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A separate active post, about overfeeding frogs, has brought up an interesting and related topic, which was discussed in the new Christmann, Fantastic Journey book. So, the question presents itself: "how should we be feeding our frogs."

Christmann writes that frogs in the wild must hunker down for long periods to wait for food. Additionally, he states that large fat deposits are a common finding in the necropsies of captive frogs. He also stated that overfeeding could result in organ enlargement and damage. This isn't too far fetched. Think about the process or make fois grois.

So, the age old tradition of dumping unlimited amounts of fruit flies into a 10G tank at 8:35AM every day is in question. I personally feed in random cycles of overabundant feedings to sparse feedings to skipping a few days. I notice that on the days I skip, the frogs change their behavioral patterns. I have also notice some changes in breeding activity possibly due to these changes (of course causation and correlation are two different animals). Any thoughts?
 

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This is a good post Joe. Personally, i'm not on a strict feeding schedule. Tuesdays, Thursdays, and two or three days of the weekend they will be fed (but not at a specific time of the day. How much they will be fed and what type of bug depends on the production of the cultures, and so somedays they can stuff themselves and others they can spend trying to find little soil arthropods to snap up. Becuase of this, somedays I'll have fat frogs, and somedays they will be trim, not thin. Depending on the species, this has different effects. When I toss in a bunch of ff's wit my vents I find that they stay in the upper stories of the tank and pick the ff's off as the climb the sides. If I notice an abundance of fruit flies i will either throw in some springtails instead or just leave them alone. The tinc's however will gorge themselves until they're stomachs are huge, and spend the next few days with each other more than searching for food, and not surprisingly this behavior is reversed if the food is less abundant. I also do this with misting, give them plenty of places to get wet if needed, but I don't provide them with a constant dousing mist of the cage. The bottom line is, I think we underestimate the toughness of these animals. This lack of natural conditions may create a negative effect on the frogs, and with the concern we place on keeping these animals pure and natural, wouldn't we want them to perform natural behavior? In the wild there is not a constant rainfall, a surplus of food, and conditions that are precise to the minute. By providing an element (or multiple types) of surprise, we create an enviroment that is as natural as possible for the frogs. Even in things like tadpole care, do the tadpoles have a 24 hour supply of perfectly clean, regularly changed water and a steady supply of food? The rain doesn't clean the water in axils and so on every day or two. I'm having trouble formulating my thought's on this irght now, but hopefully you get the idea. I'm also just brainstorming, so feel free to play with this. Once again great topic Joe.

Jordan
 

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I agree that a lot of captive frogs are overfed. But I'm not sure what Christmann means by "hunker down for long periods". If he means food may become seasonally scarce, then maybe so. But if he means frogs must go a long time before they can find something to eat on a daily basis, I think he's on crack. The only way I would believe this is if someone were to watch a wild frog in foraging behavior and time the interval between tongue flicks. Lay with your face down to the ground on a warm summer day in the U.S. and see how long it takes before you see some kind of arthropod cross a half meter patch. Probably about as long as it takes to focus your eyes. Then consider that arthropod abundance in the tropics tends to be huge AND that you aren't even seeing the really tiny little things that frogs snap up all the time. It's just really difficult to fathom that a frog that eats small arthropods in the tropical leaf litter or canopy has to go very long before it finds something yummy to snap up. BUT, I'll bet the frogs in the wild burn more calories per calorie consumed than frogs in captivity. Like Ed K. says, what we feed our frogs tends to be more calorically dense than what they eat in the wild. Plus, we confine our frogs to a fraction of the space they would roam in the wild.

I think the most natural feeding schedule would be to have a steady supply of bugs at low density in the viv at all times that the frogs would have to search for but when they were foraging, they be able to come across a food item every 30 seconds or so. This is pretty hard to pull off in small vivs so we end up with the schedule of dumping a bunch of insects in so the frogs gorge for 3 minutes and then sit around and belch the rest of the day.
 

