If you are new to keeping Crested geckos you may be
wondering exactly what you can use to house your Gecko & what accessories you will
Crested Geckos are a mainly Arboreal species - meaning
they live in foliage - trees - large plants etc... and are designed for climbing - so they need
a vivarium that is generally taller than it is wider.
As general rule I have found that you will need a
minimum vivarium size of at least 30cm x 30cm x 45cm to accommodate
1 - to a maximum of
2 - adult geckos. That size
Terrarium is ideal for a single adult and two adults at a push - they will be comfortable but
would prefer a bit more room.
The following Terrarium: Exo Terra Natural
Terrarium Mini/Tall - 30x30x45 click here for more
info: would be fine for a single
Ideally a slightly larger Terrarium would be ideal for 2
Adults for that I would recommend the following:
Exo Terra Natural Terrarium Small/Tall 45 x 45 x
60 cm / 18” x 18” x 24” (WxDxH) click here for more
Should you wish to have more than 2 geckos - I have had great
success housing up to 5 adults in the either of the following Terrarium's:
Natural Terrarium Medium/Tall 60 x 45 x 60
cm / 24” x 18” x 24” (WxDxH) click here for
Natural Terrarium Medium/X-Tall 60 x 45 x 90 cm /
24” x 18” x 36” (WxDxH) click here for more
Cresties are Arboreal lizards - meaning its
more important for them to have height to explore rather than a wide
Any suitable wooden Vivarium will do. But the Exo
Terra range of glass Vivarium's listed above are great looking housing and if a suitable size
is chosen there's a whole host of accessories available for them - such as lighting hoods
etc... and they essentially trouble free when setup
Ensure that your Vivarium has some
sort of ventilation. It's rare nowadays to find a Vivarium that has no
ventilation - but bear in mind if you build your own provide some ventilation.
Do this either with a designed gap covered with plastic or wire meshing or any
of the custom built Vents available on the market. Some owners get hold of
small PC like fans and fit them to timer switches.
The Crested Gecko is a middle-of-the-range
Reptile when it comes to cleanliness - they will defecate wherever they feel like it most of
the time and thus there will be streaks of faeces and urine on the glass - leaves and the
substrate over time. This will naturally need cleaning- and one of the may reasons I
recommend the Exo Terra range is that they are much easier to clean when dirty and much better
at indicating when they need cleaning too..
To clean the base of the Terrarium you can choose to opt
for simple kitchen towel and just swap it out when necessary or - as I do - opt for a more
biological solution - more on that in the substrate section
As a rule of thumb I tend to thoroughly clean out the
entire Vivarium every 5-6 weeks to ensure against any bacterial build up.
I use a product called Vet-a-Clean for all my cleaning.
You can get a concentrate from eBay for about £10 - it will last you ages and is
much cheaper than buying disinfectant in all the time!
It is also very very important to realise that if you choose to go for a
natural biological solutions for waste control that you never actually use
disinfectants when cleaning the inside of the Terrarium - more on that in the
substrate and sections.
If using a biological setup then just remove all the decor - wash it
with washing-up-liquid (kitchen
detergent) and an old tooth-brush to remove caked on waste
from the decor - give a really good rinse to remove ALL the soap and
replace into the vivarium.
Why does a gecko need a hide? Basically
to stop them stressing out. A wooden Vivarium is great in that it has 3 sides
that are wood and therefore provides cover - however even in a wood Vivarium
the gecko still needs somewhere to hide - to relax - chill out and feel safe.
They can and do get stressed if they do not have a hide. Unlike humans you will
not be able to see if your gecko is suffering from stress, but they
Cresties in particular - being a
nocturnal species need somewhere to hide and feel safe from predators during
the daylight hours. - In the wild this is done in thick foliage and leaves of
suitable plants - so some of leafy cover in the vivarium or a specific
hide is ideal for this.
Plastic leafy plants in suitable
locations will be fine - but I also opt for special hides which are designed to
be held onto the glass through the use of rubberised magnets - my Geckos often
use these hides during the day for cover and safety whilst they
These are called the MAGNATURALS range
and there are many different models available from water bowls to feeding
platforms - ledges and of course hides.
Remember though this is not a necessity
if you have plants with suitable cover in the Terrarium - BUT it is a
welcome addition that will be appreciated by your Gecko and also help to make
your setup look a little bit cooler also!
Cresties need a moist humid environment - In modern
households this is difficult to maintain - but it has to be said its a lot easier when The Exo
Terra Glass Terrarium's are used. An easy way to keep the humidity up for the gecko is to use a
garden plant sprayer or mister daily and just lightly spray down the interior of the Terrarium
once a day.
Many times the Geckos will get their water from the
droplets provided by the misting process and lap it up off the glass - leaves etc... - but it
is best to also provide a water bowl as well - although you will rarely see them using it -
many times when I have been working all night I have spotted them actually using the water
bowl to drink - so rest assured they will use it!