Due to their docile temperament and low-maintenance care requirements, crested geckos make excellent pets for first-time reptile owners.
Aside from a tall enclosure and moderate temperatures, the most critical aspect of a crestie’s habitat is the humidity levels.
Crested geckos require higher humidity than other gecko species, and these levels need to be checked daily.
Most crested gecko owners use either a spray bottle or an automatic mister to regulate humidity in the enclosure.
But what is the difference between the two methods?
A spray bottle is used to mist the crested gecko enclosure manually whenever the humidity levels are too low. An automatic mister uses a timer to periodically mist the enclosure throughout the day. A spray bottle requires more time commitment from you, while an automatic mister does all the work.
Both methods work well to increase humidity in your crested gecko’s enclosure, but it is important to monitor the moisture levels to ensure the moisture is not too high for your reptile.
Read on for more information about using an automatic mister or spray bottle to regulate the humidity in your crested gecko’s enclosure, and learn which one is best for you.
Crested Gecko Humidity Requirements
Crested geckos are native to the island country of New Caledonia, which is near the coast of Australia.
It is essential to create a humid environment for your crestie to mimic its natural habitat.
The optimal humidity level for your crested gecko is between 60%-80%.
Aim to keep the humidity close to 80% at night when the gecko is more active and around 50%-60% during the day.
It is essential to allow the enclosure to dry out to the 50%-60% range between mistings.
If the tank humidity is consistently too high, your crestie may suffer from upper respiratory illness or fungal infections.
High moisture levels in the enclosure will also cause fungus and mold growth to multiply in the substrate.
When the humidity in the enclosure is too low, your crested gecko is prone to becoming dehydrated.
In addition to causing dehydration, low humidity will make your crestie more prone to shedding issues such as a stuck shed.
If you have live plants or a bioactive setup, low moisture levels will also cause the plants to dry out and create an imbalance in a bioactive enclosure.
Invest in a quality hygrometer to monitor humidity levels in your crestie’s enclosure daily.
Using a hygrometer will allow you to maintain more consistent humidity levels during the day and night.
Adjust humidity levels by either misting the tank when levels are low or increasing air circulation with a fan when levels are high.
For help keeping your lizard hydrated, check out our article on how to make a crested gecko sauna.
Is An Automatic Mister Better Than A Spray Bottle For Crested Geckos?
An automatic mister and a spray bottle both have their uses when it comes to increasing the humidity in your crestie’s enclosure.
Neither method is vastly superior to the other, and whichever one you choose depends on the size of the enclosure, how many crested geckos you have, and what is the most convenient for you.
The climate where you live will also impact whether you use a spray bottle or an automatic mister.
If the air is very dry, it will be more difficult to maintain humidity levels with a spray bottle.
You will need to spray the enclosure more often to keep the humidity from falling too low.
An automatic mister is ideal in an arid climate because you will program it to spray even when you are not at home, creating more consistent humidity levels.
Since cooler weather typically means drier air, you may choose to only use an auto mister in the winter months and use a spray bottle during the more humid summer months.
Automatic misters are especially useful for multiple crested geckos or larger enclosures.
An auto mister is also convenient if you have a busy schedule or forget to mist your crestie’s enclosure at night.
Most automatic misters are programmable to spray at certain intervals for a specified time.
The timers on these auto misters ensure they do not increase humidity levels in the enclosure more than is necessary.
For more precise humidity control, a spray bottle may be used to manually spray the enclosure whenever the humidity is too low.
You will typically spray the enclosure at night, and the spray bottle allows you to spray specific areas such as the plants.
A spray bottle works well for smaller enclosures housing just one crested gecko.
Is There A Difference Between A Mister And A Fogger?
Despite the terms often being used interchangeably, there is a difference between a mister and a fogger.
The major difference is the way they increase humidity in an enclosure.
A mister has a small integrated water reservoir, and it sprays water droplets in the enclosure to mimic rainfall.
Since crested geckos prefer to drink water droplets from plant leaves rather than drinking from a bowl, a mister is ideal.
A fogger may be placed in a small reservoir or water dish inside an enclosure or attached to an external hose or another water source.
The fogger creates a fine mist, or fog, inside of the enclosure to raise humidity.
Unlike a mister, a fogger does not produce enough condensation for water droplets to form.
This means there is no water on the plant leaves for the crested gecko to drink.
The fine mist from a fogger does not allow the enclosure to retain any humidity produced because the moisture dries up very quickly.
A fogger will work well with other reptiles as long as they drink water from a bowl, but it is not an optimal choice for a crestie.
To retain tank humidity when using an automatic mister or fogger, add an absorbent material to the substrate, such as peat moss, orchid bark, or organic potting soil.
What To Look For In An Automatic Mister For Crested Geckos
An automatic mister has several features to look for before purchasing one for your crestie.
Above all else, the automatic misting system needs to be programmable with a wide variety of timing options.
The most sophisticated auto misters have options for both the frequency and duration of the spray, and there will usually be multiple spray nozzles.
As the seasons change, you will likely have to make some adjustments to the timing of the spray.
You may choose to set the automatic mister to produce frequent sprays in short bursts or fewer sprays with longer durations.
