THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO CRESTED GECKO CARE
Crested Gecko Care Sheet
This article is for anyone who is looking for a crested gecko care sheet but is a little confused by all the different advice.
When my daughter first came to me and asked if she could have a crested gecko, I asked her what the care was like?
At that time we had literally 1000’s of reptiles but never a crestie.
She knew I’d ask about crested gecko care because doing research on your new pet is the first step in bringing anything new into the house.
Usually, Tennyson can tell me way more than I need to know about the care of reptiles but when I asked her about the care of crested geckos, she faltered…
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The Problem With Crested Gecko Care Sheets
‘Dad, I’ve looked them up, really, and read a bunch of crested gecko care guides but they all say different things.’
Sure enough, when I googled crested gecko care, I found a lot of conflicting advice from reputable and well-known breeders.
For example, here’s a common care question about feeder insects:
“Can I feed my crested geckos mealworms?”
One breeder says mealworms are fine to feed, another well-known breeder says they will eat their way out of your crested gecko’s belly.
Then another makes a YouTube video saying this is ridiculous because they feed 30K crested geckos meal worms weekly without incident.
Who can you believe?
This is going to be a crested gecko care sheet that you have never seen before because we have collected all the top crested gecko breeders' care advice and cataloged them in one place.
Our hope is that you can learn how to take better care of a crested gecko through finding some consistency in the facts from the group of experts as a collective.
When we researched what all the top crested gecko breeders had to say about care, we did find a lot of great information that is very consistent when looking at it all together.
Huge Inconsistencies In Crested Gecko Temperature
For instance, we found recommendations for temperatures from as low as 60 to as high as 84.
Where some people claim that those extreme temperatures could result in serious harm or even death to your crested gecko.
But, looking at all the recommended temperatures for crested geckos we found that all breeders generally agree that a good crested gecko temperature is between 72 - 78 degrees.
Whereas, not one recommends that exact range… interesting findings but more importantly, if you keep your crested geckos between the temperature of 72 - 78 degrees they should do great.
As you can see, the plan for this care guide is to find some averages and norms from all of the best-crested gecko breeders care sheets to help you better take care of your crestie.
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I think the biggest thing I learned from compiling all of this information was that crested geckos can apparently thrive in all sorts of conditions.
Many of the crested gecko breeders did point out that your location plays a large role in how you care for your geckos.
If you live in the North, you deal with cold winters and have to provide heat, if you live in Florida, you don’t have to do anything pretty much because the weather is perfect for geckos, if you live in the desert (like me) you have to keep them cool and humid.
The point is, this information is generalized. The ideal conditions for your cresteds are unique to your geographical location and even the space the reptiles are kept in.
Crested Gecko Habitat
If you are heavily involved in the crested gecko Facebook groups you probably have been advised to keep your baby crested gecko in a 100 gallon terrarium with as many fake plants that can be stuffed inside.
This enclosure will work, IF, your baby crested gecko can find its food and water in such a big place.
Crested gecko habitats can be as simple as a plastic tub with a secured lid and a bunch of holes melted or drilled into the sides. Or, a huge terrarium with a bioactive crested gecko setup that includes soils, live bugs and plants with a lighting and misting system.
Standard Crested Gecko Setup
Most people purchase a ZooMed or Zilla terrarium 12x12x18” Tall and add coconut fibers as the substrate. Purchase a couple of pieces of coconut bark, maybe a food and water ledge and a couple of fake plants. Boom, you are done. Contrary to popular belief, I do not believe your terrarium needs to be so full of fake plants that you can’t see the other side of the tank.
What Is The Best Crested Gecko Tank Size?
The answer to the best crested gecko tank size shouldn’t be surprising, the tank should fit the size of the crestie. Think about a dog crate. People don’t put chihuahs in dog crates big enough for great danes. Why? Because the dog crate is supposed to be a safe place for the dog and one that is too big won’t make him feel safe and comfortable.
