Crested geckos often suffer from temperature regulation throughout the day. Many new pet owners are confused if a heat lamp is required in their geckos’ enclosure. In this article, we will discuss if heat lamps are required for crested geckos and when you should use them.
No, crested geckos do not necessarily require a heat lamp like other reptiles. Crested geckos are used to living at 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Providing an enclosure with too much heat can be harmful to your pet.
Providing radiant heat from a small heat bulb is enough for your pet. Crested geckos can thermoregulate, which allows them to maintain their body temperature. If you are living in a cold environment, a heat lamp might be necessary to provide the right basking temperature. You should also keep in mind that crested geckos need temperature variation day and night.
If the temperature inside the enclosure is 75 to 80 degrees in the daytime, you should try and maintain a temperature of 68 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit at night. You can also buy a heating mat if you live in a moderate temperature. This will help your crested gecko stay more comfortable and active.
When Do Crested Geckos Need Heat Lamps?
If you are living in a cold atmosphere, you should consider buying a heat lamp for your crested gecko. Heat lamps are very effective at concentrating heat in a confined environment. If your crested gecko is living in a big tank providing a heat lamp at a specific spot might help it relax and maintain its basking temperature.
Crested geckos need a temperature of 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit in the daytime and 70 to 75 degrees at night. You should always try to maintain this temperature to provide a healthy environment for your pet. It is hard to regulate the temperature in colder areas and that is why many pet owners put several small bulbs or a heating lamp inside the enclosure.
If you have a bigger tank, you can use small bulbs to provide the right basking temperature for your crested gecko. If you live in a moderate temperature and have a smaller tank, heat lamps are not necessary. Unlike other reptiles, crested geckos can sustain in radiant light and the room temperature of their enclosure.
Providing a small heat bulb will also help your crested gecko to find the perfect basking spot inside the tank. They can simply move to the constant heat if they are feeling cold and might move away from the lamp if it is too hot for them. You should always overlook their behavioral patterns to adjust the temperature inside the tank and provide them with a healthy living environment.
You should always make sure that the tank is getting natural light if you are not placing a heat lamp inside the enclosure. Crested geckos live peacefully if there is no unnecessary temperature distortion.
How to use a heat lamp for crested geckos?
If you are using a heat lamp, you should try to keep the temperature inside the enclosure at an optimal level. The temperature inside the enclosure should be between 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. You should also keep a thermometer inside the tank while using a heat lamp. A thermometer will help you stay informed about the temperature inside the tank and help you adjust it accordingly.
A thermometer will also help you maintain the proper basking temperature for your crested gecko. If you have a big tank, you should keep the heat lamp on one end of the enclosure to ensure the temperature is regulated perfectly. In case you have a smaller tank, a small heat bulb will also suffice. Also, keep the heat lamp at least 12 inches away from the tank to prevent your pet from overheating. If your crested gecko is feeling too hot, it might lead to dehydration and many health issues.
It is also important to provide a cooling spot if your crested gecko is feeling too hot. Heat lamps should also be turned off at night to provide the right temperature for your pet. During the daytime, you should keep the heat lamp on for not more than 2 to 3 hours. Leaving it on for a longer duration will make the entire tank warm and might cause overheating for your pet.
You should also keep a check on the humidity levels of the enclosure. Leaving the heat lamp on for too long will result in drying out the entire tank. In case, you notice a mist occurring inside the walls of the tank, decrease the temperature levels immediately.
Crested geckos know when they are overheating but will not shift to a cool spot until the heat is unbearable. This can cause a lot of health concerns for your pet in the longer run. Try and maintain the optimal temperature and provide them with a healthy environment to live in.
You should also provide UVB lighting for your crested gecko. UVB lighting is necessary to promote healthy growth and development in your pet.
Pros & Cons of Heat Lamps on Your Crested Gecko
There are many pros and cons of setting a heat lamp in your crested gecko’s enclosure. Here are a few of them which will help you decide if you should invest in a heat lamp or not.
|Easy to regulate temperature||Can cause overheating|
|Easy to use||A potential fire risk|
|Durable||Can not be used during the night|
|Great for basking purposes||Might cause humidity issues|
Advantages of Using Heat Lamps
Putting a heat lamp in your crested gecko’s tank gives you more control over temperature regulation. If you live in a colder region heating lamps can help you maintain a healthy basking temperature. A healthy heat cycle will boost your crested gecko’s metabolism and promote growth.
Like other reptiles, crested geckos like to bask in the sun. Heat lamps mimic this natural heat and provide your pet with a perfect basking spot. You should place your heat lamp in one corner to allow your crested gecko to relax. Also, take your pet outside for vitamin D, as it is essential for their growth and health.
