Crested Gecko Care

Crested Gecko Care

Crested Gecko Care Sheet

Crested geckos make great pets with simple care requirements. Outlined below are the basics for crested gecko care and a summary of all the basic information a new keeper would need to provide proper crested gecko care and be successful keeping these great little geckos.

Crested Geckos Natural Habitat

The first step in providing proper Crested gecko care in understanding where they initially come from and what their natural habitat is like in their native home of New Caledonia.

The Crested Geckos range in New Caledonia is a mild climate with average summer temperatures ranging from the mid-60s F into the mid-80s F.

Crested geckos are arboreal meaning they live in the trees and foliage of the forests of New Caledonia. Crested geckos are also nocturnal meaning they spend their days hiding and will emerge at night to feed.

To provide the best Crested gecko care, it is important to keep the natural habitat in mind and try to recreate the habitat in captivity.

Getting Ready for a Crested Gecko:

When obtaining a Crested gecko it is important to have everything setup and ready to go before bringing your new crested gecko home. Being prepared ahead of time provides a new keeper with several advantages including:

  • You can ensure you have all the equipment needed for proper Crested gecko care.
  • You can ensure the environment is stable in the Crested gecko cage.
  • You will minimize stress for the Crested gecko

Even with having the Crested gecko care requirements and habitat setup ahead of time, the move it its new home may be stressful for your new gecko. This means it is important to initially monitor your gecko in its new habitat.

This initial stress may cause a Crested gecko to not eat for several days. A couple days of refusing to eat will not be a problem for a healthy Crested gecko, and they should quickly settle into their new environment. There are several things that can be done to help acclimate your new gecko.

  • Make sure the Crested gecko has suitable hiding places
  • Feed your gecko the same food source it is used to eating
  • Bright lights can stress Crested geckos
  • Monitor the gecko’s food intake

As mentioned above, it is not uncommon for a gecko to refuse food at first but is they continue to maintain good weight and maintain a fat tail, this will not be a health concern for your gecko.

Crested Gecko Quarantine

Any new gecko should be kept separate for at least 30 days, preferably 60 days, to let the gecko acclimate and to and so you can monitor the animal for health concerns. This is import to minimize stress for the new gecko but also to prevent and illness from spreading to any other geckos.

Acclimating Your Crested Gecko

A new crested gecko should be kept separated from other geckos for 30-60 days, to let the gecko acclimate and to and so you can observe the gecko for any signs illness or health concerns. This is import to minimize stress for the crested gecko and also to prevent and illness from spreading to other geckos.

Once the gecko become acclimated you can begin to handle them if you would like. Crested geckos have a tendency to be easy to handle and will become less flighty as they grow accustomed to it.

As always great care are should be taken when handling your crested gecko to avoid stress and to prevent tail loss. Unlike a leopard gecko, crested geckos will not regrow their tails if they are lost.

Crested Gecko Size

Crested geckos are a relatively small pet gecko typically reaching an adult size of 4 to 6 inches in body length. Including their tails adult crested geckos average around 8 inches long and typically weigh around 35 – 45 grams

Crested Gecko Enclosure

There are a wide variety of options for a crested gecko tank setup ranging from very simple to elaborate and naturalistic. Since crested geckos are primary an arboreal species height is important when selecting a proper crested gecko enclosure.  The necessary setup size depends on several factors including:

  • How many crested geckos will be housed together?
  • What is the size and age of the crested geckos?
  • What is the sex of the crested geckos, if planning to house together?

Some people start with a standard 20 gallon size aquarium for a single adult crested gecko. A 20 gallon size is the minimum appropriate size for a single adult gecko and your gecko will certainly appreciate additional space.  These geckos are good climbers so a secure lid is a must o

There are some great reptile cages on the market that can be ideal for crested geckos. We like the 18x18x18″ glass Exo Terra (approximately 25 gallon) for single geckos and the 18x18x24” Exo Terra (approximately 34 gallons) for a small group of crested geckos.
The Exo Terras are a great display and provide the necessary security to prevent escapes from these highly capable climbers. Juvenile crested gecko can be started in a smaller tank to help with food monitoring and temperature regulation.


