There are countless geckos in the world that are used as pets, but choosing the best one for you or your child can be a bit difficult, especially as first-time owners. Two of the most popular geckos are the African Fat-Tailed Gecko and the Crested Gecko. And while they are equally interesting to have, they are very different from one another.
In this article, we’ll talk about these two geckos, what are their needs, and which one is the better pet. This might help you make your final decision when choosing your next pet gecko.
African Fat Tailed Gecko: An African Fat-Tailed Gecko is a very docile and secluded gecko. It will only come out at night and it prefers to save its energy instead of roaming around all the time. This is why it loves to nap a lot. It will get used to you after a few months and you will be able to handle it whenever you want. But it’s important to remember that owning one of these geckos is a very long-term commitment as they can live up to 25 years in captivity. You will also need a bit of space as they grow up to 7-9 inches long.
Crested Gecko: A Crested Gecko is a very interesting gecko as well. It grows up to 5-8 inches and can live up to 20 years in captivity if raised properly. These beautiful creatures can either come with a bit of attitude or they’re very docile. Once they get used to you, these creatures will actually love being handled and having a companion. They’re easy to handle and they come in a very wide range of beautiful colors and patterns.
African Fat Tailed Gecko vs Crested Gecko – Which One Is The Better Pet?
The African Fat-Tailed Gecko is the perfect choice for a child or someone who never owned a lizard or any exotic pet before. It’s very docile and it’s a very distant cousin of the Leopard Gecko. After you gain its trust, you will be able to get it out of the enclosure for a bit of playtime every day. But it’s important to always wash your hands properly before and after you make contact with the gecko. They’re very easy to maintain as well. They’re not pretentious at all and they are not destructive or aggressive unless the tank is too small and they feel trapped.
The Crested Gecko is another great pet if you’re looking for a more interesting gecko. It was thought to be extinct but it was rediscovered in 1994. This gecko is quite active and loves being treated properly. All you have to do is take the gecko out for 10 to 30 minutes a day. After that, they will become used to you and will even form a bond with you.
Temperament and Habits Comparison
The African Fat-Tailed Gecko is a crepuscular gecko but it turned into a nocturnal creature once it got into captivity. This means that it used to be active at sunset, sundown, on a full moon, and on cloudy days, and now it’s only active at night. It’s a gecko that likes staying hidden and nap in dark and humid places. This is why you need to place a bit of substrate (moss is preferred) in their hiding places and periodically spray it with a bit of water. It’s important to maintain their sleeping areas humid.
The Crested Gecko is an arboreal creature that is active during the night and it’s a very good climber. But besides being capable to climb very well, these geckos are excellent at jumping. They are known to use their tail for support and jump some quite impressive distances. This can be a problem during handling as they can attempt to jump from your hand and they might hurt themselves.
Can African Fat Tailed Geckos and Crested Geckos live together?
African Fat-Tailed Geckos and Crested Geckos should never be housed together with any geckos from other species. The number one reason is the fact that they need different conditions to live a healthy and happy life. The cage requirements of the Crested Gecko will get the African Fat-Tailed Gecko sick, and the cage requirements of the African Fat-Tailed Gecko will put the Crested Gecko in danger as well.
But besides this obvious reason, you should also be aware of the fact that they will fight to the death if they are placed in the same cage, especially if one has nowhere to run. Some geckos stop the fight when one loses its tail and tries to hide, but others will even eat the wounded gecko. This means that if you house an African Fat-Tailed Gecko and a Crested Gecko together, you might only find a few pieces left of one of the poor geckos. They should always be housed with geckos from their own species, and even then, males should never be housed together, even in a group.
The African Fat-Tailed Gecko’s diet includes nothing else but live insects and water. They love crickets, roaches, mealworms, waxworms, silkworms, etc. It’s very important to keep the insects alive and feed them to the gecko while they still live. Otherwise, there are very few geckos that will even bother to check the dead insect out. It’s very similar to being served a spoiled meal. They only eat live insects.
The Crested Gecko’s diet is quite varied as they eat lots of live insects and fruits. Some of their favorite insects are crickets, waxworms, mealworms, and roaches. And some of their favorite fruits include mango, peach, and banana. More than that, they love getting a mix of baby food and fruit up to 3 times a week. These geckos need to be fed every night and then you have to remove all the uneaten food each morning.
Comparison – Cage Requirements (size, substrate, heat level, humidity)
African Fat-Tailed Geckos can live OK in a 10-gallon enclosure if you plan on keeping them one per tank. But pairs will need a cage that is at least 15 gallons, and a group should only be kept in a 25 or 30-gallon tank. Fine orchid bark is good as substrate but you can also use a mix of sand and soil. Never use sand on its own as geckos tend to eat it and develop health problems.
The enclosure of an African Fat-Tailed Gecko should have a hot and cool side. The hot side should be around 90-95F, and the cool side right under 80F. When it comes to humidity, you might need an automatic misting machine to keep up with the requirements. These geckos are native to the West African deserts but they live most of their lives hidden in humid and dark places. This is why it’s important to maintain humidity levels between 40% and 60%.
A Crested Gecko is not very pretentious and it can live very well in a 10-gallon tank, while a pair can thrive in a 15-gallon tank as well. They are arboreal geckos so make sure you’re offering all the climbing opportunities they need. Orchid bark and cypress mulch are excellent as substrate.
They’re also very sensitive to high temperatures, which is why they need the tank to remain around 72-75F. You can provide an 80F basking spot as well. The humidity level is best kept at around 70% and you have to make sure it never goes lower than 50%.