Crested Gecko Diet The Complete Guide: All Your Questions Answered

Crested geckos are omnivorous animals and can feed on insects, the nectar of flowers, and fruits in their natural habitat. It is also very easy to feed them in captivity because there is a wide range of commercial crested geckos available.

You will need to give your crested gecko a well-balanced diet for them to stay healthy in captivity. There is plenty of diet regimen out there that you can give your crested gecko.

Feeding crested gecko will need a bit more planning and work from crested gecko owners for their growth.

In this article, you will get an insight into the crested gecko diet. You will also learn more about their diet in captivity, the food to feed, and what to avoid.

Crested Gecko Diet List: What Do Crested Geckos Eat?

Crested Gecko Diet
Crested Gecko Diet

Crested gecko needs a healthy diet for their well-being and to increase their lifespan. There are two ways that you can go when it comes to the diet of a crested gecko. They are

  • Insect and fruit-based natural diet, and
  • Powder/granulate meal replacement diet

Insect and Fruit-Based Natural Diet

This diet is when you try to mimic the diet of crested gecko in the wild. Since crested geckos are omnivores, their diets in the wild are based on fruit and nectar.

Powder/Granulate Meal Replacement Diet

This diet is when you feed your crested gecko with commercial crested gecko foods and then top it with insects weekly. You can use worms and fruit as a treat.

Crested Gecko Food

insect is part of crested gecko diet
insect is part of crested gecko diet

You will find lots of reputable brands that produce commercial crested gecko food that will provide the needs of your gecko. You are going to find two types of commercial crested food available in the market.

Meal-Replacement Powders (MRP)

MRP diet comes in powder form, and it will then be mixed with water into a paste. You will find more explanations about the MRP diet below.

Steps to Make and Use a Meal Replacement Powder Diet

Get an MRP diet of the brand of your choice: you can buy your meal replacement powder diet from your local pet store or online. You will find diverse online distributors that sell these kinds of diets. Check to determine if the package is fresh and it is not close to expiring.

Mix the powder with water: When mixing MRP diets, ensure you mix one part powder with two to three parts water. You may think the mix is watery, but it is entirely normal.

Pour the mix in a feeding container: Pour it into a container or bottle and leave it for some minutes. You will notice as the mix will turn to a thicker paste.

Keep the leftovers in the refrigerator: If the paste is too much to feed your crested gecko in a serving, you can keep the remaining in a refrigerator for later use. Most MRP diets can last for seven days when refrigerated.

Feeding of your crested gecko: Feeding cups or food bowl can be used for feeding your crested gecko. It is best if you feed your geckos in the evening.

Remove leftover food within 24 hours: Your crested gecko may not feed on all of the MRP. You should ensure that you remove the leftovers as soon as possible in 24 hours. Removing leftovers helps in preventing bacteria and nasty smells in their tank.

Some of the popular crested gecko MRP diets brands are Repashy, Fluker’s Farms, T-Rex, Pangea, and so on.

Granules/Pellets

This type of crested gecko diet is in the form of little ball-shaped granules, and you will just put it directly in the food dish.

What Fruits Can Crested Geckos Eat?

What Fruits Can Crested Geckos Eat?
What Fruits Can Crested Geckos Eat?

Since crested geckos are omnivores, they live mostly on a fruit-based diet in the wild. Crested geckos owners only give fruit to their crested gecko as a treat, which can be once or twice in a month.

Crested geckos can feed on soft fruit high in calcium and low in phosphorus except for citrus fruit. Your gecko’s health is dependent on the calcium to phosphorus ratio.

You will need to give your crested gecko with a diet that has twice calcium than phosphorus. The rate of calcium to phosphorus needs to be 2:1.

Note: Most fruits do not have high calcium content but with high phosphorus. Some of the fruits that you can give your crested geckos are prickly pears, grapes, papaya, berries, apples, watermelons, bananas, cantaloupes, raspberries, figs, etc.

What Vegetables Can Crested Geckos Eat?

