HOUSING

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The housing requirements for your gecko.
 

If you are new to keeping Crested geckos you may be wondering exactly what you can use to house your Gecko & what accessories you will need.

What Size Vivarium?

Crested Geckos are a mainly Arboreal species - meaning they live in foliage - trees - large plants etc... and are designed for climbing - so they need a vivarium that is generally taller than it is wider.

As general rule I have found that you will need a minimum vivarium size of at least 30cm x 30cm x 45cm to accommodate 1 - to a maximum of 2 - adult geckos. That size Terrarium is ideal for a single adult and two adults at a push - they will be comfortable but would prefer a bit more room.

The following Terrarium: Exo Terra Natural Terrarium Mini/Tall - 30x30x45 click here for more info:  More Information would be fine for a single adult.

Ideally a slightly larger Terrarium would be ideal for 2 Adults for that I would recommend the following:

Exo Terra Natural Terrarium Small/Tall 45 x 45 x 60 cm / 18” x 18” x 24” (WxDxH) click here for more info:  More Information

Should you wish to have more than 2 geckos - I have had great success housing up to 5 adults in the either of the following Terrarium's:

Natural Terrarium Medium/Tall  60 x 45 x 60 cm / 24” x 18” x 24” (WxDxH)    click here for more info:  More Information

Natural Terrarium Medium/X-Tall 60 x 45 x 90 cm / 24” x 18” x 36” (WxDxH)    click here for more info:  More Information


Area vs.... Height

Cresties are Arboreal lizards - meaning its more important for them to have height to explore rather than a wide Vivarium.

Any suitable wooden Vivarium will do. But the Exo Terra range of glass Vivarium's listed above are great looking housing and if a suitable size is chosen there's a whole host of accessories available for them - such as lighting hoods etc... and they essentially trouble free when setup


Ventilation

 Ensure that your Vivarium has some sort of ventilation. It's rare nowadays to find a Vivarium that has no ventilation - but bear in mind if you build your own provide some ventilation. Do this either with a designed gap covered with plastic or wire meshing or any of the custom built Vents available on the market. Some owners get hold of small PC like fans and fit them to timer switches.

 Vivarium vent

 Cleaning

The Crested Gecko is a middle-of-the-range Reptile when it comes to cleanliness - they will defecate wherever they feel like it most of the time and thus there will be streaks of faeces and urine on the glass - leaves and the substrate over time.  This will naturally need cleaning- and one of the may reasons I recommend the Exo Terra range is that they are much easier to clean when dirty and much better at indicating when they need cleaning too..

To clean the base of the Terrarium you can choose to opt for simple kitchen towel and just swap it out when necessary or - as I do - opt for a more biological solution - more on that in the substrate section

As a rule of thumb I tend to thoroughly clean out the entire Vivarium every 5-6 weeks to ensure against any bacterial build up. I use a product called Vet-a-Clean for all my cleaning. You can get a concentrate from eBay for about £10 - it will last you ages and is much cheaper than buying disinfectant in all the time!

It is also very very important to realise that if you choose to go for a natural biological solutions for waste control that you never actually use disinfectants when cleaning the inside of the Terrarium - more on that in the substrate and  sections.

If using a biological setup then just remove all the decor - wash it with washing-up-liquid (kitchen detergent) and an old tooth-brush to remove caked on waste from the decor - give a really good rinse to remove ALL the soap and replace into the vivarium.



Hides 

 

 

Why does a gecko need a hide? Basically to stop them stressing out. A wooden Vivarium is great in that it has 3 sides that are wood and therefore provides cover - however even in a wood Vivarium the gecko still needs somewhere to hide - to relax - chill out and feel safe. They can and do get stressed if they do not have a hide. Unlike humans you will not be able to see if your gecko is suffering from stress, but they will be.

Cresties in particular - being a nocturnal species need somewhere to hide and feel safe from predators during the daylight hours. - In the wild this is done in thick foliage and leaves of suitable plants - so some of leafy cover in the vivarium or a specific hide is ideal for this.

Plastic leafy plants in suitable locations will be fine - but I also opt for special hides which are designed to be held onto the glass through the use of rubberised magnets - my Geckos often use these hides during the day for cover and safety whilst they sleep.

 

These are called the MAGNATURALS range and there are many different models available from water bowls to feeding platforms - ledges and of course hides.

 

Remember though this is not a necessity if you have plants with suitable cover in the Terrarium - BUT it is a welcome addition that will be appreciated by your Gecko and also help to make your setup look a little bit cooler also!

 




HUMIDITY

Cresties need a moist humid environment - In modern households this is difficult to maintain - but it has to be said its a lot easier when The Exo Terra Glass Terrarium's are used. An easy way to keep the humidity up for the gecko is to use a garden plant sprayer or mister daily and just lightly spray down the interior of the Terrarium once a day.

Many times the Geckos will get their water from the droplets provided by the misting process and lap it up off the glass - leaves etc... - but it is best to also provide a water bowl as well - although you will rarely see them using it - many times when I have been working all night I have spotted them actually using the water bowl to drink - so rest assured they will use it!

 

Water

Cresties  need access to water 24/7. You probably may not ever see them  drinking - but trust me - they do! Top up the water with fresh every 2 days maximum. You can get special solutions to neutralise the chlorine and other chemicals  in normal tap water for the geckos benefit. Alternatively fill a container with water and let it stand overnight for the chemicals to evaporate away. I have an osmosis unit installed in my house - mainly for my family's benefit but this is also very handy for water supplies for my reptiles!

Cresties are very susceptible to environments that are too dry and dehydration will kill a Cresties in pretty short time.

Climbing

 Naturally Cresties do like to climb -  Exo Terra Vivarium's are great as they come with a foam background,  this is great for Cresties!  However I do advise you block up all the access holes for leads and the like or your Cresties WILL find the holes and disappear behind the foam background for safety and a place to hide..! 




 

  F. Passaro

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