Gargoyle Gecko Care Sheet
There are many fantastic care sheets for gargoyle geckos out there. I often am asked how I keep my geckos, so I’ve put together a description of what I do. This is obviously not the only way to keep them, but it is what I have found works best for me and my situation. I still change things up regularly as I learn more about these geckos. I encourage you to do your own research and experiment with different care techniques to find out what works best for you!
Housing: I use 66 qt tubs for adults starting at 35 grams and above. I add air holes made from a wood burner throughout the tub for cross ventilation. I place plenty of decor items inside the tank including cork bark flats, cork bark rounds, branches, fake vines and plants, and pipe insulation. Babies are kept similarity in 6 qt tubs until about 10 grams when they are moved to 27qt tubs. I use sphagnum moss as a bedding for all of my gargoyles from the moment they hatch out. I like the way it looks, it helps hold humidity, it is known for its antibacterial and antifungal properties, and small isopods and springtails seem to thrive if you are looking to go partially bioactive. I have never had a problem with impaction.
I keep all my geckos individually unless they are paired up together for the breeding season. I occasionally do house groups of geckos together (2-3 females with 1 male) but keep a close eye on them to make sure they are not beating one gecko up and they all maintain their weight well. If you do keep geckos together, make sure there are many visual barriers and multiple hides so they are able to keep away from each other. I would also leave food out in multiple places. This should cut down on aggression and is what I believe has kept my adults from losing any of their tails. Males should never be kept together.
I’ve experimented a little bit with keeping gargoyle geckos in bioactive vivariums. I absolutely loved the way they looked and the geckos did just fine in them, but I had the hardest time finding eggs without having to dig everything up every time! I eventually gave up.
Heating and Lighting: The way I’ve heated my geckos is one of the things that has changed most drastically since I started keeping gargoyles. I originally followed old advice that cautioned gargoyles did best at room temperatures and should not be exposed to temps over 80 degrees. This is NOT what I have found to be best practice. I try to keep my geckos at a minimum of 72 degrees and have added heat tape under my tubs for all of my gargoyles that gives a temperature gradient that generally sits somewhere around 75 on the cooler end and 85 degrees on the warmer end. Some geckos will dig and burrow under the moss so they can sit right over the heat tape. The bottom of the tub can reach up to 88-90 degrees. I closely monitor the temperature of the heat tape with a thermostat. Since adding supplemental heat I’ve noticed growth rates have increased significantly and geckos seem overall more heathy and active. In the near future I plan on using low wattage heat/basking lamps instead of heat tape to warm my geckos and adding UVB lighting.
Feeding: I offer Pangea complete gecko diets every 2-3 days and try to rotate flavors each feeding. The geckos generally eat more in the summer and less in the winter. I also offer crickets, dubia roaches, or black soldier fly larvae dusted with calcium powder and D3 out of ramekin bowls once a week. If you are having trouble getting a gecko to take insects, try removing the head and letting the gecko lick the juices. Gross, but it generally works! I spray the geckos daily so they can drink from the droplets of water in their tub.
Breeding: I wait until both geckos are a minimum of 45 grams and the female is at least two years old before pairing them together. While I do keep some breeding groups together, I usually pair the male with one female at a time. I have found that my geckos keep on weight better this way and I don’t notice as many signs of aggression. Keeping the females individually also helps me know for certain which eggs came from which gecko. If I have one male breeding with one female, I will keep them together the whole season monitoring their weight and looking for signs of aggression. If I am pairing up a male with multiple females, I rotate him between tubs, having him spend a week or two with each female at a time. I keep egg laying bins in their tubs with a mix of sphagnum and eco earth. I then collect eggs and incubate them on vermiculite between 72-76 degrees.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to message me, I am always happy to talk.