Possibly, kinda, sorta gut-loading ffs? - Dendroboard
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Old 08-13-2006, 06:29 AM
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Default Possibly, kinda, sorta gut-loading ffs?

I know I've alluded to this practice somewhere else on this board, but have always wanted to post it here and get some reaction. Just wasn't "brave" enough before...

Before I kept pdfs I was feeding ffs to pygmy leaf chams, and adding the occasional piece of fruit to their viv to keep the ffs happy, mainly when I felt I'd dumped in too many flies at one time. One day I didn't have any fruit so I added a Fluker's Orange Cube instead, which I had on hand for feeding my anoles' crickets. The ffs were quite attracted to the cube and a couple of the chams learned to hang out next to it and pick them off.

Next summer my son went to Panama, and left his pdfs with me, including one pumilio in a temporary container with a damp paper towel on the bottom, philodendron cuttings, & film canisters. Once I dumped too many flies in that tub and added a cricket cube to that. In a few days I was amazed to see that the frog's feces on the paper towel were surrounded by a little orange halo. This to me indicated that the flies were ingesting something from the cube which was then passing into the frog as well.

One of the reasons I hesitated to post about this was precisely because of the food coloring Fluker obviously uses. It didn't seem like the best thing to feed a frog. But it was a handy indicator of what seemed to be going on.

I continued to use these cubes off and on when I got my own pdfs, my intermedius, which I've had since they were 1-2 months of age and which are now breeding. (Sometimes I still use pieces of fruit, instead. Banana works best...)

One advantage of the cubes over fruit is that they do not rot as fast. In fact, I once had Drosophila lay eggs in the cube and noticed that my frogs were eating maggots off of it. The frogs do learn to expect flies at the cube, BTW.

Here's the ingredient list from the Fluker's jar label:

INGREDIENTS: Water, Carrageenan, Soya Protein, Maltodextrin, Fructose, Dried Brewer's Yeast, Potassium Sorbate, Dried Kelp, Calcium Carbonate, Spirulina, Ascorbic Acid, Calcium Propionate, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid, Yellow #6 Food Color.

Here's a link to the product I'm talking about:

http://www.flukerfarms.com/index.asp?Pa ... &ProdID=25

Here are some shots of various cubes in my viv, including a blurry one showing my female stalking a cube for flies:







Feedback welcome.
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Old 08-13-2006, 04:49 PM
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For this to really be an example of gut loading you would need to exclude the flies from the cube. The color could be due to any contamination picked up by the frogs when they capture the flies. In addition, there are carotenoids as well as pterin pigments in the ff's eyes that can be excreted in frogs' stools resulting in the pigmentation you are seeing.
Good observation, just needs some work to determine what you are actually seeing.

What is wrong with the frogs feeding on the maggots from the piece of fruit? This is what they would do in the wild and is a good source of fats and protiens.

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Old 08-14-2006, 06:13 AM
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Ed, good, you're one of the people I hoped to hear from. I especially wanted to know if anyone thought it was an absolutely terrible idea...

Oh, I realize this isn't science! Maybe someday I (or someone else) can set it up as such.

But I was rather sure the pumilio feces stain came from the cube dye rather than fly eye pigments, as I was watching this frog carefully, and when she was fed the same flies for a few weeks before I added a cube, there was no stain. It only appeared after the cube was added. I also sometimes notice the coloration around our g-l lamasi froglets' feces when I have a cube in their temp enclosure. I suppose I could also test it if I could still find the green cubes, though I haven't seen them for a while.

As to whether the pigment came from the flies' guts or not, that would take a little thought to devise a way to prove it absolutely. I suppose one could cover the cube with some kind of mesh that would allow flies out but not frogs in. Or one could give some flies a cube in their own container and somehow analyze their gut contents...

But--I have a strong hunch it comes from their digestive tract, just from watching the flies feed on the cube.

BTW, I probably wasn't writing clearly, but it was a Fluker's cube from which the frogs were eating fly maggots. And I thought that was great, as I normally have trouble providing maggots easily. Unfortunately it hasn't happened since that I've noticed...
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Old 08-20-2006, 06:29 PM
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Hi Diane,

If you want to get maggots to feed them from a cube place a cube in a different container with a lid shake some flies into it for a couple of days and keep an eye on it. When the maggots begin to appear you can place in the cage for them.

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Old 08-20-2006, 07:52 PM
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Duh! Why didn't I think of that?

Good idea--can't wait to try it.

Another plus of using a cube--or a piece of fruit, for that matter--in a viv: having the flies congregate around it keeps some of them from finding ways to escape (and ending up in my beverage...).
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Old 08-20-2006, 08:13 PM
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I use wedge of orange in a small dish to keep the flies in the tanks. If I see maggots on it I leave it until the frogs clean up the maggots...


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