First off I would like to state that this is the first crested gecko that I had ever owned, however it is "not" the first reptile that I have ever owned, all my life I had always had an interest in reptiles all the way from my childhood up.
Throughout this time I have owned and raised everything from turtles, to snakes, to many different types of lizards with lizards being my particular favorite, from skinks, to iguanas, to my biggest favorite of all the monitor lizard which I had raised two of and that had full run of my home plus their own full room in which they would come and go from as they pleased like little or should I say large family members being that they had grown from cute little tiny critters to nearly 4 foot dinosaurs :-)
Now the monitor lizard is one of the most intelligent reptiles that I had ever encountered to this day and I can personally vouch for that after living with them for many years, we are talking about an animal that knew where it's own room was, when you whistled for it he was smart enough too know that it was time to eat and would come running, and believe it or not he was even potty trained.
These animals are very active and have very high endurance, these animals need a lot of room to thrive not to mention the room needed for breeding their favorite food items such as mice, these animals even though they may be tempting to buy when they are cute little babies must be thought out very well not just for your' sake but for the sake of these magnificent animals also.
I personally would own monitor lizards right now if I had the room but after moving and having limited room I am forced to find a pet that does not require much room which is what brings us to the crested gecko, after a ton of research and watching many different videos on various types of lizards, I had ran into the crested gecko, after that I was kind of taking a liking to this animal.
So I researched where they originated from which was New Caledonia, the climate they were use to in the wild, the things they eat in the wild, what size housing they could live in, and I had purchased different types of gecko fruit mix foods plus meal worms and set up a large enclosure and then I purchased a small little crested gecko, now the guy at the pet shop said he had me a juvenile crested gecko before I went to buy it but after I got to the shop the crested gecko was so small that it could sat on the tip end of my finger, "this was clearly not a juvenile crested gecko", this was a "baby crested gecko".
Now I had raised enough reptiles in my life to know that raising a reptile from a baby is much tougher than raising a juvenile reptile of any kind, not to mention that this was a species that I had never dealt with before.
But still I could not resist going ahead with the purchase, So I purchased it and brought it home and put in a nice clean fully set up large setup complete with a nice clean paper towel substrate so that I could monitor it's feeding and feces while acclimating it, I would only see the gecko come out for a short while at night with no signs of it eating the crested gecko fruit mix, and no signs of feces on the paper towel, after this went on for two days I changed to a different type gecko fruit mix, two more days went by and still no signs of eating and no signs of feces.
After this went on with all of the different types of crested gecko fruit mix foods, I tried live meal worms, still "nothing", at this time I noticed that my crested gecko appeared to be losing a little weight, so I thought I would put it in a smaller container where I could better monitor it, the only small empty container that I had was a little tiny plastic critter keeper that I planed on breeding crickets in, so I put in some paper towels for substrate, I put in some small fake plants, misted it down and put in some crested gecko fruit mix and then I put in the crested gecko.
The next day I woke up after getting a few things done I headed straight to the little crested gecko, I took a look inside and to my amazement some of the crested gecko fruit mix was gone, I was very happy too see that even though there were still no feces so I put some more of the same kind of gecko fruit mix in and continued this until the next night and then more had been eaten and there was also some feces, now I was really happy.
I just continued this until I put plenty of weight back on the crested gecko, then I tried the other crested gecko mixes, she was still eating them and doing her business, so then I tried the live meal worms and she was really putting them away.
So with all going well and the gecko back to good weight I thought I would give something a try, so I invested in a small 5 gallon tank, a reptile screen cover, laid down some more paper towels for substrate, added some thick large leafed fake plants, misted the setup good, put in my crested gecko mix and then added my little baby gecko, she began eating that night and every other night since then, "and leaving feces included".
After raising this little crested gecko and watching it at night and it's habits, I have learned that this is an animal that likes to travel only short distances to it's food and not far from a place to run and hide quickly, and I believe this is the reason that small setups are better than bigger ones for crested geckos.
It is completely the opposite than what I was use too, most of the reptiles that I was use too raising required more room too thrive in, it was like the more room the merrier for them, with the crested gecko it seems that the less room they have is the less stressed they are and the better they do.
So the next time you see pet shops or crested gecko breeders keeping crested geckos in small containers before you go giving them a rough time just remember my experience that I had learned the hard way, and remember if they are breeding them then they must be doing something right because there is one thing for sure, "stressed reptiles will not breed" and that is a fact, drop by often at http://howardsgeckos.weebly.com/ for more interesting blog posts, and drop me a reply if you would like.
It wasn't until 1994 that another expedition was launched that they had finally hit success, they had gathered a few specimens too bring back to the states to be verified by experts too prove that they truly were Correlophus ciliatus, the "crested gecko".
After getting a thumbs up from the scientific community it was clear that the crested gecko truly did still exist and many of us were very glad to see that they had not permanently gone the way of the dinosaurs, and today we once again have the chance to enjoy these wonderful reptiles as pets.
But lets not forget just how close we had came too losing them forever each time we look at them, lets be thankful for those who embarked on the sometimes dangerous expeditions and the tireless work in bringing them back to us.
Today we are lucky to see them quiet plentiful in the pet trade again, through selective breeding we see them in many different morphs which is only a term used for specific colors and patterns that many people seem to have an interest in for the pet trade.
I hope that today with all of the crested gecko breeders and crested gecko sanctuaries that we never lose these little critters again, I truly believe that crested gecko breeders and crested gecko sanctuaries will be the last line of defense if they ever go extinct again.
Many crested gecko breeders I had noticed had been keeping their crested geckos in small containers and had many rude comments made to them about this, if you happen to be one of the many people giving these breeders a hard time over this then please stay tuned because the next post I make will hopefully help you understand why this is a good thing and not a bad thing.
It resides on a true story that as a first time crested gecko owner I had too learn on my own the hard way, I thought after doing a ton of research on the internet I knew every thing I needed to know about them before I had bought one, I had different kinds of crested gecko fruit mix, I had Rep Cal calcium powder, I had raised my own darkling beetles and had colonies of meal worms, and a huge 30 gallon tank all set up with screen cover and all done ready too go.
Little did I know that I was still unprepared, but I did not know it at that time, but I will cover this in my next post, because through all of my research before purchase I never knew this information and that little lack of not knowing this tiny detail almost costed me my first crested gecko and at a critical time as my crested gecko was suppose too be a juvenile crested gecko but instead it was just a baby crested gecko when I bought it.
So be sure too drop in often at http://howardsgeckos.weebly.com/ too get the scoop on the next post and too get the full story here at Howard's Geckos Blog, I'll see you then.