Keeping critters as food sourceGeneral information
When you plan to keep poison dart frogs it's very important that you think about how the get feeding insects for your pets also. You must be prepared to "make" the food for your animals on your own since it's a matter of very small feeder insects that is needed for poison dart frogs. Your local pet store probably don't have insects available or can't be trusted to have it regulary. You should first of all look around and see where it's possible to get feeding insects when it is crisis, because this will sooner or later happen, often during summertime when it's hot.
The basic food for poison dart frogs are fruitflies (drosphila sp.) and springtails (collembola sp.).
For getting healthy animals it's always good to keep other insects for feeding as a complement for the frogs. It can also be used as a reserve when you have crisis with the fruitflies or springtails.
Healthy animals makes the chances for breeding possible and is the first step that needs to be reached.
How should I plan my feeding insects for my new frogs?
Let us make an example just to see how you should plan when you prepare before you buy any frogs as a beginner. In this example are we talking about a group of five Dendrobates leucomelas for example. it could just as well be changed to almost any other frogs also suited for beginners. (Not all thumbnail frogs eat D. hydei but thumbnails are genrally less suited as beginners frogs).
- Buy cultures of two diffrent types of fruitflies eg. Drosphila hydei and Drosophila melanogaster. If possible buy cultures from each species in diffrent stages since the lifecycle for a D. melanogaster generation is 3-4 weeks. where D. hydei has a little longer cycle. Also buy boxes of Springtails (collembola sp.).
- Make 4-5 new fruitfly cultures once per week, make this a routine or else it's easy to be without insects after 3-4 weeks. Sometimes the week has to be a little flexible. You make new cultures from newly hatched fruitflies.
- Prepare 5-6 boxes candyboxes or cookie boxes with springtails (collembola). Find out what kind of springtail that suit you the best. These are slow to get to work good but it dosn't need much attention except from feeding about 2 times per week. Avoid mold with feeding less and more often. Once it works it's an excellent insect for feeding both small froglets and adult bigger frogs with.
Explaination of the plans:
The reason you have a little over production is that it's not possible to make a schedule on how much insects are available at the time you need them. There are many factors that makes this impossible.
The diffrent fruitflies have diffrent lenght of the lifecycles, that's the reason for using two Drosphila species. D. melanogaster is normally easier to get to work than D. hydei which is a little bit more sensitive against mites and temperatures, but there is more food in D. hydei. Allways use newly hatched flies for making new cultures. You will get less mites (which you will get sooner of later) which is making the cultures hatches act strange.
Springtails is an excellent foodsource and the more you feed with springtails the better for the frogs. Many froglets eats only springtails to start with so in some cases it's a must. The bad thing with springtails is that it's slow to create a working culture, and the bigger culture the slower. The good thing is that when you have a bigger box with springtails working you can use it to feed from during a longer time as long as you won't take too much.
It might just as well be that it's possible to feed one or two more groups of poison dartfrogs with the same fruitflies, but due to my experience this is the minimum to be sure that the cycle goes around.
This is just my way of trying to give some leads in how to get your insect cultures for your frogs to work with a good flow. Everyone has to find their own way and what works best for them, but this should be a good start where you will get the experience you need.
Hold the mouse over 'foods' in the menu and you will see the detailed dropdown list of how to care for the diffrent critters where fruitflies and springtails usually is the most important to know about.
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