The size of your crested gecko tank will have the same affect on your crested gecko. If you want to provide a baby crested gecko care you may want to provide it with a small setup in the beginning. In fact, if it came from a regular crested gecko breeder, it probably is use to living in a six quart container or even smaller.
So what is the proper crested gecko tank size?
If you can provide a shoe box plastic container for the first couple of grams of caring for a baby crested gecko, it will probably do better.
However, most people purchase a 12”x12”x18” Tall terrarium and put their baby crested gecko in that habitat for the rest of their lives without incident.
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Best Crested Gecko Diet
What can you feed your crested gecko or what is the best crested gecko diet?
Simply, MRP or Meal Replacement Powder is going to be your staple diet for your baby crested gecko all the way up to a breeder crested gecko.
What Do Crested Geckos Eat?
The two best know MRP providers are Pangea and Replashy.
They will sell you dehydrated powder that contains a complete diet for your crested gecko including all the fruits, insects, vitamins and minerals it needs.
Your crested gecko diet can consist solely of a MRP.
The general consensus in the crested gecko community is to feed Pangea or Replashy MRP to your crested gecko 3 times a week. Most people either feed MRP on a Monday, Wednesday & Saturday or Tuesday, Thursday & Sunday schedule.
However, most people will supplement their crested gecko’s diet with crickets, mealworms, and/or dubai cockroaches one time a week.
Pangea Crested Gecko Food
Pangea is the most popular crested gecko food and you can find it all over the internet and in pet stores.
The least expensive way to buy pangea crested food is from Amazon if you are a prime member.
Pangea wholesales their food to crested gecko breeders and pet suppliers for retail resale. This means that almost everyone selling crested geckos also sells Pangea MRP.
However, Pangea has a wholesale contract with all of these sellers that does not allow them to sell the MRP for less than Pangea’s advertised retail price.
So the only way to save money is to find which seller has the lowest shipping costs.
If you are an Amazon Prime member then there are no shipping costs.
No one, including if you buy Pangea direct from Pangea, can beat Amazon’s free shipping costs.
So if you buy a bag of Pangea MRP from Pangea, you will actually pay more in total cost because Pangea will charge you for shipping. However, if you buy a bag of Pangea from their Pangea Amazon store through your prime account, you will pay the same price for the bag but won’t have to pay shipping.
And that’s a fact, Jack!
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Also, find out what is best to feed your cresties, how often and why.
Replashy Crested Gecko Diet
Replashy crested gecko food is also a great option for a Meal Replacement Powder. I think of Replashy like the Ben and Jerry’s of MRP.
They have fun names and flavors that your crested gecko will enjoy. Repashy may be slightly more expensive than Pangea but the cost is pretty negligible.
They also provide ‘treat’ MRP’s like banana pie for your crested gecko to enjoy on Thanksgiving or for special occasions.
Replashy is just like Pangea in that they wholesale their MRP to crested gecko breeders and pet suppliers for retail resale.
Again, just like Pangea, it is cheaper to buy the Replashy crested gecko diet from Amazon because there are no shipping costs if you are a Prime member.
Other Crested Gecko MRP’s
There are multiple other makers of crested gecko meal replacement powders that offer ‘the best MRP’ on the market.
They may, but, probably 80% of crested gecko owners feed Pangea or Replashy for a reason. Pangea and Replashy have been around for a long time and have proven to keep crested geckos healthy and growing.
I’d recommend sticking with one of those two brands.
So to sum up ‘What do crested geckos eat?’
A standard diet is crested geckos eat bugs one time a week and MRP three times a week. Pretty simple, huh?
Crested Gecko Facts & FAQ’s
What is the best crested gecko temperature?
While crested geckos can probably tolerate temperatures a bit higher or lower, generally, the recommendation is to keep your crested gecko between 70 and 80 degrees.
Do crested geckos need lighting?
Probably not. The community is pretty split on this argument involving crested gecko lighting. Here’s the thing, half of the community doesn’t provide lighting and their crested geckos do just fine. The other half does provide crested gecko lighting and their crested geckos do just fine… except when their lights cook their gecko. Cooking crested geckos with lights always involves a beginner reptile owner. If you are a beginner, skip the lights. Once you’ve got the basics down and you speak with the ‘pro-lighters’ for tips and tricks, by all means, light them up.
