What reptiles can live in a 5 gallon tank?

Answered by Stephen Mosley

In a 5 gallon tank, it is important to consider the size and needs of the reptile you plan to keep. While there are several reptile species that could potentially live in a 5 gallon tank temporarily, it is not recommended for long-term housing as it may not provide adequate space and environmental enrichment for the reptile to thrive.

Geckos are popular choices for smaller lizards due to their size and relatively low maintenance requirements. However, most geckos would require a larger enclosure than a 5 gallon tank to meet their needs. Some geckos that may be suitable for temporary housing in a 5 gallon tank include:

1. Leopard geckos: Leopard geckos are small lizards that can reach around 8 to 10 inches in length. They are relatively easy to care for and have simple habitat requirements. However, they do best in a larger enclosure with space for hiding spots, a warm basking area, and a cool area for thermoregulation.

2. African fat-tailed geckos: Similar in size and care requirements to leopard geckos, African fat-tailed geckos are another option for a temporary setup in a 5 gallon tank. They also require a warm basking spot, hiding areas, and appropriate substrate for burrowing.

3. House geckos: House geckos, or Mediterranean geckos, are small and can be kept in small enclosures. However, they are highly active and would benefit from a larger tank to explore and climb. It is important to provide them with appropriate heat, humidity, and a varied diet.

4. Panther geckos: Panther geckos are slightly larger than leopard geckos and African fat-tailed geckos, reaching up to 12 inches in length. They require similar habitat conditions and would need a larger enclosure for long-term housing.

5. Crested geckos: Crested geckos are arboreal and require vertical space to climb. While they may temporarily be housed in a 5 gallon tank when they are young, they will quickly outgrow it and need a larger enclosure with plenty of branches or vines to explore.

Other reptiles that may be suitable for a 5 gallon tank on a temporary basis include anole species, such as green anoles or brown anoles. These small, active lizards can be housed in smaller enclosures, but they still require appropriate heating, lighting, and a variety of perches and hiding spots.

Pygmy chameleons, such as the Fischer’s chameleon or the carpet chameleon, are another option for a small tank setup. These tiny chameleons require high humidity and need a well-planted enclosure to provide hiding spots and climbing opportunities.

It is important to note that while these reptiles may be temporarily housed in a 5 gallon tank, they will eventually require larger enclosures to meet their long-term needs. Providing proper space, temperature gradients, hiding spots, and a suitable diet are crucial for the health and well-being of any reptile.

While there are a few reptile species that could temporarily live in a 5 gallon tank, it is not recommended for long-term housing. Reptiles have specific habitat requirements, and providing them with adequate space and an enriching environment is essential for their overall health and happiness. It is always best to research the specific needs of the reptile species you are interested in keeping and provide them with a suitable and spacious enclosure.