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Old 06-17-2007, 12:52 AM
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Default Trying something new in supplementing vitamins

Hi all,

Now I know that most people dust food for their frogs, but being a lazy git I wanted to find a better solution

Dusting is fine, but there are a couple of things I am dubious of regarding it's use.

1) Flies clean themselves quite well and vivs are wet. This made me question exactly how much vitamin the frogs were getting the longer the flies were in the viv.

2) Some frogs are greedier than others so in a viv how can you guarantee that all the frogs are getting the right amount of supplement?

3) In the case of non-feeding frogs, you can dust all you like, they aren't going to get any benefit!

So, I did a LOT of research into the vitamins and their contents and started my search for a solution

Initially this led me to Kwikerijrana, where I got some vials of liquid vitamin supplement and the complementary Ca/Mg supplement. These were diluted at a ratio of 10ml/l.

The only snag with this was that while the vials themselves are cheap, postage is quite pricey and as they do not take card payments, you are charged by your bank to make the transfer (NOTE - since this post was first made in the UK they have started taking Paypal).

So.......more research

I have now settled on Vetark BSP drops and Zolcal-D calcium/Mg/D3 supplements as they are readily available in the UK.

I have not started using these yet as I am still finishing off the stuff I got from Rana, but I am pretty sure they will do the same job.

The principal behind using this is that when sprayed, wherever the frogs go they are taking up vitamins through their skin so you know they are all getting a good amount.

I have now been using the liquid vitamins for 6 months and in that time, my frogs seem to have become more active and I now regularly see them feeding. I have even seen a turn around in a couple of frogs that were not feeding and skinny enough for me to have written them off before I started using it. I am convinced that it was the vitamin uptake from the liquid that kept them going until they started feeding again.

As I hope people who know my collection will confirm, my frogs are all in great shape and I have had tremendous success with my breeding this year, with all my pumilio (7 morphs) and my other frogs old enough to breed producing numerous good clutches and healthy froglets. I cannot be sure that it is all down to using liquid vitamins, but I am pretty certain that it has helped.

Just to cover myself, I only post this as my experience with it and can't guarantee that everyone will have the results I have (although I see no reason why not). So I am just putting it out there as a possible option for other bone idle froggers like myself

Any comments welcome and I will answer any questions as best I can

Chris
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Old 06-18-2007, 02:26 AM
 
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Hey, so the liquid that you have has all the vitamins and supplements that the dusts have?
Is that stuff available in the US?
How much does it cost and how much does it cost to ship?
Sounds like it would be easier to mist the tank instead of dusting the flies and hoping the frogs are hungery and hurry up to eat the flies up quick.
Thanks, Curt.
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Old 06-18-2007, 03:07 AM
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I'm still a bit skeptical as if it were that easy you would think breeders/zoo's would would be going that route by now but I'd love to get a discussion going on this.
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Old 06-18-2007, 03:47 AM
 
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ive never worked at a zoo so im not sure how brazen they might be trying out new techniques. maybe they stick with tried and true methods. i think experimentation in the private sector is a good thing and i think this is an interesting topic. i wonder if i can find a source for these suppliments? :!: keep us updated on how this is working out for you.
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Old 06-18-2007, 05:05 AM
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I think the benefits to the frogs are pretty much unquestionable, but I curious about some "side effects" of the misting/spraying of vitamins or any other supplements in the viv. Now by side effects I don't mean to the frogs, but to everything else in the viv... the plants, mosses, soils, and maybe even microfauna. I know that calcium powder will kill moss dead if you get enough on it, so I wonder is misting this onto it would do the same. Don't get me wrong, I love the idea and I think the principle is sound (not sure whether or not the mechanism for uptake is correct, but it sounds good), but wonder if there would be unwanted issues that would pop up with it. Perhaps you can let us know if there has been any problems in the vivs themselves since you started this...
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Old 06-18-2007, 08:54 AM
 
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After seeing first hand the amount of breeding sucsess this guy has had with pumilio's since using this method (that i am going to be using in the near future) is amazing all of the frogs in his frog room look amazingly healthy and as stated above every pumi was Breeding, id say if you added all the eggs up there were 100+ plus froglets and tads at various stages,
Iv never seen anything like it!!
I would recomend it to anyone.
also all the plants looked healthy as well id say it didnt affect them at all.
Thanks Bren.
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Old 06-18-2007, 09:21 AM
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Over here (Belgium/the Netherlands) spraying vitamins and calcium/magnesium is as common as dusting the food with vitamins.

