Tomatoes have become omnipresent globally to the extent that there are few if any countries or cultures around the world where they are not consumed by humans. So does that way of life apply to your beloved crested gecko as well? Should you be feeding tomatoes to it?
Can crested geckos eat tomatoes? Tomatoes are not commonplace in the natural habitat of crested geckos, back in New Caledonia. Moreover, tomatoes have rather high levels of acidity which are just not good for your crested gecko. Pretty much all citric fruits are a no-no for crested geckos with tomatoes being no exception.
Against that backdrop we will look at alternative diet options you can consider for your crested gecko so continue to read on.
Ultimately, you should be able to make an informed choice regarding avoiding tomatoes for your crested gecko while still being able to feed it with items it actually relishes!
Table of Contents
Unsuitable Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio
The calcium to phosphorus ratio plays a very important part when determining the diet of crested geckos.
No matter which fruit (or other item) you feed to your crested gecko, you have to keep this ratio in mind. The ideal ratio for crested geckos is 2:1, i.e. 2 parts of calcium to every part of phosphorus.
In the case of tomatoes, the ratio is inversed where you find 2 parts (in fact more than 2) of phosphorus to every part of calcium.
Clearly, this is very far from an ideal ratio, which remains a major reason for which tomatoes are best avoided for crested geckos.
It is essentially about the constitution of crested geckos wherein only food items with a suitable ratio on this front gel with them, while most others don’t.
In the case of tomatoes, the aberration is simply too stark which is why it is highly recommended that they are avoided for crested geckos.
The Citric Nature of Tomatoes
Often we don’t even realize but tomatoes are essentially citric fruits as opposed to being vegetables, which we assume them to be. In fact tomatoes are closely related to limes, lemons, oranges, and other citric fruits.
Just as you don’t feed these fruits to your crested gecko, you do not feed tomatoes to it either.
Why, do you ask?
The problem lies in the constitution of crested geckos wherein their system is just not suited for citric fruits.
These fruits are not natural to native areas of the crested gecko back in New Caledonia. So it is not used to pecking at them anyway even in its natural habitat.
On top of that, given the mismatch between crested gecko digestive systems and citric fruits – of which tomatoes are a part, they are best avoided.
Acidity of Tomatoes
Besides being a part of the citric family, the acidity level in tomatoes is simply too high for crested geckos. In fact even for humans it is often suggested that consumption be kept to a certain minimum, with those with low acidity tolerance sometimes being told to avoid tomatoes altogether.
This high acidity level in tomatoes can cause a major imbalance in the digestive tract of crested geckos, possibly leading to illness and in extreme cases, death as well. That is of course the last thing that you want for your crested gecko.
Therefore, if there was yet another reason for which you should avoid tomatoes for your crested gecko, it has to be the high level of acidity in them.
Best Approach to Follow
With tomatoes being such a no-no, the best approach to follow would be to feed other fruits that are suitable for your crested gecko. Examples include apples, pears, papayas, peaches, mangoes, apricots, among others.
Bananas are OK too as long as you only give them to it occasionally since the calcium – phosphorus ratio in them is not the best either. We explain why bananas are not optimal and how you should feed them, if you have to, in this article!
Essentially, as far as tomatoes go, you steer clear of them altogether, for the reasons we have mentioned above. Instead, you can feed a number of other fruits to it.
The ideal way forward is to see how your crested gecko takes to various fruits (that it can eat).
For instance, you can serve a little bit of apple, which is either cooked or naturally soft after being out in the open for a while. Similarly, you can serve other fruits to it like this. You can even mix and match fruits that are permissible for it.
Adopting this approach, you will see for yourself the fruits that your crested gecko likes and you can then continue feeding those fruits to it.
Remember just as we have our own tastes and preferences for various foods, so do crested geckos.
So while your crested gecko might take to apples in a big way, your neighbors’ might prefer papayas. The ideal approach would always be to keep mixing and matching to test the waters.
Blending Various Fruits Together
Now that we have crossed out tomatoes completely from crested gecko diets’ – while also giving you an idea of the fruits it can eat and the approach to follow for feeding them, the next step that we recommend taking is to blend fruits together and then serving them to your crested gecko.
To give you an example, in the previous step, you would perhaps have figured out that your crested gecko likes papaya and mangoes the most.
So what you can do is blend these two fruits together and serve small portions of them to it.
That way, your crested gecko will remain pleased and continue to happily gorge on what you serve to it. You can also consider dusting CGD onto this “favorite fruit mash up” that you prepare for it. Since crested geckos do enjoy crickets, you can add them to this mash up as well.
For the various reasons we have outlined in this post, tomatoes are simply not suitable for your crested gecko and so should not be fed to it; your cresty will be completely out of place at Buñol during the La Tomatina festival!
Therefore, ideally, we recommend giving up on the very idea of feeding tomatoes to crested geckos – since the topic still continues to come up all too often, especially on many online forums.
Instead, consider various other fruits that your crested gecko can eat comfortably; there are so many that we have outlined in this post, along with other items you can feed to it such as CGD and crickets that crested geckos enjoy.
The key will always be to maintain moderation. Even if it is your gecko’s favorite fruit, you can feed it sporadically to your cresty. Consider mixing and matching as we recommended above.
Once you have a good sense of the fruits liked and appreciated by your crested gecko, you can continue feeding them to it more often. Fruits like the banana which fall in the grey area of crested gecko diets should only be fed to it occasionally, as a treat of sorts and nothing more.
Ultimately, with this moderated mix and match approach (sans the very thought of tomatoes!) you will find your crested gecko to be a really happy camper while you too will be a proud crested gecko owner!