When it comes to housing reptiles, many owners wonder whether or not they should keep multiple pets in the same tank.
Crested geckos are no exception to this curiosity.
Is it a good idea for us to keep more than one of these lizards in the same enclosure?
As a general rule, multiple crested geckos should not be kept in the same tank. These solitary animals do the best living on their own. In some cases, adult females may be housed together. Due to their aggressive nature, we do not recommend keeping males as tank mates.
Let’s take a look at how these geckos live and the possibilities of keeping more than one pet per tank.
Crested Gecko Housing and Behaviors
In the wild, crested geckos live in solitude.
They come together only for breeding, after which they return to living on their own.
As reptile owners, we do our best to simulate our pet’s natural habitats to the best of our abilities.
In the case of the crested gecko, this means providing it with plenty of room to climb in its tank.
Using branches and small plants to simulate the canopies of trees is a great way to accomplish this.
In general, these lizards are not overly social with one another.
Females are usually able to tolerate each other more easily than males.
They are not generally aggressive, and some owners have experienced adult females partaking in social interaction with each other throughout the day and night.
However, it is common for female geckos to establish a hierarchy.
If two adult females are kept in the same enclosure, one will most likely establish itself as the alpha.
Once this is established, there is minimal risk of fighting.
Males are much more aggressive and territorial than females.
Experts and fellow reptile owners agree: it’s best to never house two males in the same tank.
It is possible to house a male with a female, but you must take certain preventive measures to keep both lizards healthy.
The best housing scenario for your pets is keeping one gecko per terrarium.
Even if your geckos are not outwardly aggressive, this will minimize the risk of injury and will reduce the stress associated with living among other lizards.
Adult crested geckos are not large animals.
When shopping for a suitable enclosure for your adult gecko, you will need to find one measuring at least 20 gallons.
This gecko is an arboreal reptile, meaning it lives in trees.
Your pet will spend much of its climbing and hanging out in canopies of trees, so you need to purchase a vertical tank.
An ideal measurement for your 20-gallon tank is 12 “x12″ x24” inches.
This will allow room for plenty of branches and ample climbing space.
Larger tanks are always welcomed by our pets.
If you have the means to do so, it doesn’t hurt to invest in an even bigger glass tank.
If you choose to keep more than one gecko per terrarium, you will need to increase the size of the enclosure accordingly.
For example, if you have more than one female crested gecko in your home and want to house them together, consider doubling the size of their tank.
UVB And Temperature
Other than the tank size requirements, there are several other environmental aspects you will need to control for your pets.
Unlike most other species of geckos, crested geckos do not require a UV light in their enclosure.
As nocturnal creatures, they spend their days hiding under vegetation and low branches.
It is important to have climbing surfaces as well as several hides in the enclosure.
Temperature and humidity are the final major habitat requirements which will need regulating.
During the day, the tanks should have ambient temperatures between 72 and 78° degrees Fahrenheit (25° C).
At night, you should reduce the temperatures to rest between 69 and 74° degrees Fahrenheit (23° C).
It is important to have warm and cool spots in the tank at all times.
Vegetation and hides are great ways to provide areas with varying temperatures within the habitat.
Owners are required to maintain humidity levels between 60% and 80%.
To ensure the environment stays moist, use a spray bottle to mist the enclosure once per day.
This will keep humidity levels up and will create water droplets to keep your pet hydrated.
Your gecko will likely drink the water droplets from leaves within the tank.
Even so, providing a source of clean water every day is essential.
Exceptions To The No Crested Gecko Tank Mates Rule
Juvenile Crested Geckos And Cohabitation
A crested gecko baby is aged 0 to 6 months.
From 6 months to approximately 18 months, these lizards are considered juveniles.
Some beginner gecko owners opt for baby or juvenile lizards when purchasing their pets.
They are very small and cute, making them a desirable choice.
As a first-time gecko owner, we suggest only keeping one juvenile per tank.
If your juveniles show signs of aggression, there is an increased risk of fighting.
When owners keep their babies and juveniles separated, it is easier to monitor their eating and bathroom habits.
To grow healthy reptiles, it is important to ensure they consume the proper amount of food and go to the bathroom regularly.
If you have two juveniles in one tank, it is much harder to tell whether they share food.
It is even harder to determine which geckos are defecating regularly.
