Crested Gecko Shopping List | Habitat Checklist

New Caledonia, a tropical paradise in the Southwest Pacific, is the native home of our beloved crested geckos. Picture this: lush, humid forests teeming with diverse plant life, where daytime temperatures hover around a comfortable 78°F (25.5°C), and nighttime brings a mild drop to around 72°F (22.2°C).

It’s the perfect environment for our nocturnal buddies, who enjoy its stable temperatures and love to take advantage of the natural humidity levels.

Ever wondered why your gecko has such a knack for climbing? Well, in the wild, they can be found nestled in tree canopies, using their specialised toe pads to move around with ease. They navigate through a world of tree barks, leaves, and branches. Hence, their remarkable climbing ability is a necessity in the wild, not just a cute party trick!

Now, this doesn’t mean you need to recreate an entire rainforest in your living room (though wouldn’t that be a sight!). Understanding their natural habitat, however, gives us vital clues about how to set up our captive habitats.

For instance, including branches and plants for climbing and hiding in your gecko’s enclosure mimics the vertical space they’d traverse in the wild. Additionally, maintaining similar temperature and humidity levels helps keep them comfortable and healthy.

Essential Items for Crested Gecko Habitat

Building the perfect habitat might seem daunting at first, but with a little bit of knowledge and planning, you’ll have a setup that any crested gecko would be thrilled to call home.

Below is the list of things you will need for your crested gecko habitat.

1. Terrarium/Tank

First and foremost, your crested gecko needs a place to call home. A glass terrarium is the most popular choice due to its easy maintenance, visibility, and ability to hold humidity. You have two main types to choose from – horizontal and vertical. Given that crested geckos love to climb, vertical terrariums are often the preferred choice.

For a single adult, a 20-gallon vertical terrarium is usually sufficient. However, always remember the golden rule: the larger, the better!

2’x2’x2′ Meridian PVC Reptile Enclosure
  • Zen Habtiats’ patent-pending design allows you to set up your enclosure in just a few minutes.
  • Spacious enough to create various zones and heat gradients.
  • Front-sliding removable acrylic doors allow you to approach your pet in the least stressful way.
  • Bamboo-finished panels can retain heat up to 10 times better than glass.
  • Non-reflective surfaces reduce anxiety in your pet.

2. Substrate

Next up is the substrate. This is the material you place at the bottom of the terrarium. It plays a crucial role in maintaining humidity and absorbing waste. Paper towels, coconut husk fiber, and reptile carpets are all good choices. While loose substrates like sand might seem natural, they can cause impaction if ingested, so it’s best to steer clear.

Zilla Reptile Terrarium Floor Liners Green 10/20X Gallon, 9.75″ x 19.75″
  • Bio-degradable enzyme reduces odors
  • Absorbent, non-abrasive material that will not irritate reptiles
  • Safe – cannot be ingested
  • Easy-to-Clean
  • Safe, easy choice for a fresh, healthy habitat

3. Hideaways

Additionally, crested geckos are nocturnal and appreciate secure places to hide and sleep during the day. Providing multiple hideaways throughout the terrarium will ensure they feel safe and secure.

Zilla Vertical Décor Rock Cave 8.75 x 5.875 x 7.25″,Grey
  • Attaches to the glass with a powerful suction cup
  • Incredible natural look
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Comes with a black window cling to use outside the terrarium to provide security to the animals and allow you to view them without disturbing them

4. Climbing Structures

Crested geckos are arboreal creatures, meaning they spend a lot of time off the ground. Providing ample climbing structures will keep them happy and active. Cork bark, branches, and vines are great for this purpose.

Fluker’s Repta Vines-Pothos for Reptiles and Amphibians
  • Comes with suction cups to affix to the tank and are made of non-toxic polythylene material for easy cleaning and disenfecting.
  • 6 feet in length
  • Lifelike & natural looking.

5. Thermometer and Hygrometer

Maintaining the right temperature and humidity is vital for your crested gecko’s health. Thermometers and hygrometers help monitor these conditions.

Digital combo devices that measure both are readily available and easy to use. Aim to keep the temperature between 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit and the humidity between 50-70%.

Zoo Med Economy Analog Dual Thermometer and Humidity Gauge, 6 x 4″
  • Allows precise monitoring of both the temperature and humidity of your terrarium from one unit
  • Temperature and humidity levels are extremely important to the long term heath of your animals
  • Velcro backing enables easy removal for cleaning or relocation

6. Heating and Lighting

Contrary to popular belief, crested geckos don’t require additional heating unless the room temperature drops below 65 degrees Fahrenheit regularly.

