Crested Gecko Cage: What are the Options?
So you are looking into getting a crested gecko? Awesome!
Crested geckos are a fantastic choice, especially if you are new to the hobby. In this article, am not going to cover specific crested gecko care, instead I want to focus your choices for a crested gecko cage!
|NOTE: I will only be discussing crested gecko cage options intended for housing a single gecko. In my opinion housing more than one gecko together is asking for problems down the road. Unless, of course you are planning to breed… in which case I can offer no advice as I have not ventured down that branch of the hobby.|
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A few things to keep in mind:
- Crested geckos are arboreal, their terrariums should be tall rather than wide
- The minimum crested gecko cage size is 12″ x 12″ x 18″ although I believe a full grow adult should be kept in something at least 18″x 18″ x 24″.
- Provide lots of horizontal perches to avoid floppy tail syndrome!
Types of Crested Gecko Cages:
Store Bought Terrariums
Store bought terrariums are really a great option! There are two main brands: Exo-Terra and Zoo Med. Both brands carry terrariums with dimensions 12″ x 12″ x 18″ and a 18″ x 18″ x 24″ (L x W x H), which are typical dimensions for young and adult crested geckos. Click on the pictures to learn more about each one.
These terrariums are great, they are ready to go out of the box and designed for exactly what you need. They have ample ventilation, a bottom glass tray to hold substrate, and front opening doors for easy access (the doors are equipped with a simple locking mechanism as well).
Many of them are sold as “starter kits” as well so they will include a nice background and usually some decor.
These terrariums will be your most expensive option for your crested gecko cage but the price is more than worth the quality. I have used the same Exo-Terra terrarium FOR OVER A DECADE and it’s in the same space as when I bought it!
Before going to your local pet store just out the prices on Amazon first! I have noticed Amazon is usually cheaper than chain pet stores ESPECIALLY if you have Amazon Prime (how can you beat FREE shipping?). Quite often you’ll find small pet stores using Amazon to liquidate extra stock… that’s where you’ll find the best deals.
I only have experience with the Exo-Terra models but I believe there is very little difference. Although one definite difference to keep in mind is the Zoo Med terrariums come with one door and the Exo-Terra terrariums have two doors… french door style. I prefer the two door system because it is allows you to only have a portion of the cage open at once.
If you are someone who would like to save some cash you can use a modified aquarium! The key word there is ‘MODIFIED’, a aquarium setup in its typical “fish tank” orientation is an unacceptable setup for a crested gecko cage. Remember, your crested gecko cage needs to be tall, not long.
You can usually find cheap aquariums on your local classifieds. You’ll want to look for:
- A 10 Gallon Tank for juveniles
- A 20 Gallon Long Tank for Adults
Once you find an acceptable aquarium (If you bought it second hand, I think it goes without saying… give it a GOOD cleaning), you have two good options to convert it to a terrarium.
The first is the simplest and that is to stand the tank up in an upright position (in its tallest orientation) and purchase a screen cover that fits the correct dimensions of your tank (click the picture to learn more):
The second options is more hands on. There are plenty of YouTube videos explaining how to convert an aquarium into a terrarium but SepraDesign probably does the most thorough job:
DIY Crested Gecko Cage
The third option for a crested gecko cage is to Do-It-Yourself! Now there are many different ways this can be done. I will share two that I have used (for different species) that would work quite well for crested geckos.
The first is converting a piece of furniture or a display cabinet into a terrarium. You can find that article HERE and the video below:
The second is using old plate glass to build your own terrarium and then proceed with a similar method as SepraDesgin used to convert and aquarium into a terrarium. That article is HERE and the video is below (if I had built this for a crested gecko I would have built it in a vertical orientation):
At the end of the day you should choose the option that works best for you. As a goal you should try and include as much natural enrichment in the enclosure as you can safely maintain.
Live plants, real-natural substrate (over paper towel, etc.) and climbing branches are a great way to enrich your crested gecko cage.
If you are looking to add real climbing branches from outside, please read THIS ARTICLE or watch the video below: