Giant Day Gecko Cage Setup & Care

Giant Day Geckos are native to Madagascar, which is an island east of the African coast, in the Indian Ocean. They’re the biggest species of Day Geckos as they can reach 10 inches long and can live up to 15 years in captivity.

Giant Day Gecko2
Source: Charles J. Sharp

These beautiful creatures prefer tropical forests as their home but they can also be found around human-occupied areas because of deforestation. You will find them in hidden places as they need to avoid larger predators.

A Giant Day Gecko will thrive as long as the temperature is between 70F and 88F. But when it comes to humidity, they prefer medium levels and between 55% and 65% is perfect. These lizards love spending time in trees and they’re very fast. This means you’ll need a tall vivarium that’s properly secured.

Giant Day Gecko Cage Setup

While Giant Day Geckos are not as big as Tokay Geckos or other extremely big ones, they still need a lot of space to be comfortable. The type of cage you need for your gecko greatly depends on its personality and what it usually does when it’s awake.

Some Geckos prefer to roam the same small space over and over again, slowly and calmly, while others love having enough space and decorations to explore each day. Giant Day Geckos are very fast and they love roaming around. While the decorations are not a necessity, climbing areas are a must.

This means you should look for a cage that is more tall than wide so the gecko can have enough space to climb. It’s simple but it can make a very big difference in ensuring that the gecko feels like home. If you can fit various types of decorations made for climbing it would be great.

Another thing you need to keep in mind is that these geckos are incredibly fast and much more intelligent than they seem. If you don’t get an enclosure that you can close properly, you can easily find your gecko roaming the house. They’re smart enough to find a way out if you’re not very attentive and they can be dangerous to babies and toddlers.

You can prevent them from escaping by getting a tank that can have a front-opening door. But you should still keep a close eye on them as they can be very smart and mischievous.

What size tank does a Giant Day gecko need?

The size of the tank will greatly depend on whether you’ll keep one, two, or three Giant Day Geckos together. You should keep in mind that keeping three of these geckos together can be the most dangerous as they can fight each other until one is either dead or severely injured.

If you have three geckos that live together peacefully, you’ll need to invest in a cage that’s at least 30 gallons. This will ensure that all of them have enough space to roam around and find a good hiding spot if they want to be left alone.

Keeping two Giant Day Geckos together is a little better as they tend to mate for life. This means that they will never fight and you should never split them apart as they will not accept another mate. You should still keep an eye on them as you need to know if the two geckos accept each other or not from the start.

Two Giant Day Geckos can be kept together if they accept each other. You’ll quickly notice if they like each other as they’re not shy geckos. And if they start to fight, you’ll need to separate them immediately. A 20-gallon enclosure should be enough for them but if you have space for a 25-30-gallon vivarium it’s even better.

The best and most recommended way to keep a Giant Day Gecko is by offering it its own tank. This will completely save you all that trouble and many of them actually prefer being left alone. If you don’t have the space to house each Giant Day Gecko separately, you might want to consider another type of reptile.

If you only want to keep one gecko per enclosure, you can use a 10-gallon tank for a while. However, it should only be used as a last option. A 15-gallon or 20-gallon cage would make a much better habitat.

Substrate in the cage

One thing you should keep in mind is that Giant Day Geckos prefer and thrive better in naturalistic vivariums. It’s ideal to work with various layers of substrates to maximize the humidity. But they can do very well in cages with fake substrates and decorations as well.

It’s ideal to start with a three-fourths-inch layer of nothing but clean pebbles that are then covered with 1 inch of orchid bark. You can also use commercial reptile bark as it’s almost as good. The last layer should be a lot of potting soil that can be mixed very well with the bark.

Besides its great humidity retaining ability, the biggest advantage of this mix of substrates is that it allows you to put the flowers and plants directly into the soil. The cleaning is fairly easy and you won’t have to worry about changing the substrate more than 2-3 times a year.

But if bio-habitats are not your thing, you can also use other substrates as well. You can even put nothing but a reptile carpet as it’s extremely easy to spot clean. It won’t last more than a month and it should be turned over every two weeks and thoroughly washed every month. Having two reptile carpets is ideal so you can use one while the other dries.

Heating Requirements For Enclosure

When it comes to heating, Giant Day Geckos are quite demanding. They come from a very hot habitat, which means you will have to offer the same conditions if you want to have a healthy and happy gecko. During the day, you need to maintain the temperature between 80F and 88F, with a basking spot that’s between 90F and 92F.

During the night, you’ll need to make sure the enclosure is a bit cooler. It needs to be between 72F and 76F. Air circulation is just as important so make sure you can provide everything a Giant Day Gecko needs before moving it into its new home.

