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Thread: Dusting vs Gel

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    Question Dusting vs Gel


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    Hey everyone,
    I was thinking about calcium levels in my feeders. I realize that we dust feeders to increase calcium ratios so as the minerals are better abosrbed.

    I am currently gut loading and regularly dusting my feeders, a mix of crickets, dubias, supers and meal worms.

    I hydrate my crickets and dubias using a gel fortified with calcium, so my question is: for these two feeders does the gel negate the need for dusting? Or should I carry on gut loading, hydrating and dusting?

    Thanks in advance for any advice!

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    My understanding is that you should dust as well.....

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    Hi there, great question.


    Providing a balanced, well hydrated diet to the insects will always be critical. It creates healthier insects upon whom the Geckos rely for the vast majority of their hydration and nutrition.

    With regard to calcium/multivitamin provision however, adding these to a gel, an indeterminate amount of which may be present in the insects gut at the time of predatation is a very unsuitable manner of delivery for many reasons.

    My advice would be to cease adding supplements of any kind to the gel and dust the feeder insects, following a well thought out regimen, which includes both a calcium rebalancer and full spectrum multivitamin.

    If you let me know your current dusting schedule aswell as the products you use, I can perhaps make suggestions as to how this may be improved or adapted.


    Hope that helped !
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    Hi, thanks for the replies!
    Just to clear up any confusion, I'm not supplied ting the gel, it comes manufactures 'fortified with calcium'.
    'indeterminate amounts' is a great point there could be an issue with content of the gel vs powder and how much is consumed. You're right in that I couldn't know exactly how much the insect has ingested over time and that's a sure way to know what's going in the gecko is to dust the insect.

    A little background as to why I ask is, when I first got a particular aft, she refused dusted feeders. Thankfully she now takes them. In the mean time I relied on gut loading and this gel to get calcium and other vits and minerals into her. Also during this time I found that this is a common problem not just in afts and wondered if gels could be a viable solution to the problem.

    Thanks for the offer of fine tuning my schedule! So here it is - I feed every second day, it works out to be calcium dusting twice a week and vitamin dusting once a week.

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    Gotcha, thanks for the extra information. Best way to look at the gel is a little extra calcium in the diet, certainly not something I could advise reliance on for any length of time. Given all we know about the need for supplementary calcium in the diet of captive insectivorous reptiles.

    AFT's can indeed be very stubborn if not introduced to a varied diet quickly after hatching, so that makes sense, it was very important that you worked on that and I am glad to hear she now accepts them.

    If you could let me know the brands you use, I can advise further. Content can vary greatly with regards to multivitamin brands.
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    The supplements I use and the thinking behind why !

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...mzky_qzQdxu-K2

    Modern Care Podcast Series - Learn everything you need to know about captive Reptile Nutrition and the ideas supporting Bio-Activity today !

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    As a point of reference, the manner in which I provide supplementation is as follows, but critically relies upon wild like levels of UVB provision, which I strongly advocate for all species.

    I copied the below from a post I made on another forum for somebody with similar questions.


    1st, 2nd, 3rd Feedings (not necessarily per week) - Arcadia Earth-Pro A, This is a full spectrum, organic, vitamin and mineral product which also (similar to repashys calcium plus, nutrobal and others) functions as a calcium rebalancer also. I contains no synthetic versions of any vitamin and can therefore safely be provided liberally.

    4th Feeding - Arcadia Earth Pro Calcium-MG, In order to further provide calcium in the diet (particularly important with growing geckos or gravid females) I offer this powder at the 4th feeding. The presence of MG is critical to the D3 cycle, second only to the D3 itself.

    Finally, I made a recent addition to this in order to fill somewhat of a grey area with the provision/assimilation of certain vitamins, A for example. Without boring you to death, there is a line of thinking which suggests Geckos may struggle with the production of A from sources like Beta Carotene and may need a little extra in the form of Retinol for example. It is my understanding this has not been possible to confirm one way or the other in the case of Leo's (the initial findings stemmed from certain Chameleon species) and for that reason I feel it is better to err on the side of caution, providing both in the diet.

    With that in mind, I provide a light dusting of Nutrobal at the 6th +/- Feeding.


    All prey, with the exception of Soldier Fly Larvae, is dusted, but very lightly. No matter your regimen, if the insects are running around like snowmen, you are probably over-dusting.

    It is my feeling that this should cover all the needs a captive Gecko may have in the safest manner possible.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The supplements I use and the thinking behind why !

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...mzky_qzQdxu-K2

    Modern Care Podcast Series - Learn everything you need to know about captive Reptile Nutrition and the ideas supporting Bio-Activity today !

    https://www.facebook.com/arcadiarept...366384280319:0

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    I really appreciate the great explanation, I feel I need to up my game now!
    So I'm using a couple of brands I picked up in petco, reptivite vitamins w/D3 and zoomed retired calcium w/D3

    Thanks again!
    Last edited by Amy_L; 08-30-2017 at 08:35 PM.

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    *repti not retired ��

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    Hi again,

    There is good news and bad news, the good news is you are very close to having purchased appropriate supplements (if you are not providing UVB). The bad news is that both products having added D3 will be too much and present real risk of oversupply.

    The best thing to do with your current products is replace the multivitamin with its non D3 counterpart and follow a schedule such as the following:

    • Lighly Dust - Zoo Med Repti Calcium with D3 at 1 feeding per week.
    • Lightly Dust - Zoo Med Repti-Vite multivitamins without D3 at 1 feeding per week.
    • Lightly Dust - Pure Calcium at 1 feeding per week.


    Alternatively, if you do provide wild like levels of UVB, I could not recommend the products I mentioned using myself, enough. To my mind it is a far more comprehensive and safe manner of supplement provision.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The supplements I use and the thinking behind why !

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...mzky_qzQdxu-K2

    Modern Care Podcast Series - Learn everything you need to know about captive Reptile Nutrition and the ideas supporting Bio-Activity today !

    https://www.facebook.com/arcadiarept...366384280319:0

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