Calcium vs. Calcium + D3

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New Member
Now, leopard geckos being nocturnal do not get much sun light or vitamin D3 from nature....they must get some in the wild and dusk or something. Or do they make their own vitamin D3?
I have read somewhere that in the wild geckos get their D3 from ambient sunlight, and also apparently they hang out some of their limbs in the morning and evening sun on occasion. I don't know the source of the top of my head though, so I don't know if that's fact. I just read it somewhere. :x


New Member
I feel as though, over the past 2 years, this has become the new substrate argument, my goodness.

Now, leopard geckos being nocturnal do not get much sun light or vitamin D3 from nature....they must get some in the wild and dusk or something. Or do they make their own vitamin D3?
Vitamin D cannot be synthesized spontaneously, it comes from either a dietary source, or a reaction started in the skin in the presence of UV light derived from a specific form of cholesterol. Therefore, as has been said it's really a steroid.

Vitamin D is also necessary for binding calcium.

Just wanted to restate this, as it was sort of mentioned earlier, but this thread is rather old.


New Member
Since this is such a hot topic I decided to share some input I have collected. A year ago my reptile vet invited to a reptile lecture in exchange I would bring my reptiles.
So I was fortunate to hear and collect what the vets were discussing. Keep in mind I am explaining in my own words. Some things I asked her personally and some I heard in the discussion.

VitaminD toxicity does occur but it's not noted as the cause of death.
It causes metastatic calcification of the organs. It's fat soluble so it builds up in the system leading to dehydration and eventually kidney failure. So the final cause of death is noted as kidney failure but they fail to provide what caused it in the first place.
Many owners fail to see the early signs of kidney disease because the symptoms are so similiar to other problems.

thirst (increased water drinking)

by the time the reptile is seen by a vet it's too late.

So they recommend all reptiles over the age of 3 to have blood work.

They mentioned too much calcium acts as a binder inhibiting the absorption of essential vitamins and minerals, therefore recommend calcium to be given on a different day from multivitamins.

They recommend gut loading the insects with food that contain 8% calcium carbonate to balance the ratio instead of dusting all the time.

Multivitamins used in moderation instead vary as many prey items as possible to provide good nutrition.

Well those were a few things and remember I am just a messenger :)


New Member
palmetto FL
Wow you guys get into some really intresting debates! Can we debate what color the calcium should be next? JKJKJK this is a rather importent topic being that it directly corrisponds to the health of our leos. From what ive gathered people on here have been using calcium with D3 everyday,monthly,weekly. And straight calcium weekly,daily,monthly, never. Yet everyone insists their leos are fine and healthy... sooooooo ummmmmm yeah I still dont see a diffinitive answer here. Will we ever have one? Will leos ever reveal their calcium loving secrets and will we ever know how much to give? Find out all this and more here on GeckoForums!!


New Member
Bay Area, CA
I was going to reply but I think I'm going with the above poster istead :)

(I use Rephasy as well and nothign else but not in large amounts and I never leave any in the cage short what is left in their dish from the bugs).


New Member
Just going to post an article here.

But first let me say I used Calcium with D3 exclusively and Vitamin powder. My little guy got calcium bubbles. I cut back on calcium and the bubbles shrank. Previous supplementation was resumed. Bubbles returned...repeat. I got sick of it and bought some Ca without D3. Bubbles have shrunk and not noticeably regrown, data inconclusive as I switched over recently. Just my personal experience.

I don't know how to do the quotes all fancy, but.
Quoting CapCitySteve

This article isn't really arguing one way or the other. Just presenting information, but I think its still useful.
Influence of the calcium content of the diet offered to leopard tortoises (Geochelone pardalis)
B. Fledelius, DVM1, G. W. Jørgensen, DVM1, H. E. Jensen, DVM, PhD2 and L. Brimer, MSc, PhD, DSc1
The Veterinary Record 156:831-835 (2005)
© 2005 British Veterinary Association

And to JennieDoomsday, I wouldn't worry too much about it. Now I'd recommend Ca, Ca+D3, and Vitamins, but if you want to use only Ca+D3 go for it. There are more than enough people here that do and more than enough that don't. The important thing is providing some form of Ca for proper bone growth and maintenance.

Just my 2 cents on the whole matter.
However, metastatic calcifications were observed postmortem in the two groups that were given the highest doses of calcium.



New Member
Actually you are thinking about the ratio between calcium and phosphorus...

No offence but I seriously think the words veterinarian and reptile should not be even spoken in the same sentence for the most part...

As rediculous as this may sound, I trust my own judgement and knowledge over most vets when it comes to reptiles...

You have a sick gecko...
You bring it to Dr. Doe...
He/she looks at the gecko...
Dr. Doe gives you antibiotics:main_huh:and liquid calcium...
Gecko eventually dies...
You bring it back to Dr. Doe...
Dr. Doe does a necropsy...
Dr. Doe says the geckos liver/kidney/heart failed...
The thing is, the actual cause is almost never looked into...

Vitamin D3 is not even a vitamin... It is a steroid hormone...

Any living thing can od on it...
D3 overdose can lead to hypercalcaemia, heart, liver and kidney damage/failure.

Some symptoms of D3 overdose are...

How many reptiles in the last year have had these symptoms and have died of heart, liver, or kidney failure just on this forum??? The bad part is that necropsies are rarely done and when they are done, they are incomplete...

Too much D3 also keeps the body from metabolizing ingested fats...
wow, someone with common sense:main_thumbsup:
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New Member
I have Repashy Leopard gecko calcium + it smells really sweet, maybe banana'ish.
I just recently picked it up when I saw it at Petsmart.

I also have Rep.Cal multivitamin and Zoomed Calcium with and without D3. I've been using it with my other reptiles and leo's.