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Crested Gecko Care Guide

The Species: Crested Geckos (Correlophus ciliatus) also known as Eyelash Geckos are common reptiles to be kept as pets due to their smaller size and low maintenance. Unfortunately due to many contradictions with their care requirements, they are often kept in inadequate conditions, leading to health issues and unfortunately are often victims of neglect. Native to New Caledonia and was thought to be extinct until it was rediscovered in 1994 now placing itself on the Vulnerable Species list. These geckos can easily cohabitate as long as they are given a large enough enclosure. Crested Geckos can drop their tails when they get too stressed or feel threatened and this can be common for many of them in the pet trade, although they don't grow back, it is usually noting to worry about as long as the wound is kept clean until it heals.

Enclosure: These Geckos are arboreal and should be housed inside terrariums, made from glass. A minimum size enclosure for an adult is 45x45x60cm however a pair can also live together in this size as long as territorial behaviours don't occur. For a juvenile, a suitable size enclosure is 30x30x45cm however can be placed straight into a larger enclosure.

Being a tropical species, these animals need suitable substrates and ideally need the substrate to be earth based to keep humidity up, recommended substrates are Arcadia Earth Mix or ProRep Crestie Life however other alternatives are also acceptable. Various layers of substrate can also be beneficial such as having a drainage layer at the bottom, followed by an earth based layer which can then have a bark layer on top and can even be topped with leaf litter. Do not use arid substrates for this species.

Various decor and apparatus should be included to provide as natural of an enclosure as possible. Woods, rocks, vines are all suitable to use for this species along with a bowl for food which attaches to the side of the enclosure. It is important to add branches, vines or other apparatus which will allow them to climb and exhibit natural behaviours. Reptile safe plants are also a good addition to tropical enclosures as it helps maintain humidity levels.

Heating: Crested Geckos don't often need heat lamps as they can usually reach temperature in a warm house, however it is important to keep in mind that they do have a temperature range of 22-24 degrees celcius (72-75 degrees farenheight) and should not exceed 27 degrees celcius (80 degrees farenheight). If the temperature range cannot be reached then additional heating should be added to the enclosure, this can be provided by a heat lamp on a thermostat on top of the enclosure. If additional heating is added, it should be on a 12 hour cycle, turning off at night to provide a natural drop in temperature.

Lighting: Despite a lot of information you may come across, we can assure you that Crested Geckos do in fact need UVB lighting. Many sources out there will inform you that because this species in nocturnal they do not need UVB however this is not the case, countless times it has been proven that these animals do need UVB lighting to prevent them from getting MBD (Metabolic Bone Disease). They don't need high levels of UVB however it is important that they do receive it. This lighting should cover approximately 3/4 of the enclosure to ensure that the animal receives adequate levels of UVB as much as possible. These lizards should have a minimum of 6% and a maximum of 12% UVB bulb and they should be replaced every 6-12 months to ensure that the UVB doesn't run out within the bulb. All lighting should be on a 12 hour cycle to provide a natural day/night sequence.

Humidity: Being a tropical species, it is important to make sure that the correct humidity levels are being reached, Crested Geckos should have a humidity range of 50-80%. The best way to achieve these levels is by using a misting system to keep the humidity of the enclosure up. Mist King are the top-rated misting system but there are other suitable options. Alternatively, you can use a hand sprayer throughout the day, however this can become more difficult to reach ideal humidity levels. Keeping live plants in the enclosure can also help with keeping humidity levels up.

Diet: Crested Geckos are omnivorous, meaning they eat both protein and vegetation, however they primarily eat fruit in the wild. It is important to give your animals a complete diet and one way to achieve this is by using gecko diets, these are powdered diets which can be made into a liquid paste for the Geckos to eat. Recommended diets are Pangea or Repashy however there are other alternatives as well. Crested Geckos can also eat insects but most choose not to as they receive all nutrients from their complete diets, this also means that there is no need to add supplements to their diet as they are already included.

These diets should be replaced every 2-3 days or whenever the food dries or runs out. Their food should be presented to them in bowls which sit in ledges attached to the side of the enclosure, making it easier for them to access as they spend the majority of their time up high. Water is also an extremely important aspect to an animals diet Crested Geckos don't need water bowls as they will drink from water droplets in their enclosure after being sprayed however we generally recommend RO water or mineral water due to tap water containing chlorine which can be harmful to some animals.

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