Can Crested Geckos Live Together?
If you’re a crested gecko lover, it’s only natural that you want to have multiple geckos in the same environment. But can you do that? Can you keep several crested geckos together?
The general, short answer is yes, you can. The longer and more complex one is ‘it depends.’
Gecko males aren’t exactly fit for sharing the same space since they are notoriously territorial and aggressive towards each other. Females, on the other hand, will get along just fine, although they, too, display a strong hierarchical ladder.
However, the gecko females display a more docile behavior than the males. In an all-female environment, one female will take on the leader role, while all the others will comply with the situation.
Males don’t work like that. Their inherently dominant nature will prevent them from accepting another dominant male in their vicinity because they are all dominant.
How Many Crested Geckos Can Live Together?
Many crested gecko owners stick to having pairs (one male and one female), especially if they’re looking to breed them. Those who aim to breed geckos for profit will have a harem built-in, comprising one male and several females.
There’s generally no set number of geckos you can have, provided you have sufficient space for all of them.
One gecko can do just fine in a 20-gallon setting, while 2 need around 30 gallons to thrive. Geckos don’t need too much space since they’re not overly active.
But they will feel stressed when overcrowded or when bumping into each other too often. They need their personal space to remain calm, healthy, and comfy in the long run.
The interesting part is that having too much space will also stress geckos. That’s precise because they don’t move much around. A large space will disorient geckos, causing them not to find their way to food or water.
So, it all comes down to finding the sweet spot in terms of available space to prevent your geckos from experiencing stress or insecurity.
Knowing how to decorate and craft their layout is also key in this sense. Geckos like to climb and rest in specific areas, preferably alone if possible.
The more geckos you add to the tank, the more challenges you’ll have to overcome in terms of habitat layout, and we’ll discuss these challenges next.
How to Set Up a Tank for Two Crested Geckos?
So, you’ve determined that 2 geckos are better than one, but you now run up into the logistics of crafting their environment properly.
Having more than one gecko often comes with unexpected challenges; fortunately, there are easy fixes to consider along the way.
Here are the essentials of accommodating 2 or more geckos in the same environment:
- The terrarium’s size – Naturally, this is the first parameter to consider. As we’ve already discussed, geckos care about their personal space since they aren’t really full-fledged social creatures. They will get along, but you won’t see them cuddle together or share too much bonding and flea-picking behavior among them. Have at least 30 gallons for a pair of geckos and increase the space size adequately with each no reptile being added to the mix.
- The substrate – The substrate is important because geckos tend to bury themselves in the soil occasionally. They do so when stressed, tired, or looking to regulate their body temperature. The ideal substrate should be easy to dig, retain moisture, and doesn’t become too compacted. Most importantly, it shouldn’t comprise a lot of large rocks and pebbles since geckos tend to eat from the substrate for the most part. So, they will inadvertently grab some substrate in their mouth during the process since they are rather clumsy eaters.
- Decorations – Geckos live in lush environments with plenty of vegetation and hiding areas. They have adapted to such environments since they provide them with comfort, food sources, moisture, safety, and a wide range of temperature parameters. Their terrarium should reflect their natural habitat, so feel free to decorate it accordingly. Add logs, branches, vines, and plants for geckos to climb on and hide behind when they feel the need to.
- Feeding ledges – Many gecko owners will rely on reptile-oriented feeding ledges that use magnet-type sticking devices to latch onto the terrarium’s walls. That’s because geckos prefer to eat at a height, although they will also look around the substrate if live insects roam around there. You can also use the feeding ledges to provide the geckos with water.
- Environmental parameters – These refer to temperature, humidity, and lighting as the main parameters to consider. The temperature should remain around 72 to 78 F, although it can vary a bit. Humidity levels need to fluctuate to mimic the reptile’s natural living conditions. Keep the humidity levels varying between 50% and 80%, and your geckos should be fine. The situation is less clear when it comes to lighting since there’s a lot of debate on the issue. I would say geckos need access to natural sunlight during the day for D3 synthesis, which prevents calcium deficiencies. If that’s not possible, at least provide some UVB lighting during daytime and a natural and healthy day/nightlife cycle.
