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Discussion Starter #1
Just as the title says.

I only keep 2 frogs so in the past I have only kept 2-3 cultures going at a time. This had worked out great until recently but when the temps started dropping, so did the number of flies a single culture was producing. Then, I had a strange mold grow on the media of a culture that stopped it from reproducing almost all together. Two weeks ago I went online and had a producing culture shipped to me. I used it two start two new cultures a couple of days after I received it and though I don't see any mites in the new cultures, neither has a single larva on the side. The producing culture that was shipped to me stopped doing so after about a week (filled with mites).

Couple of Qs:

What is a good supplemental food that I can purchase in a pinch such as this? (and who can ship em;)PM me)

I'm assuming the culture sent to me was tainted with mites and so will be the two new ones I just started. Is it better to just throw them out now rather than let them proliferate in my apartment? Or should I hold out hope? (flies were suppose to start producing while in shipping so even the ones I started the new cultures with are still only a couple weeks old (meglos))
 

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What type of frogs do you keep? Springtails, pinheads, isos can all be used. I suggest starting over with new cultures. See if anyone in the area has an extra culture to spare. Post in the wanted section for a mite free culture in your area. Try adding vinegar and water while making culture to keep the mold down or use methyl parabin (sp) fo the same purpose. What media brand are you using? I make my own, but lots of people use josh's media. Perhaps invest in mite paper to keep them out of you cultures. Hope this helps.
 

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yea the advice about starting over seems to be the best.
I use Joshsfrogs media and add a pinch of brewers yeast to add some anti-fungal properties to it, and like froggymike said, some anti mite paper is a good thing to have.
if you dont have springtails, and need some feeders, you can get 500 pinhead or 1/8 inch crickets shipped overnight from lllreptile.com
good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I use Josh's media too and always keep my cultures on a paper towel coated in mite spray. He is a good vendor, and I have bought off him before, but for some reason the culture he sent me went to [email protected] right out of the box this time.

I was unaware that you needed to add yeast to Josh's frogs media, thanks for the tip. I don't have any mold yet in the new cultures but this cant hurt to do.

I wish I could find someone local to get a new start off of. Unfortunately there is just no one else within driving distance. I will have to order a new culture online.(last 1 was around $30 with rush shipment, what a PITA)

I ordered some pheonix worms on a wimb the other day and can drive to get some pinheads tonight (have to go about 2 hours round trip for the nearest petco). Will the frogs eat the pheonix worms though? Are they a good supplement?
 

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.

I was unaware that you needed to add yeast to Josh's frogs media, thanks for the tip. I don't have any mold yet in the new cultures but this cant hurt to do.
You actually don't have to add live yeast to a culture to get it going. The flies do carry yeast and other microbes from the old cuture to the new one. Adding it helps reduce other microbes from getting a hold of the culture and can help jump start egg laying.

Ed
 

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I only keep 2 frogs so in the past I have only kept 2-3 cultures going at a time. This had worked out great until recently but when the temps started dropping, so did the number of flies a single culture was producing. Then, I had a strange mold grow on the media of a culture that stopped it from reproducing almost all together.
What is the temperature where the flies are? Insufficient activity of the flies can result in fungus (or even a yeast) overgrowth of the media.. Lower temperatures can reduce a number of things including rate of egg laying, growth of the larva which will result in reduced production.

Two weeks ago I went online and had a producing culture shipped to me. I used it two start two new cultures a couple of days after I received it and though I don't see any mites in the new cultures, neither has a single larva on the side. The producing culture that was shipped to me stopped doing so after about a week (filled with mites).
Unless you are using aseptic culturing conditions all cultures have mites. The whole goal is to simply control them through good hygiene and culture practices. Based on the comments about temperature, I would suspect that the reason your first cultures stopped producing is the reason the new cultures did so as well. Mites don't shut down a culture that fast unless there is something seriously wrong...

I'm assuming the culture sent to me was tainted with mites and so will be the two new ones I just started. Is it better to just throw them out now rather than let them proliferate in my apartment? Or should I hold out hope? (flies were suppose to start producing while in shipping so even the ones I started the new cultures with are still only a couple weeks old (meglos))
See my comments above on mites.

There are a lot of different foods you can use and pinhead crickets are fine. If you have the larger frogs, ten day old crickets are a good choice as they aren't as fragile as pinheads.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, sounds like the phoenix worms were a good way to waste $11.

My apartment stays around 63. I typically keep cultures in closet I have that is probably a bit cooler than that. I know them temp is not ideal, but jacking up my heat any more gets real pricey.

Of the two cultures I created, I placed one in the closet where I typically keep them (on a different shelf than I usually keep them and on a fresh mite-sprayed paper towel) and another (on a folded, sprayed towel) atop a fluorescent light fixture. I know from experience that these flies take about 2 weeks to really start producing but I'm hoping the extra heat would speed up production.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
According to a petco employee all they have is "small crickets" which at around 3/4" are probably too large for my frogs at this point anyway. I left work too late to drive up tonight anyway.

Its been 3 days straight now with nothing but some springtails added and whatever else was in the vivarium. It looks like at this point I'm going to have to pay out the yang for new cultures sent ASAP. Sucks that there are no other froggers to my knowledge in the immediate area.
 

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IMO, your frogs are probably fine for at least a week on only springtails, much longer on reduced rations. Lean times happen in nature, and quite often in captive collections as well (been there). The frogs will just become less active, and conserve energy instead of trying to breed. If cultures aren't producing well yet, you can always stick one in the viv., or just a spoonful of media with larvae and flies, the frogs will munch off of that, and it will continue to produce flies so they have a steady, if limited, food source. Any mites that where in the media will get picked off as well, in fact that may be a good way to get rid of your mite infested cultures while you start over.

