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Crested Gecko advice, please?

Discussion in 'Not So Spineless Wonders' started by boina, Jun 19, 2018.

  1. boina

    boina Lady of the mites Arachnosupporter

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    So, I'm very likely getting a crested gecko (male) on Sunday. Someone close by had one male too many and I have a planted vivarium standing around (just hadn't gotten around to dismantling it), so I said I'd take it. Thing is, I have kept snakes, but never any kind of gecko. I already know they need humidity, warmth, but not too warm, and they eat insects and fruit and I can buy premade food, too. What else do I need to know? The viv has only plants in there at the moment but I'm planning on adding a cork background before the gecko arrives. What kind of things do they like for climbing? Should I go with sticks or cork bark? Vertical sticks, or horizontal or diagonal? I'd like to get it right.
     
  2. AnimalNewbie

    AnimalNewbie Arachnobaron

    I’d go with horizontal cork bark and unlike snakes they don’t really need any heating and Pangea is probably the best bet for premade food and although they eat bugs keep it mainly fruit.
     
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  3. Jurdon

    Jurdon Arachnosquire Active Member

    Any climbing opportunities presented will be used by a crestie. Generally no outside heating is needed if your temps fall between 72-78 degrees (some let it drop to as low as 68, but I personally wouldn’t). Some keepers also provide basking spots of up to ~80ish degrees, but the general consensus is that they are not necessary. Premade diet is readily accepted but insects once or twice a week offer good enrichment as well as variety. Sounds like you’ve got everything down already to be honest, though!
     
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  4. StampFan

    StampFan Arachnobaron Active Member

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    The temperature is regularly down to 58F this time of year at night in New Caledonia, so temperature should not be an issue.

    Mine really like the jungle-type vines. I've put horizontal pool noodles/pipe insulation in each one of mine, and they use it all the time to look out the front of the enclosure. The seem to like bird perches and horizontal areas as well. They do hide most of the time. but will come on out around dusk to see what's up. Mine are kinda crazy *in* the cage, but once they are out seem to calm down. They also really calm down with age, less jumpy.

    Honestly, mine don't eat the insect/bug mixes as much as the fruit ones that have the egg, whey, protein, etc.

    Please make sure that the pre-mixed food you are feeding has D3. Some of them do not, creating the need for a little UVB.
     
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  5. Tim Benzedrine

    Tim Benzedrine Prankster Possum Old Timer

    You should do fine. When I got mine, I had zero experience with crested geckos, as it was offered as a rescue and I had to decide then and there. I had not even researched them before as I never really considered ever having one. Now mine seems to be doing fine (so far).
    By biggest hurdle has been, and will always be, managing temperatures. This house can get really hot in the summer and chilly in the winter. This means I have to relocate him to different areas in the house in accordance to the seasons. Beyond that, the lizard hasn't been much more difficult than my leopard geckos (again, so far) just different.
    Any of the reputable crestie diets should be nutritionally complete. Like Jurdon, I do offer the occasional small cricket now and then. He eats them enthusiastically, and I consider them a supplement.
    I still have to hand feed him, but dabbing a bit on his lips is no longer necessary, he laps it voluntarily and hopefully will begin to eat from a dish on his own, though the possibility exists that I started a bad habit with the hand feeding method. On the other hand, I kind of enjoy the interaction, so it may not be that bad.
     
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  6. boina

    boina Lady of the mites Arachnosupporter

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    Thank you, all of you @AnimalNewbie @Jurdon @StampFan @Tim Benzedrine , you were really helpful. And Tim, I read your Crested Gecko thread, of course :).

    I picked Geck up yesterday
    although he has to make do with a Pokie enclosure (without Pokie, of course :penguin:) for the time being since the silicone in his final enclosure needs to cure for a few more days.

    Interestingly, every German forum or breeder I asked told me to avoid Repashy ('purely chemical' 'unnatural') and use baby food (or fresh fruit) instead, absolutely contrary to the Americans. So, can anyone give me a good rationale why baby food is considered bad for geckos in America?? Of course I'm feeding crickets and roaches, too.
     