Giant Day Geckos are climbers so you should place its basking spot somewhere on the highest area it can climb to. The geckos will need to have their own hiding spot that’s in the warm area and one that’s in the cool zone. This will allow them to stay anywhere they want.

Humidity Requirements in a Vivarium

The humidity requirements are easy to meet as they need medium levels of humidity. You should maintain the tank between 55% and 65% humidity. It’s highly important to maintain these humidity levels so the gecko won’t get sick.

Low humidity levels can cause dry skin and problems with shedding, while high levels can cause numerous respiratory problems and bacteria infections. Giant Day Geckos are not creatures who’s vivarium you can forget to mist for a few days.

This is why investing in an automatic mister is the best option. They’re designed to mist the tank at specific time intervals and you won’t have to do it manually each day. You’ll need to ensure the misting of the habitat two or three times a day.

If you opt for decorative flowers, you can also be sure the gecko is getting all the water it needs as it prefers drinking droplets from flowers to using a water bowl. But you should still provide a bowl with clean, filtered water each day.

UVB Lighting

Giant Day Geckos absolutely love the sun and high-end quality lighting is very important. You’ll need to invest in lights that have a color temp of 5,000 Kelvin along with a color-rendering index that’s above 85 so you can enjoy the gecko’s best color.

Most new reptile bulbs are capable of offering both regular and UVB lighting, which is needed for all geckos that are held in captivity. Its job is to help their bodies produce vitamin D3 so they won’t have any trouble absorbing the needed dietary calcium.

Although you can keep a Giant Day Gecko without UVB light if you feed it supplements, it’s best to leave this method for later so you’ll know what you’re doing. In the meantime, get a UVB light that’s made for your gecko’s enclosure and make sure to replace it every six months.

This UVB light bulb should be kept 6-12 inches away from the reptile’s basking spot to be the most effective. Giant Day Geckos need between 12 and 14 hours of daylight to lead a healthy life.

Cage Decorations

As mentioned before, Giant Day Geckos are climbers and love to have lots of vertical routes along with various textures. These geckos can thrive in cages that only have the bare minimum decorations, such as climbing paths made of bamboo and some plants that can gather water droplets.

If you want something better looking, you should start with an enclosure background photo of their natural habitat or something similar. It will immediately make the tank look 50% better. Then you should add the flowers.

You can use reptile-safe jungle plants, such as Ficus benjami, Philodendron scandens, devils ivy, etc. But you can also choose any fake plants you want, just as long as the materials are all reptile-safe, especially the paint.

Reptile-safe plant ideas are tall sansevierias, orchids, trailing pothos vines, and bromeliads. And while the reptile will drink the drops of water that gather on these plants, you should still place a bowl of filtered water in the vivarium.

How often do you need to clean a Giant Day Gecko’s cage?

How often you’ll have to clean the gecko’s cage depends on what type of cage you made. But spot cleaning should be done every day regardless of its habitat. This includes removing the feces and insect parts that remained from eating.

If the tank is full of fake decorations, the substrate will need to be changed either every week or once a month. It depends on what type of substrate you choose. If it’s a reptile carpet, it needs to be replaced every month. But if it’s a natural substrate, you’ll have to replace it in 4 or 6 months. Natural substrates have their own cleaning insects that can be added.

When it’s time to deep-clean, you’ll have to remove everything from the tank and wash everything thoroughly. The cage should only be washed with reptile-safe cleaning solutions and rinsed properly. Tanks with fake plants need this cleaning process every month, while the bio-vivariums can go months without thorough cleaning.

Conclusion

Giant Day Geckos are pretty easy to take care of and they are very interesting to observe. They might not be the biggest fans of being handled but you will grow closer to it as time passes. It’s important to only provide happy experiences.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Do Giant Day Geckos need UVB?

Not necessarily. Giant Day Geckos can live in captivity without any UVB light as long as they’re provided with the needed vitamin D3. But this should only be done by experienced keepers.

Do Giant Day Geckos need heat?

Giant Day Geckos are sun-loving creatures and they need you to maintain the enclosure between 70F (at night) and 88F (at day). They also need a basking spot that’s 90-92F.

What is the price for a Giant Day Gecko cage?

You can find cages for your Giant Day Gecko that cost as little as $40 and as much as $200. It all depends on how big it is and what extra features it comes with.

What is the Giant Day Gecko’s natural habitat like?

Giant Day Geckos come from Madagascar, which is in the Indian Ocean. They live in tropical forests and spend most of their time in trees. Due to deforestation, they can also be found in various human-occupied places.