tank size should be based on how many geckos you intend keeping, bearing in mind that you can house female African fat-tailed geckos together with a single male for breeding purpose, but you cannot house more than one male in one cage, as they will fight and this can result in injury.

African Fat-Tailed Gecko Cage Material

Tanks, also referred to as terrariums and vivariums come in a choice of materials, with glass being the most popular choice. Glass enables you to view your African fat-tailed gecko at any time, showcasing this beautiful gecko and enjoying their antics and character. Glass offers the best when it comes to humidity.

Wooden vivariums are also a top choice offering wooden sides and a double door glass front, which offers you a good viewing opportunity. Remember when working with wooden tanks to ensure you have easy access through the top and/or with big doors, providing you with great viewing opportunities.

Another material which is growing in polarity with gecko enthusiasts with acrylic. Acrylic is lightweight and offers a transparent surface for excellent viewing. The downside to acrylic is that it tends to scratch very easily.

Raised Bottom

raised bottom vs no raised bottom

Please note, for African fat-tailed gecko setup, you must remember that they need heat which is often provided by a heat mat which sits under the tank. Therefore, any vivarium you choose must have a raised bottom, which allows for ample air circulation to ensure the longevity and optimum functioning of your under tank heat mat.

Top Or Front Opening

When it comes to the African fat-tailed gecko, it's recommended to choose an enclosure with double front doors that swing open, giving you excellent access to scoop up your reptile for handling and play. The front opening also provides easier access for cleaning and setting up.

Top opening tanks are also a good option but remember you may need to move them for cleaning and setting up, making it easier to reach into the tank and remove and clean the hides and other decorations you have.

Best Enclosures for African Fat-Tailed Gecko Habitat

REPTI ZOO 34 Gallon Large Reptile Glass Terrarium

This large 34 Gallon reptile terrarium is manufactured using glass with front doors for added convenience, enabling you to gain access to your gecko with ease, while making cleaning and setting up a hassle-free process. The top allows for excellent ventilation, with a raised base to fit a heat mat with confidence.

The bottom of the African fat-tailed gecko enclosure has a waterproof base, which makes it suitable for using any substrate with the foam background being made of a high-density foam simulating natural rock. The double front doors can be opened together or separately, which reduces the risk of escape. This African fat-tailed gecko tank comes with window ventilation on both rises along with inlets for any wiring and tubing, helping you keep your enclosure design neat. Fast assembly completes the picture of this high-quality enclosure.

This terrarium is manufactured by REPTI ZOO, who brings more than ten years of experience to the table, providing high quality reptile products. This terrarium has been manufactured to be strong and durable, while offering a comfortable environment for your gecko to live. The specially designed lock reduces the risk of escape.

Pros

  • Glass terrarium
  • Large size 24” x 18” x 18”
  • Double front doors can be opened separately or together
  • Raised base to allow air flow for heat mat
  • High density foam background included
  • Inlets for wires and tubes, helping to keep tank design neat
  • Easy assembly
  • Glowing reviews

Cons

  • Larger size means having adequate space to showcase the terrarium

Zilla 15-Gallon Critter Cage 24” x 12” x12” (15 Gallon)

This 15-gallon enclosure is ideal for a single African fat-tailed gecko complete with top sliding door for added security. The vivarium comes complete with a premium sliding metal top that offers increased durability complete with a front latch that locks, for added security and your own peace of mind.

The top frame design offers added strength and security. Remember African fat-tailed geckos are climbers. The top is complete is escape resistant mesh, which also allows adequate air glow. It offers a self-aligning frame with a smooth opening and closing.

Pros

  • 15 Gallon – ideal for one African fat-tailed gecko
  • Premium sliding metal top
  • Durable design
  • Front latch that locks for added security
  • Self-aligning frame ensures a smooth slide for easy opening and closing
  • Increased hanging space for false plants to complete your design

Cons

  • Poorly designed screen lid which needs to be removed completely to gain access
  • No raised bottom

Exo Terra Outback Terrarium 24” x 18” x 12” (22 Gallon)

This glass terrarium offers a good size 22 gallons and comes complete with background, for added convenience. The terrarium offers front doors, which are best suited for an African fat-tailed gecko, offering easy access for cleaning, setting up, handling your pet or feeding.

The tank comes complete a limited-edition hand painted Outback 3D rock background. The double doors provide convenience when accessing the tank. The mesh cover, which allows for ventilation is made from strong stainless steel while the inlets, which are closable provides a neat option for wiring and/or tubing.

The lock has been specially preventing the risk of escape, while allowing doors to be opened together or separately. The front opening allows for easy access with the full screen top offering essential ventilation. The screen top can be removed for setting up and cleaning.

The base is raised to allow a heat mat, while the back offers inlets, for wiring or tubing.

Pros

  • 22 Gallons
  • Hand painted limited-edition background included
  • Double front doors with specially designed lock
  • Stainless steel removable top mesh cover
  • Inlets for neat wiring
  • Raised base for heat mat
  • Glowing reviews
  • Excellent starter tank

Cons

  • A bit pricey

Cleaning The Cage

The good news is that African fat-tailed gecko tank cleaning does not have to be a tedious task. Your African fat-tailed gecko is going to appreciate and thrive in a clean environment. Spot cleaning should be done daily, this can be removing any feces and unwanted foods. Full cleans should be carried out once a month.

The reptile must be removed during the cleaning process. You should also remove decorations, hides, bedding and substrate. You may want to add a new substrate at this point. Use a reptile friendly disinfectant and spray the inside of the enclosure, rinse well and wipe dry with a paper towel. You may need to repeat this process for a very dirty enclosure.

Effective Tips To Keep Your Cage Humidity

The African fat-tailed gecko habitat has specific humidity needs, with their humidity requirements being higher than that of the leopard gecko. The average household humidity level, which averages between forty and sixty percent, is ideal and your gecko will thrive.

Keeping your enclosure to the right humidity level may be a little harder, which is why the glass tank is recommended. Glass cages are able to hold their humidity levels effectively. Your gecko water bowl in one corner of the tank is an excellent way to maintain humidity levels.

Another effective way when you notice humidity levels dropping is to mist. Misting is simple spraying, which you can do once a day using a water bottle. When misting you want to moisten the air, not cause the cage to drip with water.

Using Eco Earth as a substrate, which is mixed with water to create a soft natural footing for your gecko, will also assist with humidity levels due to the dampness in the substrate.

African Fat-Tailed Gecko Habitat In Summary

To ensure your gecko feels at home, you want to create an African fat-tailed gecko habitat which is as natural as possible. Remember when it comes to humidity, glass terrariums are your best choice.

Things to remember:

  • Glass is the best material to choose to maintain humidity levels
  • Front double opening doors are best suited for easy access
  • Raised base is a must to fit your heat mat
  • Ten gallons is the minimum size you can consider

Any of the above terrariums will be a suitable home for your African fat-tailed gecko. However, we recommend the Exo Terra Outback Terrarium and REPTI ZOO 34 Gallon Large Reptile Glass Terrarium as they can provide a comfortable home with enough space for your friendly gecko. 

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