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Old 07-21-2013, 05:36 PM   #1 
Pataflafla
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Crested Geckos?

Just got my first crested gecko today. He's an itty bitty baby and we just got him in his tank. Housing him in a ~25 gallon tall hexagon tank with a black background.

It's not perfect temp yet, but it's steadily rising to about 73 right now with the heat lamp. Humidity is going nuts too.

He's got an organic soil bottom with 2 tall drift wood chunks to climb up along with all live plants.

We have a Mini Adam Ivy (Hedera helix), Neanthe Bella Palm (Chamaedorea elegans), Green Philodendron (Philodendron scandens), and a fern.

We'll be feeding him crickets, fruits, and pill bugs once we order them to take care of clean-up.

so far we've got some crickets loading up on some papaya along with just a small chunk of is in the tank with him in case he wants to snack while he settles in.
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Old 07-23-2013, 02:45 PM   #2 
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there are a few thing you can do to care for your new gecko.
Most importantly is to limit contact with the gecko for 2-3 weeks for him to get used to the home. they will be shy for the most part when put in a new home. a baby gecko is a bit more challenging to take care of as you might need to hand water him until he gets the idea. ie letting him lick drops of water from your hand/finger. when you reach for him for the first time don't touch him yet. start with your hands within close proximity ands when he's used to you more then you can try picking him up. 15minutes a day handling is the best choice when its possible.

first is tank size and weight, if he's under 20G then something around 3-5 g will be better for him. they need to be able to smell their food to find it. anything too big and too fast will hinder him from smelling/finding food, preferably Rephashy CGD meal replacement powder. (mix powder with a bit of water for milkshake consistency). you should get a weight scale that can measure 0.1 grams or less though normal kitchen food scales (1g accuracy would suffice). paper towel is very useful in this case as you can monitor his droppings more easily to verify he's eating.

your current housing for him is just fine if he's a adult gecko but not all geckoes can jump into a full size enclosure right away. 10g tanks often are good for juvies but 20-25g are just fine for adults.

food for the crested geckoes is mainly CGD with an occasional treat of gutloaded crickets. crickets don't have too much nutrional values to feed him exclusively. they're low in calcium and he can develop metabolic bone disease (MBD) for insufficient calcium. D3 calcium dust is needed when feeding them crickets to off set this imbalance. they might eat cricket for their whole time lifetime and some might get bore of them (like mine.) don't feed any insect that isn't larger than his head width.

baby food is a nono (MBD risks, and high sugar content) but Rephashy crested gecko MRP is a complete meal supplement. day gecko formula also is ok to feed. with CGD crickets do remain a personal option for food as you can feed them exclusively on CGD without touching crickets. a sufficient meal replacement powder for crested geckoes is a must to keep them leave them alive and healthy. there are 2 other brands which are ok to feed him (forgot names). they can go 10days to 2 weeks without food but they wont let themselves starve themselves.

dubia roaches or phoenix worms are very good for them. worms' calcite shell can lead to impaction so freshly molted are best. though worms are still high in fat to be fed too often. dubia roaches are very quiet and clean, some geckoes eat them some don't. you might not be able to keep them in some housing establishments.

humidity is important, 90-50% cycle daily. one that remains too humid may develop mould problems. it sounds like you have sufficient plant cover and climbing spaces. what sort of hygrometer/thermometer do you have atm?

next is substrate. if under 20g go with paper towel to avoid ingestion of substrate which can lead to impaction in the digestive system. you could keep him on paper towel as substrate for his whole life but its personal choice as fine cocoa husk is fine when they get bigger.

they need a temp 72-80F they can survive short periods over 80F but its dangerous in long term as they might die. the heat lamp is also optional but there's no problem with it if you don surpass the temperature parameters

sorry if its a lot of info and im sure I forgot some stuff to mention but it sounds like you have a very good grasp on how to take care of them properly. theres a very good forum website for the Rhacodactylus family of geckoes I can tell you about if you want to know it

Last edited by nel3; 07-23-2013 at 02:52 PM.
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Old 07-25-2013, 01:00 AM   #3 
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It's not a problem. All the info helps.