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  7. StampFan

    StampFan Arachnobaron Active Member

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    This does not answer your question, but I know you like academic articles, so here's one on commercial diets:
    https://scholarworks.bgsu.edu/cgi/v...psredir=1&article=1258&context=honorsprojects

    I've also found these articles quite helpful:
    http://www.moonvalleyreptiles.com/crested-geckos/diet-nutrition/prepared-diets
    http://www.moonvalleyreptiles.com/crested-geckos/diet-nutrition/homemade-diets

    I also don't see anything particularly "chemical" about the Repashy or Pangea. I see vitamins and minerals. And reality is, at least here, it is significantly cheaper than buying baby food, and you don't need to add anything (D3). One large container of a powdered crested gecko diet for one gecko would last a LONG time.

    Pretty handsome little gecko! Nice thing about these guys is that they're out the same time that you're looking at your T's. I got a new Chahoua baby yesterday. Very excited.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2018
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  8. boina

    boina Lady of the mites Arachnosupporter

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    Thank you for those links! They basically say you can use baby food but not as the sole food (duh...) and you'll have to supplement it. The stuff I bought doesn't contain sugar, so it should be fine. With all those supplements I'm always wondering who feeds geckos with supplements in nature? What do they get that my caged gecko doesn't get if I feed fresh fruit and insects? Somtimes I think the whole supplementing thing has gotten a bit out of hand. Anyway, don't worry, I'm going to add calcium but I'm absolutely sure that a mashed up fresh fruit mix and well fed insects should provide all the vitamins it needs.

    Edit: I had to look up Chahoua - very interesting!
     
  9. StampFan

    StampFan Arachnobaron Active Member

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    I've also got a pair of Gargoyle geckos....not really sure why they aren't more popular. Mine are certainly pretty chill. Great colours. And its fun to say Rhacodactylus auriculatus.

    I also really struggle with a LOT of the crested gecko info out there....."they don't need a water dish" … "just spray them". As we know this is bad advice for T's (who we've all seen drinking from water dishes) and almost every other reptile, so I give a BIG water dish. Keeps up humidity, and always provides a clean source of water.

    I guess I kind of look at the whole feeding of New Caledonian geckos like I see my dog. I *could* hand make its food every day. Or I could use a quality prepared and supplemented food from a pet store. Same with these guys. The powdered mixes have some documentation of being effective, and frankly, they are *SO EASY* to use, just like prepared dog food in a bag. Scoop and serve. There is little downside to using a quality mix of Repashy or Pangea. One can mix their own, but seems like more trouble (and possible expense) than its worth. When I have tried fresh fruits or what have you with the geckos it pretty much gets ignored. A new flavor of Repashy gets attacked in minutes (can you say Mulberry Madness? LOL).

    That said, my tortoise gets all the extra fruits and veggies in the house, so there ain't a lot of extra to go around.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2018
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  10. boina

    boina Lady of the mites Arachnosupporter

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    Not here :meh:. I checked, because, well, I decided it might be a good idea after all. The smallest pack is 13 Euro and that's only 2 ounces. If I get like 3 flavors that'll be 36 Euro for a small amount of food for one gecko... I can just mash up leftover fruit and mix in a bit of calcium/D3 powder and maybe a bit of yoghurt and get the same result. There's also only one or two shops where I can order it online, plus Amazon - no chance to get it at a LPS. (It shows that the stuff is shunned by lots of keepers in Germany. :meh:)

    Edit: Ok, that was for Pangea, Repashy is a bit easier to get, but not less expensive.

    Furthermore, where do you place the stuff? I made the mistake of placing it on the floor and had the gecko walk through it all night and found an 'interesting' mix of fruit and substrate this morning. Obviously that's not going to work...
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
  11. AnimalNewbie

    AnimalNewbie Arachnobaron

    I normally just have it in a condiment cup and glue it to the side of the enclosure which is accessible to the gecko.
     
