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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I got this 20L a while ago.



It was what originally housed my group of Vittatus. The whole tank has been sitting, untouched, since then with nothing in it besides the substrate, a few plants, and what seems like thousands of microfauna. From what I can see, it seems like there's dwarf white isos and white springs. They are litterally teeming everywhere. I was thinking about leaving it up and using it for a froglet tank, but I really don't want to use a whole 20L for a few froglets. I'd rather get the bugs out, and use them to seed a few 5-10g tanks for different species and groups of froglets, and use the whole tank for a group of other frogs.

So, the substrate in the tank is soil. It stays super humid in there because the false bottom is at least 2/3 full of water, the top is 100% sealed, and it stays about 74-76F in the room they were in. So, they seem to be doing just fine.

Anywho, I don't want to culture them in soil, obviously. So how do I get them out of the soil and into their appropriate culturing substrates without crushing them, drowning them, or having them asphyxiated and lost in the soil? I know they float, but it's not quite as simple as it is in charcoal. The soil all disintegrates and causes the water to be black and kind of thick. How would I get them out of the water if I used that method? And how would you do it? The whole tank at one time, or a little bit of soil at a time to make sure you are as thorough as possible?

Thanks so much in advance.
Mark
 

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Put a medium-large piece of cardboard in the tank and sprinkle some food (yeast, fish flakes, etc.). Come back after the lights have been off for a while and there should be a bunch eating that you can pull. You may have to do it a few times. Worked for me.
 

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you can put a slice of mushroom on top of a kitchen scour pad (they make ones out of natural fibers that are chemical free) and in a few days microfauna should be all over it.

remove the scour pad from the tank and quickly shake off microfauna into your culture cups and feed them.

wait a week or two and you should have booming cultures of the microfauna you want to keep and at that point, i would empty out the 20L completely, sanitize it with bleach, redo the tank and age it in a bit, before putting new frogs in.

(just be careful that you don't accidentally end up culturing microfauna you don't want. Nemertean worms are a pain in the a$$)

hope that helps
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Both of those ideas are much more logical than flooding the tank. Thank you both.

I highly doubt there will be an option to separate the isos from the springs, so what substrate would you recommend that I use in the new culture they will go into to accommodate them both? I have a 4L bag of ABG mix that I could readily use if that'd be acceptable.

Mark
 

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ABG mix is fine to use, i use it for my larger iso's (porcellio scaber sp "orange" and "dalmatian"). They seem to like a "chunkier" substrate and can be found hiding underneath bits of the charcoal or bark. I top this with a thin layer of oak leaves for them to munch on. (just monitor it so that it doesn't get too wet and you start to have mold issues)

while ABG mix is perfectly fine to use for your culture, it might be a bit expensive to do so.

I have also used shallow cups topped with the lids we use for FF cultures (i forgot how many oz's they are, but i use them for rearing tadpoles and they are about half the size of the 32oz cups used for FF cultures, so 16oz?). In these cups i use straight coco husk fibers from a rehydrated brick and add a handful of crushed oak leaves on top. Mist very sparingly and feed once a week on sliced mushrooms and/or brewers yeast mixed with a HQ fish flake.

using this method I am successfully culturing tropical and temperate white springs, black springs (tomocerus sp, but i also add orchid bark and keep it dryer, they like chunky substrate), dwarf white iso, orange iso, dalmatian iso's, and jungle micropods.

i make about 4 cultures for each group (the white springs i have ten cultures going) and when i need to i dump the whole culture, coco fiber and all into the tank. The next day after the microfauna have scattered into the tank, i remove the excess coco fiber. it's been working fine for me so far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
It is a bit expensive, I agree. But I don't mind. It probably cost about as much for a small bag of charcoal that I would normally use for the springs. I already had excess on hand from Joshsfrogs, so I don't mind. I have a ton of the 16oz cups that I plan to use as well. What would you recommend using for ventilation? My cups don't have the vented lids. Do you think the springs or baby isos could get out of pinholes? That sounds a little unrealistic, but they are mighty tiny.

Mark

EDIT: Melt holes + glue + Coffee filter?
 

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i'd avoid using pinholes because it could allow for contamination from outside sources (especially mites and other undesirables)

i currently use the FF culture lids and still occasionally every now and then i'll see mites (which is why i dump entire cultures and start new ones 1-2 a month to avoid mite populations from getting out of hand)

im currently at work (shhh... :]) so i can't find the link, but if you search around the board there is a thread about culturing microfauna where it's recommended you use a .3 micron filter disk from fungi perfecti over a mason jar. reusable and easy to maintain.
 

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This established viv did house frogs, I would be a bit worried about transfering chytrid, coccidia, parasites and other to other frogs and vivs with this idea. Is saving the micro fauna worth this risk as its never full proof. I could hook you up with bugs if your in need or something. But I dont use anything out of established vivs for other vivs or frogs...

Michael
 
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