Large tanks can get cold in the daytime, and it is very important to maintain a healthy temperature for your pet. Heat lamps make it easier to regulate the temperature in a large tank. You can also place a bunch of small heating lamps to provide your gecko with a mixture of warm and cool spots.
Disadvantages of Using Heat Lamps
The biggest disadvantage that heating lamps have is that they can overheat your crested gecko. Overheating for a long period can cause health concerns for your pet. You should place heating lamps on different ends of the tank so there are enough cool spots for your pet.
You can also place small heating lamps that will prevent overheating from occurring. You should only keep a heat lamp on for not more than 2-3 hours. You should also pay close attention to the temperature inside the enclosure. Heat lamps can also cause fire hazards if left unattended.
You should always read the instructional manual for these devices and use them responsibly. Heat lamps should also have a 12-inch distance from the enclosure. If the heat lamp is placed near the tank, it might dry out the surroundings and cause humidity problems.
Heat lamps also use a lot of electricity. Thus, not making them the most budget-friendly for your pet. You should only use heat lamps when the temperature is less than 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit in the daytime.
What Is Better Heat Lamps or Heat Mats?
Heat lamps and heat mats both have a set of advantages and disadvantages that they come along with. Heat lamps provide a simulation of a natural environment and sunlight for your crested gecko. Heat lamps help regulate the temperature inside the tank and also provide cooling spots for your crested gecko. Although, they can also push the temperature to extreme levels and might cause your pet to overheat.
Heat mats will never push the temperature to extreme conditions and let your pet decide if they want to sit on the mat if they are feeling cold. Heating mats are also safer to use as they are not prone to cause fire hazards, unlike heating lamps. Heating mats are also good for small tanks as a heating lamp will produce a lot of heat and might dry out the enclosure.
Heating lamps also offer UVB bulbs that are essential for healthy growth in your pet. Relying on a sunny window can cause temperature buildup inside the tank. UVB lights and heating lamps let you control the temperature inside the tank. You can make temperature changes to maintain a proper basking temperature for your pet. UVB lighting is also essential to provide vitamin D for your pet.
Heating mats are great as they only emit heat on a specific region of the tank, and you do not need to worry about your pet overheating. Just place the mat at the bottom of your tank or one corner, and your crested gecko can move towards it in case they need a higher temperature. Heating mats also become the perfect spot to rest on and relax for your pet.
You can also let the heating mat be turned on for 24 hours without worrying that the tank will overheat. This is not the case with heating lamps, as they need to be turned off after 2-3 hours to maintain a healthy basking temperature.
Top 3 Heatlamps for Your Crested Geckos
Crested geckos are ectothermic animals and thus require external heat for survival. If you are living in a cold environment, you should consider buying a heating lamp for your crested gecko. Here are the top 3 heat lamps for your loving crested gecko.
Zoo Med Repti Basking Spot Lamp
Zoo Med Repti Basking Spot Lamp is a very popular choice for many reptile owners. This heating lamp is long-lasting and built with premium quality material. Zoo med heating lamp emits a concentrated beam of light, providing you with the perfect temperature inside the enclosure. It is also available in different voltages so you can customize the lamp according to your crested gecko’s needs. This lamp also maintains the perfect basking temperature for your pet and prevents them from overheating. The Zoo med reptile basking spot lamp is also budget friendly and very affordable.
Exo Terra Sun-Glo Basking Spot Lamp
The Exo Terra Sun-Glo Basking Spot Lamp provides your crested gecko with optimal heat and temperature regulation. This lamp is also available in different wattages and can be customized to your pet’s needs. The Exo terra sun-glo lamp emits a wide spectrum of light and is a perfect option for big tanks. This heating lamp is also energy efficient and very durable.
Fluker’s Basking Spotlight
Fluker’s Basking Spotlight is also a great option if you are searching for a heating lamp for your crested gecko. This heating lamp emits a focused beam of heat inside the tank and helps with temperature regulation. The Fluker’s basking spotlight is also available in different wattages and is energy efficient. Thus, making it a perfect option when searching for a heating lamp for your crested gecko.
Do crested geckos need UVB or heat lamps?
Heat lamps are only required if you are living in a cold environment. UVB lighting is essential for your crested gecko’s growth and is a necessity for your pet.
How long can a crested gecko go without a heat lamp?
Crested geckos generally do not require artificial light in a moderate environment. Although, the heating lamp should be turned off during the night for 12 hours to maintain a proper basking temperature (68-75 degrees Fahrenheit).
Crested geckos are not like other reptiles and can survive at room temperature. If you are in a cold environment or have a bigger tank for your pet, you should consider getting a heating lamp. Heat lamps will help you regulate the temperature inside the enclosure and provide the perfect basking temperature.
You should also keep the heat lamp off at night and not leave it on for more than 2-3 hours during the day. Keep a note of the temperature inside the tank and provide your crested gecko with a healthy environment to live in.