Most people combine the two.
I mist my azureus with vitamins and calcium once every 10 days or so. I dust their food every time they get ff or beanweevels. I also feed them a variation of springtails, woodlice, confused flour beetle larva, firebrats, waxmothlarva and aphids (which I don't dust) so they do not get the powder-vitamins every time they eat.

My pumilio's and tricolors get misted with vitamins every 5 days or 2 times a week because they don't "hunt" the ff, only eat them when they happen to pass by, so they do not get them when they still have a lot of vitamins on them.

The plants don't like the vitamins and they certainly don't like the calcium/magnesium drops so I mist by hand and target the frogs specifically while trying to avoid the plants.

putting the stuff in your water for the automatic misting system is not such a good idea because 1) your plants won't be happy 2) you spray vitamins every time so you cannot control it 3) I have heard the vitamins might deteriorate very quickly in your watertank 4) it is not good for your nozzles.

Here all the shops sell the vitamins but I have heard from some breeders that the stuff that is sold in little bottles is the same thing that is used to put in the drinking water of horses, just in smaller bottles. People with a lot of frogs often use the horse-stuff instead, but it comes in very big bottles, has to be kept in the fridge and canít be used for more then 6 months, so for people with a small collection the vitamins from the specialised shops are affordable enough.
I think almost all the Dutch and German online shops sell the stuff, but I donít know how much it would cost to ship to the US.
I presume I cannot post links to shops that are not sponsoring this site?

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Old 06-19-2007, 02:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NathalieB
Over here (Belgium/the Netherlands) spraying vitamins and calcium/magnesium is as common as dusting the food with vitamins.

Most people combine the two.
I mist my azureus with vitamins and calcium once every 10 days or so. I dust their food every time they get ff or beanweevels. I also feed them a variation of springtails, woodlice, confused flour beetle larva, firebrats, waxmothlarva and aphids (which I don't dust) so they do not get the powder-vitamins every time they eat.

My pumilio's and tricolors get misted with vitamins every 5 days or 2 times a week because they don't "hunt" the ff, only eat them when they happen to pass by, so they do not get them when they still have a lot of vitamins on them.

The plants don't like the vitamins and they certainly don't like the calcium/magnesium drops so I mist by hand and target the frogs specifically while trying to avoid the plants.

putting the stuff in your water for the automatic misting system is not such a good idea because 1) your plants won't be happy 2) you spray vitamins every time so you cannot control it 3) I have heard the vitamins might deteriorate very quickly in your watertank 4) it is not good for your nozzles.

Here all the shops sell the vitamins but I have heard from some breeders that the stuff that is sold in little bottles is the same thing that is used to put in the drinking water of horses, just in smaller bottles. People with a lot of frogs often use the horse-stuff instead, but it comes in very big bottles, has to be kept in the fridge and canít be used for more then 6 months, so for people with a small collection the vitamins from the specialised shops are affordable enough.
I think almost all the Dutch and German online shops sell the stuff, but I donít know how much it would cost to ship to the US.
I presume I cannot post links to shops that are not sponsoring this site?

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what exactly do you mean The plants aern't happy? Do you mean they just die, or they lose color?
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Old 06-19-2007, 03:08 AM
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Very cool. Believe me just because a zoo isn't using it means nothing in regarding how effective it is.Most zoo's cant hold a candle to what private frogger's do.I said most zoo's so dont give me any hate pm's or crap like that. :?
Another thing chris's frog's are amazing.
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Old 06-19-2007, 08:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xfrogx
what exactly do you mean The plants aern't happy? Do you mean they just die, or they lose color?
The moss dies and a lot of other plants, like ferns, can get brown edges. But as said, this is easily avoided when you mist by hand.

