Can Crested Geckos Eat Fruit: Safe Fruits For Crested Geckos
Ensuring your Crested gecko has a well-balanced and nutritious diet is essential for their health and happiness. Although fruits are part of that diet, they are mostly given as a treat rather than used as a staple diet.
In terms of feeding your Crested gecko fruits, it’s important to know that some fruits are more nutritious than others and some are even dangerous to your gecko’s health.
Therefore, to provide your gecko with a well-balanced and healthy diet, it’s essential to know what are safe fruits for Crested geckos.
Knowing what fruits can Crested geckos eat is not only important for their diet but also for their overall health as some fruits are dangerous to feed to your gecko.
In this article, we will be looking at the following topics:
- Crested gecko diet in the wild vs in captivity
- Factors that make a fruit safe for Crested geckos
- List of safe fruits for Crested geckos
- List of dangerous fruits for Crested geckos
And much more…
Crested Gecko Diet – In The Wild vs In Captivity
Before looking at what are safe fruits for Crested geckos, it’s important to know what is their diet in their natural habitat.
Not all geckos can eat fruits as some are strictly insectivores. What about the Crested gecko?
Native to the island of New Caledonia, the Crested geckos are known for eating the following diet:
- Insects 49.6%
- Fruits 11.7%
- Fruit nectars 7.52%
- Seeds 1.8%
- Pollen 10.3%
As we can see Crested geckos’ natural diet consists of fruit and fruit nectars amongst other components. But what about when kept as pets? Are fruits part of the Crested gecko’s diet.
In captivity, most owners choose a commercial diet for their Crested geckos. This is definitely the easiest choice, especially for beginners who don’t know how to create a well-balanced homemade diet.
As the commercial food provides your Crested gecko with all the nutrients they need to stay healthy, they won’t need any fruits added from a nutritional point of view.
However, fruits can still be part of the Crested gecko’s diet either as:
- An occasional treat
- Homemade diet. If you are experienced enough and have decided to go down the route of homemade diet, then fruits should be included in your Crested gecko’s staple diet. However, only certain fruits can be used in a daily diet as some are considered unsafe for frequent consumption due to their poor nutritional value
Factors That Make A Fruit Safe For Crested Geckos
Some of the fruits for Crested geckos are safer than others and some are even dangerous. Essential knowledge for any Crested gecko owner is understanding the factors that make a fruit safe to feed to your gecko.
This information is especially important to know as some fruits should be avoided all together.
The following factors are what determines what are the safe fruits for Crested geckos:
- Good calcium to phosphorus ratio (Ca:P) – Good Ca:P refers to moderate to high content of calcium and low content of phosphorus
- Low oxalic acid
These factors also determine how often you can feed a fruit to your Crested gecko and if it can be included in a staple diet.
Let’s have a closer look at what these factors mean.
Calcium to phosphorus ratio (Ca:P)
Calcium is an important component of Crested geckos’ health. Your gecko needs calcium to maintain healthy bones and avoid developing metabolic bone disease.
Calcium is especially important for:
- Pregnant females (gravid females) – Female geckos need the additional calcium for the formation of the eggs
- Hatchlings and juveniles – this is the period when they are growing and forming. The calcium is what helps with their bone development
Calcium and phosphorus cancel each other out in a way. When calcium raises the phosphate levels are lowered and vice versa – when the phosphate rise, the calcium levels lower.
But what is considered a good calcium to phosphorus ratio in fruits for Crested geckos?
Foods with a calcium to phosphorus ratio of 2:1 (or better) are considered good fruits for Crested geckos.
The other factor that determines if a fruit is a healthy option for your Crested gecko is oxalic acid. In people, the consumption of additional oxalic acid can lead to stone formation in the urinary tract. Similarly, Crested geckos should avoid eating foods with a medium to high levels of oxalic acid.
Foods with low oxalic acid are recommended for your Crested gecko.
Examples of plants that have a high content of oxalic acid that should be avoided include:
- Star fruit
Other issues that can arise when feeding fruits to Crested geckos is where you get the fruits from. What we mean by this is that the foods from a store are usually domesticated and consist less vitamins and minerals compared to the same fruit found in the wild.
Not only that but also the domesticated fruit will have higher levels of sugar which is not a positive.
