Understanding just how much work Crested Geckos are is essential if you are considering bringing one of these lovely little geckos home. That’s why we show you exactly what you need to do to care for crested geckos and how much time it will take.
Crested Geckos really aren’t very much work at all. It will take about 25 minutes of daily care, 25 minutes of weekly care, and between 20 and 45 minutes of monthly care depending on the tank setup to provide great care to Crested Geckos.
Here’s everything you need to know about caring for your Crested Gecko and how long caretaking will take. Have fun!
Table of Contents
Crested Gecko Care Table
|Remove any uneaten food and feces that you can find||3 minutes|
|Visually inspect the terrarium||3 minutes|
|Refill and clean the water dish||1 minute|
|Mist your Crested Gecko enclosure twice a day||Thirty seconds, twice a day|
|Offer fresh fruit and/or a commercial Crested Gecko diet||3 minutes|
|Check insect enclosure and change out food and remove dead insects if necessary||3 minutes|
|Observe your Crested Gecko||5 minutes during the day and night|
|Feed insects to your gecko three times a week||5 minutes, three times a week|
|Provide gut load diet to feeder insects||3 minutes|
|Clean insect enclosure||10 minutes|
|Replace substrate if you do not have a bioactive terrarium and you are using a type of substrate that needs to be replaced weekly||5 minutes|
|Monitor plant growth||3 minutes|
|Clean and disinfect the terrarium and decorations if not using a bioactive enclosure||5 – 30 minutes|
|Weigh your gecko to ensure that they are not losing or gaining weight inappropriately||5 minutes|
|If using a bioactive enclosure, check under the substrate to ensure that there are plenty of bioactive bugs and refresh their population if necessary||3 minutes|
|Check your gecko’s calcium sacs every three months||3 minutes every three months|
Daily Care Crested Geckos Require
Every day, give the terrarium a visual inspection. Check the thermometer and humidity monitor to be sure that heat and humidity are appropriate. Look for any signs of mold, mildew, or other issues.
You should also remove uneaten food and visible feces. In bioactive terrariums, food and feces will be devoured by your cleanup crew, but it is still best to remove as much visible food and feces as possible.
Crested Geckos typically get most of their water from mist droplets, but it’s still important to provide a water dish. Change the water and clean the dish every day.
If water is continuously provided in a waterfall feature, wipe the surface of the area that your gecko drinks from to eliminate algae growth.
Mist your Gecko’s enclosure twice a day. Geckos depend on misting for drinking water and to maintain humidity. Misting won’t be necessary if you have an automatic misting setup. Be sure to only use reverse osmosis water.
It’s a good idea to make fresh fruit available to your Crested Gecko at all times. Fruit should be changed out every day to avoid rotting.
Mango, banana, papaya, watermelon, strawberry, and other fruit are all good options. Fruit should be smashed or chopped so that your gecko can eat it easily. You can also offer a commercial gecko diet.
Your Crested Gecko’s feeder insects needs daily maintenance as well.
You usually only need to change out your insects’ food about once a week, but depending on the number of insects, the food and moisture source that you’re using, and other variables, it may need to be changed out more frequently, so it’s a good idea to check daily.
This is also a good opportunity to remove any dead insects so that they do not contaminate the rest of the colony.
Observing your gecko is an important (and fun) part of daily care. Check to see that they are moving around normally and seem active and alert.
Look for signs that a shed may be beginning or that a shed is going well if it’s in progress. Observe the belly to be sure that there are no signs of impaction.
It’s best to observe your gecko both during the daylight when they may be less active and at night when they will be more active.
Weekly Care Crested Geckos Require
Adult Crested Geckos should be fed insects about three times a week. If your gecko is particularly active, they may need to eat more often, whereas older or lazier geckos may need to eat less often to avoid gaining weight.
Crickets and Dubia roaches are appropriate for every feeding while mealworms and hornworms can be offered every third feeding or so as treats. Insects should be dusted with calcium, D3, or multivitamins.
You don’t want to overdo minerals, so alternate dust with a different nutrient every feeding and take one feeding off from dusting with each cycle.
If you want to feed your Crested Gecko the best possible diet, you’ll want to be sure that your insects are eating well and living in a clean environment. Gut-loading diets can last about a week, so be sure to change it out every week at a minimum.
Whether you buy insects or breed your own, it’s important to clean the insect enclosure every week.
These enclosures can easily get dirty and develop mold, mildew, and disease which can be transmitted to your gecko if the enclosure isn’t cleaned regularly
Some types of substrate should be changed out every week. This won’t be necessary if you have a bioactive terrarium.
Monthly Care Crested Geckos Require
Take note of how your plants are doing every month to ensure that they are growing well and not becoming leggy. Leggy plants may indicate that the UVA/UVB bulb is running out.
If you don’t have live plants in the enclosure, be sure to keep track on a calendar of how old your UVA/UVB bulb is and replace it as necessary. Insufficient UVA and UVB can cause your gecko to be less healthy.
If you don’t have a bioactive enclosure, the entire terrarium should be emptied and all elements cleaned with a reptile-safe disinfectant to eliminate any bacteria that may be developing.
The substrate may also need to be replaced if it is a type that can last a month.
If you have a bioactive enclosure, refresh biodegradables like sphagnum moss and leaf litter and trim plants as necessary.
You can tell when it is time to replace biodegradables because they will begin to look more like dirt than they do like their original forms.
You can also check to see if there is a healthy supply of bioactive bugs like isopods and springtails and refresh the population if necessary.
It’s a good idea to check your gecko’s weight every month. Young geckos should gain weight steadily while mature geckos should maintain weight.
A little bit of weight loss after a shed is normal, but it should not be dramatic. If you notice significant weight gain or loss without a clear reason, something may be going wrong with your gecko’s health.
Crested Geckos store calcium in the roof of their mouth in visible sacs. By opening your gecko’s mouth, you can check to see if calcium levels are appropriate.
Sufficient calcium is extremely important for your Crested Gecko to grow and thrive. This procedure can be stressful for your gecko, so it’s best to only check every three months or so.
Can Crested Geckos be Left Alone While You go on Vacation?
If you’re like most people, you occasionally enjoy getting out of the house for a few days or a couple of weeks at a time. You may be wondering what to do with your Crested Gecko during these periods.
The answer largely depends on how much of your Crested Gecko’s system is automated.
If you have an automatic mister and your lights are on a timer, you can leave your Crested Gecko for a day or two between feedings without any problems.
However, if you don’t have automated systems, you’ll need to have someone come to take care of these things for you.
If you’ll be leaving for more than a few days, you’ll need to have someone come to feed your Crested Gecko and check on their overall health as well as take care of feeder insects.
Enjoy Caring for Your Crested Gecko
Crested Geckos are a lot of fun to own. Part of the pleasure of Crested Gecko ownership comes from caring for them.
You may be surprised by just how little effort it actually takes for you to provide great care to your Crested Gecko and enjoy them for many years to come.