Since these animals are nocturnal, they will require their meals at night.
This makes it even more difficult to ensure both juveniles are getting their meals.
If one gecko exhibits dominant behavior, it may eat the other’s food.
This will also increase the risk of fighting over meals.
It is best to keep your pets housed separately for minimal risk unless you are an experienced crested gecko caretaker.
Once a crested gecko baby has reached maturity, it is best to move it to its enclosure if it was previously living with a tank mate.
Contrary to what we think as humans, your pet will likely not miss its crested gecko friend.
Moving it to its own home will reduce the risk of stress significantly.
It is also important to note geckos of different sizes and ages should never be housed together.
Keeping a baby in a tank with a juvenile or adult will put the smaller gecko at risk of injury.
Adult Female Tank Mates
An adult female crested gecko is generally more docile and mild-mannered than a juvenile or an adult male.
A female crestie has a much higher tolerance level for other geckos than its male counterpart.
Because of this, some owners choose to keep multiple females in the same enclosure.
If you choose to do this, we do not recommend housing more than two cresties together unless you are a very experienced gecko keeper.
In some cases, your female crested gecko may be very sociable and enjoy the company of others.
While almost all cresties enjoy human interaction, some get along well with other cresties.
If your female is fully matured, it is possible to introduce a second fully grown female crested gecko to the enclosure.
You should do this with careful supervision once a quarantine period of 30 to 60 days is complete.
This quarantine period will allow you to make certain your new pet is not carrying any parasites or diseases.
It will also give your new pet ample time to adjust to its new surroundings and minimize its stress levels.
When you are at the stage of placing your quarantined female gecko into the tank with your resident gecko, you will need to monitor their interactions.
Like most other animals, these lizards have different personalities.
Some are welcoming to newcomers, while others prefer to be left alone.
The compatibility of your female tank mates will be evident very quickly.
If your females are not getting along, it is best to remove the new gecko and house it in its enclosure.
Once you are certain your females are friendly with one another and are willing to cohabitate, you will be able to lower your guard.
In any case, you will need to guarantee there is plenty of space in the enclosure for your two females to have their own space.
Since cresties enjoy hanging out in the canopies of trees, having multiple perches within the habitat is ideal, so both of your pets have their own space.
Adult Male and Female Tank Mates
The only time it truly makes sense to house your adult male with another crested gecko is if you are planning to breed your cresties.
One of the natural behaviors of male geckos is attempting to breed with any female it comes in contact with.
Because of this, you must only place two fully mature adults in a single enclosure.
Housing these geckos incorrectly may lead to dangerous living conditions.
You should never, under any circumstances, house one female with multiple adult males.
The males will enter a battle of establishing dominance.
This will likely end with fights among the males and a very stressed out female.
A male will often chase a female around the tank in an attempt to mate with it.
It would be cruel to your female gecko to place it in an enclosure with multiple males attempting to mate.
If you have only one male and one female, be sure both are fully mature.
The importance of having an adult female is to be sure she can produce healthy eggs.
It is also important for the male to be fully grown to prevent injury.
A sub-adult male will attempt to mate with the adult female even though he is too small.
This will put him at risk of sustaining injuries from the larger female.
Once your geckos have mated, and the female has laid her eggs, you need to remove the male from the tank.
To keep your female reptile healthy, you must give it time to heal and recover from birth in a stress-free environment.
Related: How to tell the gender of crested geckos
Why Male Crested Geckos Should Never Live Together
We have already discussed the likelihood of adult male geckos fighting to establish dominance.
Since these animals naturally live alone, they will see their tank mates as enemies attempting to take their territory.
This aggressive nature will put your geckos at risk of sustaining bites and other injuries.
If your two male cresties do not physically fight, housing them together is still a bad idea.
To keep your reptile healthy, you will need to secure its physical and mental safety. Introducing unnecessary stress will have negative effects on your pet’s overall wellbeing.
Attempting to house two adult males in the same enclosure is an unnecessary and dangerous practice.
As responsible pet owners, we strongly advise against ever putting your geckos in this situation.
If you choose to have two male crested geckos, your only option will be to house them in separate tanks.
To eliminate any possible stressors, we suggest keeping their enclosures separated, so they are unable to see each other.
You can learn more about the pros and cons of crested gecko cohabitation in our other post.