Crested Gecko Deluxe Buying Guide
Prepared by HappyDragons
A crested gecko enclosure should be tall enough to allow for a proper thermoregulatory gradient and have opaque or covered sides to reduce stress. To build an extra enriching, multi-dimensional landscape that allows your pet to climb, hide, and explore to their heart's content, we recommend a 2’x2’x4’ PVC enclosure.
Substrate should be loose, soft, highly moisture retentive, and at least 2-4” deep for stable humidity levels. We recommend about 40 quarts (4 bags) of Josh's Frogs Coco Select, which is a blend of coco husk, peat moss, and bark.
Heat, Lighting, & Humidity
A crested gecko enclosure should have an overhead heat source, an appropriate UVB lamp, a misting system, and tools to monitor and control these elements.
A 2’x2’x4’ crestie setup will need an adequate overhead heat lamp to maintain the ideal temperature range and provide basking heat. We recommend a cluster of two 60 watt incandescent heat bulbs in a reflective dome fixture.
A linear T8 forest type UVB bulb in a reflective T8 fixture is perfect for crepuscular species like crested geckos. The lamp should be placed on top of your enclosure's mesh top with the primary basking area 6-9” below the lamp to achieve the necessary UVI for your gecko's best health.
An automatic misting system is the easiest way to guarantee consistent, appropriate moisture levels in your enclosure. In addition, crested geckos like to stay hydrated by licking water droplets that form on the leaves, so a regularly scheduled misting cycle allows for expression of natural behaviors.
Monitoring & Regulation
- 2 Gauges: Place one thermometer/hygrometer near the top and one near the bottom to monitor the necessary warm-to-cool temperature gradient.
- Timer: All reptiles should have a healthy circadian schedule: heat and UVB turned on during the day, then everything turned off at night to allow for total darkness and a natural temperature drop (~12hrs/day). A digital timer power strip is most convenient for a consistent light cycle.
- Thermostat: A simple ON/OFF thermostat is a great way to keep your temperatures within an ideal range when using incandescent heat bulbs. Just plug your heat source into the thermostat, plug the thermostat into your timer strip, attach the probe to your primary basking area, and set a max temp.
Decor & Enrichment
Crested geckos require a variety of specific decor items that are vital for security, health, and enrichment.
Branches & Vines
Crested geckos are arboreal and love to jump, so a vertical climbing scape is essential. Branches, vines, cork, and bamboo are all excellent options. We recommend providing at least 2-3 large branches and 2-3 climbing vines for an enriching setup.
Artificial plants are easy to maintain, while still providing necessary cover for security, UV + heat regulation, additional climbing opportunities, and accumulation of water droplets for your gecko to drink. We recommend choosing 4-6 plants for a lush and enriching enclosure.
In addition to a required feeding ledge (see the Tools & Feeding section), adding other decorative flat ledges attached to the walls or on sturdy branches can serve as resting spots, basking areas, and general enrichment.
Tools & Feeding
A complete crested gecko starter setup should have:
- Feeding ledge for easy access to food (choose 1)
- 2 oz food cups for feeding ledge
- Bite-safe tongs for live insect feeders
- Calcium without D3 for dusting feeders
- Crested gecko diet powders
Choose at least 3 crested gecko diets to start. It's best to offer a variety of flavors for sensory enrichment and to keep your gecko interested in eating.
Crested Gecko Setup Examples
20"x20"x32" - Contributed by Alina E.