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Anybody have any experience with Mantella eggs? I have group of 2.1 Black eared Mantellas that I have the first clutch of eggs from. They appear fertilized since I see developing tads in them however they have not fully developed and it has been about 10 days. From what I have read, they should hatch in about 6 days. I moved them and the moss and rocks hat they were laid on to a fish tank with water as soon as I saw the embryos were starting to divide. They are floating on the moss in about 2 inches of 70 degree water. I guess I am just wondering if I am doing everything correctly or is there anything I should do differently?
 

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Congradulations on the eggs! I have bred both crocea and aurantiaca which are closely related to the milotympanum which I have little to no experience with. In the last 3 fertile clutches from my crocea the tadpoles emerged between 3 and 6 days after the eggs were fertalized. Directly misting the eggs, or even pouring water on them, seems to help the tadpoles break through the outer membrane.

I setup the eggs in the exact way that you have yours setup, on top of moist moss (java or sphagnum) just barely touching the water. I generally start the tadpoles out in very shallow water, about 1/2 inch for the first week or two and then increase up to about 3 or 4 inches by the start of the second month.

At the moment I'm trying out Medusa Lab's tadpole food in combination with occasional spirulina although I raised a number of aurantiaca tadpoles last year on a diet consisting of a mix of spirulina, fish flake and powdered repto-min turtle pellets. In addition to the powdered food I keep the tadpoles under strong lighting to encourage algae growth which they occasionally nibble on. Good luck with your tadpoles. Keep a journal about them if you have time, there isn't enough information around and the more we record the better.
 

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HI Ridge,

congrats on the eggs. I dont think you have anything to worry about with them remaining in the eggs for 10 days, I have had aurantiaca stay in the egg membrane for 14 days and viridis for up to 17 days. The end result is larger more robust tadpoles to start with. The resulting froglets seem to be more rubust as opposed to those which hatch in under a week. On average most of our mantella eggs hatch around the 8th day.

Another interesting thing I have noticed is varying rates of development, especially with aurantiaca eggs, where some will hatch fast at around 4 days, and while these eggs hatch it seems other eggs in the same clutch just start to develop hatching about a week behind the rest of them. Devin have you or anyone else noticed this?

Good luck with the tads and start lots of springtails for the froglets.

mark
 

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How do you guys set up your tanks to get this m. milotympanium to breed? what's their temp, lights, mist, and humidity? I got them to breed once and it's been a while.

SB
 

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Hi Mark,

I haven't noticed that to the extent you have. In most of my fertile clutches I've always had a few eggs that just never develop all of the way and, although these half developed tadpoles leave the egg, they are still solid white, half curled up and have their yoke sac attached to them. In my experience these tadpoles don't survive for long. I have always assisted the tadpoles in leaving the eggs by misting them or pouring water on them once they start to wriggle around and it's possible that this might be pushing the under-developed tadpoles out of their egg too soon.

I just pulled another fertile clutch of aurantiaca eggs out today so I'll try not assisting them and see if I notice anything different. What temperature do you keep the eggs and tadpoles at? Mine have always been in a warmer area away from my adult mantellas where the water temperature fluctuates in the low to mid 70's and I wonder if this is why my tadpoles develop quicker (and possibly weaker) than yours. Maybe with the next clutch I'll try keeping them in a cool area and see what happens. Also, how do you raise the tiny froglets? In particular what type of container do you keep them in? I've been keeping mine in groups of 2 to 4 as recomended by Marc Staniszewski but it gets tedious cleaning all of their small cages every few days. Have you tried raising them in large groups? Talk to you later,
 

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Devin, I raised my aurantiaca tads in small shoebox type containers till they started sprouting legs, then I put them in a 40 breeder tank that is planted with java moss, crypts(I forget which type) and button ferns. The viv is designed with a very gradual bank on either end. I started out with about 3 inches of water, and very gradually lowered the water level. One thing I noticed was that when they were in the shoeboxes, It seemed like I'd have one or so die every week. I don't kow if that was more due to their age, or if the natural vivarium is better for them, or both. My aurantiaca (I have about 11 in the 40 now, I say about, because I have never taken them out and counted, and there are so many hide spots) are calling like crazy now and it shouldn't be too long before we get eggs. So far it seems like the males are more interested in each other than the females :roll: .
Just my $0.02
 

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Hi Devin,

I never mist or anything to help them out, I have always just let them take their time. Our mantella room is kept cooler than our dart room tanks reach low to mid 70's in day and mid 60's most nights. We keep our eggs and tads to the same room, so water temp changes within the range of the room temp.

I have raised viridis in large groups with no problems. I thinned some goldens today as i have been finding some arent thriving in large groups, whther this has to do with being in the group itself, or that they may prefer more natural than papertowel, or just not healthy to start with i dont know. I have a few hundred more goldens due to morph out in the next few weeks to a month so ill have lots to play around with.

let me know what happens with your next clutch, and yes, try not helping them out, i think you will be surprised at the size and robustness(is that a word?) of some of the tads when they finally come out of the goo.

take care,
mark
 
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