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What's wrong with my Fruit Fly cultures???

Feeder Insects, Nutrition - How to feed your Frogs    1 Replies

Philsuma, 09-25-2021, 04:46 PM

There are a TON of variables for correct and good FF production and I'll try to cover them here in order of importance or occurrence:

1. Species of Fly

Melanogaster or 'Turkish glider' is the most stable and productive fly 'strain' to use for beginners or those seeking stability and increased production. 

Hydei - the larger and blacker flies are MUCH harder to deal with - longer pupate and not as large a yield, more prone to mite infestations ect. Do not use these if you are new.

2. Media or Fly food.

If you have a poor media then you get poor results. If you are new or new- ER, do NOT try to make your own fly food. Buy ready made and time tested like Rapashy (google it). Often hobbyists will make there own and SELF promote it on the interwebz. Do not go this route if you are new or need help. Buy Repashy. 

3. Moisture of the media

If you live in Arizona, your added water to the media is WAY different than if you live in Ft Myers Florida. If you are making fly cultures in a dry basement in the winter it is gonna take WAY more added water than if it's mid summer. FF culturing is MAD SCIENCE. You can read labels on the containers all day long but in the end, you have to adjust constantly....CONSTANTLY. It takes work. It is NOT plug and play. 

4. Donor flies or stocking the new cultures.

This is a big one - too many flies and your CX will explode and actually not do well. Too few and the opposite. Using flies from a close to, or over 30 day old cx WILL bring in grain mites. About 30-40 melanagastor flies is what I use. Again, you are going to have to experiment and adjust here because there could be 30 or so different strains of flies across this country and this is 'variable number 4' out of many.

5. Mites

Do not keep cx's past the 30 day mark. If you see a lot of little round white or grey dots moving around the top part of the cx cup, then you have mites. Mites are inevitable - everyone get them unless they lie. They show up at some point often. You just have to deal with them and again...what's the word??? ADJUST. Always use mite paper (google it) and Diatomactious Earth (DE). Keep your cups on a tray of some kind with the mite paper underneath and the DE spread around. NEVER stack your cx cups or keep them anywhere near ANYHING else - keep them in a corner of a room ect.

6. Air and light.

The cx's need ventilation. They need proper fabricoted lids and do not lock them up in a box or tote ect. They need good airflow and light cycles

7. Temperature.

Need close to 75F. Drops or flux are ok but never close to 60 or 80F for very long at all.

  Open Thread

How do I tell if my tank's humidity is good?

Lighting, Misting Systems, Tweaks, Modifications    No Replies

Philsuma, 07-01-2021, 05:16 PM

Should I buy a Humidity gauge of some type?

Nope. They are almost all, cheap trash. Do not waste your money. 98% of them - retail sold, are not meant to be inside a humid vivarium, and 80-90% almost constant humidity will cause them to fail and have false readings. Stay away from them.

Use the 'Eyeball and finger" method.

First, make sure you have some standing water in your false bottom. Don't know what a 'false bottom' is? It's the hollow space under your substrate that hold excess water. You need it or your enclosure will be a sloppy wet mess and your plants will die.

When you have some water in your false bottom, you can literally see that there is some degree of humidity inside the enclosure. I like to have between 1 and 3" of water down there at all times.

Won't it get stinky and dank and need changed? Nope. It really doesn't smell. There is a zookeeper in NJ that says it's clean enough and without problems that he will drink false bottom water. Seriously. 

You need to HAND mist your enclosure. Do not buy a silly fogger. They are dangerous, get hot, malfunction, shit the bed after prolonged use and only add SURFACE moisture, not long lasting deeper water humidity.  Foggers are crap just like gauges. 

Initially Spray your whole tank down - everything. Get all the substrate hit with spray. Now, pause and take some dirt (substrate) and ball it up and squeeze it in your fist. Is it too dry? Is it so wet that water pours out. You want MOIST....not wet...not dry.

Same with plants and wood and tank hardscape - moist a couple times a day...never totally dry. The tank should have a lower humidity period - mine gets 50-65% guestimate of course, during the day and 70-90% at night and early morning. You will get good at looking and feeling and judging the humidity. It just takes a little time.

Lastly, make sure you have a GLASS lid. Not saran wrap, not plexiglas...a proper glass lid. Also make sure it's not sealed. Frogs must have airflow or they will die from lack of O2 or evaporative inability - similar but cause by heat plus lack of O2.

You lid should have @ 15-20 percent of it be either holes or screen or some other venting near the front of the tank.

  Open Thread

Size of frogs for safety and breeding

Beginner Questions and Comments    No Replies

Philsuma, 06-24-2021, 04:34 PM

Question: At what age or size should pumilio be kept separate for safety and/or best breeding results

Well, it’s always hard to give EXACT ages, sizes ect, so this answer will be ‘ballpark’ like so many things in this hobby. These animals live and grow at different rates, and what is a big 3-month-old Colon for one person, may seem like a really small frog for someone else. That’s why I really don’t like to quote ages. Now SIZE is a little more useful to qualify.

