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When and how often to give Calcium?

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  • When and how often to give Calcium?

    I recently posted a thread on if you should give calcium with D3 or without to a crestie but I was wondering when and how often to give the calcium to your crestie to prevent MBD? Thanks!
    Last edited by Cresties1234; 06-06-2015, 12:26 PM. Reason: Punctuation

  • #2
    You can put a dish of calcium in with them and they will eat it if they need it. D3 is just what helps process the calcium in their diets, without it, calcium goes to waste.
    The reason you dust crickets is because they are high in phosphorous which kind of takes away from the benefits of calcium in their diets. Phosphorous helps reptiles digest protein and fats. That being said, too much phosphorous and calcium cant do its job, too much calcium and phosphorous cant do its job, that is why you typically see phosphorous and calcium ratios when talking about insects. So dusting them balances that out in order for the geckos to actually benefit from eating the crickets.
    CGD has a fair amount of calcium so you shouldn't really have to add calcium to their diets, unless you're female is laying eggs since at that point they are using up more than they can take in through eating on CGD.
    Anyone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this info is pretty accurate.

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    • #3
      I have two problem children for calcium. One is a female "egg factory", the other is a male with a slightly kinked tail which I suspect is MBD. For both I keep a bottle cap full of calcium/D3 powder in their cages. The rest of my cresties just get dusted crickets and CGD.

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      • #4
        Thanks for your info. It really helped!

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        • #5
          If you feed Pangea to your crestie can you give it 3 crickets a week dusted with calcium or would you need to give it more calcium a week?

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          • #6
            I give my guys and girls crickets only once every two weeks to a month, only because mine have had a tendency to hold out for crickets and not eat their pangea food through the week when i fed crickets once a weej. All geckos are different though. Pangea and Repashy are complete diets so they don't really need to be supplemented with calcium, it's just nice to feed crickets since the high protein content helps them grow faster so it's nice to feed crickets or roaches more for thst reason, but the Youngs ones tend to like to hold out for insects since they typically like them better than the CGD. I feel like I'm rambling now so I'll stop lol.

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            • #7
              In my experience, using a good food like Pangea or Repashy will keep most geckos from developing MBD as long as live foods are supplemented with calcium and vitamin D3. Some geckos may have metabolic issues in processing calcium, or have a previous history of calcium deficiency so no one food is 100% fool-proof.

              Also in my experience, I do not provide additional supplementation of calcium unless the gecko shows signs of wavy tail at hatching or as a laying female. I don't often feed live foods but if you choose to provide it more than once or twice a month you must supplement with additional calcium AND D3 to prevent a calcium imbalance.

              My preferred method to supplement calcium is with gutloaded & dusted live insects. If the gecko won't eat live, then adding a tiny pinch of Calcium + D3 to the food every week to every other week for a month usually helps.

              I generally avoid leaving any kind of calcium in the enclosure for them because I've heard of geckos who really pig out on the stuff. If the calcium has added D3 there is a risk of toxicity. Even plain calcium can interfere with proper absorption of nutrients - you want to keep total dietary calcium between 1-2% of the diet.
              Specializing in Crested Geckos
              Working with Uromastyx | Uroplatus | PI Chahoua
              Also keeping: Australian Shepherds (Chester & Sadie)
              Moon Valley Reptiles | MVR @iherp | Facebook

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              • #8
                Spyral are you saying calcium with D3 in it can lead to a risk of toxicity?

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                • #9
                  Absolutely! Many keepers have mistakenly avoided products containing vitamin D3 is because of known toxicity issues. However, there seem to be more problems from avoiding D3 than supplying it for animals not receiving exposure to UVB-producing lights. The problem is, many products provide way too high levels of D3 when used as directed, especially for nocturnal or rainforest species of reptiles (geckos, chameleons, etc).

                  That's the reason Matt Parks (owner of Pangea) wrote this extremely informative post: http://www.pangeareptile.com/forums/...u-need-to-know

                  Selecting products that have mid to low levels of D3 are the best and easiest option. That's one reason I like Repashy Calcium Plus and Sticky Tongue Farms Miner-All Indoor formula. Either is great on its own, or you can alternate.
                  Specializing in Crested Geckos
                  Working with Uromastyx | Uroplatus | PI Chahoua
                  Also keeping: Australian Shepherds (Chester & Sadie)
                  Moon Valley Reptiles | MVR @iherp | Facebook

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