5 Best Substrate For Leopard Gecko Eggs
If you are thinking of breeding a Leopard Gecko or noticed some unexpected eggs in your enclosure you are in the right place. I am going to explain the best substrate for the job.
What is the best substrate for Leopard Gecko Eggs? The Hoffman Horticultural Perlite (Click for reviews on Amazon) is ideal for incubating eggs and Galapagos Tropicoco Coconut Soil Bedding (Click to see reviews on Amazon) for laying eggs. They are a great combination.
Now that you know the best substrates, let me suggest a few more alternatives and some valuable tips on what you should be looking for substrate when your Leo is laying eggs or if you plan to incubate their eggs and much more.
Tips on Substrate for egg laying
While it is true that leopard geckos are from the desert, it does not necessarily mean that there is sand all over the place. In fact, they can be found in Asia, Iran or even Iraq. Their actual living habitats in these countries are deserts that have rocks.
In between these rocks, there are lots of places to hide away from the blistering heat. You find in the winter that the temperature goes up to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. And in the summer up to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
As you may imagine, a lot of these rocky holes and crevices are actually quite moist. The Leo’s actually used these “moist hides” to regulate their temperature. This is so that they can hide away and cool off for part of the day. The other times in the day they have direct sunlight to help their vitamin D and calcium levels (but that’s another story).
So what has this got to do with laying eggs? (you may be thinking)
Well, the female Leopard Gecko uses these moist hides to actually lay her eggs. To keep her safe and regulate her body temperature.
So the point is, in captivity, you need to replicate this natural environment. By offering the correct substrate, which is moist enough, for them to feel at home and feel comfortable to lay their eggs.
You will find that Leopard Gecko females will lay eggs regardless, even if there is not a male present.
You may be thinking “how is this possible”?
In this situation, they will lay unfertilized eggs (more on this later). It is important to have the correct substrate so that their eggs have the best chance of surviving.
The danger of not providing the correct environment can mean that the female leopard gecko can become egg bound. This is a term used for when they are not able to lay their eggs.
How does substrate help during the incubation of Leo eggs?
During incubation not only is it important to have the correct temperature, but it is also important to have the right humidity, moisture, and substrate.
The dangers of incubating an egg without the correct substrate and moisture can actually end up with the eggs turning into “raisins”. Not literally, but meaning they will not hatch and completely unsuccessful.
In this article, I’ll be explaining the best substrate that you can use to increase your chances of a successful egg laying and hatching.
Best 2 Substrate for egg laying
I will now provide my top three recommended substrates for Leopard Gecko egg laying:
01. Galapagos Tropicoco Coconut Soil Bedding
- Good to keep moist
- Made from Sustainable resources
- Parasite, Oil & Chemical Free
- Remains quite cool even with a heat lamp.
- Quite messy, you will need to use some water to break up the soil.
The Galapagos Tropicoco Coconut Soil Bedding (Click to see reviews on Amazon). Is primarily designed for tods but Leopard Gecko’s love this stuff.
Its main advantage is its ability to keep moist. In addition to this, it is made from sustainable resources. It is also parasite, oil and chemical free, allowing your Leo to roam around without fear. The only issue you may find is the fact that it is quite messy. Not a big issue, but one thing to consider.
02. Galápagos Terrarium Sphagnum Moss
- Long Lasting – Uses “Long-Fiber” Sphagum Moss
- Absorbent: Helps control humidity
- Uses sustainable materials
- Treated by sieving and washing to provide the cleanest moss.
- May find that the moss is actually brown instead of green
- May need to re-moisten the moss to maintain its moisture.
The Galápagos Terrarium Sphagnum Moss (click to see the reviews on Amazon) is another substrate that Leo’s love. It uses sustainable materials for the benefit of the environment and well cleaned to keep your Leo happy. The main issue you may encounter is the fact that you may need to re-moisten it, to keep the moisture.
Best 3 substrate for Egg incubation
These 3 substrates are ideal for the egg incubation stage:
01. Hoffman Horticultural Perlite:
- Natural – Good for your soil PH levels
- Helps with drainage
- Great for Egg incubation
The Hoffman Horticultural Perlite (Click for reviews on Amazon) is ideal for egg incubation. Some people prefer the other alternatives, but this is quite good value and does the job just as well.
02. HatchRite Reptile Incubation Medium
- No need for mixing
- Tested and approved by breeders
- May need to be re-moistened out of the bag
The HatchRite Reptile Incubation Medium (Click for reviews on Amazon) is another great substrate for laying eggs. It does not require any mixing, so you can take it right out of the bag and you are away. The only criticism is, you may find that some batches can be dry. But you can simply re-moisten the product before using it.
03. Pangea Hatch Premium Reptile Egg Incubation Substrate
- Color changes in response to the moisture level
- Absorbs water well
- Can be boiled & cleaned for re-use
- May need to be moistened before initial usage.
The Pangea Hatch Premium Reptile Egg Incubation Substrate (Click for reviews on Amazon) is an ideal substrate for Leopard Geckos. It is good at keeping its moisture and can be boiled & cleaned so you can re-use it. Only thing I would say, as a negative, is the fact that you may need to re-moisten it before you initially use it.
Do female geckos lay unfertilized eggs? Yes, they can lay unfertilized eggs. Especially if there is no male present within the enclosure, as discussed earlier. However, if the eggs are not fertilized within a couple of weeks they will start to grow fungus and decay.
How often do female leopard geckos lay eggs? During the breeding season, a female Leo will lay eggs every 15 to 20 days approximately. During this period she will lay eggs for approximately 4 to 5 months.
For the first breeding year, you can expect her to lay approximately 10 eggs. However, over the duration of her lifetime, you can expect anything from 80 to 100 eggs in total.
Why is my leopard gecko digging? This is likely to happen because your female Leo is gravid and expecting to lay eggs shortly.
When female geckos are gravid, usually at least a couple of weeks before they expect to lay their eggs, they will look for a suitable spot and start to dig and prepare. This is why it’s important to have the correct substrate in place to make them feel comfortable to do this. And also to have a nesting area or a nest box for them to feel comfortable to lay their eggs.
When she lays her eggs, she will lay them in the spot and slightly cover the eggs with the substrate. You will also find her digging around as she is actually laying the eggs.
Apart from this you may also find Leo’s just digging because it’s an instinctive thing to do. You will find males and females have the potential to dig in this way.
This may be because they want to hide away from the heat or it may just be because they want to dig and hide in general. However, they will only dig if there is a loose substrate available to make that happen.