Shown below is a basic care overview!
70-85% (Humid period)
40-65% (Dry-out period)
2.5-5 gallons (Hatchings only)
8-15 gallons (Juveniles only)
20+ gallons (Adults and sub-adults only)
UVB reccomended, but not required
Commercial complete crested gecko diet(CGD), and optionally, Incects
CGD 6-7 days a week (Hatchlings and juveniles)
CGD 4-6 days a week (Sub-adults and adults)
Incects x2 weekly maximum
Now lets go more in depth!
Crested Geckos are cold blooded, meaning they rely on their environment to regulate their body temperature, when Crested Geckos are not provided with the correct temperatures, they are at risk of death. Crested Geckos tend to grow better when kept at the higher end to the range of temperature that is appropriate for them, but it can be more difficult to keep the humidity at the appropriate levels during the humid period, this is something the keep a close eye on when temperatures increase! Crested Geckos do best when provided with a temperature gradient and different day-time and night-time temperatures. Creating a temperature gradient can be as easy as providing your Crested Gecko with a low wattage UVB light! If temperatures fall too low, the best option for both day and night-time use, is utilizing a CHE(ceramic heat emitter) connected to a thermostat.
Crested geckos require both a humid period, and a dry out period. Increasing the humidity is most often achieved by misting the Crested Geckos enclosure, but be careful not to keep your Crested Gecko too wet, when kept too wet, it puts them at risk for skin and respiratory infections, refer to the basic overview for optimal humidity levels for both the humid period and dry out period. The dry out period should last for a minimum of 6 hours per day.
While not necessarily required, providing your Crested Gecko with a low level UVB light is recommended. UVB lighting positively effects the activity level, appetite, grow rate, and visibility of the Crested Gecko. However, many keepers choose not to provide their Crested Gecko(s) with UVB lighting, this has worked well for them for many years. When feeding Incects and not providing a UVB light, dust the Incects with calcium that has vitamin D3.
Crested Geckos require a complete crested gecko diet to survive, these include most diets made by Pangea Reptile, BP Zoological, Leapin Leachies, Repashy, and Lugarti. These diets should always be available to hatchling and juvenile Crested Geckos, but only need to be replaced every other day. Sub-adult and adult Crested Geckos should be fed based on their weight, but typically, it’s best for them to have food available 4-6 days of the week. Crested Geckos of all ages can also be fed Incects that are gut loaded and dusted, these Incects include, but are not limited to Crickets and Dubia roaches. A few Incects should not be fed more that twice weekly.
Crested Geckos commonly drink water droplets within the enclosure, but they should not be limited to this! Crested Geckos do utilize water bowls and should always be provided with one with clean water!
Crested Geckos can be successfully kept in a variety of enclosures. Most choose to house their Crested Geckos in glass enclosures, I prefer glass enclosures made by Zoo Med Laboratories, Exo Terra, and Thrive, these enclosures and great for visibility, ventilation, and you can easily place lighting on top on the enclosure! Crested Geckos can also be housed in various other types of enclosures, including PVC enclosures, some custom-made wooden enclosures, kritter keepers, and although debated, sterilite tubs with added ventilation. Regardless of the type of enclosure that you choose, make sure that it is vertically oriented and/or a minimum of 18 inches tall. Refer to the basic care overview for reccomended enclosures sizes based on the Crested Gecko’s maturity.
Crested Geckos will need a various places to hide, shed, and if the Crested Gecko is female, lay eggs. Hiding places most commonly consist of artificial and real leaves, be sure to provide plenty of these in your Crested Gecko’s enclosure! Crested Geckos need rough surfaces to shed on, I reccomend providing cork bark in your Crested Geckos enclosure, my Crested Geckos often use the cork bark in their enclosures to shed and hide behind and/or in! If you have a sexually mature female Crested Gecko, provide her with a place to lay, this can be a lay box, or substrate that is both moist and loose throughout the enclosure. Crested Geckos do always require a substrate of some kind, this can be as simple as paper towels, or as complex as bioactive substrate! Eco-earth is the most commonly used substrate.
If you choose to cohabitate your Crested Geckos, make sure you do it responsibly. I do not recommend that keepers in the beginning stages of keeping them cohabitate their Crested Geckos, having experience with the species will help you recognize to behaviors of the Crested Geckos involved. Cohabitating Crested Geckos can and has been done successfully many times, but choosing to cohabitate your Crested Geckos is still a very serious, and potentially dangerous decision. When done properly, cohabitating Crested Geckos is not the cheaper, easier or most space efficient option. If they have enough space, hiding places, are the same size, and there’s enough food for both, it is usually okay, but this is not a guarentee. Multiple male Crested Geckos should never be cohabitated together, they are very territorial and will fight each other in almost all cases. If a male and a female are housed together, they will reproduce. Females, and females cohabitated with one male, typically do well together, but this is never a guarantee. Some simply do not get along, so you have to keep an eye out for any signs of fighting and have an emergency setup ready in case one or both are injured. Some long term pairings have been reported to fail to thrive after being separated, so if you choose to cohabitate your Crested Geckos be prepared to do this until the end of their lives. Many keepers have found benefits in cohabitating their Crested Geckos, while many haven’t found any and would argue that it is too dangerous to attempt.
Please keep in mind that there is no one way to care for an animal, what is shown here is what has worked for me and my collection, along with some things that have worked well for other experienced keepers and their collections.