How Do I Set Up a Crested Gecko Tank/Habitat/Terrarium?

Setting up an appropriate environment for your crested gecko is essential to keeping your pet safe, happy, and healthy. There are many factors to consider when creating your gecko’s living space, so where exactly do you start in terms of setting up your gecko’s tank/habitat/terrarium?

The habitat for an adult crested gecko should be a tank that is at least 18″x18″x24″. It’s important that the tank has plenty of vertical space for your crested gecko to climb. Temperature should be kept between 72-78F, and humidity should be kept at 50-60% during the day, and should increase to 80% at night.

In this article, we’ll be going in-depth into how you can successfully set up your crested geckos habitat, as well as the tools you’ll need to make this happen. If you’re interested in learning more about these topics, keep on reading.

Photo 100939804 © || A basic tank for an adult crested gecko. 18″x18″x24″

Invest in the Right Tank for Your Crested Gecko

Before you gather all the tools you need to set up your new pet’s living space, you need to invest in the correct tank. You want your crested gecko to be comfortable, and to do this, you need to invest in a tank of the correct size.

It’s recommended for baby crested geckos to be housed in large plastic terrariums or a 10-gallon tank with a screen top.

This Zilla Critter Cage is a great option for baby crested geckos to live in comfortably. This product offers an escape resistant mesh top and plenty of hanging space for your gecko’s water bottle.

As for adult crested geckos, they should be housed in a 20-gallon tank with a screen top. If you’re looking for the correct living space for your adult crested gecko, the Thrive Tropical Reptile Corner Terrarium is an ideal choice for your grown reptile friend.

The vertical design of this terrarium allows your crested gecko to practice natural climbing behavior, which in turn helps them get closer to UVB light.

It’s easy to see how important it is to invest in the correct tank for your crested gecko. The size of the tank you purchase should reflect the age and size of your crested gecko. Once you’ve successfully found the right tank for your reptile friend, it’s time to take the next step.

Photo 57463461 ©

Use Appropriate Lighting

Even though crested geckos are nocturnal creatures and are only active at night, many reptile owners insist on providing UVB lighting for their pets. Crested geckos have exposure to UVB rays in the wild, so a lot of people like to have it available to them in their habitat.

The common wisdom is that it’s not absolutely essential, but it can’t hurt. (The link here is to a post I wrote on whether crested geckos need UVB.)

UVB rays provide your crested gecko with calcium, allowing them to thrive just as if they were in the wild. The Zilla Slimline Desert 50 UVB T8 from PetCo is a great lighting product that will give you exactly what you’re looking for. This product is easy to install and allows your crested gecko to receive all the benefits it has to offer.

It’s recommended to use UVB lighting on your crested gecko for 10-12 hours a day for the best results. It’s also important to remember that the lighting should be 3-5% UVB, which is an appropriate amount for your crested gecko.

In the video below, you can explore different types of lighting fixtures and decide what’s best for you and your reptile friend.

Using the appropriate lighting within your gecko’s tank is vital to keeping them comfortable as well as thriving. Light fixtures are easy to install and will benefit your crested gecko in the long run.

Regulate the Temperature and Humidity of Your Gecko’s Tank

Keeping the temperature of your crested gecko’s tank consistent is so important to the health and safety of your animal.

The ideal temperature for a crested gecko’s tank should be 74°F, and should never reach 80°F or higher. Long term exposure to heat that exceeds 80°F can result in death, so it’s important to maintain a comfortable heat for your gecko.

During the colder months, your gecko can withstand temperature drops up to 60°F, but it’s important to invest in heating fixtures to keep your gecko at a normal and comfortable temperature during these times. There are low-wattage incandescent light bulbs you can use to regulate the temperature of your tank in the colder months.

It’s also important to note that when installing any kind of heat fixture for your tank to leave one side of the tank unexposed, that way your gecko has a cooler area of the tank they can go to, in order to regulate their body temperature.

Photo 110200955 ©

Similar to regulating temperature, you want to ensure that you’ve created a humidity level of at least 50-60% during the day for your gecko’s tank. The humidity should be raised at night to around 80%. Regulating humidity is important for your crested gecko for a number of reasons.

For one, it keeps your gecko hydrated and shedding properly. Shedding is a big part of a baby gecko’s growing process, and wouldn’t be possible without proper humidity. If the humidity in your tank is too low, your gecko will have trouble shedding.

It’s recommended you use the Zoo Med Repti Fogger to keep your humidity at a decent level, therefore allowing your young gecko to shed properly.

It’s important to keep factors such as temperature and humidity within your gecko’s tank regular in order to keep your pet happy and healthy.

Fill Your Tank With Suitable Items

Lastly, let’s discuss how it’s essential you fill up your crested gecko’s tank with suitable items.

Items you can put in your tank that are suitable for your gecko’s environment include plants, twigs, vines, logs, and substrate.

As we discussed earlier, allowing your crested gecko to practice it’s natural climbing abilities is healthy. Providing your gecko with climbing materials like vines and other plants is key to keeping your new friend happy. So when adding plants and other forms of decor to your tank, don’t be afraid to go all out, your reptile friend will really enjoy it.

Aside from allowing your gecko to use plants and other objects for climbing, it’s also important to create an area for your gecko to essentially hide. Whether it’s fake plants or even a simple toilet paper tube, crested geckos need an area to hide to feel safe.

As for substrate, there are plenty of safe options available for crested geckos. From mulch to newspaper, you can fill your gecko’s terrarium floor with whatever you prefer, depending on the look you’d like to achieve. It’s important to be mindful that substrate is only recommended to be used in the habitats of geckos that are grown for safety reasons.

Two of the most popular types of substrate are coco coir, which is a good general substrate for crested geckos, and ABG Mix, which is a great choice for bioactive crested gecko enclosures.

(Bioactive enclosures don’t need to be frequently cleaned. Since the substrate isn’t changed out all the time, you need something that doesn’t break down/decay quickly. ABG Mix was made specifically to stand the test of time in very humid environments. It’s more expensive, but it’s very good.)

I would recommend avoiding using sand as a substrate because ingesting it could cause serious health problems for your crested gecko.

Reptile carpet is another good choice, however:

Photo 76734447 ©

No matter how you choose to decorate the interior of your gecko’s tank, giving your reptile friend plenty of space to be active as well as comfortable will leave you and your pet feeling happy.


Now that you know how to properly set up your crested gecko’s tank/habitat/terrarium, you’ll want to invest in the correct kind of tank, taking size and shape into account. Once you have the correct tank for your gecko, you’ll need to start filling up the tank with the appropriate materials.

From fake plants and decor to the correct lighting, you’ll want to gather all the correct materials to make sure your gecko stays healthy and comfortable. Keeping your crested gecko’s habitat clean and regularly removing the contents in the tank to clean is also crucial.

From purchasing the correct tank size to keeping the correct materials in your tank, you’re sure to keep your new crested gecko safe, happy, and healthy if you follow these easy steps.