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Old 02-28-2009, 11:57 AM
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Question Dendrocare by itself?

After doing endless reading of post about supplements and what is good- I hear that Dendrocare is a good supplement.

My question is can i use this supplement alone or do I still need Herptivite multivitamin and or Rep-Cal?

i know mixing supplements is not good, but rather use at every other feeding..just a little confused..how many to use and which ones..

Any help would be appreciated, thank you.
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Old 02-28-2009, 12:06 PM
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Default Re: Dendrocare by itself?

i use all three on alternating days. dendrocare is good but if used alone i as well as others have noticed that it causes seizures especially in pumilio.
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Old 02-28-2009, 12:22 PM
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Default Re: Dendrocare by itself?

I only use Dendrocare for my dart frogs, and no problems have occurred for me. It all depends on how it is used and what other items you use to feed your frogs that have a good nutritional value. I have more natural vitamins on top of Dendrocare I use. Of course different frogs have different reactions as well. BUT, I use it at least every other feeding. Dendrocare is specifically designed for dart frogs. Although Rep-Cal products are awesome, in my opinion the supplement is more designed for reptiles. I know what it says on the package and I promote Rep-Cal in my new book, but Dendrocare is designed for one type of animal. There are several things people can use, and Dendrocare is just one type of dart frog vitamin. It is expensive, but if you can't afford $15.99 (not including shipping) for a small container, about 6-9 months depending on usage (A pinch at a time.). Then Rep-cal products is a great alternative. There are other tricks in this trade, but for beginners, I would just stick with one type of vitamin then find out more. Too much vitamin usage can kill frogs, so best to research everything. A little info is provided below and this is also where I buy mine from.

From our buddies at Blackjungle
"Dendrocare is a new vitamin and mineral supplement developed in Holland specifically for use with poison dart frogs. It has been developed by Chris van der Lingen, whose 30 years experience keeping and studying dart frogs has led him to produce this special blend of supplements to enhance the health of all dart frogs. When added to your frogs varied diet of insects, it aids in offering a complete nutritional balance of your frogs dietary needs. It is specially formulated to be higher in vitamin E for better breeding results, higher in vitamin D3 for prevention of bone and "small leg" disease, and lower in vitamin A to prevent vitamin poisoning. Recommended for use with every feeding by dusting the feeder insects. 100 grams. -BlackJungle"

"Edited again, because I missed some info from last post."

Last edited by atlfrog; 02-28-2009 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 02-28-2009, 12:23 PM
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Default Re: Dendrocare by itself?

Thank you. Very good information. If you don't mind me asking, what is your feeding schedule like?
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Old 02-28-2009, 12:34 PM
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Default Re: Dendrocare by itself?

I feed my frogs every other day, so usually it ends up that they get fed with the vitamin every feeding, but I shorten it on other weeks. I have provided a chart below.

Week 1: S(F,V) M T(F,V) W T(F,V) F S(F,V)
Week 2: S M(F,V) T W(F) T F(FV) S
F=Feed V=Vitamin

This is for my adults only. Froglets are on different feeding schedule due to that fact they are pretty fragile. Of course this is all in my opinion.

I guess my schedule is kinda weird, but I just take the extra precaution of not feeding vitamins all the time. People probably think I am crazy for doing it like this but it is better to be safe than sorry. Besides some of the stuff I feed has good vitamins too. Feedings like what I do, should only be tempted when you know how much food will last till the next feeding. On a last note, my frogs are healthy and bright. The produce good numbers and they can be heard all the time. I think I may be doing something right! PS, so there is no misunderstandings, I love Rep-Cal products I use them everyday, they are amazing for my reptiles. I may consider using Rep-Cal for future vitamin supplementation.

Last edited by atlfrog; 02-28-2009 at 12:57 PM.
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Old 02-28-2009, 12:35 PM
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Default Re: Dendrocare by itself?

i feed juvies every day only supplementing 3 out of 7 times. adult get fed every other day calcium Monday, vits Wednesday, Friday naturose, sun dendrocare.
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Old 02-28-2009, 12:46 PM
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Default Re: Dendrocare by itself?

Sounddrive has a good way as well. There are so many ways and no real wrong way, unless it is hurting the animal. Too many vitamins or not enough is obviously the wrong way. I suggest using one product, find out good reliable info on other stuff and decide what you want to do later on. Dendrocare can be that vitamin to hold you over, until you know exactly what you want to do. Just remember that there is a lot of BAD info out there, and take everything with a grain of salt. Research everything, your frogs health is all the matters.
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Old 02-28-2009, 01:06 PM
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Default Re: Dendrocare by itself?

Thank you both for the valuable information. The schedules help out A LOT!
I will pick up both Rep-Cal and Herptivite and will eventually pick up some Dendrocare online.

I was giving wrong information about my frogs supplements from a local reptile place so i just want to get the right information and start a nutritional schedule for them.
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Old 02-28-2009, 01:08 PM
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Default Re: Dendrocare by itself?

this is definitely the right place to get your info. there are allot of very experienced froggers here. most pet shops and such have no clue what they are doing when it comes to darts.
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Old 02-28-2009, 01:34 PM
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Default Re: Dendrocare by itself?

Quote:
Originally Posted by atlfrog View Post
I have more natural vitamins on top of Dendrocare I use.
Can you clarify this statement? I am curious as to what you mean by more natural vitamins and in what proportions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by atlfrog View Post
Of course different frogs have different reactions as well. BUT, I use it at least every other feeding.
Depending on what you mean, I'm not sure I agree with this statement as vitamin requirements are highly conserved in all vertebrate species examined to date. There may be some requirements for slight variations (such as using retinol/retinioc acid instead of beta carotene) but outside of that the needs are highly conserved.