It is also important for the misting system to have multiple nozzles.
The nozzles give you more control of where the mist is sprayed in the enclosure, especially if they are also flexible.
Many automatic misting systems will have between two and five nozzles, but the best designs will have anywhere between ten and twenty nozzles.
Another vital feature of an automatic misting system is the size of the water droplets being sprayed.
You do not want the water droplets to be too large, nor do you want them to be so fine they are more like fog.
The water droplets should closely mimic a light rainfall instead.
An automatic mister will also be simple to install and uninstall if you only need to use it for part of the year.
Easy installation also lessens the chance of installing the misting system incorrectly.
Top-Rated Automatic Misters For Crested Geckos
Now you know what to look for in an automatic misting system for your crested gecko tank.
This section provides more information on the best automatic misting systems available on the market.
Each reptile misting system has its own set of pros and cons, so it is important to do your research to determine which one is best for your crestie.
Repti Zoo 10L Reptile Mister
- Integrated Design Reptile Humidifier and 10L Water Tank: You can add water directly to the water inlet of the main engine without removing the water bucket;It is up to 2.6 Gallon (10L) of water can be accommodated,visual water level design are used.
- Super Silent Pump:Reptile Humidifier Fogger of the diaphragm silent pump is used with stable operation; give your pet a comfortable and quiet environment.
- 360 Degree Spray Nozzle and Timed Spray Function:The 360 degree spray nozzle can multi-angle adjustment and wide spraying range;With the timed spray function, the product can imitate the natural environment and regularly spray water onto your pets or rainforest landscapes.
The Repti Zoo 10L automatic mister has a large built-in reservoir with a see-through design, making it easy to see the water level.
The reservoir does not have to be removed to refill it, which makes this mister convenient to set up and use.
This automatic misting system is easily programmable, even for beginners.
The system includes four nozzles, but you may add up to sixteen more nozzles, making this mister an excellent choice for larger enclosures or multiple terrariums.
The nozzles are adjustable to spray in any direction, so you will be able to direct the mist exactly where it is needed the most.
The water pressure is also adjustable, so this misting system can produce both mist and fog, depending on your needs.
The silent water pump means there will not be any sudden noises to disturb your crestie.
MistKing Starter Misting System
The MistKing Starter Misting System has been upgraded with an improved programmable timer and electronics, which can withstand electrical outages and the power demands of the pump.
This misting system uses between 1-10 flexible nozzles for more precise control over the water output and a high-pressure water pump.
The MistKing does not include a built-in water reservoir unlike other automatic misting systems.
The lack of a built-in reservoir means you are free to choose the size of your water reservoir for your specific needs.
The MistKing Starter System also includes a water filter to keep your crestie’s misting water clean.
The white filter also makes it easy to see when it needs to be rinsed clean, so you will ensure your gecko’s water is always free from foreign particles.
Exo Terra Monsoon Solo II
The Exo Terra Monsoon Solo II is less expensive than other automatic misting systems, but its features are big.
This misting system is programmable for both the frequency and duration of the mist and is easy to connect and install.
This mister accommodates up to two flexible spray nozzles and features a strong water pressure pump with 36.25 PSI.
The 1.5-liter built-in water reservoir is easy to fill, and the size is perfect for a small crestie enclosure.
Zoo Med ReptiRain
The Zoo Med ReptiRain automatic misting system is the most affordable auto mister.
It is perfect if you have a smaller enclosure or want a simple, easy-to-use setup.
This auto mister has adjustable spray frequency and duration settings.
Unlike other automatic misting systems, the RetiRain is portable and works with a power adaptor or batteries.
The portability of this system makes it an excellent choice to use when traveling.
The auto mister also includes adjustable mounting hooks and suction cups for easy installation.
Commonly Asked Questions
What are the signs my crested gecko is dehydrated?
If your crested gecko is dehydrated, its skin will be wrinkly and will feel dry when you touch it.
Other signs of dehydration in your crestie include sunken eyes, a kinked tail, lethargy, and a loss of appetite.
If you notice any signs of dehydration in your crestie, it is crucial to seek veterinary care right away, as your pet may need intravenous fluid to become properly rehydrated.
Is tap water safe for my crested gecko?
Tap water is safe for your crested gecko as long as it does not contain a high amount of chlorine.
For automatic misting systems, it is recommended to use distilled or reverse osmosis water.
The minerals in tap water will build up in the pump of an auto mister and cause the system to eventually malfunction.
What size enclosure do I need for an automatic mister?
A glass terrarium or other type of enclosure will be suitable for an automatic misting system, no matter how large it is.
It is important to note the size of the misting system to ensure it is compatible with your enclosure setup.
Small misting systems, such as the Exo Terra Monsoon Solo II or the Zoo Med ReptiRain, are best suited for smaller enclosures between 10-30 gallons.
The MistKing and the Repti Zoo misting systems can handle terrariums larger than 30 gallons or multiple enclosures.
How much does an automatic mister cost?
Most automatic misting systems will range from $50-$175, on average.
The price of the auto misting system will depend on how many nozzles it uses, the size of the water reservoir, and the capacity of the water pump to produce strong water pressure.
Check out our full crested gecko pricing guide for more information.