Tokay Geckos are nocturnal, and they love getting out of their hiding spots, to start exploring their enclosure. As soon as the lights go out, they wait a few minutes, and then they start roaming around their tank.
During the day, Tokay Geckos hide as well as they can, and sleep until night comes. If you’re checking up on them during the night, you will quickly notice how fast they run back into hiding until the “danger” passes.
These Geckos are very territorial and aggressive, so they consider every movement outside their cage as a danger. If you’re not careful and they feel attacked, they might end up biting you, which is likely going to be painful.
To make them as relaxed as possible you’ll need to provide a fixed day-and-night cycle that can help them regulate their sleeping and eating schedules. Between 12 to 14 hours of daylight and a fixed night cycle is all they need.
For their lighting source, you can opt for a UVB fluorescent bulb that also provides them with the vitamin D3 they need. This will help them remain healthy and happy and become much easier to tame.
Although their natural habitat is a jungle, they still manage to get the needed sunlight to get their vitamin D3 requirements met. This is why providing them with enough UVB light is a must.
Tokay Gecko Light Requirements
Up until recently, most reptile owners and experts thought Tokay Geckos don’t need UVB light, and it was something that some people would do optionally. However, more and more experts started studying the Tokay Gecko species and their natural habitat. And now we know that this type of light is actually a must.
However, even so, there are people that strongly oppose the idea of offering UVB light to their Tokay Gecko. They are convinced that nocturnal Geckos have other means than sunlight for the production of vitamin D3. Some keepers are not sure, but they provide it just in case
The reason why UVB is so important, is because it helps the Gecko absorb calcium, which is a contributor for bone structure and growth. Everyone agrees on this, and they try to provide vitamin D3 by various means.
Most people offer it for 12-14 hours a day. They simply install the lighting source in the front or back of the enclosure, to allow the Tokay to get all the exposure it needs, regardless of where it sits in the enclosure.
However, others prefer dusting their food with vitamin D3 powder, in order to offer their Tokay Gecko all the supplements they need. This is an accepted way as well, but you should never combine the two.
Dusting your Tokay’s food with D3 and offering it up to 14 hours of UVB light every day can cause major health problems. This will result in D3 toxicity so whatever method you choose, stick to it.
How many hours of light do they need per day?
You need to be careful about the day-night cycle that you’ll get your Tokay Gecko used to from the start. It’s best to maintain the same cycle from the first day you get him. This will allow him to relax and adapt to his new home as quickly as possible.
Regardless if you get them from the wilderness or from a breeder, 12 to 14 hours of daylight and a subsequent night cycle are all these species needs. A UVB light can offer daylight, but it’s very important not to forget to turn them off at night.
Keeping the light on when your Tokay Gecko is supposed to come out can force it to stay hidden the entire night. This will get him very stressed, anxious, and the change in light conflicts with their secretive nature.
One of the biggest dangers of leaving a light on for the entire night by mistake is that your Tokay might be too scared to get out of the hiding and ends up dehydrating himself. This can happen if your Gecko is new to its enclosure, especially if it’s been caught from the wilderness.
You’ll need to respect the 12-14 hours of day and 10-12 hours of night-time that you offer it. This will keep it calm and make taming the reptile a little bit easier.
UVB Lighting – What is it
Light is very important to any living creature, both physically and psychologically. The same goes for heat as well. The UV spectrum offered by the sun is split into three parts such as UVA, UVB, and UVC. All three of them are found in natural sunlight. UVB light is the part that causes sunburns.
Unlike humans which use a clock to keep them on schedule, reptiles use the sunlight and heat to figure out when it’s time to sleep, eat, and more. This is called a circadian rhythm, and it’s very important in keeping your pets happy.
Sunlight is not only used to keep you warm. If a reptile lacks a proper circadian rhythm, they will get stressed and their body will start responding negatively.
By using the proper heating and lighting for your Tokay Gecko, you will provide something that’s as important and food and water to them.
The UVA light is used to regulate behaviors such as feeding, diurnal movement, mating, etc. UVB is used to provide the vitamin D3 your pet needs to absorb calcium.
On the other hand, UVC is not needed by reptiles, but it can be used to kill bacteria. However, too much exposure to this light can be harmful to almost any animal.
These lamps emit a spectrum of UV light with wavelengths that go from 290 to 320 nanometers. They stimulate the sun spectrum and produce mostly visible light and a very small amount of UVB light, similar to the sun.
Do Tokay Geckos need heat lamps?
Tokay Geckos need temperatures that usually go from 80F to 85F. If the temperature is too high, it can start to stress them, if it’s low it will make it hard for them to be active and get out to hunt their prey.
You’ll need to provide your Tokay Gecko with a basking spot that can be offered by a heat lamp that’s placed over the screen of the vivarium. One of the decorations in its enclosure must allow it to get as close to the heat lamp as possible, within the given tank.
It’s also ideal to provide a hiding spot away from the heating lamp. This will allow it to have a cool place to relax as well. You can achieve this by using two thermometers that ensure that your Tokay has everything it needs to regulate its temperature.
It’s best to keep the temperature under the heat lamp pretty hot. This will allow the Tokay to get as close to the heat lamp as it wants. You should keep the temperature going between 90 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit.