Newest Review: ... is thought to be somewhere between 15 and 25 years. These gecko's do not need a constant source of heat like many other reptiles do, ... more
The PERFECT pet reptile?
New Caledonian Crested Gecko
Member Name: sambo1984
New Caledonian Crested Gecko
Advantages: easy to feed, cheap to keep, very freindly
Disadvantages: females are expensive and cant sex them will about 8 months old
Crested geckos are named so due to the unique 'crests' that look like eyelashes round their eyes and go down the sides of their backs. These are actually soft as is their skin and they feel like velvet to touch. They feel very delicate because of the texture of their skin but they are not too fragile, if you pull on their tail they will drop it and unlike geckos such as the leopard gecko they will not re-grow their tail. Most wild cresties do not have a tail anyway so dropping their tail is no problem, when they do have their tails in captivity they can get what's called floppy tail syndrome where the gecko no longer can move it so it flops down. It doesn't really affect the gecko, it is just a result of captivity as in the wild they wouldn't be contained in tanks but in their cages they spend a lot of their time clinging to the walls of the tank where the weight of the tail to causes it droop.
Cresties eat a food called Crested Gecko Diet (CGD) which in the UK comes in original form which has recently been changes, it was Banana flavour but now it has been re-blended and is a combination of Rose, Strawberry and Mango, sounds yummy! This is sold in little tubs from most good exotics pet shops or you can order it online. There is also a 2-part system which you can order from America which allows you to choose which flavour you will be feeding to your gecko so you can offer a variety to their diet, it comes in the following flavours;
I have personally tried Banana, Rose, Strawberry, Apricot, Peach and Cherry and I haven't noticed a massive preference but I like to offer them the variety. Some people say Rose, Strawberry, Fig and Cherry are their gecko's favourites but I really think this varies with each gecko and can't be generalised.
To mix up this diet it depends on how you feed your gecko. If you are using the original diet, mix 2 parts water to one part water (by volume) but you might need more or less water, you want it to be the texture of baby food.
If feeding the 2 part system, if you are feeding this as a complete diet with no supplements mix it 60/40 (Base/Nectar) by WEIGHT and add the required amount of water to get the right texture. If you are feeding dusted insects a few times a week then you mix the diet 50/50 (Base/Nectar) again by WEIGHT. You can mix this up in advance and store it in the fridge or if you have only mixed a small amount then room temp is ok for this (the fridge just makes it last longer, about a year, but it is fine at room temp if you don't intend to take more than a few months using it up)
I feed my geckos about half a teaspoon of CGD a night as mine are not full grown and they don't eat all of this, I change it every night/every other night. Cresties have quite small stomachs as youngsters (about a ¼ the size of a pea) so if you can't see they have eaten the diet, if they are pooping, don't worry. I supplement my cresties diet with live food. I personally adore giving them calcigrubs as these are very high in calcium and they LOVE them, for youngsters get size small, for sub adults/adults, you will want size large. I also give them small locusts (the locusts i dust with pure calcium powder, i use calypso brand but there are others out there, just make sure it is 100% pure calcium, calcium worms don't need dusting as they are high enough in calcium as they are). To dust your insects, put them in a plastic bag, put a pinch of calcium powder in, shake and serve  Other insects that you can feed include small cockroaches, crickets, silkworms, butter worms and wax worms (keep the wax worms as a treat as they are very high in fat and are like chocolate to them, they will refuse other food if fed too many). Gut load your feeder insects by using a high quality 'bug grub' or feeding them weetabix or porridge oats with fresh vegetables and calcium/vitamin powder for at least 24 hours before feeding your reptile, this ensures maximum nutrition is gained.
Feed your gecko live food (if you are feeding live food) once or twice a week and don't feed too many as they will refuse their CGD and this is what has all the vitamins and minerals they need. With calcium worms you can apparently leave a constant supply of these and they will still eat their CGD (this is what Allen Repashy says, the man who invented CGD) although I tend to give them a few every other day just in case. If you feed live food to your crestie, they will grow bigger and stronger a lot quicker than if fed CGD alone but they do not REQUIRE live food, although they certainly do enjoy it.
With regard to housing I use specially built Crested Gecko Cages I import from America although the company I get them from is FAR from reliable so perhaps it is best to stick to UK companies although in the UK the choice is limited. You basically have to get an exo-terra glass faunarium which I like the look of but hate the weight which is why I go for the lighter weight American ones. The most important thing with a crestie cage is height as they are arboreal and like to climb to a cage taller than it is wide is ideal. Babies should be housed in smaller cages, the small plastic faunarium is perfect for a very young baby, and then you can move it up to its adult cage when it is bigger. In terms of decorating your cage, lots of fake vines and plants are brilliant; the sign of a good crestie cage is that it is hard to find them. Remember to mist your geckos cage morning and evening (depending on how humid the place you live is, it should have the opportunity to fully dry out, you want a humidity cycle so a light misting is perfect once or twice a day. You can set up a misting system to do this also if you want. It is advised to use de-chlorinated water (there are special liquids you can use that do this or leave the water for 24 hours in a cup) your crestie will drink the droplets of water created by misting but leave a water bowl too so they can drink from that too if they wish, change the water in their bowl regularly. For a substrate, I prefer to put paper towel on the base of my cage so there is no chance the crestie can ingest any substrate and cause impaction but some people put adults on coco fibre as it helps hold humidity. Just be careful your crestie isn't eating this and perhaps put some large stones over the top so that most of the substrate is hidden to prevent this. If anyone wants a picture of my setup feel free to PM me and I can help you or give you advice.
It is always best to house your crestie individually so as to prevent fighting and bullying and NEVER house 2 males together as they will definitely fight and may even kill each other. You can sex your crestie from about 8 months old which is when the males will start to obviously show their femoral pores and drop their hemipenis, there will be some very large noticeable bulges at the base of a male's tail, females do not have this. Experienced breeders will be able to sex their cresties younger than this using a jeweller's loupe to look for pores.
It is guessed that cresties live for 15-20 years, the exact life span isn't known since they were only recently re discovered. They are easy to keep, require no special lighting or heating, just room temperature is usually fine or if your house is especially cold you can put a heat mat on the wall or use a bulb (WITH A BULB GUARD or putting it outside the enclosure) attached to a thermostat set to about 75-80 (MAX) as temperatures above 83F for a long period WILL kill your crestie as they go into hypothermic shock. Therefore a good digital thermometer and thermostat is essential if providing additional heat. They can go down to 60F at night as long as during the day they can warm up to between 70-80F. Do not provide light at night so use a red bulb if you want to keep them heated at night and are using a heat lamp as they cannot see red and as cresties are nocturnal a light will confuse them and prevent them from coming out to hunt/eat. If using a bulb make sure the crestie has a cooler area of the cage to retreat to so they do not overheat providing a temperature gradient.
Crested geckos are very friendly and tolerate handling well which make these a good reptile for children to keep also. As long as you hold them gently and do not pull on their tail they will be fine. Remember that crested geckos do jump and can jump quite far so make sure they won't have a long distance to fall if they jump off your hand and remember that the jumping could startle a young child.
Overall I would say crested geckos make a brilliant pet reptile, they are friendly, easy to feed, cheap to keep (as they don't require high temperatures and UV lighting), they are fun to watch jump about their enclosures as night and come in a variety of lovely colours and patterns. The perfect pet!!
Summary: brilliant pet!!
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