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Originally Posted by atlfrog View Post
about 6-9 months depending on usage (A pinch at a time.)
This is something that is a potential problem... this is a mixed vitamin supplement and as such it has been shown that these supplements catalyze a more rapid breakdown of the fat soluble vitamins (A, D3, and E) than those supplements that do not keep all of the fat soluble vitamins together. The current recommendations in the literature is to discard the supplement six months after opening due to the change in the ratios of A to D3 and E from this oxidation of the vitamins. If the supplements are continued to use then hypo vitaminosis of some of these vitamins is a real risk.

Based on the circumstancial evidence I think this is why people have seen this as an issue with some frogs such as pumilio. If the supplements have had an increased rate of degredation of the vitamins such as sitting on a hot tarmack for hours or in a hot truck for hours then the rate of oxidation is increased (as these are not packed in a neutral atmosphere). This can then lead to hypovitaminosis D3 which results in seizures and the other symptoms seen in pumilio.

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Originally Posted by atlfrog View Post
Then Rep-cal products is a great alternative. There are other tricks in this trade, but for beginners, I would just stick with one type of vitamin then find out more. Too much vitamin usage can kill frogs, so best to research everything. A little info is provided below and this is also where I buy mine from.

Too little vitamin supplementation will also kill the frogs.
One of the things that has becoming apparent is that many of the frogs in captivity have minimal or insufficient levels of retinol as it appears that they do not convert beta carotene as efficiently as we would have hoped. Dendrocare does have retinol in it but the level may be too low to supply all of the retinol needs for the frogs (this is also too low in Herptivite and virtually all of the supplements available at least in the USA.) It is currently believed that this is a major source of egg death in long breeding pairs and may be a major contributor to SLS and potentially immune suppression in the frogs.

In addition to those issues, vitamins for animals manufactured in the USA do not have the same strict manufacturing requirements as for human vitamins and at least one study and analysis of those supplements (years ago) had virtually all of the supplements failing to meet the levels reported on the labels.

Because of these issues, it is better to use several supplements including one that contains vitamin A as retinol in a ratio of 10 to 1 to 0.1 (or as noted in the literature the ratio should be 100 to 10 to 1 they just don't like the decimel) to meet the needs of the amphibians. That said I do use Dendrocare in rotation with some other supplements to add a source of retinol to the frogs but I am also adding in other supplements that contain retinol.

Some comments,

Ed
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Old 02-28-2009, 02:25 PM
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Default Re: Dendrocare by itself?

Which other supplements are you using that have retinol?
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Old 02-28-2009, 03:03 PM
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Default Re: Dendrocare by itself?

Ed,
First I like to state that after reading the following comments that I guess I haven't been extremely detailed in my comments and obviously some things I have said are unclear. To answer your first question. 1) What I mean by more natural vitamin supplementation is not by crushing pills and coming up with some sort of mixture to feed my frogs. If I had the knowledge maybe, but even then, I wouldn't want to harm any animal if I am wrong, so this will never happen even if I was qualified to do so. Now what I meant was this, there are obviously different feeders that we can feed our frogs that maybe more nutritional or not so nutritional, we all know this. Depending the frog, and I say this because I might have different frogs then the next person, you can feed gut loaded animals to your frogs, reptiles, etc. through their nutrition. Like crickets for example. Vitamin supplementation through them as a long term diet can be extremely beneficial to any animal that eats them. Now I am not talking about powered vitamins, but by organic and non organic means, or products that are specifically designed for this insect. That is what I meant by natural vitamin supplementation. 2) Now what I was going by when I said 6-9 months is the expiration date that appears on my container. This might sound like a newbie answer but I would assume and could be quite wrong in doing this that the product would last till at least the expiration date. And how much I use of Dendrocare is enough to cover the flies that I am about to feed, which is about a pinch. I know that all frogs have different nutritional requirements, and I have said before to research all vitamins and for people to do their research on all matters of frog health. Lastly, I completely agree that using little to no vitamin supplementation can hurt if not kill frogs, as well. The point being in all of this is that Dendrocare is a good start for anyone who wants to start vitamin supplementation for their frogs (because it is supposedly designed for PDF's), but to MAKE sure they do their research so that all animals are in prime health while using any vitamin supplementation. I learned some new things today, as I am not an expert, my business partner has the biology degree and had dart frogs for over 10 years. I use Dendrocare, and I have all the vitamin powders here because I breed reptiles as well. I believe everyone should do their research and take care of the animal, because that's what matters.
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Old 02-28-2009, 03:20 PM
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Default Re: Dendrocare by itself?

You may also want to try using Herpetal Amphib. I alternate between that Repcal and Herptivite with my feeding schedule.
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Old 03-01-2009, 03:19 AM
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Not planning on doing this, but does anyone use it with Mantellas?
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Old 03-01-2009, 05:05 AM
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Default Re: Dendrocare by itself?

At the moment I only keep some morphs of pumilio and dust 3x a week alternating between Dendrocare and Repcal with D. Ed's idea of adding a spoon of spirulina to ff cultures seems kind of interesting though
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Old 03-01-2009, 12:12 PM
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Default Re: Dendrocare by itself?

I bought all 3 supplements from a sponsor the other day and hope to start a good schedule this week for my darts soon. I found dendrocare for $9.99 too.
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Old 03-01-2009, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by otis07 View Post
Not planning on doing this, but does anyone use it with Mantellas?
Hey Em, I use hertepal for the mantellas since its targeted specifically for sls. I'm going to be ordering some more from the U.K. if you are interested.
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Old 03-02-2009, 12:29 AM
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Default Re: Dendrocare by itself?

