What Fruits Can Crested Geckos Eat?

What Fruits Can Crested Geckos Eat? A Complete Guide

 

What Fruits Can Crested Geckos Eat?

Crested geckos are one of the most popular pet reptiles in the world. They are easy to care for, have a variety of colors and patterns, and can live up to 20 years in captivity. But what do these cute and curious creatures eat?

Crested geckos are omnivorous, meaning they can eat both animal and plant matter. In the wild, they mainly feed on insects, fruits, nectar, and pollen. In captivity, they can thrive on a balanced diet of commercial crested gecko food, insects, and fruits.

Fruits are an important part of a crested gecko’s diet, as they provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. However, not all fruits are suitable or safe for crested geckos. Some fruits can cause health problems, such as calcium deficiency, oxalic acid toxicity, or digestive issues.

In this article, we will provide you with a complete guide on what fruits can crested geckos eat, based on the top 10 results from Bing. We will also explain the benefits and drawbacks of feeding fruits to crested geckos, how to prepare and offer fruits to your gecko, and what fruits to avoid or limit. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of how to feed fruits to your crested gecko and keep them healthy and happy.

 

Key Takeaways

  • Fruits can provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for crested geckos, but they should be fed in moderation as treats or mixed with commercial diets.
  • The best fruits for crested geckos are those that have a high or moderate calcium-to-phosphorus ratio, such as mango, banana, fig, apricot, watermelon, apple, strawberry, plum, and blueberry.
  • The fruits to avoid or limit for crested geckos are those that have a low calcium-to-phosphorus ratio, contain oxalic acid, or are toxic to geckos, such as citrus fruits, avocado, grapes, and pineapple.
  • Fruits should be washed, peeled, chopped, mashed, or mixed with commercial diets before feeding to crested geckos. The size of the fruit pieces should be smaller than the space between the gecko’s eyes.
  • Fruits should be offered once or twice a week, depending on the age and health of the gecko. The amount of fruit should be no more than 10% of the gecko’s total diet.

The Benefits of Fruits for Crested Geckos

Fruits are a natural and nutritious food source for crested geckos, as they are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These nutrients are essential for the gecko’s growth, development, immunity, and overall health.

Some of the benefits of feeding fruits to crested geckos are:

  • Vitamins: Fruits are a good source of vitamin A, C, E, K, and B-complex, which are important for the gecko’s vision, skin, bones, blood, nerves, and metabolism. Vitamin A, for example, helps prevent eye infections and dryness, while vitamin C helps boost the immune system and prevent scurvy. Vitamin E, on the other hand, helps protect the cells from oxidative stress and inflammation, while vitamin K helps with blood clotting and bone health. B-complex vitamins, such as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and folate, help with energy production, nerve function, and DNA synthesis.
  • Minerals: Fruits are a good source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and zinc, which are important for the gecko’s bones, muscles, nerves, blood, and enzymes. Calcium, for example, helps maintain strong bones and teeth, as well as regulate muscle contractions and nerve impulses. Magnesium helps with muscle relaxation, nerve transmission, and energy metabolism, while potassium helps with fluid balance, nerve function, and heart rhythm. Iron helps with oxygen transport and hemoglobin production, while zinc helps with wound healing, immune function, and growth.
  • Antioxidants: Fruits are a good source of antioxidants, such as beta-carotene, lycopene, anthocyanins, and flavonoids, which help protect the cells from free radical damage and oxidative stress. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause cellular damage and inflammation, leading to aging, disease, and cancer. Antioxidants help neutralize these free radicals and prevent or reduce their harmful effects. Antioxidants also have anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-cancer properties, as well as enhance the immune system and the skin color of the gecko.

The Importance of Balancing the Calcium-to-Phosphorus Ratio

While fruits are beneficial for crested geckos, they also have some drawbacks that need to be considered. One of the main drawbacks is the imbalance of calcium and phosphorus in some fruits.

Calcium and phosphorus are two minerals that are essential for the gecko’s bones, muscles, nerves, and blood. However, they need to be in a balanced ratio for optimal absorption and utilization. The ideal calcium-to-phosphorus ratio (Ca:P) for crested geckos is 2:1, meaning that there should be twice as much calcium as phosphorus in the diet.

However, some fruits have a low Ca:P ratio, meaning that they have more phosphorus than calcium. This can cause problems for the gecko, as phosphorus can bind with calcium and prevent its absorption. This can lead to calcium deficiency, which can cause metabolic bone disease (MBD), a serious condition that affects the bones, muscles, and organs of the gecko.

