How to Incubate Crested Gecko Eggs?
Breeding Crested Geckos is quite easy. All you need is a breeding pair. The rest is up to your Geckos. But what about incubating the eggs?
This is the tricky part. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you’ll greatly decrease the hatching rate.
But it doesn’t have to be that way! If you’re well prepared and follow all the right steps, you’ll successfully save as many eggs as possible!
Keep reading to learn all about incubating Crested Gecko eggs. In this article, you’ll find all the answers to your questions, along with detailed instructions.
Starting A Crested Gecko Egg Hatchery
Hatching Gecko eggs is an exciting experience, but it takes a bit of prep beforehand. It can get confusing, especially if you’re a new crested Gecko owner.
But don’t worry, it’s not as difficult as it looks! Here’s everything you need to do, step by step!
– Choose A Small Container
The first thing you’ll need is someplace to put the eggs. Luckily, your options are endless. The incubation container doesn’t have to be anything fancy. You can pick any type of box, as long as it’s plastic.
Stay away from cardboard boxes, as these don’t hold well in humid conditions. Also, avoid metal boxes.
These can overheat quickly. Plastic has a lower heat conductivity, so the contents in the box will stay at a stable temperature.
Choose a plastic container with a lid. The layout can be anything, from plain Tupperware to a grid organizer.
Make sure the box is wide enough! You’ll need to space out the eggs. You don’t want to overcrowd the hatchery.
After you’ve got the container, poke some holes in the lid. This will help with the oxygen transfer. This also keeps humidity in check.
– Prepare The Incubation Medium
After you’ve prepared the container, it’s time to get the incubation medium ready. An incubation medium can be any type of substrate that retains moisture without oversaturating the eggs.
An ideal incubation medium will also prevent mold and bacterial overgrowth. This is crucial, as these issues are common in high-humidity settings.
Unwanted mold and bacteria can kill your eggs and lead to a lower hatch rate.
Needless to say, you need a good substrate to achieve the highest hatching rate. For this, I strongly recommend using Repashy Superhatch. This is hands-down the best incubation medium I’ve ever used.
This product is clean, user-friendly, and reusable. You can easily monitor the humidity thanks to color changes in the product. After you’re done hatching the eggs, you can just boil the substrate, drain it, and let it dry.
It will be as good as new and ready to go for another hatching round.
Here are some of the unique perks of Repashy Superhatch:
- Absorbs a high quantity of water and holds the water well.
The high porosity of the grains increases moisture uptake. Once absorbed, the water will be released very slowly. This decreases the rate of evaporation and reduces condensation. This is crucial to avoid mold and bacteria.
- Doesn’t break down.
Most substrates will break and compact. This can create dead zones and lead to dangerous anaerobic bacteria growth. Thanks to its coarse grade, Repashy Superhatch maintains its grain size and shape. This means the substrate doesn’t change its texture or consistency. It remains porous and maintains high breathability use after use.
- Easy to use.
Repashy Superhatch changes its color depending on the moisture level in the substrate. The deeper, and darker the color, the more moisture there is in the grains. This makes your job a lot easier. You won’t have to disturb the eggs every time you check the humidity level.
Speaking of easy to use, prepping the Repashy Superhatch is also straightforward. The process is similar to prepping any other incubation medium.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Soak the substrate.
Put the Repashy Superhatch medium in any container or bowl. Add enough water to cover the grains. Wait for a few minutes. You’ll know the substrate is ready when it has darkened in color and most of the water has soaked into the grains.
- Remove the excess water.
Place the soaked substrate into a sieve and shake. Let all the excess water drip. Once you’ve discarded the excess water, the hatching medium is ready to use.
- Add the substrate to the hatching container.
Add enough of the hatching medium to fill the container halfway. Congrats, you’re ready to start hatching eggs!
– Check If Eggs Are Fertile
So, you’ve prepared the hatching box and everything’s ready to go. Now’s the time to select the eggs you want to hatch. You’ll want to pick out the eggs that are most likely to be fertile. This is the easiest way to ensure the highest hatching rate.
How do you do that? Well, there are a few telling signs.
Here’s what to look out for when selecting fertile eggs:
- Outer appearance:
Fertile eggs have a smooth shell free of deformities. The shell color is chalky white and even in color.
Infertile eggs have a shinier appearance and sometimes even some translucent patches. Infertile eggs are more likely to have an uneven shape.
However, even fertile eggs can sometimes have small dents, usually due to low humidity.
- Shell texture:
Fertile eggs have a leathery texture. It’s easy to tell if you touch them. In contrast, infertile eggs might have either a smooth or just irregular texture.
Fertile eggs tend to be smaller, whereas infertile eggs are usually larger. But this is relative and depends on the batch you have. It’s not a rule of thumb, so don’t discard all the large eggs if everything else appears healthy.
- Inside color:
Take the eggs to a dark room and shine a light through the egg. Check the inner color. Fertile eggs appear pink or red on the inside. You might even see some faint lines running through the egg.
These are veins. This is a clear sign that the egg has been fertilized.
