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    Default New Member, a little confused


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    New to this forum, but have been reading and lurking for a bit. I have no lizards of any kind at the moment (just a ball python), but my fiance and I are interested in getting a leo to add to our collection. Sorry if this is a long first post.

    Mainly, it appears from reading this forum that mealworms are not the best staple, despite all the other info and forums I've been reading recently and now I am confused. That they could eat these was one of the reasons that we were looking at them in the first place as we already raise mealworms for birds, bats, and other insectivores.

    To be clear - I have no issue with feeding a combo of dubia and some other bugs either, I just want to know that I won't kill a leo if I feed mealworms more often than the others.
    >>When I fostered a beardy, she was constantly getting reinfected with pin worms and needing de-wormed, and my herp vet said the likely culprit was the crickets. (she also mentioned that they usually have a low load of these without effect, but my dragon was especially sensitive to them and would get diarrhea easily). So I really don't want to deal with the multiple repeated fecals and treatments if I can get around it. The beardy did much better on dubia, hornworms, and freshly molted mealworms.

    So from reading here it seems that a combo of mealworms, dubia, and maybe hornworms would be perfectly healthy, but I'm now a little nervous about it. I don't particularly like the idea of a roach colony, esp for a single leo - I can order them in smaller amounts online, but that would make them 1/2 the diet with mealworms the other 1/2, and sometime hornworms or calici worms as treats when the local reptile event happens.

    My biggest worry with getting an insectivore is not being able to get enough of the right kind of insects or causing malnutrition or death.
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    Also, I guess I should ask - if I were to buy say 100 dubia from josh's frogs, how long would that last a 30-40g gecko and an adult (I am looking at getting a single male giant or super giant, hopefully sub-adult)

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    While admittedly the best gecko diet is a variety of feeders, I find that there are a lot of gloom and doom people out there who say that certain feeders, especially if they are the only item in the diet, are nutritional problems for leopard geckos. I imagine that these people have never had picky kids! Here is an article about gecko nutrition in general:
    Nutritional Value of Commercially Raised Insects - Gecko Time - Gecko Time

    Some people do feed their geckos mealworms only. I usually feed my geckos crickets and super worms but I have geckos that won't touch the crickets and geckos that won't touch the super worms. Everyone seems healthy at the moment and my oldest leo is nearly 15. In my opinion, your biggest problem will be a gecko that isn't interested in mealworms. When I was breeding I fed all my hatchings mealworms but the ones I kept as adults got bored with them. I don't know how many dubias a gecko will eat, since I don't use them. With crickets, I figure on 4 adult crickets minimum per gecko per feeding.

    Aliza
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    Thanks, I appreciate it. I totally plan on getting multiple kinds of insects for variety and health, I just don't want to make any mistakes. Feeding a ball python is so much easier from a prey-type situation, and I want to have all my facts before I consider a purchase.

    I have no problem with roaches, other than the fact that they seem more difficult to breed than mealworms and are expensive to feed exclusively. I have a reptile expo that comes to my city every 3 months or so that always has a ton of feeder insects, so I can at least get "treats" like horn worms and silk worms there and order the others from Josh's. And feed my farmed mealworms. I already have Calcium+D3, so I just need a multi-vitamin as far as supplements go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpottedDragon View Post
    Thanks, I appreciate it. I totally plan on getting multiple kinds of insects for variety and health, I just don't want to make any mistakes. Feeding a ball python is so much easier from a prey-type situation, and I want to have all my facts before I consider a purchase.

    I have no problem with roaches, other than the fact that they seem more difficult to breed than mealworms and are expensive to feed exclusively. I have a reptile expo that comes to my city every 3 months or so that always has a ton of feeder insects, so I can at least get "treats" like horn worms and silk worms there and order the others from Josh's. And feed my farmed mealworms. I already have Calcium+D3, so I just need a multi-vitamin as far as supplements go.
    Dubia are a snap to breed. They breed without much intervention at all. Soon you'll have more than enough. For one leo it's probably more cost effective to buy dubia rather than breed them.

    What do you feed your mealworms?

    Which brand of calcium + D3 do you have now? I recommend adding Zoo Med's Reptivite without D3 as well as Repti Calcium without D3 if you get a young leo.