Vegetables are fiber-rich plants that help in improving human health. Vegetables are filled with numerous vitamins such as A, B, C, which will improve the overall health condition of anybody that feeds on them.

Many people assume that vegetables will be good for the gecko because it is good for humans.

However, crested gecko does not have a functioning caecum that helps in digesting cellulose. Cellulose is the substance found in vegetables.

Crested gecko also has a shorter digestive tract, and it will be hard for them to consume a large amount of vegetables.

It is best if you feed them with a small amount of vegetables occasionally to avoid problems.

What Insects Can Crested Geckos Eat?

What Insects Can Crested Geckos Eat?
What Insects Can Crested Geckos Eat?

Both in captivity and the wild, crested geckos love hunting for insects and worms. Some of the popular insects and worms that are part of their diets are stated below.

  • Crickets
  • Dubia roaches
  • Mealworms
  • Waxworms
  • Superworms, etc.

Crickets

This is the most popular insect food choice for crested geckos. Crickets are considered as an inexpensive protein source that you can buy. The crickets must not be larger than the distance between your gecko’s eyes.

You should also keep in mind that you can feed your geckos with as many crickets they can eat in a day. This is because crickets may bite your crested gecko if left to roam around in the tank.

Dubia Roaches

Roaches are getting more popular as the crested gecko diet among gecko owners due to its high nutritional value. You will need to make some effort if your plan to feed your crested geckos with Dubia roaches.

They are not very easy to find in pet stores and are more expensive than crickets.

Note: you can feed your crested geckos with worms as a treat but not as often as crickets. Some of the worms that gecko owners used for feeding their crested geckos are stated below.

Mealworms

Mealworms, the larvae of the mealworm beetle, are usually used for feeding reptiles, birds, and fish. You will need to be very careful when feeding your crested geckos with mealworms. This is due to their hard exoskeleton that can lead to impaction.

Waxworms

Waxworms, the larvae of wax moths, are a perfect food choice for insect-eating reptiles and birds. It is a perfect worm that you can use to feed your crested gecko. Waxworms do not have a hard exoskeleton and will not lead to impaction.

Superworms

Superworms can also be called king worms or Morio worms. It is the larvae of the darkling beetle and is usually used for feeding birds, reptiles, and fish. Superworms can be a dangerous food choice for your crested gecko due to its strong mandibles.

Before you feed your crested gecko with super worms, you will need to crush its head.

What Other Food Source Can Crested Geckos Eat?

Locust

Locust is a low maintenance live food that you can give your crested gecko. It offers a good exercise for your cresties as they chase them around your tank.

You will need to put locust in the fridge for 30 minutes before feeding time or remove their hind legs before you feed your gecko. This helps to prevent them from jumping around the tank.

You can then let them loose in your crested gecko tank and watch as gecko hunt for them. You can also feed your gecko locust by using long tweezers.

Note: It is best if you feed your crested gecko locusts dusted with calcium powder if you are using them as a staple feeder.

Snail

Crested geckos feed on snails in the wild, and you can incorporate it into their diet. However, you will need to ensure that the snail is not larger than the gecko’s head. You should try to avoid wild caught snails to feed your crested gecko.

This is because it can lead to pesticide, insecticide, or herbicide contamination of your crestie tank.

Blue-bottle Fly Spikes

Bluebottle fly spikes are an excellent diet option that you can give your crested geckos. It offers a quality, low-fat source of calcium and protein for your crested geckos.

You can feed your crested gecko with blue bottle fly spikes with a feeding dish or feeding tongs. It is best if you offer as many blue bottle fly spikes as they can consume in 5 minutes because leftover blue bottle fly spikes can dig into the substrate and pupate.

Stick Insects

You can use stick insects to feed your crested gecko, and you need to ensure that you do not feed them with sticks that have fed on toxic plants.

The best way to feed your crested gecko with stick insects is to gut load before feeding them. You can gut-load them with crested gecko friendly fruit, vegetables, minerals, and vitamins. After then feed them to your cresties and watch as they hunt for them.

