Crested Gecko Supplies

Crested gecko supplies include appropriate housing and food and the following decor, feeding and cleaning supplies. Here is a quick “cheat sheet” for gecko supplies, but cruise around the site for more information!

Crested Gecko Decor

Crested geckos can do fine in a Kritter Keeper or a completely natural terrarium. Whatever your fancy, you should provide hiding spots, climbing spots and cover on the ground as well as up top, since crested geckos are arboreal by nature. However, they are all individuals and some may prefer to sleep curled up in a hide or clinging to a branch, vine, or even stuck to the side of the tank!

You don’t want to cram your enclosure completely full of stuff, you should provide space for your gecko to jump, which is part of their natural nightly roaming behavior. Strive to provide 50% or so of branch or plant cover, with open spaces for jumping.

You can buy cage furnishings or make your own. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on supplies. Many are low cost or even free. Cresties love toilet paper tubes and paper towel rolls! These are simple, cheap and disposable hides. Throw them out when they become soiled – many geckos love to poop in or on them! Pet stores have a great selection of hides and decorations, just be aware of the crested gecko’s propensity for wedging themselves inside of things, such as hollow castle statues and other cage furniture. Dollar stores often have fake plants for a great price – only $1 each! Just be sure to check for wires, sharp edges, dyes that can run, or small decorations that can break off. Avoid glitter as this can come off and make a mess.

Coconut half shells with a small “door” can be bought or made at home. Be careful cutting them open! Another really cheap cage accessory are egg cartons or flat egg crates (available if you buy eggs in bulk, discarded from restaurants, or purchased from feed stores). Be sure they don’t have chicken poo on them. You can sanitize them with Chlorhexidine (see below) or vinegar, water, and drying in the sun. Do not use bleach or other chemicals as egg carton is porous and it will soak in and remain there, releasing harmful vapors.

Perching spots or basking spots can be provided with bamboo branches, twisty driftwood, mopani or grapewood (which can mold) or fake vines. Geckos will also climb over and cling to paper towel tubes, so they serve as both hide and perch. Foam pipe insulation or water noodle pool toys can be cut to fit your enclosure. You can also find multiple widths. This is a great low-cost option for furnishing multiple tanks!

Optionally, you can provide a thermometer and hygrometer to measure temperature and humidity. However, crested geckos prefer room temperature so as long as you feel comfortable, you probably don’t need one. However, be careful of temperature extremes in the summer and winter. Temps should not go above 80. If you provide a heat or light source you will need to make sure you are not cooking your reptile! Misting once or twice a day should keep the humidity at 80% after spraying to 50% during the day. It is important for the cage to dry out during the day to avoid respiratory problems.

Crested Gecko Plants

Plants are very important cage accessories. Choose plants with wide leaves that crested geckos can hide under or cling to. Fake plants from craft stores and dollar stores are fine, but be careful they do not have any wires poking out or any decorations or glittery bits that can come off. Pet stores carry very nice and realistic plastic plants. These are easiest to clean and last the longest.

Real plants can also be used. If you use a natural substrate they can be planted into the soil. If you choose paper towel, you can provide small potted plants and swap them out if they get droopy or trampled. Pothos is the best choice, as it grows well in pretty much any setup. Snakeplant is a tall-growing plant that is strong enough to hold an adult gecko.

Feeding Supplies

You definitely need to provide a bowl for Repashy CGD or other prepared diet. This can be as simple as a water bottle cap for baby geckos or ceramic bowls for adults.

When feeding multiple geckos, it makes sense to make their food ahead of time and refrigerate for a week or so. A shaker bottle (used for protein shakes) is perfect for this!

A calcium dust supplement is necessary only if you are feeding insects such as crickets. Gutload is also important when feeding insects!

Watering Supplies

Crested geckos need high humidity, but not constant humidity. You want to spray or mist them with a common spray bottle enough to wet the inside of the enclosure and form droplets on the sides of the tank and the plants and other decor. The geckos mostly drink water this way at night, so it makes sense to spray at night and let the tank dry out during the day.

A water bowl (again, bottle cap or ceramic bowl) is good insurance when you leave for more than 24 hours. It can also help raise the humidity in screen top enclosures. Buying distilled water is good for avoiding water spots or hard water buildup on glass, but filtered home drinking water will be fine for your geckos.

