New to Cresteds


New Member
Peoria, IL
While I am new to Crested keeping, I am not new to herps in general. I am looking to get some basic setup recommendations. Mainly, I have the viv, I just need live plant recommendations for planting the tank. And recommended heat/light setups. Also, if someone has a easy DIY plans for a mister, that would be awesome lol. Basically, anything typed past this paragraph is explaining the viv build I currently have for this project. Its rambling FYI lol. But if you care to read, it describes the Viv as it is currently set up. If i need to change something that is already done, now would be the time to tell me lol. Any other pointers or suggestions would be lovely. I know I need to purchase several of the magnetic ledges to use for feeding stations. I plan to feed Repashy and crix. Ill try to get a photo of the setup tomorrow to post to this.

The viv I plan to use is a 40 gal breeder aquarium, turned on its side so it is standing up. (the length of a 40 is now its height) I have modified the opening by using silicone to seal in pieces of plexiglass I have cut for the top and bottom of the opening.. I have fashioned a fiberglass mesh door that opens on hinges.

The background was made with expandable foam and then covered in silicone & eco earth to give it texture and a more natural feel. I placed some driftwood pieces into the foam before it was set to create branches and hides. Because of wanting to use live plants, I am going to raise the "bottom" of the cage so I can allow for water to drain through mesh below the eco earth/soil. (I have used a similar setup when I had my dart frogs and it worked quite well.) I created stands from PVC pipe that holds a plastic light reflector up above lava rock. The reflector has fiberglass mesh screen wire over it and then the soil substrate. I also have a drain +++++ck installed in the bottom of the plexiglass on the front to allow for easy drainage. (learned to add this the hard way when the mister malfunctioned on my dart frog tank and ran contentiously.)


Ridgewood, NJ
I don't do live setups so can't be much help in that realm. If its your first time keeping cresteds I would advise you to start with a basic setup and once you understand their care and needs move to a more elaborate terrarium. I've found that there's a lot of misinformation about how much humidity they need and overmisting is a serious hazard to the well being of these little guys. The tank definitely needs a chance to dry out to room humidity (50-60%) for at least a few hours a day. Too much humidity often causes shedding issues and can lead to the loss of toes and breathing issues. I've rescued several from folks that used elaborately expensive misting systems and cage setups that had no toes and could no longer climb.

I keep mine in 60qt sterilite bins with paper towels on the bottoms. I mist once every 24-48 hours and keep a moist hide in each enclosure in case the gecko needs a bit extra in between. As for lighting and heat - My gecko room tends to be about 80 in the summer and 65 in the winter. I use no heat and my geckos do just fine. If your room is warmer or cooler you may need to add something to bring the temp into that range. If you want lights and your room is in range I would choose flourescent or LED lights that give off no heat.

Best of luck and can't wait to see pics of your setup - sounds awesome!