Over the past few decades, crested geckos, New Caledonian or eyelash geckos, have become popular pets in the reptile trade. However, owning a pet reptile requires a significant investment cost and recurring expenses for food, replacement enclosure supplies, heat lighting, substrate and more.
If you’re considering getting a crested gecko, you need to be prepared both financially and time-wise.
Adopting a buddy gecko can range from $150-1000+, depending on where it comes from and the supplies needed.
While the cost of caring may seem high, it’s important to note that the terrarium, which will last a long time, is about a quarter of the cost.
If you’re on a budget, you can make some cost-saving decisions, but it’s crucial to prioritize your crested gecko’s well-being.
Let’s delve into this further to figure out what it takes to be a crested gecko pet parent.
What Is the Cost of the Crested Gecko Itself?
When considering getting a crested gecko, the initial expense that may come to mind is the price of the actual lizard. There are three choices for obtaining this beautiful buddy lizard:
- Adoption: Adopting a crested gecko is as costly as buying one: you’re looking at $50-$175! Rescues incur plenty of expenses when caring for them, and organizations want to make sure that only those who can properly care for them are bringing these little guys home. It’s all in their best interest, after all!
- Breeder or Pet Store: You can expect to shell out between fifty to a thousand dollars plus when buying a crested gecko from the average pet store. Most will cost you around one hundred dollars, but if you’re looking for a rare morph, you’ll be paying some serious money, possibly up to the thousands!
- Free: Finding a free crested gecko isn’t impossible. If you do manage to come across one that doesn’t cost a pretty penny, chances are the owner is desperate to get rid of it due to poor care. Sadly, this means you’re likely bringing home an unhealthy pet that’ll need lots of love, attention, and, most importantly, time to get it back in tip-top shape. Moreover, you must be extra vigilant to ensure your new buddy stays healthy.
The price of a crested gecko can vary depending on its color or pattern. Common ones are usually cheaper than rare ones, and adult males and females may also be more expensive than baby cresties. You may want to check online breeders if you’re looking for something more unusual, like one of the Axanthic Crested Gecko morphs, which can cost up to $5,000 or more. Generally, more common morphs will range from fifty to a thousand dollars. However, some newer ones may be pricier until the supply catches up with the demand.
Here, I have listed the average prices of different crested gecko morphs to help you understand better:
|Crested Gecko Morph||Average Price|
What Do Crested Gecko Enclosure and Accessories Cost?
Getting a crested gecko is an exciting step in any reptile lover’s journey. Before you go ahead and bring your new gecko home, you should make a few preparations. One important thing to consider is the cost of the enclosure and accessories. Although cresties require a few specific items to stay healthy and happy, the costs are relatively low.
You need an enclosure for your crestie, as they cannot be kept without one. An ideal enclosure should have more height than width. A durable glass enclosure with doors that open from the front or side is recommended, as it helps maintain proper humidity levels and is easy to access for regular cleaning.
- For baby crestie (hatchlings and small juveniles), you can use a faunarium or 10 gallon terrarium.
- And for larger juveniles and adults, you’ll need something bigger, at least 20 gallons.
Price-wise, the cost of an enclosure will depend on its size, quality and materials used; for example, a small 12″x12″x18″ terrarium will set you back around $100, while a larger 18″x 18″x24″ one will cost about $200.
If you’re feeling crafty and have an old aquarium lying around, feel free to convert it into a vertical terrarium; make sure there’s enough ventilation.
I suggest checking out brands such as REPTIZOO, Zoo Med and Zilla if you want a pre-made option. They provide affordable and high-quality choices. All in all, it’s up to you!
A transport cage is essential if you’re taking your buddy gecko to the vet, and it also provides a cozy spot for your scaly friend while you clean out their usual abode. A travel enclosure is an ideal solution: a small plastic box with air vents, a handle for easy carrying and a removable lid. The paper towel makes great bedding for the bottom of the cage and helps with cleanup. You can pick up a faunarium or critter keeper, perfect for transport, for around $20, it’s worth every penny!
Your pet lizard needs no special UVB light or crazy heat levels to remain healthy. All you need is a regular day and night cycle for the terrarium, so make sure it’s in a room away from direct sunlight.
As far as temperature goes, 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit should do the trick, but your gecko will still be fine if it drops a bit lower than that. Now, if you need both lighting and heating products for the terrarium, you’re looking at shelling out ~$65-$70.
Lighting will cost you between $7-15 for a single 5% output bulb and $10-20 for a fixture, while heat bulbs will be around $5-10 each and the dome-shaped fixture will be around $10-15. However, after 5 to 6 months, you may need an additional recurring fee of $20 to cover the cost of replacing light and heat bulbs.
Crested geckos are climbers and jumpers! So, if you want to make sure they’re fed and watered properly, it’s best to get a feeding-ledge for the top of their terrarium. If your cage has mesh walls, you can get one with suction cups for a glass terrarium or one with magnets or screws. Don’t worry; they’re not expensive, usually around $10, 30. And don’t feel like you have to get a fancy one; simple is better.
Food and Water Dishes
You can feed your reptile directly off the tank base, no problem! Small reptile food and water dishes usually cost around $3 to $5 each. For a little extra, you can get sets of 2 dishes from most stores for about 10 bucks.
To ensure your scaly friend’s health, you must monitor its terrarium’s temperature and humidity daily. A thermometer for the former and a hygrometer for the latter will do the trick.
For accuracy, digital versions are best. You can find them at most retailers for around ten to fifteen bucks apiece, or, if you’re feeling fancy, opt for a combo meter, it combines both functions in one device and usually costs around twenty-five bucks. So if you want your gecko to live a long, happy life, ensure you get the right tools for the job!
