Reptiles to put in a 45 gallon aquarium

I got a free aquarium with a stand and I’ve been wondering what to put in the aquarium, it measures
48" x 12" x 18". I originally wanted to put a pair of crocodile skinks and a few gargoyle geckos in there except I don’t think that’d work since I’d be reaching in through the top all the time and the gargs would be right there ready to jump out.
Species requirements

  • No sitting water (eg paludarium)
  • Cohabitate 1 male and at least 1 female
  • About $750 or less for the pair of reptiles
  • Something different than a snake for variety
  • Something unique that I can make the habitat either bioactive or out of excavators clay

so no snakes?

Not this time with this project

this is my personal opinion.You want something rare and unique? if so u can try some European lizards for example Timon Lepidus , or some podarcis gene lizards example Podarcis milensis and klemmeri that personally are the coolest

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It doesn’t even necessarily need to be rare, even something as common as chameleons would work.

What are some desert species that would fit the requirements, maybe like some skinks or swifts.

Not desert animals, but a few green anoles could go in a 45gal. Or brown anoles. Both are very cheap.


That’s what I was about to recommend.They are beautiful, and they can be really fun to watch😀

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African fat-tails and Chinese cave geckos are fairly robust and commonly available species that do well in naturalistic set-ups. You might also look at knob-tails, though they are a bit more advanced and costly.

A pancake tortoise might do well in something that size. But again, a bit more advanced and costly.

Might also be able to get away with some akies in something that size.

Caveat that the only one of these I have kept was AFTs about three decades ago so research research RESEARCH before just taking my word and committing to any of the others

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Would an Ackie or other kind of monitor be able to live in the aquarium for their whole life or would they get too big?

You need a larger enclosure for an ackie. No other monitor would be good for that small of an enclosure either.


I would not recommend an ackie for a 48x12x18 for their entire life.
They should have at a minimum 48x24x24 as adults and that’s still quite small as they love to explore their enclosures.
Ideally 6ftx2ftx2ft.


Okay, that’s what I thought, a juvenile would easily be able to live in it but I don’t have any larger enclosures for it once it would get bigger.


Aaaaaaaaand this would be why I put my caveat in there


The only monitor I can think of that could possibly go in a 45gal would be a King’s Dwarf monitor. They only reach 9in in length. But tbh the floor space sounds too thin.

A 45 gallon would probably be too thin for adult monitors.