When you’re looking for a crested gecko tank, the chances are that you will look at either a 10-gallon or a 30-gallon tank. But there are bigger tank sizes available. So this poses the question of whether a tank can be too big for a crested gecko.
A tank can never be too big for a crested gecko. Bigger tanks are still small compared to their natural habitat. Big tanks (40-gallon or larger) provide many benefits, such as increased volume and height. However, juvenile crested geckos should be housed in standard-sized tanks (up to 30-gallon).
Tanks larger than 30-gallon should not be used for crested geckos that weigh less than 25 grams (hatchlings and juveniles). Hatchlings and juvenile crested geckos should not be housed in such big tanks because they can have difficulty finding food and water.
A big tank can also be scary for small crested geckos if there aren’t enough hides in them. Such a big tank will also make it more difficult for you to keep an eye on your crested gecko’s health and behavior.
Tank Sizes for Crested Geckos
A lot of reptile brands have vertical terrariums in standard sizes. However, the descriptions that are given to these tank sizes can differ from brand to brand. You can find these standard sizes in the table below (with my size description).
|Small||8 x 8 x 12 inches||juveniles (up to 10 g)|
|Medium||12 x 12 x 18 inches||juveniles (10 to 25 g)|
|Large||18 x 18 x 24 inches||adults (25 g +)|
These tank sizes are considered to be suitable for crested geckos. But it doesn’t mean it will be too big for them if you get a bigger tank. So you have to look at it as (generalized) minimum tank size (although you can also use a 20-gallon for an adult crested gecko).
If you’ve got an adult crested gecko, you can get a tank that is as big as you want. But make sure that the tank is vertical or has at least a height of 36 inches.
When I’m speaking about a big tank, I mean a tank that is bigger than these standard sizes. Most of these big(ger) tanks are at least 40-gallon.
When Is a Tank Too Big?
Although a tank can’t be too big for adult crested geckos, this isn’t true for younger ones. Depending on their size and weight, you should house a crested gecko weighing less than 25 grams in a 10-gallon or smaller (see table above).
It’s not for sure that smaller crested geckos wouldn’t thrive in a huge tank, but it would be more difficult for you to check on them. You won’t see if it is pooping and a larger tank will be a challenge for your small crestie to find its food.
Pros and Cons of Big Tanks
An adult crested gecko can live perfectly fine in a 20-gallon tank or even better in a 30-gallon tank. But some crested gecko owners might want to get a bigger tank that is at least 40-gallon. Although a tank can never be too big for an adult crested gecko, there are some pros and cons to using a big tank.
Pros of big tanks
More space for decorations and plants
A bigger tank means more floor area and height to place in various decorations, hides, and plants. You can and should place many vines, branches, plants, and hides in it so your crested gecko can safely explore its territory.
Generally, 50 percent of the tank should be filled with plants and vines. The open space should allow your crested gecko to jump from one area to another.
Many different hides and other decorations are available for crested geckos (and other reptiles), but some are big. A big tank will allow you to place more than one artificial hide and more (bigger) decorations.
More height for jumping and climbing
Crested geckos are arboreal animals and, in their natural habitat, they are masters of disguise. Therefore, a crested gecko tank should always be vertical or have enough height to allow your gecko to jump and climb.
A tank shouldn’t be too large for hatchlings and small juvenile crested geckos. They can climb and jump, but huge tanks like a 100-gallon tank are not suitable for them. For larger juveniles and adult crested geckos, a large tank is necessary to jump around and climb all over the place.
A big tank will allow your crested gecko to explore its tank and encourage them to jump and climb like in its natural habitat. A crested gecko kept in a small tank will not jump a lot and will have to resort more to climbing.
So for your crested gecko’s well-being, I recommend getting a (very) large tank, so your crested gecko has a large territory to explore. A large tank will be much better from an animal welfare stance than keeping it in a 20-gallon tank.
Suitable for a pair of crested geckos
If you don’t plan to breed crested geckos or have no experience with keeping crested geckos, I recommend you get only one crested gecko.
But if you know what you’re doing and decide to keep more than one crested gecko in the same tank, you should get a big enough tank. A big tank will allow your geckos to co-exist with fewer difficulties. A 30-gallon tank is generally recommended for a pair of crested geckos. However, my recommendation would be to get an even bigger tank.
