Crested Geckos (also known as New Caledonian Crested Geckos, Eyelash Geckos, or Rhacodactylus Ciliatus) make fantastic pets for both beginners and experienced reptile owners. They are easy to hold, don’t require bugs or expensive heat and UVB lightbulbs, and tend to be pretty hardy lizards. I have had them as pets for about 7 years and this is my second season breeding them. There are many different opinions about how to properly care for Crested Geckos and there are many different caresheets out there that contain conflicting information. It’s important to research multiple sources when finding information about Crested Gecko care. Over the years, I have spent a lot of time reading forums and caresheets and forming my own opinions about what works best. The following basic caresheet is based on what I personally do with my geckos and what has worked out well for them.
I feed the Crested Gecko Diet 3-4 times per week for my adults (3 during winter and 4 during summer months). The hatchlings are fed the Crested Gecko Diet every day. I feed gutloaded dusted crickets as an occasional treat. Make sure not to feed crickets too often because the geckos may refuse to eat the crested gecko diet. Also make sure not to feed crickets if the geckos are on loose substrate that they can accidentally consume. Some caresheets still recommend fruit-flavored baby food for these guys, but please do not ever feed a Crested Gecko babyfood as it is bad for them.
*Update June 2013* After months of struggling to get my geckos to eat the new version of the Repashy Crested Gecko Diet, I decided to branch out and try some new diets. I have now switched my group over to Big Fat Gecko Diet and Clark’s Gecko Diet. I alternate feedings of both of those diets and my geckos are thriving now more than ever.
For hydration and humidity, I mist the terrariums 1-2 times daily (less in the summer when the air is humid already and more in the winter when the air is drier). The geckos will lick the water off of the leaves and glass to drink. Having a water dish in the enclosure is a very good idea as long as it is shallow enough that the gecko cannot drown in it. Make sure the cage dries out for at least part of the day or there can be issues with mold and bacterial growth.
Crested Geckos are best kept around room temperature (generally 70-78 degrees is best). Temperatures above 80-85 degrees are harmful and will stress them out. Nighttime temperatures can range down to about 62 or so. I personally try to keep mine around 74-75 during the day and then drop down to about 70 overnight.
There are many, many options for setups for these guys. My hatchlings stay in Kritter Keepers[ with paper towel substrate and fake plants to climb and/or hide in. My adults are kept in larger tanks (some are in exoterra terrariums, some are in 29 gallon tanks, and I have two females sharing a 40 gallon breeder tipped on it’s side) with EcoEarth as the substrate. They have lots of places to hide, plants to climb and hide in, and branches to climb.
Please contact me if you are interested in getting one of these wonderful creatures or if you have any questions.
Here are a couple of websites that have good information on Crested Gecko care:
pangeareptile.com This site has a great information about Crested Gecko care as well as a forum with lots of helpful info. They also sell supplies and this is one place to get the Crested Gecko Diet.