There are lots of debates on the reptile forum about using sand as substrate for leopard gecko. Many hobbyists that still insist that they would house their pet using sand as it provide more natural look and nicer in vivarium decoration. There are risk in using sand for your gecko, however let me show you how to minimize the risk.I strongly suggest that you should use other lower risk materials for you vivarium substrate. If you are certain that sand is the only substrate that you would like to use as substrate, then you should pay attention on the followings. However, the risk of impaction is still there. I do not guarantee for that.
First rule, ensure that you choose the correct sand. There are sand that are sold in pet stores that is labeled “reptile safe” or “digestible”. Keep in mind that the real sand is silica and it is impossible to be digested. Do not trust that. You need to remember that the larger the sand size, the more likely that it will lead your leopard gecko to impaction.
In many reptile hobbyists opinions, the best sand are those “washed playsand” because it’s a lot finer compared to sand that’s available at pet store. It is easier to pass through the gecko’s body system and poop out. However, you need to filter out the bigger size sand. Use a fine screen or filter to do that.
Secondly, don’t let the sand get wet. If you’re placing water dish on the sand, please place and isolator or dish holder to make sure that the water doesn’t pour on the sand. The wet sand can be disastrous to your leopard gecko respiratory system. As a result, it causes breathing problems or difficulties.
Third, make sure your leopard gecko’s supplement is complete. Add a dish of calcium powder incase of insufficient of its supplement. Sometimes, leopard gecko tends to balance up it supplement by eating the substrate.
Forth, continuously monitor the your leopard gecko. Make sure there’s no abnormalities happen.
The common practice: be sure that your leopard gecko is more than 6 inches long.
Sand might provide better natural look for your vivarium, but use it with care.