You may also want to cover the terrarium with an aerated lid since geckos are apt climbers and will get out if possible. Just make sure that the lid isn’t hermetic to prevent CO2 accumulation and exaggerated humidity buildup.
Other than that, your geckos don’t need much. They care about their privacy first and foremost, so don’t disturb them when unnecessary.
Do Crested Geckos Fight With Each Other?
Crested geckos may fight with each other occasionally, but never as a rule. These are rather docile animals that like to spend their lives in peace and comfort.
If they’re fighting, there must be something going on in their habitat.
Common reasons for geckos fighting include:
- Just male things – Gecko males are born to fight amongst each other. The only way you can stop them from doing that is by keeping them solo. Some gecko owners have successfully raised 2 gecko males in the same environment, but they’ve had to make sure sacrifices along the way. One of them was increasing the terrarium’s size considerably since the males constantly ran into each other and started fights. So, it’s not really worth it housing more than one male in a terrarium.
- Food scarcity – Adult geckos only eat once every 2-3 days since they have a pretty slow metabolism. Even so, keeping more than one gecko in the same environment could lead to food scarcity issues. That’s because geckos can be quite protective of their food, and they bow by specific hierarchical structures. The dominant gecko(s) will eat first which could leave less food for the others.
- Improper environmental parameters – Improper temperature and humidity and inadequate lighting cycles can stress out geckos and put them in a foul mood. In these cases, geckos prefer to bury themselves in the substrate or hide, but they can also become more irritable and snap at each other. The fights won’t necessarily result in direct damages, but they will take a toll on your reptiles’ state of mind and long-term health.
- Overall stress – Geckos can get stressed for a variety of reasons. These include diseases and parasites, digestive problems, improper food, fluctuating environmental parameters, etc. They also have different personalities, so not all geckos will react the same in different scenarios. If one gecko is more aggressive and is causing more problems than others, consider removing it from the enclosure. This will allow others to calm down and restore the peace in the terrarium.
As a side note, geckos prefer not to fight if possible. They are usually calm and peaceful but will snap occasionally, depending on the circumstances.
Now you know which some of those circumstances are or, at least, the most common ones.
How Long Can Male and Female Crested Gecko Live Together?
Male and female geckos can live together indefinitely, provided you accommodate them properly.
We’ve already discussed the necessary parameters to consider when housing more than one gecko, and here they are again, briefly:
- Don’t have more than one gecko male in the same terrarium
- Provide geckos with sufficient space according to their needs
- Make sure they all eat and drink water sufficiently
- Decorate the geckos’ living space with sufficient plants, wood, branches, and other climbable elements
- Rely on the adequate substrate to meet your geckos’ burrowing needs
- Keep temperature, humidity, and lighting at optimal levels
These measures should keep geckos happy and healthy for years to come. You can even create a gecko colony if you’re proficient with your approach and mindful enough about their care requirements.
If I were to mention a disadvantage coming with housing multiple geckos together, that would be the need for higher levels of commitment. It’s undoubtedly more difficult to care for 2 geckos than 1, and the difficulty grows exponentially with multiple reptiles.
A colony requires constant monitoring and pristine care to prevent fights and preserve your geckos’ quality of life.
The good news is that once you set up a proper caring routine, your gecko colony will thrive over the years. Given that geckos can live up to 20 years in captivity, this will provide you with the opportunity to expand your family quite considerably.
However, there’s another aspect to consider here. When it comes to keeping crested geckos in pairs, I recommend an on-off scenario.
There will always be sexual tensions between males and females, and, in the case of a pair, the male will chase the female constantly around the habitat. This can cause stress in the female, eventually leading to various health problems.
I recommend separating the 2 occasionally to give the female time to reset.
Can You Keep Two Male Crested Geckos Together?
You sure can, but you shouldn’t. Male geckos are extremely antagonistic towards each other and will fight on sight.