    Here's a reliable Insect Nutrition Chart to help you on your way.
    17342539_1319514908116112_444175116466682477_n.jpg
    (click to enlarge)


    UPDATED to clarify
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 11-30-2018 at 12:03 AM.
    "If you can hear crickets, it's still summer." ;)

    "May the peace that
    You find at the beach
    Follow you home"

    Click: Leo Care Sheet's Table of Contents

    ===> No plain calcium, calcium with D3, or multivitamins inside an enclosure <===

    Oedura castelnaui ~ Lepidodactylus lugubris ~ Phelsuma barbouri ~ Ptychozoon kuhli ~ Cyrtodactylus peguensis zebraicus ~ Phyllurus platurus ~ Eublepharis macularius ~ Correlophus ciliatus ~ (L kimhowelli) ~ (P tigrinus) ~ (P klemmeri) ~ (H garnotii)

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    I have the zoo med repti-cal *with* D3. Any reason you suggest the ones without D3?

    As for the mealworms, they are in a medium of organic wheat bran (bob's red mill), and are given organic veggies and rarely fruit bits for water intake. Most common veggies are carrots, celery tips, cabbage, squash, and the rare apple core (everything is removed once it "wilts" so that nothing gets funky).

    When I've dusted them for various animals in the past, I've put a few drops of water in a shake bag and give them a toss first, then sprinkle in the Ca+d3, just enough to coat the worms liberally.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpottedDragon View Post
    I have the zoo med repti-cal *with* D3. Any reason you suggest the ones without D3?

    As for the mealworms, they are in a medium of organic wheat bran (bob's red mill), and are given organic veggies and rarely fruit bits for water intake. Most common veggies are carrots, celery tips, cabbage, squash, and the rare apple core (everything is removed once it "wilts" so that nothing gets funky).

    When I've dusted them for various animals in the past, I've put a few drops of water in a shake bag and give them a toss first, then sprinkle in the Ca+d3, just enough to coat the worms liberally.
    There's an important reason to only use one of 2-3 supplements with D3. D3 is a fat soluble vitamin. That means it sticks around in a leo's system for a while and is not flushed out whenever they pee.

    Zoo Med's Repti Calcium with D3 is excellent! It contains just the right amount of D3 to use on all your leo's feeders @ 1 feeding per week.

    Instead of the baggie method I keep a little of each supplement in tall 32 ounce deli cups with lids. First I swirl the insects. Then I bounce them against the bottom of the deli container to shake off excess powder.

    Depending upon the age of your leo here are the schedules I recommend.

    Weekly Schedule 124 for Leopard Geckos 0-12 months old
    (without UVB)

    Crickets or dubia >> Monday - lightly dusted with Zoo Med Repti Calcium with D3
    Mealworms >> Tuesday
    Crickets or dubia >> Wednesday - lightly dusted with pure precipitated calcium carbonate (Zoo Med's Repti Calcium or NOW human brand calcium) without D3
    Crickets or dubia >> Thursday
    Crickets or dubia >> Friday - lightly dusted with Zoo Med ReptiVite multivitamins without D3
    Mealworms >> Saturday
    No food or free choice >> Sunday

    Future weeks:
    Continue on since all weeks are identical. . . . . .

    OR


    Weekly Schedule 126 for Leopard Geckos 18 months old +
    (without UVB)

    Crickets or dubia >> Monday - lightly dusted with Zoo Med Repti Calcium with D3
    Crickets or dubia >> Thursday - lightly dusted with Zoo Med ReptiVite multivitamins without D3
    Mealworms >> Saturday - no dusting

    Future weeks:
    Continue on since all weeks are identical. . . . . .
    Wheat bran is very high in phosphorus. That's not good. Here's what I suggest for your mealworms.


    Best veggies and fruit to feed your feeders!
    "If you opt for making your own gutload at home, here is a list of great ingredients to use:
    Best: mustard greens, turnip greens, dandelion flowers & leaves, collard greens, escarole lettuce, papaya, watercress, and alfalfa.
    Good: sweet potato, carrots, oranges, mango, butternut squash, kale, apples, beet greens, blackberries, bok choy, and green beans.
    Dry food: bee pollen, organic non-salted sunflower seeds, spirulina, dried seaweed, flax seed, and organic non-salted almonds.
    Avoid as much as possible: potatoes, cabbage, iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, corn, grains, beans, oats, bread, cereal, meat, eggs, dog food, cat food, fish food, canned or dead insects, vertebrates."
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 11-30-2018 at 12:14 AM.
    "If you can hear crickets, it's still summer." ;)

