Crested geckos are popular pet reptiles because they’re small and look cute. People who want a pet reptile for the first time prefer crested geckos as they’re relatively easy to care for compared to other reptiles.
However, a crested gecko not growing is one of the most common concerns reported by its owners.
So, let’s look at some of the reasons why crested geckos may not be growing. We’ll also tell you the healthy growth rate for your crested gecko and how to provide it with proper care.
If your crested gecko doesn’t seem to be growing, the first thing you need to know about is its healthy growth rate. This way, you can track it and know if something is wrong.
Sometimes your gecko might grow a little slow, so the growth isn’t obvious to you. Additionally, a crested gecko could sometimes grow a bit slower than usual. That’s completely normal, as not all crested geckos will have similar growth rates.
The average growth rate for a crested gecko is one gram per month. However, not all geckos will grow at this rate.
Sometimes your crested gecko will experience a brief period of stunted growth (especially during the winter). Then, it’ll go through a period of a growth spurt, which is also normal and shouldn’t be concerning.
So, when should you be concerned?
It’s not a good idea to track the growth rate of a crested gecko monthly, as sometimes you won’t see any changes due to their non-linear growth rates. However, there’s a known minimum weight for a gecko over the age of one.
If your crested gecko is above one-year-old, it should weigh around 8 to 10 grams. Anything less would be a cause for concern.
Additionally, the average weight for a three-month-old crested gecko is three grams, and five grams for a six-month-old. As for an adult crested gecko that’s 12 to 18 months old, the average weight is 40 to 50 grams.
Don’t worry if your crested gecko is experiencing stunted growth, there are things you could do to help it. But let’s look first at the reasons it’s not growing.
Crested geckos are delicate creatures that require proper care and special living conditions to grow. Some of the reasons your crested gecko might be experiencing stunted growth are:
- Not Eating Enough
- Improper Diet
- Wrong living conditions
- Health issues
A commonly reported concern by crested gecko owners is that they’re not eating enough, which of course stunts their growth. It’s important to check how much your crested gecko is eating, especially at an early age.
Baby geckos typically feel full after a few licks. However, adult geckos usually eat a quarter of a teaspoon.
If your crested gecko isn’t eating, it might be lacking appetite, which happens due to the following reasons:
Crested geckos require specific temperatures and humidity levels in their enclosure (which we’ll get to in a bit). If those levels are not adjusted correctly, a crested gecko may experience poor appetite.
Some crested geckos might be picky eaters, and they won’t eat the food they get served simply because they don’t enjoy it.
Crested gecko foods on the market have different consistencies and flavors, and geckos will have different preferences. So, it’s a good idea to experiment with food options with your gecko and see what it likes more.
That said, if your crested gecko hasn’t been eating for eight days, then it’s time to take it to the vet.
Your crested gecko might be eating enough food but not receiving the nutrition it needs to grow.
Crested geckos need to eat food with a calcium-to-phosphorus ratio (Ca:P) of 2:1. A low amount of calcium can lead to Metabolic Bone Disease in a crested Gecko.
A lot of crested gecko owners recommend feeding geckos baby food, for example. That’s not right though, as baby food doesn’t contain the needed nutrients for geckos and could lead to health issues.
As such, commercial food is the best option for a crested gecko, as it’s prepared with the correct ratio and the right amount of nutrients.
Of course, you could always make gecko food at home. However, this is a risky option as it requires adjusting the Ca:P ratio yourself.
It’s also good to offer your crested gecko feeder insects once or twice a week. Insects will provide your crested gecko with the protein it needs to grow.
Overall, it’s important to diversify your crested gecko’s food options, so it doesn’t get used to one item.
If your crested gecko isn’t receiving the right temperature and level of humidity, it might not grow properly. Temperature and humidity impact the crested gecko’s energy levels, immunity, and appetite.
Let’s discuss how you should adjust your gecko’s living conditions to ensure its health and safety.
Low temperature is one of the main reasons a crested gecko might not grow. The optimum temperature should be between 72-78℉.
To achieve the correct temperature, you’ll need a heating pad on the side of the glass. You’ll also need a thermostat to keep track of the temperature and ensure it’s never too high or too low.
The right humidity level is also essential for a crested gecko’s well-being and growth. Low humidity could lead to poor appetite. High humidity could lead to fungal and bacterial growth.
The correct level of humidity for a crested gecko is 70%. However, it’s essential that for a few hours a day, you drop the temperature to 50% to prevent fungus or bacteria.
Finally, your crested gecko might not be growing due to a health condition. Like any pets, crested geckos get sick, which could lead to a stunt in their growth.
Metabolic Bone Disease is a common illness among crested geckos. Deficiencies in vitamin D and calcium are the main causes of MBD.
The main Symptoms of MBD are:
- Jaws becoming softer
- Curving of the limbs
- Loss of appetite
- Tail becoming rounded
If your crested gecko suffers from MBD, it means it’s not receiving proper nutrition, so you’ll need to adjust its diet. It’s better to consult your vet early on to treat the disease.
If your crested gecko isn’t growing for any of the reasons that we mentioned, then you might need to take action for it to start growing again.
Here are some care tips to ensure your crested gecko’s growth:
- Provide your gecko with food that has 2:1 Ca:P
- Track its growth rate according to the growth chart
- Keep an eye on its tank’s temperature daily
- Make regular visits to the vet
- Add UVB lights between 3-5% (optional)
In conclusion, crested geckos not growing is a common concern among their owners.
There are many reasons why a crested gecko might not be growing, but it’s not always a cause for concern. The rate of growth varies between crested geckos, and some will grow faster than others.
Not eating enough food, improper diet, unfit living conditions, and health issues are all possible reasons. However, with proper care, nutrition, and the right living condition, a crested gecko will grow at a healthy rate.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I’m home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard. I also like photographing wild birds, especially birds of prey.