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Crested Gecko (Rhacodactylus ciliatus) Care Sheets
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Care Sheet for Geckos

Average Rating Given To This Care Sheet Is 3.75    (1=lowest, 5=highest)    Last Updated: 12/20/2006

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Years Experience:

1 to 2 Years


Crested Gecko (Rhacodactylus ciliatus)

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Substrate and Water Needs:

Substrate is a highly controversial thing. Like most lizards, you have people saying "I have had them on this substrate for 5 years without a problem". Well, that may be but impaction is serious. Coconut fiber is what I use as it locks in humidity and crickets canít burrow in it. Paper towels are good for babies/juvies but not for adults as it does not hold in humidity. Sphagnum moss is something I, in my opinion and from experience, hate. It holds in humidity well, but crickets go to the bottom, right underneath it. My geckos could not catch any. Any barks or sands are a no. Impaction risk is too great and it is not natural. Cypress mulch, jungle mix, and others like that are also off limits. Reptile carpet hold the same problem as paper towel. Soil with no fertilizer works too.
As for water, the tank should be misted two to three times a day. The gecko will drink the water droplets from the leaves, walls, etc. This also keeps the humidity up. A waterbowl is optional, but is not necessary.

Lighting and UVB:

They need no special lighting, but a moon-glo light is helpful. It helps add a boost of heat on the cold nights and simulates the glow from the moon that cresteds hunt by. I have one in my tank. I highly recommend on investing one of these bulbs.

Temperatures and Humidity:

Temperatures for cresteds are basically room temperatures. The temp. should never go below high 60ís and should never go higher than 82 degrees.
Humidity should be up around 60 to 90. This may be hard to achieve, but frequent misting is how to do it. Misters and waterfalls also help. There should be no free standing water that the crested could drown in though. They are not the best swimmers. This means that ponds and rivers are off limits.

Heating and Equipment:

Like said in the lighting and temp. sections. Moon-glo is all.

Caging Provided:

A crested can be housed in a 10 gallon tall. Most people may argue with this but I feel that a 20 gallon is not necessary. I have two cresteds living in a 18x18x18 exo terra tank which I highly recommend. I love this tank. That tank is 29 gallons which is 15 gallons per gecko which, in my opinion, is right. Like I said above, I use an organic coconut fiber substrate. I have a large grape vine that is hollow. My cresteds are always in it. I also have provided them with a large silk plant and two more vines of silk plants. They have a reptile hammock in the corner as well. Dotted around the tank floor is patches of Flukerís moss. I flattened it out completely so that ingestion is not a possibility. This acts as a small bed. Once again, that is my tank. Live vivariums can also be used and if you would like to see one, there are a couple reptic members who would to show you theirs.



Description of Diet:

The diet of cresteds includes crickets and babyfood. Crickets should be given two to three times a week if not more. Any crickets left uneaten after an hour or two should be removed. Babyfood should be offered once to three times a week. Meat babyfood can be substituted as crickets but is not a good idea. Stick with the crickets. Babyfood should be peach, apricot, mango, banana, etc. No citrus babyfood/mashed fruit should be offered as the acids are harmful to cresteds.

Supplements, Nutrition and Usage:

CGD should be offered. It can either be mixed into water or into the babyfood. I mix it into the babyfood. Crickets should always be dusted as it is with most lizards. No calcium dish is needed like it is with leopard geckos.


These are simple geckos and a thorough tank cleaning is necessary here and there. As long as you provide a good habitat, fresh food, and fresh water, you crested will live a nice, long healthy life.

Some Words on this Species:

Cresteds lifespan is not truly known yet. They were thought to be extinct until a colony was discovered in 1994. Breeding plans went into effect and the crested gecko is now out on the pet trade and becoming very popular. It is almost up there with leos.
For some more info, cresteds are native to New Caledonia, an island of the coast of Australia. They can also be found on the surrounding islands. These islands are all tropical rain forests. This is why humidity is so important for a healthy gecko.
Relatives of the crested gecko include the giant gecko (Rhacodactylus leacianus), the gargoyle gecko (Rhacodactylus auriculatus), (rhaodactylus chahoua), and (rhacodactylus sarasinorum). I hope this care sheets is to the liking of everyone as it is my first. Thank you for reading and good luck on your Crested!
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The information contain in these care sheets represents only the opinions and husbandry care of members and therefore is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate or reflects the advice or opinions of It is always advised to seek additional information or the advice of a qualified veterinarian or qualified reptile dealer. It is also advisable for you to a good amount of research before implementing any of the ideas and care described in these care sheets. We also recommend you ask many questions in their related forums before acting on any information.

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