Chahoua Geckos come from the island of New Caledonia. They are a mid-size gecko that can range in patterning and color. There are two different types of Chahouas, Pine Island and Mainland. It is hard to tell the difference between the two and most in the pet trade are a mix of the two types. They usually are very docile and personable geckos.
SIZE & LIFESPAN
Chahoua Geckos have been know to live in captivity for 15-20 years. If you properly care for them, and give them the correct diet, this is a gecko that you'll have as a pet for more than a decade. Chahoua Geckos are a mid-size gecko weighing approximately 60-90 grams when full grown and measuring approximately 10-11 inches in total length. Pine Islands tend to be on the bigger side, while Mainlands tend to be on the smaller side of the spectrum.
HEAT & LIGHTING
Although some say it is not needed, Chahouas benefit greatly from UVB lighting. It can stimulate their appetite and also help mimic their natural environment in the wild. If you decide to provide your gecko with UVB lighting, be sure to use a T5 or T8 bulb with 5% UVB. We see our Chahouas out during the day utilizing their UVB so always recommend providing it if you can. We keep our cage between 78-82 degrees during the day with a night-time drop down to 75 degrees. Chahouas do appreciate a small basking area. We typically use a 25 watt ceramic heat emitter to provide a nice heat gradient. Be sure to always have a digital thermometer in your enclosure so that you can closely monitor the temperature in the tank. We also recommend putting any heat sources on a thermostat to ensure the enclosure never becomes too hot.
Chahouas thrive on a fruit mix referred to as CGD or Crested Gecko Diet and bugs. We've tried all the CGD mixes on the market and Pangea Fruit Mix and Leapin Leachies are by far our gecko's favorite brands. CGD should be changed out every other day so that no molding occurs. CGD is a complete diet, so you do not need to add calcium or vitamins to it. When mixing the powder with water, you want to make it the consistency of ketchup. Leapin Leachies makes a diet specifically for Chahouas called Chewie Fettucine. It is higher in calcium and a great diet for any female, whether breeding or not. In conjunction with CGD, we feed insects, including crickets, roaches, and black soldier fly larvae, twice a week. Be sure to dust all your insects with a high-quality Calcium D3 supplement such as Minerall. You should only give the gecko as many bugs as they can devour in 15 minutes. The appropriate sized insects should be no larger than the space between the geckos eyes. Bugs are a must with this species and should be fed in conjunction with CGD.
A hatchling (between 1-10 grams) should be kept in a smaller container. We use 8x8x12" enclosures for babies. At around 10 grams, you should upgrade them to a 10 gallon vertically oriented tank or an equivalent sized tub. Then, once they reach 20 grams, you should move them to their adult enclosure which should be 30 gallons in size. We recommend keeping adults in 18x18x24" enclosures. Being an arboreal species, they will thrive better in tall tanks with vertical climbing spaces. Pairs can be kept together, but should not be put with one another until the female is a minimum of 3 years old. Egg laying takes a lot out of a female Chahoua and putting her with a male too soon could lead to death. Do your research on breeding and when in doubt, keep your Chahouas separate until you're ready to handle a female Chahouas needs during egg laying.
We use paper towels will newly acquired geckos to monitor their fecal matter while they are in quarantine. Once the gecko has gone through quarantine, we switch the substrate to a mix of Peat Moss, Sphagnum Moss and Reptichip to maintain humidity. The substrate should be moist, but there should be no standing water. We keep hatchlings and adults on this substrate with no issue. This species can also be kept in a bioactive enclosure. We keep many of our adults in bioactive enclosures with great success.
Chahouas live in the lower part of the trees in New Caledonia and will appreciate elevated hides and space to climb inside their enclosure. We recommend using either a magnatural ledges, bamboo bridges and/or cork rounds as hides. You can use either live or fake plants in their enclosures. Be sure to rinse off all plastic or silk plants before you put them in the tank to remove any residual dye. You can also place live plants such as Snake plants or Pothos plants. Be sure to rinse off the plant's leaves and re-pot any plants so that there is no way for your gecko to come in contact with pesticides or fertilizer. Our Chahouas personally love their snake plants. The snake plants have nice sturdy leaves that can support a Chahouas weight and also help lock in humidity in the enclosure.
Because Chahouas are a tropical species, they require higher levels of humidity. We recommend keeping their humidity between 60-80%. Having a digital hygrometer in the cage will help measure the humidity levels in your tank. We recommend misting daily allowing for a drying out period during the day. so that your gecko can drink water from leaves or decor in your tank. If humidity requirements are not met, the gecko will have issues shedding as well as the risk of becoming dehydrated. If you cannot mist daily, we recommend purchasing a MistKing so that the tank will automatically be misted daily.
Chahouas are one of the most docile reptiles we have ever encountered. It is very rare that a Chahoua to bite or act aggressive towards a human unless they mistake your hand for a bug or insect. We recommend taking your gecko out 1-2 times a week for 15 minutes in order to get your gecko used to you. The "hand-to-hand" method is the easiest way to handle a Chahoua Gecko. This is done by placing your hands next to each other & slowly moving your hands to let your gecko crawl over them. Either way, Chahoua Geckos are incredibly easy to tame and make good pets for young children.
All geckos should be provided with a small, shallow water dish. Although these geckos do not usually drink from bowls it is always good to offer water in case the gecko gets thirsty. When using water, be sure to either use spring water or tap water with de-chlorinator added to it.
We recommend spot cleaning the cage at least once a week and doing a full bedding change and tank cleaning once a month. Every week look for poo, dead insects, shed, and food smears on the ground or glass and remove it from the enclosure. When cleaning the entire cage out, first remove all bedding and wipe down all surfaces with hot soapy water. Put the bowls, fake foliage and decor into a bucket with warm water and a capful of bleach. Let it soak for 15 minutes and then rinse off the items and place them in bucket of hot water. Once the decorations have soaked for 15 minutes, rinse them off again and then they are ready to go back into the tank once cleaning is complete. Then you want to be sure to disinfect the tank with either bleach, vinegar or a commercial reptile cleaning product. Once you have disinfected the tank, thoroughly rinse your tank out with hot water until it is completely free of any cleaning products.
☐ 8x8x12" (for hatchlings)
☐ 12x12x18" tank or tub (for juveniles)
☐ 18x18x24" tank or tub (for adults)
☐ Bag of Crested Gecko Diet
☐ Elevated Ledge for feeding
☐ Plastic or silicone cups for fruit mix
☐ Mister Bottle or Spray Bottle
☐ bridges or cork for climbing
☐ Plastic plants or Live plants
☐ Peat Moss mix or Bioactive Mix
☐ UVB tube light (optional)
☐ 25 watt CHE with dome
☐ Thermostat for CHE