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Originally Posted by atlfrog View Post
Ed,
Vitamin supplementation through them as a long term diet can be extremely beneficial to any animal that eats them. Now I am not talking about powered vitamins, but by organic and non organic means, or products that are specifically designed for this insect. That is what I meant by natural vitamin supplementation.
I'm not trying to be nit picky but this is something that I think really needs to be discussed at least a little...

The problem is that gut loading to modify vitamin supplementation of the insects is not as simple as simply feeding the insects a diet "targeted" to that insect or that animal. A diet that is optimized to the insect may not provide any significant nutritional differences via the insect. For example in this study Wiley InterScience :: Session Cookies there were really large variations in the levels of vitamins like retinol in the insects on analysis.. and this was a pretty well controlled study. (and even with the recommended levels in the food source there were large variations in the feeders)
So unless you know what you are accomplishing with the diet (and you can't know unless you do large samples and have them fully analyzed), you cannot say with any real levels of certainity that you are providing different levels of vitamins. What do we know for sure.. all of the commonly available feeder insects that have been analyzed are poor sources of vitamins like retinol (particuarly when you consider that many people do not give the frogs significant rest periods from reproduction to accumulate fat soluble vitamins). This is why we have to supplement the insects with a dusting regimen unlike the frogs in the wild.




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Originally Posted by atlfrog View Post
2) Now what I was going by when I said 6-9 months is the expiration date that appears on my container. This might sound like a newbie answer but I would assume and could be quite wrong in doing this that the product would last till at least the expiration date.

The mixed supplements do not last until the expiration date as once they are opened, the fat soluble vitamins begin to oxidize. In addition, they catalyze thier own oxidation which is why some of the two part supplements were developed. Once you open them, then replace them within six months of opening (and since they are not packed with a neutral atmosphere, you really shouldn't even use any supplements that have been on the shelf for too long). Ideally one should always use the youngest supplements you can find.


Some comments (to hopefully clarify).

Ed
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Old 03-07-2009, 11:07 PM
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Default Re: Dendrocare by itself?

I have had success with using dendrocare by itself for well over 2 years worth( not one bottle, but that many years worth of using it as my only supplement). The only reason I switched to herptivite and rep-cal because it's more readily available, I also breed tons of geckos( I go through LOTS of this stuff), and so when I run out I can just go to my local pet shop instead of waiting for a shipment. I do have another thing to say. The gut loading study did only involve one type of insect that people readily use for darts. I would like to see one for springtails before I make any judgement on gut-loading. This would be my deciding factor.
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Old 03-08-2009, 12:42 AM
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Hmm.. I'm guessing that you are referring to the data on crickets and not mealworms?

If you go back into the literature into what the phrase gut loading was originally developed to mean that the calcium levels were being modified and that there is also data on wax worms as well as fruit flies.. (and to nutritionists often still really means).

If you are referring to what it means via the slang currently used in the hobby then the research has not kept up with it due to the high cost of analysis of the feeders (for a good analysis of say D3 it can cost $5000 per run).

For springtails I refer you to this thread.. http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/foo...ious-they.html (mainly because I'm feeling lazy about typing stuff out again). That is currently the only reference I have been able to find on springtails.. but unless we have data to demonstrate otherwise we have no reason to expect that there will not be significant difference in the springtails as seen on other feeder insects in the variation seen in the different trial runs.

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Old 03-10-2009, 07:03 PM
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Default Re: Dendrocare by itself?

Ok so, I didn't know about the vitamin supplementation, which I rechecked all of mine (reciepts and all) when I bought everything so I am not using anything expired. But to gut loading insects. Here are several websites, Vets are among them that say, that gut loading feeder insects is a vital part of nutrition. I use various supplements with my Frogs and Reptiles. But, gut loading has been said to be a vital key to a healthy animal and should always be done before feeding. So here they are.

Pet Care Veterinary Hospital ( Pet Care Veterinary Hospital )
They talk about using pelleted base diets as well as other methods and to gut load animals for optimum nutrition. very interesting.

Merck Veterinary Manual. The Merck Veterinary Manual ( Gut loading - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ) Talks about the definition of gut loading and the various things to use to do so.

Amphibian Biology and Husbandry :: Earth and Life Studies at the National Academies ( http://dels.nas.edu/ilar_n/ilarjourn.../4803Pough.pdf ) Discusses nutritional value and gut loading insects.

South Wilton Veterinary Group ( South Wilton Veterinary Group ) Talking about Gut loading as part of their care sheet and studies to back their work.

"Studies have shown that "gut loading" crickets with a diet containing at least eight percent calcium fed for at least 48 hours prior to being used as a food item for reptiles and amphibians would produce a meal that had a Ca:P ratio of 1:1 or higher (Allen and Oftedal, 1989). Crickets that received dietary supplementation of calcium of 8% or greater also had three times the calcium content of those that were dusted with calcium supplement- but not gut loaded prior to being used as prey items (Trusk and Crissey, 1987)."

Now these are just some that are out there. I believe that gut loading insects does work. I have seen results from both ends with my reptiles and amphibians. It is all on the concept of "We are, what we eat." I have done this for a long time, as I breed both Amphibians and Reptiles. I do suggest anyone who does not dust their insects to do it. There are millions of ways of doing this and should be researched.

Last edited by atlfrog; 03-10-2009 at 07:07 PM.
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Old 03-10-2009, 11:44 PM
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Default Re: Dendrocare by itself?

Quote:
Originally Posted by atlfrog View Post
"Studies have shown that "gut loading" crickets with a diet containing at least eight percent calcium fed for at least 48 hours prior to being used as a food item for reptiles and amphibians would produce a meal that had a Ca:P ratio of 1:1 or higher (Allen and Oftedal, 1989). Crickets that received dietary supplementation of calcium of 8% or greater also had three times the calcium content of those that were dusted with calcium supplement- but not gut loaded prior to being used as prey items (Trusk and Crissey, 1987).".

