How To Care For Crested Geckos

Crested Geckos Care (Correlophus (Rhacodactylus) ciliatus)

Originally from New Caledonia, Crested geckos make an ideal reptile pet for beginners, with simple, easy-to-meet requirements.

Crested Gecko Availability

Crested geckos are now captive bred and have become standard in the pet industry. Many new color morphs are now becoming available.

Crested Gecko Size

Male and female crested geckos can reach a size of 4 to 4.5 inches snout-to-vent length, and about 8 inches in total length. Crested geckos can be sexually mature around 15 to 18 months and at a body weight of approximately 35-40 grams.

Crested Gecko Life Span

Under proper care, crested geckos can live 15 to 20 years.

Crested Gecko Lighting and Temperature

Crested geckos like a temperature range of 78° to 82° Fahrenheit during the day. Nighttime temperatures can be allowed a drop to the low 70s. In summer, if the temperature starts to exceed 86° place the crested geckos in a cooler room. A thermometer is necessary for accurate temperature measurements.
The best way to provide heat is a low-wattage heat bulb or a ceramic heat emitter in a light fixture placed on the screen top over one side of the tank so that the temperature of basking area reaches the desired range (78°-82°). Keep one side of the tank cooler to allow the crested geckos to regulate their own body temperature. You can also use an undertank heat pad or heat tape under one side of the tank controlled by a thermostat, but we're not fans of this method and don't recommend.

If you have live plants in your terrarium, additional lighting should be provided by a fluorescent bulb running the length of the tank. Crested geckos tend to rest in leaves or other types of shelter during the day and are more around dawn and dusk. They do not require UV lighting if fed a proper diet containing calcium and vitamin D3. Additionally, intense UV lighting can damage their eyes

Crested Gecko Housing

Baby crested geckos are best housed in a standard 10-gallon reptile tank with a screen top. Adults crested gecko should get a 15-20-gallon terrarium with a screen top. In areas with high humidity, crested geckos will fare well in screen cages. You can keep one male and several females together. Males may fight each other and should not be kept together, particularly when in the company of females.

Crested Gecko Substrate

For simple maintenance, reptile carpet is attractive and easily cleaned. For a more naturalistic look, woodchip bedding works well, and coconut fiber mixed 50 percent with organic potting soil is an excellent choice if you want to grow live plants.

Crested geckos feel most comfortable resting in leaves and like to climb on vines and wood. Suitable materials include cork bark sections for vertical and ground level caves and climbing ledges. Plastic plants positioned throughout the enclosure work well to hake the gecko feel at home, and artificial vines provide excellent climbing and hanging opportunities. Do not over clutter the tank. Leave plenty of open space. Live or artificial plants, wood, bark, and vines will provide security for the crested geckos to feel safe and rest in the open and add a decorative element to the display.

Crested Gecko Food

Prepared Crested Gecko food is the best and easiest option for feeding. The food powder is mixed with water and offered in a shallow dish, every other day, or three times a week. The food can be allowed to remain 24 to 36 hours before removal.

Additionally, fruit and insects can be fed, and some owners choose to offer these as primary diet or as supplementary diet. Crickets are one of the best choices, and you should try to select a size where the length of the insect equals the width of the head. Crickets should be offered 2-3 times a week as a primary diet or once a week as a supplement to the prepared food. You should also lightly coat the crickets with a vitamin/mineral supplement that contains calcium, vitamin D3, and other essential vitamins.

Crested Gecko Water and Humidity

Water should always be provided for crested geckos in a shallow dish. Crested geckos require a humidity level of 50-70%. In drier climates, the tanks should be lightly misted nightly to increase humidity levels. Hygrometers can be used to check humidity levels.

Crested Gecko Tails

In nature, it is typical for crested geckos to lose their tails and end up with a tiny pointed tail nub. In captivity, people like their crested geckos with tails, but this requires keeping animals individually.

Crested Gecko Handling

Newly purchased geckos should not be handled the first couple of days and allowed to settle in for three to four days to let them adjust to their new home and to be sure they're eating regularly and adjusting well. When you start handling your crested gecko, keep sessions short, no more than five-ten minutes. Baby crested geckos can be flighty and may be injured in the course of handling, so we don't recommend trying to handle babies, you should wait until they are at least 3-4 inches before trying to handle.
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