Can Crested Geckos Swim?

Are you a proud owner of a crested gecko and wondering if they can take a dip in the water? Well, you’ve come to the right place! It’s a common myth that crested geckos can’t swim, but the truth is a bit more complicated than that.

Firstly, it’s important to note that crested geckos are not natural swimmers like amphibians or fish. However, they are capable of swimming and can do so if necessary. Keep reading to find out more about crested geckos and swimming, including the risks and benefits.

Can Crested Geckos Swim?

Can Crested Geckos Swim?

Crested geckos are a popular pet reptile species that are native to New Caledonia. These small, arboreal lizards are known for their unique appearance and docile nature. Many pet owners wonder if their crested geckos can swim, and if so, how well they can swim. In this article, we will explore the swimming abilities of crested geckos and provide some tips for keeping them safe around water.

Do Crested Geckos Swim in the Wild?

In their natural habitat, crested geckos live in the trees and do not typically come into contact with large bodies of water. However, they may encounter small pools of water or puddles during rainstorms. Crested geckos are not strong swimmers and are not adapted to aquatic life. If they do find themselves in water, they may struggle to stay afloat and could become stressed or injured.

Benefits of Swimming for Crested Geckos

While crested geckos do not need to swim to survive, some pet owners choose to provide them with a shallow water dish for hydration and bathing. Soaking in water can help to keep a crested gecko’s skin hydrated and healthy. Additionally, some crested geckos may enjoy splashing around in a shallow dish of water as a form of enrichment.

Can Crested Geckos Swim in Captivity?

Crested geckos can swim in captivity, but they are not well-equipped for aquatic life. If you choose to provide your crested gecko with a water dish, it should be shallow enough that they can easily stand in it with their head above water. The water should also be changed frequently to prevent the growth of bacteria or fungi. It is important to always supervise your crested gecko around water to ensure their safety.

Are There Risks to Allowing Crested Geckos to Swim?

While crested geckos can technically swim in captivity, there are some risks associated with allowing them to do so. As mentioned earlier, crested geckos are not strong swimmers and can become stressed or injured if they find themselves in water. Additionally, exposure to water can increase the risk of respiratory infections, which can be fatal for crested geckos.

Crested Geckos Vs. Other Reptiles

Compared to other reptile species, crested geckos are not well-suited for aquatic life. Some reptiles, like turtles and aquatic lizards, are adapted to life in the water and are strong swimmers. These species have specialized features that allow them to swim efficiently and breathe while underwater. Crested geckos, on the other hand, are not adapted for aquatic life and should not be treated like aquatic reptiles.

Alternative Ways to Hydrate Crested Geckos

If you are concerned about the risks associated with allowing your crested gecko to swim, there are alternative ways to keep them hydrated. Providing a shallow water dish or misting their enclosure with a spray bottle can help to keep their skin hydrated. Additionally, offering fresh fruits and vegetables can also provide them with hydration.


In summary, crested geckos are not strong swimmers and are not adapted for aquatic life. While they can technically swim in captivity, it is important to take precautions to prevent stress or injury. Providing a shallow water dish or other means of hydration can help to keep your crested gecko healthy and happy without putting them at risk.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, we will be discussing some of the frequently asked questions about crested geckos, including their ability to swim.

Can Crested Geckos Swim?

Yes, crested geckos can swim. However, they are not great swimmers and can easily tire out or become stressed if left in water for too long. It is important to keep in mind that crested geckos are arboreal animals, meaning they spend most of their time in trees. They are not adapted to swimming in water like other reptiles such as turtles or crocodiles.

If you want to provide your crested gecko with a water source, it is recommended to use a shallow dish or container that they can easily climb in and out of. Adding a few smooth rocks or branches as a ramp can also help your gecko get in and out of the water safely. It is also important to supervise your crested gecko while they are in the water to ensure they do not become too tired or stressed.

How Often Should I Offer Water to My Crested Gecko?

Crested geckos require access to fresh water at all times. It is recommended to provide a shallow water dish or container that is cleaned and refilled daily. In addition to drinking water, crested geckos will often climb and soak in the water to help with shedding their skin. Providing a water source helps to keep your gecko hydrated and healthy.

It is important to note that crested geckos are sensitive to the quality of water they drink. It is recommended to use filtered water or tap water that has been treated with a water conditioner to remove any harmful chemicals or minerals that can be found in tap water.

Can Crested Geckos Swim in Chlorinated Water?

Crested geckos should not be exposed to chlorinated water. Chlorine is a chemical commonly found in tap water that is used to disinfect and kill harmful bacteria. While it is safe for humans to drink, it can be harmful to reptiles such as crested geckos. Exposure to chlorine can cause skin irritation, respiratory problems, and even death in extreme cases.

If you need to use tap water for your crested gecko’s water source, it is recommended to use a water conditioner that can remove chlorine and other harmful chemicals. Alternatively, you can use filtered water or bottled water that does not contain chlorine.

Do Crested Geckos Need a Waterfall in Their Enclosure?

While crested geckos do not require a waterfall in their enclosure, it can provide a source of humidity and enrichment for your gecko. Waterfalls can also provide a place for your gecko to drink and soak in the water. However, it is important to keep in mind that waterfalls require regular cleaning and maintenance to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and mold.

If you choose to add a waterfall to your crested gecko’s enclosure, it is recommended to use a pump and filter system that can circulate and clean the water. It is also important to monitor the humidity levels in the enclosure to ensure they are within the appropriate range for your gecko’s health.

What Should I Do If My Crested Gecko Swallows Water While Swimming?

If your crested gecko accidentally swallows water while swimming, it is important to monitor them closely for any signs of distress or illness. Swallowing water can cause respiratory problems or pneumonia in reptiles. If you notice any symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, or lethargy, it is recommended to take your gecko to a veterinarian for treatment.

In order to prevent your crested gecko from swallowing too much water while swimming, it is recommended to provide a shallow water source that they can easily climb in and out of. Supervising your gecko while they are in the water can also help prevent any accidents or injuries.

Can Crested Geckos Swim??

In conclusion, can crested geckos swim? The answer is yes, but it’s not recommended to let them do so for extended periods. These adorable creatures are arboreal and are not built for swimming. While they can swim to some extent, they may struggle and become stressed in the water. It’s best to keep their environment dry and provide them with plenty of places to climb and explore.

Overall, crested geckos are fascinating pets with unique characteristics and behaviors. It’s important to understand their needs and limitations to ensure they thrive in captivity. While swimming may not be their forte, they make up for it with their charming personalities and playful antics. So, if you’re considering getting a crested gecko, remember to create a safe and comfortable habitat for them to live in and enjoy.