Infertile eggs, on the other hand, will appear yellow and clear. There won’t be any veins. Still, the egg might be fertilized, but it’s too early to tell.
Many people have managed to hatch yellow eggs. So don’t discard these eggs right off the bat! They might just be late bloomers.
– Incubating The Eggs
The incubation process is simple. After you’ve got everything ready and the eggs are in place, all you have to do is wait.
If all the parameters are in check, your eggs should hatch anywhere between 60-120 days.
The warmer the temperature, the shorter the incubation period. The reverse also applies— the cooler the temperature, the longer the hatching period. There are advantages and disadvantages to both ranges.
Gecko eggs will hatch sooner in warmer temperatures, but they’ll also be smaller. Eggs will take longer to hatch, but you’ll get larger baby Geckos in cooler temperatures.
Don’t go to any extreme. Setting the temperature too cool or too hot will lower the hatching rate, as many eggs might die.
Room temperature (roughly 72-75°F) is the perfect medium. In such conditions, your Geckos will hatch in 80-90 days. So, just keep the environment stable and let the baby Geckos do the growing.
You’ll have some hatchlings in as little as three months.
– Keeping The Environment Stable
Environmental conditions are crucial for the development of Gecko eggs. You’ll have to reach stable parameters and maintain them throughout the incubation period. This includes temperature, humidity, and aeration.
As I’ve already mentioned, room temperature is enough to keep the eggs healthy and developing. Ensure that the temperature remains stable year-round. You’ll need an indoor thermometer for this.
Choose a location in your house where you don’t get wild temperature swings throughout the year.
The humidity level refers to the moisture content in the hatching medium. If you use Repashy Superhatch, you can monitor the moisture by observing color changes in the substrate. This substrate holds water well and has a very slow release of moisture.
You might not have to remoisten the medium throughout the hatching period. Still, it’s worth checking the moisture level regularly.
If the substrate seems dry, you should add some moisture back by gently misting the substrate and the eggs.
Aeration is also important. You’ll keep the eggs in a covered plastic box. The substrate is full of water and the room is warm. This can quickly lead to condensation, mold, and bad bacteria. Poking some holes into the container lid can prevent all this.
It’s a one-time preventive measure, but it saves you a lot of trouble. Ideally, you want 2-3 holes in the container.
This will provide the perfect level of aeration without drying out the substrate. Additionally, you should open the box for a few minutes once per week to allow for better airflow.
How Often to Check on Crested Gecko Eggs?
I recommend checking on the eggs daily for at least the first three weeks. The eggs are most vulnerable throughout this stage. This is also the period when you can best tell which eggs are viable or not.
Some of the eggs might change shape and color. If you notice any eggs becoming dented, gently mist them to increase the moisture level.
If eggs become discolored and start growing mold, remove them from the box immediately!
Fertile eggs can sometimes grow mold too. It’s important to catch this problem early on. Apply antifungal medicine as soon as you see the first signs of mold growth on otherwise healthy eggs.
By the second month, you can start checking a couple of times a week if you know the parameters are stable. As you approach the 60-day mark, you should start checking the eggs daily again.
Your Geckos should start hatching one by one in the upcoming weeks. You don’t want to miss it!
What Is the Best Temperature for Crested Gecko Eggs?
The ideal temperature range for Crested Gecko eggs is 68-80°F. You want to stay as well within these upper and lower limits as possible.
Sticking to 72-75°F is even safer, as you’ll be right in the middle of the range. Not too cool, not too warm!
There are also some different perks of choosing the upper or lower temperature limits. Different temperature ranges will affect the hatching time, but also the hatchling’s sex! Lizards are pretty cool, you see.
You can determine their gender depending on the incubation temperature.
A cooler temperature (68-72°F) increases incubation times and creates larger Geckos. It also creates more females.
Higher temperature (>80°F) decreases incubation and creates smaller Geckos and more males.
What Is the Best Humidity for Crested Gecko Eggs?
The ideal humidity for Crested Gecko eggs is 80-90%. Maintaining this level is crucial. Crested Gecko eggs are very sensitive to humidity levels.
Unlike other eggs you might have seen, Gecko eggs have somewhat softer shells.
The shell lets moisture in and out of the egg. This exchange is very important for the growth and development of the baby Gecko.
This is also why, unlike other eggs, Gecko eggs change size as the baby Geckos grow. Sometimes, a fertile egg will become twice the size throughout the incubation period.
This entire growing process is closely connected to humidity. If the humidity is too low, the eggs will shrivel, dent, and stop growing.
If the humidity is too high, the eggs will swell up quickly. This might kill the baby inside. It can also lead to moldy growth on the eggs.
How Long It Takes for Crested Gecko Eggs to Hatch?
There’s no exact number of days to expect. But there are some general ranges. The shortest incubation period will be around 60 days.
Up to 120 days is the longest you can expect the eggs to incubate.
On average, most Crested Gecko eggs will hatch in about 70-90 days if kept at room temperature.
Increasing the temperature up to 80°F might take the incubation period down to 60-70 days. Temperatures below 72°F will increase the incubation period.
