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Crested geckos are becoming more popular and many people are now keeping them. I felt it was important to highlight an issue regarding their husbandry.


As many of you are aware the summer is now here. Weather forecasts are suggesting this could be one of the hottest
driest summers ever recorded with heat waves across the UK.
Last year many crested gecko keepers were very concerned at the high temps in their homes and some crested geckos indeed died from heat exposure. This can happen easily without us realising as we
thermo-regulate naturally and often do not feel the heat in the same way they do.

Crested geckos are often said to be easy to keep as they are able to survive at room temperature but what does this really mean ?

Room temperature is only applicable if your room does not go below 65 degrees fahrenheit at night in winter or above 83 to 85 (although I prefer to suggest 83 as I have heard of cases where they have died exposed to temps above 84 degrees
fahrenheit) by day in summer, if it goes below of above these temps for any length of time your crested gecko is highly at risk.

So what can we do?

First make sure you have digital thermometers. An option is also the infra-red temp guns these can be bought from Maplins
and are helpful for those with larger collections who need many tanks accurately read at the same time. These temp guns cost around £20 upwards.

To avoid overheating the best piece of equipment you can buy is an air cooling unit. These range from £60 upwards. They are not simple fans but also cool the air. If used in a room they can effectively lower the temps by 5 degrees in most normal conditions. You can usually set them to a specific low and high however this will depend on your room size please take this into consideration before you choose your unit. If the area requiring coverage is large you will need a more powerful unit.


IN AN EMERGENCY SUMMER or OVERHEATING
If in an emergency you find the room is too warm and your crested gecko is lethargic or its skin is sticky to touch ( this can happen when they overheat), the following methods can be used:

Place the gecko in the coolest room if possible away from direct sunlight. Use ice in a plastic bag or the ice bags from the supermarket and place around the viv
. be very careful the gecko does not sit against the glass where the ice is pressed and becomes too cold. Use towels between the bags and the vivarium.

DO NOT spray the crested gecko directly with freezing or very cold water as this can cause severe shock, but spray with cool water in the vivarium.


If the area, room or tank is very hot remove the gecko/ geckos.
Place them in a small tub lined with cold wet kitchen roll or spaghnum
moss for those who prefer a natural substitute and remove the crested gecko from its vivarium, place the tub if you can on the floor of your home away from any disturbances or feet obviously, in the coolest quietest room or in a cool cupboard.

This is for emergencies only.

To further cool the vivarium or faunarium
:
If you have a desk fan or room fan open the ice bag or as much ice as you have in your fridge and place a tray with the ice on it under the fan, angle the fan towards the tray where the ice is and then towards the Tank thus reducing the
ambient tank temp. The air from the fan should reach the ice then the tank causing cool air to be blown across the tank.






To avoid cold temperatures there are several methods. Firstly a heat mat can be placed against the glass. However it is best that a foam barrier is used between the heat mat and glass and always use a mat stat or pulse stat with your heat mat to avoid overheating. Again make sure you use a digital
thermometer to take the temps regularly. The heat mat however will at times not raise the ambient temps high enough so you may want to think about how and where you house your crested gecko in winter before the issue arises.

Another option is using a bulb or ceramic OUTSIDE the vivarium. If you choose the spot bulb method angle the bulb on a dimmer stat towards the vivarium. Always again use a dimmer stat with the spot bulb this avoids the crestie overheating. Take temps with a digital
thermometer and change the dial of the stat until the correct temps are achieved.


IN AN EMERGENCY WINTER or POWER CUT
One more suggestion is to have sealed poly boxes such that are used as incubator boxes. You can buy these from ebay or many online stores and simply keep them at home. if possible in a warm airing cupboard so if you require using them they may be warmer than if stored elsewhere. They can be stored and used the following way in a power cut emergency. If you have a power cut and it is VERY cold and you cannot heat your geckos you can use these to place them inside. The sealed temps will stay regulated and not drop as low as outside the box. Please make sure you take the temps inside the box BEFORE you place the crested gecko there. Obviously never ever place two males together and only use this method IF your crested gecko is in danger of being exposed to temps below the recommended safety margin Wrapping the vivs in warm quilts also helps and this is again another option in emergency to avoid the tanks dropping even lower in temperature.
 

