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REPTILE / new pets

A Set-up Guide for Your New Eyelash Crested Gecko or Gargoyle Gecko

Tips for home, health and fun


Four things to know about your gecko

  • They can live up to 15 years
  • They grow as long as 10 inches
  • They love to climb
  • They’re a good choice for a first-time reptile pet parents

Your gecko’s home

Eyelash crested geckos (named for the distinct ridge above their eyes) can live in pairs; but don’t put two males together. Gargoyle geckos prefer to live alone.

Choose a terrarium that’s a minimum of 20 gallons. Geckos are climbers so the terrarium should be relatively tall with a screened lid.

What to put in your gecko’s habitat

  • Line the bottom of the terrarium with 2 to 3 inches of coconut-fiber or bark bedding. Scoop the poop at least once a week and change the bedding completely once a month.
  • Add a rock or wooden place for hiding on one side of the terrarium (this will become the habitat’s cool side).
  • Provide lots of branches, either live or artificial, for climbing.
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Heat & lights

  • Geckos need lighting that mimics the day and night cycle. If their habitat is in a dim room, light the terrarium for 12 hours daily with a fluorescent bulb.
  • At night, switch to a night-specific bulb so you can watch your gecko with minimum disturbance.
  • Your gecko’s terrarium should have a warm side and a cool side. By day, the temperature should be between 80 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit on the warm side, and between 75 F and 80 F on the cool side. At night, the whole tank should be 65 F to 75 F.
  • A heat bulb or ceramic heat emitter will keep the warm side at the right temperature. A thermometer on each side will help regulate the habitat overall.
  • Habitat humidity should range between 50% and 80%. Use a hygrometer — a device that measures humidity — to keep track.
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Help keep your gecko healthy

Geckos need an adequate supply of Vitamin D in their diet.

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When threatened, eyelash crested geckos will detach their tails. Unlike other geckos, though, they can’t grow their tails back.

Try not to handle new geckos for three or four days to give them a chance to get acclimated to their new surroundings. Whether your gecko is new or settled-in, be sure to contact a vet if you notice any of these symptoms of illness or distress:

  • More time spent hiding
  • Eating or drinking less; weight loss
  • Discolored skin
  • Swollen joints
  • Discharge from the eyes, nose or mouth
  • Runny droppings for more than two days


Pets purchased at PetSmart are part of our exclusive Vet Assured™ program, designed by PetSmart veterinarians to help improve the health and well-being of our pets. Our vendors meet a high standard in caring for pets and screening them for common illnesses. This program also includes specific standards for in-store pet care.

The PetSmart Promise: If your pet becomes ill during the initial 14-day period, or if you’re not satisfied for any reason, PetSmart will gladly replace the pet or refund the purchase price.