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Crested gecko care
Transferable for gargoyle geckos and mossy geckos set ups


Minimum Requirements

  • A 45 x 45 x 60 cm glass terrarium.

  • UVB lighting T5 7% fluorescent tube.

  • A heat bulb in a dome holder on an appropriate thermostat.

  • A broad range calcium and vitamin supplement.


Owning a pet is a rewarding experience and ensuring your animal has everything within its environment will allow it to thrive. Each element is just as important for a happy and healthy reptile.

HeatingTo create a thermal gradient in a glass terrarium a Halogen in a dome holder is used by positioning it on the top of the terrariums mesh lid in one back corner (being mindful not to position directly above the polystyrene background). So that the gradient is running from top to bottom. The temperature will be regulated by a thermostat, allowing for a stable and accurate temperature at all times within the enclosure. The probe should be positioned 8 inches below the bulb. This will create the basking area whilst further down will be cooler. The thermostat should be set to 26C and the gradient will go down to room temperature, aiming for 18C. At night, as long as the room doesn't drop below 18C the heating can be turned off.

UVBUVB lighting was not seen as being essential for crested geckos due to their crepuscular nature, however, there is evidence that they benefit greatly as it replicates their natural environment. We recommend 12 hours of UVB using the arcadia 7% shade dweller. The benefits of the T5 range including the shade dweller, are that the UVB wavelength can reach a further distance with a 12 month virtually guaranteed UVB output.

Using a reflector increases the amount of UVB reflected down. Ensure you position the UV lighting on top of the mesh lid and not at eye level or within 45 degrees of the eye as this could cause severe damage. (photokeratoconjunctivitus or cataracts). If other UVB tubes are used ensure to replace them every 6 months unless the manufacturer advice otherwise.

Using UVB lighting for crested geckos can reduce the chances of floppy tail syndrome and many other problems such as MBD.

NOTE: The UVB output will continue to degrade even though it will continue to give off light.

This is a basic setup, if you wish to upgrade to bio-active, like the one seen in the photo above, (which is strongly recommended for this species) an LED bar will be required for the plants to thrive. The LED bar can connect to the shade dweller so only one plug is needed to supply both lighting units. Please ask a member of staff for more information.

Cleaning, Substrate and Furnishings

Crested geckos require a humid environment. By using a humidity holding and tolerant substrate such as coir, orchid bark, commercially available substrate mix such as crestie life or arcadia earth mix will achieve the required outcome. It’s beneficial to put moss and leaf litter on top of the soil to help layer the humidity and allow for them to hide whilst on the ground.


The vivarium should be spot cleaned on a regular basis, if done thoroughly a full clean should only need to be done every 4-6 weeks. Ensure you only use disinfectants specifically intended for reptiles. Other products can be toxic. 


Ensure décor/furnishings are from a recognized dealer to ensure they’re safe to be used for reptiles. Crested geckos benefit from having plenty of foliage and branches to rest, hide and climb on (making them feel safer).


Spraying the enclosure daily can ensure correct humidity levels.

Diet & Nutrition

Fresh water is required daily.

Crested geckos diet consists of fruit and insects. Safe insects include locusts, crickets, mealworms, Dubai roaches and wax worms. The best way to determine the amount of food your dragon requires is to start off with 6 hoppers and if they are all eaten straight away provide your crestie with more until they actively stop chasing the food. Do not leave too many

Loose insects in the enclosure as they can cause damaged to your pet.

There are many ways of distributing the fruit portion of their diet. You could mash or blend the fruit or even freeze it so that you just get out the portions you need as and when and defrost the mashed fruit. Here is a list of good fruits for your crested gecko:

  • Mango, Apple, Strawberry

  • Banana, watermelon, fig

  • Pear, apricot, blueberry

  • Grape, peach, plum

There are many different ‘complete’ diets commercially available, and their success varies. The complete diets can make a good food source for those that like it.  However, your crested gecko will still require live insects and fresh fruit to maintain a varied diet. Some people opt for baby food, this is generally high in sugar and should be avoided unless it is an entirely fruit based content and can be a treat or for encouraging picky feeders to start feeding again.

A good quality vitamin, mineral and calcium supplement is necessary to the health and wellbeing of your crested gecko. ALWAYS read the packaging carefully. We recommend Nutrobal twice a week or for every meal if UVB is not being provided. If this duty is not fulfilled there is a risk of irreversible illness.

Health & 

If you are worried about your animals health, seek advice from a respected dealer and if still in double contact a specialist veterinarian. There are a few symptoms to monitor:

  • Unusual lethargy

  • Prolonged lack or loss of appetite

  • Dehydration – eyes sinking into the back of the head

  • Cloudy, unclear or sticky eyes

  • Discharge from the nose

  • Prolonged diarrhoea

  • Weight loss in the tail

  • Trouble shedding especially around feet, toes, tail.

  • Shaking or twitching

  • Bone structure forming abnormally – this can usually be seen in the tail or spine.


Crested geckos should generally be house separately however, under the correct circumstances with the correct sex ratios, then some can live in group scenarios, however, ensure you gather all the necessary advice before doing this. If you decide to purchase a second crestie, ensure they’re of compatible sizes and get equal amounts of food to ensure the same growth rate. Ask a respected dealer for more information.


It is important that you allow your crestie to settle in before you start handling. 1-2 weeks is usually sufficient as long as your crestie Is feeding and expressing natural behaviours. cresties are naturally good at being handled so there’s no need to excessively restrain or handle them as this could cause defensive, aggressive or reclusive behaviours and feelings for your crestie. Always handle your crestie near a surface as accidents do happen. Cresties are an arboreal gecko and tend to jump from your hands to the closest surface! Cresties can also drop their tails, this is a natural survival instinct if they feel threatened and it could help them to escape. However, their tail will NOT grow back so be mindful not to grab the tail.


Crested geckos are semi-nocturnal so you may not see them being active a lot however can be seen exploring in the evening, are super friendly and make a great family pet.


So, you think you're ready to take home your new crested gecko?
Download our check sheet to be sure:


Pop in store for a free print out of this care sheet, or download a PDF version here:


Don't forget that the team at Small World Reptiles are always here for you - whether you are a first-time snake owner or an experienced one. 

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