I actually have not only these original citations but the prior and follow-up work on them... in those studies referenced above the only crickets that actually achieved a positive calcium to phosphorus ratio were the pinheads. This ratio was only achieved by keeping the crickets on that diet and offering no other sources of nutrition not even fruit as a water source (but they must have water or they die within hours on the diet). The reason is that the crickets would eat anything but the diet if given the opportunity. As a further complication, the crickets have to be offered that diet for a minum of 48 hours at 22-24 C (as temperatures above and below this caused the crickets to not achieve sufficiently increased ratios) and the crickets have to be fed out between 48 and 72 hours as the diet kills them due to the high calcium content. Additionally the high calcium diet causes high mortality in the crickets while achieving those ratios....
If you do not keep those crickets under those exact conditions, then gutloading does not supply sufficient calcium to adjust the calcium to phosphorus ratio into the acceptable range of between 1 and 2 to 1.

There are some palatable calcium loading diets that do achieve a good ratio for larger crickets but they are restricted by the same temporal and temperature requirements.

Also the supplements used to dust the crickets in those studies are not the ultrafine supplements that are used today... the more modern supplements have at least some retention of up to 12 hours (see the Donoghue, etal in Mader's Reptile Medicine and Surgery first edition).


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Originally Posted by atlfrog View Post
Now these are just some that are out there. I believe that gut loading insects does work. I have seen results from both ends with my reptiles and amphibians. It is all on the concept of "We are, what we eat." I have done this for a long time, as I breed both Amphibians and Reptiles. I do suggest anyone who does not dust their insects to do it. There are millions of ways of doing this and should be researched.

Gutloading of calcium does work but only if you meet the exact conditions required to reach a positive calcium to phosphorus ratio. However one can only make this work if they have an intimate understanding of the metabolism of not only the herp in question but the feeder insect. For example, it is impossible to gut load ffs with calcium as they have a extremely efficient calcium extretion system that prevents them from achieving a positive calcium to phosphorus ratios.

Gutloading in general also only works if you have a diet that is palatable to the insects. They may eat it if they don't like it and its the only thing available but they may not eat enough of it to modify thier nutritional content to any extent.

I would suggest that you aquire as much of the articles you can directly instead of relying on the interpretations on the internet as there is often incomplete presentation of the data. I have spent a lot of money and time tracking down a lot of those articles and continue to do so and the data is evolving and gut loading while it has its place in some respects has as much if not more difficulties than dusting......

Ed
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Old 03-10-2009, 11:52 PM
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Default Re: Dendrocare by itself?

for some references (that include yours) that discuss the deficiencies of gut loading I refer one to
Crissey, Susan D.; Ward, Ann M.; Maslanka, Mike T. 2001, Nutrient content of nutritional supplements available for use in captive lizard feeding programs, pp. 53-59 edited by M. S. Edwards, K.J. Lisi, M. L. Schlegel, R. E. Bray, In Proceedings of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association Fourth Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition

Donoghue, Susan; Langenberg, Julie; 1996, Nutrition, pp. 91-98 edited by Douglas Mader, In Reptile Medicine and Surgery, W. B. Saunders Company, Philadelphia

Frye, Fredric L., 1991, Reptile Care, an Atlas of Diseases and Treatments, TFH Publications, INC., Neptune

Hunt, Amy S.; Ward, Ann M.; Ferguson, Gary, 2001, Effects of a high calcium diet on gut loading in various ages of crickets (Acheta domestica) and mealworms (Tenebrio molitor), pp. 94-102 edited by M. S. Edwards, K.J. Lisi, M. L. Schlegel, R. E. Bray, In Proceedings of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association Fourth Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition

Porter, Warren P.; Cole, Charles J.; Townsend, Carol R.; 1994, Captive maintenance and lineage senescence in parthenogenetic lizards (family Teiidae), edited by J. B. Murphy, Kraig Adler, Joseph T. Collins, In Captive Management and Conservation of Amphibians and Reptiles, Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles. Ithaca

Sabatini, Jeremy A.; Dierenfeld, Ellen S.; Fitzpatrick, Marianne P.; Hashim, Laurette; 1998, Effects of internal and external supplementation on the nutrient content of crickets, the Vivarium 9(4): 23-24

Wright, Kevin M.; 2001, Diets for captive amphibians, pp. 63-71, edited by K. M. Wright and B. R. Whitaker, In Amphibian Medicine and Captive Husbandry, Krieger Publishing Co., Malabar

Wright, Kevin M.; 2001, Nutritional disorders, pp. 73-83, edited by K. M. Wright and B. R. Whitaker, In Amphibian Medicine and Captive Husbandry, Krieger Publishing Co., Malabar
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Old 03-11-2009, 02:23 AM
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May i say that both ideas work fine....how do i know...well because it's been done successfully both ways!
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Old 03-11-2009, 02:50 AM
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what a great discussion.its so very interesting at how complex one can try to make something sound . when all they want is to stroke their ego .
with a lot of technical jazz. you can debate this issue with others research . when you should do your own .
from my past experience. gut loading does work .....and so does dusting .... and mixing the different brand name supplements in my opinion is one way to get the best results you need to change things around ever so often to keep the body in check and that way if one offers something the others lacks it make up for it .
its just my opinion but atlfrog has a better hands on experience with vitamin supplements and care of frogs.this is just my opinion from reading the threads
Thanks all for the great discussions
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Old 03-11-2009, 03:01 AM
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Default Re: Dendrocare by itself?

