Crested Gecko

Crested Gecko – Beginners Guide To Breeding

It is common for pet owners to breed their pets. It happens with dogs especially. Reptiles are not different. People turn into their hobby breeding their crested geckos. Not breeding will be stressful for a crested gecko. The recommendation is to at least breed them once. The crested gecko breeding process is not difficult. The reptiles only need the right environmental conditions to start laying eggs. A healthy pair of crested gecko should be enough. Some people recommend having one male and up to five females. Multiple males in the same space is not a good option. They will fight each other viciously for the females. It is better to have only one male at all times.

Age

A male crested gecko can breed once it is 9 months or older. For females, the recommended age is 14 months. At this point, female crested geckos are considered fully developed. Females are fertile since they are 12 months old but breeders wait. Breeding a pair of crested geckos before they reach full maturity could be dangerous. It is better to wait for the reptiles to grow properly.

Weight

For a successful crested gecko breeding, both specimen should have the right age. Also, the right weight is mandatory. Females should weight 35 grams at least. Breeders recommend to wait until the female is 40 grams. The appropriate weight will guarantee a healthy breeding. Underweight specimens will be at risk if the owner decides to breed it. Males do not have a specific weight requirement. If the crested gecko is underweight, consider changing the diet.

Environmental Requirements

Environment is extremely important for the crested gecko breeding process. To induce the breeding, reduce the temperature to 18°C/65°F, the maximum should be 21°C/70°F. If the temperature is above or below those marks, the crested gecko will refuse to breed. At night, the temperature should be lower. It is important to keep this fact in control at all times. The terrarium should be misted twice a day. Avoid misting too much.  A wet environment will make the crested geckos uncomfortable. As a consequence, they will avoid each other.

Food

Breeders must keep their crested geckos on a rigorous diet. It should provide all the nutrients these creatures require. The crested gecko breeding process could make the specimens lose calcium. If that is the case, the breeder should complement the regular food with insects. Another option are special supplements. High quality food and environmental conditions will make the breeding process successful. It is not the time to save money.

Eggs

Females lay eggs every 25-35 days. For a successful laying process, the females require containers. The containers should be large enough so it fits the female comfortably. It should also allow the female to dig 4 inches down. The eggs inside the containers should be moist but no soaking wet. It is necessary to take care of the soil around it. Make sure to hydrate the containers on a regular basis.

Protected and misted inside their containers, the eggs need a special temperature. Each breeder has their preference. The average temperature should be between 20°C/69°C and 26°C/80°F. Eggs hatch after 65 days or it could take up to 90 days. It all depends on the temperature. It is a popular theory that the incubation temperature decides the sex of the reptile. This theory has not been proven with the crested gecko.

Baby Care

Crested geckos need light

People should refrain from handling the newly born crested geckos. The handling should not start for about two weeks. This is the time the crested gecko takes to learn about its surroundings. Handling a baby gecko before they are at least two weeks old is dangerous. Younger crested geckos feel more comfortable living in smaller terrariums. If a newly born crested gecko gets place it a 20 gallon aquarium, it will stop eating. Individual smaller terrariums are better for the younger specimens.

Sex

It is possible to determine the sex of a crested gecko once it is 5 months old. Males grow a bulge under the vent. It is noticeable after it is 5 months or older. Females do not have that bulge.

If Nothing Works

If a pair of crested geckos are together and refuse to breed, something is wrong. First, evaluate the environmental conditions. Is the temperature right? Is the humidity correct? Do they have enough space? If the environment is right, then consider other factors.

Health issues could keep the crested geckos from breeding. Evaluate the calcium levels at least once a month. Perhaps one of the crested geckos is underweight. Both issues could be fixed with the right diet. Talk to an experienced breeder about the issues with your specimens. They will be able to point any condition that could be interrupting the process. Educate yourself and be patient, the crested gecko breeding process takes some time. Those trying to breed their crested geckos for the first time, consider buying books on the subject.

