Crested Gecko Care Sheet

Correlophus ciliatus

 

Introduction:

The Crested Gecko has become one of the most popular reptiles kept since the Leopard Gecko because of the simple upkeep and housing requirements.  Crested geckos come from the island of New Caledonia. Thought to be extinct until it was rediscovered in 1994. Since then it has been develop into different morphs. Crested geckos go by many names such as Eyelash Gecko, Cresties, and their scientific name Corrlophus ciliatus. 

 

Heating and Lighting

 

Crested geckos should be kept in temperatures ranging in low 70’s to 82 degrees which is around room temperature. If temperature get above 82 degrees they start getting stressed out and can potentially die. This is why crested geckos are great. No extra heat needed unless the temperature starts dropping below 65 degrees. 

 

Cresties are nocturnal (active at night) so no UVA/UVB needed. If a naturalistic setup is used then a you can used a low-heat bulb for 12 hours a day to keep the plants alive. Crested geckos get most of their Vitamin D from their diet. 

 

Food and Water

 

Crested geckos are omnivores in the wild consisting of mostly fruit and insects. Since their discovery many powdered mixes have been developed. They have been successfully raised on the powdered diet for years without feeding insects. Right now the most popular mixes are Pangea and Repashy (links are provided below).  They should be feed fruit mix 3 times per week and if you are feeding insects they should be feed 1to 2 times per week.

Powder mixes contain all the protein and the vitamins they need. Cresties that are fed only a powder mix grow slightly slower than ones that are fed powder mix and insects. Vitamin powder with Vitamin D and a calcium powder should be added to the mix at least once a week. We feed them crickets once a week to keep them active but sometimes we supplement them with Dubia Roaches and Meal Worms. All insects should be goat loaded and dusted with calcium powder. In the wild they eat mostly overripe  fruit so sometimes you can offer mushed up fruit as a treat (we will go into detail of alternative feeding methods on a different article).  This is another reason we keep their food for and extra day in their habitat. Removed uneaten crickets by the next day so they do no stress out your gecko. 

 

 Below is the schedule we follow here at My First Pet Reptile. 

 

Monday: Fruit Mix/Powder Diet

Tuesday: No Food (their fruit mix is left from in the enclosure from the night before)

Wednesday: Fruit Mix/Powder Diet

Thursday: No Food (their fruit mix is left in the enclosure from the night before)

Friday: Fruit Mix/Powder Diet and 2 crickets per Crested Gecko

Saturday: No Food (their fruit mix is left in the enclosure from the night before)

Sunday: No Food (their fruit mix is left in the enclosure from the night before)

 

How to feed water to crested geckos is always a topic of controversy. I always provide my adult crested geckos with a water bowl and I have seen them use it. Most of them love to lick up droplets from leaves. They should be misted twice daily to make sure the humidity stays up in their enclosure. We mist them once in the morning and once in the late evening. This way it gives them a chance to drink twice a day. The humidity requirements for crested geckos is from 50-70% humidity. They also get a lot of their water requirements from the food they eat. Make sure that if you use a water bowl that is cleaned regularly. Cresties sometimes love to poop in their water bowl. 

 

Terrarium and enclosure. 

 

They are different enclosure requirement for hatching, adults, and groups of crested geckos. Here we discuss the different ones and why. 

 

 

Hatchlings up to 10 grams.

 

Hatchling should be kept in smaller enclosures to make sure they are eating. Breeders keep hatchling in plastic shoe boxes until they are about 10 grams (about 6 months). You can use a Nano Terrarium or 2.5 gallon tank with a screen. Make sure they are plenty of fake plants and branches for the gecko to climb and hide. Substrate should be paper towels until you know he is eating. Then it can be switch to a naturalistic setup if you prefer. Here at My First Pet Reptile we use paper towels for most of our geckos so we can keep an eye on the geckos health. You can tell a lot about your pet’s health from its poop. 

 

10 grams to adults  

 

In the wild Crested Geckos are arboreal living mostly on bushes and semi tall tree. Their enclosure should be taller rather than wider. If you are planing to use a glass enclosure it should measure minimum of 12” L X 12” W X 18” H, but can always go larger. This is good for at least 2 crested geckos. Substrate can be paper towels and if a naturalistic set up is used a layer of coco fiber. Use plenty of fake or natural plants for them to climb and branches.  Most breeders keep their cresties in plastic bins. If you keep them on plastic bins make sure that you put plenty of air holes (Next article will be how to set up an enclosure for your crested gecko). If you are using paper towels for substrate make sure that you provide a moist hide for them to help with shedding and for females to lay their eggs. Even if you don’t breed the females they might lay dud eggs so always provide a moist hide for females. 

 

Conclusion: 

 

 

This care sheet covers the bare basics of crested gecko care. Many breeders do things a little different so there is not just one way to keep crested geckos.  Crested geckos have a great personality that will surely make you fall in love with them. 

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