Amphibian Emergency Medicine and Care ( http://www.jcu.edu.au/school/phtm/PH...field-2005.pdf )

Antwerp Zoo ( http://portal.isis.org/partners/AARK...ementation.pdf )

Exotic Companion Medicine Handbook ( Animal Health Clinic )

American Toad Care and Husbandry ( American Toad Care and Husbandry (Bufo americanus) )

Again, Vets, Medicial Books, Zoo researchers (If I am not mistaken), etc. They all say to gut-load insects before feeding. They also say that it is vital to their nutrition. There are hundreds of sites and several companies that have done studies on this topic. They use this information to obviously sell their products. I like to see exactly what they have done, but I am sure they don't release this information. Also, I did mention in a past post that feeding a diet to fit the needs of the insect was apart of the gut-loading process (High nutritional/highly enriched diets specifically for the insect) or "natural vitamin supplementation". I think I will stop using that term entirely. I may have said it but it might be worded differently but its up there somewhere. But it is not only feeding Calcium to these insects, but also foods that it eats for nutrition. Gut-loading properly will help your reptiles, yes there was a link that said that the mortality rates were high because of the amount of cal that is in the insects system, but the first 24 hrs in my opinion would be the most ideal time to feed. This is based on my experience. In at least one link above describes other insects, other than crickets and how to gut-load them. I am not saying that the vast knowledge or information you provide is wrong. I appreciate all the info and it encourages me to further my quest for knowledge in this area, as I know enough in this area to do what is needed for the health of my animal, but I don't know everything. I feel most people are exactly in this boat. There is obviously no end to this debate, but there is one thing that I do know is that the public needs more studies and more publicity in this area to provide the right information for proper supplementation, whether or not gut-loading is good or that it is bad. Because there are thousands out there (Companies, Zoos, Vets, Average Joes, etc.) that believe that gut-loading insects is a good way to supplement (with a vitamin powder supplement{s}) an animals diet, whether it be an amphibian, reptile, or otherwise. There are specific needs to different types of animals, which I have said, and customizing the feeding/vitamin habits need to be adjusted for their needs. Research and knowing where to go to get this research is what I always suggest.

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Old 03-11-2009, 03:06 AM
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what a great discussion.its so very interesting at how complex one can try to make something sound . when all they want is to stroke their ego .
with a lot of technical jazz. you can debate this issue with others research . when you should do your own .
from my past experience. gut loading does work .....and so does dusting .... and mixing the different brand name supplements in my opinion is one way to get the best results you need to change things around ever so often to keep the body in check and that way if one offers something the others lacks it make up for it .
its just my opinion but atlfrog has a better hands on experience with vitamin supplements and care of frogs.this is just my opinion from reading the threads
Thanks all for the great discussions
Although I am flattered that someone might think that. I am still learning just like the rest of them, as there are many others that are more experience.

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Old 03-11-2009, 03:51 AM
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Again, Vets, Medicial Books, Zoo researchers (If I am not mistaken), etc. They all say to gut-load insects before feeding..
When they say gut load are they referring to the correct usage (aka calcium loading) or are they referring to in the vernacular aka feed the insects what we percieve to be a correct diet? More below..... (also what do you think I do for a living??? (hint.. its one of those jobs you listed..(and I have been working with/on these issues for more than a few years...))


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They also say that it is vital to their nutrition.
Which is vital to thier nutrition, calcium loading or the vernacular definition? They are two totally different things...


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There are hundreds of sites and several companies that have done studies on this topic. They use this information to obviously sell their products. I like to see exactly what they have done, but I am sure they don't release this information. .
The vast majority of those analysis are premixing. Those analysis do not necessarily agree on an analysis post mixing.. Few if any companies do the analysis post mixing. For a example of this I suggest getting yourself a copy of

Crissey, Susan D.; Ward, Ann M.; Maslanka, Mike T. 2001, Nutrient content of nutritional supplements available for use in captive lizard feeding programs, pp. 53-59 edited by M. S. Edwards, K.J. Lisi, M. L. Schlegel, R. E. Bray, In Proceedings of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association Fourth Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition.

This study demonstrated that most of the analysis of supplements supplied by the manufacturers were not consistant with the labels. This was due to the analysis of the materials premanufacture and the assumption that would carry through. Virtually all companies look up the analysis of the material before hand as these are readily available and then mix them in what they assume are the correct ratios and then assume that provides the predicted analysis. The reason they do not do the post analysis is cost. The market for the gut loading diets is small and analysis to ensure quality control and repeatability is prohibitive for the small batch market.



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Also, I did mention in a past post that feeding a diet to fit the needs of the insect was apart of the gut-loading process (High nutritional/highly enriched diets specifically for the insect) or "natural vitamin supplementation". I think I will stop using that term entirely. I may have said it but it might be worded differently but its up there somewhere. But it is not only feeding Calcium to these insects, but also foods that it eats for nutrition..
The problem is that you cannot just look at the nutrition.. you have to look at how palatable the insect finds the food. If the insect does not find it palatable then it won't eat enough of it to make a difference. In addition, if you are adding calcium to the diet, it has to be done in such a way so the calcium cannot be avoided other wise they will eat everything else but the calcium.

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Gut-loading properly will help your reptiles, yes there was a link that said that the mortality rates were high because of the amount of cal that is in the insects system, but the first 24 hrs in my opinion would be the most ideal time to feed. This is based on my experience.
The problem here is that is has been shown that this an insufficient length of time to achieve the appropriately level of calcium in the cricket. In addition, if you have purchased the crickets from a supplier, they are also going to be deficient in protien, fats and some trace minerals. It takes at least 48 hours for the cricket to restore those levels to preshipping. This is offering a substandard cricket (I believe that is also from Mader's book). The mortality is due to the high calcium diet not the "gut loading" per se... the two usages for gut loading should not be used interchangably.