Newly morphed pumilio inhabit the bottom of the enclosure almost always. They forage in the leaf little and stay on the bottom. The top region of the tank is the domain of the breeding male and female. When the froglets get to be sub adult, the breeding pair may aggressively herd them, possibly physically, to the bottom or even force them to hide under the leaf litter or behind cork or wood features ect. This is why you must separate the young froglets sooner than later. Adults may stress them out and cause them to not feed or have access to humidity gradients and they often die.
Sub adult frogs are almost as big as breeders. They can be introduced to a lone breeder adult. I always caution throwing a ‘third wheel’ into the mix as there is often female on female aggression.

Never put two males together even if the tank is large. Why? There is no need to subject them to stress.
Sometimes a 3rd or even 4th female is ok, and adds to the tadpole raising communally, but this is a lot harder and rare than people imagine. If you already have a good ‘factory’ going with a 1.1 I would almost NEVER chance it by changing thing and adding another female. If it ain’t broke….
So to recap – 1.1 is best, like 90% of ALL dart frog hobby animals. It just is safer and best.

Back to size again. Obviously, you want similar sized animals, but again, if it is just 2 pumilio, then a little larger or smaller is ok….as long as it’s never to males.
There is NO tips or tricks to get the frogs to breed quicker or better – there is NOT. Frogs are like people -sometimes bam…. other times 2 years later, nothing. Nothing can predict this. If you don’t have patience, then this may not be a good hobby for you. Want to know how long I am waiting for a couple different pairs of obligates to breed? Going over two years now! HA. Stick with it and enjoy the hobby and do not get so caught up in the Breed Breed Breed aspect.

  Open Thread

What leaf littler to use??

Plants - Bromeliads, Aroids, Moss, Soil, Pests    No Replies

Philsuma, 05-16-2021, 04:01 PM

Southern Live Oak - small leaves

Magnolia - bigger leaves, so you need less of em.

Sea Grape - large circular and flat. It has it's uses. 

You can use any single leaf ya want...well, some may be aromatic or unsuitable in that regard. The rate that all other leaves will disintegrate is so fast, that it doesn't make sense to even use the effort to collect them, IMO. Leaf little composting is ok for microfauna and soil but you def want some longer laster stuff, hence the live oak and magnolia.

  Open Thread

Ameerega bassleri wanted

U.S Regional Groups, People, Shows, Gatherings and Events    1 Replies

Yotero6933, 05-08-2021, 08:16 PM

I was wondering if there were any breeders that work with this species.  I’m not looking for any specific color but bright colors are preferred. Im looking to get 3-4 of these frogs.

  Open Thread

Want Ameerega bassleri

Wanted - Looking for....    1 Replies

Yotero6933, 05-08-2021, 08:12 PM

Are there any sellers of Ameerega ba. in Florida?  Im looking for 2-3 of these frogs

  Open Thread

Lighting for tall tank suggestions

Lighting, Misting Systems, Tweaks, Modifications    3 Replies

lrh, 04-19-2021, 11:14 AM

I am setting up a Vivarium for (hope to find) Ranitomeya Fantasica True Nominal frogs. My enclosure is 24"W x 18"D x 36 "T. I am struggling with finding lighting that is appropriate. Suggestions please for something that is not several hundred $$. I do want LED...

  Open Thread

Pests in the house caused by Frog Vivariums

Plants - Bromeliads, Aroids, Moss, Soil, Pests    1 Replies

Philsuma, 12-23-2020, 02:52 PM

By Kimmich - Rarely I see an article so important that I copy it here. This is one.

There are a few different things people mean when they talk about the inevitability of insects and vivs:

1) Fruit flies will escape your cultures and viv. I don't mind seeing a lone wingless fruitfly crawling across the coffee table from time to time - but for some people that is an unacceptable infestation.

2) Moist vivariums will sustain fungus gnats. Depending on your ambient humidity outside the viv, however, you may never see escapees - or you may find them near your sink drains.

2) Fruit fly cultures will attract mites. These are usually harmless species and even commercially-produced cultures have them. Depending on the observer, a normal population of grain mites in a FF culture may be unnoticed or perceived as a chronic infestation. In both cases the FF cultures are actually fine and the mites are not a problem - but people tend to be bug-phobic especially in their homes.

3) Insect introductions and boom/bust population cycles will happen to all vivs. People tend to overreact to these when they occur even though, in most cases, an infestation will disappear on its own without any intervention.

4) A house without a viv will certainly have fewer insects than a house with a viv, all things being equal. For some people, one escaped fruitfly or isopod is too many - those people, or their housemates, are likely the ones posting about insects problems with having vivs.

5) There will be spiders. Anytime there are flies - there will be spiders

  Open Thread

r. imitator "yurimaguas" - female

Wanted - Looking for....    No Replies

gladiatorsgi, 12-16-2020, 02:02 PM

Looking for a r. imitator "yurimaguas" - female. Looking to purchase or trade for a male. I have 3 calling males up for trade. Thanks

  Open Thread

New Vivarium Build, Suggestions to Improve

Enclosures, Setup and Construction    1 Replies

vargoje3, 12-06-2020, 08:27 PM

Here is my vivarium. Huge thanks to this sites owner for offering advice and some cuttings.

Attached Files Thumbnail(s)

  Open Thread