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  1. #1
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    Default How Much to Feed my gecko?


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    OK so I've done a bunch of research, I took the plunge, and now, I've hit the wall a little bit. I only made a thread because we might also have to do some estimating with my gecko's age, because I don't know exactly how old she is.

    I bought my leopard gecko about a week ago, and she's been eating really well. She didn't eat the day I brought her in, and I assume it's because she'd eaten at the pet store earlier that day. Because the next morning, she was eating like a bottomless pit, even while I was watching.

    She's been eating 6 medium-sized crickets per day (the large ones are too big for her right now), and I make sure that they're gut-loaded. I usually feed them a high-calcium cricket diet, as well as some potato to provide some moisture and alternate nutrients to their diet. As a backup source of hydration, I also use a gel for them to prevent drowning. I also will be dropping in leafy greens like spinach, kale, and mustard greens when I have them. I have also been dusting them with vitamins and calcium - Vitamins on Sunday and Wednesday, calcium (with no D3) on all other days. I also provide a calcium dish. She hasn't been interested lately, but I will keep it in there just in case.

    I'm able to actually watch her eat all of her prey items, so I know she's eating them all. I haven't had to clear any feeders out of the tank yet.

    But my concern is she's eating a little too well. Like, I don't want to under-feed her... should I be feeding until she stops hunting, or should I just keep feeding her a set amount?

    I don't know her exact age either - I got her from a locally-owned pet store, and she was kept in pretty great conditions, as far as pet stores go. She's been lively and alert this whole time. Her tail is a little thin, I think, but she doesn't look malnourished. We think that she's about 6 months old. I don't know exactly how long she is or how much she weighs, because she's a little flighty. I'd estimate her at about 4 inches in length, but I actually haven't picked her up yet, so I couldn't even guess her weight. She stays pretty still when I'm around - if I can get a small ruler near her without freaking her out, I'll see if I can't get a more accurate measurement.

    I just wanted to make sure I wasn't accidentally starving her. I'd hate for her to be malnourished because of what I've been feeding her.

    Oh, I also have tried feeding her similarly sized dubia roaches to the crickets I've been feeding, and I've tried offering mealworms, but she doesn't seem very interested. She doesn't like tong-feeding, and if I leave the mealworms in a dish, they don't seem to want to wiggle around enough to get her attention. She's left one in the dish over night, and it's the only feeder I've had to clear from the tank so far.

  2. #2
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    This will answer some of your questions.

    If you can tell the sex of your leo, she's probably about 6 months old.

    "All she can eat in 15 minutes" is a good guide. Some keepers do "all she can eat" at one feeding.


    Which brand and type supplements is she getting? I recommend multivitamins without D3, calcium with D3, and plain calcium lightly dusted @ 1 feeding per week each. That includes NO calcium dish in the enclosure.

    By any chance are you gutloading the feeders 24/7 with Fluker's High Calcium Cricket Feed? It's not what it's sold to be. I once used it too. Right now alternate with a better gutload. When you run out, switch to a better gutload.

    Since you live in the USA, how about getting some Pro Gutload 24/7 dry diet by Professional Reptiles to feed your leo's crickets and mealworms? Be sure to keep mealworms in a different bedding than what they came in. The very same Pro Gutload diet makes an excellent bedding/food for your mealworms too.

    Dry Diet: For the 24/7 dry cricket diet use a good food (~16% protein, less than 5% fat, moderate fiber) that also contains vitamin D3, vitamin A acetate (retinol) or vitamin A palmitate, and vitamin B12!

    Finely grind these pellets in a Krups coffee/spice grinder or place the pellets in a plastic bag and pound them with a hammer.

    Choose many foods from this list instead of potatoes or spinach. Mustard greens are excellent! Your leo will thank you!

    #6---Gutload Ingredients for Bugs & Worms......thanks to Olimpia -- August 2013
    "A commercial gut loading food like Bug Burger or Superload (both by Repashy), Cricket Crack, Dinofuel, etc. is going to make your life easier AND provide a nutritious diet to your crickets at the same time. Avoid Fluker's gutloads, as they are super feeble in their formulas."

    "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; 07-11-2019 at 06:46 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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    Thanks for all the advice! I think maybe the videos I've been watching have been a little old, so they still recommended using potato with feeder insects. Good thing I haven't gotten around to feeding them the leafy greens. I'll have to buy mustard greens tonight at the store, and get a replacement for my dry cricket diet. I have been using Fluker's High Calcium - exactly what you said. Again, they used that as a constant feed in the videos, but I'll have to switch off as soon as the bottle I have runs out.

    I was also wondering if you (or anyone else) knew how common it was for feeder insects to get sick? I just bought a dozen crickets, and I found something mixed in that looks like a roach, and not a dubia roach either. It looks kind of like a German ****roach - I have no idea how it would have gotten in from my apartment, because the ventilation on the top of the cricket keeper is tiny. I also haven't seen any around, so I think it came from the pet store where I bought the crickets.

    A couple of the crickets have died... at least one or two per dozen usually do, but should I go to a pet store and buy a fresh batch or do you think it's safe to just take the roach out and discard it? I don't want to risk my gecko picking up a nasty parasite or infection off a roach she wasn't supposed to eat. But, I'd hate to get rid of about 18 crickets if this isn't actually a problem and I'm freaking out over nothing.

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    Could it be possible that the roach is actually a beetle that developed from a mealworm larvae? I can't see your crickets not being fine...my inclination would be to take out the beetle/roach, dispose of it and monitor your crickets for the next little while. Personally, my opinion is that the crickets should be fine to feed off but if you are truly worried about it you can get some new ones. In terms of cost, 18 crickets are really not that valuable so you wouldn't be losing too much money if you set them free and got new ones.

    As to the crickets not surviving. A couple dying off here and there is a normal situation. They aren't very hardy creatures. But if you are getting a whole bunch dying at once, there could be something wrong in what you are feeding them or the way you would be taking care of them. Doesn't sound like the case here.
    Last edited by Marillion; 07-11-2019 at 06:25 PM.

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    The more I look at it, captured under a glass on my end table, the more I think it's a German Roach. It's got the same wings and body structure, and the little things on their abdomen that the crickets do. They're also brownish red, and have hairy legs so I think it's a roach. I also keep the mealworms in their own tub in the fridge, so there shouldn't be any larvae in the cricket keeper.

    I think, just to be safe, I'll wash the carrier I have them in and get new feeders - maybe get dubias if the store has them. Besides, I need to put new egg crate and give the cage a good clean anyways.

    And for the remaining crickets I should probably... euthanize them before throwing them out. Something tells me my landlord would not appreciate an accidental cricket infestation. Got any tips for how to do this gently or is it just going to have to be a blunt-force affair? I'm not above that method, just seems like I could be a little more gentle about it.

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    I would just release them in a park somewhere. Likely they'll get eaten quick enough... But if you want to euthanize them humanely, the freezer is the way to go.
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