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  1. #1
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    Default Beta Carotene for Vitamin A in Exo Terra Multivitamin


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    Hello Everyone, I am addressing this post mainly to Elizabeth since I originally posted this at the end of her excellent Leopard Gecko care sheet. But I suppose this can serve as an introduction also since it is my first post here.

    Hi Elizabeth,

    I know that you don't recommend the use of the Exo Terra Multivitamin because you mentioned the non absorption of Beta Carotene for reptiles but I was wondering what you think about this study indicating Vitamin A absorption in geckos? A word of warning though to anyone reading this lab study, in typical clinical fashion, it was not a happy ending for the geckos participating for them to obtain their results...

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29797444

    I guess the reason I am asking is because being a new Leopard Gecko owner I recently purchased the Exo Terra Multivitamin so I was a bit worried I made the wrong choice.

    I have a juvenile leopard gecko named Boop (my daughter named him) about 7-8 months old. We have had him for about 2.5 weeks now and I have a Zoo Med UVB lamp for light only and set to a timer for 12 hrs per day as well as a ceramic heater over his hot zone on a non proportional thermostat being used (29C during day and 21C at night on warm zone. Cool zone drops to 19-21 depending on season.) I also have an undertank heater set at a constant 33C. By all indications he seems healthy and happy though he is only wanting to eat every 2 days on average. Which I understand is normal. The substrate being used are ceramic tiles and he has a cool hide, a moist hide centered about 3/4 over the heat mat and a warm hide entirely on the heat mat in the hot zone. The tank is a 20 Gallon Long glass Zilla tank with a wire mesh top.
    Thanks Elizabeth Freer thanked for this post

  2. #2
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    Welcome to Geckos Unlimited, Marillion! Let's continue here. I gotta run now. Hope to get back to this thread later today.

    1. How often/how long is Boop sticking out a leg or other body part under the UVB?
    2. What type and strength bulb are you using?
    3. Is it an Exo Terra?


    It is my understanding that geckos need a wee bit of vitamin A acetate (retinol) to activate any beta carotene. That's why my vet recommends a wee pinch of a multivitamin containing vitamin A acetate @ only 1 feeding per week. The rest of vitamin A can be beta carotene.


    For 22 click: GU’s Admin Hilde on Calcium, Vitamin A, & D3 Interactions, et cetera: posts 22, 48, 85, ***96: vits + CaCO3***
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 05-17-2019 at 02:43 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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    Thanks for the reply! To answer your questions:

    1. While it is hard for me judge exactly how much or how long of a time period Boop is spending under the UVB bulb I have witnessed him on occasion sticking a leg or tail out of his warm hide. I have also caught him strolling around or climbing on top of some of the houses. I don't get to watch him as often as I would like because of our busy schedules.
    2. The bulb is a Zoo Med Reptisun 5.0 UVB This one here
    3. I believe when you asked if it was an Exo Terrra you meant the bulb?

    One other thing I should mention...I keep a small bottle cap of non-D3 calcium in his enclosure. Boop seems to like eating out of it fairly regularly. I have been using that instead of dusting with calcium but having read that post about no plain calcium in the enclosure I am having second thoughts... Though it is interesting to see where he had traveled during the night through the enclosure since he seems to enjoy walking into the small cap with the calcium in it!

    Thanks for your insight.
    Last edited by Marillion; 05-17-2019 at 03:19 PM.

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    These studies aren’t perfect. I had the entire study on the iPhone I just traded in. Unfortunately, I forgot about a lot of stuff on that phone. I think it was only about 10? All female? What I did was use both to be on the safe side. Preformed vitamin a about twice a month and herptivite more frequently. I will add the gut loads contained vitamin a acetate.
    Last edited by Sg612; 05-18-2019 at 07:49 AM.

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    Added 18 May 2019 thanks to Sg612: https://www.researchgate.net/publica...ris_macularius
    Marillion ~ I'm familiar with the link you shared. Do you have access to the 8 page article?

    I've shared this research with someone knowledgeable. That person indicated this study should be "taken with a grain of salt" for multiple reasons.
    • Very small study groups -- only 5 animals per group.
    • Liver biopsies should have been done before and after.
    • Group #1 = Cod liver oil group Retinol should have been used.
    • Group #2 = Beta carotene group
    • Group #3 = There was NO control group.
    • This research was finally published in a relatively obscure journal.


