How Long Can Crested Geckos Go Without Water?

Maybe you have to go away for a couple of days and won’t be around to mist your crested gecko’s tank. Or perhaps you’re wondering if it’s really necessary to provide a water bowl for your pet. Either way, you’re probably curious about how much water your crested gecko really needs to be healthy.

So how long can crested geckos go without water? Crested geckos get their hydration from their environment, soaking up the humidity in the air and drinking droplets of water inside the enclosure. Your crested gecko should never have to go without water, but it can survive for about a week without it.

Read on to find out how much water crested geckos need to survive, and how long they can live without it. We’ll also go over ways to keep humidity levels up in your pet’s cage. Finally, we’ll go over the answer to how long a crested gecko can survive without food. 

How Much Water Do Crested Geckos Need?

Like all living creatures, crested geckos need water to survive. But unlike many animals, they typically don’t drink water from a dish. Instead, crested geckos get the hydration they need from their environment. The humidity in the air plus droplets of water that accumulate in the tank provide plenty of hydration for your pet.

Even though crested geckos don’t usually drink water directly from a bowl, it’s still important to provide a small bowl of fresh water for your pet. This gives your crested gecko a chance to soak if it wants to, which is another great way to take in moisture! Be sure to wash the bowl and replace the water on a daily basis, especially if your pet enjoys soaking.

Your crested gecko should never be forced to go without a water bowl or regular misting. But if for some reason you’re unable to provide water or mist your pet’s tank, your crested gecko should be okay for a few days.

The amount of time your crested gecko can survive without water depends on how much moisture is retained in its environment. After a week, there’s a good chance your pet will not survive.

How Do I Know if My Crested Gecko Is Dehydrated?

If your crested gecko has gone without water for any length of time, there’s a good chance it’s dehydrated. Hydration is essential for your crested gecko’s overall health and wellbeing, so if you notice any of these signs of dehydration, you’ll definitely want to take action to fix it.

  • Dull, wrinkled appearance
  • Dry and flaky skin
  • Sunken eyes
  • Stuck shed
  • Wavy tail
  • Sticky tongue
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite

Dehydration typically happens when your crested gecko doesn’t have access to a reliable water source. High temperatures, low humidity levels, dry food, and lack of sufficient misting can all contribute to dehydration in crested geckos.

Much of the time, dehydration can be treated at home with regular misting and soaks in water. In more serious cases, it may be necessary to take your crested gecko to the vet to get fluid injections.

How Important Is Humidity?

When you ask how long your crested gecko can go without water, it’s important to remember that humidity is one big way that your pet takes in moisture. Humidity is an essential source of water for your pet.

Because of this, one of the most important tank accessories you should invest in is a hygrometer! A hygrometer is a simple tool that measures the amount of humidity in your pet’s tank. Crested geckos require at least 50 to 60% humidity at all times. Don’t just guess when it comes to humidity levels! For good husbandry, it’s essential to know your specific cage conditions.

How Can I Increase Humidity in My Crested Gecko’s Tank?

Your crested gecko can’t go longer than a week or so without water and moisture, so it’s definitely necessary to maintain proper humidity levels in its tank. Sometimes it can be a bit difficult to keep humidity levels at 50 to 60%, especially if you live in a particularly dry area. But don’t worry–there are plenty of easy solutions out there to help you get your humidity to the correct level.

Mist the Tank

At nighttime, you can mist your pet’s tank until the humidity level reaches 100%, providing plenty of water droplets for your crested gecko to drink. The humidity level will gradually fall back to the 50 to 60% mark after misting.

If you notice that your humidity level is still falling below 50% during the day, feel free to mist your crested gecko’s tank more often. It’s totally fine for humidity to spike as high as 80 to 90% after misting during the day as long as it eventually comes back down to the 50 to 60% range. 

Add Moss to the Tank

There are tons of different kinds of moss available for crested geckos, and some of the most popular are sphagnum moss and peat moss. Moss is a great addition to a crested gecko tank–not only does it have a nice natural look, but it’s also amazing at retaining moisture. 

All you have to do is mist the moss generously, wring out the excess water, and place it in your pet’s tank. Whenever it gets dry, repeat the process. Eventually, the moss will begin to turn brown, which is your sign that it needs to be replaced. 

Switch Out the Substrate

Not all substrates are created equal! Some types of substrate are much better at keeping humidity levels up than others. For example, newspaper and carpet don’t retain much moisture. Coconut coir or fiber does a great job of maintaining humidity levels, as does cypress mulch and bioactive soil.

When choosing a substrate, you’ll also want to keep the risk of impaction in mind. Impaction is a condition similar to constipation. It happens when your pet attempts to ingest material that cannot be digested. The material then forms a lump in the digestive system that can’t pass through successfully. Oftentimes, impaction needs to be treated by a veterinarian.

Because of the risk of impaction, coconut fiber and bioactive soil are the mostly highly recommended types of substrate when you want to increase humidity. While cypress mulch is great at retaining moisture, it contains sharp chunks that can not only cause impaction, but also internal injury.

Remember that you’ll still need to mist your substrate, regardless of what type you settle on. 

Place Foil on Top of the Tank

The majority of crested gecko tanks come with a screen mesh top, which humidity can easily escape through. A sheet of aluminum foil spread over half of the top of the tank should make a big difference in your humidity levels! The foil will trap humidity in the tank, making it much easier to maintain a level of 50-60%.

Use a Reptile Fogger

In most cases, a reptile fogger won’t be necessary. But if you live somewhere that’s extremely dry and are really having issues keeping your humidity levels up, a reptile fogger should help quite a bit. Although you shouldn’t replace daily misting with a reptile fogger, it should make a great addition to your tank setup.

Be sure that you don’t increase humidity levels too much! Excess humidity can lead to a respiratory infection, which will need to be treated by a reptile veterinarian. 

How Long Can Crested Geckos Go Without Food?

You already know that crested geckos can go about a week at most without water or regular misting. But how long can your pet survive without food? Of course, you should never deprive your crested gecko of food. Crested geckos should be fed on a regular basis, but adults can survive up to three weeks without food. 

Babies and juveniles need to be fed more often because of the rapid development they’re going through, so they can’t survive as long as adults can without regular meals. A baby crested gecko can only live for a few days without food, while a juvenile will be able to make it for a week at most. 

If your crested gecko hasn’t been eating, you can safely wait for about two weeks before you’ll need to take your pet to the vet. At that point, it’s very important to figure out what’s going on and why your crested gecko isn’t eating. 

Conclusion

A crested gecko can survive for about a week without water at the most, or without food for about three weeks. Crested geckos need to be provided with fresh water on a daily basis, and their tank also needs to be misted regularly. The humidity level in your pet’s tank should typically range between 50 and 60%, spiking as high as 100% after the misting process and then returning to normal.

Be sure to invest in a hygrometer so you can easily monitor humidity levels in your crested gecko’s tank. If you’re looking for ways to increase humidity, you can try misting more frequently or adding moss to the tank.

You can also swap out the substrate for a different type that’s better at retaining moisture. Additional solutions include covering part of the top of the tank with aluminum foil and using a reptile fogger in conjunction with regular misting.

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