Lobster Roaches

Crested geckos love lobster roaches once they warm up to them. However, lobster roaches can be pretty fast for your crested geckos. But you can slow them down by chilling them in the freezer or cut off a couple of their legs before feeding your cresties.

Before feeding your cresties, ensure that you gut load the roaches for around 24 hours.

Discoid Roaches

You can feed your crested geckos with discoid roaches as long as they are size-appropriate. Discoid roaches have a hard shell, and it is best not to feed them to small hatchlings and juvenile crested gecko many roaches.

When feeding discoid roaches to an adult crested gecko, ensure that you do not leave uneaten roaches in the enclosure to avoid infestation. Discoid roaches are fast, and you will need to chill or cut off some of their legs to slow them down.

Before feeding your cresties, ensure that you gut load the roaches for around 24 hours.

Vitamins and Mineral Supplements

You will need to be gut-loading or dusting your crested gecko’s food if you are offering insects and worms.

Gut-Loading: This process involves feeding the insects with extra nutrients 24 hours before you feed them to your gecko. You can use the Fluker’s High Calcium Cricket Powder for gut-loading the insects.

Dusting: This process involves coating the insects with calcium and vitamin D3 powder before giving them to your gecko. Dusting insects is an easy process as you will place the insect in a clear bag, add powder, and shake the bag until they are coated. You will need to immediately feed them to your gecko so that the powder will not wash off their bodies.

Treats for Crested Geckos

Just like humans, crested geckos love to get some treats from time to time. However, crested geckos can get obese too if you give them too much treats. You must limit the number of treats that you give your crested gecko.

You should also try to provide healthy treats to them.

Some of the most common crested geckos treats are mashed soft fruits and worms due to their high-fat content. Since too much fat and phosphorus in your crested gecko diet can lead to health issues, you will need to limit giving them treats to once or twice in a month.

Crested Gecko Diet in the Wild

Crested Gecko in the Wild
Crested Gecko in the Wild

Crested geckos are considered fruit-eating species in the wild but will feed on insect prey. In the crested gecko native environment, there is a wide range of fruits, pollen, and nectar that they can feed on year-round.

This means they do not depend on insects that much. This is why it is very easy to feed them in captivity with the powdered diets available in the market.

You can feed them with dusted insects on occasion as a treat and improve their hunting skills.

Baby Crested Gecko Diet

Baby Crested Gecko Diet
Baby Crested Gecko Diet

Once a crested gecko hatches, it will feed on the yolk sac for the first days. The yolk sacs have enough nutrients, and your baby crested gecko will not eat during the early days.

Baby crested geckos will then start eating after the first shedding usually occurs 2-3 days after hatching. However, you can place your crested gecko food in their container 24- 48 hours after they hatch.

You can feed your baby crested gecko with a self-made fruit diet or use commercial crested gecko food such as meal replacement powders (MRP). MRP usually comprises all the nutrients that your baby crested gecko will need.

You can also feed them with small crickets or mealworms each day. However, the insects should not be bigger than the crested geckos’ head or might choke them.

You can gut load the insect with minerals and vitamins before you feed your baby geckos. Or you can simply dust the insect with calcium powder.

You will need to provide a daily ration of fresh water for your geckos. Your gecko may lick the water off leaves or decorations rather than drinking from the water dish.

How Often do They Eat

You do not need to feed your baby crested geckos every day, and you can feed them like adult crested geckos. However, you can feed them every day to promote their growth.

You can feed your baby crested gecko with fresh premix food every other day. You can leave the remaining food before you change to a fresh batch.

Although they may not eat during the day, leaving the remaining food can give them the option to eat when they need to.

You can then feed them with live food on the weekend and leave the other weekend free of any food.

Baby crested geckos will need water, but they can drink the droplets of water that remain after misting their tank. However, you can place a water bowl in their container.

You can pour a shallow amount of water in the bowl to prevent the accidental drowning of your gecko.

Calcium & Vitamins for the Stage

If you desire, you can feed your crested gecko with gut-loaded or dusted insects about a month after they hatch. Although, you do not need to add a supplement to a quality crested gecko diet.