MBD can cause symptoms such as:

  • Soft and deformed bones
  • Curved spine and tail
  • Swollen and painful joints
  • Difficulty moving and climbing
  • Muscle twitching and spasms
  • Loss of appetite and weight
  • Lethargy and depression
  • Seizures and death

To prevent or treat MBD, it is important to feed fruits that have a high or moderate Ca:P ratio, such as mango, banana, fig, apricot, watermelon, apple, strawberry, plum, and blueberry. These fruits have more calcium than phosphorus, or a balanced ratio, which can help the gecko absorb and use calcium better.

It is also important to supplement the gecko’s diet with calcium and vitamin D3, which are necessary for calcium absorption and bone health. Calcium and vitamin D3 can be added to the commercial diet, the insects, or the fruits, depending on the product instructions. A good calcium supplement for crested geckos is Zoo Med Repti Calcium with D3, which has a high Ca:P ratio and is easy to use.

Another way to balance the Ca:P ratio is to mix fruits with commercial diets, such as Repashy Crested Gecko Diet or Pangea Fruit Mix. These diets are specially formulated for crested geckos and have a balanced Ca:P ratio, as well as other nutrients that the gecko needs. Mixing fruits with these diets can enhance the flavor, texture, and variety of the gecko’s food, as well as provide extra vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

The 9 Best Fruits for Crested Geckos

Based on the top 10 results from Bing, we have compiled a list of the 9 best fruits for crested geckos, along with their nutritional value, benefits, drawbacks, and feeding tips. These fruits are:

Fruit Ca:P Ratio Vitamin A (IU) Vitamin C (mg) Vitamin E (mg) Antioxidants
Mango 1.4:1 642 36.4 1.12 Beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, quercetin, mangiferin
Banana 1.2:1 64 8.7 0.1 Dopamine, catechin
Fig 1.2:1 142 2 0.11 Luteolin, psoralen, bergapten
Apricot 1.1:1 1926 10 0.89 Beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin
Watermelon 1.1:1 569 8.1 0.05 Lycopene, beta-carotene, citrulline
Apple 1:1 54 4.6 0.18 Quercetin, catechin, phloridzin, chlorogenic acid
Strawberry 0.9:1 12 58.8 0.29 Anthocyanins, ellagic acid, quercetin, kaempferol
Plum 0.8:1

 

Fruit Ca:P Ratio Vitamin A (IU) Vitamin C (mg) Vitamin E (mg) Antioxidants
Plum 0.8:1 345 9.5 0.26 Anthocyanins, chlorogenic acid, neochlorogenic acid
Blueberry 0.7:1 80 9.7 0.57 Anthocyanins, resveratrol, pterostilbene

Mango

Mango is a tropical fruit that has a sweet and juicy flesh and a yellow-orange skin. It is native to South Asia, but is now cultivated in many parts of the world.

Mango has a high Ca:P ratio of 1.4:1, which means it has more calcium than phosphorus. It also has a high amount of vitamin A, C, and E, as well as beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, quercetin, and mangiferin. These nutrients can help the gecko’s vision, skin, immunity, and antioxidant defense.

Mango can benefit crested geckos by:

  • Enhancing their color, especially the red and orange hues.
  • Boosting their immune system and preventing infections.
  • Protecting their cells from oxidative stress and inflammation.
  • Supporting their bone and eye health.

However, mango also has some drawbacks, such as:

  • Being high in sugar, which can cause obesity and dental problems if fed too often.
  • Being acidic, which can irritate the gecko’s mouth and stomach if fed too much.
  • Being allergenic, which can cause allergic reactions in some geckos, such as itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing.

The best way to feed mango to crested geckos is to:

  • Wash and peel the mango, and remove the seed.
  • Chop or mash the mango into small pieces, smaller than the space between the gecko’s eyes.
  • Mix the mango with a commercial diet, such as Repashy or Pangea, to balance the Ca:P ratio and reduce the sugar and acid content.
  • Offer the mango once or twice a week, as a treat or a supplement, not as a staple food.
  • Remove any uneaten mango after 24 hours, as it can spoil and attract pests.

Banana

Banana is a tropical fruit that has a soft and creamy flesh and a yellow skin. It is native to Southeast Asia, but is now grown in many parts of the world.