Weighing your crested gecko is an important part of caring for them; it allows you to stay on top of any weight loss. But you don’t need to break the bank to do it: a simple digital kitchen scale, costing $10 to $20, can provide all the insight you need.
Maintaining optimal humidity in a crested gecko terrarium requires daily misting: you’ll need water and a spray or misting bottle. For a small terrarium, a standard spray bottle should do the trick, and you can usually find one for just $5.
However, if your budget allows, a pressurized spray bottle might be worth the extra $10. Remember, when it comes to humidity levels, you’re shooting for between 60-80%, with a drop to 50% when needed.
So, get misting! It’s the best thing you can do for your gecko’s health and happiness.
Decoration (Hides, Vines, Branches, etc.)
Decorating your buddy gecko’s terrarium is a fun and creative process! You can go wild with it: there are fake vines, branches, hides, waterfalls, backgrounds, you name it. ??
It all starts with your wallet; how much money will you spend on your gecko’s enclosure?
You can buy 4-8 feet of reptile vines for around $10 to $20, packs of two or three artificial hanging vines for a few bucks and 2 small coconut huts as hides are usually around $20 each. Whether you go all out or stick to basics, your crestie will be living in style!
For your crestie, you have two options for foliage in their terrarium: live or fake plants. It’s totally up to you, both have their pros and cons.
I’d go for the artificial stuff if your reptile friend is only a hatchling or small juvenile; the container or terrarium isn’t big enough for live plants, making it too tricky for your pet to find its way!
The cost of terrarium plants varies based on their type and whether they are real or artificial. Typically, the price ranges from $20 to $50.
Enclosure and Accessories Pricing Table
|Product Name||Average Price|
|Food and Water Dishes||$3-$5|
|Plants||$20 to $50|
What Do Crested Gecko Consumables Cost?
The cost of consumables for a crested gecko can vary, depending on the type of food and other supplies needed to keep them healthy and happy. Various items are necessary to provide the best care for crested geckos from specialized substrates, supplements, vitamins, and more.
As an owner of an omnivorous crested gecko, you need to provide your pet with a balanced diet, including insects such as crickets and meal-worms, and fresh fruits. Commercial diets from Repashy and Pangea are available for your convenience and to meet the dietary needs of your gecko. Don’t forget to dust their food with calcium powder once or twice weekly!
When it comes to feeding, baby geckos should be fed almost every day, while the adults need to be fed only every other day, a great money-saver since they’re so tiny!
You can expect to pay around $10 to $20 monthly for food, about $120 to $240 annually! So, it’s not much of a dent in your wallet.
Calcium and Vitamin Supplements
Vitamin supplements and Calcium powders are essential for a Crested Gecko’s health, as they provide essential nutrients that can’t be found in regular food. These powders should be used twice a month and while they might seem expensive at first glance, you can expect to pay about $5 a month for them.
You don’t need substrate immediately when you get a baby crested gecko; just some paper towels will do!
But as your scaly buddy grows, the cost of a good substrate increases; coconut fiber or sphagnum moss usually runs between five and twenty bucks a bag. Plus, if you get a crested gecko kit, the substrate is usually included already. Taking care of your substrate isn’t too hard; spot clean daily and give it a deep cleaning every other week, and you’ll be good to go!
If you don’t create a bioactive terrarium, you must pay a recurring cost of $10-$30 monthly or two for the substrate.
Disinfecting Cage Cleaner
To clean your Crestie’s enclosure, you’ll need a reptile-safe disinfectant spray; one bottle typically costs around $15. So, grab yours and get ready to give your critter a sparkling space!
You don’t have to worry about the recurring cost of disinfectant because a single large bottle can last for a long time, and you only need to clean it once or twice a month.
Consumable Cost Table
|Product Name||Average Price|
|Food||$10-20$ per month|
|Calcium and Vitamin Supplement||$5 per month|
|Substrate||$10-30$ every month or two|
|Disinfecting Cage Cleaner||$15|
How Much Does Crested Gecko Medical Care Cost?
Crested Geckos don’t need routine vet visits, unlike cats and dogs, but they can get sick, especially if you don’t take proper care of them. So, it’s wise to get a little something aside each month; that way, you’re always prepared for any vet visits that might come up.
- You’re considering spending around $40 to $60 for a physical exam, and if you have to get cultures, x-rays, or any other tests, you could be paying hundreds of dollars.
- If your gecko needs advanced-imaging, you could be looking at close to a grand, yikes!
Don’t forget to set aside $200 a year to cover vet visits, just in case.
What Is the Monthly Cost of Owning a Crested Gecko?
Maintaining your crested gecko is a pretty inexpensive affair! You’ll need to invest in an enclosure, light fixtures, and the like, but it’s not too bad after that.
In fact, for beginners and experts alike, crested gecko cost is one of the lowest exotic-pet expenses. To keep your gecko happy and healthy, expect to shell out around $40-$70 monthly for food, bulbs, substrate and whatever else they may need.
Not to worry, though; sometimes you won’t even have to spend that much, the occasional light bulb and food replacement could be all you need. So, keep your wallet and gecko happy; it’s not too difficult!
To Sum It Up!
To conclude, having a Crested Gecko as a pet is a great decision! With proper care and dedication, you can be sure your new pet will be around for a long time.
Crested Geckos can live up to 20 years and are relatively easy to care for, making them a great choice if you are looking for a low-maintenance pet. The cost of purchasing and maintaining a Crested Gecko is relatively inexpensive.
So, what do you think? Is a Crested Gecko the right pet for you? Are you excited to bring one home? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!