Caring for Crested Geckos (Rhacodactylus Ciliatus)

Gecko Gods

Breeder
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Location
Oshawa
Housing
  • One crested gecko can be housed in a tall 10-gallon tank until it reaches 4 months of age.
  • After the age of 4 months, a crested gecko must be housed in a minimum 20-gallon tank.
  • When housing Crested Geckos together, make sure you have 10-gallons per gecko, meaning 3 geckos can be comfortably housed in a 30-gallon tank.
  • Tanks that are taller than they are long are preferable as Crested Geckos are arboreal (they spend most of their time in trees).
  • Never house multiple males together as they can become territorial.
Heating and Lighting
  • As Crested Geckos are nocturnal, they do not need UVA/UVB lights.
  • However, if they do not have access to daylight for at least 12-hours, a simple day bulb should be used so they get proper sleep.
  • There should be a warm (top) and cool (bottom) area so the gecko(s) can properly temperature regulate by switching areas. A low wattage heat bulb can be placed at the top, on the outside of the cage to achieve this.
  • The cool area should be 24◦-27◦ degrees Celcius, or 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit. The warm area should be 27-30 degrees Celcius, or 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Most household temperatures meet this requirement and so the tanks do not require any further heating.
  • At night the temperature can drop to 18-24 degrees Celcius, or 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • For night viewing, use a red or blue bulb as the geckos cannot see these colours and it will not disturb them.
Substrate and Décor
  • As for substrate, when the gecko(s) are younger or new, it is preferable to use a simpler substrate such as paper towel. This makes it easier to clean waste while observing for runny droppings, which would indicate a sick gecko.
  • With a mature gecko (6 months and older), it can be a lot more appealing to use a natural substrate such as coconut fiber or bark. Stick with larger pieces to assure your gecko(s) will not swallow any. Stay away from small pieces of coconut or dirt as the gecko(s) can swallow some when they lunge for their prey (crickets).
  • As for decor, there should be a hide (place to hide) on the ground, leaves that stick to the wall for the gecko(s) to climb and hide, and a couple branches to climb on. You can add other things to make the cage more appealing, just make sure they have room to roam.
Nutrition
  • Crested Geckos are omnivores and so their diet requires a combination of insects and fruit. It is possible to feed them strictly a fruit/gecko powder diet if you prefer not to handle insects, however your gecko(s) will not get as big.
  • You can obtain Crested Gecko diet powder at most pet stores that have a reptile section. The one we use, MRP, comes in 2 parts: a base and a nectar. The nectar comes in various flavours as some geckos have preferences. Mix 3/4 base to 1/4 nectar. Add water until it has a consistency of a thick milkshake and its ready. The powder can be pre-mixed and stored for convenience. Make this available to them everyday.
  • We sometimes mix our diet powder with Zoo-Med Tropical Fruit Mix-Ins for variety. We have also found that their colours got brighter using the Mix-Ins.
  • We feed our Crested Geckos crickets 2-3 times a week for added protein. This also keeps them a proper weight and gets them some exercise while on the hunt.
  • A good rule of thumb is to never feed your gecko(s) crickets that are larger than the space between their eyes.
  • Very important! To avoid calcium-deficiencies, make sure you dust your gecko's crickets with calcium powder (just prior to feeding) and mix some in with their meal replacement powder (MRP, such as Repashy's). To dust the crickets, place them in a container (such as an old margarine tub) with the calcium and replace the lid, then shake it until they are covered.
Maintenance
  • Make sure you have a Hygrometer (measures humidity) and a Thermometer in the tank.
  • Mist the cage daily to keep the humidity around 50%-60%. If the humidity is not maintained at this percentage, their foot pads may lose stickiness, thus losing their ability to climb into leaves and up glass walls. I've witnessed this personally. The humidity dropped to %40 but once I raised it back to about %50 my male was sticking to everything!
  • ImportantYour gecko(s)'s cage must be misted at least once daily, better with twice, as often the only time they consume water is when they lick water droplets off of leaves and walls in the terrarium.
  • You can spot clean for waste on a weekly basis.
  • The entire tank should be cleaned on a monthly basis. In this event, change the substrate entirely and clean the glass with a 1/4 vinegar to 3/4 water mix. (If you want to use a higher concentration make sure you rinse thoroughly!)
Size
  • Crested geckos get to be about4-5 inches as adults, not including their tail.
Life Expectancy
  • They are said to live about 15-20 years, though sometimes it can be as short as 10 years.
Handling
  • These guys are really good for handling. You can pretty much handle them whenever you want for as long as you want, though I would recommend leaving them during the day as that's when they sleep.
  • Be careful as they like to jump and sometimes will leap into blank space.
Thanks for reading my first care sheet and I would really appreciate some input/suggestions/comments!! Anything is welcome.


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Last edited:
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Paige

Guest
I do not yet have a crested gecko but am getting it on july 20th. Before i am getting him i am doing all the research there is on this breed of geckos. Would T-Rex Coconut Bark be safe to use in his/her tank?? and for dust witch one of these would be best Fluker's Farms Calcium Fortified Cricket Quencher.......Fluker's High Calcium Cricket Feed..............Fluker's Orange Cube Complete Cricket Diet
 
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