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Vacation - Leaving Frogs alone for days ?
#1
Can it be done ?

Yep.

The most important considerations when leaving frogs unattended, over food even, are Humidity and proper temperature.

1. Adequate Humidity - Not too dry or prone to drying out is simply the most important issue. You cannot totally seal your enclosure. Sealing fully is always bad and usually fatal.

2. Proper Temperatures - Taking care not to cook, or freeze your animals, still more important consideration than food.

3. Finally, #3 on the list - Food

What are some time frames that I'm aware of, and have personally used?  I have personally used 5-7 days, easily for well started froglets and over 7 days for adults. Based on what I've heard discussed by others, is that both of those time frames could conceivably be doubled - 7-10 days and even 10-14 days, provided one is diligent about pre-feeding and the other issues.

The better option would be for some trusted person to watch over the animals in the house - that way temps ect can be better monitored. I realize that there will always be times where this is not possible, but again, it remains the best and safest option, IMO.

What I do, prior to leaving is to "pre-feed" the collection or, feed really heavy for at least 2-3 days prior. Fatten em up. That's always helpful.

Another good idea, especially with the smaller frogs - thumbs and froglets, is to dump large amount of springtails and even some Isopods, into the viv to help out. I make sure that there is multiple layers of Leaf Litter and a good sized wood feature or two to assist with helping to maintain the microfauna.

"Vacation Feeder" Deli cups. A number of people use the 32oz clear delicups with either small holes poked in the lid or even round plastic crotchet disks to fit perfecting into the culture cup top, in place of a lid. These round disks are found at craft stores like Michaels. This way, the fruit fly culture can be placed directly into the viv and FF can continue to breed and hatch and the small holes will allow the FF and sometimes event the larvae (yum) to crawl out in stages, or with a slight delay, becoming a very nice time delayed vacation feeder. And the key is the screen / small holes, will prevent the frogs from being able to get into the cup and mess up the fly culture.

Care must be taken not have temperatures become too high coupled with a totally sealed vivarium .I have heard horror stories about CO2 gas build up in these conditions, and I wonder if a yeasty culture can actually contribute to this as well.
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#2
Good to know as I will be going out of town in August
Dendrobates, Phyllobates, Rantiomeya, Epipedobates
Don
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#3
thanks philsuma. i'll go with the fattenin' up method and get my neighbour to check that the temperature is fine. a diet of waxworms should be good.
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#4
Yeah this is definitely good to know. I'll be headed to NY in August and Italy in October. The August trip won't be so bad I'll be gone for 4 days but I can feed the day I leave and the day I come back and that leaves 2 unfed days. In October though.... That's 20 days I'll be gone. I'll have someone here house sitting though so that won't be that bad.

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#5
An auto misting system is essential for periods longer than a couple of days. I have left frogs for a week with no problems but misting, fogging, lights, venting fans etc are all on timers or thermostats. Most of our frogs are overfed so a few days without is not always a bad thing.

Regards
M&G
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#6
thank you for this info. i have had my brother feed and care for my adult and juvenile frogs while away a day or two but always had the concern i wouldn't be able to trust it for a longer period if needed. plus , not to mention the making of cultures, egg clutches, etc.

very helpful info. much appreciated. thanks

tom
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#7
I do not see the need to auto mist anything if you are going to be away for one week, an enclosed glass enclosure holds plenty of humidity for much longer than one week. U would also be surprised what some fruit pieces in the tank will do. I have left my frogs alone for a weeks time plenty of times and come back to see them still fat and healthy with plenty of food in the tank. I am only talking about thumbs here and not larger frogs, those would need extra attention and someone to feed them while one is gone.
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#8
It always good to "fatten em up" days before leaving - both the smaller thumbs and the larger guys. Sometimes the smaller frogs can subsist fine on leaf litter and tank micorfauna - another good reason to have a microfauna friendly viv and good populations of small bugz.
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#9
I agree, microfauna is very important to have in a tank and so easy to accomplish.
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#10
Now if you have eggs , tads and tiny obligate froglets....a 'frog-sitter' is a must for anything over a week to 10 days, IMO.
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#11
One of the things I do is to place film canisters or 2oz. solo cups filled with fly media in the viv about a week before I leave. Fruit flies fed out will lay eggs in these and provide a source of food (maggots and flies) for a couple weeks. I use small containers as I have had deaths in the past due to CO2 buildup from larger cultures placed in the viv.
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#12
Its good to know/trust other froggers who can help you while on vacation. Its hard to trust a non-frogger to care for things properly, to spot any potential problems, or know how easily a thumbnail can slip out of a viv. Let alone, try to explain the intracacies of frog care in a couple of minutes to a noob, good to have friends when you have eggs, tads, froglets, like Phil mentioned above.
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#13
We usually hire a pet-sitter for the cats. She also feeds the fish and is good at spotting problems- she's spotted a couple of sick fish before.
The first couple of times we left the frogs, I poked holes in the mesh lid of a FF culture and put it in there so they'd gradually hop out. Frogs liked it. I just told the sitter to mist it once a day and not mist the moth orchid in the back. Now I usually just tell her to add something along the lines of two dozen FF per frog. They're tincs, so they aren't gonna be leaping out unnoticed, and the feed + mist isn't complicated.
This is only over the course of a few days, usually, though we've had week-long vacations a couple of times.
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