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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I just started a Varadero imitator group and I’ll keep an updated journal on how things go. Before I give the details I want to say whatever the results of this experiment please do your own independent research and that this is just 1 data point; no concrete conclusions should be drawn from any experiment with only 1 result.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Their enclosure is a 36” x 18” x 36” reptizoo and there are 5 frogs in there 1.2.2 (suspected). I feel like 36x18x36 is the absolute minimum for territorial frogs. They have been in there together for about a month and half. The group is from 3 sources the oldest 2 are about 7-8 months old and I suspect they are both female. They were originally named Genghis Khan (neck dot reminded me of his hair) but changed to Chaka Khan because I think it’s female. The other is Rufio because she has a solid stripe from neck to top of the head (might change to Rufina or Rufiona). They both have black bull rings on their noses

Chaka Khan

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Rufio
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The next 2 are around 6 months old they both have dots on their nose. AD has a unibrow and Casso has an artsy looking blotch on his head (piCASSO). Not sure what gender AD is but casso is a calling male.

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Casso
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
And then there is sweet, sweet bean. Bean has a Lima bean looking blotch on his back. He is supposedly a similar age to casso and AD but he came to me TINY. Healthy but just small. He’s constantly eating, very bold and has gotten bigger but he was so small when I first got him.
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My goal with this enclosure is to have plenty of hiding spaces, visual barriers, calling perch’s. My goal was to socialize them early and just hope for harmony. I’m new to frogs but I have 2 male dogs who are extremely well socialized, get taken out every day and check all the boxes for harmony but the little one is constantly irritating the bigger one so I know luck plays a role in harmony with territorial animals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
1.5 months in state of the union. Peaceful so far with Rufio, Chaka and Bean being the most bold and I see them the most. Yesterday I identified casso calling for the first time from the brom in the the bottom back left corner (hard to see from the picture) and Chaka ignored it but Rufio was very receptive and slowly climbed her way into the Brom with him. I was very happy to see an unrelated pair getting together. I hate the inbreeding that’s so common in this hobby but i love both Chaka and Rufio and would have hated to have to get rid of one. I rarely see AD and Casso out and about but I see them pretty often hiding in the broms.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I’m getting new lights (the jungle dawn light is too powerful for this height) but they will be fluval plant lights and I’m misting every 3 hours for like 15 seconds.
 

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Sweet Bean man these are nicely captured moments.

Screamn Beautifull which would also be a great band but not as baddass as these wee frogs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Chaka jumped on sweet bean yesterday and stayed on him/her for like 10 seconds. And then they both hung out by each other for another 10 minutes or so and then chaka left. Something to keep an eye on
 

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Chaka jumped on sweet bean yesterday and stayed on him/her for like 10 seconds. And then they both hung out by each other for another 10 minutes or so and then chaka left. Something to keep an eye on
That's aggression, and the reason why imitator aren't really group frogs.
 

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That is typical female on female aggression during courting, at least from how you describe it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I’ll keep any eye on it going forward. If it’s a continuous problem or bean becomes any less bold I’ll intervene but until then I’ll just document and observe. I have no problem dwindling them down to a pair or a trio I just want to keep as much genetic diversity in there as possible until they settle on a final hierarchy. Seems a little cruel but I think a lack of options can lead to unfit frogs breeding which isn’t what I want.
 

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I've got some bad news for you regarding the genetic diversity of your frogs....

If your frogs are from legal origins, they are like F4 - F7, all originating from a group of 15 or so frogs. They are likely all related.

While I don't encourage selective breeding of frogs, inbreeding is not as detrimental here as it would be in mammals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If this is true I believe it’s our responsibility to squeeze as much life out of that group as possible. Ed says inbreeding effects start to show after 3-5 generations which assuming they came over in the last 30 years should be the current generations.
 

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When we try to avoid inbreeding in other species I'm involved with (reptile species), we get stock from different sources, raise up those animals until they're sexually mature, and then pair them off with unrelated animals. In this way, the pairs are known to be unrelated (well, at least non-sibling).

I'm not sure how the random pairing is supposed to be working. There are two sibs, another two sibs, and then a lone ranger. The lone ranger has 0% chance of inbreeding, but the other frogs each have a 25% chance of inbreeding, given a random mate choice from the other four frogs. I suppose if a person IDs the animals and keeps track of pairing, this isn't an issue, but it seems an odd way to go about it, especially given the other reasons not to keep these as a group. Not a criticism, really, just hard to see the reasoning.

On a different but related note: selective breeding and inbreeding are two distinct breeding methods, and neither implies the existence of the other in any given case.
 

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Just the other day I came across an article that goes against what many of us have taken for granted, that animals avoid inbreeding whenever they can: Article
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
@Socratic Monologue it’s certainly not a perfect solution 😂 I was just having a hard time finding Varadero's at the time. My plan was always to trade/sell to others if the siblings mated. I appreciate the extra work you're doing to keep your genes diverse (at least as much as you can)

@Anda i read that article too on IFLscience (probably my favorite website). Pretty gross and definitely counter to our cultural norms. But I think in the wild it's less of an issue because if an animal becomes too inbred they wouldn't be fit enough to find a mate but if kept without competition those unfavorable genetics don't die off.
 
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