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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have an issue. I heavily dust my FFs with Repashy Calcium Plus. Add multiple “feeding stations” (I’ve found orange slices decompose at a slower rate) in the tank since FFs have a tendency to scatter and be in multiple areas. However can within 10 minutes, my FFs are no longer dusted. The powder wears off as they move about the substrate and/or my 99% humidity saturates them?

What do you guys do to make sure calcium is getting to your frogs? I was thinking of having their water bowls mixed with calcium solution (I think Flukers makes one?) since one of my frogs likes to hang out near one of the water bowls. I was currently putting in Brita-filtered water with Reptisafe water conditioner/electrolytes. Is putting in a calcium solution a good idea? I also have a UVB light.

How do you get your frogs to eat all the FFs? I’ve read too many FFs can stress them. But my frogs don’t go after the FFs right away. And since they’re juvies (I think 4-6mo old, about 3/4”. Skye weighs 1g; Bozo weighs 2g), I’ve read I should feed 1-2x per day. I try to feed small amounts, but it’s tough to measure. Even with feeding stationsC the FFs disperse.

Another idea I had was feeding smaller/baby isos (not the dwarf varieties since they have less calcium). But the baby isos have less calcium, too. Not sure which varieties would be better, also not sure if my frogs will think they’re food. I think they’re trained to know white moving objects are food. I think they’re confused sometimes when they see the FFs no longer covered in calcium dust.

Is my humidity too high? Should I add in ventilation and air flow? Originally, I had a screen lid and a fogger which was perfect but the FFs kept escaping! I know have a glass lid but no air flow. Worried it could cause bacteria. Today I’m getting the supplies to make a combo glass/mesh lid so I can use the fogger, creating some airflow. Not sure that’ll solve the FF/calcium dust issue, but at least it’ll make me feel better about the airflow/bacteria.

Also, what are your tips to prevent FFs from accidentally escaping the culture containers while you shake them into your dusting container? I feel like an idiot chasing the FFs around trying to catch them. They give me the creepy crawlies. Luckily, the hydei like to jump into my dusting can. The melanogasters seem to scramble and I’m stuck chasing them around!! I even put carnivorous plants around me and they don’t go for them. I guess I can try doing them in the sink.

WRT any errant leftover FFs in the tank- do you just let them breed in the tank? Not all go to the feeding stations and the frogs are maybe too small for the tank. I’m going to get a mourning gecko to eat the leftover FFs (hopefully). I’ve also put in 2 pitcher plants. I think I’ll add some of my sundews and butterworts to areas on the sides of the tank the frog aren’t prone to climbing. Hopefully, my loving fly paper will catch these FFs!

As an aside, does anyone know if the sticky stuff (enzymes) from carnivorous plants are dangerous to frogs? I’ve seen pix from Sarracenia Northwest where frogs are sitting inside pitcher plants, hijacking the plants’ meal (insects). The fluid inside pitcher plants contains some enzymes and if that’s safe for the frogs, then I’m hoping the sticky enzymes from sundews and butterworts are safe for frogs and geckos.
 

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You need to relax a bit, here :) I understand you are stressing out because you have a couple of frogs that are not doing very well right now. However, the problems you are describing, if some sort of deficiency (or surplus?) is to blame, did not develop overnight and were well underway when you got the frogs, if I understand the time line.

You are right to worry about supplementation, but that is not a short-term problem, nor is it a short-term fix. If you feed your frogs fruit flies dusted in a quality supplement (I still haven't found anything better than fresh, refrigerated Repashy products), you are really unlikely to have this type of nutrient imbalance. If you do what you now know to do with regard to feeding and supplementing your frogs, you will be ok in the long run. Whether it's too late for these particular frogs, I don't know, but follow best husbandry practices with regard to feeding and their enclosure and all will be well.

I am really sorry you are having this problem with the frogs that you have. I don't wish that on anyone. However, I will emphasize to other people that are reading this thread and are on the verge of purchasing frogs (first ones or otherwise) - you can't overemphasize how important it is to buy from people that know what they are doing. I am not referring to people that talk a good game. I am referring to people that have a proven track record with selling quality dart frogs. The vast majority of the pet stores I have been to do not have such a record. I have had the best luck with individual breeders that specialize in dart frogs. Do your research. Drop some private messages to people that really know what they are doing, if need be. Any reputable breeder should be able to tell you the line information and where they got the parents of the animals they are selling. It wouldn't hurt to ask them some questions about how they take care of the their animals, too. They should tell you about how they are supplementing, how they raise their tadpoles, how their tanks are setup, etc. That should match most, if not all, of the advice given on this board. If they aren't following pretty standard practices, I would steer clear.

I don't say all of this to make the OP feel bad. Please don't interpret it as such. I would hope that the OP wouldn't want other people to have the same experience they are having now. OP, I wish you all of the best in rehabbing your frogs. It really sounds like you are doing everything you can. That's what responsible animal ownership is about, as far as I am concerned.

Best of luck,

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Mark,

Thanks for this post. I didn’t take offense at all and it does make me feel a bit better. I just hope my frogs end up ok.

I spoke with the Petco manager. He has been in the hobby for over 5 years, is a dendroboard member, and assured me my frogs were captive bred. He is sending me their documentation showing lineage, etc. Apparently, the breeder/vendor is reputable (a dendroboard site sponsor) who sells wholesale to pet stores. This is kept on the downlow so I don’t feel comfortable sharing the name and outing them, as I feel a lot of dendroboard members would boycott them given that they sell to pet stores like Petco.

Your insight and guidance were exactly what the Petco manager said. That it all comes down to husbandry and that some animals just have a failure to thrive, even with good husbandry.

I bought Flukers liquid calcium and liquid multivitamin. I am going to put these in their water bowls, per instructions. Not sure if I will soak them since these treatments are stressing the little guys out. I’ll let them decide if they need it. The liquid vitamins coupled with some good, gut-loaded and dusted foods will (hopefully) help them out. Last week, I’d already tried feeding them some XS Phoenix worms, but i think they were confused. I don’t think they are used to worms. I tried small wax worms, too, and they didn’t bite. I’ll try some small isopods tomorrow.

Thanks again for the post. Appreciate it!
 

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Glad to hear it. For feeding in the short term to get rid of any deficiencies, I would find what they are willing to eat and dust as you can. In my opinion, now is not the time to introduce diversity into their diets. That can come later. Find what they are most willing to eat and feed them a lot of it, especially if you can dust it. Personally, I would focus mainly on dusted fruit flies.

Also, if this manager has the kind of experience he says he does and if he was dusting with quality supplements, and if the frogs were in his care for a while at the store, I would not think there would be any deficiencies involved. I would also have thought that a quality breeder would not have given him frogs that had any sort of deficiency in the first place. So, something smells funny in the story I am hearing. He is right that there is such a thing as frogs that don't thrive, but that should relatively rare with good breeding stock and is more likely to happen early on - before sellable age.

Anyway, I hope everything works out well!

Mark
 
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