Is your crested gecko playing hide and seek with you? Are you worried that he has escaped his tank? Or is he simply just hiding from you? It is part of the crested gecko’s charm to just completely keep to himself, but when does this hiding behavior become excessive?
There are three major reasons behind this behavior. First is, it is completely normal behavior. Second is that he might be distressed. The third one is there is a problem with his tank. Also, these three reasons have a lot of factors within them that drive your crested gecko to go into hiding.
In this article, we are going to discuss these three reasons as well as the several factors that comprise this issue. We are also going to give you some tips and tricks on how to deal with this behavior once it becomes a problem.
So before you try and take everything out from your crested gecko’s tank in order to find him, check the following reasons to see if he will eventually come out.
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3 Reasons Why Your Crested Gecko Is Hiding
Let us now take a look at the three general reasons why your crested gecko is hiding. Do not worry if you cannot find some of the signs in the major reasons, they might just be embedded with the factors within the reasons which we will talk about later on.
Reason 1: It Is A Completely Normal Behavior
When you seem to not be seeing your crested gecko for a while, do not fret as they just love to hide. This is also why you need to put activities that cater to this activity. Such things are caves, plants, and big rocks. In fact, your crested gecko will establish one or two hiding spots as his favorite.
He may choose to sleep there or decide to spend most of his day in that specific hiding spot. What is so funny is that their hiding spot choices are pretty unique.
This is the reason why some owners have reported seeing their crested geckos sleeping at the edge of the tank embedded in the soil which is against the glass.
Hmm, maybe your crested gecko wants to be Spiderman?
Some crested geckos will choose to hide in higher areas if there are any hanging plants. If you have a group, you will see them sleeping together even though the hiding spot is already cramped.
If your Crested gecko is staying on the ground all the time, you might want to have on this article as that behavior can have more specific reasons: Why your Crested Gecko is on the ground!
He Is Not Actually Hiding, You Just Do Not See Him Come Out
We all know how crested geckos try to elude any kind of socialization outside his tank. But what you might fail to notice is that they go through extremes just to avoid any confrontation or interaction with the “outside world.”
So if you just got a new crested gecko and you are wondering where can he be. He is probably trying his best to hide from you.
On the other hand, if you have a crested gecko for a long time, and he has been trained to be handled, then you might just be missing the times he comes out from his hiding spot.
They are crepuscular which means they come out during the wee hours of the night, up until dawn. So you are most likely not awake at those times so you miss the time when they come out to do different activities.
If this is the case and you rarely catch a glimpse of your crested gecko, make sure to always leave them food and water. They may become dehydrated if they do not have access to any of it when they come out and you are already asleep.
Reason 2: Your Crested Gecko Is Stressed Or Ill
Unlike other reptiles, crested geckos get stressed easily. Even when they have everything that they can ever wish for in their tank, they always seem to find something that will stress them. Of course, you cannot blame them for doing this, but it is just how they are.
The bothering thing is, they refuse to come out to eat or even drink when they are stressed. They would much rather stay in their hiding spot than tend to their needs. This can take about a week or even up to three weeks if your crested gecko is extremely rattled out of his wits.
Just remember, if you are sure that your crested gecko is hiding due to stress and you cannot do anything about the stressor, just leave him be.
Handling him or manipulating his tank will just worsen the situation. Just make sure that you leave him enough food and water and that the temperature in his tank is right.
If he is truly not eating or drinking, you can mist the tank so he can drink the water droplets. Further, you can use CGD to make up for the lost nutrients in his body.
Stress Due To Changes In Environment
Even if you had your crested gecko for a long time and he completely trusts you, he will still get easily stressed if you change something in his tank. Let us say, you added new hides, foliages, substrate or plants. He will immediately retreat to his hiding place once everything is settled.
It is not that he does not appreciate these new things, but he is just anxious about unfamiliar things. Just give him time and he will eventually come out. The same goes if you transferred him to a new tank.
The best way to change up things in the tank is to make gradual changes. Do not put everything all at once or your crested gecko might think that he has been transported into a different dimension.
Make the putting of the foliages a priority so that your crested gecko will have enough hiding places and will feel safe.
Moreover, if you are setting up a new tank and you happen to put the previous tank in a place where it is exposed to too much foot traffic or other pets, your crested gecko might just go into hiding mode for an extended time.
In order to prevent this, you can cover parts of the tank with cardboard.
Stress Due To Being Bullied
As much as you like to house a lot of crested geckos in one enclosure, you should not do so as it might result in bullying. You should never put males together as well as putting different sizes of crested geckos in one enclosure.
Moreover, if you house small crested geckos which are below 10 grams, they will bully each other as they will compete for water, food, etc. When housing them in one enclosure, it should just be a male and a handful of females.
You will know if one of your crested geckos is being bullied if he just prefers to hide rather than come out and feed when you try hand-feeding all of them. When this happens, immediately separate your crested geckos so that the bullied crested gecko can recuperate.
Ill Crested Gecko
It is also a huge possibility that your crested gecko is ill if he hides for a long time and does not even bother to eat or drink. He will just lay still and will look lethargic.
This is where knowing his favorite hiding spot is crucial as you can check if there is something wrong with him physiologically.
Illnesses can range from Metabolic Bone Disorder, injury, infection, egg binding, etc. But before you bother him in his hiding place, you should first be absolutely sure that he has some sort of illness.
We do not want your crested gecko to deliberately lose its tail just because he is threatened or overstressed just because you invaded his hiding space, when in fact, he is just stressed about something.
Reason 3: Problems With The Tank
By now you know that you should be able to replicate the conditions in the wild in your crested gecko’s tank. This is not only for aesthetics but it will ensure that your crested gecko is healthy. Therefore, if something is wrong in his tank, and this affects him, he will resort to hiding.
Humidity Is Low
Lack of humidity is a surefire way to make your crested gecko go into hiding as the temperature is too high for them and they need to cool down. So you should keep the humidity level of the tank at 50% to 60% during the day.
There should also be a few hours where it should be at 70% to 90%.
You can do this by misting the tank, the substrate, and even your gecko when the evening is approaching. If you do not have time to manually mist the tank, then it is best to get a reptile fogger. Further, you should let the tank dry up until the next morning.
As we have mentioned earlier, crested geckos are crepuscular so they go out at night when it is dark. Therefore, if you have any bright lights on, then it will disrupt the active cycle of your crested gecko.
He will feel that it is not yet time to go out as it is bright, thus he will go back to his hiding space.
Make sure that the room where his tank is located is also dark. Also, turn off any bright lights and you should not use any UV lights that are more than 5.0. Of course, you can still leave a light on for your crested gecko to have some sort of visibility but it can just be a moonlight bulb.
A light in the hallway is still good, just make sure that the light does not directly reach the tank. If you cannot do these things or there is still always direct light on the tank, then you can make use of cloths or cardboard to cover the tank or just its sides.
You can read more on that in our articles below:
- Why Crested geckos do not need light at night
- Do Crested geckos really need UVB?
- Do Crested geckos need heat lamps?
Do crested geckos need a hide? Yes, they need hides to feel safe or at least to regulate their temperature. It can be plants, foliage, caves, or even a cardboard box. They also like hides that are humid and you can do this by using a small container and putting moist substrate in it.
How do I know if my crested gecko is sleeping? You will know by observing their body. As they do not have eyelids, you really cannot tell by checking if their eyes are closed. Their crests are laid down when they are asleep. As for their eyes, the pupils are not dilated.