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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was hoping people who have had success breeding Blue pumilo could share what they thought were the reasons behind it.
I currently have a pair (calling smaller male and rotund female) in a sparsely planted vertical 20g which closely resembles BJ habitat I saw this past summer in Costa Rica. Magnolia leaves on the floor Cypress root with broms and now several film canisters at different angles attached to the sides in the lower 1/3 of the tank. The only thing I can think that I don't have from the habitat is running water.
Thanks
 
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1. What kind of broms are you using and how many?

2. Do you have many overlapping leaves?

3. What's your humidity level?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Joe,
The 2 broms in the tank are 1 fireball hybrid and 1 unknown mini.
there are no overlaping leaves to speak of and the humidity is arround 85% but I'm not sure what the daily range is. I'll put a HOBO in the tank over the weekend.
 

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I've had a group of Nic. blue jeans breeding for several years now. My joke about what it takes to get them to breed is that it takes $500. Somehow the buggers can tell when you have spent at least that much on making them happy and then they will go to town.

But a little more practically, I still think size of the vivarium makes a difference. Mine are in a large and HEAVILY overgrown viv with a selection of different sized broms. Over time the male shifts his prefered calling and mating locations around the vivarium which indicates to me that he is a little picky about what he likes and the size and variability of the viv lets him choose sites to his liking as conditions change. The other thing I think really contributes is a good misting system. This does two things. It helps keep the eggs wet. An incredibly accomplished frogger once told me he thought blue jeans might not be as good at tending eggs as some other morphs. The second thing is the misters keep the broms flushed out with good clean water. I use only RO in the misting system.

Now I'm trying to set up some breeding pairs of F1 frogs but until I can build some big vivs, I'm trying the 20T thing. So far no luck but one thing I've learned is that temps above 80 will shut down the male's calling. I've made some modification to tame the heat and raise the humidity and added a second female to try to shake things up. We'll see how it goes. I'm not very confident in being able to get BJ froglets out of a 20T though. I know it has been done but I think everything has to be just right to pull it off.

Oh, I should mention that there is no running water in my large breeding viv. At least not since the little waterfall pump went out a couple years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Brent,
Thanks for the advise. My 20T is a B. Green design and I've been wondering if my humidity is a bit too eratic under my conditions. I mist every morning but by evening the brom leaves look a bit too dry and the coco fiber at the top of the viv also looks dry. I've heard that blue jeans like slightly lower humidity levels but after seeing them in situ I didn't think that was true.
My male also moves from brom to brom and I've also seen him in the film canisters.
My female doesn't seem to be as active a climber as her tank mate and spends only a short time in the morning climbing arround. I have seen her nearer the top of the tank but only when theres been alot of calling by the male.
Can you recommend any plants to add as laying sites?
 

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I'll have to disagree on a couple of points about the tank being "just right". I have BJ's that produce pretty well in a small (about 8 gallon) tank, no misting system (or manual misting for that matter) and condiment cups instead of bromeliads that don't get flushed out. So although the things you listed may or may not encourage or help successful breeding they are certainly not a necessity. It's one of my frogs that is on the list to go into a larger and "better" setup, but everytime I think about moving them they are raising tads so I just leave them alone. Just remember there is no absolute "right" setup. Certainly if you have the space and time to do a big tank with a misting system, etc. knock yourself out. Just know that simple setups work also.
 

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rmelancon said:
I'll have to disagree on a couple of points about the tank being "just right". I have BJ's that produce pretty well in a small (about 8 gallon) tank, no misting system (or manual misting for that matter) and condiment cups instead of bromeliads that don't get flushed out. So although the things you listed may or may not encourage or help successful breeding they are certainly not a necessity. It's one of my frogs that is on the list to go into a larger and "better" setup, but everytime I think about moving them they are raising tads so I just leave them alone. Just remember there is no absolute "right" setup. Certainly if you have the space and time to do a big tank with a misting system, etc. knock yourself out. Just know that simple setups work also.
I should clarify what I meant. Like I said, several people have had BJ produce froglets in small setups so obviously it can be done. But even more people have failed to get any froglets in such setups. What I meant by "just right" is that I don't think we know exactly what makes these frogs tick and in smaller setups, there is less freedom for the frogs to choose those parts of the tank that are to their liking. So in a smaller viv, either we get all the pieces in place that they want (whatever those are), or we don't. And these things likely vary from frog to frog with some frogs being less picky maybe. I think comparing these successful setups is a very good way to try to zero in but what I wish we had were more people describing the setups that did NOT produce froglets.