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I have been thinking about this alot. I like hicksonj also "feed in random cycles of overabundant feedings to sparse feedings to skipping a few days." And like Jordan B I dont have strict mistng scheduals and the tanks have varied amounts of moisture over the week. I think this may mimic nature closer then misting at X time for X amount of time and feeding X amount of flys everyday. But I dont know for sure what is better for the frogs in captivity and what is better if you are looking for breeding.

I havent raised Tincs and Azureus from froglet to adult for very long so it has been frustrating to know if my frogs have been growing right along on schedual. The thumbs are much easyer seeing how they mature in size so much quicker. So I have never really been sure if my frogs were eating enough to grow at a healthy pace. Recenlty I have been trying to feed my frogs ALOT more then usual to see how that works. How easy is it to stunt the growth of PDFs.
 

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I feed our frogs on a schedule. Unfortuantley with 3 kids, I have to. I feed all the adults and breeders Mon/Wed/Fri, and a tiny bit on Sat & Sun. My juvi's are checked every day, and food is added on a daily basis for some of them. I do really heavy mistings on Tues & Thurs, and while misting, if I don't see food in the tank, I will also add (but that's very rare). We keep a piece of rotting fruit in the tank, and replace it every 2 weeks or so. That seems to keep a lot of flies in the tank. Also having solid glass lids really helps with this.

As for stunting, from what I have seen that is typically caused by keeping a juvi in too small of a tank. I had a customer come over the other day, and she bought an auratus from a pet store 8 months ago, and it's still the size of a small pumilio (the pet store had it in a 2 1/2 gallon for quite some time from what she told me). Underfeeding it could also play a factor, but I would think with a juvi frog, by underfeeding it would just wither away and die.
 

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One hour before my next class starts so ill go head and post hope its not to long for you guys.
My adult tinc class, are not fed every day. I probably feed them 3 times a week, with a large amount of hydei. I then feed them a light buzzati and melonogaster 1 or 2 times a week. Sometimes i make them go 2 days with no added food and force them to eat springies, wax worms, and rfbls. They tend to not really go after these foods if they just ate fruit flies.

My retics, i tend to feed at least every other day if not 5 days a week. They get glider melonogasters, regular melonogasters, and now they are eating alot of buzzati. I try to keep this tank totally stocked at all times with springies and a dozen fruit flies or so.

My vents mainly eat melonogaster, but i give them buzzati and hydei from time to time. they are fed maybe 4 times a week. Their tank has also been seeded with springies but i doubt they eat many.

My tinc class offspring froglets which I raised from tads i feed everyday. Never to much, but sometimes twice a day with as much variety as possible. Growing frogs need more variety and readily available food in my opinion. If you raise a frog eating spiders, waxworms, rfbl's, and springies then they are more likely to eat those items throughout their entire lifespan.

My scheduling is no way planned and really i used to feed everyday. I realized that this was not neccessary, and just fed when i thought of it and it has been working so far. I dont like to see a viv with nothing to eat in it, so there is usually something in there, even if its a just a couple of flies or some springies under leaf litter. In the beggining (8months), nothing was to much for me, I would spend hours in my room sifting through rfbl medium and feeding fruit flies. As time when on I got lazier, and just dumped in fruit flies. I realized that you cant just grownyour collection constantly and just keep adding to your workload cause the frogs suffer and your enjoyment of the frogs suffers. No sense in having to feed everyone everyday. Now my collection is stable with no additions in almost 7 months or so, and im loving it more than ever. I only have 4 adult vivs now and i can really monitor them and specialize myself in those frogs. All fours species are breeding and thriving, which makes every day a interesting day. Off course those lime green sips and new pumilo are, testing my resolve and the little monkey on my back is wispering 2 more species wont hurt.
 

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"As for stunting, from what I have seen that is typically caused by keeping a juvi in too small of a tank. I had a customer come over the other day, and she bought an auratus from a pet store 8 months ago, and it's still the size of a small pumilio (the pet store had it in a 2 1/2 gallon for quite some time from what she told me)."

Thats interesting. Has anyone else heard of frogs being stunted this way?
 

