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Might need to separate: tank suggestions?
#1
In the past few days things in my 1.2 auratus viv have gone from "fun courting behavior" to aggression, egg-laying, and now today, wrestling. I haven't decided just yet whether to separate the females, because everyone's eating and nobody is showing signs of stress, but I'd like to be prepared if the violence continues. (They're both totally well-matched and so far no signs of injury. I've separated them a couple of times, and in between they were able to snack together in the same small area as usual.) There's *tons* of visual barriers and "potato chip" leaf litter and hidey-holes so they don't have to see each other if they don't want to, but they really do seem to enjoy each other's company when they aren't going all Heathers on each other.

Right at the moment everyone's coexisting fine, and moving away when they want to instead of fighting. Which is why I don't want to leap into separating them after this first wrestling incident.

I have a 10-gallon aquarium that I would put one of the females into. I don't know whether I should build it the same way as the regular viv, with the false bottom and everything, or just throw in the ABG and moss and some plant cuttings. I feel like I should do this quickly in case the trouble becomes chronic, especially given how quickly things have escalated in there this week!
A girl named Joey.
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#2
If you are attentive, and it sure seems you are, then you are going to be on top of things should one of those 2 hide all the time, fail to feed and/or gets thin. Newbies don't always catch it in time but you did. As long as you keep a close eye on everything, then there is no need to panic and rush. If the aggression becomes so prevalent that you seem to 'constantly' see it happen, then I would think about a 'plan B' removal to a 10 gallon / temp tank or transfer to another hobbyist ect.
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#3
What size viv are they in now?
Darts with parasites are analogous to mixed tanks, there are no known benefits to the frogs with either.


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#4
Even if they are "evenly matched" and feeding well I would consider separating them if their tussles can lead to injuries. If they are high in the viv and fall they could suffer a dislocated / broken limb.
Jim from Austin --- Lorenzo keepers PM me about a US breeding program
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#5
How big is the viv they are in now?
-Beth
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#6
It's 18x18x24. The females don't bother each other when they're not on the ground, I think because neither is the best climber, so I'm not worried about them falling. But the rest is still a concern. Everything went back to perfect peace for the rest of the day after I broke up the fight for good; I'm holding out some hope that these are just hiccups caused by the females reestablishing dominance in the midst of new sexual activity. (These teens today...) I'll post a full-viv photo in a moment.
A girl named Joey.
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#7
[Image: my2asu3e.jpg]

That's one of the girls in the right front clearing, their favorite place to socialize. She's near the mouth of a cork round tunnel that runs the width of the viv with a hidden exit. On the left is a hidey-hole I made from a cork round. All three frogs make good use of that for privacy. The leaf litter is hard to see but the frogs do use it to hide or even sleep in. And the plants provide a lot of visual barriers.
A girl named Joey.
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#8
So now that things have settled down, I'm still curious what's the best way to set up a 10-gallon: false bottom or just ABG and sphagnum moss? I still want to be able to do it quickly if I need to. Thanks!
A girl named Joey.
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#9
I'd use some turface, abg and a thick layer of leaf litter on the top, along with some pothos.
-Beth
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#10
Joey I see some pretty hard core aggression with my superblues,same dynamic as yourself. It occurs in my case when I pull back food/dry them up , to slow breeding. I guess 3 years in now and never felt the need to split,although the scraps would have a softy like me fearing the worst. I actually see similar with my group of leucs. Joey I always have tubs set ready in case sh*t happens,very similar to what Beth has mentioned,only I don't have turface here,but I'd guess the base parameters are similar. Phil's post says it for me ,you are watching you are aware of what to look for,be prepared but don't jump too soon. Slowly slowly as I learn just a bit more by hanging with a few darts every minute I can,I think of each of them as individuals.I find it hard to make general rules for a species: so i can't predict the temprement of your ladies compared with mine. i'm hestiant to say split if the spats are just the ladies sorting out some form of pecking order and the lesser dominant female isn't suffering unduly,and I think you will read that in your frogs. As another new keeper I can see what you see,it is very worrying seeing frogs fighting in a group senario,but watching and evaluating might just mean you don't need to intervine,they will sort this on their own.