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thanky, i hope this becomes a sticky, im fed up of correcting people. Especially when they say cresties do fine at ''room'' temp, to newbies...grr

Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanky, i hope this becomes a sticky, im fed up of correcting people. Especially when they say cresties do fine at ''room'' temp, to newbies...grr

Thanks again!
No problem ... :)

Today already I've spoken to 5 people alone on msn / Pm asking for advice with it being SO hot. Hopefully this helps.
 

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Excellent advice, as always :notworthy::notworthy::notworthy::notworthy:
 

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Very good informative post! :p My hero lol always feel safe when you're about :D
 

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yeah good post i am moving in a few weeks and the house will be smaller so hotter i should think so i am going to get a unit tomoz!!!! cheers sparkle
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I added ice to the top compartment of mine tonight its cooled the room even more.
here is the one I have. There is no refridgeration unit in mine. I am thinking of getting one with built in refridgeration this summer for the reptile room and using the euromeed one in my bedroom.

but here is what i have at present
Portable Air Coolers
 

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Very very helpful indeed! Great post!
 

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thanks sparkle, that was helpful, i was starting to get concerned about overheating cause just got back & the temp was 26c
:no1::2thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
just bought a air cooling/heating/humidifier unit, £45 inc p&p on ebay. not bad
not bad at all :)

remember most of them need an open window or door to work properly it should say that in the instructions though.. if this isnt possible buy and use a small desk fan.. what u do is angle it towards the air cooler and it allows for air flow around the air cooler as if a window or door is open :2thumb:
 

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Very interesting read and a good job. My only question would be concerning heat mats. I had an understanding that these only changed the surface heat and not really much of a change ambient temps? So could they really be used in the cold winter?
 

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Very interesting read and a good job. My only question would be concerning heat mats. I had an understanding that these only changed the surface heat and not really much of a change ambient temps? So could they really be used in the cold winter?
yea if they want heat they go to it.. if they dont they dont go to it.. if thay want a little bit of heat they go near it, it doesnt heta the whole viv, but a small area near it (if that makes sense)
when we used to use them (now dont) they would either go on them, or on the vine next to it :)
 

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Very interesting read and a good job. My only question would be concerning heat mats. I had an understanding that these only changed the surface heat and not really much of a change ambient temps? So could they really be used in the cold winter?

this is correct in some part.. however some people do not have cold enough rooms to warrant cermaics or low spots on stats.. heating with a heat mat at the back or sid eof the viv with a thin piece of foam inbetween can raise temps a little.. this is especially good in glass vivs with non-mesh lids.. again always use on a stat :)

The heat mat is a simple suggestion to allow the cresties to seek heat if you feel your temps may occasionally drop a little.. obviously as I suggested you have to have accurate callibrated readings from a digital thermometer to enable you to wisely choose the heat method required.

Every room will be different and every tank.

Luckily I do not need to use mats or bulbs or ceramics as my house even on the coldest day last winter did not go below 68 at night with the heating low :)

It is more summer I worry about, for example 2 days ago my room with crested geckos n was reading 82 before I used the cooling fan.

These are all just suggestions and will only really work if you can take accurate readings and make decisions based on that. : victory:
 

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That's fantastic, our front room is usually cooler than any other room but never goes much below 68F.

When we had that mini heatwave, they reached 78 so I am not TOO worried, but we have a maplins thermometer gun and it was a great investment (fun to tease the cats with too).

I will also be investing in a pulse stat as I am sick of the temp drop from 76F which it is set at to 68F..

Great info m'dear :) xXx
 

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Well, after buying an air cooling unit today, I decided it was still too hot for Ludo in my room, so I have spent the past couple of hours moving him into a cooler room!

I put him in a rub during the move, so I could give his home a real good clean out. However he escaped, so he spent his time jumping around my room for a few minutes before jumping onto my hand - I'm glad he got some excitement out of it - I on the other hand was sweating bucket loads!!

And not only did it once, he did it again before getting into his newly refreshed and redesigned home!! Little terror!

After all that, he is now at a perfect temperature in the spare room. I'm feeling pretty sad though because I love laying in bed watching him explore! But it's all for his well being at the end of the day! :2thumb:
 

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My room touched 78f today, and that was only for an hour or so, so not too worried. Although am still going to invest in some kind of cooler unit, just to be on the safe side...
 
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