    "May the peace that
    You find at the beach
    Follow you home"

    Click: Leo Care Sheet's Table of Contents

    ===> No plain calcium, calcium with D3, or multivitamins inside an enclosure <===

    Oedura castelnaui ~ Lepidodactylus lugubris ~ Phelsuma barbouri ~ Ptychozoon kuhli ~ Cyrtodactylus peguensis zebraicus ~ Phyllurus platurus ~ Eublepharis macularius ~ Correlophus ciliatus ~ (L kimhowelli) ~ (P tigrinus) ~ (P klemmeri) ~ (H garnotii)

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    I can easily switch to the chicken layer - I've seen it at my local feed store. However, the calcium content is from oyster shell that is in the feed, it is also enriched with vitamins A, D, and E. This my be ignorance on my part, but I've raised a ton pf bugs and had never had mealworms able to break down say, steel cut oats, so how could they possibly break down oystershell, if they would even eat it?

    Also want to note that Josh's Frogs is a recommended insect supplier - and he keeps his meal and super worms on bran - I'm not trying to be argumentative, just trying to understand.
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    On a side note - seeing how the pro-gutload is a bit expensive to use for my entire colony (I raise literally 1000s at a time for chickens and wild birds) - would it change anything nutrition wise, to pull say a week or two worth of worms from the colony well before feeding them to a leo and move them onto the gut load pro?

    In essence, how is the phosphorus level incorporated into the meal worms and how long would it take for this level to drop once moved off of the wheat bran and onto the gut-load pro? Would it make a difference?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpottedDragon View Post
    I can easily switch to the chicken layer - I've seen it at my local feed store. However, the calcium content is from oyster shell that is in the feed, it is also enriched with vitamins A, D, and E. This my be ignorance on my part, but I've raised a ton pf bugs and had never had mealworms able to break down say, steel cut oats, so how could they possibly break down oystershell, if they would even eat it?

    Also want to note that Josh's Frogs is a recommended insect supplier - and he keeps his meal and super worms on bran - I'm not trying to be argumentative, just trying to understand.
    One important ingredient of an insect/worm dry diet is vitamin A acetate (retinol). Retinol is not available from plants. Some reptile keepers use Rep-Cal's calcium with D3 with decent results. Rep-Cal's calcium is 100% derived from oyster shell!

    I used the reliable USDA's Food List for the values in link 98. Anyone can do that.

    I only recommend Albers' All Purpose Poultry Feed or Purina Layena Crumbles poultry feed. If you cannot find those in the USA, don't buy poultry feed. Some poultry laying feeds contain diatomaceous earth. Diatomaceous earth is a natural antiparasitic for bird flocks. If ingested by insects, diatomaceous earth is fatal. If diatomaceous earth is in a product, it should be listed on the label.
    Research $$ are hard to come by. I don't know how phosphorus levels in insects' or worms' entire bodies compare with phosphorus levels in their guts OR how long it takes those levels to change. Perhaps someone who knows can chime in?

    Feeding dubia, crickets, mealworms, and superworms several hours ahead of feeding them off to geckos definitely improves their gut contents.

    I feed my crickets and dubia 24/7 finely ground Zoo Med's Natural ADULT Bearded Dragon Food and sometimes Cricket Crack. I keep a mealworm culture, but rarely use mealworms. I currently see +++ results in healthy geckos and fertile eggs with my Cyrtodactylus peguensis zebraicus since I switched to this bearded dragon food from Albers' All Purpose Poultry Feed.
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 11-30-2018 at 11:34 PM.
    "If you can hear crickets, it's still summer." ;)

    "May the peace that
    You find at the beach
    Follow you home"

    Click: Leo Care Sheet's Table of Contents

    ===> No plain calcium, calcium with D3, or multivitamins inside an enclosure <===

    Oedura castelnaui ~ Lepidodactylus lugubris ~ Phelsuma barbouri ~ Ptychozoon kuhli ~ Cyrtodactylus peguensis zebraicus ~ Phyllurus platurus ~ Eublepharis macularius ~ Correlophus ciliatus ~ (L kimhowelli) ~ (P tigrinus) ~ (P klemmeri) ~ (H garnotii)

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