Do Crested Geckos Need a Water Dish?
Setting up a Crested Gecko vivarium takes a bit of planning. There are many things you’ll have to add to the enclosure— a substrate, plants, hides, a thermometer, a hygrometer, possibly a heat mat, a food dish, and so on. But what about a water dish?
Should you also add a water dish to your checklist? Do Crested Geckos even drink standing water? Will they drink out of a water dish?
If so, what type of dish should you choose? Find out all the answers in this article! I’ll go over everything you need to know about a Crested Gecko’s water-drinking habits.
Do Crested Geckos Drink from a Water Dish?
Yes! Crested Geckos can use dishes to drink water, just like they do for eating. I advise everyone to include a small water dish in their Gecko’s enclosure.
It’s a good way to ensure your Crestie gets enough hydration. You can also easily measure the quantity of water you offer when using a dish.
But there’s also another way for your Gecko to get its water in. Geckos will also sometimes lap up water droplets in the enclosure. After you mist the vivarium, you’ll notice your Crestie going up to the glass or broad-leaf plants. That’s where the water droplets will collect. This is an equally effective way for your Gecko to hydrate.
But you can’t rely on water droplets alone. A water dish is still the best choice. The water droplets might come into contact with dust and bacteria.
Not to mention that they’ll evaporate quickly given the high temperature in the enclosure. The water dish is cleaner, easier for your pet to access, and the water lasts a lot longer.
What Type of Water Dish is Best for Crested Geckos?
You don’t need anything expensive. For a Crested Gecko, any small plastic cup is great. A good size to go for is roughly 1.65’’ in diameter and about 1 oz capacity. This size is large enough to hold plenty of water. But it’s not so large that your Gecko can fall inside.
You can enhance your Crested Gecko’s experience by choosing a cup with a suspended ledge. Such cups are not expensive. They’re also easy to find and install. They usually come with either a magnet system or a suction cup.
Thanks to the suspension system, you can place this cup higher up in the enclosure.
A suspended water dish helps with hydration but it also doubles as enrichment. Remember, Crested Geckos are arboreal.
They live to climb up trees and branches. In the wild, they would find water droplets high up in the trees, where the foliage is most dense.
Having to climb to reach the water in the vivarium encourages this natural behavior and helps your pet feel at home. As a bonus, these ledge cups also come in a variety of models. You can find very natural-looking ones made out of imitation materials like stone or tree bark.
How Much Water Do Crested Geckos Drink in a Day?
Hydration is crucial for your Gecko’s health. It affects everything from their digestion to their shedding.
That being said, Crested Geckos don’t drink a lot of water. Adult Geckos might even last 3-5 days without drinking any water. Hatchlings and juveniles need more and might drink every day.
You don’t have to measure exactly how much water you give your Gecko. As long as there is water in the dish every day, you have nothing to worry about. Your Crested Gecko will drink as much as it needs, whenever the thirst strikes.
You can’t give your Gecko too much water, so don’t be afraid to fill the dish every day. Giving your Gecko more water is better than not providing enough.
Besides, the extra water you add to the dish serves one additional purpose— it helps keep the humidity in the enclosure high. As excess water evaporates, it replaces any humidity that gets lost in the vivarium.
How Often to Change Water for Crested Gecko?
You should refresh your Crested Gecko’s water daily. This is part of the regular cleaning routine and helps keep your pet healthy. While water itself can’t go bad as food does, it still comes into contact with a lot of pathogens.
You don’t want your Gecko to drink stale water. The longer the water sits in the dish, the more dust, debris, and microbes can accumulate in it. Your pet might also soil the water by accidentally stepping in it, or by transferring food particles to the water dish.
Given all these factors, even an innocent water dish can become a breeding ground for infectious bacteria.
Can Crested Gecko Drink from Hamster Drinking Bottle?
Some people try using hamster drinking bottles as an alternative drip system for their vivarium.
However, it’s highly unlikely that a Crested Gecko will manage to use a hamster bottle to drink. There are also some other downsides to be aware of.
Here are just some of the reasons why Cresties and hamster drinking bottles don’t mix:
- Hamster drinking bottles don’t drip.
These bottles are specially designed to prevent water from leaking through the outlet. There’s no water movement unless you activate the bottle’s flow mechanism. Thus, your pet lizard might not even realize the hamster bottle is a source of water.
- Hamster bottles are difficult to use.
The bottle’s outlet is equipped with two metal balls. The balls prevent the water from leaking. To use the bottle, a hamster has to move the metal balls back and forth. This motion lets the water out of the bottle at regular intervals.
It’s nearly impossible for a lizard to figure this out, which renders the bottle unusable. Even if your Gecko could figure out this mechanism, it might not have enough force to make it work.
- Your Gecko might hurt itself trying to drink from the hamster bottle.
If your Crested Gecko figures out how to use the bottle, it might hurt itself trying to use it. Hamster drinking bottles have sharp metal edges. Your Gecko might easily cut its tongue on them.
- Hamster bottles can harbor bacteria and are hard to clean.
All moisture-rich surfaces can harbor bacteria. This is especially true of a closed recipient like a bottle, which can encourage condensation. Condensation, moisture, and high temperatures (such as those in a Gecko vivarium) are the perfect recipe for bacteria and mold to grow.
You’ll have to wash the bottle every day to maintain sanitary conditions for your gecko. The problem is that hamster bottles are difficult to clean thoroughly. The biggest problem is with the outlet. It’s a thin, metallic tube, so it’s hard to reach and clean on the inside. The remaining bacteria inside the tube represent a health hazard for your pet.
Keeping Your Crested Gecko Hydrated
Besides providing your crested gecko with fresh water and a humid environment, you can also give your pet fruits that have high water content.
Keeping your crested gecko well-hydrated helps with shedding and provides a long and healthy life.
Crested Geckos need a stable source of hydration. Drinking enough water is important for your Gecko’s health, especially during shedding.
Naturally, a Crested Gecko will lap up water droplets from leaves and other smooth surfaces. But they can also drink from water dishes in the enclosure.
A water dish is a necessary addition to the vivarium. It provides your Gecko with a source of clean, fresh water. The water droplets that form after misting the enclosure are a less reliable source of hydration.
These evaporate quickly and also come into contact with dust and bacteria.
If you’re not sure what water dish to purchase, any random plastic dish is perfect for the job. A small plastic cup with a 1 oz capacity is just the right size for your Crested Gecko.
A suspended ledge cup is even better, as it better replicates your Crestie’s natural arboreal behavior.