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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have D white which i stock every viv with on set up I also have G.orange which i intend to stock vivs with,around a dozen adults per viv to act as an inviv clean up crew,plus breeding stock to supply feedstuff in the form of young. We also culture a small grey fast moving iso,i believe from peru,and finally have a culture of natives which i utilise the offspring as feedstuff for our darts,which contains Onicllus(sorry can't think of the species name) more of which in a minute.
My basic question is will all these species live in harmoney in a viv,ie do they occupy separate niches? or do they compete against each other.
Ok as a side note:
I have read about onicillus being utilised to rid a viv of nemerteans,and have realised that 2 vivs i set up almost a year ago,and not stocked with frogs(one has last week) do not contain nemerteans,well i can't see them if they are there. Because these vivs have been running so long now,an extraordinary number of Dwarf white have bred in them,i have to feed them almost daily,and have constantly removed handfuls to set new cultures up with huge success,when i say extraordinary i mean silly numbers,if i miss feeding then the place where i feed has them all over the surface looking for grub,not usual behaviour for them as they normally stay away from the light in my vivs.
When we got our summersi a week ago, i actually removed 2 handfuls as i was concearned about them stressing the frogs,the frogs will get on top of the numbers in time, and i can always add more if i have taken too many out. If i have found a way to clobber the nemerteans,by just using D. whites i am warey now of utilising the other species. With the sucess of my wild culture i was thinking of setting up one purely of Onicillus to sort this problem with nemerteans,but am unsure if the other species would be counter productive...or they would all work together.
Thanks for any thoughts anyone has on this
regards
Stu
 

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I have Dwarf Whites, Dwarf Gray/Striped, and Giant Oranges established in all my vivs. They seem to get along fine.
 

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I have Dwarf Whites, Dwarf Gray/Striped, and Giant Oranges established in all my vivs. They seem to get along fine.
Just out of curiosity, how long has that been the case? I ask because I have Dwarf Whites and Dwarf Striped in all my tanks as well, but have noticed over time the Dwarf White population becoming less noticable. I even set up a shoebox culture with both species in it, and now many months later all I can find are Dwarf Striped.

I don't know much about the reproduction of isopods but have wondered if the Striped just out-competed the Whites, or if they could have hybridized. I would assume hybridization would be much more unlikely with the Giant Oranges (ouch).
 

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Just out of curiosity, how long has that been the case? I ask because I have Dwarf Whites and Dwarf Striped in all my tanks as well, but have noticed over time the Dwarf White population becoming less noticable. I even set up a shoebox culture with both species in it, and now many months later all I can find are Dwarf Striped.

I don't know much about the reproduction of isopods but have wondered if the Striped just out-competed the Whites, or if they could have hybridized. I would assume hybridization would be much more unlikely with the Giant Oranges (ouch).
It has only been about 8 months or so. Oranges have only been in about 4 months. In a shoebox culture, I would expect one species to outcompete the others. So far, in my vivs, both the whites and the gray/striped populations are growing well. It is my hope that with a deep enough substrate, and plenty of leaf litter, there will be areas for all of them to establish.
 

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In a small area such as a viv, species that have the same food/space requirements are always in competition (one of the reasons I understand mixing frog species is discouraged).

That said, while I'm fairly confident that whites/grays/oranges are looking for the the same food items in the viv, they might not be looking for them in the same place. For example, I've seen that dwarf white spend most of their time in the substrate, and I've heard that striped greys and oranges spend a good deal of their time on the surface. In this scenario they are not directly competing with each other for resources.
 

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In a small area such as a viv, species that have the same food/space requirements are always in competition (one of the reasons I understand mixing frog species is discouraged).

That said, while I'm fairly confident that whites/grays/oranges are looking for the the same food items in the viv, they might not be looking for them in the same place. For example, I've seen that dwarf white spend most of their time in the substrate, and I've heard that striped greys and oranges spend a good deal of their time on the surface. In this scenario they are not directly competing with each other for resources.

Yes the do directly compete and there are a number of papers that document that this can change growth rates in the isopods however the link I included above demonstrates active cannibalism among several species (with implications it is more widespread). Even though those links say there is an error the links work.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
To each of you i am very greatful for your thoughts,i desparately want to give my frogs as varied a diet as possible,but if there is interspecies competion(Ed i am embarressed to say i don't fully understand the paper but i have tried to read it),are the dwarf white the best option nutrionally. As i seem to be having such good results with dwarf whites,coupled with with the unproven observations/ laymans results on the nemerteans,which might well be coupled with very high density population of dwarf white,is there a benefit to adding the other isos to our vivs?
Guys i am really greatful for all your imputs,i am now trying to weigh up the pros and cons as to whether the benefits of maybe slightly different nutritional values of the different species,outway the above potential for competion,while in the back of my mind i have this nagging theory about density of D.W iso clobbering the nemerteans.
Ed apologies with not really being able to understand the paper i struggle with my own countries language always have,its taken me nearly an hour to write this,so i think it makes sense,i'll go though it again tomorrow when not so tired.

thanks again all
fascinating
Stu
 

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No need to apologize.

It has been shown that in isopods that not only do they compete for resources and that this can slow or reduce growth of isopods but a number of species cannibalize unhatched eggs and/or unhatched isopods carried around by other females. In addition, at least in the lab cultures, they will actively predate on things like fruit fly pupae and possibly larva. As for which provide the best nutrition, that is unknown because other than a couple of species having thier calcium to phosphorus content analyzedthere isn't any other information that would allow you to make a determination. The dwarf white isopods are supposed to be softer which would imply that they have less calcium but until that work is done we simply don't know.

