Care and Husbandry
- A scale that weighs in grams
(A jewelry scale or food scale is usually a cheaper alternative than a product marketed specifically for reptiles)
- A lighted jeweler’s loupe
- Hygrometer and thermometer
- Hand mister bottle/Pump mister
Hatchlings should be housed in a 6qt bin or “shoebox” with an appropriate amount of holes drilled or burned into the plastic so that there are no sharp or jagged edges. Small Kritter Keepers also work well as hatchling housing. As the gecko grows, it is important to increase the enclosure size so that adequate exercise can be had, and there’s no early development of floppy tail.
For young geckos I recommend paper towel be used as a substrate. Its absorbent, cheap, holds humidity well and is rarely eaten by the geckos. Young cresteds are very excitable and will often dive at shadows mistaking them for live prey, for this reason, a dirt substrate like eco earth is easily ingested and the gecko can become impacted and die. Using paper towel usually removes this risk.
Juvenile or unsexed geckos should not be housed together. Growing reptiles compete for all resources like food, water and the best hiding spots. This increases the potential for tail nips, lost tails and other injuries.
Fake or plastic plants make great furnishings, and can be purchased very cheaply at most craft/dollar stores. Be sure to wash these before using them in the cage, and check them over for exposed wires or sharp edges.
Paper towel tubes, grape vine wood, bamboo, cork bark and sterilized branches make great cage furnishings for both hatchling and adult geckos. A few types of wood to avoid are Cedar, Pine and Fir—generally anything from the coniferous family (feel free too google!) Gecko-safe wood can be easily purchased online from pet supply stores.
Adult and Sub-adult Geckos
Adults should be housed in a minimum of ten gallons, with the rule of thumb that bigger is always better. Pairs should be housed in no less than a 20 gallon tank. Smaller quarters will encourage fighting, and the results are anything from damage to tails, dropped tails, bitten eyes or toes; as well scarring to head structure and even death.
Females may be housed together if they are the same weight. MIXING WEIGHTS is always a bad idea and I do not advise housing multiple geckos with more than a 3g difference in size.
Male geckos should not be housed together. They will fight, and can even fight to the death.
All Scaredycat Geckos are fed Repashy Crested Gecko Diet (Meal replacement powder) since hatching, mixed in the 2:1 ratio, as well as calcium dusted crickets or dubia roaches.
This is the diet we recommend that they continue to be fed in their new homes.
Fresh fruit, blended smooth can be given as an occasional treat. Avoid citrus fruits and berries with small seeds. Banana, peach etc lend a good consistency. Organic no-sugar added yogurt is another alternative.
Again, I want to stress that the above-mentioned are TREATS only, and should not be a staple in your gecko’s diet. CGD is a complete formula, but most people want to give their geckos something special once in a while, and these options are safe foods to use.
Adults should be fed every third day, hatchlings and growing geckos, every second day. A schedule that looks something like this:
- Monday- Mist and feed fresh CGD
- Tuesday- Mist and leave existing CGD
- Wednesday- Mist and feed fresh CGD
- Thursday- Mist and leave existing CGD
- Monday- Mist and feed fresh CGD
- Tuesday- Mist, leave CGD in cage
- Wednesday- Mist, remove old CGD
- Thursday- Mist and feed fresh CGD
My adults are fed 1 teaspoon each approximately, and the juveniles, half that amount. This is just a ballpark however, and if you notice your gecko consistently cleaning its food dish, upping the amount would not be harmful.
If you want to feed your crested gecko bugs, we recommend crickets or dubia roaches. Its important to gut load your insects before offering them to the geckos. An easy way to do this, is to let the bugs eat old CGD, fresh fruit, or a commercial gut load sold in your local pet store.
Its important to purchase or breed your own feeders. NEVER catch bugs from outside and feed them to your geckos. Wild-caught insects can easily come in contact with pesticides and other chemicals and pass these harmful substances to your gecko, causing sickness or death.
If you feed bugs, give a small amount (a good ballpark is the amount that the gecko can eat in 10 minutes) 1-2 times a week. Always remove left over, uneaten crickets from the cage. If the crickets eat gecko poop while loose in the tank, and your gecko eats them parasites like Entomoeba, can be introduced. Some of these parasites may be fatal.
Crested geckos are naturally a humid species, and each day there should be a peak in humidity to about 80-90% and a drier period of 40-50%. This can be easily achieved by keeping a schedule of misting each nice. If you live in a drier climate, misting 2x a day may be necessary. For this reason we suggest using a hygrometer in your cages, which will give you an easy way to measure just how humid your cages are.
Geckos kept too wet are prone to skin lesions and other health issues. And a crested gecko that is kept too dry will have decreased appetite and body mass, as well as some lethargy.
It’s not too hard to strike a good balance, especially with the proper equipment.
Crested geckos should be kept within the range of 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Higher than 80 degrees and they suffer from overheating and will die. Cooler temps they can manage, though appetite and growth rates are significantly lower.
In the summer it’s important to be able to keep your geckos cool. An AC unit, etc is helpful in achieving the temps mentioned above.
A gecko that is overheated for even a short time can drop its tail, suffer seizures and retain lasting damage.