Chinese Cave Gecko
Chinese Cave Geckos are from Southern China. They live in the lowland rain forest. The Chinese Cave Geckos are named after where they are found, in caves. These geckos most striking feature are their blood red eyes. Their yellow banding and red eyes make them an amazing species to add to any collection.
SIZE & LIFESPAN
Chinese Cave Geckos are a medium sized gecko. When they hatch out, they are no bigger than 2 inches in total length and weigh only a few grams. By the time they are full grown, they are 8-9 inches in total length and weigh between 35-45 grams. Chinese Cave Geckos store fat in their tail much like Leopard Geckos but have more slender body and will not get as large or robust as a Leopard Gecko. These geckos are very hardy when kept correctly and can live around 10-15 years with the proper care and set up.
Chinese Cave Geckos will eat a variety of bugs including: crickets, dubia roaches and black soldier fly larvae. We dust all prey items in Calcium D3 supplement every other feeding. We recommend Minerall because it is a human grade calcium based supplement with over 50 trace minerals that help with growth and bone density. Along with that, we put a vitamin supplement on the insects every 2 weeks. Chinese Cave Geckos are nocturnal and very shy so you will most likely not witness them eating their insects. We usually give the geckos about 8-10 insects every 2-3 days. Be sure to put the insects in at night when the gecko is most active. Check the enclosure in the morning and remove any uneaten bugs. Alongside feeding your gecko, your insects should be gut loaded before you feed them. We recommend feeding roaches and crickets PIG 12-24hrs before feeding your reptile so that the insects gut is loaded when you feed them off. We feed our crickets a mix of dark leafy greens and veggies every day, but feed the gutload to the crickets or dubias the day of feeding so that their gut is full of good nutrition.
Chinese Cave Geckos require higher humidity than your average reptile. You want to keep the tank humidity between 60 and 80%. If you keep your gecko in a glass terrarium, you will probably need to mist your gecko twice a day to maintain humidity. Tubs or PVC enclosures will help maintain humidity better, but some people do not like the look of a these types of enclosures. If you would rather have a tank, be sure to cover up half the top with plexiglass to limit airflow and increase humidity. Typically in tubs or PVC enclosures you will only have to mist every other day to maintain the correct humidity levels. Be sure to have a good digital hygrometer in your enclosure so that you can monitor the humidity and make sure it never gets too dry in the enclosure. The tank shouldn't remain wet all day long so if you mist and the tank is still wet in the evening, hold off misting until the water on the walls of the enclosure have evaporated.
Chinese Cave Geckos are a medium sized gecko and require a 15 gallon tank for their entire life. We prefer to keep them in 20 gallon tanks or equivalent sized tubs to give them the added space. Tubs will make the gecko feel more secure, but you can also cover three sides of a tank to achieve the exact same effect. These geckos are best kept singularly. We keeps our separated the majority of the year and only put them together for breeding purposes. If you do decide to try to cohab your geckos, be sure it's either a pair or two females. Males will fight and should never be kept together. When cohabbing, you want to keep an eye on both geckos. If you notice injury or weight loss in either gecko, separate immediately. We advise keeping you geckos separate so that no issues occur.
We use a mixture of peat moss and cypress bedding throughout the cage. If you're having issues with humidity, you can add sphagnum moss to the mixture so that the bedding holds more humidity. We recommend stirring up your bedding once a week to make sure no mold growth occurs in your enclosure. We always provide geckos at all ages a moist hide. The moist hide should have a handful of sphagnum moss to help aid in shedding. These geckos also do great in bioactive enclosures. If you go bioactive, you'll want to make sure you have a good drainage layer so that you never accumulate standing water. Because these guys are insectivores, they may try to eat your isopods. We recommend sticking with dwarf species of isopods so that your gecko doesn't deplete your isopod colony in your enclosure.
Chinese Cave Geckos should be provided with three hides, one moist, one on the cold side, and one on the warm side. Our favorite hides for Chinese Cave Geckos are Half Cut coconuts. They work for babies and adults and hold up well in high humidity enclosures. We recommend putting sphagnum moss inside the moist hide to aid in shedding. We also use fabric leaves from craft stores for cover as well. Be sure that any foliage from the craft store is soaked in warm water for 15 minutes to get off any residual dye before putting it into the enclosure. Place leaves between hides to provide the gecko with cover so that it feels safe and secure in its habitat. Be sure to rinse off any new decor in case it has any chemical residue on it. Alongside those items, you can also provide these geckos with rocky outcrops. Be sure the rocks do not have any jagged edges. You don't want your gecko getting injured on sharp rocks. These geckos will climb if provided with the space, but are not always the best climbers. You can put cork flats in the enclosure to provide them with wide pathways that they can easily climb on at night. Chinese Cave Geckos can be kept with live plants. Pothos work as a great plant for coverage in their enclosures. You can get your live plants from any hardware store or nursery, but you want to make sure to repot them in organic soil and wash off the leaves so no pesticides or fertilizer remain on the plants. Live plants can be naturally fertilized once a month with mealworm castings. Most commercial fertilizers are harmful to your reptile, so do not use any fertilizers until you confirm that they will not harm your reptiles.
HEAT & LIGHTING
Chinese Cave Geckos like to be kept in the 70s and do not tolerate heat well. You want the cool side of the tank to be in the low 70s and the warmer side to be around 75-78 degrees. This is easily achieved with either a heat mat or 25watt ceramic heat emitter. Be sure that any heat source is kept on a thermostat so that the enclosure never gets too hot. Sometimes a heat source isn't needed if your normal room temperature is in the mid 70s. We recommend having a digital thermometer in the enclosure in order to monitor temperatures. Another great tool is to get an Infrared Temperature Gun so that you can scan different areas in your enclosure to be sure they are the correct temperature. These geckos will self regulate their body temperature by moving between the cool and warm zones of the tank, so making sure the tank has a nice heat gradient is essential to a healthy, happy gecko. These geckos do not need UVB and will rarely come out to use it. If you have live plants in the enclosure, then a Full Spectrum Light will need to be provided for your plants. This will not hurt your gecko and will have to be used in order to give your plants the proper lighting to grow.
Chinese Cave Geckos are somewhat flighty and shy. They are not super quick but will not enjoy being handled frequently. We consider them a hands off species and only handle them when cleaning the enclosure or doing health checks. These geckos can easily stress when overhandled. We recommend keeping handling down to a minimum and only getting them out once a week to keep stress to a minimum.
We recommend spot cleaning the cage at least once a week and doing a full bedding change and tank cleaning every 6-8 weeks. 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 decor into a bucket with warm water & a capful of vinegar. Let it soak for 15 minutes & then rinse off the items & place them in bucket of hot water. Once the decor has soaked for 15 minutes, rinse them off again & 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 vinegar or a commercial reptile cleaning product. Once you have disinfected the tank, thoroughly rinse your tank out with hot water until it is free of any cleaning products. Let everything air dry before putting it back into the enclosure. When cleaning to enclosure put the reptile in either a deli cup or another small contained space. Do not put the reptile back into the enclosure until cleaning is complete.
☐ Crickets, Black Soldier Fly Larvae or Dubia Roaches
☐ Ceramic Escape Proof Bowl for roaches
☐ Mister Bottle or Spray Bottle
☐ Dechlorinator or Spring Water
☐ Fake silk or plastic plants
☐ Moist Hide
☐ Dry Hide
☐ Cypress Bedding
☐ Digital Thermometer & Hygrometer
☐ Heat mat