Ed
 

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Ed, are you saying it is a bad idea to have more than one species in a viv or do you think that with a thick substrate and plenty of leaf litter, multiple species may still be able to carve out a niche for themselves over an extended amount of time?
 
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I think it may work in an enclosure (although over time I have seen tanks where I started with several species end up with mainly just one (dwarf striped..). It is going to be an issue with trying to set up long running multispecies cultures. In the literature, there may be stratification by size of the species in assorted resources... so paying attention to the behaviors in the enclosures will help.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks Ed for the kindness and the breakdown,of the paper, and Doug for the imput,I guess my best method will be to stock a couple of different vivs both of similar design ( for tincs) one with dwarf white and the second with a mixed population to see what happens over time. I don't actually keep the dwarf striped,which appears to be the most er.... dominant/aggresive? So it might be interesting to see how the other 3 compete.
Although we don't know the values of Ca relative to each species(and i have also read that the Dwarf white are said to be softer bodied),i am right to asume that iso are one of the best sources of Ca in our feeder animals? or is this not known. Or to rephrase that,what is the best source of Ca in our commonly cultivated feeders
As ever big thank you,for your time and thoughts,all. Shaz and i are helped much by many people in this hobby with lots of knowledge and experiance,as Zoomie said the other day maybe sometimes you guys don't realise how much you help folks like us whom have this addiction and are trying to cram all this. Sometimes maybe spelling it out maybe a better way then clicking a button or a word
regards
Stu
......off to chant hatch over some superblue eggs, pull another batch, set up more of those blummin iso cultures,feed those tads, water all these plants,see if i can finish this tad thingy,and maybe stop just for a minute and marvel at some beautiful frogs:D:D:D
 

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Isopods are considered a major source of calcium in birds (and for hatchlings) in the wild however this doesn't take into account that the frogs still need a good source of D3 otherwise they can't metabolize the calcium properly.

Ed
 

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Ed, are you saying it is a bad idea to have more than one species in a viv or do you think that with a thick substrate and plenty of leaf litter, multiple species may still be able to carve out a niche for themselves over an extended amount of time?
I think it may work in an enclosure (although over time I have seen tanks where I started with several species end up with mainly just one (dwarf striped..). It is going to be an issue with trying to set up long running multispecies cultures. In the literature, there may be stratification by size of the species in assorted resources... so paying attention to the behaviors in the enclosures will help.

Ed
Same experience here. Obviously a lot of other variables could come into play (what is the physical makeup of the tank strata, to what degree is the frog predation affecting the surface crawlers, tank size, original populations, available vegetable matter for the iso's, etc). That being said, I can't see how adding many species of isopods can be a "bad" thing. At worst, the cannibalized iso's serve to boost the competing population. Pill bugs gotta' eat too.
 

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Obviously the success I have had over the last 6 to 8 months is a very short period of time in "the life of a viv". I will take cannibalism and competition into account. I'll make sure I keep a nice deep layer of leaf litter and continue to feed the bugs, "in viv". I like to throw pieces of raw squash in, watermelon rind, grapes, banana, etc. to try to keep them thriving.
Thanks for the input!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Isopods are considered a major source of calcium in birds (and for hatchlings) in the wild however this doesn't take into account that the frogs still need a good source of D3 otherwise they can't metabolize the calcium properly.

Ed
Absolutly and the uvb lighting through optiwite and the dusting should enable this,thankyou again
Stu
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Obviously the success I have had over the last 6 to 8 months is a very short period of time in "the life of a viv". I will take cannibalism and competition into account. I'll make sure I keep a nice deep layer of leaf litter and continue to feed the bugs, "in viv". I like to throw pieces of raw squash in, watermelon rind, grapes, banana, etc. to try to keep them thriving.
Thanks for the input!
Thankyou Doug you have pretty much pre-empted my next question,which was to have been: i feed my vivs when they are frogless with tetramin and readybreak to sustain the large population build up,but was concearned about what i should utilise once frogs were in the tank,and would it be safe to continue with these? but your more natural feedstuffs seem a better option,your culturing threads on iso have had a big impact here and are part of the reason i have so many cultures of these on the go and the sole reason for the giant orange
thankyou
regards
Stu
 

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You can add small pieces of things that isopods like to eat (like slices of potato)...

Ed
 

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Thankyou Doug you have pretty much pre-empted my next question,which was to have been: i feed my vivs when they are frogless with tetramin and readybreak to sustain the large population build up,but was concearned about what i should utilise once frogs were in the tank,and would it be safe to continue with these? but your more natural feedstuffs seem a better option,your culturing threads on iso have had a big impact here and are part of the reason i have so many cultures of these on the go and the sole reason for the giant orange
thankyou
regards
Stu
Any time Stu, glad I could help. Another good reason to go with more natural stuff for "in viv" feeding comes from Ed. Your bugs will store Tocopherols in amounts WAY beyond what they should have. Your frogs, in turn will have elevated levels. If I understand it fully, this will block them from absorbing proper amounts of Calcium, etc. (Did I get the gist of it, Ed?) A search for "Tocopherol sequestering" should turn it up pretty readily. Tocopherols are used as a preservative in dog foods and fish flake foods.
 
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Any time Stu, glad I could help. Another good reason to go with more natural stuff for "in viv" feeding comes from Ed. Your bugs will store Tocopherols in amounts WAY beyond what they should have. Your frogs, in turn will have elevated levels. If I understand it fully, this will block them from absorbing proper amounts of Calcium, etc. (Did I get the gist of it, Ed?) A search for "Tocopherol sequestering" should turn it up pretty readily. Tocopherols are used as a preservative in dog foods and fish flake foods.
In essence you have it.. it actually competes with D3 or vitamin A if present in the diet at the same time.

Ed
 
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