Substrate or...? (Shedding issues)

Hello everyone!

My new cresties seem to be doing fairly well…but Jesse (female) started shedding several days ago and still hasn’t gotten all of the shed off her back. It’s gone from everywhere else.

I’m almost certain that it has something to do with the humidity in the tank since the tanks seem to be poorly ventilated. Gotta love the kits that pet stores have.

Anyways, the substrate seems to be holding extra moisture as well since it’s getting the white fuzzy mold in random spots. Should I swap substrate or just go for the classic paper towel?

I noticed some of you seem to have a mixture of leaves, bark, and dirt…so, I’m just curious what your thoughts are.


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Definitely am calling in our CG helpers
@foxreptile and @ghoulishcresties
Love these guys


Thanks for the tag.

I have lots of questions:

What substrate are you using? What enclosure do you have? Any pics of the enclosure, substrate and gecko?

Do you know the humidity & temperature in the enclosure plus how often do you mist?

How long have you owned the Crestie & any ideas on age?


No problem, just learning what to ask, when questions come up.

How are you keeping the humidity up?
What substrate? Though you can sometimes have random growths, even mushrooms so I wouldn’t worry too much about that at all, we have mushrooms in a couple of our bio vivs! Perfectly fine :blush:
What tank/viv are you using?

For substrate I mix in orchid bark, sphagnum moss, even charcoal is good for the clean up crew!


With shedding issues, the first question is humidity!

That being said one of my Cresties use to struggle with shedding on her head. She has been kept the same as everyone else and everyone else was fine.

I find, experiencing the problems yourself helps, although I don’t enjoy having the issues.

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The temps in the terrarium get to around 65 at night, and then hover around 75 during the day. The humidity during the day ranges from between 60-70% and at night 75-85%.

I am currently using exo-terra plantation soil. I’ve been toying with the idea of switching to compressed bark, or a combination of both.

I’ve had them for about 2 weeks. I’m not sure how old they are. Honestly, I didn’t ask when I purchased them. They’re at least six months old. I can take pictures of her though, if it would help.

As you can see, she loves burrowing in the moss that I have in there!

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Doesn’t look damp in there at all? How often do you mist them?

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Oh, and I spray the tank probably twice a day with a spray bottle wetting the sides and decor. I’ll do a few sprays and then check the humidity and then do it again if need be.

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I’d mist 3 times a day, and everywhere, all over. Keep it humid in there, keep it moist!
That will help with shedding. If I notice any of mine drying it’s sprayed again.

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We mist 3/4 times a day if needed! And touch wood never had shedding problems.
I’d add some more climbing branches also.

Exo terra vivs are the best for cresties. That’s what I use for all mine.


Also spray the bottom substrate, a lot. Even get a cup and poor it in the boom to keep it moist.
You don’t want it dry at all really!


I gotcha! I don’t think either of mine are exo Terra, but definitely the equivalent in a different brand. I’ll try misting them more often. I’ve just noticed stuff growing in the soil so I felt like I was probably misting too much.

And I’ll amp up the decor. I gotta take the kiddos school shopping later so we’ll make a trip to Petco as well!

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says Exo terra on them?

Ideal! That should help. Mix in some sphagnum moss too and orchid bark.
Have you got springtails in there also and isopods? (Woodlice).

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Oh wow. It definitely says exo Terra on the latch. :joy: I looked at so many before purchasing I couldn’t remember what I decided on.

And no, I don’t have any little critters in there. I’m not even sure where to get those from around here…they wouldn’t get out and start roaming my house?


No they don’t get out.
Online is usually best place, if bio they’re needed to keep it clean or you’re going to have to clean out poo weekly!
They’ll eat any left overs foods, poop etc.
Lots of isopods to choose from too!

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Awesome! I’ll definitely look into where I can grab some then!


First thing… Don’t pull off the stuck shed

I’d definitely say higher humidity is needed. She might be in the substrate to help with the humidity, but it’s more than likely just a nervous thing as mine tend to do that when I first get them.

I’d suggest just before her next shed… getting a tub big enough for her, put paper towel in the bottom and make it super humid but don’t put her in water… Leave her there for about 10-20 minutes then pop her back in her enclosure. I used this trick and worked great, you should only need to do it once then she should be able get the remaining shed off with her next shed.

It’s best if humidity does not go below 70% for her till the stuck shed is fixed.

Do be careful with the fur as your enclosure isn’t bioactive but it’s likely to get a few bits here and there. All mine are bioactive, live plants are suppose to help with humidity levels but that’s a different topic.

I find that covering half of the vents up top helps retain the humidity a little better, but I’ve only needed to do this a few months of the year.

Also what strength UV light are you using?

Oh 100% live plants I’d say.
If the op wants to that would defo help with keeping it up! Wouldn’t be without them! Well I would when they lay :joy: