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I've been reading posts on mantella supplementation, and am a bit confused. I have a breeding group of six aurantiaca. I have some repashy super pig, and some zoo med repti-calcium and plan on picking up some herptivite or something of that matter. Is that good enough? Do I need additional supplements during breeding season? I've heard something about vitamin A and retinol being mentioned, in what supplements would I find these? Thanks,
JP
 

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I've been reading posts on mantella supplementation, and am a bit confused. I have a breeding group of six aurantiaca. I have some repashy super pig, and some zoo med repti-calcium and plan on picking up some herptivite or something of that matter. Is that good enough? Do I need additional supplements during breeding season? I've heard something about vitamin A and retinol being mentioned, in what supplements would I find these? Thanks,
JP
Lets see if I can help a little here..

One of the main things that has been noticed in captive anurans starting between (if I remember correctly) between about 2000 and 2005, was that captive frogs and toads were showing a lot of signs of vitamin A deficiency and these were being documented on necropsies. One of the things that most of those animals had in common was that they were being maintained with supplements that supplied beta carotene as the sole source of vitamin A. Over time, it has become apparent that frogs and toads are either unable to convert beta carotene to vitamin A (much like other taxa including cats), or that they converted it poorly.

When choosing a supplement you want to choose one that contains retinol/retinyl as the source of vitamin A. If the source is beta carotene, then it isn't giving the frogs everything they need. There are not a lot of supplements on the market currently that supply retinol/retinly instead of beta carotene (or supply retinyl at all)... The small group that do supply it are Repashy Calcium plus, Repashy Supervite, Dendrocare, Herpetal (off the top of my head). The other supplements you listed do not off the top of my head supply retinyl. Personally I use Repashy Calcium Plus.

The Repashy vitamin A is to be used no more than 4 times a month and many of us use it less frequently or only when we see an issue with fertility or development as it is possible to overdose when using a concentrated vitamin A source.

Many of the people who have been in the hobby rotate (or used to rotate) more than one supplement as analysis in the past has show a wide variation in the supplements both within and between batches and brands where the amounts varied from 0% to more than 100% of the claimed value on the lable. Some of the newer sources appear to be made with greater consistency so the rotation isn't needed in many cases.

The superpig will help with achieving coloration similar to the wild frogs but isn't a supplement meant for daily use. The Repashy Calcium plus is aimed at daily use and does contain the carotenoids found in the Superpig.

Does that help?

Ed
 

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A big problem with mantellas reared on Herptivite is poor development of the tadpoles. Herptivite uses beta carotene instead of retinol. 100% spindly leg showed up in every batch of madagascariensis tadpoles until I switched to using Repashy Calcium ICB.

Herpetal Amphib supplies retinol but the A:D3:E ratio isn't as balanced as Repashy Calcium ICB. I would still recommend it because I used it before Repashy to correct SLS.
 
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