Crested Geckos, Leeds
This page has been moved to : Crested Gecko Caresheet
Caring for your Crested Gecko
Congratulations on purchasing your new Crested Gecko from Paws for Thought, Leeds. We pride ourselves on being voted Best Independent Pet Centre in the U.K by “Which” Magazine. If in the first few days of your Crested Gecko coming home you are concerned about its health or well being, please do not hesitate to contact our experienced staff at our shops in Leeds. We are open seven days a week and often a quick phone call can put your mind at ease.
Please read the following information below very carefully as a basic guide to caring for your Crested Gecko. Any new owner would be wise to purchase a more in depth book.
2 - 3 foot Heavily Planted Vivarium (Tall)
Shallow, Heavy Dishes
Crickets Locusts and/or Crested Gecko Diet
Calcium D3 and multivitamin supplements
Heat Mat, Thermostat Required
Crested Geckos are quickly becoming one of the most popular geckos kept as pets and for good reason! They grow to a moderate size (max 10"), have relatively simple care requirements, are very hardy, tolerant of handling and have a docile temperament. Like leopard geckos, crested geckos are very easily tamed. When young only moderate handling is recommended, perhaps about 5 minutes a day, then as the crested gecko becomes calmer you can start handling him/her for more extended periods though no more than 20 - 25 minutes a day.
For over a hundred years crested geckos were thought to be extinct. The last sighting (which was also the first sighting!) was in 1866 when the French zoologist Alphone Guichenot visited the island of New Caledonia. Since then they hadn't been seen until 1994 when they were rediscovered in the southern provinces of the island.
A few specimens were collected from the island and were soon found to breed readily in captivity which has resulted in the great abundance of captive bred colour morphs that exist after just over 10 years of their rediscovery!
One adult requires at least a 2 - 3 foot tall Vivarium with a tight fitting screen lid. A male can be kept with females but never with another male. Provide several hiding places throughout the cage as crested geckos are nocturnal and hide during the day. Keep one of those hiding places moist by placing slightly dampened sphagnum moss inside to help the gecko shed properly. Rocks and logs add interest and make good resting areas. Water must always be available in a heavy shallow dish though you may find your gecko prefers to drink water droplets off the vivarium’s sides or from leaves when you spray the tank. The optimum air temperature should be kept between 70F and 75F. To achieve these temperatures, you can use an undertank heater or a nocturnal incandescent reptile lamp though if using incandescent bulbs be sure to use a guard over the lamp to protect your gecko. Locate the tank out of direct sunlight to avoid overheating.
Extra heating may not be required during the summer months as Crested Gecko tend to become stressed if temperatures are routinely above 24 degrees celcius (75F).
Crested geckos can live on a diet of brown crickets or small locusts. Babies and juveniles should be fed every day until full (usually around 5 insects appropriately sized). Adults should be fed 6 to 10 insects every other day. Dust crickets every feeding with a pure calcium supplement like Calypso and once a week with a calcium and D3 supplement like Nutrobal. To dust, place the insects in a plastic bag, add a pinch of calcium and shake to coat the insects with the powder. Remove uneaten crickets after a half hour to prevent them from annoying your gecko.
Although they will be quite eager to feed exclusively on live food, we recommend a Crested Gecko Mix like T-Rex Crested Gecko Diet as it is specially formulated to simulate the diet of crested geckos in the wild which consists largly of fallen fruit. Live food can still be fed occasionally though a Crested Gecko mix is better suited as a staple diet.
Due to number of crested geckos being reported showing MBD (metabolic bone disease) and despite what it says in some caresheets, baby food is NOT recommended for Crested Geckos.
Check the vivarium daily and remove faeces and dead food immediately. Wash out the water and food dishes daily. Place the Crested Gecko in an escape proof container while cleaning the vivarium. The vivarium should be washed monthly in hot water and the substrate changed. Use a Reptile Safe disinfectant to sterilise the tank such as BEA Reptile Disinfectant. Rinse well with hot water and dry thoroughly.
Crested Geckos are hardy pets which have relatively few problems. Occasionally they may have a problem removing all their skin while shedding. If you can see this to be the case try lightly misting your gecko and increasing humidity in the tank. DO NOT try to pull the skin off. This can seriously injure your gecko. If it needs help shedding then use a damp flannel cloth and gently try to rub the skin off. Do not force it as this can pull off the soft flesh underneath.
Although it is less common in captivity, a Crested Gecko may drop its tail. This is a natural defence in the wild to help avoid predators though in captivity it rarely occurs. Handling is an unlikely cause unless it is handled roughly. More than likely it would be caused by an aggressive tank mate or it had somehow gotten its tail trapped. To avoid tank aggression keep the geckos individually or if kept as a pair make sure there is plenty of room and hiding places for both geckos in the tank. Fortunately the loss of their tail causes no long term negative effects. Unfortunately, at least aesthetically, and unLike most other geckos, a crested gecko's tail does not grow back once it has been dropped.