I do not think I have ever said that gut loading will not help an animal provided it is done correctly. With respect to attempting to calcium loading the insects, this is much more difficult to achieve to a standard that makes a difference for the consuming animal than simply feeding the crickets (or other insect) a palatable diet for 48 hours that allows them to restore the lost fat, protien and trace minerals. (and on some thought, I think I have stood up for feeding the insects in a lot of different idea and articles).


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In at least one link above describes other insects, other than crickets and how to gut-load them.
Gut loading can be accomplished in other insects.. but the ability to do it depends on what you mean by gut loading. Without going back and reclicking on all of the citations you provided, those articles were referring to modifying the calcium to phosphorus ratio of the insects via the diet fed to the insects while the sites were usually vaguer about what they meant. This is not what is commonly meant by gut loading when talking to most people other than a nutritonist or referring to those articles.

Utilizing high calcium gut loading diets are useless unless you do it exactly right and have a palatable diet for the insect. Otherwise they will not consume sufficient amounts of the diet to change thier calcium to phosphorus ratio. Any ratio in the diet of calcium to phosphorus less than 1:1 is going to cause one of the forms of MBD unless there is additional calcium supplied elsewhere in the diet and you have to careful about the total level of calcium in the diet as for a major nutrient it has an extremely narrow window of safety.. too low, a form of MBD... to high depending on condition, conditional deficiencies of other nutrients like zinc and phosphorus and really too high, potential for calcium soaps to form in the digestive tract (Nutrition Chapter, Mader's first edition).


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but I don't know everything. I feel most people are exactly in this boat. There is obviously no end to this debate, but there is one thing that I do know is that the public needs more studies and more publicity in this area to provide the right or wrong information for proper supplementation, whether or not gut-loading is good or that it is bad.
Most of the good information on this is coming out of research conducted either with or through Zoos.. and its one of the reasons I spend a lot of time sharing it with the hobby. I actually do have better things to do with my time, then continually get on here and discuss why retinol is needed or why keeping the fruit flies in a well lit ares with a carotenoid source in the media is a good idea for the frogs... Or giving talks at IAD etc on nutritional aspects of husbandry.... see below for some more comment...



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Because there are thousands out there (Companies, Zoos, Vets, Average Joes, etc.) that believe that gut-loading insects is a good way to supplement (with a vitamin powder supplement{s}) an animals diet, whether it be an amphibian, reptile, or other otherwise. There are specific needs to different types of animals, which I have said, and customizing the feeding/vitamin habits need to be adjusted for their needs. Research and knowing where to go to get this research is what I always suggest.

I think you have been using gut loading from the original meaning and the current usage in the hobby interchangably. They really cannot be used interchangably as they really mean two different things. One means a diet high in calcium to modify the calcum to phosphorus ratio only and one means to feed the crickets a diet that can increase thier nutritional content in a broader spectrum. These two diets have different requirements that have to be met for them to be successful. The calcium diet has to be fed for a minimum of 48 hours at 22-24 C with not other food options and plain water provided to be successful, but you are probably only going to make a real difference in pinheads. In the other meaning, the insects can be fed a wide variety of items to at a minimum replace lost nutrients and at best include some other nutritional requirements such as carotenoids or vitamins however all of the analysis provided by the manufacturer unless corroborated by an independent source have to be looked on with suspicion as the analysis are of premixed materials and not post...

Virtually all of my arguments on ineffectiveness of gut loading is referring to the calcium/phophorus modifications not any other aspects.
If I didn't think you could modify the nutritional value of the feeder insect why would I have posted the article on modifying HUFAs in springtails????

If you shoot me a pm with your e-mail I'll send you an article on this topic a few years ago and it might clarify some of it for you.

Some further comments,

Ed

Last edited by Ed; 03-11-2009 at 03:54 AM.
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Old 03-11-2009, 05:26 AM
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Default Re: Dendrocare by itself?

Ed, would spirulina in the (commercial)ff media (like 1/2 tsp per 1/3 cup dry media) be ok to use if I'm using Dendrocare, and if so, is there any type of spirulina to stay away from?
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Old 03-11-2009, 09:52 AM
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Ed, would spirulina in the (commercial)ff media (like 1/2 tsp per 1/3 cup dry media) be ok to use if I'm using Dendrocare, and if so, is there any type of spirulina to stay away from?
This is what I do with the ff cultures I set up (I use a teaspoon per cup of dried media but this is probably going to have to vary depending on your media. I use a basic modified carolina mix (potato flakes, brewer's yeast, powdered sugar and at mixing a banana. other recipes already contain carotenoids and may not need the additional carotenoid source just bright light). There is also one article somewhere on feeding it to crickets to increase there carotenoid content but I don't have it in front of me. The addition of some supplements has to be viewed cautiously as a several commercial insect breeders anecdotally reported a large die off of mealworms when too much spirulina was added to thier culture media.

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Old 03-11-2009, 09:55 AM
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quote " The calcium diet has to be fed for a minimum of 48 hours at 22-24 C with not other food options and plain water provided to be successful, but you are probably only going to make a real difference in pinheads. endquote

This should have read "with no other food options.....and you are probably only going to make a real difference in the pinheads"

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Old 03-12-2009, 02:48 AM
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I have to say this thread has totally left the original question behind. I do believe that gut-loading and supplemental feeding does help to some extent. If for some reason I really believed it did not work then ten plus years of breeding and raising darts, and reptiles would have had different results. I don't believe this needs to be discussed further since I do believe that the information that people want to believe in always has a opposite answer somewhere else. Its becoming a waste of space and peoples time that could be used better on other posts.
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Old 03-13-2009, 01:05 AM
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I have to say this thread has totally left the original question behind. I do believe that gut-loading and supplemental feeding does help to some extent. If for some reason I really believed it did not work then ten plus years of breeding and raising darts, and reptiles would have had different results. .
It is germane to the topic as the question was about using Dendrocare by itself and the topic came up that it was good to use in combination with gut loading. This then lead to a discussion on the pros and cons behind gut loading. Now one of the major cons behind gut loading is that people often confuse the data for the original definition which was strictly about modifying the calcium to phosphorus ratio in feeder insects with how it became redefined in the hobby to be the idea that feeding the insects what is percieved (often without any real controls on the diet) to be a nutritious diet will provide all different benefits to the consuming animals.