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Old 06-19-2007, 11:18 AM
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I'm very happy to see you post this here Chris thanks mate.

I've seen Chris go from pulling the odd froglet out of his vivs to seeing 25+ this year 8) I've used the calcium liquid and I havnt had any problems with plants even had java moss sprout out of a piece of drift wood 8)
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Old 06-19-2007, 03:05 PM
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This is a VERY interesting thread.

Does anyone here in the states have experience with this? Any information or data to provide?
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Old 06-19-2007, 03:15 PM
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Also I think since these are used just once a week the affect on plants ect would be minimal if anything.
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Old 06-19-2007, 04:14 PM
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Paul,

Does the liquid you are using contain anything besides calcium? If not, how are you supplementing other vitamins and minerals?

Steven
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Old 06-19-2007, 04:19 PM
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Right now I dust aswell s use the calcium, I will be switching to a complete liqued suplimention soon tho.
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Old 06-19-2007, 04:42 PM
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So, for complete supplementation, will you use just one liquid or several? Can they be mixed into one dispenser?

Also, from a practical standpoint, how do you handle frogs that are less bold? It would seem that some of the more timid species that hide when the viv. is approached wouldn't receive the same level of benefit from a vitamin misting.
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Old 06-19-2007, 04:44 PM
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if using both you would use them at the same time together.

As for the timid frogs becuase we dont see them doesnt mean they are not benafiting from the supliments being sprayed infact you could say the same thing for powders... but with the liquids your getting more vits in more of the vivarium.
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Old 06-19-2007, 05:12 PM
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OK. I was assuming that the spray was misted directly on the frogs and it required they be visible. From what you are saying it appears that the viv. itself is misted and the frogs absorb the minerals by traveling over/through the misted plants and substrate.
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Old 06-19-2007, 06:36 PM
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This is very interesting... Does anyone know where I can get some liquid vitamins in the states?
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Old 06-19-2007, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SusannahJoy
This is very interesting... Does anyone know where I can get some liquid vitamins in the states?
I don't think I'd just find some liquid vitamins and start spraying.

I think a lot of thought went into just what to use and what concentration to use.
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Old 06-19-2007, 08:19 PM
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Not just frog's benifit from this method I use it with my brookesia as well as frog's with great healthy result's all the way around.
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Old 06-19-2007, 09:05 PM
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So, I'll pose the question(s) again:

Who has experience with this method in the U.S.?

What products are used/where are they available?

Any evidence to suggest this method is better than dusting FFs?

Any tips/advice for using this process?

Anything else you can add?
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Old 06-19-2007, 09:53 PM
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Novalek.com ( terra rep Vita drops) I use neo calglucon for calcium requirements easily googled walgreens and any other drug store should carry it.
I only spray my chameleons and gecko's. All dendrobatid frogs have container's with small amount's of this to soak in and I only add vit,min mixture twice a week.

I have seen similar situations with animals on there death bead only to snap out of it.Whether or not it's from the method who cares they lived.

later
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Old 06-19-2007, 10:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ
Also I think since these are used just once a week the affect on plants ect would be minimal if anything.
that's my point exaclty: don't put it in your water for your automatic misting system (and mist with vitamins/minerals every day) but mist by hand once every week or so.
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Old 06-19-2007, 11:23 PM
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Interesting topic, and I hope Ed catches this one.

I seem to remember some liquid drops in the states a couple years ago that did not work well. I also seem to remember some discussions that not all of the needed vitamins could be absorbed through the skin. On the other hand a number of people have had success with the calcium gluconate dripped on frogs backs.

I would urge caution in just trying something without understanding how much they would need and what other chemicals maybe in the mix.
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Old 06-20-2007, 01:24 AM
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For shy frogs I wonder if maybe a film canister with a dilute amt of vitamin in the water would work?

Their are plenty of liquid vitamins sold for fish...but I have never used them as most seem to be snake oil. However, marine aquarists, esp. people who keep fish like seahorses use supplements such as Selcon. I think these supplements concentrate more on vitamins and amino acids and are use. They are also usually added into the food instead of simply dumped into the tank.