Good luck

Stu
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#11
Stu&Shaz Wrote:i'm hestiant to say split if the spats are just the ladies sorting out some form of pecking order and the lesser dominant female isn't suffering unduly,and I think you will read that in your frogs

As usual, thanks so much for your response. What you say there is exactly the conclusion I've (tentatively) come to after watching things go down for a while. There isn't so much wrestling now; rather the "alpha" female will sometimes just plop herself down on top of the "beta." (Much like the beta did when she was laying eggs, so really it's only fair!) At which point the beta just sits there until the alpha gets bored, or fights her way out of it and heads for another part of the viv until the alpha gets distracted. Everyone's appetites are stellar and the two girls are still able to spend time right next to each other in the "social area" without fighting. I have also noticed the beta becoming a bit less aggressive when it comes to chasing the male, which may be helping.

In any case, it's definitely a more complicated and interesting situation than I originally feared, but I'm still ready if necessary to pull the beta out of there. Every day I'm more and more impressed by the complexity of these little guys' lives!
A girl named Joey.
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#12
ZenMonkey Wrote:
Stu&Shaz Wrote:i'm hestiant to say split if the spats are just the ladies sorting out some form of pecking order and the lesser dominant female isn't suffering unduly,and I think you will read that in your frogs

As usual, thanks so much for your response. What you say there is exactly the conclusion I've (tentatively) come to after watching things go down for a while. There isn't so much wrestling now; rather the "alpha" female will sometimes just plop herself down on top of the "beta." (Much like the beta did when she was laying eggs, so really it's only fair!) At which point the beta just sits there until the alpha gets bored, or fights her way out of it and heads for another part of the viv until the alpha gets distracted. Everyone's appetites are stellar and the two girls are still able to spend time right next to each other in the "social area" without fighting. I have also noticed the beta becoming a bit less aggressive when it comes to chasing the male, which may be helping.

In any case, it's definitely a more complicated and interesting situation than I originally feared, but I'm still ready if necessary to pull the beta out of there. Every day I'm more and more impressed by the complexity of these little guys' lives!


You last sentence is EXACTLY where I'm at joey.

This is slightly off topic but watching how the dynamic might change is also fascinating. We have 3 little leuc boys together in our group of 5, when they were growing up, one was always a bit smaller last to call etc,but never anything to worry on. When they started breeding he was bottom of the pile, as was to be expected,but a a year or so later,he's the man,the alpha male. I think sometimes the group senario is not easy to achieve,because of the individuals,but sometimes it makes for some fascinating behaviour,which one might not see otherwise,seems almost more natural than 1:1,to me. Hmm as natural as anything can be in a man made viv..

Stu
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#13
I totally agree about the changing dynamics. When they were froglets, my alpha female grew fast and large, while the beta stayed about the same size as the male. Everything was perfect until the beta female had an almost overnight growth surge to where she was as large as the alpha but with a more streamlined, muscular body. I think that's when she decided maybe she wasn't the beta, which didn't seem to bother the alpha until they all hit sexual maturity and everything went all zany.

While the process has often been, for this newbie, worrying and stressful (much tempered by the help of people here!), I also feel like I have a rare and privileged window into these creatures' private lives, which is well worth the occasional moment of panic. Big Grin Already the beta isn't rising to the alpha's bait nearly as much, and the alpha isn't provoking her as frequently. It's really incredible to see how adaptable and resilient they can be, which is not to say I'll ever be off the lookout for danger.
A girl named Joey.
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#14
Joey,
Glad your problem behavior is less problematic now, but wanted to put my 2c worth in about 10 gallon grow-outs. I've never done false bottoms, all my vivs have leca. Even my 10 gallon grow-outs, leca, fabric separator, then ABG, then sphagnum, then leaf litter and plants/wood. When you buy everything in volume, the cost isn't really that much, and in my mind, the frogs are more comfortable/at home, and will grow better.
I am still new, only 2 years, but both my imitators and my auratus have reproduced nicely, and my grow outs work very well! I've never had any sickness (knock on wood!), so I've never had to get rid of a viv yet! As older/larger babies get big, I remove them to a larger viv, meanwhile adding new babies.
It works well for me. In fact, I just upgraded to 25 gallon grow outs for older imitators and auratus! Very exciting!
Good luck!
Diane
P. Terribilis orange, R. Imitator Cainarachi Valley, D. Leucomelas, D. Auratus, D. Azureus, P. vittatus, D. cobalts, D.Oyapok, Bombina Orientalis
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