Before purchasing a crested gecko, there are several factors to consider regarding the costs of ownership.
You must be financially prepared to provide your new reptile with an optimal environment, a nutritious diet, and regular veterinary care.
The initial setup costs make up the bulk of expenses in owning a crested gecko, and monthly costs are relatively low.
So how much do you need to include in your budget?
On average, crested geckos range from $50-$500, depending on their color and pattern. Expect to spend between $300-$500 on an enclosure and other necessities for a proper setup. Monthly food and maintenance costs are between $20-$30.
In addition to being financially prepared to own a crested gecko, it is essential to set aside time every day for proper husbandry and bonding activities.
Providing your crestie with optimal care and enrichment will keep your lizard healthy and happy.
Keep reading to learn more about the average cost of a crested gecko as well as the cost of the initial setup for your new pet.
Average Cost Of Crested Geckos
Normal crested geckos are very common, so they tend to be less expensive than rarer color morphs and patterns.
However, expect to pay a little more for adult male and female cresties, especially once they have reached sexual maturity.
Female crested geckos are always more expensive than males of the same age.
These geckos are readily available in most pet stores, but they may be more difficult to find among breeders who focus on unique morphs.
Rare color and pattern morphs are more easily found among online breeders but expect to pay higher prices.
Rare and vivid morphs tend to be much more expensive than a normal crestie.
Variations such as the Black Night crested gecko morph cost anywhere between $3,000-$5,000.
More common crested gecko morphs usually range between $50-$500 and is rarely more than $1,000.
Newer gecko morphs are more expensive at first until the supply meets demand.
Depending on the breeding success rate of a morph, it may take several years to produce an adequate population of a particular crestie.
The following table shows the average cost of a crested gecko based on the most common color or pattern morphs.
Check out our detailed article on all crested gecko morphs (with pictures!).
Pricing Table For Crested Geckos Based On Color And Pattern
|Crested Gecko Color/Pattern Morph||Average Price Range|
|Normal Adult Male||$100-$250|
|Normal Adult Female||$200-$400|
Common Crested Gecko Color Morphs
A crested gecko may change color depending on if the animal is “fired up” or “fired down,” so keep this in mind when choosing a morph.
When a crestie is fired up, its colors will be darker and more vivid.
Cresties usually fire up in the evenings when they are more active, but if they are constantly fired up during the day, it might be due to stress.
If you are purchasing your crested gecko from an online breeder, be sure to ask if the reptile is fired up or fired down in the pictures, so you are able to get the most accurate representation of the animal.
Normal crested geckos are the type of coloring found in wild cresties.
These geckos usually have a light base color in shades ranging from gray, brown, red, orange, and yellow.
A pattern in a contrasting darker color is seen along the back from the head to the tail.
A normal crested gecko is generally the coloring you will find at your local pet store, and they are the least expensive because of their wide availability.
Baby and juvenile cresties are the least expensive, especially if they are unsexed.
Adult crested geckos who have reached sexual maturity are more expensive, with females being higher than males.
Patternless or Solid
A patternless or solid crested gecko does not have a distinct pattern along its back, but a row of cream-colored scales may be on the hind limbs.
Patternless crestie morphs are available in various colors:
The price range of a patternless or solid crestie ranges depending on the color.
Lavender is usually the most expensive because of its rarity.
Bi-color crested gecko morphs are usually patternless morphs with either a lighter or darker color along their back.
The bi-color morph may have a light patterning on the reptile’s back, but it will not include the cream color found in the flame morph.
Bi-color cresties range from bright orange or red to more subdued colors such as olive or buckskin.
The tiger morph is a crested gecko with a light base coloring and dark, uniform stripes running the length of the reptile’s back.
Tiger cresties usually have a tan or brown base color, but they may also be olive, orange, or yellow.
The brindle crested gecko morph is very similar to a tiger morph, but the stripe pattern will appear more broken and marbled instead of uniform.
