3 Most Common Questions for New Crested Gecko Owners

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So you got a new Crested Gecko? Yay! I have compiled a list of 3 topics that I frequently researched when I first brought my crested gecko Ganon home. I am also going to go over some important information the pet stores don’t tell you about!

 1. Can I put my new Crested Gecko in its permanent enclosure right away?

You can, but I recommend putting them in a quarantine/temporary tank* for several weeks prior to putting them in their permanent enclosure*. I believe this is important because, depending on the gecko, it can sometimes be hard for some babies to find their food in a large enclosure. It is also important to quarantine them so you can easily check to see if they are going to the bathroom.

How to set up your quarantine tank

I recommend using a large critter keeper* as your quarantine tank and using damp paper towels as your substrate. Using damp paper towels is not only cost-effective, but it makes it a lot easier when dealing with baby geckos because their stool is very small and can blend in with normal substrate.  Also, make sure to add some branches and fake leaves* for your gecko to crawl around on and hide in.

2. When should I start handling them?

Ganon as a baby

Whether you got your new gecko at a pet store or from a private breeder, chances are it is going to be skittish and freaked out from being transported and getting used to its new home. To help your gecko get acclimated, it is best to not handle it for at least two weeks and sometimes longer depending on just how skittish your scaly baby is. When I brought Ganon home, I wanted to hold him SO BAD. Can you blame me? He’s so cute!

Handling your new gecko

Once your gecko has calmed down and become acclimated, you can begin handling them but only for short periods of time. I would start with handling them inside their cage for a few minutes maybe once or twice a week and then build up from there as your gecko gets comfortable.

Don’t be surprised if your gecko takes a flying leap off of your hands into the abyss. It’s in their nature. It doesn’t necessarily mean they are scared of you or feel threatened but it’s important to know this should you should always handle your gecko in a room or on a surface like on the floor or a bed that won’t hurt them if they decide to jump.

For more information on how to handle your Crested Gecko, I recommend you watch this video by Tiki’s Gecko’s. He gives great advice on how to properly handle your gecko and some great tips and tricks.

3. Why isn’t my Crested Gecko eating?

It’s not uncommon for your new gecko to not eat while it is acclimating. If you are like me, you will toss and turn at night worried about your new little critter and if it’s happy and healthy.

My advice: Just. Leave. It. Alone.

I know this goes against your loving nature (as it does mine) but trust me! Your reptile will thank you in the long run. It could take weeks or longer for your gecko to get acclimated and eventually start eating. DON’T FORCE IT TO EAT. Even if you think it’s not eating, always make sure it has fresh MRP in its enclosure.

One easy way to check to see if your gecko is eating enough is to weigh it! You can do this using a regular kitchen scale (as long as it can measure in grams). Also, I always recommend keeping a weight log for all of your reptiles. Keeping a log will allow you to ensure that your gecko is gaining weight consistently and to also make sure they aren’t overweight.

What to do if your Crested Gecko will not eat MRP

If it’s been a few weeks and you are unsure if your gecko is eating their MRP*, you can dab a little bit on the end of its nose and it should start licking it off. If it doesn’t, don’t force it. Just keep in mind that baby crested geckos are extremely tiny creatures! They really don’t eat much. When you are preparing your geckos next MRP, try only making enough to line the bottom of the cup (more if it’s an adult). Check the cup the next morning and if it’s eating, you will see little tongue marks on the bottom of the cup. This is also another reason to use damp paper towels as your substrate: if it’s pooping, it’s eating!

For more information on Feeding Requirements, click here.

What to do if your Crested Gecko will not eat crickets

When I brought Ganon home, he was super skittish and jumpy and did not want to eat his crickets. It didn’t matter if I put them in his cage and let him hunt, if I took him out and tried to hand feed him, or put him in a smaller tank. David with Tiki’s Geckos has a great YouTube video that explains what you can do to get your gecko to start eating crickets after it’s been acclimated. I can say for a fact that his suggestions worked for me by the second or third feeding and I haven’t had any problems since!

If you feel that your Crested Gecko hasn’t been eating as much as it should or it hasn’t been going the bathroom, you should contact your Exotic Vet and bring your gecko in for a check-up. Crested geckos can go a week or more without food while they are acclimating to their new home. However, not eating in combination with other symptoms could indicate that your gecko may be sick. This is why it is important to always take any new animal to an experienced Veterinarian as soon as you get them.

*This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links at no additional cost to you. We do not recommend any products that we have not or would not use personally.