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When housing an adult Crested Gecko, the minimum enclosure size for one gecko should be 20 gallons. You can go larger, but you would have to keep in mind the potential difficulty of finding food in the enclosure. When it comes to juvenile Cresteds, a smaller enclosure is beneficial in finding their food. Critter Carriers and small plastic storage containers have been commonly used to house young Geckos. As the Crested Gecko grows, upgrading the enclosure size is ideal. These geckos are Arboreal, meaning that they like to hang out in the trees, so a tall enclosure is better than a long one.
You can house several Crested Geckos together, so long as they are all female, a male/female pair, or one male with several females. Housing two males together is generally not preferred as they will fight over territory, causing much stress, injury and possible loss of tail to the Geckos. Even housing two males in separate enclosures can cause stress unless they cannot see each other.
When housing multiple Geckos, be sure to give them a big enough enclosure. There have been many formulas used to figure out what would be the best enclosure size for a particular amount of geckos. One way that gives the Geckos plenty of room is 20 gallons for each Gecko. One gecko=20 gallon tank, Two geckos=40 gallon tank, Three geckos=60 gallon tank, and so on. If not given a big enough enclosure, even an all female group will fight for space.
Substrate and Accessories:
Crested Geckos love to have places to hide, so decorating their enclosure is a must. Fake plants, real plants, cork bark and toilet paper/paper towel tubes are just some of the common basics. Other people have used clean ceramic flower pots, action figures, lawn ornaments, small statues, etc. So long as it is safe for the gecko, you can get creative with what you put in their enclosure.
There are several kinds of substrates you can use on the floor of the enclosure. For juvenile geckos, paper towel is the ideal. It doesn’t cause impaction like a loose substrate would, and it is easy to clean as you just throw it out and put a new one in. Once they have matured, other substrate options are safer for them to live on. If you want to keep it simple, you can continue with the paper towels, or switch it up with reptile carpet. Keep in mind, that if you feed your Cresteds crickets, they can get caught on the fibers of the carpet.
If you would like to go fancy and keep your cresteds in a live or natural vivarium, there are several substrate options for that as well. Several people have used such substrate as coco-fiber and eco-earth, but what best suits the live plants in a natural vivarium is peat moss soil. Coco-fiber and eco-earth do not contain the proper nutrients that plants need, so there is a higher change that the plant could die. Peat moss soil is often times used by gardeners to grow new plants and is mixed in with the soil to help encourage plants to grow. Peat moss also compacts itself over time, so there is less of a chance that the geckos would ingest it.
When creating a natural vivarium, you must first put about a one inch layer of pebbles or hydroballs at the floor of the enclosure. This helps keep the water from making the substrate too soggy. Before adding the substrate in, pour it in a bucket and mix with water. When dry, the substrate can create a lot of dust clouds and make more of a mess. Also, the dry substrate has a hard time absorbing water, so mixing it with water before putting it in the enclosure helps with the absorption. Once the substrate and the water are mixed together, you can add the substrate to the enclosure.
Now comes the fun part of adding in the plants and other decorations. As with any live plant bought from a store, be sure to rinse the plant thoroughly to remove any fertilizers and soil that could harm the gecko. Once, you have added the plants, be sure to water them to help them get started.
The simplest, and most common, thing to feed a crested gecko is Crested Gecko Diet by Repashy. You can order the Repashy diet through various stores over the internet or at reptile conventions. Pet stores also carry Repashy Crested Gecko Diet, but it is bottled up by a Company called T-Rex and a bit more pricy in comparison.
Back in the day, before this diet was created, many crested gecko keepers would feed them baby food mixed with vitamin and calcium supplements. Baby food can make for a nice treat, and some people would mix it with the Crested Gecko Diet, but it is now looked down upon by most as being bad for the geckos.
The advanced Crested keepers have gone about making their own mixtures to feed their geckos, but this takes a lot of knowledge about the Cresteds nutritional needs and shouldn’t be attempted without a great understanding of nutrition. Needless to say, you can still give them a treat of mashed fruit once in awhile, just so long as it is a non-citric fruit.
Another food substance given to the crested gecko is calcium dusted crickets. The crickets should be no larger than the space between the cresteds eyes. Crickets can offer mental stimulation for the cresteds, and a crested gecko hunting is quite fun to watch.
Humidity and Temperatures:
Since Crested Geckos come from a tropical environment, a high humidity must be maintained, especially for growing geckos. The relative humidity should be around 60%, getting a hygrometer can help in determining that the percentage is so. Misting the enclosure can help maintain the humidity levels. Be sure to mist the enclosure in the evening, when the geckos are active, so that they can lick up the water. Offering a shallow water dish can also help give them access to drinking water.
Crested Geckos do best in Temperatures between 72-80 degrees F (22-26.5 C). They can handle temperatures in the mid 60s range, but should not be kept too long in the 80s as this can cause stress and possibly kill the geckos.
Crested geckos do not require UV lighting as they are nocturnal. This does not mean you should keep them in the dark, as they will need some light to let them know if it is day or night. You will also need special lighting for any live plants that may be kept with the geckos. Keeping the enclosure in a room that has windows, that lets in light, is the minimum ideal.