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Crested Gecko Care Sheet

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Crested Gecko Care Sheet

Post by xvickyx on Mon May 17, 2010 7:23 am

Why a Crested Gecko?
Crested Geckos are semi-arboreal lizards, spending most of their time in small trees/branches and shrubs. They are native to Southern Grand Terre, New Caledonia and at least one small surrounding island (Isle of Pines).

Crested geckos (Rhacodactylus ciliatus) were thought of being extinct, but were rediscovered in 1994, since then they have become one of the most popular lizards kept.

Crested geckos are great first reptiles, as they are relativity easy to look after, tame easily and are beautiful to look at. They can be kept at room temperature, providing your house/room does not get too cold, heat mats can be used to up the temperature a little but they MUST be controlled by a reliable thermostat.

What size Vivarium?
Crested geckos are a small/medium sized lizard rarely growing over 8" in length. A single adult can be comfortably kept in an Exo Terra 45 x 45 x 60 remembering that height it more important that length, as they do spend alot of their time in the branches. For a pair of cresties I would suggest a 60 x 45 x 60 Exo Terra, but bigger is always better.

What decorations should I have in my Vivarium?
Cresties love to climb so you should provide lots of branches and vines, these can either be artificial or real (remember when using real to thoroughly clean and soak before putting into your Cresties viv). You can use silk, plastic or real plants, I have chosen to use silk plants, due to the ease of cleaning and maintenance, I think a planted viv can look visually stunning, and one day would like to experiment with this.

Live Plants
Certain live plants can be used in your vivarium which will can give a more natural feel and look. If you are going to keep live plants it would be a good idea to use a daytime UV bulb. Live plants also help with keeping the humidity up and also make excellent laying sites if you plan on breeding your cresties. Plants can be kept in pots or planted in soil substrate.

Some safe plants that can be used in your vivarium;

Pothos, Philodendron, Dracena, Ficus, Jewel Orchids, Moth orchids, Bromeliads.

Feeding
A commercial crested gecko diet (GCD, Repashy 2 part), is usually well-accepted and is the easiest way to ensure a well-balanced, nutritious diet. It can be supplemented with crickets and other prey insects for variety and to allow the gecko to exercise its hunting instincts. Any insects fed should be slightly smaller than the space between the gecko's eyes, and should be gut loaded prior to feeding, and dusted with a calcium supplement.

Fruit can be fed several times a week as well as a treat. You can try mashed fruit or jarred baby food; they often like bananas, peaches, nectarines, apricots, papaya, mangoes, pears, and passion fruit (these can be frozen to keep longer). Also bee pollen is enjoyed by most cresties if mixed with fruit or GCD, Repashy.

Feed in the evening; juveniles should be feed daily but adults do not need to be fed every day (3 times a week is recommended by many keepers).

Substrate
For substrate it is good to use something that can retain a high humidity. You can use paper towels (what I use), orchard bark, Eco soil, coconut fibre, moss, or peat. There can be a risk of your cresties ingesting the substrate whilst hunting for food and moss (which can be over the top off coconut fibre or other substrates) or paper towels can be more suitable (especially for young cresties), as ingesting any substrate can be harmful to you crestie. I have chosen paper towels as this is easily thrown away and replaced, though doesn't look as natural as say Eco soil.

My Gecko has lost its tail?
Don't worry! This is a defence mechanism used gecko to get away from predators when scared or threatened, this does not effect the gecko in anyway, and usually heals quickly (but remember to keep an eye on the wound). Cresties are one of a kind in that the tail will not grow back once dropped. Please be careful handling you Cresties and be gentle with them at all times.

What is a Frogbum?
I have only recently learned what this term means, and it is an expression for a Crestie without a tail. cute ah?..

What is a RUB?
A RUB is a "Really Useful Box" which are commonly used for lizards or snakes, they are cheap alternatives to Vivs and can be just as good, but just maybe not look as visually appealing as a wooden or glass Viv, they can also be stacked on top of each other, which makes them ideal for people keeping many reptiles. They come in a wide variety of sizes one to suit everyone. You can buy them from all good stationary stores and online also.