Crested Gecko Cage Setup

After you have selected your enclosure, there are a few additional considerations for proper crested gecko cage setup. These are discussed further below.  When setting up the cage there are a lot of options.  Some of the basics of these are discussed below.

Crested Gecko Lighting

Crested geckos are nocturnal and often spend their days hiding, UV light is not mandatory for proper crested gecko care. If you choose to use a light for display purposed choose something that has a low heat output to prevent overheating the cage. An LED fixture or low watt fluorescents can often be a good choice.

Crested Gecko Substrate

There are a wide variety of substrate options that can be used with a crested gecko depending on your needs.   Simple and basic options include paper towels or reptile carpet.  However for a more natural looking display we prefer to use a product such as ZooMed Forest Floor bedding, this product looks great and helps keep humidity up.

Crested Gecko Plants

Either live or artificial plants can be kept with crested geckos. For simplicity and ease of cleaning we prefer to go with a quality artificial plant that is specifically made for reptile enclosures.  Exo Terra makes some great artificial ferns that when coupled with some branches make a great display for your crested gecko.  There is also a wide variety of other cage décor made specifically for reptiles  you can add with your gecko to make the habitat look the way that you like.  We think one of the best things about keeping pet reptiles is the ability to create our own little personal zoo exhibits, so have fun and be creative with this part.

Crested Gecko Humidity Requirements

As with most geckos a small and shallow water bowl should be available for your crested geckos.  The water should be changed often and the dish kept clean.

A humidity level of 50-70% seems ideal for crested geckos, you can maintain this humidity in your crested gecko enclosure by misting with distilled water once or twice a day.

Crested Gecko Temperature Requirements

Just like they have in their natural habitats, Crested Geckos prefer mild more temperatures with daytime temps being in the mid to upper 70s (F). Crested geckos should not be exposed to temperatures in the mid-80s as they can become stressed. The temperature can be allowed to cool slightly at night into the low 70s (F).

The ambient temperature in most homes may be appropriate for keeping crested geckos without the need for any supplemental heat. In the case some extra heat is needed you can adjust your lightening or add a reptile heat mat such as this made by Exo Terra.

If using supplemental heat on crested gecko it is important to follow the manufacturers recommendations for sizing and setup.    Temperatures need to be monitored and adjusted to avoid getting your gecko too hot, this can be automatically done with a thermostat such as the Zilla Temperature Controller.

What Do Crested Geckos Eat

In the wild crested geckos will eat a variety of food items including small insects, fruits, and nectars. With a variety of products currently on the market, this diet can be easily recreated in captivity.

In captivity, crested geckos can be fed crickets a few times a week. Crickets should be appropriately sized and properly gut loaded.  We like to use live insects in our crested gecko feeding routine but it is not absolutely necessary.

One of the biggest advantages crested geckos have over most other pet geckos is that their feeding is not restricted to insects in captivity. There is a variety powdered crested gecko diets available today.

Crested Gecko Diet

For a powder crested gecko diet we like Repashy Superfood’s Crested Gecko MRP.

This product is mixed with water and contains a mixture of diet fruits and protein sources.   As mentioned, Crested Geckos can be raised on crested gecko diet exclusively, but we prefer a variety of foods in our feeding routine.  Follow the packaging for proper mixing, uneaten food should be removed before it spoils.

Supplementing Crested Gecko Food

It is important to dust your crested gecko food with a high quality calcium powder a couple time a week to provide supplemental calcium for a growing gecko’s bones. Adult crested geckos can be supplemented once a week.   We like Repashy Calcium Plus.

If a female crested gecko is producing eggs, they should be offer calcium supplement daily.

In addition to calcium powder some keepers like to add powdered bee pollen to the crested gecko diet to add additional vitamins. This can be beneficial but is not necessary for successful crested gecko care.

Final Thoughts

Overall Crested geckos make a great pet for beginners and experienced keepers alike.  They are easy to keep and interesting little geckos with a lot to offer.  When properly cared for they tend to be very robust with minimal health related issues.

 

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