Crested geckos are originated from the area near pacific regions. So they are accustomed with the mild tropical weather. They live mostly on the trees and use toes and their tough tails to climb on the branches. For the beginner pet owners, crested gecko can be a good choice.
They need some basic maintenance and manage to stay alive and healthy in a minimalistic set up.
Keeping the substrate in their terrarium is necessary for many valid reasons. They can defecate on the substrate and they sometimes dig the substrate for many reasons. Also you cannot keep the pet on the bare floor of the terrarium. Thus we always cover the floor with a good quality substrate.
- 1 The Top 6 Substrate for Crested Gecko Terrariums (Reviews)
- 2 Faqs
- 2.1 Does crested gecko eat substrate?
- 2.2 Can sand be used as a substrate for crested gecko?
- 2.3 How often the substrate should be changed?
- 2.4 Can paper towel be the substrate for crested gecko?
- 2.5 Can sphagnum moss be a good substrate?
- 2.6 What is bioactive substrate for crested gecko?
- 2.7 Why sift screen is needed to segregate the substrate?
- 2.8 How can you decrease the chance of impaction from substrate?
- 2.9 How to create a naturalistic look in the vivarium with artificial substrate?
- 2.10 Conclusion
The Top 6 Substrate for Crested Gecko Terrariums (Reviews)
There are certainly various kinds of substrate which are useful in many ways. But when selecting the right kind of substrate you must keep in mind how your gecko will be helped by that substrate. So here we are offering you a few review based suggestions on best quality substrates Crested geckos that are available in the market.
1. Zilla ground English walnut shells desert blend
This substrate is natural and is available in three different sized bags, so you can get the substrate in required quantity. You may have a large or a moderate sized terrarium which will be nicely filled with the proper amount of substrate. This is a natural product so there will be no chance of toxicity for the crested gecko.
The look of the substrate is quite naturalistic and it makes the terrarium look like a piece of jungle. So it will be highly admired by your pet. The color is very similar to the desert area and thus the gecko will love it. As these are shells of wood and not grains of sand, it will not scratch the glass walls surrounding the terrarium. The shells are really good for heat conduction so the heat within the terrarium will be trapped within it. The price of the product is quite pocket-friendly so you will not be spending a lot on this.
This naturalistic substrate will initiate the digging habit of the crested gecko as it contains the quality of woodchips that are available in real desert. This substrate will not be dirty very soon and you can change it once in a month to keep the interior of the terrarium in good condition. These wood shells will not contain dust or they would not make a mess when you will be using them in the terrarium. Keep them in a thickness of 1 to 2 inches on the floor of the terrarium.
- Natural product
- Pocket friendly
- No toxicity
- Can cause impaction if consumed
2. Zoo Med reptile bark fir bedding
This one comes from a very popular brand of pet supplies and it has been used and liked by many pet owners. Like the previous one, it also comes in different sized bags with different amount of substrate. This is a pocket friendly option for the pet owners so most of the first time pet owners try this.
You can use the packet even partially, no need to use the whole thing at a time. The substrate will remain usable within a year of opening the packet. This substrate is a natural thing and it absorbs the odor. So when you use this on the cage of the crested gecko, do not worry of getting any bad smell from the terrarium. The substrate is reusable. What you have to do is to just scoop out the dirt or poop and let it stay on the terrarium floor.
The substrate will hold the heat and will prevent the growth of bacteria or mites. It is a safe option for the crested gecko. Mite is a problem for some of the users but most of them were super happy using this substrate. The smell of the substrate is natural and it makes the atmosphere feels like it is a real jungle. You can safely mist the tank if and when needed as it does not create any mildew. This is a safe option for your pet gecko and they will love this product for sure.
- Nice natural smell
- Absorbs odor
- Pet friendly
- Non toxic
- Some packet contains mite
3. Zoo Med eco earth loose coconut fiber substrate:
This brand has offered us so many good quality products that we are compelled to repeat their name in our list. This coconut fiber substrate is yet another option when you are searching for some naturalistic substrate which will be easy on your pocket and yet will be successful in absorbing the odor. Apart from that, the substrate also creates a naturalistic look which will make the crested gecko like it immensely.
