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Crested Gecko(Correlophus ciliatus) Care
 

Introduction:   

Crested Geckos have become one of the most popular reptiles kept in the Uk.  Reason being, they come in different interesting morphs, they have great character, and their ease of care. 

Some reptiles and amphibians can be hard to take care of as they have nutrient or environmental needs that can be quite challenging, especially for new reptile owners.

Compared  to White Tree Frogs, I found the Crested Geckos to be  a walk in the park.  I highly recommend them as a beginner reptile.

Most exotic keepers do put Bearded Dragons as a beginner reptile but they have a relatively high temperature, which can be difficult to maintain.  

Housing:

Crested Geckos require a medium-sized terriuam, ideally one that is taller than wider. They are semi-arboreal, meaning they love to climb. The adequate sized enclosure for an adult Crested Gecko is 45cm( deep), 60cm(tall), 45cm wide. However, for neonate Crested Geckos, you should keep them in a smaller viv or cricket pen. The reason for this, is the younger ones will not be able to find their food in a bigger space, and they are more likely to fall and hurt themselves than the adults.

Crested Geckos can be kept alone and together. However, these groups would have to  be all female. If you keep males together they will become territorial and fight each other. I also recommend that you keep crested geckos together that are of a similar age. 

Always use a glass enclosure. These are more ventilated than the wooden ones, which keep an awful lot of heat inside. Despite what people think, Crested Geckos do not require a lot of heat. The required heat for them is  25 degrees Celsius to approx 28. It can be 22 degrees Celsius at night.

In the summer and late spring, I do not use the heat mat to provide these temperatures as it is already warm enough. However, in the winter I use a heat mat. Remember do not put the whole thing underneath the glass viv. I normally  slide it under so that only half of the vivs is heated, so that my little Pharoah has a cold and warm side. Too much heat will cause stress and is bad for your Crested Gecko.

Lights also help provide  higher temperatures. I would get UV lights (25 watts, no more than this!). The lights will help with Vitamin D3  absorption, which in turn prevents metabolic bone disease. 

Diet:

Crested Geckos are omnivores. They require a specialized powered mix, which contains all the dietary requirements they need.  I highly recommend you use Repashy as they have a range of flavours such as Grub Pie, sometimes cricket and strawberry.  There was a trend where reptile keepers were feeding their crested geckos baby food. Please do not feed them this: IT  DOES NOT CONTAIN THE CORRECT DIERTARY REQUIREMTS FOR THEM!!

Making up the Crested Gecko diet Powder

The powder needs to be mixed with  water. Use Dechlorinated water.  Mix water in a little deli cup until its thickened into a past resembling baby food.

Other Dietary requirements

Live feed  is to be provided on occasional( x1 a week). Note that some geckos do not take to direct live feed. If this is the case, you can  purchase Gecko mixed with insects inside them as well as fruit.

Provide water in a deli dish in  a small canopy as well as the food.  The water will have to be dechlorinated it. You can either use a water conditioner suited to reptiles such as reptisafe or a most cost saving option is to boil water on a hob for 30 mins and leave to cool for an hour. This will get rid of any chlorine.

 

Behaviour and Handling:

Crested Geckos are one of the most docile reptiles on the market.  They are easy to handle and rarely bite.  However, you can not get them out longer than 15-20 mins otherwise they will get stressed and sometimes overheated. 

They are interesting to watch.  Crested Geckos are nocturnal and roam around at night. It is important to feed them during the night for this reason. 

Always watch for your Geckos feeding habits. Sometimes before Crested Geckos shed or after they go off eating. However, if they continue not to eat I would consult your vet as this can indicate poor health.

Caring for babies:

Caring for neonates is similar to looking after adults, however there are some differences. Baby Geckos are so tiny when they first hatch. It is best to leave them for a few hours( 12-24 hours). Sometimes they just settle in the egg. 

1.  Enclosure: The neonate gecko needs to be placed in a small container so it can find its food easily. I recommend a small to medium cricket pen. Then, as the gecko grows you can upgrade the enclosure space.  

2.  Diet- The babies can be fed the powder diet like the adults. However, they requie more

3-  Substrate- The substrate to the enclosure should be simple: kitchen roll, toilet roll. Bu having something clear, it will allow you to see if your gecko is defecating, which means it would have been eating also.  It is best not to use soil, just in case your gecko swallows the dirt, therefore causing impactation.

4. Temperature and Humidity : Similar  temperature to adults 22 °C-27°C during the day, and at night  around 20°C-23°C.   Humidity needs to be very high to allow a full and healthy shed. If it is not humid enough,  they will have an incomplete shed.  It is best to have a humdity of 50%-80%. I would actually slightly keep it more towards sixty, that way if the humidity does drop, it doesn't reach a dangerous level. 

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