Cleaning Supplies

Paper towels are great for cleaning, whether or not you use them as a substrate or simply use them to wipe down your tanks! Paper towels are the best cheap crested gecko supplies, as the tubes can be used as a hide when you’ve used up all the towels! Use a separate Kritter Keeper or bin to house your geckos when you clean their permanent enclosure. This can also be used for travel and vet visits.

You should spot clean and replace paper towel substrate weekly. For natural substrates, you can spot clean weekly and turn the soil. Replace monthly depending on mold growth or bad smell. If you have a bioactive terrarium, you do not need to clean anything other than the glass, as insects and microbes in the soil break down the wastes.

Use Chlorhexidine (available online, see Resources) as a pet-safe cleaner and disinfectant. You simply spray and wipe down. Rinse as necessary, but Chlorhexidine is safe to use without rinsing. If your crested gecko had an illness, it is important to make sure it is completely disinfected and washed thoroughly. Bleach is most effective; use a 1:10 bleach solution of one part bleach to 10 parts water. Let sit for 5-10 minutes and be sure to rinse until no bleach smell remains. Also disinfect when putting a new animal in a cage that was previously occupied by ANY other animal to prevent cross-species infections or parasites.

Vinegar and water (50:50) or just vinegar can be used to clean glass – do not use Windex or other glass cleaners on the inside of your enclosure. You can wet a paper towel with vinegar or use a SEPARATE spray bottle to saturate the glass. Do not use too much as it can damage live plants.

Crested Gecko Supplies List

All of these gecko supplies can be found in pet stores, online, or local grocery stores. Check out our Reptile Resources page for our favorite online suppliers!

  • Cage
  • Temporary housing for vet trips and cleaning
  • Crested Gecko Food
  • Hides (at least one per gecko)
  • Perching spots
  • Plants
  • Food Bowls
  • Water bowl (optional but good idea)
  • Spray bottles
  • Paper towels
  • Cleaners (Chlorhexidine, bleach, vinegar)
  • Distilled water (optional)
  • Thermometer (optional)
  • Hygrometer (optional)
  • Insect dust & gutload (if feeding insects)
  • Gram scale for weights in .1 gram increments

See our Crested Gecko Health page for first aid supplies and other health information.

53 thoughts on “Crested Gecko Supplies

  1. I am new to the world of owning crested geckos so I was woundering if you could tell me some tips if you have any.
    Thanks, and it would help alot.

    • There is quite a lot to learn about crested geckos, but they are an easy species to keep compared to other reptiles. Browse the site and feel free to ask any specific questions you may have!

  2. When I use bottle caps (from a juice bottle) as food containers, is rinsing them okay, or do I need to wash them with non-toxic hand or dish soap first?

    • If it’s not overly sticky rinsing can be fine. If it feels sticky or smells too much like juice or soda (or has a funk to it) better to be safe and wash with dish soap. Good luck! :)

  3. Hi
    I might be getting a Crested Gecko and on the internet and things iv leant alot. I heard that you can mix CGD with blended fruit can you ?
    If you can can u help me ? Thanks :)

    • I wouldn’t recommend mixing CGD with fruit more than once or twice a month. It can really skew the proper nutrition. Use it only as a treat, not a regular feeding! :)

  4. i just got my crested gecko yesterday, and have her in a kritter carrier and when i bought her she didnt have a tail. Is that going to lead to any heath problems with my gecko?

    • Nope! Geckos without tails get along just fine. She’s less likely to have twisted hips that can result from Floppy Tail Syndrome because she doesn’t have a tail! :) Have fun with your new gecko! :)

  5. Hi my name is Mark and I have a 5 month old Creted Gecko who does not seem to be eating? When I first got him he was eating crickets and I stopped and started with Rapashy. He doesn’t seem to like it although he licks it off his nose when I try to hand feed him. He will not take more then a lick or two. I’m concerned that he is hungry although he is very active when I take him out. He has not shed yet and I have had him for a month. The enclosure is nicely covered and is plenty humid as I spray several times a day. He has clear eyes but his skin looks a bit loose, like you can see his ribs. Can you suggest anything?

    • Unfortunately switching from crickets or baby food onto Repashy can be challenging. If he’s healthy and active and not losing a lot of weight, the best thing to do is to go cold turkey and play the waiting game. I’ve had one gecko go about 6 weeks without eating but she’s a good eater now.