The fiber substrate can be broken and it will be increasing in amount in large portion. So do not buy a whole lot for a medium sized terrarium. This is an eco friendly option for the geckos and it will not leave any toxic effect on them. This is a lightweight and smooth substance which will not make the gecko uncomfortable. That is why the gecko will start digging and burrowing onto it when you use this in their terrarium.
Misting the terrarium or the gecko with water is not a problem with this substrate, as it does get dry real fast, so no chance of getting mildew on this substrate. The substrate will not impact your gecko as it breaks down when mixed with water. This is a great plus point for this substrate. This product has a good texture which is able to hold onto the humidity which is much necessary for the betterment of the crested gecko. So overall, this is a great product and you should get it for your loved pet.
- Naturalistic product
- Breaks in water
- No mildew after misting
- Mites in some packets
4. Exo Terra coco husk
This is a terrarium substrate for different types of reptiles. You get this product at a pocket friendly price and you should try it to keep your crested gecko healthy and happy. This is a completely natural substrate which offers a classic naturalistic set up within the terrarium. To keep the humidity at the moderate level is the job of this coco husk substrate. So you can be assured that the atmosphere within the terrarium will be maintained with right amount of heat and humidity.
This coco husk substrate helps the crested gecko to dig and burrow in it, so they can practice their natural tactics that they would have done in their wild habitat. This is a healthy exercise which keeps them stress free and happy. You can mist the terrarium and the husk periodically and it will keep the humidity level at a fix. However, the color may bleed for a few times at the beginning so make sure that the gecko does not try to lick or eat the husk at least for first few weeks.
This is a safe option for the pet owners as it does not affect the pet gecko by any kind of toxicity. Also the breeding of parasites, mite or bacteria is less so it will keep the terrarium clean and free from all such kind of nuisance. Make a thick bedding of this husk and keep it at 3 inches, so the crested gecko feel enthusiastic and try to burrow under it. Warm water helps to break the chunk of it so you can easily break it off and then lay it on the floor of the cage.
- Healthy substrate option for gecko
- Keeps humidity and heat in check
- Breaks in warm water
- Bleeds for few times
5. Josh’s Frogs loose coco cradle fiber:
This brand offers the coco fiber bag in three different sizes and you can get the proper quantity from the varieties. This is an organic product and makes the cage a safe place for the reptiles like crested gecko. This is a bio-degradable product so you can expect it to be natural and nature friendly. Also by using this substrate on the cage of the gecko you will be doing a favor to the nature as it will not spoiled by any synthetic and artificial product.
Humidity increase is a job of this substrate and it does it perfectly. While using this substrate on the terrarium, you can be sure that your gecko will not be dehydrated as it can absorb ample amount of water vapor from the air inside the terrarium. For the creatures that need humidity to stay healthy, this is just an ideal option for substrate.
The odor will be totally absorbed by this coco husk and it will make the cage smell fresh and natural. So you can be sure that this substrate does not allow the bacteria or fungi to grow in there. This is pure coco fiber and there is no adulteration so you can expect the gecko to live a healthy life while having this substrate on their terrarium.
- Absorbs smell
- Pure coco fiber
- Eco friendly
- Chunks are found in some packets
6. Zoo Med Excavator clay burrow substrate
This is a different form of substrate as its name suggests. This is clayey in form and the reptile can make a burrow or a tunnel in it. The substrate can make your reptile feel at home as it will offer the mushiness that is available only in real soil. So digging will be fun for your crested gecko. You need to mix the product with water to form a semi-solid substance. This is not easily eaten by the geckos so you can be assured of your gecko not getting impacted soon.
Desert animals would love this substrate as the feel of the soil will make them interested in burrowing. There can be little dust until you put needed amount of water into it. So keep it away from the pets until the substrate is well moist. This soil takes time to get moist so you need to keep it soaked overnight, to find a good quality substrate ready by the morning.
