General Housing For Your New Gecko
A couple of juvenile Crested Geckos can be housed together comfortably in a 12x12x18 Terrarium. At 8 months of age (depending on the sex) Crested Geckos should be separated and provided adequate space for their size. Females may be housed together but males should be separated to prevent fighting over dominance. If you are rewarded with a pair, the male and female should be separated until adulthood to prevent early breeding that could result in injuring and complicated health problems from early egg production. It is recommended that an adult pair should be housed in an 18x18x18 Terrarium or 25 gallon tank. Better yet, an 18x18x24 Terrarium will provide your gecko with some space to leap as well as some room for growing plants that will create a natural environment. These enclosures also work well for Trios.
Substrate And Foliage
For baby and juvenile Crested Geckos, paper towel is the best substrate. It is easy to replace, holds humidity, and prevents the ingestion of substrate during your gecko’s hunt that could cause impaction or choking.
For a natural looking set up, Coco Fiber is the best choice. It is the most commonly used substrate for adult Crested Geckos. Keep it moist and compact to avoid risk of consumption during a hunt. Moist coco fiber will help provide proper humidity levels in an enclosure and offers extra security for your gecko.
Security is very important for your gecko’s well-being and colour so try offering a natural looking environment which they will feel comfortable in. Use Cork Bark for security hides, climbing surfaces, and decoration. Provide live plants such as Golden Pothos, Snake plants, and Weeping Figs (Ficus) for cover. By offering vertical and horizontal climbing space, appropriate hides and foliage, you will have a very aesthetically pleasing display tank in which your Geckos will love to display their vibrant colours!
Heat And Humidity
The optimal temperature for a Crested Gecko is 78 degrees with 60-80 percent humidity. The average daytime temperature for them is 75 degrees. Evening temperatures can drop into the low 60’s high 50’s as long as they are able to warm up during the day. If you would like to stimulate a quicker growth rate raise your gecko on the warm side during the day.
(78 to 82) Do not allow their enclosure temperature to exceed 85! Higher dry temperatures cause stress and anything over 85 for a prolonged period of time can be fatal! Crested Geckos along with many species of Geckos around the world live and thrive in lower temperatures. A good rule of thumb is if you are comfortable with the room temperature of your reptile room wearing a T-Shirt they are comfortable.
Never leave a newly required reptile alone in the car for any amount of time and keep them out of extreme heat!
Place their enclosure midlevel in a room exposed to indirect sunlight.
Food And Water
Make sure your Crested Geckos and plants are well hydrated. Provide a water dish during warm months. Provide a warm mist in the morning followed by a heavy mist at night all year round. You will observe your Gecko licking water droplets off the enclosure walls and plant leaves. Water your plants nightly to maintain their health and obtain proper cage humidity level.
Crested Geckos are excellent hunters. Provide them with crickets a couple nights a week. Observe their feeding habits to know how many crickets they will consume in a night of feeding. Make sure the crickets are no larger than the width of your Gecko’s head. Do not worry if your Gecko is a shy feeder. It’s normal for a newly required reptile to fast for the first couple of days up to a week after being purchased. In rare circumstances, two weeks is possible. When your Gecko feels comfortable enough in their new surroundings, they will eat in front of you and offer an aerial acrobatic display.
Repashy Crested Gecko Diet is a complete meal replacement for your Gecko to eliminate the use of feeder insects. The diet contains natural ingredients, supplements, and vitamins to keep your Gecko healthy without ever touching an insect. Many people have had great success raising their geckos solely on this mixture. However, it is recommended in the early stage of your Gecko’s life that you rotate feeder insects along with this mixture, or a proper supplemented fruit mixture. This way you will a have a very robust and healthy active Gecko. Rotate the mixture and insects every other night with proper supplements. Adults can be raised solely on Crested Gecko Diet without any problems.
Vitamins And Supplements
Prior to feeding your gecko, offer the crickets a well balanced diet of fruits and vegetables. Allow them 24 hours or more to ensure that they are nutrient packed. This is referred to as “gutloading”. If you are reluctant to offer diced up food to your feeder insects, I recommend the Repashy Insect Gutload. It’s an insect feed boosted with protein, vitamins and minerals only to be offered 24 hours prior to feeding your Geckos the live prey.
Now that the crickets are nutrient packed, this last step will have the most important impact on your Gecko’s longevity. Place the feeder insects in a large cup and dust them with a Calcium D3 Supplement. Calcium, D3 and vitamin A are the most important supplements for your gecko. They are combined in most reptile powders. In nature, the sun naturally provides vitamin D3. Captive reptiles must have this supplement to remain healthy without natural sunlight or ultraviolet lighting. Repashy Crested Gecko Diet contains all of the required supplements and natural carotenoids to benefit your Gecko. If you are offering Crested Gecko Diet on a regular basis, the consistency is enough. If you are not offering Crested Gecko Diet on a regular basis, you must purchase Calcium containing D3. If you decide to experiment with your own fruit recipe, you must add proper and all the required supplement amounts to your mixture. I recommend dusting your Crickets twice a week. The major causes of most problems in reptile care are the consequences of not using proper calcium and supplements!
Handling Your New Gecko
When you take your new pet home, please allow it a week or so to adjust to its new surroundings before you handle it. A stressed or panicked Crested is very flighty. It will look for the closest hiding spot or wall to quickly scramble away. After a few weeks gently handle your Gecko. Be respectful and don’t force your Gecko out of its enclosure if it’s avoiding contact. Never pull, roughly handle, or pick up your Crested Gecko by the tail. As a defense mechanism, a Crested Gecko will release its tail to escape from predators and avoid being eaten. Gently scoop your Crested up in the palm of your hand. Always place one hand in front of the other and be prepared for a jump. They enjoy climbing high surfaces so use your hands as an elevating staircase. Soon you will become familiar with your Gecko’s body language and you will be able to anticipate their next move. Crested Geckos are very docile and gentle creatures. In no time, your gecko will warm up to you and accept a lick of fruit mixture off of your finger.
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Thank you for reading this article.
The Northern Gecko Team