Fired Up Crested Gecko – What Is “Firing Up” (With Pictures)

Fired Up Crested Gecko

Every owner should know Crested gecko’s different behaviors and what is normal. Fired up Crested gecko is the involuntary response of color changing as a result of various factors such as environment, mood, waking up and more.

In most cases, firing up is nothing to worry about. However, there are a few instances that require action as it can have a negative effect on your Crested gecko’s health.

In this article we are answering all of those questions and helping you to get a better understanding of your gecko’s behaviours such as:

  • What does fired up Crested gecko mean
  • Signs of a fired up Crested gecko
  • Causes for a fired up Crested gecko
  • What color changes are normal vs what to worry about

… and much more!

Fired Up Crested Gecko – What Is It And Why Does It Happen?

Fired Up Crested Gecko

The Crested gecko is either fired up or fired down.

A fired up Crested gecko refers to the process of your gecko’s skin colors changing to usually darker and more intense shades. It’s thought that Crested geckos fire up and down to hide from predators by getting darker colors in the evening and lighter/pale colors during the day.

Look at the picture above to see what a fired up Crested gecko looks like compared to fired down Crested gecko.

What Is “Firing Down”?

To fully understand “firing up” in Crested geckos, you’ll also need to know what “firing down” is.

Firing down is when your Crested gecko’s skin colors turn more grey-ish and dull. This behavior is normal and usually occurs for the following reasons:

  • During the daytime is when your gecko sleeps and rest. A healthy environment during the day will consist of lower humidity and temperature and more light exposure which results in a fired down Crested gecko
  • Less active. Firing down is a type of camouflage that your gecko uses to blend with its surroundings. Therefore, they turn lighter/pale colors (fire down) during the day, when they are less active and subsequently feel more vulnerable
  • Shedding. A few days before shedding, your Crested gecko will be fired down and once he shedding has finished, they will be able to fire up again

Fired Up Crested Gecko – Signs

Fired Up Crested Gecko

Normally, your Crested gecko will either appear grey-ish and pale in color (fired down) or with darker, more intense colors (fired up).

The only sign to look out for in a fired up Crested gecko is when their skin goes a lot darker and their patterns appear more defined. For visual reference, check out the picture above.

Fired Up Crested Gecko – Causes

Usually firing up is caused by something that has either excited your Crested gecko or made them stressed, anxious or defensive. There are many causes that can result in a fired up Crested gecko from change in their mood to a change in their environment.

Normal Causes For Fired Up Crested Gecko

Fired Up Crested Gecko

Let’s have a look in more detail at some of the normal causes for firing up in Crested geccko:

  • Waking up. Crested geckos are nocturnal, so whilst they are asleep during the day they will be fired down. Whereas, when they wake up in the evening hours, you should expect to see them firing up. Furthermore, when they wake up is also the time when your gecko will have the richest and most vibrant colors
  • High levels of humidity around 70% to 80% can result in a fired up Crested gecko. As humidity levels should vary throughout the day and night, seeing your gecko fired up when the humidity levels are high is nothing to worry about
  • Lack of light can result in a fired up Crested gecko. That’s one of the reasons Crested geckos fire up at night time due to little to none light exposure
  • Activity. Another reason your Crested gecko fires up at night is because of the increased levels of activity. During that time your gecko is most active which results in firing up

The listed causes above for a fired up Crested gecko are nothing to worry about.

Negative Causes For Fired Up Crested Gecko

On the other hand, if your Crested gecko is firing up for any of the reasons listed below, you will need to take action and investigate further:

  • Stress. A negative reason for a fired up Crested gecko is stress response. Crested geckos are fragile animals that can get stressed easily by various factors such as incorrect habitat setup, shipping, incorrect handling and much more. It’s very important to ensure nothing is stressing your Crested gecko
  • Incorrect handling can result in a fired up Crested gecko. If your gecko fires up during handling, you need to ensure that you’re handling them gently and using the right techniques. To learn more about handling techniques click here How To Hold A Crested Gecko: Tips On Handling Crested Gecko
  • High temperatures around 80°F can also result in your Crested gecko firing up. It’s important to not expose your gecko to such high temperatures for long periods of time as it can be fatal

It’s essential to remember that there might be more than one cause for your Crested gecko firing up.

In most cases, fired up Crested gecko is nothing to worry about and is usually just the result of normal things such as waking up in the evening hours or humidity levels. However, firing up can be a way of your gecko telling you something is wrong, therefore it’s always important to do the following health checks:

Crested Gecko Color Changes – Normal vs Abnormal

Fired Up Crested Gecko

As mentioned earlier, the causes for a fired up Crested gecko can be either positive or negative. As an owner you need to know when a color change is normal and when you need to take further action.