This is a natural product and does not get dry easily. However, you need to sprinkle or mist water onto it to keep the humidity of the terrarium undisturbed. The gecko not only will love to burrow in it but also they can bask on the soft surface of this substrate.
Does crested gecko eat substrate?
Crested gecko does not eat substrate usually, unless they are trying to kill a live prey and missed it. While trying to eat or catch an insect, they can gobble a mouthful of substrate. These are some accidental cause of them eating substrate. But you should not use anything that is toxic for the gecko or can cause impaction. So you should always use some safe and non-toxic material as substrate in their cage.
Can sand be used as a substrate for crested gecko?
Sand is not a good idea for making substrate in the terrarium of a leopard gecko. Pure and raw sand can cause severe impaction which will result in death of the pet. The only close item that can be used instead of sand is calcium carbonate sand, which is not toxic and will not cause impaction.
How often the substrate should be changed?
You need to check for defecate in the substrate and when seen, scoop them out. Also check for the uneaten food particles which should not lie on the floor of the cage. These things can be the place of bacterial breed and it will infect the gecko if ignored.
Though you should keep checking substrate for dirt and poop, the substrate should be changed once in a week. There are chances that mites will infect the substrate if left long on the cage.
Can paper towel be the substrate for crested gecko?
We need to keep substrate in the cage of the crested gecko so it becomes easy to clean and odorless. Also the substrate does the thermoregulation job that keeps the heat of the cage intact. Paper towel can be a very good option for substrate. Also this is an easy to change option and it is also budget-friendly.
You should be only alert that the gecko does not tear off the paper strips and try to eat or swallow it. They may face some disease of their intestine if they consume bits and strips of paper. You can think of using butcher paper which is not easy to tear so they may not be able to swallow it.
Can sphagnum moss be a good substrate?
Sphagnum moss is a good option for substrate in the cage of the crested gecko. But you can mix it with topsoil to make it more useful. This moss is not toxic and will not cause impaction problem. Also this is a good substrate which will help to hold on the humidity and heat of the terrarium.
What is bioactive substrate for crested gecko?
The word bioactive substrate indicates a mix of all natural substrates. As this is made from all natural products, it will last more than 6 months before you replace it. In this substrate you will get 40 to 50 percent of organic soil, 10 percent peat moss and rest will be sand, orchid bark with cypress mulch.
The bioactive substrate should not contain any chemicals like pesticides or fertilizers, as that can have toxic effect on the crested gecko.
Why sift screen is needed to segregate the substrate?
With the use of a sifting screen you can keep aside the large particles of the substrate before you use it on the terrarium. Some substrate items like, coconut fiber, comes with some large chunks, which can hurt the gecko or they can get impacted by swallowing it.
Lay the sifted substrate on the floor of the terrarium evenly. Make sure that the substrate layer is 2 to 4 inches thick so the gecko does not get hurt by the bare floor.
How can you decrease the chance of impaction from substrate?
This is a common ailment in most of the crested gecko. The reason lies in a common behavior of the pet owners. When you give it insects to eat, you should use a food bowl for that purpose. If the insects are given scattered on the substrate, the gecko is most likely to eat some of the substrate along with food. To prevent this, feed the gecko on a particular food dish or bowl.
How to create a naturalistic look in the vivarium with artificial substrate?
Using artificial substrate is a common trend as it is readily available and also needs less maintenance. But if you want to create an aesthetically good looking interior for the terrarium you should use some leaves that are available. Cover the substrate with these leaves and keep changing them once they are dry. This will give the crested gecko a feel of the forest, which is their original inhabiting place.
Make sure your crested gecko does not try to eat any kind of substrate, as this can cause impaction. Also if you see your gecko is not comfortable on this substrate, you should change it immediately. Their repelling behavior can be judged from the symptom of not pooping on this substrate.
This is a sign that it is not liking the feel and touch of the substrate and refusing to be comfortable in it. You should try some other kind of substrate for the terrarium.