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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I'm totally new to dart frogs. I currently keep two blue tongued skinks, and I have kept a cuban tree frog in the past.

Understandably, I have never had to deal with any of the tiny little insects that dart frogs need, and know nothing about their nutrition. I was looking at Josh's Frogs, and I noticed that they had isopods, rice flour beetle larvae, and springtails advertised. Is it possible to use these three insects as feeders and completely eliminate fruit flies from the diet?

If this is not possible, I will gladly use fruit flies. I do not plan to own darts for at least another several months, so it's not like I'm currently depriving my frogs of any nutrients. I just want to know if anyone has done this or if it is possible. Thanks!
 

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eeeeh. Not likely. You need a feeder thats easily dustable with supplemets.....which eliminates springtails. You need a food source that quickly reproduces.....eliminate isopods and flour beetles. Fruit flies are the staple for a very good reason. All other feeders should be considered bonus feeders and tank janitors.


You could theoretically culture enough bean beetles or rice weevils to keep larger frogs fed, but some frogs dont accept them as a feeder, but theyre a pain to feed out
 

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You should be able to keep terribilis without FF's. Crickets and the other food sources that you listed should be fine. When they are smaller, you might have to keep a few FF cultures to feed them.
 

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I find bean beetles to produce very heavily. I cant see any reason you could not get enough production out of them. If any culture is big enough you can make enough bugs. Bean beetles can also easily be paced to make more consistent longer lasting cultures.

You can also buy pinhead crickets or if you already grow them just harvest them. Crickets have a bit of risk associated with them though.

I think the best thing to do would be to start the hobby with the agreed upon techniques and fruit flies then try to see if you can consistently produce enough of the other bugs and get a dusting system down. If it works out great, if it doesn't you are still rolling with the fruit flies.
 

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Honestly, fruit flies aren't even that hard. Literally, it's less than 5 minutes to start a culture, and then that's it. Feeding is a breeze once you have the muscle memory down, which took me like 2-3 days max...
 

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I find bean beetles to produce very heavily. I cant see any reason you could not get enough production out of them. If any culture is big enough you can make enough bugs. Bean beetles can also easily be paced to make more consistent
I think the problem with Bean beetles is that that most of the smaller frogs cannot feed on them, especially when young.
 

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Fruit flies was the selling point in getting started for me in the dart frog hobby vs. any other kind of amphibian. Fruit flies are so easy to culture, don't stink as bad as crickets, escapees are very easy to gather (simple vinegar and soap in a cup), won't infest your house (like I had with bean Beatles) and are very cheap to produce.

-Mike-
 

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When I lost my frogroom (spare bedroom) for a little over 6 months due to son moving back in with us, I had a terrible time keeping enough fruit flies going. It seems they liked growing in the closet much better than on top of a rack in my diningroom. So, I saved the fruit flies for the youngest of my frogs and turned to bean beetles as the main feeder for all of my frogs over 4 months of age.

I actually like beetles much better than flies. They are much easier, cleaner, and have nearly no smell whatsoever. I actually have less escapees when I feed out than I do with fruit flies...and I've never had them infest anything. They easily hold supplements and...if you do it right, you don't need as many cultures of beetles as you do flies. (see http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/food-feeding/88858-continuous-bean-beetles.html)

So, you can keep several types of the larger frogs happy and doing well using beetles as a main feeder. It sometimes takes a few feedings for the frogs to get used to them, but they will eat them. I personally can vouch for Leucs, Tincs, Bicolors, and Terribilis over 4 months of age.
 

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I've tried culturing BB's twice. Both times I gave up because of lack of interest from my frogs. Only the terribilis like them (the other large frogs would eat them, but only if that's all I fed), and one of them kept prolapsing (I think due to the heavy chitin load). The chameleons would only eat them if I went long enough without feeding that they were desperate.
 

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Ive heard similar things. I know my leucs and tincs do not like bean beetles or rice weevils
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the responses!

I'm planning to keep auratus or leucomelas, so I think I will stick to fruit flies.
 

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I find bean beetles to produce very heavily. I cant see any reason you could not get enough production out of them. If any culture is big enough you can make enough bugs. Bean beetles can also easily be paced to make more consistent longer lasting cultures.

You can also buy pinhead crickets or if you already grow them just harvest them. Crickets have a bit of risk associated with them though.

I think the best thing to do would be to start the hobby with the agreed upon techniques and fruit flies then try to see if you can consistently produce enough of the other bugs and get a dusting system down. If it works out great, if it doesn't you are still rolling with the fruit flies.

Just curious as to what risks you are referring to with crickets?Pinheads are a great food source for any frog.There aren't any risks involved that I know of.
 

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Some people say that a cricket has escaped and grown up hidden then attacked a sleeping frog or something. I would imagine it is rare, but back in the days when crickets were bigger feeders a lot of people didn't have dart frogs in vivariums that were nearly as complex so they probably found them easier. Now days most vivariums offer plenty of places for a cricket to hide from frogs or humans. Heck some times people cant even find their frogs in their tanks.
 

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Thanks for all the responses!

I'm planning to keep auratus or leucomelas, so I think I will stick to fruit flies.


My auratus and leucs, as well as a bunch of others also pound beanbeetles with a vengeance.They are as stated earlier very easy to raise and are a good variety to ad to your bug rotation.Ffs are a must have too though which goes without saying.You can never have enough feeders,but you can have not enough.
 

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Some people say that a cricket has escaped and grown up hidden then attacked a sleeping frog or something. I would imagine it is rare, but back in the days when crickets were bigger feeders a lot of people didn't have dart frogs in vivariums that were nearly as complex so they probably found them easier. Now days most vivariums offer plenty of places for a cricket to hide from frogs or humans. Heck some times people cant even find their frogs in their tanks.
I wouldn't consider that to be a risk to worry about.I've fed well over 40 tanks of frogs pinheads and never had any such issues.In that case the reward outweighs the risk.I'd feed pinheads anyday without worry.I feed much older crickets to my terribilis and bassleri.If a cricket were to hide from them, it would be for a very good reason :D
 

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Bean beetles are on a 30 day cycle, so it is a bit of work to time it to keep them cycling consistently http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/food-feeding/88858-continuous-bean-beetles.html. Flour beetles grow slooooow and some frogs hate them. Isos dive for the substrate as soon as you put them in the tank. Your frogs might be able to grab a few before they disappear.

Fruit flies are a relatively consistent food. As long as you make your cultures every week or so, you will have food. In the case of crashed ff cultures, you can find a pet store (PetCo), local frogger, or sponsor who will have them on hand. It's not as easy to scare up an emergency supply of beetles.

ETA: oddlot, I fed crickets to a group of terribilis that I was frog sitting. So, to your quote below, I say HAHAHA, so true! :D
I feed much older crickets to my terribilis and bassleri.If a cricket were to hide from them, it would be for a very good reason
 
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