Brindle cresties come in the same colors as the tiger morph.
The flame crested gecko morph is very similar to the bi-color morph, except the color along the crestie’s back will be much lighter and more contrasting to the primary body color.
Flame crested geckos are available in almost any morph color, and the contrasting pattern is usually white, cream, or orange.
Although it is rare, the flame morph may also have a tiger pattern.
Harlequin crested geckos appear very similar to the flame morph, but the pattern is more prominent along the reptile’s sides and legs.
There is a lot of contrast in the coloring of a harlequin crestie, with the body usually being red or almost black with a light cream or yellow pattern.
The pinstripe crested gecko morph is one of the most sought-after color patterns.
Pinstripe morphs feature a dark base color with two sets of white scales forming stripes along the gecko’s back.
These pinstripes may either be straight or broken depending on the particular morph variety.
The pinstripe morph comes in various colors and may even have flame or harlequin patterning on the rest of the body.
The dalmatian crested gecko morph has a light base color with dark spots along the body.
Dalmatian cresties are one of the most popular morphs, and they are available in a wide variety of colors.
The spots are usually black, green, or red, and they vary in size.
Dalmation cresties with more prominent spots are generally more expensive.
Initial Supply Costs For A Crested Gecko
Before you bring your new crested gecko home, create a habitat for the reptile.
Setting up the enclosure ahead of time provides a stable environment for your crestie and allows you to make necessary adjustments in the temperature or humidity.
When creating a bioactive enclosure, wait at least one month before introducing the crested gecko to its new home.
This allows the live plants and caretaker insects to go through a complete nitrogen cycle, creating a more stable habitat.
The table below illustrates the average price range of supplies you will need to initially provide for your crested gecko.
Pricing Table For Average Initial Supply Costs For A Crested Gecko
|Crested Gecko Supply or Accessory||Average Price Range|
|Lights/Heaters||$65, around $20 for bulbs|
|Disinfecting Cage Cleaner||$15|
|Total Initial Supply Cost:||$295-$480|
Supplies and Accessories for Your Crested Gecko
You do not have to spend a lot of money on accessories such as plants, branches, or hides.
However, it is important to give your crestie plenty of hiding spots and climbing areas for enrichment.
Choose the best setup within your budget, and remember to plan the enclosure according to your crestie’s age and size.
A crested gecko needs a vertical enclosure to accommodate its climbing habits.
The price of the enclosure will depend on its size.
A small 12″x12″x18″ inches glass terrarium costs close to $100, and a larger 18″x18″x24″ inches tank will be priced closer to $200.
The size of the enclosure depends on the age and size of your crestie.
Baby and small juvenile cresties will feel more secure in a small 10-gallon tank, while larger juveniles and adults require at least a 20-gallon tank.
Upgrading to a larger enclosure is a cost for future consideration if you plan to buy a baby or young juvenile crestie.
Since crested geckos are avid climbers, they prefer to eat while perched on a branch.
A feeding ledge costs between $10-$20, and it will allow you to place food and water high up in the enclosure.
Choose the best one for your budget or enclosure size.
The feeding ledge attaches to the side of the tank either with a magnet or suction cup and comes with small plastic disposable food and water cups for easy cleanup.
Refills of the disposable feeding cups are available in packs of 100 for around $10.
A transport cage will be necessary for taking your crested gecko to the vet, and it also provides temporary housing for your reptile while you clean the main enclosure.
A travel enclosure is a small plastic box with a removable lid, air vents, and a handle for easy carrying.
These travel cages are too small for many accessories, but place a paper towel substrate in the bottom to make cleanup easier.
Use a simple substrate such as paper towels for babies and small juvenile cresties.
The enclosure for the smaller geckos is usually too small for live plants, so there is no need for a loose substrate mix.
Depending on what is included in the substrate mix, the cost will range from $5-$20 per bag.
If you are setting up a bioactive terrarium, the substrate mixture will need to include soil.