Just to try to add to the conversation, I think there are three basic parts of the life history that need to be addressed with pumilio. The first step is to get the frogs in breeding condition. The male should be calling very frequently throughout the day and just after the lights go out. With a good pair, you should see active courting. I think temp, humidity, and nutrition are the keys to this step. The second step is egg tending. The frogs will pick the best place to lay the eggs but we need to make sure they don't dry out, or that the frogs don't get disturbed enough to destroy the eggs. Some frogs are likely good at keeping their eggs wet while others may need supplemental misting. That's one place where a misting system can help. But again, obviously is not always a requirement. Last is the tad rearing phase and this seems to be the hardest. They need good deposition sites obviously and I think providing a variety of sites and sizes is a good idea. Many pumilio morphs will even use dixie cups but Robb's is the first BJ I've heard of that did. Then there are water quality issues which I might go into in a later post if there is interest. There is the disturbance factor again. The females need to be comfortable enough to do their thing. And finally, nutrition of course. She needs to be in good nutritional condition to support the tads. I think pumilio need more Ca than typical darts based on some experiences I've had.

I think if you approach through these steps and tweak the setup to achieve one step at a time, the odds of success are pretty high.

One last thing I'll add is that I've seen dry periods seem to stimulate calling in the male but successful reproduction with my group required switching back to a wetter condition once the male was ramped up.
 

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Dane said:
A slightly off-topic question: what does typical pumilio courtship look like? I.e. what kind of "advances" are made by the female?
It's pretty similar to other darts. The male calls. The female approaches. They both get kind of twitchy. Eventually the female follows the male to a spawning leaf where they do a bit of a twitchy dance with each other. I haven't noticed as much touching and stroking with front legs compared to auratus and such but there is some. It's hard to mistake the courting when you see it.
 

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Okay, here's another one a bit off topic. Since a few of you are saying that you have had good if not great luck getting your blue jeans to raise tads to froglets ( and likely there are more of you out there succeeding) then why don't we ever see any for sale? I understand holding back for yourself and what not, but I personally would love a chance to get some more blue jeans. We had a male years ago and ended up getting rid of it. Now that we are getting more and more into darts I would love to get some with hopes of getting them to breed. And they are one of our favorite frogs ever. I was just curious because you never hear of anyone selling any so I assumed that meant that no one was having much luck. Great topic though, I bet it could help a lot of people figure them out a little more.

-Shelley
 

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I have produced a few dozen blue jeans over the past few years, from a wc pr that is now 10+ years old, these were some of the first darts i owned. this wc pr has been in the same tank for the whole time, and is a simple 30 gallon with a few plants and film canisters at varying angles jammed into the substrate. i have not moved them for fear of upsetting them. i have found them to be extremely male heavy in terms of the offspring they throw, which may explain why you dont see many for sale, or why people hold back so many, trying to get females, at least thats my reason for doing so.
i also cannot get my F1 to raise or even deposit tads, which is incredibly frustrating. I think as a whole the blue jeans are a slightly different beast that the other pumilio, or a little more picky in their requirements. Whether its dietary, environmental or other, Id say at least as far as mine go, that im missing something. im also get only about a 50% surval rate of froglets, they all seem to morph out looking great, but some dont ever grow, while others grow like weeds, all raised identically. I rarely lose a froglet from my other pumilios.
I do think the blue jeans like it wetter than other pumilio, or thats what i found to be the trigger, i keep the substate really wet and soggy so that little puddles are always in the depressions of the soil.

I think Brent, as usual, is on the ball with the large tank, i think that's probably the way to go about breeding them with the best chance of success, as you have the room to provide ample, and variable deposition sites then thats a big step in the right direction, and generally i think it gives them a better feeling of security which is important. Im really surprised Rob that you have bred them in a 8 gallon, and im really surprised that mine breed in the tank they are in.

And Brent as for setups that did not produce froglets, you name it, i have probably tried it it with F1 blue jeans, from 10 gallons to 60 gallons, with and without broms, with, without film canisters, with film canisters and broms, really wet, dryish, with an extra male, extra female, just a pr, leaf litter, mud bottom., almost exact mimics of the 30 gallon that is producing, nothing, a few good eggs here and there, but the females never show any interest in depositing them.

mark
 

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In addition to what Mark said about why blue jeans aren't hitting the market. I'll give you the reasons why mine haven't hit the market. Like Mark, mine have produced about a dozen froglets over a 6 year period. Of those, 6-7 are still alive. Early on I was having problems losing about half the froglets at about the 4-6 month age but now am getting close to 100% survival. More about that later. My personal goal is to have 3 breeding groups producing froglets and I want at least one of those groups (more likely 2) to be F1 frogs. That's a tall order to fill and takes time. At the same time, I'm trying to get some of my frogs in the hands of a couple of experienced breeders that also have Nic. blue jeans. The point being to take advantage of the widest gene pool possible while we can and spread the risk of the line among multiple locations (so if my house burns down, we don't lose this line). Mark already mentioned the problems with breeding F1 which I am just now getting into and hopefully I'll have two groups of F1 in large vivs by the end of the year. So the bottom line for me is that I want to feel confident that this line is secure in the hobby before I start surplusing animals out to the general hobby. It takes time and who nows when or if that point will come. But thousands of blue jeans have come into the states over the years so I feel like we need to guard those few that are still here and breeding jealously until we get them figured out.

