This post goes into a lot of detail concerning crested gecko humidity. If you are looking for a quick answer, watch this video and you’ll have everything you need to know!
Crested geckos are some of the largest gecko species, ranging from 6-10 inches. While these geckos are named for the crest-like shapes above their eyes, they actually do not have eyelids. Instead, they use their tongues to add moisture to their eyes and remove debris.
Once considered a very rare reptile, crested geckos have become a very popular household pet.
Native to the rainforests of New Caledonia, these little lizards prefer to hang out in the canopy of forests and are impressive jumpers!
When they are young, crested geckos shed up to once a week. However, this tends to decrease to once every couple of months as they become adults.
Long before crested geckos became the house pets that we all know and love, they were believed to be extinct. This gecko species was rediscovered after a tropical storm in 1994. While their status in the wild is still being assessed, these little guys are easy to find from pet suppliers.
As crested geckos are rainforest dwellers, it is imperative to create an environment similar to their home. With the proper care, your crested gecko can live up to 15 or 20 years!
The Crested Gecko’s Natural Environment
New Caledonia is part of France, but the tropical island is located in the Pacific Ocean near Australia. The island is one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world and is home to species of plants and animals not found anywhere else!
The days in New Caledonia usually never get colder than about 68 degrees Fahrenheit. November to March is the hot and humid season, with temperatures between 80 and 86 degrees. The cooler, dry season spans from June to August.
The average relative humidity of the island is about 76%. This can leap to 80% during the wet season and drop to 70% in the dry season. Although, many of us would not consider 70% humidity to be dry!
So, what does all of this mean for how a crested gecko is used to living?
It means that they are used to warm environments with plenty of moisture.
Crested Gecko humidity is therefore very important to monitor and control!
Why Crested Gecko Humidity is Important!
Crested geckos call the rainforests of New Caledonia their home! They have adapted and grown accustomed to living in these conditions, and it is crucial they have the proper habitat in their new home.
Crested geckos rely on the humidity within their environment for many things related to their health and survival. Failure to provide a humid habitat can cause issues with your gecko’s skin and sense of smell!
One tell-tale sign that a tank does not have the appropriate amount of humidity is that your crested gecko is experiencing shedding problems.
When crested geckos do not have access to an adequate amount of hydration, it can significantly affect their overall health.
For example, when shedding, poor humidity can cause pieces of skin to get trapped all over their bodies. This usually occurs in juvenile or hatchling geckos, as they lack adequate moisture. This can cause the loss of tail tips, toes, and even an entire foot on very rare occasions!
Keep your crestie moist and they’ll be as happy as a pig in the mud!
The Perfect Humidity For Your Crested Gecko
Creating the optimal humidity for your crested gecko can be a challenge. If you use paper towels (or similar) as your substrate, maintaining the appropriate humidity can be VERY challenging.
Ideal levels for crested gecko humidity range between 60-80%. It is sometimes recommended to increase the humidity level beyond 80% to assist with shedding. However, this can hurt your gecko’s health, so should be used infrequently and only if they are experiencing shedding issues.
Too much or too little humidity dramatically affect a crested gecko’s health. To monitor the humidity of the habitat, I recommend you invest in a hygrometer.
Hygrometers measure the level of humidity within the tank and provide a percentage of the relative humidity in the air. Most come with a thermometer and can help to improve the overall environment within the tank significantly.
You can get a hygrometer, with a built-in thermometer from Amazon.com for $9.34. This kills two birds with one stone and is the preferred hygrometer among lizard owners.
Pro Tip: Every so often, it is essential to let the humidity drop as low as 50 to 40 percent before misting the tank to allow for mold and mildew control – which can both cause sickness in crested geckos.
In addition to the humidity, temperature plays another large role in your crested gecko’s health and happiness. Check out Crested Gecko Temperature and Heating Guide to learn more about this vital aspect of Crested Gecko Care. If you’re thinking about getting a Crested Gecko or have recently purchased one you should also read Crested Gecko Care – Including Care Sheet.
How to Achieve the Perfect Crested Gecko Humidity
So, now that you know the kind of environment they need to thrive, it is essential to understand what you need to do to provide the proper environment.
Keeping the tank at the right level of humidity requires consistent misting. You can use a spray bottle and mist the tank manually throughout the day, or you can invest in an automatic mister to attach to the enclosure.
A misting system will save you SO much time and ensure that your crestie always has the humidity they need! These systems used to cost $200-$300, now you can get one for $46.77! If you are thinking about buying one of these, have a look at the table below, that provides a quick and easy comparison.
Depending on how well your enclosure maintains humidity, you may have to spray twice a day or possibly more throughout the day. You should use dechlorinated tap water for spraying the tank, as chlorine can be harmful to your gecko!
Crested Geckos are easy to care for, but humidity is one of those things people struggle with!
Remember; spray twice a day, keep humidity between 60-80% and be on the lookout for shedding problems! If you have a very busy schedule, I’d recommend looking into a misting system.
What do you use to maintain humidity for your crestie?