      Some things you can do is to add some honey to the CGD. I wouldn’t go babyfood or fruit just because you want him to get used to the CGD. You can try the Repashy Day Gecko Diet, it is a bit sweeter than regular CGD but it’s the same nutrition otherwise. You can also “dust” a cricket or two in dry CGD or dunk them in wet CGD to get him used to it as a food source.

      Also, try not to handle him too much as this can stress him and keep him from eating as well. Good luck! :)

  6. Im thinking about getting a crested again because my older ones died by disease i had a pure dalmation and a flame and i was wondering what an appropiate cage size would be for an adult

    • A 20 gallon large, put up vertically so they can climb, is perfect for an adult. You can also get a Zoo Med or Exo Terra terrarium, the 18X18X24 is great for one adult or a trio (one male, 2 females or 3 females), but you need to keep an eye on them because not all geckos get along!

  7. Hi!
    I have had my Crestie for about 5 months now. It’s still only about 5inches total. Great so far. She is in a tank 12X12X18H. I just purchased an aluminum/mesh cage from Sandfire that is 48″ high. Is that too big? I had a python before and understand that placing young ones in a bigger place can freighten them into actually dying.
    Is this possible with my gecko? Or is it the taller the better?
    Also, how do you keep the live plants when you need to fertilize them? Can I have 2 or 3 different ones potted and rotate them? Like- 1 in the tank, one out. Rotating each month to fertilize… I’m sure Miracle Gro can’t be good for a reptile lol :). Would that allow enough time between the fertilizations though?
    Thank you!

    • I think the 12X12X18 is a good size for now. What are the full dimensions for the Sandfire cage? Once your gecko is fully grown, you should be able to use very large enclosures without an issue, as long as it’s set up properly with plenty of hides and multiple feeding stations.

      You can rotate potted plants to make sure they get sufficient light and fertilization. I would use an organic fertilizer, which can have a bad odor, on the plants and rotate them every two weeks, ensuring there’s about a month between fertilizing and placing them in the tank. However, if you have a fully planted tank with a “bio-active” live soil with various decomposing organisms like springtails, redworms and isopods, you can use them to convert animal wastes into natural, virtually odor-free fertilizer. Using easy to grow plants like pothos and snake plant make it very easy to care for both your tank and your gecko. The only complications from a planted tank are the possibility of ingesting soil if you feed bugs in the enclosure and from breeding females laying eggs everywhere! This reduces the likelihood of hatching, and parents may eat their offspring so it’s not the best set up for breeding.

      Good luck with your crestie! :)

  8. THIS WEBSITE TELLS YOU TO CLEAN THE VIVARIUM WITH BLEACH… DO NOT DO THIS AS IT CAN SERIOUSLY HARM YOUR GECKO OR ANY OTHER REPTILE THAT MAY BE IN CONTACT WITH BLEACH!!!!

    • Bleach can be harmful if it comes in direct contact with the gecko (or any animal). However, it also is a great way to disinfect tanks and cage furnishings. You must be sure to rinse thoroughly after cleaning. There are other alternatives to bleach, such as chlorhexidine, which is not as caustic to the skin.

  9. My mom is thinking about getting me a crested gecko and I want one really badly but I have not the slightest clue of what you need for them. Here’s the list I’ve made so far:
    10 gallon cage
    food
    hiding spots
    perching spots
    1-2 plants
    food bowl
    water bowl
    thermometer
    substrate
    light dome
    day light bulb
    heating pad

    • If you are starting with a small baby, you could keep him in a medium Kritter Keeper, they tend to do better in smaller spaces plus you can use it as a temporary enclosure during cleaning or to take the gecko to the vet, etc. You might want to get more plants, and have the tank set up 50% covered and 50% open for jumping around. Make sure you have Repashy Crested Gecko Diet for the food, as well as calcium dust for crickets if you feed live food. Remember to keep them around room temperature and not go over 80 degrees. You’ll also want a spray bottle for nightly misting. You can use household bleach for deep cleaning, but if you want to get some chlorhexidine cleaner that is a great option and is completely pet safe. Good luck!

    • 12X12X18 should be fine until he’s full adult size. That tank can be a little cramped for a full grown crested gecko, depending on how much decor you have in there. It’s fine for temporary housing, but ultimately a 20 gallon tank or a bigger ZooMed/ExoTerra would be better.