Another food source referred to as "field plankton" may be available in your area. I've read about it in old herp keeping books, but never tried it. Read up and know the pros and cons if you do.

My trick for keeping mite free cultures has been to start my new cultures and keep them in a totally separate room from old cultures for the first couple weeks. I haven't seen a mite in about a year, and I don't use mite spray or do anything else special except sterilizing all my culture making materials by way of microwaving or boiling.

If you post where your "immediate area" is, somebody may turn out to be close. Also let us know what kind of frogs you have, that may help in finding food sources.

Hope that helps.
 

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My apartment stays around 63. I typically keep cultures in closet I have that is probably a bit cooler than that. I know them temp is not ideal, but jacking up my heat any more gets real pricey.
The temperature is the problem.... 63 F and the cultures really shut down, colder than that even by a few degrees really will kill cultures... that is going to slow down production of virtually all feeder insects or shut them down for those from tropical regions.
Have you considered modifying a cupboard or other container to hold teh cultures and heat that instead?
If you go that route I strongly suggest using something more effective than sprayed papertowels (like mite paper... it is amazingly cheap)..


Ed
 

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agreed Ed before i got heater my temps where 60-70 and my flys produced slow with heater im 73 constant and they produce really fast and double to tripplw the amount as before

Sent from my SPH-D710 using Tapatalk
 

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forgot to ad just get a 30-40$ space heater thats what i did. i electric bill hasent even been affected and mine runs all day all night it turns on and off. it has its own thermostat

Sent from my SPH-D710 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The temperature is the problem.... 63 F and the cultures really shut down, colder than that even by a few degrees really will kill cultures... that is going to slow down production of virtually all feeder insects or shut them down for those from tropical regions.
Have you considered modifying a cupboard or other container to hold teh cultures and heat that instead?
If you go that route I strongly suggest using something more effective than sprayed papertowels (like mite paper... it is amazingly cheap)..


Ed
How would you heat a cupboard? How about a rubbermade container? Do you think a rubbermade sitting on something like this would work? Amazon.com: Indus-Tool FWXXX Cozy Electric Foot Warming Pad: Home & Kitchen

I have thought about trying this before but I feel it would be hard to regulate the heat. I mean, I imagine that fruitflies have limits beyond which it is just too hot for them. Or will the cultures just be faster and shorter lived?
 

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I keep my house on the cool side and keep my bugs in a closet as well. I have a cheap little space heater (something akin to this) set on 70 or 75 in the closet and keep the door closed. I also keep a towel under the door since I have wood floors to keep the heat in. Works like a champ and with the towel under the door the heater barely ever comes on.
 

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According to a petco employee all they have is "small crickets" which at around 3/4" are probably too large for my frogs at this point anyway. I left work too late to drive up tonight anyway.

Its been 3 days straight now with nothing but some springtails added and whatever else was in the vivarium. It looks like at this point I'm going to have to pay out the yang for new cultures sent ASAP. Sucks that there are no other froggers to my knowledge in the immediate area.
Where are you located? Have you put a wanted ad out for flies? Try a different vendor maybe closer to you that might help with shipping cost. Order Turkish gliders or melo's they produce fast.
 

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How would you heat a cupboard? How about a rubbermade container? Do you think a rubbermade sitting on something like this would work? Amazon.com: Indus-Tool FWXXX Cozy Electric Foot Warming Pad: Home & Kitchen

I have thought about trying this before but I feel it would be hard to regulate the heat. I mean, I imagine that fruitflies have limits beyond which it is just too hot for them. Or will the cultures just be faster and shorter lived?
I have concerns about the risk of using heating things for things they weren't designed to do as that can cause a fire risk. If you are going to go that route then use an under the tank heater for reptiles. You can even invest in a controller with a probe to exactly control the temperatures.

Some of the issues with putting them into a rubbermaid or other container is that you end up either stacking cultures or having them touching, that is a route to increase mite numbers since they can migrate from culture to culture.

As for whether the cultures will be short lived or not, you should not be keeping cultures more than 30 days unless you can keep them far from the newer cultures and are using mite paper. Keeping them more than 30 days is a good recipe for a mite explosion.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Noticed some larva today in the culture that is atop my florescent fixture. It isn't the most aesthetic place to grow out flies but if it keeps them alive and producing during the winter, than it will have to do.

I will just have to be more careful in the future I guess. Usually I throw out cultures after 4-5 weeks. I guess I was tempted to hold on to some due to the low production/immediate need. Must have kept them around to long, leading to the mite-scapades.
 

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What about spring tail culture temps? I have my culture sitting around 70* Should I raise the temps? Just for measure, I have had a spring tail culture going for a week or so and haven't seen much in the way of reproduction... Is this because of the low temps possibly? I have done all the necassary steps to provide the springs with a great platform to jump off of!
 

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What about spring tail culture temps? I have my culture sitting around 70* Should I raise the temps? Just for measure, I have had a spring tail culture going for a week or so and haven't seen much in the way of reproduction... Is this because of the low temps possibly? I have done all the necassary steps to provide the springs with a great platform to jump off of!

What kind of springtails do you have? If you have the white Folsomia, they show good production all the way down into the 50s F. I would not suggest putting any of the springtails ontop of the lights since the cultures are fairly well sealed, it would probably cook them.

Ed
 
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