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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
It pains me to have to make a post about this. My frogs were doing great, but I just need some help here. I am starting to panic and deeply care for this animal he is my first dart frog that I received just over a year ago, he has been healthy but recently I am having issues getting him to put on weight.

His feeding response was never really great he doesn't really chase prey and would just wait around for it to walk in front of him. Even then he would eat it after it moves, recently it seems like he is stressed out and not taking food. When I have put food in front of him he turns to look at it, but does not seem to want to take it. He was usually really shy, but has been getting more bold since he was raising tadpoles with my female.

I tried to feed heavily recently (both flies and springtails), but I do not see any improvement on his weight. Yesterday I tried putting in a piece of fruit as a feeding station, but he has not seemed to notice it. Maybe it is partially my fault I have been trying to put the food near him so that he gets first dibs before the female eats everything. This has caused him to jump away recently, before he would take a few flies at least.

It seems like he has not been as active as usual, I have not heard him calling recently like he was previously. He was raising tads with my female and typically was letting her know when she needed to feed the froglets, but I found the female doing this on her own recently.

I did recently drain the drainage layer of water, it appears that some of the water may have reached the substrate at some point so I am not sure if that could be causing issues.

I feed Rapashy + every feeding and Rapashy Calcium twice a month. It mists for about 25 seconds in the morning and a few hours before the lights go out.

Frog:
Eye Plant Purple Organism Carnivore

Helmet Plant Organism Insect Rock-climbing equipment




This was him two weeks ago:
Eye Plant Wood Trunk Terrestrial plant


Pics of the enclosure:
Plant Terrestrial plant Arecales Leaf vegetable Grass

Plant Botany Terrestrial plant Organism Grass

Plant Leaf Botany Terrestrial plant Flower

Thanks for taking the time to help.

Ricky
 

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Hey Ricky,

He does look skinny but not emaciated-ly skinny, IMO. I've had Ranitomeya sirensis that were around that level of skinniness that have fattened up eventually.

I wouldn't do anything different than you have been doing, less changes are probably for the better right now.

Tank looks good, lots of space for them. unfortunately all you can likely do is leave them be, observe and hope he starts feeding again.

I did recently drain the drainage layer of water, it appears that some of the water may have reached the substrate at some point so I am not sure if that could be causing issues
Very unlikely that the substrate being wet caused him to stop eating.
 

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He doesn't look too bad, and looks active and aware still. I have actively breeding males that look similar (albeit a little fatter).

Is it just the pair in there? How old is the male?

Males are often not as aggressive feeders, as they are defending their territories etc.

Doubtful wet substrate is a big deal. Ranitomeya aren't really as susceptible to things like foot rot as they spend more time on the glass/leaves/plants etc. than they do on the substrate and floor.

If you are really concerned, try removing the female for awhile and give him a month or two to rest. He may have a lot of tadpoles on the go you don't know about...!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
He doesn't look too bad, and looks active and aware still. I have actively breeding males that look similar (albeit a little fatter).

Is it just the pair in there? How old is the male?

Males are often not as aggressive feeders, as they are defending their territories etc.

Doubtful wet substrate is a big deal. Ranitomeya aren't really as susceptible to things like foot rot as they spend more time on the glass/leaves/plants etc. than they do on the substrate and floor.

If you are really concerned, try removing the female for awhile and give him a month or two to rest. He may have a lot of tadpoles on the go you don't know about...!
Hi Chris.

Yes, just a pair in the enclosure.

I would rather not remove the female if possible since I am sure there are 2-3 tadpoles being raised by the pair. I suppose if it is necessary I could try to get the tadpoles out of the bromeliads, but that might be difficult.

I am wondering if I should keep feeding more flies than usual, the female is rather fat as a result since she is a very aggressive feeder and the male does not get much. Do you adjust the amount of flies you give a pair that is breeding due to the increase in nutrient consumption to support the tadpoles? Is the female the main frog that is strained during breeding due to egg feeding, or does the male also use up more nutrients as well defending the offspring?

Ricky
 

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Hi Chris.

Yes, just a pair in the enclosure.

I would rather not remove the female if possible since I am sure there are 2-3 tadpoles being raised by the pair. I suppose if it is necessary I could try to get the tadpoles out of the bromeliads, but that might be difficult.

I am wondering if I should keep feeding more flies than usual, the female is rather fat as a result since she is a very aggressive feeder and the male does not get much. Do you adjust the amount of flies you give a pair that is breeding due to the increase in nutrient consumption to support the tadpoles? Is the female the main frog that is strained during breeding due to egg feeding, or does the male also use up more nutrients as well defending the offspring?

Ricky
Removing either of them will likely result in the tadpoles not being fed - if you had to remove one, I figured removing the female since she was a bit heavier.

I supplement breeding pairs with some Vit A, occasionally, and when I remember. Probably no more than once a month.

The male does expend energy as well - he remembers where the tadpoles are, where any eggs are. He then lets the female know where and when to feed eggs and will water the eggs, if necessary, to keep them moist. The male then, of course, also transports the tadpoles. So the more tadpoles/eggs going on, yes the more energy he is expending - in addition to defending his territory. If you have other imitators calling in other enclosures, he will be on guard knowing there is another male around.

