Crested Gecko Not Moving – 13 Possible Causes And Solutions
If you have a Crested gecko not moving, before you start panicking you need to perform a few health checks.
There can be many reasons for your Crested gecko not moving such as new environment, incorrect habitat setup and much more. In this article, we will explore all the possible causes for your Crested gecko not moving and offer solutions for you to try to get your Crested gecko be more active.
Crested Gecko Not Moving – Causes And Solutions
Let’s jump straight in! If you’ve been observing your gecko for awhile and they just sit in the same spot, not moving, you might be getting a bit worried!
Before you start panicking, read through the possible causes for Crested gecko not moving that we explore inclue:
- Nocturnal behaviour
- New Environment
- The tank is too big
- The gecko has a favorite spot
- Incorrect temperature levels – too cold or too hot
- You’re usina a lamp
- Incorrect humidty levels
- Incorrect habitat setup
- Incorrect diet
Some causes we mention might seem obvious. However, sometimes the simplest answer is the right one.
The very first thing you need to check is if your Crested gecko is still breathing.
If you can’t see them breathing, they are either dead or their breathing is so faint that you can’t detect it. The only thing you can do at this point is take them to the vet. If your gecko is still alive, the vet might be able to help them.
2. Nocturnal Behavior
If you’re new to owning Crested gecko, it’s good to remember that they are nocturnal animals.
As nocturnal animals, Crested geckos will sleep during the day and be active during the evening/night. If you have a Crested gecko not moving during the day, that’s normal. They are just sleeping and resting!
However, if the gecko is not moving either day or night, then you need to look for other possible causes.
3. New Environment
If your Crested gecko is new to the household, they might be still settling in. Crested geckos are fragile animals that can get stressed easily. One of the causes for that stress is new surroundings.
If you have a Crested gecko not moving during the first week in a new household or a new tank, you should not worry about it but continue to observe their behavior.
The Crested gecko will need to be left in the tank to settle in. Furthermore, they shouldn’t be handled during the first two weeks as that will cause them stress whilst they are still getting used to their new home and surroundings.
However, it’s important to continue observing them. If the gecko is still not moving after the third week has passed, you will need to look for other possible causes.
In addition, it’s recommended to keep a diary. Every few weeks record your Crested gecko’s weight. This way you’ll be able to see if they are losing weight.
Only start doing this after the 3rd week of the gecko being in their new environment. You should avoid handling your Crested gecko in the first 2 weeks.
4. The Tank Is Too Big
Another possible cause for your Crested gecko not moving is the size of their tank.
You might think – the bigger the tank, the better but you’d be wrong! The size of the tank depends on the size of your Crested gecko.
If your Crested gecko is too small for the size of the tank, they might be too stressed and anxious caused by the size of the tank and not being able to locate their food/water. This can result in your Crested gecko not moving because they are afraid and intimidated.
- Feeding locations. If you already have your gecko in a bigger enclosure, you should include 2 feeding locations to make it easier for them to find food. Preferably don’t place the food on the ground as they like being high, so their food should be elevated.
Check out the table below as a guide for tank size.
|Crested Gecko’s Age||Tank Size|
|9 to 18 grams||6 gallon|
|18 to 20 grams||gallon|
|25+ grams||30 gallon|
Keeping an adult Crested gecko in 20 gallons is sufficient and you don’t necessarily need 30 gallon tank.
5. Favorite Sleeping Spot
Many Crested gecko owners report their gecko having a favourite spot to sleep in.
The Crested gecko will be in that spot until the lights go out and by the time the owners gets up in the morning, the gecko would have gone back in their spot ready to sleep.
What we recommend is to stay up and observe your Crested gecko during the night. If you are not really a night owe, you can set up a camera to record what your gecko does during the night.
If you observe your Crested gecko not moving during the night aswell, then you’ll need to explore other possible reasons.
6. Incorrect Temperature Levels – Too Cold Or Too Hot
If the temperature levels in the tank are not right, it can be either too cold or too hot for your gecko. This can result in your Crested gecko not moving due to extreme stress from being cold or overheating.
Crested gecko’s tank should have a temperature gradient of 72°F to 80°F with a drop at night to 65°F to 75°F. In addition, they should also have a hot spot in the tank. This can be regulated through the use of a thermostat.
If you are struggling to increase the temperature, you can use an under-tank heater on one end of the enclosure on the bottom.
7. You’re Using A Lamp 24/7
Some owners use a red/blue light that’s on 24/7. The issue with that is – your Crested gecko might get confused thinking it’s daylight all the time. They also have very sensitive eyes!
This can result in them sleeping for long periods of time and appear as your Crested gecko not moving.
Use under tank heater instead of a light if you’re trying to increase the temperature level. If you use lamps to provide the gecko with light exposure, turn it off for 24 hours to check if your Crested gecko start moving.
