Crested Gecko Terrarium Size Requirements

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Here’s the baseline (MINIMUM) requirements for crested gecko terrarium size:

  • Hatchlings (<12g) — 12″L x 12″W x 12″H
  • Juveniles and adults (>12g) — 18″L x 18″W x 36″H

As you choose an enclosure for your gecko, keep in mind that since cresties are arboreal, height is better than width or depth. That being said, too narrow of an enclosure isn’t a good thing, either. Crested geckos don’t just travel vertically — they also travel horizontally as they thermoregulate, photoregulate, and generally explore. Giving them horizontal space in particular helps facilitate the way they like to hop and leap around their environment.

ReptiFiles recommends the following enclosures for use with crested geckos:

Hatchlings:

Juveniles and adults:

Keep in mind that larger is always better! For example, my own crested gecko lives in a 24″L x 24″W x 48″H enclosure and enthusiastically uses every inch. He generally likes to spend his time near the floor during the day and at the very top (sometimes upside-down on the mesh!) at night. As a result, his muscle tone and overall body condition is fantastic, very similar to what wild crested geckos look like. Although the chunky and flabby crested geckos you see on social media may look comical, this isn’t healthy.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you have a hatchling crested gecko under 13g, special adjustments will need to be made regarding heating and UVB lighting to avoid “cooking” your baby. Refer to the Light, Heat & Humidity page of this guide for details.

Cohabitation

Some gecko keepers choose to house more than one crested per enclosure. I do not personally endorse this practice, as I believe that the risks of cohabitation outweigh the potential benefits. However, here’s a breakdown of the risks so you can decide for yourself:

  • 2+ males: Please don’t! In almost every species, males housed together **will** fight and injure/kill one another, and crested geckos are no different. I know a breeder who chooses to house unsexed juveniles together. None showed signs of being male, but one day he came home to one dead gecko and another with serious injuries — two of them had “grown up,” and they were both male.
  • 1 male & 1+ females: This can work, but the geckos should be carefully supervised to make sure they don’t injure one another. Furthermore, please don’t cohab a male and female together unless you’re trying to breed them. They *will* mate and lay eggs!
  • 2+ females: This is the setup that is most likely to work (although still not optimal). Multiple females have been known to get along as long as they “move in” at the same time and are similarly sized. 

If you want to house two females together, you will need an enclosure that can provide at least 2x the volume of an 18x18x36 enclosure. The volume of an 18x18x36 is 11,664 cubic inches, so an enclosure volume of at least 23,000 cubic inches is recommended for two geckos. To further increase your likelihood of success, competition for resources must be minimized. You can do this by:

  • Provide multiple food and water dishes.
  • Provide a large and/or multiple basking areas. 
  • Provide lots of shade/cover to create visual barriers.

Keep in mind that cohabited geckos are more likely to lose their tails and may be injured in inter-gecko scuffles for dominance. Look out for tail nipping, crest biting, weight loss, and unusual behavior. If any of the above are observed, separate them immediately!

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Keep reading about crested gecko care:

  1. Introduction to Crested Geckos
  2. Shopping List
  3. Terrarium Size Guidelines
  4. Substrate Options
  5. Optimal Temperatures & Humidity
  6. Terrarium Decorating Ideas
  7. Food
  8. Handling Tips
  9. Health & Illnesses
  10. References

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