Do crested geckos shed?

Do crested geckos shed? Typically of a reptile, yes, crested gecko does shed its skin when it reaches a certain stage in life. When shedding, crested gecko discard its skin wholly. Here are what you should know about your pet behavior. 

How do crested geckos shed their skin?

Crested geckos as one of many types of reptile do shed their skins as they grow. And this behavior will continue throughout their lives. The reason for this is their skin cells don’t grow as crested gecko body. So they have to change to a bigger “shirt” when needed.

As per their nature, when a crested gecko sheds its skin, it usually eats the shedded skin, as such, you would hardly see any shedded skin from your pets. This is to recapture some remaining nutrients used to create a new set of skin, and this particular behavior is meant as a mean to avoid being detected by predators in the wild.

Naturally, crested geckos can shed on their own without your help. Sometimes you can see small pieces of stuck skin near their toes and tails. And when things go bad, stuck skin will constrict blood flow, leading to more serious damage to your pet, such as loss of toes or tail tips. In such case, you can help your crested gecko by removing those stuck skin, using warm water and a paper towel. Sometimes, a Q-tip also helps.

Interesting facts about crested gecko shedding

Reasons to buy crested gecko leashes

One thing to remember, young crested geckos shed more frequently, as once a week. By contrast, adults ones shed only once a month or even less often. That’s why you should watch them closely if you’re owning a baby crested gecko.

Another fact is, crested geckos usually shed at night. So, if you know your pet will shed tonight, remember to maintain a good humidity level in its tank and fill in the water bowl. This will ensure your little reptile buddy won’t get dehydrated during the process.

Are crested geckos nocturnal?

Crested geckos are primarily nocturnal, which means that they are chiefly active at night, while at day, they would remain inert. Geckos would spend the day sleeping in secure spot, in high branches. This means that geckos are safe from the heat of the day, and at New Caledonia, their original home, the heat could be unbearable to this cold-blooded creature. As you might not know, crested geckos don’t demand high light exposure. In fact, they enjoy room temperature as we do. So, it’s recommended to keep them away from direct sunlight, which may heat up their tanks so quickly and do harm to them.

Do crested geckos need light?

Do crested geckos need light? Actually yes, but not as highly demanded as other types of reptile. This is an “advantage” for owning such a pet like this.

Facts about the need of light for crested geckos

There is not specific number of about how much light this species need. But compred to other geckos or reptile, crested geckos do not need special light equipments.  If you own a bearded dragon, you already know how much it costs to build UV light & heating lamp system for your pet.

For crested geckos, you can take this as an “advantage”. But if you have a naturalistic habitat setup for your reptile buddy, you need to give them some light, as natural as possible. One thing you need to keep in mind is that it’s not recommended to let your crested gecko sit near a window, under sunlight. As crested geckos enjoy room temperature, the sun will heat up very quickly and harm your pet. Moreover, your little gecko won’t benefit from sunlight UVB, especially through the pane of window glass like plants. So forget about it, keep your crested gecko as much light as you need.

Which light equipments are good for crested geckos?

Incandescent bulbs might emit a lot of heat inside a small and confined space. Even CFL bulbs can generate heat, so be sure to monitor temperatures when using lights so as not to endanger your geckos. Sunlight might not be desirable due to heat buildup. Glass also filters out the beneficial UVB rays present in natural sunlight, so it is an ineffective source of Vitamin D3, an important nutrient generated by sun exposure or from a supplemented diet.

There are specialty bulbs made either for night-time heating or for night viewing. These could be red (often labeled as infrared) bulbs, or blue spectrum (moonlight) bulbs to be kept on all night long. Crested geckos may be able to see these wavelengths of light, and it may interrupt their normal nocturnal behaviors. Be that as it may, you may use these these special bulbs for brief periods in the evenings/early morning to heat the tank or to provide you with some visibility for nighttime viewing.

Check out our review: Best crested gecko UVB lights

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