Placing small smooth stones on the bottom of the tank before adding the soil mixture will aid in drainage for the plants.
The substrate is a recurring cost if you are not using a bioactive setup, as you will need to remove any soiled substrate when cleaning the enclosure.
The temperature and humidity of the enclosure need to be monitored every day.
Invest in a quality digital thermometer and hygrometer for the most accurate results.
If you buy a thermometer and a hygrometer separately, it will cost you around $35.
There are kits for $25 available, and they include both a thermometer and a hygrometer.
The crestie’s enclosure needs a temperature gradient between 72-78° degrees Fahrenheit (26° C) during the day.
Humidity levels should range from 50%-60% during the day and close to 80% at night.
Crested geckos are crepuscular reptiles, which means they are more active during the hours between dusk and dawn.
Because they are more active at night, cresties do not need special UVB lighting.
If you live in a temperate area and the ambient temperature of your home is between 72-78° degrees Fahrenheit (26° C), you do not need to add a heat source.
A light to signify the day and night cycle is necessary for maintaining your crestie’s circadian rhythm.
If you live in a colder climate, you will need to invest in a low-wattage heat bulb or a ceramic heat emitter.
For more details, visit our guide to crested gecko lighting requirements.
Your crestie will greatly benefit from having a variety of plants, climbing branches, and hides.
Real plants are available at garden centers, pet stores, plant nurseries, and online.
Be sure to research which types of foliage are safe for your crestie.
Crested geckos are shy reptiles, so having plenty of hiding spots will make them feel more secure.
Fake plants work well in a smaller enclosure, where having live plants is not possible.
A simple spray bottle is all you need to raise the humidity in your crestie’s enclosure at night,
Lightly mist the plants and sides of the tank in the evening when the humidity is down to 50%.
Use a hygrometer to ensure the humidity level is not any higher than 80% after misting.
It is best to record your gecko’s weight at least once per week to ensure your crestie grows correctly.
Use a small digital kitchen scale and a small bowl to weigh your crestie.
Any sudden weight gain or loss may signal a health concern.
If you have any concerns about your crestie’s weight, make an appointment with your veterinarian.
Disinfecting Cage Cleaner
To effectively clean your crestie’s enclosure, you will need a reptile-safe disinfectant spray.
A bottle of this disinfectant generally costs about $15, and it will last close to three months.
Recurring Costs of Crested Gecko Ownership
The recurring expenses of owning a crested gecko are very low after you have purchased the initial setup.
The average monthly cost of caring for a crestie is between $20-$30.
The following table shows the average recurring costs of owning a crested gecko.
Pricing Table of Recurring Costs of Crested Gecko Ownership
|Recurring Purchase||Average Cost||Frequency|
|Insects/Supplements/Diet||$5 – $25||1-3 months*|
|Disinfecting Cage Cleaner||$15||Every 3 months*|
|Veterinary Care||$40 – $60 per visit||Once Yearly Checkup|
Details of Recurring Costs for Your Crested Gecko
Feeder insects are very inexpensive, and you will only spend $5 per month on crickets and roaches.
The number of feeder insects you purchase will depend on how many times per week you feed your gecko.
Calcium and vitamin supplement powders will also cost around $5 monthly if used 2-3 times per month.
Commercial Crested Gecko Diet, or CGD, is a nutritional meal powder you mix with water.
A container of CGD will cost between $10-$25, but it will last for about three months.
Commercial diets provide your crestie with lots of nutrition, but it is best to supplement with live feeder insects for variety at mealtime.
The monthly cost for substrate replacement is around $10, depending on the substrate you are using.
As mentioned previously, the disinfecting cage cleaner is a recurring cost because you will need to purchase more every three months.
A veterinary visit for your gecko will cost between $40-$60 per visit.
Your crestie does not need annual vaccinations, so budget for at least $200 in veterinary bills each year to cover emergency care.