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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've read a lot of posts about people removing eggs/tadpoles to raise outside of the viviarium. This seems like the preferred method of raising froglets and I can see that it has some advantages. I am curious to hear from anyone who has had success just leaving the tadpoles in the tank. I am considering setting up a paludarium and thought the tadpoles could just live in the water section. What are the pros and cons of this idea?


-Jim
 

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Yes, and I'm trying to move toward doing that exclusively. I'm concerned that if we always removing eggs and rear tads ourselves, we may lose the parental care behaviors of the frogs in generations to come. My P. vittatus regularly produce froglets on their own. I had my bicolors deposit tads in a hastily prepared pool (the viv was not originally designed for tad rearing) and the tads were doing fine until I had to leave for a week on an emergency and when I returned the pool had dried. A friend that I gave some auratus to routinely had froglets produced in the viv that he set up also.

The down side is that you tend to see greatly reduced success with this method. To take the vittatus for example went from about 70-90% success rate when I reared the eggs and tads to about 30% success with the parents doing the work. However, part of this may be due to the fact that the pool in the viv was not really designed with tad rearing in mind and the tads can get under the false bottom and even sucked into the pump. I'm guessing many losses are due tads just getting trapped under the false bottom. Another thing you will notice is that the froglets tend to morph our smaller than when you raise tads yourself but the froglets are very vigorous and I don't think I've ever had one die after morphing.

In the future I pland to redesign all of my vivs specifically with the idea of letting everything happen in the tank. I just get a real kick out of watching the whole show in the viv. Like I said before, I'm afraid that if frogs are never allowed to rear their eggs and carry tads, we may lose these interesting behaviors in the future.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Have you given any thought to the overall design of a tank for raising tads? I was thinking a water feature that is sealed off from the land area. I would build an overflow into it so that the water could be filtered in a sump below the main tank. Then I could just pump the filtered water back into the main tank into a waterfall arrangement. The trick will be creating an overflow that will not suck in the tadpoles. Even with a fine mesh over the intake holes/slots, I worry that the water pressure would be enough to pin the tadpoles up against the overflow. Perhaps a two stage overflow set up would work.

Any suggestions....

-Jim
 

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I thought about it quite a bit. There are two basic types of deposition sites I will include. The first are simple collection bowls. Things like cacao pods (if I can find them), cupped leaves, and snarled roots that collect and hold small pools of water. There will be misters on all of my vivs to top off and freshen the water collected in these. The second would be the engineered pools kind of what you are talking about. These can be constructed in either a false bottom design or a sumped design but I think it's important that they be maintained by the level of the water table beneath them. In other words, they are porous and are just a low spot that dips below the waterline of the viv. No matter how carefully constructed, pools always either leak or wick water to the surrounding substrate which is really why the false bottom was developed. The important part for tads is that the pools need to be tadpole tight so they can't get trapped underneath a false bottom. I don't think that filtration or circulation are needed or even necessarily desireable. Most PDF deposit tads in still bodies of water so lots of water movement may discourage them. So if I include streams, I will have little side pools where the water will eddy and be still. Just to give an idea of how simple it can be. The bicolor viv I mentioned before has no false bottom but has a 2" gravel drainage layer. To make the tadpole pool, I simply scooped out the gravel in one corner so there is about 2" of water depth. That seems to work as well as anything. Put a few leaves in there to decompose, a light over the top, and your tads are set.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have been letting my imitators raise their own and even though you don't get a bunch of tadpoles and eggs like you would if you pulled them the show is well worth watching.One of my pairs is currently tending three tads so my male is pretty busy calling her to different bromiliads.Sure makes TV boring,LOL
Like Brent talked about, I am going to be setting up a 20high for my vittatus so they will have a pond to deposit tads.Awhile back I caught my male with a bunch of tads on his back and that was one of the neatest things I have seen keeping darts.
Mark W.
 

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I have a quick question on the "suitability" of a tad pond in the viv. In my 55 I designed it not with tads in mind but I don't really see why it wouldn't work. The tanks has been running without probems for 6 months. So any clues or suggestions would be appreciated. The "pond" is 3-4 inches deep, and is a screened off area of the false bottoms reservoir. Is the water ok for tads? What would I need to add? would I need to do a water quality check? And if so what are the idea levels I am looking for?
Thanks,
Mike
 

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Dunner97074 said:
I have a quick question on the "suitability" of a tad pond in the viv. In my 55 I designed it not with tads in mind but I don't really see why it wouldn't work. The tanks has been running without probems for 6 months. So any clues or suggestions would be appreciated. The "pond" is 3-4 inches deep, and is a screened off area of the false bottoms reservoir. Is the water ok for tads? What would I need to add? would I need to do a water quality check? And if so what are the idea levels I am looking for?
Thanks,
Mike
The water should be fine. PDF are pretty darn flexible with water quality. I would make sure there is some rocky substrate and a couple of leaves in the water. That's about it. Do you have a pump circulating the water? The circulation helps oxygenate the water and keep it from getting stagnant but some PDF don't really like moving water. The pool in my vittatus viv has a very small trickle of a waterfall from a pump that goes off with the lights. Interestingly, the tads do nothing but hang on to the sides during the day and you can rarely even find them when the pump is running. As soon as the pump switches off, they start swimming around and feeding the way you expect to see tads doing things.

Also, from what I've read, Phyllobates tend to deposit tads in a bit larger bodies of water in the wild and they dump all the tads in one pool. Other PDF will deposit in smaller bodies and tend to deposit only one tad at a site. I've been told that in some areas auratus are fond of tree boles that hold anywhere from just a few oz. of water to a couple gallons. The larger the water body, the more likely the tads will face competition or predation from dragonfly larvae and other tads... but, more food is also available in larger pools. I've heard people also say they've seen lots of tads in water-filled leaves that have dropped and formed a little cup shape. Also, seed pods have been shown to boost PDF populations because they provide abundant deposition sites.
 

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Thanks for the input Brent. The pond is fed from the trickle of water from the water fall. There's a pic in my gallery of the pond but I've redone the waterfall and the tank has grown in since Sept. when I took the pic. Right now I have a small air stone to boost the humidity of the rest of the tank. (it hangs at 90-95%) I had some of the aquatic plants that are used for feeding in the small pond but they grew too much. Now I just have to wait for my g+b to breed! :D

Thanks again,
Mike
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the input. Sounds like a paludarium set might be too deep for the frogs to use. Perhaps a modifed paludarium with a deeper central pool and then a shallow finger that runs into the land mass. I'd like to have a waterfall the runs into the central pool, but I bet I can use some rocks at the mouth of the shallow section to cut down on current. I have some ideas I'll have to draw up and post.

-Jim
 
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