Geckos are friendly reptiles with a docile nature and low-maintenance requirements. One of the most crucial aspects of keeping your gecko healthy is providing an ideal humid tank.
Humidity preferences vary among gecko species. Some, like leopard geckos, prefer low-moisture tanks, while others, like the crested gecko, thrive in rainforest-like humidity levels.
Fortunately, there are multiple methods for keeping gecko tanks humid. Some of these include buying a humidifier, adding a water feature, or placing a water bowl in the enclosure.
That said, your gecko’s mental and physical health depends on its natural surroundings. Stick around to learn more about how to keep gecko tanks humid.
When owning a gecko, you’ll want to simulate its natural environment. The reptiles typically live in deserts and rainforests.
In turn, geckos have varied humidity requirements based on their type. For instance, leopard geckos are desert dwellers.
Their moisture level needs aren’t as high as a crested gecko’s since the latter naturally lives in a more tropical setting.
Besides that, humidity is a critical component in a gecko’s life cycle. It allows them to shed sufficiently. Plus, the excess moisture hydrates the reptiles.
For leopard geckos, a 30% to 50% humid tank is ideal when mimicking their wild environment. Meanwhile, crested geckos require a higher 50% to 80% moisture level.
You’ll want to keep humidity levels balanced. Otherwise, over-hydrating the terrarium can reap unwanted bacterial and fungal growth.
Even though some gecko species, like the leopard variety, don’t require as much humidity, they still need it. Here’s why.
If the gecko tank’s humidity level drops below 20%, the reptile will show signs of dehydration. They can include wrinkled and dry skin, muscle loss, and a sticky mouth.
You’ll notice these symptoms accumulating over a few days rather than all at once.
A dry environment can pose a risk to your gecko’s health. Its eyelid lining can potentially adhere to its eyelids after shedding, leading to infection.
Overall, the low humid tank can lead to shedding issues, often characterized by a condition called Dysecdysis. Additionally, they’ll experience digestive fluctuations.
Geckos will struggle to pass their waste with little to no hydration in their systems. Consequently, they’ll be constipated, bloated, and lose their appetite.
Due to the negative health impacts of a low-humid tank, your gecko will likely display signs of increased stress.
They may hide more frequently, become lethargic, or showcase dull colors. You’ll also observe general weakness as your gecko tries to move around its terrarium with difficulty.
If things are looking a little too dry for your pet, you can use multiple methods to infuse more humidity in their tank.
Purchasing a humidifier or fogger is likely the easiest method to raise your gecko tank’s humidity levels.
They work better than misting methods because humidifiers release fine water particles that don’t settle on decorations or condensate the terrarium.
That said, foggers humidify and provide a rainforest-like ambiance for your pet reptile.
If you don’t want to resort to gadgets or external devices, a simple mist can do the trick. After spraying the enclosure, humidity levels will rise about 90% to 100%.
Don’t worry, though. The moisture will gradually evaporate, depending on how well-ventilated your enclosure is.
Now, if you’re not always available to mist the gecko’s terrarium, you can use automatic misters. Time them to spray at specified intervals to keep your pet reptile healthy and hydrated.
Although misting is a viable humidifying solution, it will require absorbent decorations. That way, the tank will retain the moisture for longer periods.
Since geckos are excellent swimmers, keeping a bowl of water on the warm end of their tanks is safe.
The bowl will act as a makeshift humidifier since the water will evaporate faster in the warm corner or basking area.
Mini-fountains and pools are more than just decorations. They also integrate more moisture into your gecko’s tank.
You can place a waterfall in a high region. It’ll allow the liquid to splash around and hydrate its surroundings.
Alternatively, you can place the water installation in a warm corner, similar to the water bowl method, and let evaporation do its work.
Rather than working on adding more moisture into the tank, focus on retaining it by limiting the enclosure’s ventilation.
To do so, grab a sheet of tin foil and lay it over the mesh screen on top of the tank. Allow the foil to cover one-third of the roof since your gecko still needs airflow.
Next, monitor the humidity level changes.
A humid hide is usually a cave space located in the warm corner of the gecko’s tank. It holds moisture-absorbing props and greenery like sphagnum moss.
Ensure that your geckos aren’t feeding on the stringy moss. Otherwise, they may experience impaction or indigestion.
If your gecko is feeling a little parched, it can crawl to its humid hide and restore some hydration.
One of the best methods of retaining a tank’s humidity levels is adorning it with moisture-absorbing substrate.
You can use coconut fiber and wet paper towels. The prior holds anti-microbial properties and looks aesthetically natural.
Nonetheless, it may produce fine-particle dust when dry. The dust can harm your reptile’s respiratory system.
Some geckos may also regard the coconut coir as food. Subsequently, consuming the substrate can cause indigestion and constipation.
In terms of quantity, less than half an inch of coco should suffice. If you’re using it for a humid hide, we suggest getting the loose variation.
Here are substrate options you’ll want to avoid:
- Wood chippings
- Sharp substrate
- Any type of sand
Ensure a fresh supply of daily water intake. Mist the tank daily at adequate intervals. Plus, keep the tank’s humidity levels at the correct levels.
You can also soak their meals in water to add moisture to their diet.
Directly spraying your gecko with water is heavily ill-advised. You can risk several complications, from respiratory illnesses to skin infections and gastrointestinal issues.
In addition, your gecko could feel stressed by sudden contact with water.
Geckos do absorb water through their skin. This biological feature is essential for their survival in deserts. It allows them to conserve water and survive for up to three days without it.
Plus, the moisture absorption through their skin helps them when shedding.
Your gecko tank’s humidity and temperature levels play a critical role in its overall health and lifespan.
An ideal, moist-rich environment will allow them to thrive and avoid dehydration and shedding concerns.
Nevertheless, you’ll want to ensure your tank’s humidity levels correctly accommodate your gecko species’ needs.
For this reason, we recommend investing in a hygrometer to monitor the tank’s moisture intake. You’ll better understand when to retain or reduce humidity in the reptile’s enclosure.
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.