  10. now i’ve got 4 crested geckos :). my youngest is kinda “squirrely”, can you tell me a good way to handle it? (sorry for bad English)

    • You can try handling in the afternoons before his active period. Always handle at a table or on the floor so he doesn’t jump and fall to the floor as this could cause an injury (usually it doesn’t). “Hand walking” is the best way to get them used to you. Build up to handling slowly, during cage cleaning a couple times a week. Every new arrival should have a week or two of no handling to let them settle in. They are usually the most scared right when you get them. Most usually calm down after a while! Good luck!

    • Generally, unless your home is under 70 degrees you don’t really need a heat mat. If you do use one, you can put it to the side of the tank, which allows for them to move away from the heat. They don’t need “belly heat” like other reptiles, they just need to be warm enough to eat and be active. They like it around 75 degrees.

    • A mature or sub-adult gecko will develop a bulge at the base of his tail. This houses his hemipenes – the reproductive organs. If the gecko is still young, it doesn’t develop a bulge but may have small pores near the vent and along the legs. It’s hard to see with the naked eye so you would use a magnifying glass, a jeweler’s loupe or take a close-up picture and zoom in on that area to see the pores. Hope this helps!

  11. I just got my daughter an Albino Leopard Gecko he is so beautiful. Now I have been learning alot about Geckos but the question I keep asking no one really gives me a straight answer.

    They have sand in the tank right now. Should I continue with the regular sand or give him calcium sand?

    Thanking you in advance for your help!

    • Never use calcium sand, it sticks together in their intestines and can cause eye irritation. Even “regular” play sand has its drawbacks. Many people suggest using just slate (flat stones) as a substrate, with a sprinkling of sand to fill in the cracks. If they eat sand (while chasing food, for example) they may not be able to pass it. However, most leos do fine on sand or sand & soil mixtures. I don’t keep leos but we do keep Uromastyx lizards, which are a desert dweller, and prefer to keep them on either dirt/sand mix with slate, or on bird seed. Good luck with your gecko!

  12. Oops! I more question I just purchased a 20 gallon tank for my Gecko but it was used for a turtle. Someone told me I can clean the tank with 50/50 hot water/vinegar. Then rinse it out about 15 times with hot water so I may put our Gecko in it. Is this okay to do please?

    • I would recommend using a 10% bleach solution and then rinsing very well. Vinegar alone will not kill all the germs. Sunlight may, so you can do the vinegar/water mix and then let it dry in the sun for about 8 hours and it may help. It really depends on what kind of bacteria, virii or parasites are present from the turtle.

  13. What do I need to have a healthy eyelash crested gecko. Please tell me everything I need cause I want him to live as long as possible. I have a 10 and 20 gallon tank.

    • There is a lot to tell about crested geckos! I can sum up by do as much reading as you can online, as many of the books available are out of date or don’t contain the best information. You can start with our Care Guide. How big is your gecko? If he’s still small, a 10 gallon tank is fine, but as an adult the 20 gallon will work better. Always pay attention to the food you feed – Repashy Crested Gecko Diet (CGD) is currently one of the best foods available and I recommend you start with that. You should feed live bugs that have been gutloaded on fresh fruits and veggies and dusted with a calcium powder with small amounts of vitamin D3. Spray him every night and have a water bowl and feed CGD every other night, with bugs once a week as an option. Good luck with your gecko! :)

    • The average size for a crested gecko is generally 40-45 grams, but much like people, adult cresties can be smaller or larger than that average. They can continue to gain weight gradually as they age, so there’s no real “ideal” weight. You need to look at body condition to see if they are underweight or overweight – both conditions come with health problems. Some males tend to stay around 25 grams for a while and then gradually gain more over time. Females tend to gain egg weight when they are reproducing. It can take about 2 years to get to adult size, but there are fast and slow growers as well. I like to wait until the females are 2 years old and over 35 grams before they breed.

  14. Hi,
    I’m thinking about getting crested geckos and I’ve done loads of research, but I’m wondering weather the two types, fancy and eyelash geckos have a difference. I was thinking of getting three females, one fancy and the other two eyelash ones. Is there a difference between them except for looks and will they do well together? Also I have plants called tillandsia, or air plants, that I want to put into my cresteds terrarium, but l’m not sure if they are safe for them. I’m also going to but plants with larger leaves.
    Will peat moss soil work as substrate?

