A General Care Guide for Crested Geckos
Crested geckos come from New Caledonia a small tropical island off the coast of Australia. They are relatively easy reptiles to take care of with very little maintenance when provided with the proper habitat.
Scientific Name - Correlophus ciliatus
Life Span - 15-20 Years
We like to use a 12x12x18 size enclosure or one of similar size to house crested geckos. Crested geckos are arboreal so the taller the enclosure the better. Having plenty of climbing branches, plants and vines in your enclosure will make your gecko feel secure. They are nocturnal so they like to climb at night. They enjoy having a good mix of vines, cork bark, branches and bamboo and plenty of plants that they will use as cover as well as a hide. To give your gecko a more naturalistic habitat you can add isopods, other microfauna and live plants to make it a bio active setup. Males are territorial and should never be housed together. All our geckos are housed individually except during breeding season. There are several different types of enclosures you can get such as Zoomed, Exo-Terra, pvc and acrylic enclosures.
Crested geckos need 60 -80% humidity. We mist our enclosures once a day or more if needed preferably at night. We mist with water from an R/O filter unit. You can also use distilled or purified water as this will help from calcium build up on your enclosure. Crested geckos like to lick the water droplets off the plants, but you can also provide a small water dish as well for them to drink from.
We keep all our crested geckos at room temperature 70-75F year-round. During the summer months temperatures may increase up to 80F but not over. In the winter months nighttime temperatures may drop to the mid 60s. We never use heat lamps or heat pads. We use ambient room lighting and/or LED lighting for bioactive enclosures. Crested geckos don't require UVB. You can provide a low-level wattage of UVB light however that may raise the temperature in the enclosure.
We feed our crested geckos 2 times a week with dusted gut loaded crickets or Dubia roaches. Then one day a week with a meal replacement powder. We use a rotation of Repashy and Pangea flavors. We give each gecko 3-4 crickets or 2 -3 roaches depending on the gecko's size. Always dust the bugs with a calcium/vitamin d3 powder supplement. Offering insects entices enrichment and gets them to hunt for their food as they would in the wild.
Once you get your crested gecko keep handling to a minimal for its first week. Crested geckos have their own personalities so it may take some time for them to get used to you. Most of them have a good temperament however some may be wild and jumpy. They love to jump especially while you are holding them. When handling you want to "walk" your gecko from hand to hand to ensure they don't fall. Always scoop your gecko from the front, that way they can see your hand and climb onto you. They can drop their tails if handled roughly. Most likely when this happens, they are stressed thinking they are going to get eaten so they drop their tail for their predator and run away. This is a natural occurrence and does not devalue the gecko in any way.
Crested geckos are one of the best pet lizards for new reptile keepers. They are very cute and unique and each one has their own set of characteristics. With a proper setup, temperature, humidity and a varied diet your gecko will thrive for many years.