As for the froglet mortality, once again I think a large viv helps which is my answer for everything. I've found that by leaving the froglets in the breeding viv right up until the point they are almost adult size (I pull them when it is getting difficult to tell them from the adults), I don't get any mortality and the color of the froglets matches that of the adults. I feel the large viv supports a better population of microfauna in the substrate that supports them better. I also provide UVB light to all of my blue jeans following a couple of incidents of Ca deficiency despite regular supplementation. Finally, these buggers seem to be very sensitive to stress through the subadult stage. Case in point, a froglet that morphed out last winter was pulled when it reached adult size and placed in a 10 gal. rearing tank with a couple other subadult to adult sized young frogs. This froglet was very healthy and robust when it went into the rearing tank. A few hours later I noticed the male in the rearing viv was chasing the new addition all over so I pulled it out and put it back in the breeding viv. It was only in with the other frogs for a few hours. The next two days I saw the froglet acting normal and feeding but then it dissapeared. I haven't seen it for 3 months now. It's possible that the frog is still in the viv and I can't find it (this is a large and tangled jungle), or that I just confuse it with the adults now. But I know the frogs in the viv pretty well and consistently find all of the frogs in there, including a younger froglet, so I suspect this froglet perished. The only reason I can think of was that it was stress related from the trouncing it got for those few hours in the rearing tank. I saw something similar with my first two froglets years ago but but frogs involved were only a couple weeks out of the water at the time.

Anyway, we obviously still have a lot to learn about these frogs so I hope we keep this thread going.
 

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Mark, Brent- Thanks, that makes a lot of sense. It does sound like it would be frustrating with these guys. When, and if, they do ever start doing really well I would just really love to get some more of them. So I guess I am just jumping the gun. It sounds like you guys are on the right track though. So keep up the good work.

-Shelley
 

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As Mark and Brent mentioned froglet mortality seems to be higher than in other pumilio. I know with histrionicus some have said that leaving the young in with the adults for the first several months has helped reduce froglet mortality. The only way I can see doing this without putting added stress on froglets and adults is with a larger enclosure such as the ones Brent was describing. Perhaps somewhere in the neighborhood of 20gal/frog. The first three froglets that my pair produced I left in with the adults and they all three died within the first month. At the time they were in a 20tall with broms etc. It's hard to really draw any conclusion from this because after all it was just one clutch from one pair. I think as time goes on and the "sample size" gets a little bigger we can start to pool what seems to work and what doesn't. For the moment though as you can see from this thread there seems to be a few different setups working with various degrees of success. With my animals so far the longest lasting froglets have been those that were raised by bastis. Most of the ones raised by the parents have either been spindly or the froglets just haven't been very robust. I have also morphed a half dozen or so froglets using other pdf eggs and the survival rate of those that morph has been the same as others have experienced, about 50%.
 
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I knew that blue jeans were a harder morph to care for then some other pumilios that are around, but I had no idea that they were this tough. Good luck to everyone that's working with them, and I sure hope that these frogs stay in the hobby for years to come. I think keeping the new froglets in the hands of very experienced dart breeders is the best idea until a good breeding regimen has been found, and the froglets begin thriving in captivity.
 

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Robb's point about leaving froglets in with the parents depending on tank volume is really important. My breeding viv allows 33 gal. per breeding frog (a 1.2 group). If you try to keep froglets with adults or sibs in a small space, the larger frogs will beat the crap out of the smaller and it will die.

I'm actually not convinced that blue jeans are that hard to breed. It's just a matter of getting the setup to their liking. I'll bet if you turned them loose in a greenhouse, they would go nuts. Not long ago, auratus were considered hard to breed. Now that we know what they need, they are easy. But what I would say is that blue jeans are a challenge for people with large collections. Large collections place a premium on space and time. Things work best if you can service a lot of frogs using similar techniques and setups. Frogs that don't fit the standard requirements require more individual attention that may not be available to someone tending a very large collection. I think there's a huge opportunity in the hobby for people to specialize. Get good at breeding a few of the more "normal" species and then pick something challenging to specialize in and devote the time and resources needed to get successful. I have a friend who only breeds fantasticus and over the years he has gotten quite good at it. I just think there are real opportunities for people willing to keep the numbers of species they keep low so they can concentrate on one or two really challengng ones.
 
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Very well put Brent. I for one have picked Sherpard Island green pums to be one of the species I want to get to know very well.Having spent alot of time hunting them down and knowing they not as readily availiable as say Bastimentos are it makes them even more appealing to me to find what will make them "tick". So far, things are going great but I can see where they would benifit from being in even larger viv then the 20 high verts they are in now.
Mark W.
 
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