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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Earlier this week I was supposed to ship some adult tincs out West in whose tank I had placed an older culture and left alone a for a few days. When I went to pull the frogs I noticed they were very thin compared to what they were just a few days prior. Mites had infested the 10 gallon tank and done some damage. They looked stressed and thin but are rehabbing nicely now.

Unfortunately for my bastis babies things didn't turn out so well. I had also put a culture in a 2.5 gallon grow out for a trio of incredible almost spotless basti babies and when I checked on them that same day there were no frogs and more mites than I had ever seen in my life in such a small area. So sad and feel terrible I had to learn the hard way to watch for mites when leaving cultures in smaller tanks. Had to share so hopefully others can avoid it.
 

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So sorry to hear this MD. Terrible.

Thanks so much for posting. While these are the most difficult posts to read, they are usually the most important.
 

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Wow!!! That is something that is a VERY hard lesson to learn...but valuable info to prevent a future disaster for others....
 

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Sorry for the heart ache in all of this. But could you explain what exactly happened here? What do the mites have to do with skinny tincs and disappeared basties?

This is new for me hearing about this so forgive my ignorance on the matter.

-Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It was new to me as well Chris. Apparently the fruit fly cultures had a decent population of mites. I placed one open fly culture in a ten gallon tank and one in a 2.5 gallon tank. A few days later when I checked on the respective tanks mites were every where. It wasn't as bad in the 10 gallon tank with the tincs, my guess would be beacuse it's a larger space for them to invade and the tincs being a larger frog thus enabling them to eat more of the mites. But in the 2.5 gallon containing the very young small basti froglets they were all over. To the point where when I still lift the lid it snows mites. I am going to go out on a limb and assume the number of mites in such a small area overstressed the froglets to death resulting in my no longer being able to locate them.

I have placed open cultures in my larger tanks with out issues. I wonder if that has anything to do with larger older frogs being in those tanks or if the tank space allows for the mites to disperse more causing less stress on the frogs? Hope this helps.
 

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It has a lot more to do with the conditions. If the conditions are perfect, then growth and recruitment of the population becomes very fast. Under ideal conditions populations can actually double in less than ten days (see http://extension.entm.purdue.edu/publications/E-222.pdf). If you look at the pdf, it also notes that under large booms, the shed skins can accumulate into a fluffy mass (and I've seen it several times over the years). The mites probably aren't establishing in the cage, it was just that you provided the perfect conditions to produce a huge amount of mites which in turn stressed the frogs.

Ed
 

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I actually put jars into tanks with baby Pums knowing the mites will show enmass, I have seen all my babies and adults eating them. I don't have anything smaller than a 20 so I assume size of the enclosure had a lot to do with it. I also saw a fairly huge population of snails in one of my tanks practically disappear when adding these mite infested cultures, could the mites be eating the snails...or at least what they were feeding on?
I find the mites to be a good food source for baby Pums due to their size, most of the mites I see stay on the jar or in the vacinity, never spreading far and disappearing shortly after removing the jar but during that time their numbers are significant.
 

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Populations can double in much less than 10 days. 10 days is the maturation rate under optimal conditions and they can lay from 1-24 eggs per day. Populations can grow by over 12 times per day under optimal conditions if females make up half of the population.

It has a lot more to do with the conditions. If the conditions are perfect, then growth and recruitment of the population becomes very fast. Under ideal conditions populations can actually double in less than ten days (see http://extension.entm.purdue.edu/publications/E-222.pdf). If you look at the pdf, it also notes that under large booms, the shed skins can accumulate into a fluffy mass (and I've seen it several times over the years). The mites probably aren't establishing in the cage, it was just that you provided the perfect conditions to produce a huge amount of mites which in turn stressed the frogs.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Conditions and size of tank have to be the catalyst of denser populations. The 10 gallon was vented and the 2.5g is completely sealed. When I put cultures in with my 3+ year old BYH in their 18 sealed cube I never even see a mite out of the container until it appears they are all eaten. In the future old mite infested cultures will be reserved for larger tanks only! Thanks for the feedback.
 

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Ya, doubling rates that quick can get out of control overnite. I have seen them infest whole racks from a single tank in under 2 days. Makes it look like the rack is alive:)
 
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