I just got a leopard gecko at a reptile show and it is my first one. My room is only about 21 °C (70 °F) and is not warm enough for it. How can I make my room or the cage warmer?
You will need to get an under tank heater and a thermostat for your leo. You can also use heat tape but that is less friendly. I would suggest perusing over this care sheet just to get the jist of what you need to do.
This is a cheap thermostat and uth
I would suggest get AT LEAST both of these items and if you have money to get a better thermo and heat source then you should. Also make sure you have a hide, a humid hide, a water bowl, and some type of substrate. Good luck on the care!
Basics Needs: 10 gallon (38 liters) tank, 3-4 quarts (2.8-3.8 liters) of ECO Earth coconut fiber substrate, Fluker's (small 6" x 11" / 15 x 28 cm) or All living things (8" x 11" / 20 x 28 cm) under tank heating pad, water bowl, Repti Calcium with D3 (dust their food 2-3 times a week for adults more if they are younger) and a hideout (I like Fluker's critter cavern, but most will work). The safest and I feel most nutritious diet are crickets that are gut loaded (fed) with a good vitamin supplement (like Nature Zone total Bites) Don't leave too many uneaten crickets in there - they can nip at your gecko. All of these things can be bought from Amazon. Heating pad should be on just one side of the tank so if it gets too warm they can move to the other side to cool down. Put the hide on the warm side and moisten the substrate under the hide.
Additional things you could add: Regular light on a timer to keep lighting consistent for their sleep cycles, any additional hide so you have a moist and dry one available. Thermometer (I prefer the laser type that you can pinpoint areas and get the surface temp - that way you know exactly where the hot and cold spots are. Many suggest a small bowl with calcium in their enclosure - it depends on the age and health of your gecko, and how often your dusting their food whether this is needed.
The best substrate for newbies is something like ECO earth coconut substrate. Many experienced keepers and breeders choose plain kitchen toweling for cleanliness and ease of cleaning - but please note that it would not be my suggestion for newbie: the substrate is more "mistake proof" if you forget to tend to clean them daily or every other - it will hold the moisture in the moist hide and will absorb some of the mess from the poop. Make sure if you are using under tank heating that you're substrate isn't too high, because they may not get enough heat. Also, they should not be laying right on the glass over an under tank heater, as it can cause minor belly burns eventually.
Do not use pea gravel and sand as a substrate. Leopard geckos can end up swallowing it and it can cause impaction that can kill them. Their digestive systems frequently can't pass the sand. There are many people that keep them on sand, but they are just lucky that their pet hasn't ingested enough to cause a problem.
Leopard geckos, as ground-dwelling lizards, depend on heat levels between 24 °C (75 °F) at night to 32 °C (90 °F) during the day to remain healthy and active. If you're having trouble keeping the habitat temperature in this range, try one of several simple solutions to keep your gecko warm and cozy.
Leopard geckos require warm ground in their environments, since they spend most of their time there. Some reptile substrates are poor conductors of heat, and may cause gradual cooling of the lizard's habitat. Substrates such as very fine beach sand and bark mulch tend to lose heat quickly, so should be avoided. The best substrate for leopard geckos is a combination of pea gravel at the bottom of the habitat, with a coarser sand (such as generic playground sand) on top. This combination will conduct and retain heat much better than other substrates.
Heating pads, which attach to the bottom of aquariums or cages, provide a gentle and reliable source of heat that is ideal for leopard geckos. Choose a heating pad made specifically for reptiles that will cover a little over half of the habitat floor. (Leopard geckos need to be able to self-regulate their body temperature; if the heated area gets too hot, they can easily move to the unheated side.)
An incandescent bulb of 40 to 60 watts in a reflector fixture is one of the simplest ways to add both heat and light to a leopard gecko's habitat. This bulb can be placed over one half of the habitat, to allow the gecko to self-regulate his temperature. You may also choose a red light -- since leopard geckos are nocturnal, a red light bulb will not interrupt their normal sleeping patterns.
Warnings and considerations
Keep a thermometer in your leopard gecko habitat to make sure the temperature stays between 24 °C and 32 °C (75 °F and 90 °F) at all times. Turn off heating devices if the cage gets too warm. You may need to buy a lower-powered heating pad or light if the habitat is consistently too warm.