As to the idea that ten years of anecdotal experience would have come out different if both didn't work doesn't necessarily follow as for a hypothetical example the gut loading could have been useless and the dust made up the difference or vice versa.. there is not control or review of that statement so it really isn't a justification except as an anecdotal observation.


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I don't believe this needs to be discussed further since I do believe that the information that people want to believe in always has a opposite answer somewhere else. Its becoming a waste of space and peoples time that could be used better on other posts.
Its one thing to ignore non-referenced opinions from somewhere but it is a different issue to ignore the repeated peer reviewed references that consistently demonstrate a result or results.....
Might as well ignore the reported nutritional analysis of the invertebrates provided here

http://www.nagonline.net/Technical%2...02MODIFIED.pdf
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Old 03-13-2009, 08:07 PM
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I think thats good that you can still find information, but honestly all your doing is demonstrating that you can't stop egging on. This is the kind of redundant posting that will only lead to more turmoil. It proves my point that the only thing you want out of this matter is having the last word. I know you will probably post tons more after this just to keep going, but I am through with this matter.
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Old 03-14-2009, 12:01 AM
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I'm not sure how going out of your way to post factual information to help people out would cause turmoil or be egging people on. I'm more than happy to hear it
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Old 03-14-2009, 12:15 PM
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We`ve gone over this lots before Ed. No offense Ed but breeding animals is my profession/livlihood and I`ve bred geckos, snakes, tarantula`s, and all sorts of insects besides all the frogs I`ve bred. I may not have a lab but my anecdotal observations wouldn`t have got me to this point if I wasn`t perceptive.
Don`t stop feeding you crickets a well rounded diet to enhance the level of nutrition they get from their bugs. Whether anecdotal or not, I`ve heard lots of breeders say they don`t have as much success breeding animals when they skimp on feeding their feeder insects a nutritional diet. And as far as I can see there could not be a whole carrot gone and ORANGE crickets being fed w/out some different nutrition getting in there. I have always thought insects were just food machines filling up on all sorts of different goodies from the forest and bringing it to the frogs. The only way we have to diversify nutritional levels is to feed carrots, fish food, apples, baby cereal etc. to our crickets and get all those different ingredients into the frog. Esp since vit and min levels are inconsistent and may not even contain anything they state. One of these days I will weigh(before and after) (if Michelle gets a lab to herself) and feed crickets different foods and get the nutritional value of each cricket. I can almost guarantee they will have gone up 50% in weight and their nutritional value will have changed from crickets only fed potatoe.

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Old 03-14-2009, 03:20 PM
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.
Don`t stop feeding you crickets a well rounded diet to enhance the level of nutrition they get from their bugs. Whether anecdotal or not, I`ve heard lots of breeders say they don`t have as much success breeding animals when they skimp on feeding their feeder insects a nutritional diet..
Okay Aaron,

Where in the above posts did I say there was no value in feeding the feeder insects in an attempt to improve thier nutrition??



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And as far as I can see there could not be a whole carrot gone and ORANGE crickets being fed w/out some different nutrition getting in there. I have always thought insects were just food machines filling up on all sorts of different goodies from the forest and bringing it to the frogs. The only way we have to diversify nutritional levels is to feed carrots, fish food, apples, baby cereal etc. to our crickets and get all those different ingredients into the frog. Esp since vit and min levels are inconsistent and may not even contain anything they state. One of these days I will weigh(before and after) (if Michelle gets a lab to herself) and feed crickets different foods and get the nutritional value of each cricket. I can almost guarantee they will have gone up 50% in weight and their nutritional value will have changed from crickets only fed potatoe.

Again, Where did I say that feeding the crickets or other feeder items doesn't do anything?

Now, simply weighing the crickets isn't going to really tell you anything as the primary change in weight is going to be due to water intake. For example a raw carrot is 88% water by weight while an orange is 85% water. It is well known through analysis (Donoghue et al) that shipped crickets are often deficient in weight (and on analysis nutritionally). What we can be sure has been modified is that if you provided them the food for a miminal of 48 hours then the crickets were able to restore lost protien, fats, moisture as well as some trace minerals. To get the evidence that there was an increase in basic nutrition above that level, would require a full analysis for carotenoids, retinyl, protien, fat, mineral analysis which cannot be determined by weighing the cricket.

The main problem with the gut loading diets that people try is that the pre and post analysis of the feeder insects are unknown and if there is an actual change is unknown. Now that statement does not mean that there is no value in feeding the insects various items to improve thier nutrition, it simply means that we do not know the effects.

If you read through the posts, outside of attempting to modify the calcium to phosphorus ratio in the crickets which requires stringent conditions to succeed, I have not taken the stand that you have assumed I have taken.