The best choice of fruits for Crested geckos in terms of preserving the vitamins and minerals are tropical fruits. However, tropical fruits from the store will still have higher sugar content than the ones you gecko will come across in the wild.
Conclusion – Factors That Make A Fruit Safe For Crested Geckos
Only a handful of fruits have the desirable Ca:P ratio to be included in a staple diet for your Crested gecko.
However, even fruits with a “bad” Ca:P ratio can be fed to your Crested gecko as an occasional treat.
With that said, depending on the fruit’s nutrition and type, it can be either:
- Fed to your gecko more often and included in a homemade diet
- Served only as an occasional treat
- Never fed to your gecko as it can be dangerous to their health
List Of Safe Fruits For Crested Geckos
After looking at what factors make a fruit healthy for a Crested gecko, it’s now time to look at what fruits can be fed only as an occasional treat and what can be included in a staple diet.
Fruits With A Good Ca:P Ratio
Fruits that have a good calcium to phosphorus ratio (Ca:P) and low oxalic acid levels can be included in a homemade staple diet and also can be given more often than an occasional treat if your gecko is on a commercial diet.
As mentioned earlier, fruit for Crested geckos with a Ca:P ratio of 2:1 or higher are considered a “good” and healthy option.
The following list of fruits have high to moderate ratio and are safe to feed to your Crested gecko more often than an occasional treat and can be included in a homemade diet:
- Roselle (hibiscus) fruit – 5.8 : 1
- Papaya – 4.5 : 1
- Rose Apple – 3.6 : 1
- Fig – 2.5 : 1
- Kumquat – 2.3 : 1
- Prickly pear also known as tuna (fruit), sabra, nopal – 2.3 : 1
- Raspberries – 1.8 : 1
- Blackberries – 1.5 : 1
Fruits With A Bad Ca:P Ratio
Fruits that have a bad Ca:P ratio but have a low oxalic acid levels (good), can still be fed to your Crested gecko but only as an occasional treat once or twice a month.
The following is a list of fruits for Crested geckos with a bad Ca:P ratio. These fruits shouldn’t be fed to your gecko too often and should not be included in a homemade staple diet:
- Grapes – 1.4 : 1
- Black currants- 1.2 : 1
- Red currants- 1.1 : 1
- Gooseberries- 1 : 1
- Mango- 1 : 1
- Pineapple – 1 : 1
- Apple – 1 : 1
- Watermelon – 1 : 1.1
- Pears – 1 : 1.2
- Cherries – 1 : 1.2
- Dates – 1 : 1.3
- Strawberries – 1 : 1.3
- Guavas – 1 : 1.3
- Apricots – 1 : 1.4
- Blueberries – 1 : 1.6
Very bad Ca:P ratio
- Pumpkin – 1 : 2.1
- Peaches – 1 : 2.2
- Plum – 1 : 2.5
- Banana – 1 : 3.1
- Nectarine – 1 : 3.2
- Cantaloupe – 1 : 3.3
It’s important to remember that even the fruits with “very bad” Ca:P ratio can still be fed to your Crested gecko but only as an occasional treat. “Very bad” Ca:P only means that these fruits shouldn’t be relied on to provide nutritional value to the meal.
How To Make Foods With Bad Ca:P ratio Into A Good Meal
Although, there are many fruits that have a bad Ca:P ratio, there is a way to still make the serving of those fruits nutritional.
The way to do that is by:
- Adding other fruits that will add nutritional value such as papaya
- Sprinkle some CGD powder which will add calcium and vitamins to the meal
List Of Dangerous Fruits For Crested Geckos
As mentioned earlier not all fruit are a healthy choice for your Crested gecko but some are even dangerous and should be avoided.
These dangerous fruits for Crested geckos are in the citrus family. The reason they can be so harmful is the high concentration of:
- Vitamin C – too much of this vitamin can lead to diarrhoea and intestine problems
- Oxalic Acid – this type of acid in high amounts can interfere with the absorption of calcium by the body
The following citrus fruits should never be fed to your Crested gecko:
Other foods other than the citrus that should never be fed to a Crested gecko include:
- Rhubarb – high concentration of oxalic acid
- Avocado – this fruit contains low amounts of persin. This is a natural occurring chemical that can be harmful to pets and can lead to death
- Star Fruit – not only this fruit has a low Ca:P but it’s levels of oxalic acid are also very high
How Often Can I Feed Fruits To My Crested Gecko
As mentioned earlier how often you feed your Crested gecko fruits depends on the fruit’s nutritional value and the Ca:P ratio.