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  12. StampFan

    StampFan Arachnobaron Active Member

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    A lot of people use magnetic or suction cup "gecko ledges" that hold 2 condiment cups. Theory being that 1) they prefer to eat at a higher level, and 2) if they eat off the ground they may eat substrate and have impaction issues. I've seen a few Youtube vids where people will take a soap dish and use it on the side of an enclosure and put the feeding dish in that.

    I use Gatorade lids (as most T people also are habitual lid collectors) and just place on the floor (as I don't have peat or coco fibre on the ground), all of mine use them without issue.

    Sad that Repashy and Pangea are so expensive for you. I've found the local breeders here often distribute/sell themselves, as well as better prices at reptile expos. I believe there may be a UK brand of diet that might be a bit more EU friendly....but again, make sure it has D3. The new-look ZooMed formula for crested geckos looks promising, but it may only be available in the US, I'm told it'll be at least a year before its available for me in Canada. Cheapest place for me to order is www.northerngecko.ca but I have no idea if they ship product to Europe....
     
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  13. boina

    boina Lady of the mites Arachnosupporter

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    Soap dish is a good idea - I may go for that. I've enough small bowls around to put in there. It's a fully planted vivarium, so it has substrate in there and impaction is an issue - the food has to come off the ground. I'll be looking around at the next expo and try to find some Repashy, too. I did look around for other similar stuff but everything was just as expensive and some stuff sounded really bad (like, made from veggies and grain???), so I'll stick to the proven formulas. And no, ordering from overseas is prohibitively expensive.
     
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  14. Jurdon

    Jurdon Arachnosquire Active Member

    Beautiful gecko! As for the baby food thing, if memory serves, it has been shown to lead to MBD (Metabolic Bone Deficiency) when provided as the sole diet. Whether this is from a lack of calcium or if the geckos are just not able to process the whole thing is unclear to me. Personally, I use pangea for my gecko (Eurydactylodes agricolae, a small, criminally underrated New Caledonian species), but to be honest, what you’re doing currently sounds perfectly fine.
     
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  15. StampFan

    StampFan Arachnobaron Active Member

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    Does your agricolae like handling much? Or more of a "watching" pet like the T's?
     
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  16. Jurdon

    Jurdon Arachnosquire Active Member

    She tolerates it. She likes to bite me first, after that initial bite she’s fine. How else can she be sure I’m not food? She’s been grumpy lately due to being on eggs, but is a sweetheart deep down.
     
  17. StampFan

    StampFan Arachnobaron Active Member

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    I passed on one of these to pick up a base nothing special adult olive green crested gecko that is nuts to get out of the cage but super sweet to handle. I'm very curious about your experience with these. How old?regular Crested gecko diet? Active ? Tell me more. I don't trust other boards there don't seem to be any decent New Caledonian gecko discussion boards. But I respect the opinion of folks here.
     
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  18. Jurdon

    Jurdon Arachnosquire Active Member

    My girl, Beau, is about a year old. She hatched October 5th, 2017, and I got her in December of the same year from Pangea Reptile. I’ve fed her Pangea’s CGD as a main diet, supplemeted with insects 1-3 times a week. I wouldn’t call her an active gecko, at least not super keen to be watched closely, but she’s out in the open all the time. Some keepers provide theirs with a basking spot, though apparently it’s not necessary. I don’t have one for mine currently, but plan to implement one when I eventually overhaul her enclosure and make it fully bioactive (hoping to get that done this winter). They’re absolutely wonderful little geckos full of personality, and I could go on for ages about all their little quirks, behaviors and likewise.
     
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  19. StampFan

    StampFan Arachnobaron Active Member

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    When you get time feel free! Would love to get more info about these guys. I'll assume yours will become pretty handleable at maturity. Young nocturnal geckos are notorious for being jumpy and not trustworthy.
     
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  20. Jurdon

    Jurdon Arachnosquire Active Member

    I don’t know if maturity’s a huge factor, Beau’s already laying eggs! She just likes to give me a “test-bite”, if I may steal a term from the centipede hobby. This thread actually encouraged me to get her out for a little tonight, seems her gravid moodiness is over.
     
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