Powdered Gecko Diet
Generally speaking, I don’t advise using prepared diets to feed reptiles. The most common products available on the market tend to be full of filler ingredients and fail to provide a balanced diet.
In the case of geckos, I make an exception. Thanks to the exhaustive efforts of some really smart people, there are nutritionally-complete prepared diets on the market that make feeding your gargoyle gecko easy. Who makes the cut?
- Clark’s Diet
All three of these brands offer top-quality nutrition and a range of palatable flavors to suit your gecko’s individual preference (or simply to provide a variety). My preferred online retailer is Bertopia Geckos (and they do free shipping!).
How to Prepare Powdered Diets
Mix the powdered diet with water to a ketchup or smoothie consistency (usually 2-3 parts water per 1 part powder) and offer in a 2oz condiment cup or bottle cap. Most gargoyle geckos prefer to eat up off of the ground, so invest in a wall-mounted feeding ledge. Offer fresh food every 24 hours for juveniles, and every other day for adults.
- Gargoyle geckos especially like to “finger paint” with their food. When the gecko diet dries on their fingers, it can cause problems like retained shed and toe constriction. As you handle your gecko, check its toes and body for stuck food, and remove gently with a wet Q-tip as needed.
Which brand and/or flavor should I get?
Gargoyle geckos tend to prefer the same food that their breeder raised them with. This is not always the case, however — many gecko owners successfully keep several flavors of powdered diet on hand to use in rotation.
What’s so bad about other brands of powdered gecko diet?
Developing a quality prepared diet requires generational testing, precise nutrient ratios, high quality ingredients, palatability, and popularity among experts. So far Pangea, Repashy, and Clark’s Diet are the most common, but Big Fat Gecko Smoothie, BP Zoological, and Gecko Pro are on the radar. Leave any other brands (National Geographic, Exo Terra, Fluker’s, etc.) on the shelf.
Is baby food a good substitute for powdered gecko diet?
No. Baby food typically contains lots of preservatives and artificial colors/flavors. Additionally, since it’s made for humans, the nutrient ratios are off, and can actually make your gecko sick.
Can I give my gecko fresh fruit?
As an occasional treat, yes. Appropriate fruits include mango, apricots, papaya, and berries. (For details, visit Moon Valley Reptiles.) Keep in mind that if you offer fruit too often, the gecko may turn up its nose at prepared diet and risk malnutrition.
If you are feeding your gecko a diet that already contains bugs (Pangea With Insects, Repashy Grubs N’ Fruit, etc.) technically feeder insects are not necessary. But they make a good source of enrichment, help juveniles grow faster, and help fatten thin adults.
If you use a prepared diet that doesn’t contain a protein source, then insects need to be offered 1-2x weekly to maintain a balanced diet.
Good feeder insects
Waxworms can be offered occasionally as treats, especially for thin geckos. Take care not to offer anything too large. Worms may have soft bodies that are easy to chew and digest, but feeder roaches and crickets should not be larger than the space between the gecko’s eyes.
Avoid mealworms and super worms. These are difficult to digest and have been known to lead to impaction in some cases.
All insects should be dusted with a calcium supplement to correct the Ca:P (calcium to phosphorous) ratio.
Our favorite calcium supplements for gargoyle geckos are:
Note: All feeder insects should be gutloaded for at least 24 hours before feeding. Ideally, they should come pre-gutloaded from the breeder. If they weren’t, or you buy your feeder insects in bulk, the easiest way to keep them fed and gut-loaded is with Repashy Veggie Burger or Grassland Grazer powder. Note that if you give your insects a dry gutload, they will need a source of water. Gel water crystals work perfectly for this purpose.