How Do You Keep Crested Gecko Eggs Warm?
There are multiple ways to keep your Crested Gecko eggs warm. The easiest method is just using a fancy incubator with a built-in heater.
But what about those of us who prefer homemade hatching set-ups?
Well, you can just keep the eggs at room temperature. As long as your room is well insulated, the temperature shouldn’t fluctuate wildly.
If you live in a cooler climate, you can bump up the heat in your room.
Alternatively, you can just warm up the hatching enclosure directly. You can use a regular heating pad or even heat tape.
Just make sure to protect the plastic from direct contact with the heat. Also, install a thermometer in the box to keep a close eye on the temperature.
Do Crested Gecko Eggs Need Light to Hatch?
You won’t need to provide any light for the Crested Gecko eggs. They can develop and hatch even without light exposure.
The only parameters you should worry about are temperature and humidity. You should keep the container warm and humid.
Other than that, you can keep the eggs in a dimly lit room if you want. Keeping the eggs away from direct light exposure, especially sun exposure, is a good idea.
Direct light exposure can mess with the temperature in the hatching container.
Can You Hatch Crested Gecko Eggs in Sphagnum Moss?
Crested Gecko eggs can be pretty demanding. You’ll need a high-quality, lightweight substrate that won’t suffocate the eggs, nor dry out too quickly.
You’ll be surprised to learn that sphagnum moss fits the bill nicely! Sphagnum is not only safe but also a highly efficient hatching medium.
This substrate comes with many considerable perks:
- It’s natural and organic.
- It’s lightweight and doesn’t compact easily.
- Holds moisture well.
- Easy to work with.
- Crested Geckos enjoy digging and hiding their eggs in this substrate.
However, sphagnum moss isn’t perfect. There are also some drawbacks to be aware of:
- Dries quicker than special hatching media.
- Susceptible to mold.
- Difficult to measure the moisture content.
Why Are My Crested Geckos Eggs Not Hatching?
There are a few possible reasons why Gecko eggs won’t hatch. For the most part, the main cause boils down to either the environment or the egg itself.
But let’s take a more in-depth look at the reasons:
- They haven’t finished incubating.
If it’s been 80 days already and your eggs are still not hatching, maybe you’ve just got some late bloomers. Don’t discard the eggs yet.
If everything else seems fine and the eggs appear healthy, it might just take a little longer. Remember, Crested Gecko eggs can take even up to 120 days to hatch!
- The eggs are not fertile.
Sometimes, infertile eggs can last for a while. This happens especially if you wipe and treat them throughout the incubation process. We all get fooled on occasion. Normally, these eggs would go bad in the first month.
But in rare cases, they hold up for a lot longer. If you suspect the eggs to be infertile, try candling them again. Shine a light through the egg and see if the color is pink or yellow. A yellow egg is going to be infertile.
- The eggs are dead.
Fertile eggs can die throughout the incubation period. The later they die, the less likely they’re to go bad before the hatching time. If you think the fertile eggs might have died, you can check in two ways.
First, the candling method. Shine a light through the egg. If you once saw veins running throughout the egg, they should be gone by now. Once the egg is dead, the blood supply stops.
If the baby Gecko was already well-developed, try checking for movement. Place the eggs in cool water. Normally, the baby Gecko should feel the temperature change. The first response would be a shaky movement. If the eggs don’t move at all, the Gecko is dead.
- The baby Gecko can’t get out.
Finally, sometimes the baby Gecko is too weak to pierce through the eggshell. Normally, this would mean the Gecko won’t make it on his own. Such Geckos might die during or shortly after hatching is due.
However, that’s where you can step in. If you notice movement, but the eggs don’t hatch, you can give your Gecko a helping hand. You can manually open the egg yourself to let the baby out. Just know that a weak baby Gecko that can’t hatch by itself has a low survival rate. If it survives, it most likely will grow into an unhealthy adult.
It’s not clear why this happens. But many Gecko owners have observed this phenomenon in shorter incubation periods. When the eggs incubate for shorter periods, the baby Gecko doesn’t have time to fully develop. They are too small and their teeth are too weak to crack the shell.
How Do You Know If Crested Gecko Egg Is Bad?
There are a few clear signs that a Crested Gecko egg is not viable.
If you notice any of the following signs, it’s time to chuck the eggs out:
- The egg has grown mold.
- The shell is discolored or deformed.
- The egg is smelly.
- Something is leaking from the egg.
Whether the egg was fertile or not at some point doesn’t matter. Once these signs appear, the egg can’t be saved. It’s best to remove it from the hatching container so as not to infect the other eggs.
Incubating Crested Gecko eggs is a simple process. You’ll just need a little bit of planning and the right setup.
You’ll need a plain plastic box and a good incubation medium. For that, I highly recommend Repashy Superhatch. This product holds moisture well and prevents mold and bacteria.
Remember that parameters like temperature and humidity are also important. For the highest success rate, keep the temperature around 72-75°F.
Maintain a humidity level of 80-90%. In such conditions, your Crested Gecko eggs should hatch after roughly 70-90 days.