If this is your first time getting a crested gecko as a pet, it may get a little confusing or overwhelming when you try to figure out what the tank setup should be like.
The key here is to know about the original or natural habitat of crested geckos and then try to replicate it as best as you can in the enclosure of your pet crested gecko.
A crested gecko tank should be covered in 80% foliage, branches, have isopods, hides, substrate, thermometer, heating equipment, hygrometer, and mister. Bioactive habitat set-ups are the best for crested geckos.
Crested Gecko Habitat
Crested geckos are naturally found in the rainforests of New Caledonia in Australia.
This means that your crested gecko is going to expect a tank that replicates the environment of a rainforest. Some key characteristics of a rainforest include:
- High humidity
- Sprinkling downpours every now and then
- Dense foliage with lots of trees, branches, and barks
- Forest floor filled with leaf litter and clayey soil
This is the kind of environment that you will be expected to recreate in the tank of your pet crested gecko.
It will also have a direct impact on how long your crested gecko lives.
Creating A Diy Crested Gecko Habitat
Starting out as a crested gecko owner may get overwhelming at times.
But when you really get down to it, there are only a few ground rules that you need to follow.
Crested gecko tanks are fairly easy to set up and maintain once you have the basic information about do’s and don’t’s.
The first thing that you must figure out before getting a crested gecko is what size will the tank be.
For a juvenile crested gecko or multiple hatchlings, a tank of the dimensions 12” X 12” X 18” is sufficient. For a fully grown crested gecko, the tank should have a minimum size of 18” X 18” X 24”.
These are the minimum dimensions that need to be ensured when getting a tank for your crested gecko.
However, if you have enough space and resources, you can directly go for a larger tank.
A larger tank will allow you to set up a bioactive environment.
But, if you get a bigger tank, have multiple feeding stations, hiding spots, and enough foliage to provide enrichment to your crested gecko that will be best.
The ideal temperature range for your crested gecko tank is between 72 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the daytime and between 60 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit during the nighttime.
Never let the temperature of the crested gecko tank be above 80 degrees Fahrenheit or below 60 degrees Fahrenheit for too long.
Overheating and underheating can both severely stress your crested gecko out.
Overheating also comes with the added risk of severe dehydration, while underheating can cause indigestion, loss of appetite, and bodily weakness.
The substrate is the bottom layer of the tank of a crested gecko. It is the material that you put on the floor of the crested gecko tank.
Having a substrate is very important from the point of view of retaining moisture and providing safe and comfortable flooring for the crested gecko to sleep, live, and walk on.
An ideal substrate will have the following properties:
- Retains moisture without waterlogging
- Easy to clean
- Does not have loose particles
- Is nontoxic
- Is easily digestible in case of accidental ingestion by the crested gecko
The humidity of the tank of a crested gecko needs to be between 60 and 80 percent.
However, don’t forget to bring the humidity level down to 50 percent from time to time to avoid any growth of fungi or bacteria inside the tank.
After keeping the moisture level at 50 percent, you need to mist the tank to bring the humidity levels back to the ambient range.
Isopods are little crustaceans that are around 1 mm (0.04 in) in length. They are widely employed as cleaning animals in terrariums.
These creatures feed on your crested gecko’s waste, dead cells, leftover food, and so forth.
Including isopods in your crested gecko’s habitat can help keep your pet healthy and lessen the likelihood of disease.
Because isopods eat germs and other impurities, they help maintain the terrarium clean.
They are also simple to maintain. You also don’t have to spend a lot of time cleaning up after your pet.
Usually, you won’t need the lighting for the crested gecko tank. If the tank is getting ample sunlight, then the natural light of the day/night cycle is enough.
But, for whatever reason, if the tank is not getting enough light, you may need to use artificial lighting. In such a case, you need to keep some things in mind, such as:
- Ensure that the lighting you use follows the natural day/night cycle. This is important to ensure that the circadian cycle of your crested gecko does not get affected.
- The lighting system should not overheat the tank.
- The lighting system should not be in the eye line of the crested gecko. This will avoid any eye-related issues.
Factors To Look Out For If You Want To Buy A Crested Gecko Habitat
Some important factors to consider when buying a crested gecko habitat are listed below.
There are different types of enclosures and habitats that you can choose from.
If this is your first time getting a pet crested gecko, you may do well with a single, simple tank.
Just ensure that the minimum dimensions are taken care of. If you have some experience with crested geckos, you can go for a terrarium with a bioactive setup.
If you want to have multiple crested geckos in a single tank, you may need a much bigger tank – something like a Paludarium would be suitable.
The minimum size for a crested gecko tank depends on what size your crested gecko is:
- Crested gecko hatchlings can be kept in a 12” X 12” X 18” tank.
- One or two adult crested geckos can be kept in a tank of dimensions 18” X 18” X 24”.
Lighting, Temperature, And Humidity
The lighting, temperature, heat, and humidity of a crested gecko tank are parameters that you need to control using equipment such as a hygrometer and thermometer.
However, whether the tank you buy has tubing for ventilation and misting pipes, and whether the door arrangement allows for adjusting the temperature, humidity, and lighting of the tank, will have an impact on how these parameters are maintained.
Crested Gecko Tank Accessories
Apart from the basics like a thermometer and a hygrometer, there are other accessories that are needed to make a crested gecko tank feel more comfortable and naturalistic for your pet.
Crested geckos are arboreal. They love jumping around on the branches and trees in the rainforest.
In captivity too, your pet crested gecko will feel more comfortable when it has enough branches and foliage to jump around.
So, you need to ensure that you provide enough foliage for your crested gecko’s enrichment.
It is important to provide hiding spots in the tank of your crested gecko.
These hiding spaces will allow your crested gecko to rest in solitude when it is either stressed or about to shed, or for any other reason.
Heat Lamps And Mats
The heating system for crested gecko tanks is not that complicated.
There are many easy-to-use equipment pieces available, especially heat lamps and mats.
These pieces of equipment have a good lifespan and help regulate the temperature of the crested gecko tank pretty easily.
The flooring preparation of the crested gecko tank is the same as the substrate layer. Some substrates that you can use for your crested gecko tank are:
- Coconut husk
- Sphagnum moss
- Paper towels
What Do Crested Geckos Need In Their Habitat?
Crested geckos need basic things that mimic the natural environment of a rainforest: foliage, branches, substrate layer, thermometer, hygrometer, etc.
What Do I Need For A Crested Gecko Setup?
You need a tank, substrate material, foliage, isopods, plant decorations, and some accessories like heat lamps, misting pipes, a hygrometer, etc.
What Is The Best Habitat For A Crested Gecko?
The best habitat for a crested gecko would be a bioactive terrarium that maintains accurate humidity and ambient temperature levels.
How Do You Set Up A Crested Gecko Enclosure?
The simplest steps to follow include:
- Get a tank.
- Set up the heating mat if you’re using one.
- Assemble the substrate, foliage, and misting pipes.
- Get the tank ready with all accessories.
- Bring your crested gecko inside the tank.
Can You Buy A Crested Gecko And Setup Together?
No. It is advisable to first set up a tank and then get a crested gecko. This allows for ease of acclimatization for the crested gecko.
Do Crested Geckos Live In The Amazon Rainforest?
Crested gecko habitat is relatively simple to set up if you get the basics right. The habitat needs to mimic the environment of a rainforest.
You will need accessories such as a heat lamp, lighting system, misting piping, etc.