You can add additional calcium with Vitamin D3 through feeding with insects.

You can give your crested gecko treats once or twice a month.

Juvenile Crested Gecko Diet

Juvenile Crested Gecko Diet
Juvenile Crested Gecko Diet

You can feed juvenile crested gecko using different methods. Some of the ways are stated below.

Crested Gecko Diet Only: This is the most convenient and easiest way to feed your crested gecko. Powdered crested gecko diet is formulated with essential fats, minerals, proteins, and vitamins that they need.

Although you can feed your gecko with a crested gecko diet alone, it is best if you feed your crested gecko with dusted or gut loaded insects once or twice per week.

Crested Gecko Diet and Insects: This is regarded as the best method of feeding your crested gecko. You can feed your gecko with powdered crested gecko food with crickets and other insects. You can offer your gecko with a powder diet 3-4 times per week and insects 2-3 times per week.

Feeding Insects: This is where you feed your gecko with crickets, roaches, and sometimes mealworms. You will need to gut load or dust the insects with calcium and vitamin D3 before you feed them to your gecko.

Some worms like mealworms can cause impaction, and it is best if you feed your crested gecko with worms sparingly.

Fruit Mixes, Insects, and Custom Blends: This is an advanced method used by hobbyists that can gauge the health and well-being of their crested gecko. This method can be stressful as you will check for calcium sacs, weight loss, and other signs of deteriorating health.

Another downside of this method is that you will be guessing the right amounts of phosphorus, calcium, vitamins, and other essential nutrients for your gecko.

However, if you are ready to put some time and thought into their mixes, you can use this method.

How Often do They Eat

You can feed your juvenile crested geckos every other evening during the week with premixed powder. Unlike when feeding baby crested gecko, you will remove uneaten premix the following morning.

This is because they will not eat it during the day. You can then give them live food during the weekend to improve their hunting skill.

The following week, you can rotate the process by feeding them with live food twice a week, and premix during the weekend. You can also feed your juvenile crested gecko daily in the evening.

Calcium & Vitamins for the Stage

If you desire, you can feed your crested gecko with gut-loaded or dusted insects about a month after they hatch. Although, you do not need to add supplements to a quality crested gecko diet. You can add additional calcium with Vitamin D3 through feeding with insects.

You can give your crested gecko treats once or twice a month.

Adult Crested Gecko Diet

Adult Crested Gecko Diet
Adult Crested Gecko Diet

Just like juvenile crested geckos, you can feed adult crested geckos using different methods. Some of the ways are stated below.

Crested Gecko Diet Only: This is the most convenient and easiest way to feed your crested gecko. Powdered crested gecko diet is formulated with essential fats, minerals, proteins, and vitamins that they need.

Although you can feed your gecko with a crested gecko diet alone, it is best if you feed your crested gecko with dusted or gut loaded insects once or twice per week.

Crested Gecko Diet and Insects: This is regarded as the best method of feeding your crested gecko. You can feed your gecko with powdered crested gecko food with crickets and other insects. You can offer your gecko with a powder diet 3-4 times per week and insects 2-3 times per week.

Feeding Insects: This is where you feed your gecko with crickets, roaches, and sometimes mealworms. You will need to gut load or dust the insects with calcium and vitamin D3 before you feed them to your gecko.

Some worms like mealworms can cause impaction, and it is best if you feed your crested gecko with worms sparingly.

Fruit Mixes, Insects, and Custom Blends: This is an advanced method used by hobbyists that can gauge the health and well-being of their crested gecko. This method can be stressful as you will check for calcium sacs, weight loss, and other signs of deteriorating health.

Another downside of this method is that you will be guessing the right amounts of phosphorus, calcium, vitamins, and other essential nutrients for your gecko.

However, if you are ready to put some time and thought into their mixes, you can use this method.

How Often Do They Eat

You can feed your adult crested geckos every other evening during the week with premixed powder. Unlike when feeding baby crested gecko, you will remove uneaten premix the following morning.

