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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So most of us regularly supplement our frog's food with calcium and vitamin powder for reasons we understand and accept. However, has anyone thought of or tried to incorporate additional calories into our dust mix? The idea of adding some powdered sugar to my fly dust mix crossed my mind as a way to increase the caloric content of my fruit flies. It may also increase the palatability as well, and seems similar to gut loading the flies (or other insect) with sugar based solutions.

Has anyone tried or thought about this? Any idea of other media we could try? It might make adding weight a bit easier. Let me know if you have any thoughts.

Cheers,
vet_boy77
 

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I can't imagine frogs needing extra calories. I had to cut back on feeding mine because they got too fat. I have mantellas with beer bellies, they beg for food all day long. Plus I would think they have trouble digesting the sugar since it is not a normal part of their diet.
 

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bgexotics said:
I can't imagine frogs needing extra calories. I had to cut back on feeding mine because they got too fat. I have mantellas with beer bellies, they beg for food all day long. Plus I would think they have trouble digesting the sugar since it is not a normal part of their diet.
These were also my thoughts except they would have no problem digesting the sugar. All aerobically respiring organisms break their food down into simple sugars before they can use the calories.... glycolosis and krebs... all air breathing animals have them in common.

But I agree there is a problem with obese frogs in the hobby. It seems to be popular to have frogs fat. But, sometimes a boost in calories is needed to get them into breeding condition. Dusting with sugar would, of course, boost the calories but a better method is to use waxworms, termites, or some other fatty food source.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Very true. I had not considered the obesity possibilities. But perhaps it could be used to fatten up very skinny frogs, or perpare frogs for breeding when the fattier insects (termites, waxworms, etc) are unavailable. I don't think surcrose would pose a digestion problem as it is readily broken down into its simple sugars. Just a thought.
Thanks for your input.
 

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vet_boy77 said:
Very true. I had not considered the obesity possibilities. But perhaps it could be used to fatten up very skinny frogs, or perpare frogs for breeding when the fattier insects (termites, waxworms, etc) are unavailable. I don't think surcrose would pose a digestion problem as it is readily broken down into its simple sugars. Just a thought.
Thanks for your input.
Yep, I agree it could be used for a quick boost. It would mostly be useful for the skinny frog problem probably. Since waxworms are easy to culture (and ff maggots are fatty too), I don't think I would recommend fattening frogs for breeding using the empty calories of sugar but I could see where it would work. Crickets are a pretty high protein diet that can serve the same purpose. Also, one method for rehabilitating severely debilitated frogs is to soak them in a sugar solution. The frogs can absorb the sugar right through their skin for an energy boost.

If I remember right, sucrose is broken into a glucuse and fructose molecule by breaking a single bond making it an ideal molecule for feeding glycolosis. In other words, you are absolutely right that sucrose is easily digested by frogs.
 

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Feed FF larva. It's easy and abundant, not to mention the only way to gut load. No matter what FF medium is used, a FF is pretty much going to have the same nutritional make-up. The larva has more protein and fat. I have used this method successfully for awhile and it has made a big difference in the breeding success of a few specie.

Jon
 

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Jon,

What method do you use to feed the larvae. I saw a thread once on making mini vacation feeders. Does adding a little water to the FF media force the larvae to climb of the container and into the tank?
 

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These were also my thoughts except they would have no problem digesting the sugar. All aerobically respiring organisms break their food down into simple sugars before they can use the calories.... glycolosis and krebs... all air breathing animals have them in common.
Brent,
this is partially true, but it is also true that not all aerobes have the enzymes necessary to break down all polysaccharides, even at the disaccharide level(enzymes for glycosidic bonds are relatively specific). Lactose is one common example. Sucrose (as is found in powdered sugar), although less commonly, is another example. Some Alaskan natives and Greenlanders are genetically sucrose intolerant due to a missing enzyme necessary in its digestion. They have avoided selection against sucrose intolerance because they consume a primarily animal diet. Would frogs encounter sucrose in their insectivore diet enough to select and retain a gene for an enzyme that breaks down a primarily plant originated disaccharide such as sucrose? I'm not sure, but I'd try a different source of sugar if I were going to calorie load a frog like this. Glucose(dextrose) and fructose are both readily available in solid form and could be ground to a suitable texture and size for use in this manner. There is also a lot of positive experience with use of these sugars in dendrobates since they are both active ingredients in Pedialyte and other electrolyte solutions people commonly dip their sick frogs in. Good luck. -Ben
 

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David,

I use to make my FF cultures in 32 oz cups, but have switched to 14 oz size cups. When I larval feed, I do not remove larvae from the cultures, as I believe was the method in the post you are referring to. The small size of the 14 oz cups permits my to lay the culture in the tank. There is some timing involved though. When I make my cultures I do not use them until there is a big hatching of flies. So, first I use all the flies - feeding those off first. Then my culture is relatively empty. However, the next batch of eggs will be hatching. About three days after removing most of the flies, I lay the almost flyless cultures in the tanks. The new emerging larvae will crawl all over the sides. The frogs just pick them off! I leave the cultures in the tanks for about 2 days. Then remove. On another note, i have experimented using some whey protein in the FF medium as well. I feel I had positive results when the frogs fed from these cultures, however, mold became a problem and the "life" of the culture was reduced.

Jon Werner
 

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I have also been adding protein for about a month now, and I feel I have had postitive results. I am using soy protein, it seems the flies are hatching larger, and I have not had shortened culture life.
 
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