Ed

Last edited by Ed; 03-14-2009 at 03:37 PM. Reason: dropped a sentence
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Old 03-14-2009, 04:47 PM
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Again, confused gutloading terms.
I think we should call feeding, gutloading and calcium loading the old gut loading term. I understand the old term but w/ ultra fine dust etc. gutloading is obsolete. You`ll only diminish teh other needs by neglecting crickets any other nutrition w/ would probably hurt in the long run. Not to mention, no one I know feeds only crickets. What we`ve done, w/ success is vary the diet as much as possible, which means making all your crickets different nutritional values and hoping for the best and dusting. Works real well for me and you`d need a supercomputer to figure out the perfect ratio. 3 ff`s a day dusted w/ calc and d3 and 4 crickets fed carrots dusted w/ only vits etc. etc. There are way too many variables for anyone other than a zoo, or lab to figure out. And again the way you talk about supplements pre and post mixing pretty much negates anything you have stated because "gut loading" requires knowing what your starting w/. you see anecdotal is all we really have in this converstaion as none of these tests were done on dart frogs. Your nutritional requirements are for general amphibians. I`m pretty sure a horned lizards nutritional requirements are different than fence lizards. As would probably be the same as leaf litter, small insect eaters as opposed to canopy treefrogs that would never touch a springtail. In this case it seems that anecdotal evidence on what works on darts trumps any "general" nutritional requirements for across the board. Maybe darts eat a lot of insects that eat oxalic compounds and have found a way around calcium binding(forgot the term). If that was derated to anecdotal evidence it would be a loss to the whole community.
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Old 03-14-2009, 05:23 PM
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I think we should call feeding, gutloading and calcium loading the old gut loading term.
I agree with this...

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Not to mention, no one I know feeds only crickets.
Sure you do...me. I've been doing this with the larger dart frogs at work for more than a decade...

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And again the way you talk about supplements pre and post mixing pretty much negates anything you have stated because "gut loading" requires knowing what your starting w/.
The supplements are a little different than the gut loads.. if the manufacturer has done their work and have good quality control (this does occur in Europe as the laws are different than here in the USA) then the supplement has the listed amounts. There have been supplements in the USA that met these requirements, the now closed Walkabout Farms was one example). The supplements do not have to deal with how the insect metabolizes the ingredients or the gut transit time in the feeder insect so we really can't draw a black and white line connecting the supplements with the gut loading.

Actually if you use a food source that is stable and the interactions of the ingredients are well understood, then you can increase your expectations of how they are going to work for the feeder insects. For example, chicken mash is a mixture the stability of which is well understood as well as the nutritional make up of the mash. I think there are actually some analysis of feeders post feeding on those materials which provide a good guideline for this as a basis for a gut loading diet that is well understood.


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you see anecdotal is all we really have in this converstaion as none of these tests were done on dart frogs. Your nutritional requirements are for general amphibians. I`m pretty sure a horned lizards nutritional requirements are different than fence lizards.
Want to bet? Actually the nutritional needs of vertebrates are extremely conserved and at worst only need a slight tweaking to get them to work (this has held true for basically everything from humans to Tamanduas to salmon to iguanas to amphibians). In this case from we can tell, dendrobatids have the same basic needs as a human with the exception of an addition of retinol to the diet. The need for the retinol at this time appears to be an artifact of our husbandry routines (as we do not tend to provide them with the equivalent of the dry season(s)....
This was supported by the work done by Walkabout Farms with auratus..(unpublished but referenced in at least one reference).

Some comments,

Ed
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Old 03-14-2009, 06:33 PM
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Default Re: Dendrocare by itself?

Is a gravid female dart frog going to have the same as a male? Again how different are the diets of horned lizards and fence lizards. The have very different diets and I imagine they aren`t that nutritionally close. How much calcium do ants have since they are the horned lizards exclusive diet? It seems that specialists exist everywhere. If no one insect is in the right proportion how can there be specialists? How can nature even get it right? With the diversity of what they eat the mathmatical chances don`t seem that they can get it that narrow.
I have also fed nothing but crickets (only for terribilis) and fed them well and dusted w/ calcium or vits and have had frogs alive 15 years on this method. I have also dusted w/ calc and vit every feeding, calc and vits alternately at every feeding and w calc every feeding and vits only 2-3 times a week. Although I have seen one or 2 frogs sieze or other possible diet problems, I have never seen problems across the board. That should tell you the ratios don`t need to be w/in that strict a range or I would`ve skrewed up a long time ago. There MUST be some way for them to get rid of excess or the tincs I fed nothing but ff`s under the same dusting regime would`ve failed, both can`t be right. It`s either gut fauna converting or eating up the excess or something. I`ve seen too many regimes work. I`ve read all your posts on nutrition and it can`t be that hard from what I`ve seen. I just have to be skeptical. I don`t think I instinctively know when to change from calc and vits to calc then vits or calc every time to vits 2-3 times a week. I have no studies other than my own personal instinct and my ability to see when something doesn`t fit my observations. Not to mention I`ve seen clean and dirty frogs live a long time under the same methods, something should be different between the 2 if they can both live on the same diet and produce similarly(which is basically, very good production). Let me know why this can happen and, short of owning the equipment and doing the tests myself, and I may believe the requirements are that narrow and that hard to accomplish. I just know that I couldn`t hit the lottery w/ everything I breed from thumbs to egg feeders to phyllos to whatever else. I CAN`T be that good I don`t know how else to put it. I think my overfeeding and temp ranges must do something to "overcome" these other laws. What I have done, switching out termites, from using them almost exclusively undusted for juvi`s to using only ff`s for juvis to mixing in crickets, springs and isopods ,to all the methods I`ve switched and used and have had work, there has to be some way around your stringent ratios. Maybe all those tests were for frogs kept at a constant temp in a gut fauna free environment.
Not to mention how do my pumilio hit subadulthood on a 90% diet of undusted springs fed yeast? Maybe substrate ingestion has something to do w/ it. All questions I have no answers to.
Sorry I know that`s a lot. Answer what you can or we can have a really good discussion at the next show we both attend. :0)
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