He's actually quite used to handling already. he was nervous his first day, but now he's pretty easy to get a hold of for feeding. We put him in an empty container for feeding with gut loaded crickets and he seems to really be interested in just those. We gut load them with fruit mixes for geckos along with dust them with calcium and multivitamin. My sister just picked up some more specific fruit based food for him in the mean time until the food she wants for him arrives.

For the substrate we are using an organic potting soil for the plants and so far he's chosen to hang out in the fern and on the driftwood mostly. He does not eat in his tank other than in a small feeding dish near the top that holds his fruit based food and water.

His poops are definitely solid as he pooped before dinner tonight and it was a pretty big one. He's not fond of papaya, but I think he was only being fed crickets at Petsmart. We added calcium and D3 to his diet already and gut load the crickets with it as well as with the fruits we want him to be eating.

Humidity near the top of the tank usually sits around the 60-70% range and gets to about 45-50% early morning before we mist and turn on the heating lamp to make sure the temps are correct.We only keep the lamp on for about an hour after misting to the water doesn't cool down the tank too much. Temp stays pretty steady in the low to mid 70s where he likes to hang out. bit colder near the top when the lamp isn't on, but perfect near the bottom.

We will be getting some pill bugs for clean up as well once he starts producing more waste. Hopefully he'll find them a tasty little snack for him as well.

He's a neat little guy, but I'm pretty sure he's only a few months old at the max. He's a very vibrant red.

Last edited by Pataflafla; 07-25-2013 at 01:05 AM.
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Old 07-25-2013, 07:54 PM   #4 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pataflafla View Post
It's not a problem. All the info helps.

He's actually quite used to handling already. he was nervous his first day, but now he's pretty easy to get a hold of for feeding. We put him in an empty container for feeding with gut loaded crickets and he seems to really be interested in just those. We gut load them with fruit mixes for geckos along with dust them with calcium and multivitamin. My sister just picked up some more specific fruit based food for him in the mean time until the food she wants for him arrives.

For the substrate we are using an organic potting soil for the plants and so far he's chosen to hang out in the fern and on the driftwood mostly. He does not eat in his tank other than in a small feeding dish near the top that holds his fruit based food and water.

His poops are definitely solid as he pooped before dinner tonight and it was a pretty big one. He's not fond of papaya, but I think he was only being fed crickets at Petsmart. We added calcium and D3 to his diet already and gut load the crickets with it as well as with the fruits we want him to be eating.

Humidity near the top of the tank usually sits around the 60-70% range and gets to about 45-50% early morning before we mist and turn on the heating lamp to make sure the temps are correct.We only keep the lamp on for about an hour after misting to the water doesn't cool down the tank too much. Temp stays pretty steady in the low to mid 70s where he likes to hang out. bit colder near the top when the lamp isn't on, but perfect near the bottom.

We will be getting some pill bugs for clean up as well once he starts producing more waste. Hopefully he'll find them a tasty little snack for him as well.

He's a neat little guy, but I'm pretty sure he's only a few months old at the max. He's a very vibrant red.
that's good to know he's eating and tolerates handling already. crickets are fine and all though they might get picky and only eat them than any meal replacement powder. Allen Rephashy's crested gecko diet can be purchased at nearly any pet store and can last a very long time with only 1 gecko to eat it. ive had my 40z bag of cgd since I got him and have still 160g total weight (bag included). its ok to withhold live insects if he's resistant to eating CGD, he'll give in and eat that long with insects and fruits.

you'll have to be careful of which fruits you feed them. the calcium/phosphorus ratio is rather important. too much phosphorus is not good for them ie banana high in phosphorus but they love that stuff very much. banana are still the occasional treat rather than a regular fruit to feed them. there are some which are worse and better ones though gecko's palate may disagree. the usual foodfor the gecko is CGD but fruits are still ok to feed occasionally.