So a big tank (40-gallon or larger) has the added benefit that you can keep more than one crested gecko in it. But always be aware that keeping more than one crested gecko in the same tank can cause fighting. So, keep an eye on them.
Cons of big tanks
Needs to be assembled
The small (12x12x18 inches) and large (18x18x24 inches) tanks sold by different brands don’t need to be assembled and can be used right from the start.
But larger tanks generally need to be assembled by yourself. It isn’t possible to send such assembled tanks by mail. Moreover, even if disassembled in different pieces, there might be breakage or other damage.
Although you do need to assemble the tank yourself, it isn’t challenging to do so. Most tanks are easy to assemble, but you shouldn’t get a big tank if you don’t want to assemble it. If you want such a tank and don’t want to assemble it yourself, you can get someone else to assemble it.
Tanks that are 30-gallon or more will be heavier. Most tanks are made of glass, although there are also tanks available with acrylic panels. Glass is heavy and a 50-gallon tank can be too heavy to lift by yourself. The larger the tank, the heavier it will be.
Big tanks usually come in different pieces that need to be assembled, but a 18x18x24 inch (45x45x90 cm) will be delivered in one piece. This tank weighs around 60 pounds (27 kg). Even for such a “lightweight” tank, it’s best to use two people to carry it.
If you live in an apartment building or have to move a big tank for several meters, you usually need at least two people.
More difficult to clean
A big tank means more glass to clean and more decorations and plants to remove before you can start cleaning. It is also heavier than a smaller tank and can be more difficult to move.
You will have to spend more time removing the cage’s interior and a little more time cleaning the sides, but this difference in time is minor. Although I mention this as a con, it shouldn’t hold you back from getting a big tank. The benefits of a big tank outweigh the slightly more work you have to clean it.
If budget isn’t a problem, a tank larger than 30-gallon won’t be a problem. But most large tanks cost a lot more and, even though you love your gecko, it may fall out of your possibilities.
You could house your crestie in a 20-gallon or a 30-gallon tank and save money for a larger tank in a few years. Cresties live long, so you have a lot of time to save money for a larger terrarium.
Depending on the size you want, expect to pay at least $300 for a tank that doesn’t fit in the standard sizes. If you want a more custom-built tank, you can pay up to $5,000 or more depending on your wants and needs.
Do Crested Gecko Owners Use Big Tanks? (Research)
We’ve organized a little poll in our Facebook group to determine whether big tank sizes (40-gallon or more) are commonly used. Below you can find the results of this poll that was taken by 35 members.
According to this poll, most crested gecko owners have a big tank for their crested gecko(s), which is a good sign. From an animal welfare stance, big tank sizes (at least 40 gallons) are recommended to let your crested gecko enjoy a lot of freedom and space.
Smaller tank sizes are suitable for young and small crested geckos and people with limited space. In either case, you should keep in mind the minimum sizes I mentioned above.
Where to Buy Big Tanks?
Nowadays, standard and big reptile tanks are reasonably easy to find online. Still, only a handful of brands sell tanks that are suitable for crested geckos and that don’t follow the standard sizes.
A very large tank suitable for crested geckos has to be vertical (high) and provide enough floor area so your crested gecko can spend time on the ground when it wants to. A large enough floor area also allows you to place bigger decorations and hides.
When you’re looking to buy a very large crested gecko tank, I would recommend the following tanks:
- Carolina Custom Cages Extra-Tall Medium (24x18x36 inches)
- Carolina Custom Cages Extra-Tall Extra-Long (48x18x36 inches)
- Repti Zoo 100 Gallon Wide & Tall (36x18x36 inches)
You should be aware that big tanks always need to be assembled by you. Usually, assembly won’t be a problem with clear instructions.
If you have a large budget and a lot of space in your home, you can get a custom-built crested gecko tank from Adam’s Specialty Products, LLC. They sell all kinds of large and huge tanks built to your desire.
Want to Learn More?
If you want to learn more about crested geckos as pets, please read the following articles.
- Can crested geckos live in a 10-gallon tank?
- Can crested geckos live in a 20-gallon tank?
- Do crested geckos stink?