What is the average crested gecko lifespan?
Crested geckos can live for a long time and even produce babies well into their teens. Expect your crested gecko lifespan to be 10 to 15 years with reports of some living close to 30 years. These little guys are the tortoise equivalent of the gecko world. Considering they can live comfortably in a 12x12x18Tall terrarium their entire life they are a good pet to choose.
What do I need to get in regards to crested gecko supplies?
Crested geckos don’t require much as they don’t require heat or lighting. You can keep them in a well vented plastic tub or a readily available terrarium from online or your local pet store. They will need some tropical substrate like coconut fibers and some fake plants. Don’t forget to get them a couple cork bark pieces and a ledge to put their food and water dishes upon. Plus purchase a bag of Pangea or Replashy MRP, meal replacement powder. That’s it. Pretty simple, right!
What are my crested gecko substrate options?
Crested gecko care involves providing them with a humid place to live since they live in New Caledonia where it is like 75% plus humidity year round. For this reason you need to get some sort of a forest tropical substrate. Most of these contain coconut fibers and other mixes. There are multiple options available online or at your local pet store. Be sure to keep it moist for your crestie.
How to care for a crested gecko?
If you are wondering how to take care of a crested gecko it is pretty easy. Remember to feed them three times a week with MRP and bugs one time a week. Spray their cage with water a couple of times a week to give them extra humidity and make sure that their substrate is moist. Remember to check their water daily if not twice a day and change it if it gets dirty or runs out. They also really enjoy being serenaded with country music by their person.
Are crested geckos nocturnal?
Crested geckos are not technically nocturnal. They are most active during dawn and dusk which is actually called Crepuscular.
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Do crested geckos carry salmonella?
Yes, they could. In fact, your dog and cat can also carry salmonella. But you are more likely to get if from pets that are water or wetter based because salmonella thrives in moist environments. Not so much out in the open dry air like on your dog or cat. So, a humid loving crested gecko could be carrying salmonella. Never fear though, a few simple tips and tricks can keep you safe. #1 - Do not stick the crested gecko in your mouth. #2 - The crested gecko is not secreting halucinogenic puss, so there is no reason to lick your crested gecko. #3 - Wash your hands after handling any reptile or pet. If you follow these simple crested gecko care guides, you will not get salmonella from your crestie.
Do crested geckos do better in pairs?
I don’t think so but they sure do look cute together. You can house crested geckos together without any problems if you keep an eye on them initially. First, you can’t house two males together without them fighting and possibly killing each other. Housing a pair or two females together usually is fine. However, there is a chance when you house crested geckos in pairs that one or both may lose their tails. If you are considering breeding or are a hobbyist breeder you will notice that they do not grow as fast in pairs because there are half the resources available to eat when you divide the food by two. Word of caution, I had two females that were housed together for multiple years. I separated them for breeding season and when I put them back together in a cage for the winter they did not get along. So always keep an eye on them the first couple of weeks and be sure that no one is getting bullied and everyone is eating ok.
How often do crested geckos shed?
Crested geckos shed more when they are young and rapidly growing than when they get old. This is common in all reptiles who shed. You may never even know your crested gecko shed because unlike a snake that leaves their shed for you to clean up, crested geckos eat their shed. If you see some stuck shed on your gecko, add humidity to the enclosure to help them finish getting the shed off.
Do crested geckos like being handled?
When crested geckos are really young and small they think everyone is trying to eat them. Which stresses them out. People constantly picking up a small crested gecko could cause them to stop eating and die. Don’t stress out the baby crested geckos with a lot of handling. As they age and realize that you are not interested in them as a snack, they will calm down. Most crested geckos like to get to the highest point or a high point on you. This usually means they end up on your shoulder while plotting how to get to the top of your head. They don’t mind being held for a bit but keep in mind that you are 98 degrees and they don’t like it that warm so your hands and body will be really warm to them.
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