If you’re planning to bring home a crested gecko for the first time, it can be overwhelming trying to determine all of the supplies you need. Sometimes it’s hard to determine just where to start!
To help you find all of the supplies you need before bringing your new reptile home, we’ve put together a list. All of the items are essential to the health and safety of your new crestie, but keep in mind that there are multiple options when it comes to things like substrate and enclosure décor, so check out all of the potential options.
The 10 Essential Crested Gecko Supplies
The crested gecko is an arboreal reptile that needs a tank that has plenty of climbing space, so stick to a tall vivarium. At a minimum, an adult crested gecko needs an enclosure that is at least 4 feet (48 inches) long, as they can potentially reach a length of around 2 feet themselves (including their tail). Likewise, they enjoy climbing and therefore, you should ensure that your vivarium is tall enough to accommodate different levels; around 2 feet (24 inches) is a good starting point. Though there’s no way of telling how large your crested gecko will get when you first adopt them, it’s always a good idea to spring for the largest habitat possible.
The New Age Pet ECOFLEX Mojave Reptile Habitat is a good option for beginners.
There are a lot of different substrate options for crested geckos, but there are also some substrates that you should avoid with these critters. Paper towels and coconut husk substrate are the two most commonly used options with crested gecko . SunGrow Coconut Fiber Substrate is a substrate option that you could consider for your pet.
3. Cleaning Supplies
One of the best ways to keep your crested gecko healthy is by keeping their enclosure clean and hygienic. Traditional cleaning supplies are often unsafe for use in and around reptiles’ enclosures, so it’s important to choose products that are safe for use around your crested gecko.
If you’re unsure what products are safe to use in your crestie’s enclosure, stick to commercial cleaning products that are made specifically for use with reptiles. The Zoo Med Wipe Out Terrarium Cleaner is one such option.
4. Lighting Kit
Crested geckos don’t have a specific requirement for UVB lighting. Being nocturnal, they can be kept without such a lamp. However, it is still considered acceptable to offer them UVB lighting, as doing so might offer them health benefits.
The Zoo Med Desert UVB & Heat Reptile Lighting Kit allows you the option to set up a basking spot in your pet’s enclosure. However, you should not leave this light on at night. Instead, leave it on during the day, and ensure that it warms up a rock or other surface. Crested geckos will often sit on warm rocks during dusk to begin their day.
The preferred temperature range for an adult pet crested geckos is 24–28°C (75–82°F), however, they have shown to adapt and perform optimally at 32°C (89.6 °F) – this should be the temperature of their basking spot.
Every animal needs to eat! You should already have a plan for feeding your crested gecko something healthy and high-quality before you bring them home. While there are fresh foods that can be appropriate for your crestie, there are now multiple high-quality food mixes on the market that provide great nutrition while giving you a convenient option. Powdered mixes are a good food option for your crested gecko. Try out the Repashy Superfoods Grubs ‘N’ Fruit Meal Replacement Powder.
Please note that no meal replacement powder is nutritionally complete – you will have to supplement your pet’s diet with other food items (such as gut-loaded insects).
6. Food Dish
Not only does your crestie need food, but they also likely need a food bowl. Because of their arboreal nature, your crestie will likely be most comfortable eating from a feeder that sits up high in their tank. A raised or canopy feeding dish like the Exo Terra Elevated Gecko Dish is an ideal way to offer food to your crested gecko without them having to come down low in the enclosure. Make it a priority to clean your crestie’s food bowl daily to prevent bacterial growth, and make sure they always have fresh food.
Crested geckos are highly adaptable to a wide range of temperatures, and in most instances, indoor temperatures are acceptable for them. It’s always a good idea to keep track of the temperature of their enclosure to ensure that it isn’t too warm or too cold.
While there are multiple types of thermometers available on the market, many reptile keepers recommend using an infrared thermometer to get the most accurate temperature readings, like this one: Zoo Med ReptiTemp Digital Infrared Thermometer.
A hygrometer is a tool that allows you to measure the humidity levels of your crestie’s enclosure. These are typically very affordable, along with being an essential tool in your kit of supplies for the care of your crested gecko. This Exo Terra LED Reptile Hygrometer is an affordable option to get you started. For crested geckos, the ideal humidity level is around 50 to 60%.
Crested geckos value having plenty of places to hide and rest in their enclosure, so providing hiding spots is important for maintaining their overall health and well-being. You can DIY hides or purchase them, like the Stroodies BubbleLoft Gecko Hideout, and there are lots of shapes and textures to choose from to match the enclosure setup. Make sure to clean the inside of the hides when you are doing tank cleaning and maintenance.
10. Branches & Logs
While you can set your crestie’s enclosure up to meet your aesthetic preferences, you do still need to provide plenty of climbing surfaces for them to spend time on.
For example, this Zoo Med Mopani Wood would work well. Most of these woods are also durable and should last a long time.
Be mindful that wood is organic and therefore, it will eventually need to be replaced. Washing or cleaning wood repeatedly hastens the rate at which it deteriorates. However, it is nonetheless important to keep the wood surfaces in your pet’s tank as clean as possible; you shouldn’t put this off to preserve the wood and instead, you should prioritize your pet’s health.
Caring for a crested gecko can be a rewarding and fun experience, but planning ahead is a necessity to ensure you give your new pet the longest, healthiest life possible. Thoroughly acquaint yourself not only with the supplies you need to get your crestie set up but also how to properly use all of the supplies. It’s necessary to have a thorough understanding of how to set up and maintain the enclosure, as well as provide food and safety for them.
In this article, we’ve listed the basics you’ll need to get started. Don’t forget that this list isn’t comprehensive; as your pet settles into your home, you’ll likely need to make more purchases and upgrades as required. Finally, remember that whenever you’re in doubt about your pet’s health or needs, you should consult your exotic veterinarian for more information.
Featured Image Credit: Kefca Shutterstock