- Scientific Name: Rhacodactylus ciliatus
- Lifespan: Approximately 10 – 15 years, however they may be able to live 20+ years with proper care
- Handling: They are somewhat tolerate towards handling. When handling, make sure to be gentle and try to not frighten your gecko. Frightening or rough handling your gecko will cause your geckos tail to drop. Crested geckos will not regrow their tail.
- Size: Up to 6 – 9 inches
- Care: Moderate
- Community: Crested gecko hatchlings may be housed together until they start to mature. When mature, males should not be housed together or territorial fights will occur. Multiple females may be housed together of same size. A male and female(s) may only be housed together if intended for mating.
- Lifestyle: Nocturnal, active at night.
The size tank depends on the size of your crested gecko. Below are a few tank sizes that you will be needing for juvenile and adult crested geckos.
- Baby: You may use a cricket keeper or a 5 gallon tank.
- Juvenile: 10 gallon tank (Make sure your gecko can find its food).
- Adult: 20 gallon tall tank.
- Multiple Females: You should use a 30 gallon tall tank or bigger depending on how many.
Tanks should be more big tall then wide.
Note: Lids are a necessity. They can jump and climb the glass walls with ease, and will get out of enclosures that do not have lids.
Crested geckos live in tropical environments and love to roam around at night to hunt for food. The best thing to do is to create an enclosure that is best replicated towards their actual environment. You can do this by adding a few items that replicate a tropical environment.
You may choose to use real or fake plants. Fake plants look nice and are easy to maintain and clean, but real plants also have a few benefits. Real plants aid in helping with humidity levels and help oxygen circulate better in the terrarium. Pothos, Philodendron, Dieffenbachia are good plants to put into crested geckos enclosure. They are sturdy, safe, and will thrive very well.
If you decide to use real plants, you may want to look into adding some springtails to your enclosure to help cleanup any mold that may grow or feces that crested geckos drop. A high-humidity enclosure is bound to grow mold. It is normal, but if you add some microfauna (springtails), they will will eat it all up. You will rarely even have to clean the enclosure.
Branches and Sticks
Crested geckos love to climb and will use all the sticks and climbing items they have in the enclosure. Some good items to put in the enclosure are branches, driftwood pieces, and bendable climbing vines throughout the enclosure. If you choose to use real outside branches or driftwood instead of fake items, you must clean everything thoroughly to reduce any chances of parasites, mites, bacteria, and any other unwanted pests taking over your crested geckos enclosure.
Learn how to treat driftwood.
Lighting & Heating
Crested Geckos do not need a UVB bulb or any other type of special lighting. All they need is a source of heat through a regular house bulb.
When measuring temperatures, it’s best to use digital thermometers. Dial thermometers tend to give off inaccurate measurements.
70 – 80 °F is recommended.
No lights are necessary, 70 – 75 °F is recommended. If it is too cold to achieve this temperature without lights, I recommend using a ceramic heat emitter or a reptile infrared heat light. Anything above 75 °F will stress your gecko out.
Feeding & Diet
Feedings should vary as the crested gecko’s size, weight, age, and gender does. Crested geckos will primarily eat a diet called Crested Gecko Diet (CGD). It is a powdered food that you mix in a small dish using a 2:1 ratio, using 2 parts water with 1 part CGD. This type of food has all the ingredients to have a well established gecko living for many years. You also add some variety using insects to ensure your gecko is getting some good protein as well. Insects include; crickets, roaches, mealworms, wax worms, hornworms, and etc. Crested geckos should be fed what they can consume in 15 minutes. Any additional feeders must be taken out of the enclosure to avoid the left over feeders from stressing or biting the crested gecko.
Rule of thumb: do not feed anything bigger than the space between your gecko’s eyes.
Their feedings when using insects must be dusted as follows:
- Calcium without D3 – every other feeding
- Calcium with D3 – 2-3 times a month
- Multivitamins – 2-3 times a month
Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. Humidity levels must be around 60 – 80 %. You can achieve this by spraying down the enclosure multiple times a day. Always make sure the enclosure is well misted at night, which is when your crested gecko will be most active. You can easily measure the humidity percentages in the enclosure by using a digital hygrometer (humidity gauge). Dial hygrometers tend to give off inaccurate measurements.
Most crested geckos will drink water droplets off of leaves and their snout when you spray down the enclosure. You may also add a small water bowl for your gecko to drink from as well. Water should be changed out every other day to avoid bacterial build up.
The substrate for crested geckos should be something that retains moisture well to help with humidity levels, such as coconut fiber bedding, moss, or peat. If you would like to go with something that is easily replaceable, cheap, and reduces the risk of impaction, go with paper towels.
Note: The information on this crested gecko care sheet is not a substitute for veterinary care.
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