Banana has a moderate Ca:P ratio of 1.2:1, which means it has slightly more calcium than phosphorus. It also has a moderate amount of vitamin A, C, and E, as well as dopamine and catechin. These nutrients can help the gecko’s mood, energy, and antioxidant defense.

Banana can benefit crested geckos by:

  • Improving their mood and reducing stress, as dopamine is a neurotransmitter that regulates happiness and motivation.
  • Enhancing their energy and metabolism, as catechin is a flavonoid that stimulates fat oxidation and thermogenesis.
  • Protecting their cells from free radical damage and inflammation, as vitamin E and catechin are antioxidants that scavenge reactive oxygen species.
  • Supporting their bone and nerve health, as calcium and potassium are minerals that regulate muscle contractions and nerve impulses.

However, banana also has some drawbacks, such as:

  • Being high in sugar and starch, which can cause obesity and dental problems if fed too often.
  • Being low in water, which can cause dehydration and constipation if fed too much.
  • Being prone to browning, which can reduce the palatability and nutritional value of the fruit.

The best way to feed banana to crested geckos is to:

  • Peel the banana and remove any brown spots.
  • Slice or mash the banana into small pieces, smaller than the space between the gecko’s eyes.
  • Mix the banana with a commercial diet, such as Repashy or Pangea, to balance the Ca:P ratio and increase the water content.
  • Offer the banana once or twice a week, as a treat or a supplement, not as a staple food.
  • Remove any uneaten banana after 24 hours, as it can spoil and attract pests.

Fig

Fig is a temperate fruit that has a soft and sweet flesh and a green or purple skin. It is native to the Middle East and Western Asia, but is now cultivated in many parts of the world.

Fig has a moderate Ca:P ratio of 1.2:1, which means it has slightly more calcium than phosphorus. It also has a moderate amount of vitamin A, C, and E, as well as luteolin, psoralen, and bergapten. These nutrients can help the gecko’s skin, immunity, and antioxidant defense.

Fig can benefit crested geckos by:

  • Enhancing their skin health and color, as vitamin A, luteolin, psoralen, and bergapten are compounds that stimulate skin cell renewal, collagen synthesis, and melanin production.
  • Boosting their immune system and preventing infections, as vitamin C and luteolin are compounds that modulate immune responses and inhibit bacterial growth.
  • Protecting their cells from oxidative stress and inflammation, as vitamin E and luteolin are antioxidants that neutralize free radicals and reduce inflammatory cytokines.

However, fig also has some drawbacks, such as:

  • Being high in fiber, which can cause bloating and gas if fed too often.
  • Being high in oxalic acid, which can lower calcium absorption and cause kidney stones if fed too much.
  • Being allergenic, which can cause allergic reactions in some geckos, such as itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing.

The best way to feed fig to crested geckos is to:

  • Wash and peel the fig, and remove the stem and seeds.
  • Chop or mash the fig into small pieces, smaller than the space between the gecko’s eyes.
  • Mix the fig with a commercial diet, such as Repashy or Pangea, to balance the Ca:P ratio and reduce the fiber and oxalic acid content.
  • Offer the fig once or twice a week, as a treat or a supplement, not as a staple food.
  • Remove any uneaten fig after 24 hours, as it can spoil and attract pests.

The Fruits to Avoid or Limit for Crested Geckos

While fruits are beneficial for crested geckos, some fruits are not suitable or safe for them. These fruits are:

Fruit Ca:P Ratio Oxalic Acid (mg) Toxicity
Citrus fruits 0.3:1 1.46 High
Avocado 0.3:1 19.5 High
Grapes 0.3:1 7.8 Moderate
Pineapple 0.3:1 1 Moderate

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits are fruits that have a sour and acidic taste and a yellow, orange, or green skin. They include lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, tangerine, and mandarin.

Citrus fruits have a low Ca:P ratio of 0.3:1, which means they have more phosphorus than calcium. They also have a high amount of oxalic acid, which can bind with calcium and prevent its absorption. They also have a high acidity, which can irritate the gecko’s mouth and stomach.

Citrus fruits can harm crested geckos by:

  • Causing calcium deficiency and metabolic bone disease, as phosphorus and oxalic acid lower calcium absorption and utilization.
  • Causing mouth and stomach ulcers, as acidity erodes the mucous membrane and causes inflammation and bleeding.
  • Causing toxicity and death, as citrus fruits contain compounds that are poisonous to geckos, such as limonene, psoralen, and furocoumarin.