Amphibians absorb a lot of stuff...but I wonder if all the nutrients in the mineral drops are getting through the semipermeable membrane?
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Old 06-20-2007, 05:40 AM
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I agree first do your homework and then decide if this would work for you but when it comes down to your animal passing or atleast having a fighting chance I wouldn't hesitate. Just be careful
later
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Old 06-20-2007, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle1745
Interesting topic, and I hope Ed catches this one.

...

I would urge caution in just trying something without understanding how much they would need and what other chemicals maybe in the mix.
Absolutely!

Since Chris started this thread, I wonder if he and any other fellow froggers from across the pond would care to elaborate on the specific suppliments they are using. Of particular interest is the mineral content and concentration of each suppliment used.

Steven
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Old 06-20-2007, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripod
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle1745
Absolutely!

Since Chris started this thread, I wonder if he and any other fellow froggers from across the pond would care to elaborate on the specific suppliments they are using. Of particular interest is the mineral content and concentration of each suppliment used.

Steven
Sorry it's taken so long to get back to this thread.

I am using BSP Vitamin drops and Zolcal-D calcium and Vitamin D3 supplement.

These are both made by Vetark Professional which is a company based here in the UK whose products are available on a lot of websites dealing with reptiles and bird supplies.

The contents are as follows :

BSP drops (per ml)

Vitamin A - 6000 IU
Vitamin C - 10mg
Vitamin E - 8 IU
Vitamin D3 - 1000 IU
Vitamin B1 - 2mg
Vitamin B2 - 4mg
Vitamin B6 - 1mg
Biotin - 0.025mg
Folic acid - 0.4mg
Nicotinic acid - 20mg
Pantothenic acid 12.5mg

This is used at a dilution of 1 drop/200ml water


Zolcal-D

Calcium borogluconate - 40% (400g/L)
Magnesium - 2mg/ml
Vitamin D3 - 25,000 IU/L

This is diluted at 10ml/L

Just to add to the plants discussion, I have not had any plants die in my vivs while using this.

As a few people have said, this method may not be to everyones taste. I spent nearly a year looking into various supplements before finally deciding on the ones to use and I must say I wish I had done it ages ago.

One thing I have found is that if pumilio keepers are using it to give extra vitamins to the tadpoles by filling the brom axils with the solution, it is adviseable to make sure that they are well flushed regularly to avoid water quality problems due to old liquid being left in there.

As said, I use an 8L hand sprayer and do one fill of vitamin to one of pure water to ensure that any residues are flushed from the viv and out of the brom axils. As I spray on a 2-3 day routine, that means the frogs get 2 sprays with vitamin and 2 without over the space of about a week and a half.


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Old 06-20-2007, 04:28 PM
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Do liquid vitamins keep better than powder? It seems they might have an even faster rate of the vitamins degrading and needing to get a new bottle.
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Old 06-20-2007, 04:41 PM
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Chris,

Thanks for the detailed list and concentrations. That will help with searches for something similar here in the states.

Once you have the two solutuions prepared (BSP and Zocal), do you then mix the two into a single sprayer?

Also, when misting do you just mist the entire viv. or do you purposely target the frogs?

Steven
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Old 06-20-2007, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripod
Chris,

Thanks for the detailed list and concentrations. That will help with searches for something similar here in the states.

Once you have the two solutuions prepared (BSP and Zocal), do you then mix the two into a single sprayer?

Also, when misting do you just mist the entire viv. or do you purposely target the frogs?

Steven
Yes, the two are mixed together in whatever concentration it takes to make up 8L and I mist the whole viv.

I try to avoid spraying the frogs directly apart from with a few of the bolder ones that just sit there anyway as some of them are a bit skittish and I don't want to panic them.
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Old 06-20-2007, 06:16 PM
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Wow, interesting thread. I often worry about whether or not my pumilio are getting the vitamins or calcium they need. I rarely see them eat, and I assume that when they do, the flies of groomed themselves clean.
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Old 06-20-2007, 10:02 PM
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I would think a drop on the back would be better than misting the viv...
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Old 06-21-2007, 04:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle1745
I would think a drop on the back would be better than misting the viv...
I would tend to agree if you can see the frogs and get the drops onto their backs without them bolting. I think that's the reasoning for the whole viv misting is situations like that.
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Old 06-21-2007, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbreland
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle1745
I would think a drop on the back would be better than misting the viv...
I would tend to agree if you can see the frogs and get the drops onto their backs without them bolting. I think that's the reasoning for the whole viv misting is situations like that.
Exactly. That is the very reason I ask the question.