- Good Ca:P ratio fruits can be given to your gecko as a part of their staple diet and more often than once a month if your Crested gecko is on a commercial diet
- Bad Ca:P ratio fruits should only be given to your Crested gecko as an occasional treat once a month
How To Feed Fruit To My Crested Gecko
Crested geckos have tiny teeth and can’t bite hard. Therefore, you need to feed the fruit in a form that is easy for them to bite on and digest.
In the wild, Crested geckos will normally eat fruit that have fallen on the ground and almost rotten. That way the fruit is soft enough for the gecko to easily bite on and digest.
When kept as pets, there are a few ways you can serve fruit to your Crested gecko.
- Cook it. One way to serve your Crested gecko fruits is by cooking it (when suitable) in order to soften. Then leave the fruit to rest in a room temperature for a few hours to soften even more. A good example for this method is the apple
- Sliced. Some fruits can be cut in small and thin slices that are soft enough for your gecko to snack on such as strawberries
- Mashed. One of the most popular and successful ways to feed fruits to your Crested gecko is by mashing them and serving them in a puree style. Great foods to mash are bananas, papaya, mango and more
- Rotten. By feeding your gecko fruits that are rotten/overripen, the fruit will have naturally softened and will be easy for your gecko to bite on and digest. In the wild, this is how Crested geckos will eat the fruit they find on the ground and they love it!
- Another way to serve fruits to your little pet is by either mixing different fruits in a puree, adding some CGD powder or insects for more nutritional value
Also, don’t forget to peel the skin off fruits such as apples and grapes before feeding them to your gecko.
How Much Fruit Can I Feed To My Crested Gecko
The amount of fruit per serving that you should feed to your Crested gecko should be equal to the amount of commercial food you would serve them.
In some cases, some fruits can be served whole such as grapes as they are so small. In these cases, you should feed your Crested gecko one full grape per serving.
If you want to know can Crested geckos eat grapes safely click here to find out more Can Crested Geckos Eat Grapes Safely? Everything You Need To Know
Is There Substitute For Fruits
If you are worried about feeding your Crested geckos fruits, especially as so many of them have bad Ca:P and poor nutritional value, there are commercial fruit flavoured substitutes that have the right balance and nutrients for your gecko.
One of these brands is PFM (Pangea Fruit Mix). The vitamin and mineral in this diet are top notch to keep your geckos healthy, and produces excellent growth, reproduction, and stunning egg quality.
Some of the flavours that the Pangea brand offers include:
- Banana and Apricot
- Fig and more
Having a good understanding of what is a well-balanced and healthy diet for your Crested gecko is essential knowledge that any owner should have. But are fruits part of a nutritious diet?
In this article, we have come to the following conclusions:
- In the wild, Crested geckos eat fruits as part of their natural diet
- When kept as pets, fruits can be fed to your Crested gecko either as an occasional treat or as part of a homemade diet
- Not all fruits for Crested geckos are healthy and some are even dangerous
- Factors that make a fruit safe are the Ca:P ratio and oxalic acid levels. For Crested geckos, foods with a Ca:P ratio of 2:1 or higher and low oxalic levels are considered good and safe. Some healthy options are papaya and figs
- Fruits with a “bad” Ca:P ratio can still be fed to your Crested gecko but only as an occasional treat once a month in small amounts. Some examples of fruits with “bad” Ca:P ratio are bananas and grapes
- Dangerous fruits for Crested geckos that you should completely avoid come mainly from the citrus family such as oranges, limes, lemons, etc. In addition, you should also avoid rhubarb and star fruit
How To Calculate Calcium to Phosphorus ratio (Ca:P)?
If you want to be in complete control of your Crested gecko’s diet, it’s good to know how to calculate the calcium to phosphorus ratio (Ca:P).
The easiest ways to calculate the Ca:P ratio are:
- One way to do is by comparing the amount of calcium to phosphorus with a percentage. Divide the amount of calcium (Ca) by the phosphorus (P). This will give you the result of the calcium to phosphorus (Ca:P) ratio as a percentage. For instance, if the result is 12.9%, it gets rounded up to 13%
- You can use an online calculator to covert the percentage to a ratio www.inchcalculator.com/percent-to-ratio-calculator/