    • Fancy Crested Geckos and Eyelash Crested Geckos are the exact same species. Pet stores often use the term “fancy” to refer to ones with more pattern but there is no consistency in labeling – they are all the same! Housing females together depends on their temperament so we recommend always being prepared to separate if you have to because they can fight and hurt each other. Some geckos just prefer to live alone!

      We’ve used tillandsia in tanks before, and really like them. But they can become trampled by an active gecko so they are best attached in corners where they are more secure. From what I’ve read, they are non-toxic and shouldn’t hurt the geckos.

      If you are going to have live plants directly in the substrate, you’ll want a good soil mixture that can support their nutrient needs. Just peat moss doesn’t have enough, and it tends to be dry and clumpy on its own. We mix it or coco fiber with organic soil. Here are some tips we have on substrate: http://www.moonvalleyreptiles.com/crested-geckos/housing/crested-gecko-substrates

      Good luck!

  15. I was wondering if you could start out with a 20 gallon tank for babies, or if you have to start with a 10 gallon tank, then upgrade to bigger when they grow.

    • The supplies, excluding an enclosure, are around $50. Food will be around $20 a year for one adult gecko, depending on where you live and if you have shipping costs.

  16. Hi, I have read different things in different places, is it ok to use tap water for spraying/their dish? Thanks, Abbie.

    • The short answer is that it is probably safe if the water is safe for humans and other pets. Filtered tap water is preferred. We have a detailed post about chlorinated water that can provide more information on the topic.

  17. Are live insects, calcium/D3 supplement, or UVB lighting absolutely necessary for crested Geckos? I also read it’s good to give them fresh mashed fruit like bananas and apricots. Is this good for them or should only be given every once in awhile?

    • They are not technically necessary to keep the animal alive. Many, however, will thrive with live food that is properly supplemented and the presence of a UVB bulb in a well-planted tank. If you are going to feed insects, you MUST dust them with a calcium supplement with a low-level of D3. UVB will provide light that can be converted to D3 in the body, but there aren’t accurate studies showing this provides all of their requirements in captivity. Mashed fruit should only be included once a month to the diet to avoid malnutrition and to avoid them holding out for these treats if fed more often.

  18. My geko I’ve had aprox 5 months has grown somewhat but still seems very skittish we have not been able to handle yet .. it’s just started eating properly I just want to ask how can I handle them as I need to change the soil in tank and I’m scared of hurting them .. it has already dropped it’s tail at me when trying coax it out of bk ov tank backing ..

    • Hi Emma! Some take longer to adjust to handling than others. The key is to remain calm and gentle with them, they will not respond well to sudden movements and grabbing. Check out our Handling page for more tips!

  19. Hello!

    Do they need lights?!?

    And if my home temp changes drastic often will a heating pad under the tank be good?

    Im setting up a 10gal long not vertical. I’m not going to use live plants yet but I do want to use the hydro balls because I heard if I have the hydro balls, water, a screen, then eco earth , and a heating pad at the bottom would help the tank stay moist and warm… but I just read from you that the tank should have time to dry in between mistings

    Shold I skip on the hydro balls & heat pad and just do a lightly heated lamp bulb?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Jessica! They don’t need lights as long as they have a day/night cycle provided by normal lighting in the room, either by sunlight or lamps. With a small tank like a 10 gallon (I recommend at least 20g for adults), I would avoid an under tank heater. It’s hard to allow for a heat gradient in a 10 gallon tank, so if you use a light make sure you monitor the temps. Their tanks should be around 75 degrees, so not really warm at all. If it gets down to 65, that’s fine. It should never get warmer than 80 inside a tank that small. You don’t have to go the route of hydro balls if you aren’t doing live plants as long as the tank doesn’t stay wet all the time. These are all reasons why a larger setup is better. Good luck!

  20. So I am going to use fake plants and vines but I was also wondering if I could use aquarium decoration like rock and tree structures? I would rather not use real rocks and branches because I don’t want to have to worry about cleaning them and there are some structures in the aquarium aisle I would like to use. Also, there are some stone huts that look like something from the desert (like for leopard geckos) that I like the look of, would those be OK for cresties or should I just stick to fake plants?

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