    PS:
    I shared links for multivitamins as well as calcium with D3 supplements in post 2. I believe Zoo Med's supplements are superior to Exo Terra's supplements for the following reasons.
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 06-01-2019 at 08:52 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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    Quote Originally Posted by Marillion View Post
    Thanks for the reply! To answer your questions:

    1. While it is hard for me judge exactly how much or how long of a time period Boop is spending under the UVB bulb I have witnessed him on occasion sticking a leg or tail out of his warm hide. I have also caught him strolling around or climbing on top of some of the houses. I don't get to watch him as often as I would like because of our busy schedules.
    2. The bulb is a Zoo Med Reptisun 5.0 UVB This one here
    3. I believe when you asked if it was an Exo Terrra you meant the bulb?

    One other thing I should mention...I keep a small bottle cap of non-D3 calcium in his enclosure. Boop seems to like eating out of it fairly regularly. I have been using that instead of dusting with calcium but having read that post about no plain calcium in the enclosure I am having second thoughts... Though it is interesting to see where he had traveled during the night through the enclosure since he seems to enjoy walking into the small cap with the calcium in it!

    Thanks for your insight.
    You're welcome. Yes, I meant an Exo Terra bulb.

    Zoo Med's 5.0 mini-compact may shed adequate UVB on Boop within his 20 long enclosure: 30 x 12 x 12 inches tall if he cooperates. Even under adequate UVB Dr. Fran Baines (vet and lighting guru) strongly suggests giving a leo a backup dose of calcium with D3 at 1 feeding per month.

    I'm not convinced that leopard geckos "know" how much calcium with D3 or multivitamins they need to stay healthy.

    GU's winterminute shared this:
    From GU's winterminute on 18 Jan 2019: re rescue of son's leo stuck in a build-in bookcase for ~90 minutes with outside wall temps ~30*F: "I think she's doing good. Thank you for asking! She's coming out a bit more at night. Last night she waded into her water dish which was funny to watch. I'm glad I got a camera otherwise I'd have no idea what happens when we go to bed. FYI for others, Wyze wireless cams are $25 and great little toys."
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 05-18-2019 at 02:15 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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    https://www.researchgate.net/profile...ication_detail

    A moderate number of oxyurid eggs were detected. Those scary(not) pinworms
    Thanks Elizabeth Freer thanked for this post

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    Thanks very much Elizabeth and everyone else for sharing your knowledge. It is very much appreciated. It is great to know that if I need help and advice I know where to go!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marillion View Post
    Thanks very much Elizabeth and everyone else for sharing your knowledge. It is very much appreciated. It is great to know that if I need help and advice I know where to go!
    You're welcome, Marillion.

    I hope Boop does well.
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by Elizabeth Freer View Post
    You're welcome. Yes, I meant an Exo Terra bulb.

    Zoo Med's 5.0 mini-compact may shed adequate UVB on Boop within his 20 long enclosure: 30 x 12 x 12 inches tall if he cooperates. Even under adequate UVB Dr. Fran Baines (vet and lighting guru) strongly suggests giving a leo a backup dose of calcium with D3 at 1 feeding per month.

    I'm not convinced that leopard geckos "know" how much calcium with D3 or multivitamins they need to stay healthy.

    GU's winterminute shared this:
    From GU's winterminute on 18 Jan 2019: re rescue of son's leo stuck in a build-in bookcase for ~90 minutes with outside wall temps ~30*F: "I think she's doing good. Thank you for asking! She's coming out a bit more at night. Last night she waded into her water dish which was funny to watch. I'm glad I got a camera otherwise I'd have no idea what happens when we go to bed. FYI for others, Wyze wireless cams are $25 and great little toys."
    I'm sorry to drag up this thread again Elizabeth. But I was doing some reading and I ran across this:
    https://zoomed.com/wp-content/upload...mp-2018-07.pdf

    It was a link from one of your posts on lighting. I am thinking now that I should not have bought the 5.0 Zoo Med mini bulb and should instead have bought the 10.0 mini bulb or the 5.0 regular size bulb based on the info in that sheet. I am not convinced Boop is getting enough UVB based on that data.

    Just to refresh what I have, it is a 20 gallon long Terrarium with a mesh top and the bulb is in an 8.5" reflective dome. I am also using an Arcadia Deep Heat Projector in another dome beside it (Heat projector is completely over the Warm side to the right and the light is in the middle. I did consider getting the Arcadia Shade Dweller pro but I don't think the fixture would fit properly over the terrarium without changing the fixture for the Heat projector.

    What is your opinion? One option would be to provide the Calcium with D3 2 or 3 times a month to compensate for the 5.0 Mini until next year when I purchase a 10.0 mini perhaps or a full size 5.0....

    I should also mention, although I addressed this post to Elizabeth I would welcome opinions by others as well! I'm just hoping to provide the best possible environment for our little guy.
    Last edited by Marillion; 05-30-2019 at 06:49 PM.

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