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Crested Gecko Care

This document is for guidance only and should not be used as the sole source of information. New information is being developed regularly. It is recommended to find multiple sources of information before buying a pet. 

CARE OVERVIEW

Common Name: Crested Gecko                   

Scientific Name: Rhacodactylus ciliatus

Native to: New Caledonia

Size: 8 to 10 inches

Life span: 15 to 20 years

Difficulty Level: Beginner

General appearance: Crested Geckos also know as “Cresties”, do not have eyelids. They use their long tongues to lick their eyeballs to clear them of debris. They are named for the crest that runs from their “eyelashes”, down their backs to their tails. Cresties have the famous sticky feet that allow them to walk up and down glass without effort. The pads of their feet are actually made up of thousands of tiny, microscopic hairs.

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Enclosure:

Hatchlings to adult leopard geckos can be kept in a ten gallon tank. A twenty gallon would be more ideal for an adult or a pair. Each side of the cage should have a hiding spot and maybe a few plastic plants throughout the cage for more hiding spots. Setup for enclosure is really easy as they lizards do not climb and do not burrow.

Heating and Lighting:

Leopard geckos require a hot spot around 88 to 93 degrees. This is usually achieved with a small heat pad and low watt heat lamp (both on the same side of the tank).  The cool side should be around 75 degrees. If the nighttime temperature gets below 75 a nighttime heat source (usually a heat pad) should be provided. Leopard geckos are mostly nocturnal and do not need UVB provided.

 

Substrate:

We use newspaper and paper towels for our leopard geckos and do maintenance every other day. Liners can be used but be careful of threads tangling with your gecko’s claws. DO NOT USE ANY CALCIUM SAND or CEDAR. If you want to use substrate we recommend Sani-Chips from T-Rex.

 

Humidity: Crested Geckos are a tropical species. They need about 85% humidity in the cage. Automatic sprayers or foggers can be used to achieve this. otherwise we soak (like a rainfall) our cages down every morning. 

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Handling: Crested geckos are sweet and docile creatures. They can be tamed and handled; however, handlers must be careful they do not jump off the hand and into danger. They are excellent jumpers. Cresties will drop their tails (lose them) when trying to escape a predator, because of stress, or from constriction from un-shed skin. Crested gecko tails do not grow back. Cresties can also change their color from light to dark in order to camouflage properly.

NOTE: Crested geckos can be housed together, but never two males in the same cage. One male and two females or three females (three lizards total) can be housed comfortably in a 29-gallon enclosure (18x18x24). 

Diet: Crested Geckos are omnivorous, meaning they eat both live prey and fruit. However, most people just feed the Pangea or Repashy mix; a powdered meal supplement that is mixed with water to form a paste. We feed our geckos every other day.

Maintenance: Crested Geckos are great a tropical species needing to be sprayed everyday. Daily spot clean the cage by removing soiled substrate and refreshing the food if needed. A more thorough and detailed cage cleaning can be done every 4 to 6 months. 

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