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Question,
you have 2 pairs of azureus, both pairs same size. One pair is in a 40 gallon, and one pair is in a 20 gallon. Both tanks are fully planted with many hide spots. Would you put more food in the 40 gallon, and less in the 20 gallon? Or feed both the same amount. Does tank size determin food consuption?
TQ
 

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Ah you pose a good question. I myself find that I tend to spinkle more flies into the 55 just because of the size of the tank and I have more frogs in that particular tank. But there are always dead or dying flies stuck to the condensation in the morning. So I try to avoid this.
I'll reiterate a discusion from a few months ago with Chuck Powell. Adults will tend to grow stronger and healthier with less rather than more food. Behavior differs as with hunting and breeding. Makes sense if you were to transpose the points to humans. Do we want trim healthy frogs that forage for every last fly or couch potatos that sit there watching the game and eat the chip that fell on their fat belly 3 hrs ago.
Hmmm Couch Frogs????

Mike
 

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Josh- OK you got me. That'll teach me to try and post before 6 am. I should stick to reading at those times and respond after my coffee! Ha! I even got a laugh out of it.

Mike ( :shock: WIDE AWAKE NOW :shock: )
 

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Here is a previous post I made on the required number of FFs/day for a 1 gram frog (from the thread http://www.dendroboard.com/phpBB2/viewt ... ght=#24367)

snip "Okay I had a little extra time today so I warmed up the Ohaus TS120 and let it acclimate and tared it. I then dumped enough fruit flies on it to get a usable weight (0.125 grams). I took these ffs and froze them, and then counted them. It took 166 ffs to make 0.125 grams. This comes out to be 7.53 E-4 grams per fly. Using the previous calculation from above we had come up with 0.0039 grams/ffs/day.
A quick calculation results in 5.2 ffs per day to sustain basal metabolic rates at 25 C (77 F). So an actively growing 1 gram frog can require as many as 42 ffs a day but the number is likely anywhere from 1/2 to 2/3 this amount as I was estimating high (8 times SMR requirements) on maximal amount. When pouring ffs from a container it is pretty easy to pour two to three times as many ffs. As the frogs are hard wired to take advantage of this time of plenty (even though it occurs daily), it is easy to overfeed your frogs. "

I can work out the numbers for a larger frog like an adilt tinct as females tend to weigh about 6 grams for a big one (but it is not simply multiplying the above numbers by 6).

At work, I tend to feed three times a week and while I may not get eggs as often as some people I have had tincts producing eggs for more than 15 years.
Ed
 

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Mike, I gotta admit I got a good laugh out of it too.


Back on topic, I tend to monitor frog intake the same I do my own. I don't count anything (calories, fat grams, etc)... but I know when I need to cut back on the intake based on my (or the frogs) size.

I think is is faily easy to "feel" how much we should be feeding, and to adjust as necessary before the over/under-wight pendulum swings too far in either direction.

Josh
 

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For very large vivaria I like to feed slightly heavily once a week. The frogs gorge for a little while but the food disperses into the vivarium where the frogs can forage more naturally during the week. If I stir the leaf litter around and stir up a few flies, springtails, earwigs, and what not, then I feel good that there is forageable food available. This works well in vivs with 100gal + capacity. It doesn't work for 30 gal. and less, I can't say where the cut off in between is.
 

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So for such large vivs, how much would you feed per frog (what is a larger feeding exactly)?

Luke
 

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Darks!de said:
So for such large vivs, how much would you feed per frog (what is a larger feeding exactly)?

Luke
That's hard to say. I've been doing it so long I go by feel. But I would guess that at a feeding I probably add maybe 20%-50% more flies than I would feed the same frogs in a smaller viv. This could be way off, it might be closer to double. But the real measure is monitoring the frequency of feeding and the load of bugs the viv maintains. So for my really large viv I give a moderately heavy feeding about once a week or two weeks with dusted flies but I do light feedings with dusted flies targeted near the frogs 1-2 times between heavy feedings. I monitor the leaf litter fauna and if it gets abundant, I scale back on the heavy feedings for awhile and if the fauna gets scarce, I add a heavy feeding. The goal is to provide an environment where a frog foraging through the litter and foliage can pick off a bug a few times in a minute or so but also, to get dusted flies into them.
 
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