Can Crested Geckos Swim? & Can They Drown?


by Simon Griffiths


What’s up guys, thanks for joining me down here at the Pet Space. In today’s post, we are going to discuss the age-old often asked question of can crested geckos swim. It is one of the highly debated questions in crested gecko groups. Unfortunately, you will find lots of different answers to an extent that you’ll end up confused.

To answer the question, crested geckos can swim. In fact, they are great swimmers and they will rarely drown. Just like most geckos, cresties know how to wade through water if they have to. It is rare to find a crested gecko swimming, but that does not mean it can’t.


Myths about Crested Geckos Swimming

If you are an active member of most Crested Gecko Facebook groups or even forums, you must have come across plenty of opinions. Most owners believe that placing a crestie in water is more like a death sentence.


Can Crested Geckos Swim?

 Crested geckos are good swimmers. Even a hatchling can swim comfortably for one or two minutes and it will still stay afloat. These creatures use their legs, arms, and tail to wade through water. If hatchlings and juveniles can swim, then it means adult crested geckos can do it too. Besides, their lightweight bodies come in handy when they need to swim.

Related Do’s And Don’t’s With Crested Geckos

When Do Crested Geckos Swim?

Now that we’ve mentioned that cresties are great swimmers, do they do it often? Definitely no! You’ll rarely see your gecko swimming unless you place it in water.

Crested geckos can swim in the wild, especially if they are trying to get away from a predator. When their survival instincts kick in, they will propel their bodies through water and remain in there as long as they have to.

Unfortunately, most eyelash geckos are in captivity and they will rarely face any threats from predators. However, is it okay for your crestie to swim for fun?

Well, you can allow your crested gecko to swim when giving him or her a bath. As you well know, baths are unnecessary, but you can do it once a month. Keep in mind that these creatures do not enjoy swimming. Avoid overdoing it as it might heighten their stress levels significantly.

Related How Often Do Crested Geckos Shed

Is It Okay To Have a Water Feature in A Crested Gecko’s Enclosure?

It is human nature to provide our pets with the best life. Maybe you’ve been thinking of including a water feature in your bio-active vivarium, but you are still unsure.

Honestly, including a water feature in your gecko’s vivarium is a good idea as long as you’ll maintain it. You can choose to do a small waterfall, pond, or any other viable water feature. Whatever you choose, make sure that the water is always fresh.

You have to make sure that the water circulating in those features gets filtered. Failure to filter the water means it will create a good breeding ground for bacteria growth. Besides, the water will become super icky and nasty.

In case you don’t want to use a filtering system, you can opt to clean the water feature twice or once a week. You’ll also need to change the water to avoid bacteria breeding in your crestie’s tank.  

If all these options won’t work for you, then you can do away with the water feature all together. Your crested gecko can do without it.

Related Do Crested Geckos Need Heat? & How to Get the Right Temperature

Can Crested Geckos Drown?

We’ve mentioned that crested geckos can swim if they have to, but can they also drown? Well, crested geckos will rarely drown because they are good swimmers. All in all, you should not compel your crestie to swim every time. Even if you are going to have a water feature in the tank, make sure it is not deep. Geckos run the risk of drowning if left in water for a long time.

So, if you want your crested gecko to swim a bit, you have to be present at all times in order to prevent accidents from happening.

Can You Teach A Crested Gecko To Swim?

As much as cresties are good pets, there is absolutely no way you can teach them to swim. It’s not like you can instill some swimming skills in them. These creatures are instinctual swimmers and they will always swim when it’s necessary.

Most animals are not born to be swimmers, but when their survival instincts kick in, they will fight to stay afloat and get out of the water. 

Remember that if you keep forcing your crested gecko to swim, it will become excessively stressed and later it will become sick or scared of you. There are so many ways to keep your crestie happy but swimming is not one of them.

Related Can You Put Two Crested Geckos Together?

Final Words

From our detailed post, you can see it’s entirely possible for crested geckos to swim if they have to. However, you should not compel them to do so as it is not healthy for them. Always keep in an eye on your gecko when giving it a bath or when it is swimming.

Simon Griffiths

Hi guys, my name is Simon, a fellow pet lover. I love everything about traditional and exotic pets so I am here to help you create a better home for your pets.