I don't know enough about geckoes myself to judge if potting soil is a viable substrate but it doesn't sound too harmful as long he wont dive down and eat them. the empty container for cricket feeding is very good as they wont eat any impaction risk substrate. I tried paper towel for the cricket box but he still managed to nail the paper towel.

they may also get tired of crickets if fed too often as mine 20 crickets evenly spread within 2 weeks and then a 2-3 month break before any more to buy. some may get tired as they get older but some never tire of crickets as long as they live.

do be careful where you place his terrarium ie sunlight. mines near a window for direct sunlight though I had to keep them partially shaded as the glass heats up with the sun. they can live in slightly colder temps though it doesn't help the immune system in the long run if they stay too cold for to long.

i'll pm you the useful forum for geckoes. that site also has a shopping area for geckoes, and products related to gecko care. BTW you may or may not know this but do be careful you don't grab the tail. they don't regrow for cresties (though other family geckoes do). a tailess gecko is not bad as they'll get used to new balance without tail. in the case of a tail drop, keep the nub clean to avoid infection and it'll heal up nicely.
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Old 07-26-2013, 02:47 AM   #5 
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We're very careful to try and avoid tail loss. If he grabs onto our hand with it we wait for him to let go to move to the next hand and gently coax him when he's in the tank.

My sister did order the Rephashy food from there and it should be here in about 2 weeks. He's shown no interest in touching the glass, but the heating lamp in elevated above the lid of the tank along with a few inches in between the tallest section of drift wood. We did switch to an aquarium light though for a little less harshness to the heat and light.

We got him a fruit bite mixture to eat as well, but I'm not sure if he's been eating that yet or not. The papaya was marketed as good for crested geckos, so we picked it up to start him out. He doesn't seem to like it though, but his crickets love it.
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Old 07-26-2013, 01:34 PM   #6 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pataflafla View Post
We're very careful to try and avoid tail loss. If he grabs onto our hand with it we wait for him to let go to move to the next hand and gently coax him when he's in the tank.

My sister did order the Rephashy food from there and it should be here in about 2 weeks. He's shown no interest in touching the glass, but the heating lamp in elevated above the lid of the tank along with a few inches in between the tallest section of drift wood. We did switch to an aquarium light though for a little less harshness to the heat and light.

We got him a fruit bite mixture to eat as well, but I'm not sure if he's been eating that yet or not. The papaya was marketed as good for crested geckos, so we picked it up to start him out. He doesn't seem to like it though, but his crickets love it.
I know exactly what you mean. sometimes I want to open the terrarium doors but hes right there in the middle so I have to open the top to mist inside. once I accidentally pinned 2 of his toes when closing 1 door for 3 seconds, he was struggling a bit but I caught the error right away.

I really do love these animals, they're cool and cute at the same time.

he should eventually get used to glass walking when he's used to his home. depending on the light and proximity to the top of the terrarium do be careful its not too close. I got my 18 inch cube exoterra 2nd hand, the previous leopard gecko?? terrarium light was a bit too close to the plastic framed mesh for minor melt areas. a few inches does sound like a good buffer from the terrarium top.

there are mechanical timers for small electric appliances that could be used for the heating lamp if you want to. I have one such for my aquarium light hoods.

you can store mixed cgd for a week in the fridge though mine got picky wihin the last few months and only likes fresh mixed (or 90% fresh mixed). you could always leave CGD out in the tank or lave it out after he's eaten. it depends how often he'll eat but CGD tends to dry out after a day or 2 due to the minimal water content for mixing.

since he's a young gecko do monitor his skin for shedding. some may forgo a meal prior to shedding. they do eat their old skin but sometimes stick sheds can occur and impair future growth if left alone. higher humidity and good humidity will ensure the smaller chances of stuck sheds. saunas and a wet q-tip can take care of the rest. a sauna is basically very low water level for him to soak the given areas to loosen the skin and rolling a wet q-tip on stuck shed areas will remove the old skin. don't force the old skin off, let it go naturally. I haven't really done a sauna but you don't surpass their temperature limits 22-28C. the people on the gecko forum site will tell you how to do it if its necessary.

I haven't had such skin shed issues before luckily. they will also tend to hide before and during their sheds so don't bother them too much if shedding is suspected. do expect growth spurts when they're young. you'll know it by the amount of food they'll eat. sometimes they'll eat more than normal to support the spurt. you could tell shedding events before it happens when their pads get less sticky though stuck debris or food can also minimize pad grip. some geckoes are less sticky and may have natural troubles climbing glass.
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