If needed, a low-wattage heat lamp can be used. As for lighting, while they don’t need special UVB lights, a natural light cycle is beneficial for their overall well-being.

Zilla Reptile Terrarium Incandescent Heat Bulb, Night Black, 75 Watts, 1 Count (Pack of 1)
  • Provides ambient heat that creates a healthy environment for reptiles
  • Heavy-duty filaments yield hours of performance
  • Recommended for use with Zilla Reflector Domes
  • Does not emit visual light which can be disruptive to the creature or room

7. Food

These little buddies are primarily frugivorous, which means their diet in the wild consists mainly of ripe fruits. But, don’t worry, you won’t need to keep a stock of fresh fruit on hand. Commercially available crested gecko diets, which are fruit-based powders you mix with water, are an excellent choice and super convenient.

Brands like Pangea and Repashy have fantastic options packed with all the essential nutrients our friends need.

Zoo Med Watermelon Flavor Crested Gecko Food for Reptiles, 2 oz.
  • Includes a source of four viable, naturally occurring probiotic microorganisms to help maintain digestive health
  • Can be fed wet or dry, convenient scoop is included!
  • Carefully formulated by an Animal Nutritionist (M.S.) to meet the dietary requirements of crested geckos of in all life stages
  • Also great for Day Geckos, Emerald Skinks, Gargoyle Geckos, or any other New Caledonian gecko species

Feeding your gecko 3-4 times a week should suffice for adults, while young geckos might need a little more frequent feeding, say about 5-6 times a week. Remember, every gecko is unique, so keep an eye on your pet’s condition and adjust as necessary.

8. Food and Water Dishes

Even though your crested gecko may not drink from a dish, it’s still a good idea to have one in the enclosure. This can serve as a backup water source and help maintain humidity levels.

As for food, shallow dishes work best to prevent your gecko from stepping in their meal!

Fluker’s Food and Water Reptile Corner Bowl, Small 4″,Gray
  • Fluker’s Corner Bowls are the perfect choice for holding food and water for your pet
  • Fits flush against the corner of your terrarium
  • Great for reptiles that like to soak
  • Although colors may slightly vary, the overall effect is an organic, earthy feel that is perfect for any terrarium
  • Small, 4-Inches

Placement of these dishes is also crucial. Crested geckos are arboreal, meaning they love to hang out in trees. So, place the food dish somewhere off the ground, preferably attached to the side of the enclosure. This will make your gecko feel right at home during dinner time!

9. Supplements

Did you know crested geckos need a little extra in their diet to stay healthy? Specifically, they need calcium and vitamin D3 supplements. These are crucial for their bone health, especially for females during breeding season.

A product I’ve been using for years is ‘Zoo Med Calcium’. It’s a great all-in-one supplement, and my geckos seem to love the taste!

Zoo Med Repti Calcium with D3 Reptile Supplement
  • Powder can be scooped or sprinkled from jar with dual access lid
  • Highly bioavailable source of calcium carbonate
  • Free of harmful impurities (not from Oyster Shells)
  • Prevents the metabolic bone deseases

10. Cleaning Supplies

Cleaning your gecko’s habitat is a critical part of their care. Keeping their space tidy helps prevent the spread of bacteria and parasites. For everyday cleaning, a simple solution of water and vinegar works wonders. But, for deep cleaning, I highly recommend ‘Zoo Med Wipe Out 1’, it’s safe, easy to use, and very effective.

Zoo Med Wipe Out 1 Terrarium & Small Animal Cage Cleaner
  • Easy to use disinfectant, cleaner, and deodorizer wipes out a broad spectrum of bacteria, including salmonella, in terrariums and small animal cages
  • Regular use can reduce the spread of bacterial infections in your animals
  • Made in the USA


And there you have it, fellow reptile enthusiast – your comprehensive checklist for creating a perfect habitat for your soon-to-be crested gecko companion!

Let’s recap: Start with the right-sized terrarium, ensure it has proper ventilation, and then move on to setting up the interiors with a safe substrate, climbing branches, hiding spots, and plants. Don’t forget to install the right lighting and heating equipment, and provide clean water and nutritious food. Each item on your shopping list plays a crucial role in creating an ideal home for your crested gecko.

I know it might seem a bit overwhelming right now, but trust me – you’ve got this! As you start gathering these items and putting the habitat together, you’ll find it’s not just about providing for your pet; it’s about creating a bond, a connection that you’ll cherish.

Filled under: Lizards

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *