Crested geckos, also known as New Caledonian geckos or, more casually, eyelash geckos, have become popular pets in the reptile trade over the past few decades. However, with every pet reptile comes a significant investment cost as well as a recurring cost of upkeep for food, replacement enclosure supplies like heat lighting and substrate, and more. Thankfully, if you’re wondering about crested gecko cost, you’re in the right place!
Read on to learn more about the costs of everything you’ll need, from the price of the gecko itself to its enclosure and many supplies as well as vet bill estimates. A crested gecko is a long-term responsibility, but they’re also a long-term companion you’ll love having around.
How Much Do Crested Geckos Cost?
The first major investment that likely comes to mind when adopting a crested gecko is the cost of the lizard itself. You can generally expect to pay anywhere from $40 to $200 for a single gecko.
Depending on whether you buy from a pet shop or a breeder and what color or “morph” of gecko you’re looking for, the exact price will vary. More common morphs like bicolor or patternless geckos tend to be on the less expensive end of the spectrum. On the other hand, rarer and newer morphs like dalmatian and harlequin geckos can cost hundreds to even thousands of dollars each!
We highly recommend buying a crested gecko from a breeder. This is because reptile breeders tend to be more knowledgeable and ethical than chain pet shops when it comes to their practices and prices. Most reptile breeders will also give you care recommendations and are willing to answer any questions you have about your new pet.
Keep in mind the gecko shouldn’t be your first purchase, however! It’s best to have your enclosure set up and supplies on hand before you ever bring your crestie home. This way, you can be sure the temperature, humidity settings, and lighting are all calibrated and set up properly so your new pet is comfortable from the moment they arrive at their new home.
What Do You Need For a Crested Gecko?
Crested geckos are native to the warm, humid rainforests of New Caledonia, an island off Australia’s coast. This means you’ll need to replicate their native habitat as closely as possible. You’ll need the following supplies:
- A sturdy enclosure. Since crested geckos are arboreal and love to climb, the tank should be taller than it is wide. A 12” x 12” x 18” glass enclosure or larger is best for a single gecko.
- UVB lighting. Crested geckos are nocturnal and don’t need much exposure to UV rays. However, 4 to 6 hours of UVB exposure each day is beneficial to their health, growth, and digestion. A bulb with a 3% to 5% output is best.
- A low-wattage heat bulb. Although crested geckos require significantly less heat than most pet reptiles, a small, white heat bulb will keep temperatures within a safe range during the day and provide a small basking spot.
- Substrate. Something that retains humidity well is ideal, since these little lizards need a constant 60% to 80% humidity level. Coconut fiber, sphagnum moss, and potting soil are all great choices.
- Platforms, hides, vines, and branches. Get creative with providing your gecko with plenty of areas to climb on and hide in. You can use real plants for a more natural aesthetic, but you don’t necessarily have to! Many products designed for reptile enclosures have strong suction cups so you can easily adhere them to the sides of the tank.
- Food and water dishes. Some crested geckos won’t drink from standing water! Most geckos prefer to simply lick water droplets off the surfaces in their enclosures, but this isn’t always the case. Dishes should be sturdy and non-porous.
- A dual thermometer/hygrometer. These gauges will monitor the temperature and humidity in the enclosure so you can make adjustments as needed.
How Much Do Crested Gecko Enclosures Cost?
As we touched on earlier, your gecko’s enclosure should be at least 12” x 12” x 18” and have more vertical space than horizontal. If you want to house two or three geckos in one enclosure, it should be at least 18″ x 18″ x 24″. A sturdy glass enclosure with front- or side-opening doors will maintain humidity well and is easiest to access for regular cleanings. These enclosures range from around $100 to $250+ for larger, more elaborate setups.
Many well-known reptile supply brands have excellent crested gecko enclosures available. REPTIZOO, Zoo Med, and Zilla are some of the best options when it comes to affordability, durability, and overall quality.
How Much Are Crested Gecko Supplies?
The total cost of your initial investment will vary depending on a number of factors, from the type of enclosure you choose to the type of substrate and lighting. Expect to pay the following prices for these supplies:
- UVB lighting: $7 to $15 for a single 5% output bulb and $10 to $20 for a fixture to house the bulb. You can reuse the fixture, but you’ll need to replace the bulb every 6 months.
- A low-wattage heat bulb: Typically, 50-watt white heat bulbs cost around $5 to $10 each. A dome-shaped fixture to house the bulb will cost around $10 to $15. Like the UVB bulbs, heat bulbs will need to be replaced every month or two. The fixture can be reused.
- Substrate: Costs vary slightly depending on the type of substrate used. You can expect to pay around $20 for 8 quarts of coconut fiber or around $10 for 4 quarts of sphagnum moss. Substrate will need to be spot-cleaned daily and deep cleaned biweekly.
- Platforms, hides, vines, branches, etc.: The cost of these will also vary significantly depending on how you customize your gecko’s enclosure. You can buy several feet of reptile vines, for example, for around $10 to $20 for 4 to 8 feet. Artificial hanging vines usually cost around $5 to $10 for packs of two or three vines. Hides like small coconut huts usually cost around $10 each.
- Food and water dishes: Small reptile food and water dishes cost around $3 to $5 each. You can also find sets of two dishes from most retailers for around $10.
- A dual thermometer/hygrometer: You’ll be able to find these from most retailers for around $10 to $15 each.
Overall, the initial setup cost should be around $300 to $500 for a gecko, an enclosure, and supplies to set up their new habitat.
How Much Does Crested Gecko Food Cost?
Crested geckos are omnivores, so they need a varied diet in captivity to thrive. A mixture of live feeder insects, fresh fruits, and commercial meal replacement powders like Repashy or Pangea is ideal. On average, you can expect to pay only around $10 to $20 per month to feed a single crested gecko. This comes out to around $120 to $240 per year.
While baby crested geckos should eat almost every day, adult geckos only need to eat about 3 times a week, or every other day. Because they are quite small lizards, they are much cheaper to feed than something larger like a bearded dragon or an iguana.
Overall, crested geckos are a great choice if you want a pet reptile that’s inexpensive to feed! After the initial investment of their supplies, their monthly and yearly upkeep costs are fairly low.
How Much Do Crested Geckos Cost Per Month?
After you’ve purchased your gecko, their enclosure, and the initial supplies needed to furnish their new home, the overall cost to house and feed them is quite inexpensive. In fact, crested gecko cost is one of the cheapest exotic pets for both beginners and experts alike to maintain!
Some supplies like the enclosure itself and light fixtures will last for several years. However, other items like the light bulbs themselves, substrate, and food will need to be replaced. Depending on what needs to be replaced, expect to pay around $30 to $50 each month on your gecko’s care. Notably, this estimate includes the food costs we covered above.
Some months, all you’ll need to replace is food and possibly a heat bulb! Other months, you may need to replace substrate, hides, or perhaps a malfunctioning thermometer. This means you can expect to spend around $350 to $600 yearly on your crested gecko’s cost of care.
This estimate does not, however, include veterinary costs. A yearly check-up with a reptile veterinarian is highly recommended to ensure your gecko is in good health. This will cost an additional $50 to $80 per year. If your gecko becomes ill or injured, expect to shell out even more money ranging in the hundreds to even thousands of dollars. Fortunately, crested geckos are hardy lizards that usually don’t fall ill unless there are serious issues with their care.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/ajbulla
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