You need a suitable tank if you want to house a crested gecko. Some people already have an old 10-gallon tank or aquarium and want to repurpose it into a crested gecko tank. But can a crested gecko live in a 10-gallon tank?
Baby and juvenile crested geckos can be kept in a 10-gallon tank. A crested gecko weighing 25 grams or more should be housed in a larger tank. You can use a 10-gallon tank for an adult crested gecko but only temporarily. Adult crested geckos should never live in a 10-gallon tank their entire life.
So, a 10-gallon tank is only a temporary house for a crested gecko. At some point, you’ll need to buy a larger tank that’s at least 20 gallons and preferably larger. This doesn’t mean that your 10-gallon tank will be useless. You can still use it for other purposes.
Minimum Tank Size
There are different views on the minimum tank size for crested geckos. However, the following minimum sizes are recommended by reptile breeders and owners:
|Crested gecko size||Minimum tank size|
|up to 10 grams||1.5 to 5 gallons|
|10 to 25 grams||7 to 10 gallons|
|25 grams and larger||20 gallons|
You should get at least a 20-gallon tank for a single adult crested gecko, but a bigger (vertical) tank is always better. Never use a horizontal tank that doesn’t have climbing possibilities.
The common tank size for crested geckos is 12x12x18 inches (around 11 gallons). Baby and juvenile crested geckos can live in a 12x12x18 terrarium. However, you should house a crested gecko weighing 25 grams or more in a larger tank. You can temporarily keep an adult crested gecko in a 12x12x18 terrarium but not for its entire life.
When Can a Crested Gecko Live in a 10-Gallon Tank?
Crested geckos can live in a 10-gallon tank but only for a short period of their lives. There are only a handful of cases where you may house a crested gecko in such a small tank:
- housing baby and juvenile crested geckos under 25 grams
- quarantine tank for new or sick crested geckos
- temporary housing during cleaning
Housing baby and juvenile crested geckos
Crested geckos start as small creatures and grow bigger in only a few years. Therefore, it’s often better for baby and juvenile crested geckos to house them in a smaller tank than a 20 or 30-gallon tank.
Baby and juvenile crested geckos often have more difficulty finding food (and sometimes water) in a large cage. To keep an eye on them and give them a better chance of finding their food, you should house them in smaller tanks.
A 10-gallon tank is suitable for juvenile crested geckos weighing 10 and 25 grams. Hatchlings and juveniles that weigh less than 10 grams can also be kept in a 10-gallon tank but will (again) have a bit more difficulty finding food.
Most breeders keep their hatchlings and small juveniles in smaller 5-gallon tanks or containers.
Crested geckos live fine on their own and don’t need companions in their tank (except for breeding purposes). It can even be dangerous to house multiple crested geckos together in a tank.
Babies and small hatchlings are an exception to this. They could be kept together in a 10-gallon tank but I would advise against it. Keeping multiple small crested geckos in one tank will make it more difficult to see if all of them are eating well.
Quarantine tank for new or sick crested geckos
If you plan on housing more than one crested gecko in one large enough tank, you might still need a separate tank for quarantine purposes.
A new crested gecko can be sick or have parasites. Your crested gecko will be healthy and parasite-free in most cases, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. So, before introducing your gecko to another crested gecko, you should keep them in a quarantine tank. This tank should at least be a 10-gallon tank.
Temporary housing during cleaning
You can’t properly clean the crested gecko tank with your crested gecko in it. You’ll need to clean the tank’s glass, remove all objects, and replace the substrate.
While cleaning, you should house your crested gecko in a temporary tank. Because your crested gecko won’t need to be in it for a long time, you can use a smaller 10-gallon tank or a faunarium (critter keeper).
Don’t buy a tank if your only purpose is to use it while cleaning. Just use a faunarium. It works just fine for this purpose.
Where to Buy a 10-Gallon Tank?
If you don’t already have a 10-gallon tank that can be converted, I recommend getting a crested gecko tank that doesn’t need to be adjusted and is (almost) ready to use.
For crested geckos, you should use a vertical tank, not a horizontal one. Crested geckos love to jump and climb and need enough space to do so. The most common size for a small tank for a crested gecko is 12x12x18 inches (roughly 11-gallon).
If you don’t need a starter kit but only a tank, I would recommend getting one of the following tanks:
- Exo Terra Terrarium (Mini Tall): a famous brand of reptile supplies that sells reptile tanks such as this terrarium that is 12x12x18 inches.
- Zoo Med Naturalistic Terrarium (Medium): another famous brand that sells reptile tanks, including a 12x12x18 inches one.
If you’re looking for a good starter kit for a crested gecko, I recommend the Exo Terra Crested Gecko Kit (Small). It’s a kit containing the tank mentioned above, 12x12x18 inches with an analog thermometer and hygrometer, substrate, and a couple of decorations.
How to Convert a 10-Gallon Tank into a Crested Gecko Tank?
Converting a 10-gallon tank into a crested gecko tank is relatively simple and doesn’t need to be expensive. You’ll need to put the tank vertically because a crested gecko will need a place to jump and climb. The “top” of the tank will need to be replaced with a door (including ventilation).
You can convert a tank by creating the doors yourself (making it a DIY project), but using an I Heart Geckos conversion kit is a much easier way to convert it. This kit comes with a door (and ventilation on top). In addition, you should use a waterproof silicone sealant to adhere it to the tank. Be aware that the sealant (and the tank) are not included in the kit.
Before buying the kit, you should ensure that your tank’s dimensions are right. According to the site of I Heart Geckos, the kit fits the Aqueon 10-gallon tanks. If you have another brand of tank, ensure the tank has the appropriate dimensions (19.5 x 9.75 inches).
You can check how to measure the dimensions and further instructions in Elle’s Reptiles’ video that can be found below:
Want to Learn More?
If you want to learn more about crested geckos as pets, please read the following articles.
- Can a tank be too big for a crested gecko?
- Can crested geckos live in a 20-gallon tank?
- Do crested geckos stink?