This is because they will not eat it during the day. You can then give them live food during the weekend to improve their hunting skill.

The following week, you can rotate the process by feeding them with live food twice in a week, and premix during the weekend. You can also feed your adult crested gecko three times a week in the evening.

Calcium & Vitamins for the Stage

If you desire, you can feed your crested gecko with gut-loaded or dusted insects about a month after they hatch. Although, you do not need to add supplements to a quality crested gecko diet. You can add additional calcium with Vitamin D3 through feeding with insects.

You can give your crested gecko treats once or twice a month.

How to Transition a Crested Gecko to a New Diet?

There will come to a time when you will want to change your crested gecko diet. This may be due to its unavailability, causes stunted growth to your gecko, and so on.

Most crested geckos will start taking a new diet right away. However, some people usually mix the new diet with the current diet and slowly increase the amount until it is 100%.

How Long Can Crested Gecko Go Without Food?

Your crested gecko can go without eating for 2-3 weeks. However, you may need to consider visiting a vet after the second week.

Loss of appetite of crested gecko can be caused because it is placed in a new environment. They can go for two weeks before they get comfortable with their new surroundings to eat. It can even be worse if they are younger during this period.

All you need is to provide food options in their feeders and wait for them to come out of their shell. If they are in the adult or juvenile stage, remove the uneaten food the following morning.

You should try not to mess around with them during this period and provide little to no support.

However, if they do not eat after a couple of weeks, you can seek vet assistance. They will give you more insight on the steps to take. You will also need to be taking the weight record of your crested geckos as they grow.

What NOT to Feed Your Crested Gecko?

Baby Food

Before the advent of meal replacement powders, some crested gecko owners used baby food to feed their geckos. Fruit-based baby foods are used for replacing fresh fruit.

Fruit-based baby foods are usually a mix of chicken and fruit or meat baby food.

Baby food is usually in 4-5 parts of fruit and a part of chicken or meat ratio. You will need to supplement baby food with vitamins and calcium supplements.

The main issue is that baby food usually comprises high amounts of additives, sugar, and preservatives and is bad for geckos.

Although baby food was used in the past as a crested gecko diet, it is best to avoid using it to feed your crested gecko. You will find a lot of healthy alternatives crested gecko diet out there for your geckos.

Large Insects

Although insects are a perfect diet to supplement your crested gecko’s diet, insects allow your crested gecko to hunt for food like in the wild. However, you will need to ensure that the insects are not too big for your gecko.

It is best to ensure that the insects used for feeding your gecko are not larger than the space between your gecko’s eyes.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits can be harmful to your crested gecko as it contains citric acid. It is best if you only give it to your crested gecko as treats and limit it to once a month.

FAQs

Should I hand feed my gecko?

If you are worried about the weight loss of your crestie, you can hand-feed them. But this can cause them to be dependent on you to feed them. Some geckos can also get stressed up when you handle them. You should note that hand-feeding does not mean that you force-feed them.

Can crested gecko eat bananas?

Bananas are soft fruits that you can mash up into a paste. You can feed your geckos with a small piece of banana only as a treat once or twice a month. This is because bananas have high potassium content that can inhibit the absorption of calcium.

Can crested geckos eat mealworms or super worms?

Some worms have hard exoskeletons that might be too hard and difficult for your geckos to digest. It is best if you feed your geckos with mealworms or super worms occasionally.

If you notice that your gecko regurgitates or passes the mealworms undigested, it is best to feed them with freshly molted grubs or softer insects like crickets, silkworms, roaches, etc.

Can crested gecko eat dubia roaches?

Crested geckos will eat dubia roaches, and you will find them chasing it around their tank. However, Dubia roaches can be quite hard to get and are a bit pricier. But it offers an excellent insect alternative to feeding your geckos with crickets.

Wrapping Up Crested Gecko Diet

Crested geckos are a charming and cute pet that you can keep at home. It is easy to care for, and their diet is pretty straightforward. All you need is to ensure you feed them the quality crested gecko diet out there, and they will keep your company for a long time.

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