There’s little you can do to mitigate this behavior, since gecko males are born to be competitive and aggressive.
If, for whatever reason, you need to have 2 male geckos in the same habitat, at least consider some precautionary strategies to prevent aggression.
- Expanding the size of their enclosure to minimize the risk of them bumping into each other
- Decorate the terrarium with a variety of hiding areas, vegetation, and wood to cut a line of sight between the 2
Unfortunately, adding females into the mix doesn’t count as a reliable violence-mitigating tactic. Males won’t be distracted by the females precisely because their aggressive tendencies aren’t related to female competition.
They are related to each other’s presence. So, males will always fight when they meet, no matter whether there are females around or not.
Can You Keep Baby Crested Geckos Together?
Yes, you can keep crested babies together for a while. Baby geckos aren’t as impulsive as the adults, but they still need their personal space to feel comfortable.
If you’re looking to breed geckos, make sure they have the sufficient space they need to remain comfortable and happy.
However, you will need to separate them once their hormones kick in. Geckos will gradually develop their personalities and behavior as they grow, slowly taking up their sex-based social roles.
Can You Keep Baby Crested Geckos with Adults?
No, you cannot place baby crested geckos in the same environment as the adults. Geckos are typically solitary creatures, and they won’t really differentiate between their own babies and their regular prey. If the babies are small enough, the gecko could attack and eat them.
I suggest creating a separate habitat for the babies until they are old enough to join the colony, provided you have a larger gecko setup. Which will come with a variety of problems, as we will soon see.
Can Crested Geckos Live with Other Geckos?
No, they can’t. Crested geckos like to live alone and will only tolerate the presence of other crested geckos at most. And even that’s not a guarantee.
Pairing them with geckos belonging to a different species, though, will backfire fast. Crested geckos will see the newcomers as intruders or predators and will even attempt to hide or attack them.
This behavior is exacerbated by the fact that crested geckos are rather territorial and don’t like company. Especially when it’s from another species.
So, always avoid housing crested geckos with geckos belonging to different species.
Can Crested Geckos Live with Frogs?
No, crested geckos can’t live with frogs, and you should force them together. They have different dietary needs and environmental requirements and, of course, different personalities and physical capabilities.
To cut it short, geckos may attack your frogs, provided they’re small enough for the gecko to impose its will on them.
If the frog is small enough, the gecko can even hurt and kill the animal. I advise only pairing frogs with more innocuous tankmates like fish.
Many fish species are compatible with aquarium frogs, provided you craft a stable and personalized habitat fitting for all species.
Tips on Keeping Multiple Crested Geckos Together
If you’ve decided to keep multiple crested geckos together, consider the following points:
- Avoid too many geckos altogether – While you can keep several geckos in the same environment, having too many of them can backfire. Geckos aren’t particularly social creatures, as they rank as solitary reptiles. So, they could get trippy and aggressive when kept in larger communities. I suggest keeping their numbers low in the 2-4 ballpark and always brainstorming their habitat so that it offers plenty of hiding and resting areas.
- Monitor geckos daily – With more geckos come more problems. They can get aggressive towards each other and even injure themselves, despite not having big teeth. Your goal should be to prevent their aggression or fix it, if possible. If not, removing the aggressor from the terrarium may be the better option.
- Sufficient food and water – Geckos will naturally compete over food and water and any other resources available, including space. While they don’t eat too often, you should make sure all geckos are properly fed to prevent nutritional deficiencies. Underfed geckos will also get stressed and irritable, which could make them prone to violence.
- Stable environmental parameters – Keep humidity, temperature, and lighting within ideal parameters to keep your geckos calm and happy.
You should also consider a larger terrarium to accommodate all geckos in their new habitat. This will eliminate or, at least, minimize the risk of violence.
Although, nothing’s really certain in this sense when discussing crested geckos.
Crested geckos don’t show too much social behavior, so don’t expect them to feel too comfortable with each other.
You can make a gecko society work, but you should monitor their dynamics constantly.