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  1. #1
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    Default Best diet for a leopard gecko?


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    Hello!
    I have been interested in getting a leopard gecko for a while now. I just recently got some free space for my extra 20 gallon long to go and thought it might be a good time to do some more in depth research on leopard geckos.
    I have watched and read many care articles from multiple sources but I still have a lot of questions on live food. My first question would be, how quickly does it take a mealworm to turn into a beetle and what do you do if they turn into beetles (I donít plan on breeding)? Also Iíve heard mixed opinions on substrate for mealworms, would oats work well? Also should I add mealworm food other than the regular vegetables?
    Next I have some questions on super worms/wax worms. I know they cannot be a staple because they are unhealthy, but if I fed them occasionally would it make the geckos diet any better or are they just not needed at all?
    Would it be ok for me to feed dubia roaches as a staple with mealworms and some crickets also offered? Iíve heard that dubia roaches are easy to digest and are one of the better food options. Would crickets even be needed if I fed dubia roaches and mealworms?
    For supplements, I plan on using a multivitamin, calcium with d3, and vitamin without d3. In your experience do they benefit from any other supplements? Also are there any good quality brands you would recommend?
    My final question is how much should I feed my gecko? How many Dubias/mealworms should be provided each feeding and how often should I feed? I have also heard very mixed opinions on this and Iím pretty conflicted! I plan on getting my gecko from a reputable breeder in my area but I havenít decided whether I should get a juvenile or young adult.
    Any help is appreciated! I know I asked a lot of questions so feel free to only answer a few if you reply. Thank you for reading!

  2. #2
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    Actually, superworms are part of my adults’ staple feeders. They have crickets and superworms as staples with one or two waxworms every week or so. I would use dubias and crickets as staples but I’m absolutely terrified of roaches. I’d always suggest rotating food from time to time if your gecko is fine with it. Each feeder has their pros and cons.

    For supplements, I’d highly suggest ZooMed calcium without d3, ZooMed calcium with d3, and ZooMed reptivite.

    As for how much to feed, it depends on the gecko for me. One of my geckos doesn’t stop eating until he throws up (he ate 31 crickets medium crickets in one sitting) so I limit him to about 10-15 medium crickets each feeding. My new baby eats until she’s full, as do the three adults I have. It really depends on the gecko. I prefer the “feed until full” method.

    If available, I’d also offer the occasional hornworm as well. They can be pretty expensive though.
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  3. #3
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    Mine is on Dubia, mealworms, superworms, occasional crickets, occasional phoenix worms, and rarely hornworms when I can get small ones. I have found that he gets tired of the same prey if fed too often. He will eat roaches great for a week or so, then loose interest. So I tend to rotate prey often.

    As for mealworms becoming beetles - they will pupate faster (2-3 weeks) when warm or if they run out of food/moisture. Keeping them in the fridge reduces pupating but it forces them to use their reserves to survive making them much less nutritious for your gecko. I've found that it takes them a few days to fully recover from being in the fridge and start eating well. Breeding them is so simple and then you can control their nutrients too.

    Oats and wheat bran flakes are really high in phosphorous which makes the worms too high as well. I feed mine "Pro Gutload" from professional reptiles. I supplement this with powdered adult bearded dragon food (for roaches) and fresh veggies like organic bok choy, sweet potato, and dandelion greens. If you are feeding leafy greens make sure you get organic - most veggies still have some pesticide on them after washing and you don't want to kill your feeders or pass that on to the gecko.

    When mine was a baby and growing rapidly I fed whatever he wanted to eat in a 15-30 min period. Now that he is close to 6/7 months old I know about what he will eat and offer that [mine is 75 grams and usually eats 1-2 medium roaches or 3-4 superworms / crickets a night. He will eat up to 10 mealworms depending on how big they are. Some nights he skips meals]. He also prefers to be hand fed, or at least have the bugs dropped in front of his face to chase down or placed in his large 'hunting pen*' than eat from a dish.

    *I use a hunting pen - a 9 1/2 '' pie dish with a piece of yoga mat glued into the bottom for his insects so they can't run loose in the cage and escape. If I don't have time to hand feed this is where his bugs go. It is plenty big enough for him to chase his bugs. For crickets I cut off their 'jumping' legs so they can't hop out but are still very mobile.
    Nature is the best teacher, learn by observing
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    Welcome to Geckos Unlimited!

    Both Silverfire and SpottedDragon have shared good advice in posts 2 and 3.


    Here's the scoop on oats.

    I use Zoo Med's supplements for all my geckos. Here are schedules for leos depending upon their age.


    Timberline is now selling hornworms in a 4-pack for $10 at PetCo. I recommend that over hornworms packaged individually by other companies.
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 06-15-2019 at 05:55 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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    Thank you all so much for the help! I’ve decided that I will feed my gecko crickets, mealworms, dubia roaches, and the occasional wax worm/super worm/hornworm. I will use the supplements recommend on post #2 and plan out a feeding schedule. Also thank you for the mealworm bedding help!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Animallover562 View Post
    Thank you all so much for the help! I’ve decided that I will feed my gecko crickets, mealworms, dubia roaches, and the occasional wax worm/super worm/hornworm. I will use the supplements recommend on post #2 and plan out a feeding schedule. Also thank you for the mealworm bedding help!
    You're welcome! Your leo will be lucky to have such a varied diet. Your mealworms will make excellent leo food on their low phosphorus diet.

    The Zoo Med supplements Silverfire recommends in post 2 ("I’d highly suggest ZooMed calcium without d3, ZooMed calcium with d3, and ZooMed reptivite.") are the exact ones I shared in links 124,125, and 126.

    Were you able to open those links? If so, the links show how the "doses" of Zoo Med's supplements change during the life of a leo. If not I can just post the schedules.
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 06-19-2019 at 05:08 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 completely missed those links! Those are SO helpful, I was hoping I would find something like that but I couldn’t find anything that would lay out a good feeding schedule. You have just made my life 10 times easier��

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    Quote Originally Posted by Animallover562 View Post
    I completely missed those links! Those are SO helpful, I was hoping I would find something like that but I couldn’t find anything that would lay out a good feeding schedule. You have just made my life 10 times easier��


    I'm glad you clicked those links.

    IF you are looking for additional leopard gecko information, there are about 157 links in my leo care sheet right here. Just look at my signature at the foot of this message. Find the Table of Contents -- then click away.
    "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)
    Thanks Animallover562 thanked for this post

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