Crested Gecko Shopping List | Habitat Checklist

New Caledonia, a tropical paradise in the Southwest Pacific, is the native home of our beloved crested geckos. Picture this: lush, humid forests teeming with diverse plant life, where daytime temperatures hover around a comfortable 78°F (25.5°C), and nighttime brings a mild drop to around 72°F (22.2°C).

It’s the perfect environment for our nocturnal buddies, who enjoy its stable temperatures and love to take advantage of the natural humidity levels.

Ever wondered why your gecko has such a knack for climbing? Well, in the wild, they can be found nestled in tree canopies, using their specialised toe pads to move around with ease. They navigate through a world of tree barks, leaves, and branches. Hence, their remarkable climbing ability is a necessity in the wild, not just a cute party trick!

Now, this doesn’t mean you need to recreate an entire rainforest in your living room (though wouldn’t that be a sight!). Understanding their natural habitat, however, gives us vital clues about how to set up our captive habitats.

For instance, including branches and plants for climbing and hiding in your gecko’s enclosure mimics the vertical space they’d traverse in the wild. Additionally, maintaining similar temperature and humidity levels helps keep them comfortable and healthy.

Essential Items for Crested Gecko Habitat

Building the perfect habitat might seem daunting at first, but with a little bit of knowledge and planning, you’ll have a setup that any crested gecko would be thrilled to call home.

Below is the list of things you will need for your crested gecko habitat.

1. Terrarium/Tank

First and foremost, your crested gecko needs a place to call home. A glass terrarium is the most popular choice due to its easy maintenance, visibility, and ability to hold humidity. You have two main types to choose from – horizontal and vertical. Given that crested geckos love to climb, vertical terrariums are often the preferred choice.

For a single adult, a 20-gallon vertical terrarium is usually sufficient. However, always remember the golden rule: the larger, the better!

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2. Substrate

Next up is the substrate. This is the material you place at the bottom of the terrarium. It plays a crucial role in maintaining humidity and absorbing waste. Paper towels, coconut husk fiber, and reptile carpets are all good choices. While loose substrates like sand might seem natural, they can cause impaction if ingested, so it’s best to steer clear.

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3. Hideaways

Additionally, crested geckos are nocturnal and appreciate secure places to hide and sleep during the day. Providing multiple hideaways throughout the terrarium will ensure they feel safe and secure.

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4. Climbing Structures

Crested geckos are arboreal creatures, meaning they spend a lot of time off the ground. Providing ample climbing structures will keep them happy and active. Cork bark, branches, and vines are great for this purpose.

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5. Thermometer and Hygrometer

Maintaining the right temperature and humidity is vital for your crested gecko’s health. Thermometers and hygrometers help monitor these conditions.

Digital combo devices that measure both are readily available and easy to use. Aim to keep the temperature between 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit and the humidity between 50-70%.

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6. Heating and Lighting

Contrary to popular belief, crested geckos don’t require additional heating unless the room temperature drops below 65 degrees Fahrenheit regularly.

If needed, a low-wattage heat lamp can be used. As for lighting, while they don’t need special UVB lights, a natural light cycle is beneficial for their overall well-being.

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7. Food

These little buddies are primarily frugivorous, which means their diet in the wild consists mainly of ripe fruits. But, don’t worry, you won’t need to keep a stock of fresh fruit on hand. Commercially available crested gecko diets, which are fruit-based powders you mix with water, are an excellent choice and super convenient.

Brands like Pangea and Repashy have fantastic options packed with all the essential nutrients our friends need.

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Feeding your gecko 3-4 times a week should suffice for adults, while young geckos might need a little more frequent feeding, say about 5-6 times a week. Remember, every gecko is unique, so keep an eye on your pet’s condition and adjust as necessary.

8. Food and Water Dishes

Even though your crested gecko may not drink from a dish, it’s still a good idea to have one in the enclosure. This can serve as a backup water source and help maintain humidity levels.

As for food, shallow dishes work best to prevent your gecko from stepping in their meal!

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Placement of these dishes is also crucial. Crested geckos are arboreal, meaning they love to hang out in trees. So, place the food dish somewhere off the ground, preferably attached to the side of the enclosure. This will make your gecko feel right at home during dinner time!

9. Supplements

Did you know crested geckos need a little extra in their diet to stay healthy? Specifically, they need calcium and vitamin D3 supplements. These are crucial for their bone health, especially for females during breeding season.

A product I’ve been using for years is ‘Zoo Med Calcium’. It’s a great all-in-one supplement, and my geckos seem to love the taste!

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10. Cleaning Supplies

Cleaning your gecko’s habitat is a critical part of their care. Keeping their space tidy helps prevent the spread of bacteria and parasites. For everyday cleaning, a simple solution of water and vinegar works wonders. But, for deep cleaning, I highly recommend ‘Zoo Med Wipe Out 1’, it’s safe, easy to use, and very effective.

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And there you have it, fellow reptile enthusiast – your comprehensive checklist for creating a perfect habitat for your soon-to-be crested gecko companion!

Let’s recap: Start with the right-sized terrarium, ensure it has proper ventilation, and then move on to setting up the interiors with a safe substrate, climbing branches, hiding spots, and plants. Don’t forget to install the right lighting and heating equipment, and provide clean water and nutritious food. Each item on your shopping list plays a crucial role in creating an ideal home for your crested gecko.

I know it might seem a bit overwhelming right now, but trust me – you’ve got this! As you start gathering these items and putting the habitat together, you’ll find it’s not just about providing for your pet; it’s about creating a bond, a connection that you’ll cherish.

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