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How to Setup a Lizard Vivarium for a Crested Gecko

If you are interested in a Crested Gecko, or just become an owner, it's important to understand how to setup the best vivarium for them, as well as some other important care tips.

So, how do you setup a lizard vivarium for a Crested Gecko? You need 72-82 degrees of heat from UV lightbulbs and locate it in an area without excessive heat. In addition provide water, insects, crickets, mealworms, fruit, waxworms and good substrate. 

In order to setup the vivarium correctly you need to understand more about the Crested Geckos and exactly what is required in the vivarium, let me explain.

Crested Gecko Facts

Also known by its scientific name Correlophus ciliatus, You will find plenty crested geckos in warm climates, especially in South America and Florida. They are similar to iguanas and chameleons.

This is a reptile that is small in size but great in hunting. This lizard works well alone, and as long as their food is in place along with sunlight, they are happy for a long time. Crested geckos are a tan color that sometimes changes according to where they live.

They love to run and move about faster than what pet owners might expect.  They survive away from stressful things and try to limit their altercations with animals and other crested geckos.

A Crested Gecko is one of the most popular lizards in the world. These reptiles have wonderful qualities that gains the attention of those who want a pet. In fact, they are bite-sized lizards that are great in color and in survival.

With that in mind, crested geckos survive with only limited food supplies around them. To top that off, they learn to adapt to a stress-free environment. Crested geckos are easily noticed and have a unique way of keeping themselves alive. Whenever these reptiles are fully taken care of, their tails never drop. In actuality, a pet owner will be amazed at how they can be great company.

You will find these little reptiles to be cute and dependable on their owner. That will motivate anyone to do the right thing and provide all the necessities they need to have a great life. In turn, you will find that crested geckos will begin to respond better whenever they know that you are their owner. Crested geckos will be a great way for your children to learn responsibility. In the long run, the introduction to your reptile will be rewarding.

What Is The Life Expectancy Of A Crested Gecko?

The life expectancy of a crested gecko is around 15-20 years. Of course, you can't purchase them in the winter time because of their hibernation timings. I assume that you want your pet to live as long as possible.

With that being said, it is best to prepare for your little pet to expand on their life expectancy. The crested gecko will live past the 20 years if it is in a stress-free environment that provides great basking fundamentals, water, and food.

Crested geckos can easily maximize their life expectancy if the pet owner continues to pay attention to their needs.

How Much Do Crested Geckos Cost?

Of course, these little reptiles can cost quite a bit of money. However, they make wonderful pets for kids. On the average, crested geckos can cost anywhere from $20-$300. Ultimately, the price tag depends on the color, age, and size of the crested gecko.

On occasions, you can purchase a crested gecko for less than $20. It depends on where you choose to buy your pet. I would recommend choosing a tropical place to purchase my gecko, but you have to try to provide the same heating and environment that they are used to.

During the winter, it's harder to find crested geckos because of pet owners purchasing them in the spring and the summer months. It's almost impossible to purchase them in the winter because they are not used to extremely cold temperatures.

Basically, you have to wait until the right season to purchase these reptiles. If you ship them during the winter, they won't survive the cold temperatures. It's best to try when the spring is getting ready to be summer. You should be able to order them on the Internet and have them delivered within the first week of purchase. 

Are Crested Geckos Good Pets For Beginners?

These reptiles don't require a lot of food to survive, but they do require a lot of sunlight (Click here: reasons why lizards are good pets). As long as you take care of them properly, they stand a good chance of avoiding sickness and disease. 

Vivarium Setup

What is the difference between a Vivarium and a Terrarium? Terrariums are considered to be a plant house that is full of life. this aquarium can be looked at as a miniature green house. Inside of a terrarium, plants need a lot of sun and water to survive.

Mostly, terrariums are great for creating a mist that is similar to a rainforest. This will keep all your plants alive and doing well. Whenever a lizard is placed inside of a terrariums, it changes to a vivarium.

The difference is the added items placed into a vivarium to keep the animal alive as well. In other terms, the difference between the two is the fact that a terrarium doesn't necessarily have to have an animal inside of it in order for it to be a great addition to your home. 

What Kind Of Substrate Do You Need?

Most of the time, crested geckos love substrate that is room temperature. You can start by adding sphagnum moss and mulch-type of sand. I would make sure that the sand is thin.

I wouldn't want the lizard to walk on clumps of substrate. It needs to be comfortable for them and feel like the grounding in a forest. I would not change the substrate too often. 

What Heating Is Required?

Mainly, the heat comes from the lights. You have got to make a great guess with how much you need at one time.

For example, your lights will produce heat for the crested gecko and needs to be no greater than the mid 80s. If there is too much heat, they will hide. If you see your gecko doing this, you need to check the temperature of the bulbs.

I would advise you to buy lights that will shut off if they go above the temperature that is required.