Instead of feeding more at a time, maybe try just feeding more frequently. I also find the males are less apt to feed on the ground/substrate, so try and add some flies higher up to ensure they march past him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
As an update I have not really been successful in fattening up the frog. He is acting normal and is active, but still no calling (I am not sure if that is normal or not). I know there are tadpoles and he was previously telling the female to feed them, but does he stop doing that once the female gets the idea?

I think he is actually afraid of the flies, or maybe they stress him out if one touches him he does not try to eat it, instead it startles him. This may be my fault I have been trying to place flies in close proximity to him so he can have an easier time finding them. Usually he will either jump off, or sometimes eat one or two flies then jump off.

I have been successful in fattening up the female in the tank. It is unfortunate since she was already fat. She is a very aggressive feeder, so I am not sure how to proceed.

I tried a feeding station and she basically hogged a lot of the flies. Although I did see my male spending time in front of it. However, he tended to just stare at the flies I am not sure why he doesn't just eat them even when they move right in front of his face.

Does it take a long time for a frog to gain weight?

Ricky
 

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I have some skinny looking males, similar to yours, that have been around for years actively breeding. I have other males I have never seen eat ever, whilst the females will almost hop into my hand to eat. I wouldn't worry too much. If he was in poor health, he likely wouldn't be calling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have some skinny looking males, similar to yours, that have been around for years actively breeding. I have other males I have never seen eat ever, whilst the females will almost hop into my hand to eat. I wouldn't worry too much. If he was in poor health, he likely wouldn't be calling.
He has not been calling. He was a few weeks ago when he was a healthier weight.

I hope I am overreacting for his sake.
Insect Arthropod Purple Pollinator Organism


Considering finding someone that sells termites to try to help get some weight on him.

Any chance he contracted parasites or something?

Ricky
 

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Melanogaster, occasionally I will add some hydei.
I don't think hydei are going to entice a reluctant to feed thumbnail to eat and put on weight. You need enticing, calorie rich feeders like larva. Maybe make up a small amount of media and put it in a handful of bottle caps. Put them in a container and add flies. Those flies can be later fed off. You have a bunch of feeding stations to put in the tank.
 

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That doesn't look good.

If he's been fine for a year and now is going downhill, I personally would suspect either an injury (small herps that take some sort of hit/drop or compression respond like this, in a couple unfortunate accidents I've had) or some internal malformation/weakness that is now manifesting itself. I'd suspect a pathogen more if it cropped up sooner after getting them, or if other frogs in the viv are showing symptoms. Of course running a fecal wouldn't hurt, but I don't know if I'd personally judge it worth the effort/stress/expense in this case (other keepers certainly would, and that's good).

That's all just spitballing though, as a way of being supportive and expressing that I'm sorry for what you're experiencing. Hopefully others have some more hopeful advice for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
That doesn't look good.

If he's been fine for a year and now is going downhill, I personally would suspect either an injury (small herps that take some sort of hit/drop or compression respond like this, in a couple unfortunate accidents I've had) or some internal malformation/weakness that is now manifesting itself. I'd suspect a pathogen more if it cropped up sooner after getting them, or if other frogs in the viv are showing symptoms. Of course running a fecal wouldn't hurt, but I don't know if I'd personally judge it worth the effort/stress/expense in this case (other keepers certainly would, and that's good).

That's all just spitballing though, as a way of being supportive and expressing that I'm sorry for what you're experiencing. Hopefully others have some more hopeful advice for you.
Thanks for responding. It is a tough situation for me and I want to do the best I can to try and make him healthy again.

At this point I am starting to wonder if there is there anything I can do. Would there be any other feeders I could get to try to entice him to eat?

Is there any possibility that separating him would help, or would they only make things worse? The other frog he is with (female) is doing quite well and has actually gotten pretty fat due to my efforts to fatten up this skinny frog.

This was my first dart frog and he is very special to me, I don't mind spending money if it means I can save him. If I end up losing him it is really going to make me question my status as a keeper.

Ricky
 

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If I end up losing him it is really going to make me question my status as a keeper.
I hope you wouldn't do that. In this case, it seems entirely unwarranted. Sincerely.

I suppose if one wanted to try heroic measures that separating him out and collecting a fecal sample for a vet or mail in service (I've not done this but others may have advice) would be a way to go. If he is simply not eating at all, there's nothing that's going to make it worse IMO.

Again, I hope others give advice too -- the more input on something like this the better.
 

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This may be total moot, but have you attempted to hand feed him? have you noticed anything physically wrong with his mouth, like he may not be able to catch or eat for some reason? A physical inspection is best, also try hand feeding a ff larva, you can use soft tipped or plastic tweezers and just rub his "lips" with the larvae along the mouth blow the eye to the fold. (where the jaw hinges) wear latex gloves and/or scrub your hands well before and after handling. Good luck, I hope he gets better soon.
 
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