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REPTILE / new pets

A Set-up Guide for Your New Crocodile Gecko

Tips for home, health to fun


Six things to know about your crocodile gecko

  • Crocodile geckos live up to eight years
  • They grow up to 6 inches
  • They may resemble crocodiles, but the two are not related.
  • They’re very territorial
  • They enjoy climbing
  • They’re best for experienced reptile pet parents

Your crocodile gecko’s home

Crocodile geckos should live alone in a terrarium of at least 20 gallons. Because geckos are climbers, the terrarium should be relatively tall with a screened lid.

What to put in a crocodile gecko’s habitat

  • Line the bottom of the terrarium with 2 to 3 inches of bark bedding or calcium sand. The bedding you use will depend on whether the terrarium has too little or too much humidity. Ask a PetSmart associate for details.
  • Scoop the poop at least once a week and change out the bedding completely once a month.
  • Add a hiding place on one side of the terrarium (this will become the habitat’s cool side).
  • Provide lots of branches, either live or artificial, for fun and in case your crocodile gecko wishes to climb closer to the heat lamp.
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Heat & lights

  • Geckos need about 12 hours of lighting that mimics daylight and 12 hours of lighting that mimics nighttime, daily. If their habitat is in a dim room, light the terrarium during the day with a fluorescent bulb.
  • At night, switch to a night-specific bulb so you can watch your nocturnal pet minimum disturbance.
  • Your crocodile gecko’s terrarium should have a warm side and a cool side. By day, the temperature should range between 90 and 95 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. Use a thermometer on each side to help you regulate the habitat overall.
  • The habitat humidity should be between 40% and 60%. Use a hygrometer — a device that measures humidity — to keep track.
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Help keep your crocodile gecko healthy

Geckos need an adequate Vitamin D supply in their diet.

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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.