How Often Should You Clean Out The Housing?

In actuality, you need to clean out theri housing daily. Similar to a dog, you are expected to clean dishes and bowls that are inside of the vivarium that may have leaked into other parts of it.

It's best to clean every day and pay attention to what is going on with your crested gecko. I would recommend that you deep clean the tank once per month.

The substrate should to be changed once per month. You don't want your lizard to walk around in harmful debris from their waste or from mold on food. Quite naturally, the lizard will hide when it is afraid of the vivarium's atmosphere. Try not to wait for it to get that bad.

What Is The Best Location For It?

I would suggest that you set up a terrarium or vivarium in a low heated area in your home. Due to the heat generated from the lights.

Natural sunlight is best for your crested gecko, but obviously it will be hard to guarantee this in captivity. That's why you have to have lighting in the first place.

What Lighting Will You Need?

As discussed earlier, it's best to have UV bulbs that reach a temperature of 72-82 degrees. This keeps them happy and stress-free.

Without those bulbs shining 10-12 hours per day, their tail begins to drop. If that happens, the crested gecko has reached its highest level of panic. 

What Food Do Crested Geckos Need?

Primarily, these small reptiles eat insects, crickets, mealworms, fruit, and waxworms.

Particularly, the crested gecko eat kiwi, strawberry, banana, and apricots before any other types of food. Crested geckos only eat 2-3 times per week. In turn, that will keep the cost of keeping them at an all time low. You can maintain their little homes by implementing food sources in the cage.

Also, they love to drink sips of water. There is never too much in a small sip. Therefore, you can spray the cage with distilled water two times per day. I would leave a cap full of water for them to drink two times per day as well. .

What Are Their Water Requirements?

As previously discussed, crested geckos only drink a cap full or two of water per day. Moreover, the gecko becomes comfortable with their surroundings and will not feel like they are overwhelmed with a lot of water around them.

Preferably, if you sit the cap full in front of them, you can watch them drink water immediately if they are thirsty. 

Are There Any Supplements For Them?

There are supplements for crested geckos. In fact, owners can keep an eye on these critters, especially when it comes to their appetites. The supplements would have to have calcium and a small multi-vitamin in them.

This will help them find food similar to what they have taken while enhancing their food's taste. Specifically, an owner can place the supplements in their food and water to prevent them from becoming ill or severely stressed.

A healthy crested gecko will relax even when you pick them up. 

What Is The Ideal Size Vivarium For Baby Crested Geckos?

A crested gecko will be comfortable in a 20 gallon vivarium, but the catch is the vivarium has to be tall. For those who are not the greatest with mathematics, you would have to go by height.

The biggest that I have seen is around a 180 gallon vivarium. Because crested geckos are small, there vivarium doesn't need to be too large. It may contribute to them being afraid of their environment.

In other words, I would make sure that it is small but has enough room for it to move around in. 

What Plants Will You Need In There?

The plants that are used to house crested geckos are dwarf umbrella trees, tropic Marianne, neorgelia zoe, fireballs, peperomia cubensis, croton, and white butterflies. 

What Is The Difference Between A Crested And Leopard Gecko?

Scientist believe that crested gecko and leopard geckos are similar. In detail, leopard geckos look like they have a happy appearance to them. In other words, they look as if they are smiling all the time.

Leopard geckos can easily be spotted because of all of their spots. On the contrary, they can hide from their predators because of those spots. The two share a body frame that looks the same, however, crested geckos are smaller than leopard geckos.

It helps them to blend in with their surroundings. They love to camouflage when they are afraid of being alone. Leopard geckos are not great climbers.

It is best to have substrate that is thin and comfortable to them. There is reptile carpet available for leopard gecko. Although other lizards cannot grow their tails back, leopard geckos make the exception.

Crested gecko are known for jumping. They are not too excited to be held which is the opposite of a leopard gecko. Crested geckos love calcium bowls in their vivarium. They require more water than a leopard gecko. Leopard geckos love to have control around water, but crested geckos like mists sprayed in their vivarium. Leopard geckos would rather drink water off of the leaves in their tanks than out of a bowl.

Crested geckos love to jump to see how high they can jump from leaf to leaf. Leopard geckos stay on the ground. Leopard geckos like to walk around more than crested geckos. .

You will understand why leopard geckos and crested geckos require different tanks. Both types of lizards are nocturnal. There is another fun fact about these lizards that I will share with you. Leopard geckos have eyelids and crested geckos do not have eyelids. Instantly, they can surprise you with a blink!


Crested geckos are perfect little reptiles that a pet lover will easily take care of. With their distinctive eyes and sandy scales, these reptiles are sure to bring curiosity and adventure into your home. 


Hi, this is me with my daughter and my Lizard friend. I hope you enjoy my research. Please feel free to check out my "About Me" page to find out more about me.