Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
Crested geckos are arboreal pets and they love to jump and explore their terrarium. An empty terrarium with only substrate and a few plants isn’t going to be enough to satisfy your crested gecko. You’ll also need some extra accessories to fill in some basic needs of the crested gecko: a need to hide, to feed, and to jump and crawl around.
A crested gecko needs a vertical (tall) terrarium with substrate and plants. This terrarium will also need to be filled with hides, feeding ledges and dishes, and vines or branches.
If you can provide everything your crested gecko needs, it will stay happy and healthy. Make sure that half of the terrarium is free so your gecko has space to move around.
Contrary to other pets crested geckos don’t need playtoys or special accessories to stay stimulated. The only thing they need is a lot of climbing and jumping possibilities to stay active and enough hides to rest and escape if afraid.
In this article, you’ll learn everything about crested gecko accessories. You’ll learn what kind of accessories there are and which are suitable for crested geckos. At the end of this article, you’ll know exactly what kind of accessories you should get for your crested gecko.
What Kind of Accessories Do You Need for Crested Geckos?
A good terrarium for a crested gecko needs different types of accessories:
- terrarium background
- feeding ledges and dishes
- vines, branches, and bars
- thermometer and hygrometer
You’ll also need a spray bottle and cleaning supplies.
Because substrate and terrarium plants are so important I don’t count them as accessories. They deserve more extensive articles.
Crested geckos are prey animals and can be quite skittish. The natural behavior of a crested gecko that feels endangered or stressed is to find a way to hide. To reduce stress and to provide a safe sleeping environment for your crested gecko you’ll need to create at least one hide for each crested gecko you have.
These hides can consist of broad leaves of terrarium plants to hide in or under but I would recommend getting at least one specific hide like a coconut hide, a mossy cave hide, or the canopy cave from Exo Terra. If you’re on a budget you can also use empty toilet rolls or paper towel rolls as a hide.
In a small terrarium for hatchlings and juveniles, it can be difficult to place a hide. In such a case you can use fake or live plants to create a natural hide or you can use a toilet roll. Crested geckos do prefer to have a hide that’s not near the ground so at least provide enough foliage to hide in.
Decorations can add some flair or a naturalistic look to a terrarium. They can only be placed in a terrarium that’s big enough (at least 10-gallon). A lot of decorations can also be used as a hide although some have a real decorative function like little statues.
There are a lot of nice decorations available but some nice decorations I would recommend are:
- Zilla Reptile Habitat Décor Hideouts Bark Bends
- Exo Terra T-Rex Skull Terrarium Decor
- Exo Terra Dinosaur Egg Fossil Ornament
- Zilla Spring Cave Reptile Decor
When choosing decorations and ornaments it’s important that your crested gecko can’t get stuck in the decoration and that it can’t fall on your crested gecko. Also, make sure that the decoration fits in your terrarium because some decorations can be quite large when you’ve already got branches and plants in the terrarium.
Most crested gecko kits already have a background for the terrarium but if you bought a terrarium or if you made one yourself you’ll need to buy a background. This background provides a natural look to the terrarium and also helps reduce the stress of your gecko. If there are four transparent walls your crested gecko might feel cornered in all directions.
There are a lot of different terrarium backgrounds available online like the rock background from Exo Terra or the forest background from Zoo Med. These backgrounds are pre-cut to certain sizes but can also be cut to adjusted sizes if necessary.
Crested geckos are (semi-)arboreal and love to climb and jump. You can feed your crested gecko by placing a cup or dish on the ground but it’s recommended to place the feeding and water cups up high. You can do this by using a so-called feeding ledge.
There are feeding ledges with plastic suction cups, magnets, or screws (for screen cages). If you get a glass terrarium you’re only options are feeding ledges with suction cups or magnets.
The problem with suction cups is that they can lose their grip after a while and that they might need to be replaced. You don’t want the ledge falling off while your crestie is on it and you definitely don’t want the ledge falling on your crested gecko.
So magnets are generally a better choice to stay in place and two places for cups are better than one. If you’re looking for a ledge that fits all these criteria and has good quality the best choice is the Pangea Ultimate Gecko Ledge. If you plan on using the small cups it’s also best to get the small cup adapter.
A crested gecko will eat and drink from cups and you can find all kinds of cups in pet stores and online. Most of these cups are made from plastic and look the same at roughly the same price.
My personal recommendation goes to the biodegradable feeding cups from Panga Reptile. There are small and large cups that you can use depending on the size and appetite of your crested gecko. Both fit in the feeding ledge I mentioned above.
Vines, branches, and bars
Fake vines are bendable and look a lot like vines. You can create different setups with fake vines and they’re great for arboreal lizards like crested geckos. For a “small” terrarium (20-gallon and less) a small vine is good enough. Very handy and beautiful in a terrarium for crested geckos are the Exo Terra Jungle Vine and the Exo Terra Moss Vine.
If you want to add some more climbing and hiding possibilities you can get small branches or bamboo bars. Add one or two bars depending on the size of your terrarium.
Thermometer and hygrometer
The temperature and humidity in a crested gecko terrarium should be monitored daily to make sure that your crested gecko stays healthy. So a good thermometer (to measure temperature) and hygrometer (to measure humidity) are necessary.
Analog thermometers and hygrometers are cheaper but are less reliable than their digital counterparts. A good and reliable combination of a digital thermometer and a digital hygrometer is the Exo Terra Thermometer and Hygrometer and the Zoo Med Thermometer and Hygrometer.
A crested gecko needs a relative humidity between 70 and 80 percent. This requires you to mist the terrarium once or twice a day. Misting isn’t difficult and requires water and a spray bottle.
You can use a spray bottle as you would use for watering plants. However, this kind of spray bottle has a limited water supply and does not have the same pressure as a real misting bottle. I would recommend you get an Exo Terra Mister Portable Pressure Sprayer, especially for misting a terrarium that’s 20 gallons or larger. For a small terrarium, you can use the Exo Terra Mini Mister Spray Bottle or a spray bottle for plants.
Where to Buy the Accessories?
You can find great deals in your local pet stores or reptile shows but if you live in a region where there aren’t a lot of stores that sell reptiles and their accessories you can also find them in a myriad of online stores.
Online stores also are more convenient and can be a lot cheaper than stores. You can find everything you need for a crested gecko on our shopping list.
Want to Learn More?
If you want to learn more about crested geckos as pets, please read the following articles.