Can a Crested Gecko Live in a 20-Gallon Long Tank?


If you want to house a crested gecko, you need a suitable tank. Some people already have an old 20-gallon tank or aquarium and want to repurpose it into a crested gecko tank. But can a crested gecko live in a 20-gallon tank?

A crested gecko weighing 25 grams or more can live in a 20-gallon long tank, although a larger tank (30-gallon or larger) is better. A long tank will need to be placed vertically to be suitable. Baby and small juvenile crested geckos should be housed in a smaller tank (10-gallon or smaller).

So, a 20-gallon tank is a minimum size for an adult crested gecko. A larger tank will be better for the crested gecko’s wellbeing: it will allow your crested gecko to jump around and climb. If you use a 20-gallon long tank, you’ll need to convert it into a crested gecko tank and place it vertically.  

In this article, you’ll learn when a crested gecko can live in a 20-gallon long tank and how to convert an (old) tank into a crested gecko tank.

Minimum Tank Size

There are different views on the minimum tank size for crested geckos. However, there are some minimum sizes which are recommended by reptile breeders and owners:

Crested gecko sizeMinimum tank size
up to 10 grams1.5 to 5 gallons
10 to 25 grams7 to 10 gallons
25 grams and larger20 gallons

A single adult crested gecko will need a 20-gallon tank, and the tank should be vertical and not horizontal. Bigger tanks are always better. Never use a horizontal tank because your crested gecko won’t be able to jump and climb.

Can a Crested Gecko Live in a 20 Gallon Long?

Size of a 20-gallon long tank

A 20-gallon long tank has specific dimensions that are the same no matter what brand you get. These dimensions are 30.25×12.5×12.75 inches.

These dimensions put the tank somewhere between a small crested gecko tank for juvenile crested geckos and a large crested gecko tank for an adult crested gecko. 

When we look at the standard terrarium sizes for crested geckos (12x12x18 inches and 18x18x24 inches), a 20-gallon long provides a lot of height but a small floor area. 

Can a juvenile crested gecko live in a 20-gallon long?

Juvenile crested geckos (weighing more than 10 grams) can also live in a converted 20-gallon long tank if they can find their food in it. Smaller juveniles need to be kept in smaller tanks like a 10-gallon tank or terrarium.

Can an adult crested gecko live in a 20-gallon long?

An adult crested gecko can live in a 20-gallon tank, but only if you keep it alone in the tank (so not with other crested geckos). You should place the tank vertically so the longest side creates 30 inches of height for your crested gecko to climb and jump.

A 20-gallon long tank will provide many possibilities to place vines, branches and hides in it but you should be aware that the floor area is limited. A magnetic ledge with both a food and water bowl will, for example, take up a lot of space.

Where to Buy a 20-Gallon Tank?

For crested geckos, you should use a vertical tank and 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). The most common size for a large tank for a crested gecko is 18x18x24 inches (roughly 33 gallons).

As far as I know, there are no ready-to-go 20-gallon tanks that don’t need to be converted into a vertical crested gecko tank. Most tanks are at least 30-gallon or 10-gallon and less. If you do know a 20-gallon tank that doesn’t require a conversion please feel free to contact me.

If you don’t have an old 20-gallon tank you can buy a 20-gallon long to convert it into a crested gecko tank. My recommendation would be the Aqueon Aquarium 20-gallon long. You can also find decent (used) tanks online for a budget.

However, if you have the choice it’s much better to get a larger 30-gallon tank, like an Exo Terra terrarium. In the long term, it will be better for your crested gecko and it will allow you to place in more decorations and plants.

How To Convert a 20-Gallon Long Into a Crested Gecko Tank?

Converting a 20-gallon long tank into a crested gecko tank is relatively simple and doesn’t need to cost a lot. 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 a much easier way to convert it is to use an I Heart Geckos conversion kit. This kit comes with a door (and ventilation on top). You should use a waterproof silicone sealant to adhere it to the tank. Be aware that the sealant (and the tank) is not included in the kit.

Before buying the kit, you should make sure that your tank’s dimensions are right (29 3/16 inches wide and 11 5/6 inches tall). By the way, this kit also works on a 29-gallon tank.

You can check how to measure the dimensions in Elle’s Reptile’s video that can be found below:

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Want to Learn More?

If you want to learn more about crested geckos as pets, please read the following articles.

If you’re interested in getting crested geckos as pets you should also definitely read our article about baby and juvenile crested gecko care or (adult) crested gecko care.


Kevin N.

Kevin is the owner of My Crested Gecko. He wrote this blog for many years and has been a geckos enthusiast his entire life, but only became an official "geckophile" five years ago when he acquired one as a pet! Kevin knows how to care for hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, and degus in addition to crested geckos which are more than happy with him every day!

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