If this process works as suggested by our European counterparts, and the frogs are actually thriving long term, I can't see a reason NOT to switch from dusting FFs (aside from price/availability issues). Not only would you not have to bother with the inconvenience and mess of the powders, but you could easily expand your frogs diet to include a wide range of feeder insects without worrying about supplimentation issues associated with the inability to dust.

I wish we had some more hard data from froggers stateside that do this. Information from anyone that has used liquid supplimentation exclusively for several years and can report long term results would be wonderful.

Steven
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Old 06-22-2007, 12:01 AM
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How did you decide on the dosage to spray? I am curious if you have newer information than I or increased the dose due to mode of delivery. When I convert and compare the specs to info that I have it is <> 4x an oral dose. Also it seems to be missing 'K'. Robert
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Old 07-02-2007, 08:42 PM
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Hmm and a sigh...

The premise behind using a liquid supplement that can be sprayed onto the frogs is that you can be sure the frogs are uptaking sufficient supplements to ensure thier health however spraying the frogs is just as inexact a method of adminstering supplements as there is differences in the contact time, exposure and absorbtion.
For example when treating amphibians for calcium insufficiency via soaking them in a solution of D3 and calcium gluconate/glubionate the suggested theraputic time is measured in hours to days to ensure sufficient uptake.

It appears that at least some of the fat soluable vitamins can be taken up via the skin and it has been documented in a number of amphibians that they can uptake certain mineral ions such as calcium and sodium but I haven's seen any literature supporting the uptake of all vitamins such as some of the water soluable.

If the ratios I read on the label are any indication then the ratio of vitamin A to D3 to E is outside the recommended ratios (10:1:0.1) and this can cause conditional deficiencies in the long run. This maybe in part corrected by the dusting however there seems to be some disregard towards the idea that the fat soluable vitamins are also toxic in excess and toxicity can take a while to surface.

There are problems with sprays just as there are with dustings.. inability to control dosing is one of the main issues... in addition when spraying the enclosure keep in mind that microbes readily use these products as food sources and many of the serious pathogens of the frogs are opportunistic soil microbes whose infectious rates are linked to thier numbers and increasing thier numbers is not necessarily a good thing.

If the sprays contain vitamin C (ascorbic acid), keep in mind that this can be an irritant to mucous membranes as well as the eyes of the frogs. This can also be true of the mineral solutions depending on the ingredients...

When comparing how people work with an animal and thier results, please stop and look at thier entire method of care, housing and other management issues (including time spent per animal) before jumping to what looks to be the next "miracle" method as it is more often a combination of factors as opposed to one change.

I recently visited a friend who has had BJ pumilio and there were multiple (I counted at least 4 different metamorphs) metamorphs in the tank with his major change being a move to a much larger and taller enclosure..

There maybe something in the use of liquid supplements however, I have not seen any good studies on them as of yet and the premise used for switching to them is as problematic as using a dust..

And there is data on how long the supplements stay viable on ffs.. it is 12 hours (I am sure I have listed the reference in a different post...)

Some comments...


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Old 07-02-2007, 09:40 PM
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Thanks Ed for the comments... :-)

I think something else that is often overlooked with dusting is that vitamins go bad, and it is my understanding after they are opened they go bad even faster. So if your vitamins are opened and more than 6 months old it maybe a good idea to replace them. For people with smaller collections I think this could be a big problem as they don't use them fast enough.

I also have to second the comments on larger tanks.
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Old 07-03-2007, 07:58 PM
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Some more comments to add to the mix,

along the lines of oversupplementing keep in mind that you can also oversupplement with calcium... this can be problomatic as it then causes conditional deficiencies in other trace minerals..

If you are oversupplementing with D3 then you can cause liver damage which can take quite awhile to show up...

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