Are you thinking of getting a crested Gecko? This Crested Gecko Care sheet will provide you with the basics of crested gecko keeping However it is not a full guide and we encourage you to continue researching before purchasing a Crested Gecko.
1. Species: C. ciliatus
2. Genus: Correlophus
5. Native to: Southern New Caledonia (a group of islands between Fiji & Australia)
There are many species of geckos so why chose a crested gecko, you may ask. well our answer to that is
1. Crested geckos can be very long-lived (15+ years has been reported)
2. They Can Be fed a variety of food from an easy to prepare commercially available specialty diet like the Repasy superfoods or Pangea they will also eat Live feeders such as Silkworms, Crickets, Dubia roaches, Mealworms and more.
3. ideal for beginners because they have simple easy to meet care needs, (primarily tree-dwellers)
4. They are one of the smaller lizards reaching about 7-9 inches including there tail. (be careful their tail can come off!!)
Crested Geckos become sexually mature around 15-18 months old or approximately 35 grams in weight. at this age, you can easily tell the difference between a male and a female. You may be able to tell the sex at a younger age however it is more difficult and may require a Loupe (magnifying glass)
Once Male crested Geckos hit maturity they develope very obvious Hemipenal bulges just below the vent at the base of there tail. in some cases, this can be seen as early as 6 months of age but normally is noticeable around 1 year old. Females will have no bulge. If you would like to get an idea of the sex before a year you will need a Loupe which is a type of magnifier. you will need one that has 30x or 60x magnifications and a led light, a clear 8oz deli cup and a soft buffing pad (look up the Limey Method ) you will gently use the buffing pad to hold the gecko against the container so the vent area is easily seen be very careful while doing this so you do not hurt the gecko. if you are patient and do not want to do this you can carefully hold the gecko. once you are in a good position turn on the loupe light and look at the area right above the vent. and along the inner thighs. you are looking for femoral pores which generally develope on males between 6 and 15 grams. if you see pores its a male if you do not see any pores and the gecko is over 15 grams you most likely have a female in some cases a male may not show pores until it is bigger so check again in a few months. the pores are tiny round circles within a scale
Let's start with baby crested geckos. There are a couple of ways to house baby crested geckos. The Breeder way and the Hobbyist way. now, this can be controversial but our opinion on baby crested geckos is the Breeder way is the best way. Why you may ask? well as babies you do not want a bunch of room and a ton of hiding places you want to be able to keep a close eye on the Lil ones. to make sure they are eating and looking healthy, Along with minimal hiding places for feeders so what we recommend for a baby is a small plastic tub around 15qt. (or a 10-gallon tank with screen lid but nothing bigger for geckos under 3 months old).we cut a hole in the bin and hot glue a screen in for airflow. we put plain white or natural paper towels in the bottom. these make a great bedding/ bottom because they are easy to replace to keep the enclosure clean. a coconut hide or other hide a couple of small fake plants and a food/water dish we also like to put a tiny reptile heating pad under one side attached to a thermostat. most of the time the heating pad is not needed unless you're house is cold.
Depending on your situation this can be your Last cage or you're next upgrade. as Crested geckos are Primarily tree dwellers you will want a taller cage. There are many to chose from you can do a basic 20 gal high tank or a screen cage(in areas with moderate to high relative humidity) or go with a much nicer looking cage like a zoomed, Exo-terra or Zilla glass terrarium. the ideal size for 1-2 adult crested geckos is 18" x18"x18" . This size will give plenty of room to roam and to decorate with lots of hides and plants. at this stage you must deside if you are going basic or more elaberate. a basic cage can have a few fake plants a couple hides a humidity box/egg laying box and food/water dishes or you can go more elaborate and go bio active. this is the new standard in the reptile industry you can do live plants in soil add cleanup crews (isopods) with leaf litter on the bottom of the terrarium.
Now that you know what the housing of your gecko we will tell you a little more about your Geckos. As you may have seen above most of the time you do not need a heat source for your gecko. Your ideal temperature to keep Crested Geckos is 72-82 degrees Fahrenheit. as smaller geckos require small a small space they can be a little harder to control the temperature and having them in a spot that stays 72-82 is ideal if you do not keep the room temp in this range and you like it cooler make sure you add a small heat source and temperature regulating thermostat as temperature is very important. The night temp can drop into the low 70s you can spend anywhere from $20 to $200 on a thermostat there are many types out there with many features like Night drop this feature will allow a temperature drop at night and a warmer temperature during the day and we feel spending the little extra money for the night drop feature. We cant tell you what one to get but we can tell you some of the ones to look into. The following are one we personally have used over the years.
Zilla Terrarium Heat & Habitat Lighting Controller for Reptiles 500 or 1000 watt capacity common price range $25-60 this was one of the first we ever used. it's very basic and will work for beginners out of all of the ones we have used this one we don't recommend long term as we found they don't last. after we went threw 3 of them we stopped using this one since then they could have improved. but we would recommend if you went with this one replace it every couple of years. Vivarium Electronics Thermostats Price range $100-$200 all of these are quality we have not had any issues with them,
Herpstat price range $80-440 herpstat is great especially if you want a custom cage with one built into it.
Exo Terra Thermostats price range $30-150 these are new to the market and for someone needing a cheap thermostat for 1 cage they work. I have only had 2 so far one was bad right out of the box the second I have not had issues with.
Helix Reptile Thermostats. price range $130-200The original. now, this is one I can recommend I have used the Helix Thermostats since 2005 for my ball python racks and my incubators. my original is still working the only thing I had to do with it over the years replaced a fuse and the probe.
Crested Geckos do not Require a UVB light like most reptiles.(a low level fluorescent uvb tube can be added for the benefits of live plants and the gecko however make sure the gecko can regulate closer/further away and also hide from it) However you do need to Provide a dish with Calcium in it. Crested Geckos will lick the calcium out of the dish. they eat fruits and Insects. We recommend a varied diet Repashy super foods and Pangea gecko foods are specially designed to feed your crested geckos and they do have formulas that are designed to be the only food needed however we believe adding live feeders 2-3 times a week is a great benefit for your gecko, we Rotate live feeders as variety is key. Our geckos enjoy Dubia Roaches,Meal worms,Super worms ,Crickets,Horn Worms,Silk worms and Black soldier fly larvae they also get to enjoy repasy and Pangea gecko foods we offer the repashy or pangea foods almost every day and we try to rotate what flavor they get this allows them to have variety after all you would not want to eat the same thing every day would you? so far we have not had a gecko not eat any particular flavor but we noticed
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