Crested Geckos are an excellent choice for novice reptile owners. They are friendly, hardy and generally require no lighting as long as they are kept at room temperature. Reaching a size of about 6-8 inches, Crested Geckos do not require a huge terrarium (10-20 gallons is fine) and are very easy to breed if you would like to experience hatching out some babies.
My Cresties have grown very friendly over the years. They now recognize people as their source of food and eagerly wait at the front of their terrariums for their nightly feedings.
Crested Geckos thrive on an alternating diet of live crickets and prepared Crested Gecko diet. Make sure to feed your gecko when he is awake in the evening, providing no more crickets than he will eat in 5-10 minutes and no more prepared diet than he will eat in one night. Also at night, lightly mist his terrarium with lukewarm water to ensure a proper humidity and to provide a source of drinking water. Your gecko will probably lick the water off the glass of the terrarium so make sure to keep it pretty clean.
Your Crested Gecko’s terrarium should consist of a mulch or coconut fibre or paper towel substrate, a few decorative plants and some sort of hiding/sleeping area. Crested Geckos thrive in a temperate environment so keep him at room temperature.
Keeping your Crestie’s terrarium clean is fairly easy. Simply empty it out, disinfect it and the ornaments and fill it up with fresh substrate on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Make sure to use a fairly gentle disinfectant and to rinse it out thoroughly afterwards.
Crested Geckos are nocturnal and as such would prefer to be handled in the evening. Make sure to make slow movements when handling your Crestie so that you do not scare him. Otherwise he may drop his tail as a defence mechanism! Also, before picking him up make sure he is awake and knows you are there. Cresties are great jumpers so you may want to anticipate sudden jumps, especially if he isn’t used to being handled. Limit handling him to no more than 5 minutes or so to avoid stressing him out.
If you would like to breed your geckos, please keep in mind that you will have to find a home for the two newborn babies. Bearing that in mind, breeding them is fairly simple. All you need is a mature male (he’s the one with the bulge by his tail) and a mature female of the same size and they will surely lay eggs provided they get along with one another. The eggs can be incubated by gently moving them over to a deli container lined with a 1 inch depth of damp Vermiculite (To ensure the correct amount of dampness, squeeze the Vermiculite into a ball. It’s perfect If it holds its shape without dripping water.) Place the eggs on the Vermiculite and seal the container (the lid should have some ventilation holes). Keep the eggs at room temperature, checking and adjusting the dampness of the Vermiculite periodically and you should have some baby Cresties in a couple of months!
All in all, Crested Geckos are definitely one of the best choices for a pet reptile and should provide you with many years of enjoyment.