"Crested Geckos are one of the easiest breeds of reptiles to care for, which is also one of the top reasons why they make such excellent pets."
- Someone Once
Because it is so easy, most crested gecko owners choose to strictly feed their little companions powdered commercial diets. This food is relatively inexpensive, easy to prepare, doesn’t smell, won’t run away, and will provide your gecko with the necessary nutrition it needs. We personally like to feed our geckos a combination of powdered diet and insects (mostly crickets) to ensure the geckos are receiving a healthy dose of protein and also get the chance to hunt. If insects aren’t your thing, sticking to powdered diets alone will not pose any serious health issues. Fruit purees - such as baby food - and other insects like mealworms, waxworms, and dubia roaches, are also common sources of food.
To help your crested geckos grow up as strong and healthy as possible, it is also good practice to feed them vitamin and calcium supplements to help fight off ailments such as metabolic bone disease. This is easily achieved by lightly “dusting” your insects with a vitamin and calcium powder before feeding. If you have any female crested geckos that are expected to lay eggs, calcium and vitamin D3 intake is especially important. Read more about crested gecko diet & nutrition here.
The main things you should look for in housing are: 1) good ventilation, 2) easy access for cleaning, and 3) water proofing. Although a glass tank or a plastic container could suffice as housing, we have a strong preference for tall glass terrariums with front-opening doors. They make great displays, offer excellent ventilation, are easy to clean, and create easy access for misting the habitat and handling your geckos. No matter what housing you choose for your gecko, the inside temperatures should ideally range between the low- to mid-70s°F (up to about 84°F near the lighting unit), with a relative humidity around 70 percent. Since most people set the thermostats in their homes to between 68°F - 72°F, keeping a relatively warm home and misting the cage daily should meet all of your gecko’s temperature and humidity requirements with very few adjustments needed… sweet! Learn more about habitats, lighting, and heating here.
Caring Routine -
Is your gecko housing and food ready? Awesome… now what? It’s a good idea to develop a consistent routine to make sure your little dude or dudette is receiving what it needs, when it needs it. An example of a good weekly caring routine is:
- Feed commercial gecko diet or supplemented homemade puree every other day. Do not leave food in cage for more than 24-36 hours as it can develop mold.
- Mist cage daily. A heavy misting at night and light misting in the morning will keep your gecko’s home from becoming too dry, and will also provide fresh drinking water. If you can’t provide regular misting, be sure to include a shallow water bowl in your gecko’s enclosure.
- Feed insects 1-2 times per week. Lightly dust insects (crickets, dubia roaches, mealworms, etc.) with a vitamin and calcium supplement right before feeding.
- Clean cage 1-2 times per week. Maintaining a clean cage will reduce bacteria levels and the risk of respiratory infections.
- Monitor temperature, humidity, and gecko behavior.
More Facts & Tips:
- How much food you feed your gecko depends on its size and eating habits. As a reference, we feed juvenile geckos using contact lense cases (they make excellent food bowls!), and adults with ½ oz. plastic cups.
- Crested geckos do not need special lighting, but should be given a photoperiod of about 12 hours a day, followed by 12 hours of darkness. This can be changed seasonally.
- Handling your gecko frequently is a great way to monitor its health. An active gecko is typically in good health. If you notice your gecko looking a bit grey, don’t worry – it might just be not fired up, or about to go into shed.
- Humidity will vary according to the type of enclosure and your local climate. Water in purely screened cages or a dry climate will evaporate more quickly, necessitating frequent misting.
- Feeding your crested gecko insects is not absolutely necessary, especially if a complete commercial diet with calcium, vitamins and minerals is used. However, feeding your gecko insects will help it grow more quickly.
- Owning a crested gecko will make you slightly more awesome.