Crested geckos live on a diet made of insects such as crickets and fruits and vegetables. However, when it comes to fruits and vegetables such as bananas, you should be careful since too much can lead to health complications.
Crested geckos can eat bananas but in moderation. While nutritious to the geckos, bananas have a bad calcium-to-phosphorus ratio which means too much of them poses a health risk to crested geckos. Feed the geckos a small piece of banana per week either directly or as mashed fruit.
Can crested geckos eat bananas?
Crested geckos can eat bananas but only as an occasional treat or meal. While they have a low oxalic acid level (which is good for the geckos), bananas have a bad calcium-to-phosphorus ratio and can thus be harmful to your crested geckos. As such, you should only give bananas to crested geckos as a treat and when mixed with other fruits or vegetables.
Are bananas good for crested geckos?
Bananas are good for crested geckos but in moderation. Crested geckos are primarily insectivores and the sugar from bananas might cause them to develop diabetes or obesity.
Bananas should only be given sparingly as a treat because they can also lead to stomach problems such as diarrhoea if not eaten correctly. The best way to feed a banana is by cutting it into chunks and then freezing them first before feeding them so that they’re easier to digest.
Geckos will enjoy having some banana slices occasionally but stick with other fruit like apples, grapes, strawberries…etc., which are healthier options for your little friend.
To understand whether bananas are good for crested geckos or not, you need to assess their amounts of oxalic acid and the ratio of calcium to phosphorus as follows:
1. Amount of oxalic acid
Oxalic acid is a chemical found in many different types of foods, but it is especially high in plant foods and chocolate. The plants with oxalic acid are known as oxalates.
The level of oxalic acid in bananas is not much although it’s higher than in some other fruits such as oranges. To keep the amount of this acid low in the geckos, you need to feed them to the geckos just as a treat and not the main meal. Even the treat needs to be given to the geckos a few times a month.
Oxalic acid is known to inhibit the absorption of calcium in the body, so if you feed your geckos with bananas, make sure they also have a good calcium source.
2. Ratio of calcium to phosphorus (Ca:P)
Calcium is important for a number of functions including bone and muscle development in the geckos. In addition to calcium, the proper ratio of phosphorus is important for good health in crested geckos. A high-protein diet can pose a risk as it may lead to an imbalance of these two key nutrients.
Low calcium causes Metabolic Bone Disease in crested geckos and other lizards. Calcium is also used in bone development and to develop the geckos’ egg shells.
Many reptiles need more calcium than they do phosphorus because too much phosphorus causes urinary stones that can lead to death due to kidney failure or obstruction by bladder stone fragments or other debris (such as from faeces). Too little calcium will cause soft bones and low blood clotting ability (haemorrhage), which could also result in death.
The ideal ratio of calcium to phosphorus in foods for pet lizards needs to be 1:1 or, ideally, 2:1. This means that the amount of calcium is always higher or equal to that of phosphorus. Given that the two minerals are required for growth and development, the right ratio is important.
The problem with bananas is that they have more phosphorus than calcium with the Ca:P ratio being 1:4.4. This means that there’s four-time more phosphorus than calcium in bananas. That’s not good for the crested geckos hence the need to only give them bananas as occasional treats.
How much banana can I give my crested gecko?
When it comes to feeding your gecko, it’s important to be mindful of the size of their body when deciding how much food they can eat. For example, a juvenile crested gecko should only have about one small amount of fruit per day in addition to mealworms or crickets for its main diet.
You need to cut a small piece of the banana, mash it up then give it to the gecko. Feeding the geckos bananas about once every week is enough for their dietary needs.
You should feed your crested geckos bananas in the following steps:
- Wash the bananas to remove any dirt and bacteria.
- Peel and slice the bananas to obtain small edible slices for the gecko.
- You may mash the slices or simply use them as they are.
- Place the bananas slices or puree in the gecko’s feeding dish.
Make sure the bananas don’t stay overnight in their dish as they may get dirty and cause health problems.
What fruits can crested geckos eat?
Other fruits the crested gecko is allowed to eat include the following:
- Apricots (sour) – but not the sweet variety. Apricots are a fruit that contains oxalates, which can cause kidney stones in many reptiles.
These fruits are a great addition to the diet of your geckos since they provide a healthy dose of Vitamin C, fiber and other nutrients for their growth and development.
What fruits can crested geckos not eat?
Your crested geckos can’t eat some fruits, especially from the citrus family such as lemons, oranges, grapefruits and berries like cranberries and raspberries. Such fruits are too acidic for the geckos and they will often not touch them when offered.
Other fruits may not even have the nutritional value needed for the growth and development of geckos hence it’s wise to totally avoid them.