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What Do Crested Geckos Need in Their Tank? (Don’t Forget These Things)

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Crested Geckos are very calm, sweet, and unusual lizards thought to be extinct not so long ago. These lizards have no eyelids, eat insects and fruit, and can be found in New Caledonia, an island east of Australia. They dwell in the brush and lower plant life, enjoying higher humidity levels. But what about when in captivity, what do crested geckos need in their tank?

Crested Geckos like any animal, need proper husbandry. Certain things are imperative to their health. So, what type of habitat do these wonderfully odd little creatures need? What will you need to create the best possible enclosure?

I am going to walk you through exactly what you need, an in-depth look into Crested Geckos and their tank accessories that are a must.

What do Crested Geckos need in their tank?

1. Tank

Exo Terra Glass Natural Terrarium Kit, for Reptiles and Amphibians, Small Tall, 18 x 18 x 24 inches, PT2607A1

First, let’s start with the actual tank. You’ll need a secure enclosure for your new reptile, and Crested Geckos love to jump, so you’ll want to keep height over a length in mind when shopping for a Crestie.

For a baby Crested Gecko, you’ll want a tank that’s a minimum of 8″ x 8″ x 12″ and an exceptional tank to start with would be REPTIZOO Mini Reptile Glass Terrarium Tank. For Juveniles and Adults, 18” x 18” x 24” inches works wonderfully, giving them adequate space to explore, stretch their legs, and jump.

A great tank for this phase would be the Exo Terra Glass Natural Terrarium. Having the right tank size makes for a very happy Gecko. I think you’ll find these are a couple of the best options, and they have excellent reviews among the reptile community.

If you are keeping this new pet through adulthood, and most people would, go ahead and get the larger Exo Terra.

2. Substrate

Crested geckos love and need a much higher humidity to be happy and healthy. With this in mind, you will need a substrate that is good at holding in moisture.

Cypress mulch, coconut fiber, and Orchid bark are all great for this. You can choose to use them by themselves, or as a combination.

You will want to move the substrate around every so often, keeping any one area from retaining too much moisture. The substrate is in a humid environment, and that can and will cause mold, spot cleaning, tossing the substrate, and making sure the substrate isn’t dripping with water will keep this from happening.

3. Thermometer & Hygrometer with Humidity Gauge

It’s crucial to know the temperature and humidity levels in your Crested Geckos’ tank. Anything below 50% humidity isn’t healthy for your gecko. It can cause problems with shedding and leave your lizard dehydrated. On the other hand, humidity levels that exceed 80% for long periods can also cause health problems like upper respiratory tract infections. 

Crested Geckos, unlike most other species of lizards, do not need as high of temps. Temperatures between 71-76 are perfect or very close. In the wild, they do have temperature variances, so dropping into the low 60s at night is natural and mimics their natural habitat as long as they will not be exposed to these temperatures for overly long periods.

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A great combination of the thermometer and humidity gauge is the Zoo Med Labs Digital Thermometer Humidity Gauge double pack because it’s good to have more than one in their tank to keep track of different areas, giving them a gradient.

image by Jessi Swick via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

4. Hides

Hides are a crucial part of any reptile habitat, and Crested Geckos are no exception. Reptile hides create a space they can feel secure and safe. A place to hide will help your geckos’ stress levels, which will keep them healthy, happy, and easy to handle. You wouldn’t always think of it, but the smallest things can make an immense impact on your little critter.

There are multiple types of hides you can choose. A few favorites are the Mossy Cave Hide, Coco Huts like this one, and caves like this here

These are all excellent hides and will be sure to make your Crested Gecko feel safe and happy! Why choose just one?

5. Tank Decorations

Tank decorations are a must for these jumpers. I can not stress how much Crested Geckos enjoy jumping, hiding, and exploring. Vines lots of vines! Branches, don’t forget the branches, Oh!, and hammocks! Who doesn’t enjoy lounging on hammocks eating insects? They will appreciate it all. Here are a few great options your Crested Gecko will be sure to love.

6. Humidity

As we mentioned before, when discussing substrate, humidity is essential to a Crested Geckos habitat. You will need a spray bottle like this one you can get on Amazon. A spray bottle will usually be adequate. A quick tip for spray bottles, don’t continuously spray, wait till the humidity levels have dropped to between 40-50%, and continue like this.

If you are having a hard time keeping the humidity levels where they should be, you can buy foggers or misters. These foggers, Zoo Med Reptifogger Terrarium Humidifier or Coospider Reptile Fogger Terrariums Humidifier Fog Machine, would both work great. These, however, do not need to be running consistently. A few times a week should be adequate. Remember, if the humidity is too high, it can cause your gecko to have an upper respiratory tract infection. 

 7. Water and food dish

Of course, we can’t forget the basics. Food and water dishes!

I like a more natural looking feeder like this one here. These dishes are excellent! You can use refiller cups they sell specifically for these, or you can even use pop bottle caps. Crested Gecko feeder dishes are neat and convenient.

8. Heating and lighting

You are probably wondering about heating and lighting? Well, unless you live in a cold environment or keep it below 75-72 degrees in your home, you don’t need to worry about heating. Since Crested Geckos are a nocturnal species, they do not need lighting, other than a lamp or window in the same room during the day.

Not having to worry about heating and lighting makes these guys a very convenient choice for first-time reptile owners!

Conclusion

Remember everything on this list is crucial to the health and well being of your Crested Gecko. With that said, Crested Geckos are unbelievably good pets and are easy to care for, more manageable than a lot of other reptiles. Once you get all their required tank accessories, you and your new crestie will be all set, and you will have one pleased Crested Gecko.

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So I hope we’ve answered the question: “what do Crested Geckos need in their tank?”.

Keep reading for some frequently asked questions about Cresties!


FAQ

How often does a reptile fogger need to be cleaned?

Clean your reptile fogger regularly, about once a week.

How do you clean a reptile fogger?

You’ll wipe it down with a rag and wash it out, you can use vinegar to help clean it. Vinegar acts as a fungicide and is safe for reptiles.

Can you use tap water in your fogger? 

You can use tap water, but due to the mineral build-up that can occur from tap water, distilled water is highly advised.

My thermometer and humidity gauge is not always accurate. Is there a better way to keep an eye on temps and humidity levels? 

Yes, they sell temperature guns specifically for reptiles like this one here, but you can use something a little better like this that checks both temps and humidity. It’s not advertised for reptiles but, it does an excellent job.

Can you use other forms of substrate? Yes, some do like to use paper towels, reptile carpet, among others. These, however, are not always the best at holding in humidity or cause other ill effects.

Is there anything else I should buy that’s crucial to my Crested gecko’s health and well-being?

Yes, because the food we feed them can lack all sorts of healthy vitamins and minerals they would receive in the wild, you should make sure to buy your Crested gecko supplements. Calcium and vitamins play a crucial part in your geckos’ health. Repashy is a great brand to use and has a two in one Repashy calcium plus.

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