8. Humidity Levels Are Incorrect
If the humidity levels are too low or too high, it can cause your gecko stress. This can result in your Crested gecko not moving due to being nervous and anxious.
Humidity levels should be kept at 60% during the day and 80% during the evening/night. This is achieved by daily misting and tracked by a digital hygrometer.
Geckos don’t like big changes, so anything that stresses them can result in them just freezing in one spot, feeling scared and nervous. Stress can result in your Crested gecko not moving.
It’s essential to ensure nothing is causing your gecko stress. As already mentioned there can be many reasons for stress in Crested gecko such as other pets, being bullied by other geckos in the tank, incorrect habitat, travelling, handling, etc.
To learn more about all the possible stress causes in Crested gecko click here Crested Gecko Stress Signs: How To Prevent And Treat Stress
10. Incorrect Habitat Setup
If your gecko’s tank is not setup correctly, it can result in your Crested gecko not moving due to stress and anxiety.
An appropriate Crested gecko tank should be:
- Size. Depending on the size of the gecko – for a young gecko that’s 6 to 10 months should be kept in a tank of 6 gallons. Whereas, a gecko that’s 15 to 20 grams, should be moved into a 15 to 20 gallon tank
- Food and water source. This should be included in the tank and placed at a high level. It’s recommended to purchase a feeding ledge
- Hiding spot. This is very important for your gecko to feel safe
- Substrate. Picking a safe substrate for the tank is important to your gecko’s health
- Decorations are important part of your gecko’s tank. This includes – vines, leaves, logs and more
To learn more about Crested gecko tank setup click here for the full guide Crested Gecko Habitat Setup: How To Build A Perfect Tank
11. Incorrect Diet
Important part of your Crested gecko’s health and well being is providing them with the correct diet. If your gecko is not getting the nutrient they need, it can result in your Crested gecko not moving because they don’t have the energy or feel stressed.
The safest and easiest option for Crested gecko diet is:
- Commercial diets such as CGD, Repashy, Pangea with the occasional healthy fruit/insect treat with a good Ca:P ratio
- The other option is a homemade diet. Although, not always the case, feeding your Crested gecko a homemade diet such as fruit purees, can result in lack of nutrients. This type of diet requires constant tracking and good understating of the Ca:P (Calcium: Phosphorus) ratio in foods, oxalic acid, vitamins and minerals content.
If your gecko doesn’t get the amount of Calcium they need, it can result in Metabolic Bone disease and it can be the reason for your Crested gecko not moving.
In addition, if you’re feeding your Crested gecko baby food, you should immediately stop. Baby foods are full of sugar and citric acid – even the “pure fruit” ones. What’s suitable for us, humans, even babies is not suitable for your Crested gecko.
Another possible cause for your Crested gecko not moving is injury.
Always have a reptile first-aid kit ready in case of injury or sickness. In addition, every few days you should perform health checks on your gecko by taking them out of the tank and physically examining them very gently.
If you suspect injury, you should take your Crested gecko to the vet.
If you’re providing your gecko with good care but your Crested gecko is still not moving and you have eliminated every other possible cause, it can be an underlying illnesses.
Illnesses such as Parasites, Metabolic Bone disease and Dehydration can lead to your Crested gecko not moving due to lack of energy/lethargy that they are experiencing as a symptom.
If your Crested gecko is not moving, you need to perform the following health checks by observing your gecko’s behavior:
- Are they losing weight?
- Does the food you give them gets eaten?
- Are they pooping?
If you are suspecting illness, you should take your gecko to the vet for further tests to determine the problem.
Read more about Crested gecko illnesses and treatments here Do You Have A Sick Crested Gecko? Full Crested Gecko Health Guide
Crested gecko are overall healthy and hardy animals. However, one thing that they are is easily stressed.
Stress in Crested geckos can be caused by various reasons such as:
- Incorrect diet
- Wrong habitat setup
- Incorrect temperature and humidity levels
- Injury or illness
If your gecko is stressed, it can result in your Crested gecko not moving. Many times when they are stressed, scared or anxious Crested geckos will freeze and stay in one spot.
Your Crested gecko not moving can be nothing to worry about such as:
- Being nocturnal which means the gecko is just sleeping during the day
- Having a favorite spot. Many Crested geckos pick a spot to sleep in and it might appear that they don’t move from it
- Still getting used to a new environment
On the other hand, your Crested gecko not moving can be due to a problem in the care they are receiving. Most times this can be easily fixed by:
- Adjusting their diet
- Ensuring their tank is the right size and right setup
- Making sure the temperature and humidity levels are correct
- You’re using a lamp that’s confusing the Crested gecko
If you’re suspecting injury or illness, you should take your Crested gecko to the vet for further examination to determine the health problem.