Normal Color Changes

Normal color changes include:

  • Firing up during the night
  • Firing down during the day
  • A few days before shedding, your gecko will start turning grey-ish, pale color (fire down). Once the shedding is complete, they should return to normal color and be able to fire up

The color changes listed above are normal responses and nothing to worry about.

Abnormal Color Changes

We already discussed normal color changes of your Crested gecko’s skin. However, not all color changes are normal such as:

  • If your Crested gecko’s tail or toes turn black, it’s a sign of necrosis. In this case, you will need to take your gecko the vet straight away to be treated.
  • If you notice black spots on your gecko’s body that weren’t there before, it can mean that they have developed a fungal or bacterial infection. Again, you’ll need to take your gecko to the vet for further tests and treatment

In addition to the unwanted situations listed above, we don’t want a fired up Crested gecko due to any stress. If you don’t know what is the reason for your gecko firing up and you suspect stress as the cause, check for the following common causes:

  • Incorrect temperature and humidity
  • Diet. Are there any changes to their diet?
  • Incorrect habitat setup
  • Being bullied by other geckos in the tank
  • Multiple pets in the household. Another pet can be triggering them and resulting in a fired up Crested gecko

How To Fire Up My Crested Gecko?

Fired Up Crested Gecko

You might want a fired up Crested gecko to either see their full color potential or to just take some nice pictures of them. It’s important to do this the right way as Crested geckos can fire up when they feel stressed and that’s not how we want to get them to fire up!

The good news is that you don’t need to stress your gecko in order for them to fire up. Just follow these steps:

  1. Take the gecko out of their tank
  2. Place it in another tank/enclosure
  3. Mist the new tank with a few sprays whilst the Crested gecko is in there
  4. Finally, place the tank in a dark place for 10 to 15 minutes
  5. Once the 15 minutes have passed, the Crested gecko should be fired up and should be presenting with its most vibrant and intense skin colors
  6. If you’re doing this during the day, don’t leave the gecko in the newly misted tank as the humidity levels should be lower during the day. Just return the gecko to their original enclosure

Final Thoughts

In this article, we discussed the following topics:

  • What is firing up in Crested geckos
  • What causes it
  • Firing up causes that should be of concern

Crested geckos are either fired down (during the day) or fired up (during the night).

The most important point to remember is that fired up Crested gecko is a normal, color changing process that the gecko goes through for various reasons such as:

  • Waking up in the evening
  • High levels of humidity
  • Lack of light
  • High activity

However, if you Crested gecko is firing up for any of the following reasons, it should be investigated further:

  • Incorrect handling can lead to stress and subsequently your Crested gecko will be firing up for the wrong reasons
  • High temperatures around 80° can result in firing up, overheating and can be fatal
  • Change in mood such as stress and anxiety. Crested geckos are fragile and can get stressed easily. You should ensure nothing is causing your gecko stress

As long as you’re properly caring for your gecko and there are no stress factors, a fired up Crested gecko is nothing to worry. Maybe just take a few pictures as they are even more beautiful during that time!

Related Questions

Does Every Crested Gecko Fire Up?

Crested geckos’ behaviors can vary depending on the individual geckos. The same goes for firing up.

Some Crested geckos never fire up and are always in a fired down state. As long as their care is up to standard in terms of habitat, diet, correct handling, etc., then there is nothing to worry about.

Another reason for your Crested gecko to not fire up might be that there isn’t much difference between their fired up and fired down colors. Therefore, you might not be noticing the change when it does happen.

What If My Crested Gecko Is Fired Up And Down At The “Wrong” Times?

When your Crested gecko fires up and down depends on the individual gecko. As discussed in the article the “norm” is – fired up during the evening/night and fired down during the day. However, some owners report deviations from the “norm” such as:

  • Young Crested geckos are seen to fire up during the day and fire down during the night. Although, this is opposite of the “norm”, it’s usually nothing to worry about and many geckos grow out of it
  • Some owners report a fired up Crested gecko during both day and night

Any deviation from the “norm” can be nothing to worry about as each Crested gecko is different. However, you should always check if there is any reason that can be causing this such as stress, change in diet, environment, etc.

If you’re worried and want reassurance, you should take your Crested gecko to the vet for further tests and exams.


My name is Iliyana and I'm a passionate animal lover and pet owner. As there is significantly less information online about unusual and exotic pets, I decided to found this website and recruit expert writers to help pet owners.

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