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Emily's Crested Gecko Care Sheet  

******PLEASE NOTE: CRESTED GECKOS BEING TRANSPORTED IN SOUTH FLORIDA HEAT WILL DIE unless you follow these rules: Have someone cool down a car ahead, NEVER take a gecko in a deli cup to sit in a non air conditioned area for any period of time, and NEVER leave in the car EVER. These animals are not able to take temperatures over 80F at any time.******


Crested Geckos (Rhacodactylus ciliatus) are native to Southern Grand Terre, New Caledonia and at least one small surrounding island (Isle of Pines). Crested Geckos are semi-arboreal, spending most of their time in small trees and low shrubs. Crested Geckos will also seek out refugia on the ground during the day. They generally feed upon insects and fruits as well as nectar in the wild.



Adults: 20-gallon or equivalent is recommended minimum size for a pair of adults. A 20 long standing on its side to make it tall, also works. Height is important. A secure lid is a must. Tank furniture can include logs, plants, hides, cork bark and rounds, and PVC tubing. Live plants such as Ficus or Bromiliads help with humidity. Papertowel and Cocofiber are great substrates.

Juveniles: If you are housing a brand new crested gecko, I suggest using paper towel until the gecko reaches 15 grams or lager. This will help you monitor health a little better and prevent ingestion of looser substrates.


Temperature, Heating, Lighting and Humidity

Temperatures for crested geckos should be maintained between 72 and 80 degrees for most of the year. At temperatures of 85 degrees or warmer, crested geckos will become stressed, which could lead to illness or death. Cresteds can tolerate night time temperature drops down into the mid 60's but it is not necessary to provide this type of night time drop. A two month cooling period is recommended to allow breeding crested geckos to rest. During this period temperatures should be kept at 65 to 70 degrees. 

A photo period of 12 to 14 hours of light is appropriate for most of the year, with ten hours of light being appropriate during the cooling period. Lighting is most easily achieved with the use of fluorescent lights placed directly on the cage top. This will facilitate both the requirements of the geckos and any live plants within the enclosure should you choose to have them. It is unnecessary to use UVB lighting for crested geckos, since much of their nutrition is dietary. For large collections consider lighting the entire room with natural or artificial light. Crested Geckos may cease breeding and laying eggs if they are given less than 12 hours of light. Do not use heat lamps, or lights that give off any heat.

Cresteds do well in moderate humidity. Do not over spray your geckos. Florida residents only need a once a day misting. Spray the sides of the tank and all plants. Offering a water bowl allows even less misting. Moderate should not be misconstrued for wet. 65-75% humidity is fine (allow substrate to dry between misting. A large water bowl and regular misting help to achieve this). If your gecko loses it's "stick" it could be due to humidity being too low, or too high.


Crested geckos are omnivores. Their natural food items are fruit, insects and nectars. In captivity, many of us feed the Pangea Fruit Mix Complete Diet, Fresh Papaya and Mango are also great to offer, and supplement with insects that have been gut loaded and dusted with calcium and vitamins. These are two different products, so don't skimp and buy just one. Crickets should be the staple insect and should be no larger than the space between the eyes. Gut loading the crickets prior to feeding is essential, as your crested gecko will be eating whatever it is your crickets have in them. Crickets should be fed once a week to once every other week, and should not replace the powder diet. A shallow water dish with clean water should be offered at all times.


Resources: www.pangeareptile.com/forums           




Supply checklist:


-spray bottle          

-Gecko food (Pangea Fruit Mix Complete)     

-substrate (papertowel)         

-multiple hides (pvc tubes, coco huts, cork) 


-food bowl             


-fake or real leaves or plants

-grapewood, fake vines


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