Crested geckos are relatively easy to care for, but when it comes to maintaining the humidity in their enclosure, things can get tricky. This is where misting comes in the picture.
Crested geckos require misting to maintain the high levels of humidity needed for their survival and to have access to drinking water. Misting up to twice a day is needed in most cases whilst keeping the tank well-ventilated.
This post discusses everything related to misting crested geckos – the best ways to mist, its frequency, some pro tips, and more. Read on!
Table of Contents
Why Crested Geckos Need Misting
The most important reason why crested geckos need plenty of misting is that they usually can’t drink water from still sources like a bowl.
In the wild, they’re used to licking or drinking dripping water from leaves, which is what you replicate with misting.
If not misted enough, crested geckos can easily become dehydrated, which eventually leads to constipation and even possible impaction.
Over time, dehydration may cause appetite loss, lethargy, and serious conditions like kidney failure.
Alongside misting, you may want to provide a shallow bowl of water for crested geckos, as some geckos have been known to prefer drinking from bowls. This also helps with maintaining humidity.
Aside from giving access to drinking water, misting raises the overall humidity in the enclosure, which helps their skin to remain hydrated and shed properly.
The point is to imitate the highly humid, tropical climate in the small islands of New Caledonia – the only place in the world where you’ll find wild (and adorable) crested geckos.
How to Properly Mist Crested Geckos
When we talk about misting crested geckos, we certainly don’t mean spraying water directly on the lizard – that’s a no-no.
Direct misting can lead to respiratory issues and stress, so we’re going to discuss how to properly mist the enclosure.
Use a Spray Bottle
The simplest way to mist a crestie’s tank is by using a spray bottle with some clean water in it. Mist the walls, the decor, and especially the plants so that everything is dripping wet – literally.
This will allow your pet to slurp up the dripping water when needed.
Live plants retain water much better than fake ones. Using plants that require less water like snake plants, spider plants, or ponytail palms will also reduce competition for water and maintain the humidity.
Using a hygrometer is essential at this point, so you know when to stop misting. Typically, you’ll need to raise the humidity to a good 70-80%. Also, it’s best to mist with distilled or bottled water, but tap water works too as long as it’s not hard water.
Place an Automatic Mister
Automatic misters make life much easier for you, especially if you have a busy schedule. You don’t have to remember to manually mist the tank every day, and you can even set multiple timers on them.
You can also set most misters to mist for a certain period – say 30 seconds – to control how wet your reptile’s enclosure gets, while also setting the pressure of the nozzles.
We highly suggest getting a mister that can be set up with many nozzles, especially if you have a large enclosure so that the droplets can reach the far end of the tank.
The Mistking Misting Systems come with 10 nozzles with the beginner’s kit and can go up to 20 with advanced versions. Meanwhile, smaller misters like the Zoo Med Repti Rain are more affordable and easy to use.
Foggers are great for raising humidity but do note that they cannot and should not replace misters in the enclosure. They can’t produce droplets big enough to be licked by crested geckos – they can only produce a very fine mist.
This is why they’re only used for raising the humidity. It’s not necessary to purchase one, but if you reside in a particularly dry climate, it might help.
And if you don’t want to spend on yet another piece of equipment, you can try DIY-ing this cheap but perfectly functional fogger:
How Often Should You Mist Crested Geckos
Ideally, you should mist cresties twice a day – once in the morning and once at night.
Night-time misting should be heavy and should leave the enclosure soaking wet with 70-80% humidity levels since cresties are nocturnal and are more likely to drink at this time.
Meanwhile, daytime misting should only be done lightly to maintain the humidity.
Note that the humidity doesn’t need to be a constant high – it should drop to about 55% during the day, but not any less than that, which is why only light misting is needed.
An overly humid enclosure does more harm than good, resulting in mold growth and bacteria spread. Ensuring humidity drops during the day and proper ventilation can help prevent this.
If you live in a particularly humid area, such as a beachfront, you may not need to mist twice a day. It’s even recommended to skip misting once a week if your place is very humid so that the enclosure has the chance to dry up and doesn’t remain constantly wet.
The key is to use a hygrometer – preferably a digital one – to carefully monitor the humidity levels and see what works for you.
Misting crested geckos is essential for their survival, and understanding how to maintain the humidity based on individual factors is the key to their well-being.
Both manual misting and automatic misters are great, as long as they can maintain the optimum 55-80% humidity range in the enclosure.