What Temperature?
Cresties can bee kept comfortably at room temperature, but only if your room does not get too cold (or too hot!) Cresties are VERY intolerable to temperatures over 85f and this can be fatal to them. If your house does get a bit on the chilly side you can always use a small heat mat and thermostat to raise the temperature a bit, a thermostat MUST be used to control the temperature and make sure the heat mat does not over heat, as previously said Cresties are intolerable to high temperatures. A daytime temperature gradient of 72-80 F (22-26.5 C) should be provided, with a drop at night time to 65-75 F (18-24 C).

What about Humidity?
The humidity for Crested Geckos should rest between 60% - 90%. Daily spraying 1-3 times should keep the humidity high enough or you can use damp sphagnum moss in the Viv to help raise the humidity. You will need a good hygrometer to regularly monitor levels as humidity is very important for your Crestie. Regular mistings should be done morning & evening with warm filtered water or when you feel it needs misting. Crested geckos are more likely to drink from water droplets left from the mist than from a water bowl, so misting is essential.

Do not spray your gecko directly as this will stress them out.

©️ Vicky Farrell 2010


Last edited by xvickyx on Tue May 18, 2010 8:29 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Crested Gecko Care Sheet

Post by Tom on Mon May 17, 2010 12:49 pm

Really good caresheet there Vicky; nice one! Very Happy
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Re: Crested Gecko Care Sheet

Post by xvickyx on Mon May 17, 2010 12:53 pm

Tom wrote:Really good caresheet there Vicky; nice one! Very Happy

Thanks Embarassed

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Re: Crested Gecko Care Sheet

Post by Brierley on Tue May 18, 2010 8:27 am

I can only agree. Superbly written and easy to understand.

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Re: Crested Gecko Care Sheet

Post by xvickyx on Tue May 18, 2010 8:29 am

Thanks appreciated!

I always see these realy in depth caresheets etc with big long words lol, I wanted to write a nice simple, easy to understand one.

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Re: Crested Gecko Care Sheet

Post by ninjaaa2 on Tue May 18, 2010 11:25 am

really good caresheet
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Re: Crested Gecko Care Sheet

Post by puddin on Thu May 20, 2010 9:32 am

This care sheet is really good, to the point & easy to make sense of lol.
I wish I had this care sheet 18 months ago!
Nice one Vicky xx
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Re: Crested Gecko Care Sheet

Post by xvickyx on Thu May 20, 2010 2:31 pm

Thank you

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Re: Crested Gecko Care Sheet

Post by Crestie Chris on Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:49 am

Awesome care sheet Smile

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Re: Crested Gecko Care Sheet

Post by bev_holla24 on Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:22 pm

this is exactly what ive been trolling the web to find out... we purchased a crested gecko today and have kept the temp between 22c and 26c all day.. it suddenly occured to me whether we turn it off at night?? our room is very warm anyways and i think from this fact sheet i will be safe to turn the heat pad off and for little Alee to stay at a comfortable temp.. thank you for the non jargon straight to the point fact i was looking for Smile xx

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Re: Crested Gecko Care Sheet

Post by Bob_Ayr on Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:59 pm

Could I add an opinion on the heating for a crestie. I would suggest a ceramic lamp rather than a heat mat, as the heat mat will only provide localised het to the gecko, not spread it throughout the Viv. The ceramic lamp is better to create a thermal gradient and allow the crestie to choose the correct temp for it at any time of day. I have mine on a dimming stat with a timer on to drop the temperature at night time. It is 30C at the very top corner of the viv and 21C at the bottom on the warm side and 25C down to 17C in the cool side. If using a heat mat I would suggest blu tacking it to the side up the top of the viv as the crestie will find it more natural to have it warmer towards the top of the viv rather than the bottom. Heat mats are more useful for leopard geckos who absorb their heat through their undersides.

Would also recommend 5%uvb light for them. I know its maybe not proven to be necessary but I can't see how it can hurt. Helps with their digestion, D3 production, MBD prevention etc.

Great sheet, not having a go, just voicing my opinion :-)

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