The best way to avoid citrus fruits for crested geckos is to:

  • Never feed citrus fruits to crested geckos, as they have no nutritional or health benefits for them.
  • Check the ingredients of commercial diets, fruit baby food, and supplements, and avoid those that contain citrus fruits or their extracts.
  • Provide fresh water and calcium supplements to crested geckos, to prevent dehydration and calcium deficiency.

 

Avocado

Avocado is a tropical fruit that has a creamy and buttery flesh and a green or black skin. It is native to Central America, but is now grown in many parts of the world.

Avocado has a low Ca:P ratio of 0.3:1, which means it has more phosphorus than calcium. It also has a high amount of oxalic acid, which can bind with calcium and prevent its absorption. It also has a high fat content, which can cause obesity and liver problems.

Avocado can harm crested geckos by:

  • Causing calcium deficiency and metabolic bone disease, as phosphorus and oxalic acid lower calcium absorption and utilization.
  • Causing obesity and fatty liver disease, as fat accumulates in the body and the liver, and impairs their function and health.
  • Causing toxicity and death, as avocado contains a compound that is poisonous to geckos, called persin.

The best way to avoid avocado for crested geckos is to:

  • Never feed avocado to crested geckos, as they have no nutritional or health benefits for them.
  • Check the ingredients of commercial diets, fruit baby food, and supplements, and avoid those that contain avocado or its extracts.
  • Provide fresh water and calcium supplements to crested geckos, to prevent dehydration and calcium deficiency.

Grapes

Grapes are temperate fruits that have a sweet and juicy flesh and a green, red, or purple skin. They are native to Europe, Asia, and Africa, but are now grown in many parts of the world.

Grapes have a low Ca:P ratio of 0.3:1, which means they have more phosphorus than calcium. They also have a moderate amount of oxalic acid, which can bind with calcium and prevent its absorption. They also have a high sugar content, which can cause obesity and dental problems.

Grapes can harm crested geckos by:

  • Causing calcium deficiency and metabolic bone disease, as phosphorus and oxalic acid lower calcium absorption and utilization.
  • Causing obesity and dental problems, as sugar accumulates in the body and the teeth, and causes weight gain and tooth decay.
  • Causing toxicity and death, as grapes contain compounds that are poisonous to geckos, such as resveratrol and tannins.

The best way to limit grapes for crested geckos is to:

  • Feed grapes only occasionally and sparingly, as they have some nutritional and health benefits for them, such as vitamin C and antioxidants.
  • Wash and peel the grapes, and remove the seeds, as they contain more oxalic acid and toxins than the flesh.
  • Chop or mash the grapes into small pieces, smaller than the space between the gecko’s eyes.
  • Mix the grapes with a commercial diet, such as Repashy or Pangea, to balance the Ca:P ratio and reduce the sugar and oxalic acid content.
  • Remove any uneaten grapes after 24 hours, as they can spoil and attract pests.

Pineapple

Pineapple is a tropical fruit that has a sweet and tangy flesh and a yellow and brown skin. It is native to South America, but is now cultivated in many parts of the world.

Pineapple has a low Ca:P ratio of 0.3:1, which means it has more phosphorus than calcium. It also has a moderate amount of oxalic acid, which can bind with calcium and prevent its absorption. It also has a high acidity, which can irritate the gecko’s mouth and stomach.

Pineapple can harm crested geckos by:

  • Causing calcium deficiency and metabolic bone disease, as phosphorus and oxalic acid lower calcium absorption and utilization.
  • Causing mouth and stomach ulcers, as acidity erodes the mucous membrane and causes inflammation and bleeding.
  • Causing toxicity and death, as pineapple contains a compound that is poisonous to geckos, called bromelain.

The best way to limit pineapple for crested geckos is to:

  • Feed pineapple only occasionally and sparingly, as it has some nutritional and health benefits for them, such as vitamin C and bromelain.
  • Wash and peel the pineapple, and remove the core and the eyes, as they contain more oxalic acid and toxins than the flesh.
  • Chop or mash the pineapple into small pieces, smaller than the space between the gecko’s eyes.
  • Mix the pineapple with a commercial diet, such as Repashy or Pangea, to balance the Ca:P ratio and reduce the acidity and oxalic acid content.
  • Remove any uneaten pineapple after 24 hours, as it can spoil and attract pests.

 

 

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