Casper aka "ghostvivs":
Glenn aka "frogfreak":
Jon aka "Rusty_Shakleford":
Marcus, SNDF (based on a phone call with me)
Jim aka "joneill809" initially discussed here, but I'll add details below:
Interesting comment from Stu on a Dutch contact using communal trays but isolated tads:
I'm not suggesting everyone should just go and abandon their cups and switch to group rearing tads, but I wanted to get a dedicated discussion going on alternative rearing methods and discuss the benefits or concerns with the approach. I have been raising tads in groups for almost a year as of this posting. This was not my idea; Marcus Breece of SNDF and a long time, large scale D. tinctorius breeder talked me through his group rearing methodology over the phone last summer. He said his not-so-scientific study found his tads reared individually in a shoebox container did not morph out as large as groups of tads in the same containers. After his initial experiments he moved to group rearing of all his tads.
As for me, at this time only my Lorenzo and Robertus are raised in these group tanks - my other morphs transport and tank rear. Here are photos of my setup:
Each tank is 2.5 gallons, with about 1" of Turface for substrate, a layer of saturated leaf litter (I use mostly Magnolia leaves), and a few pieces of floating cork bark that newly morphed froglets can haul out on. Each tank has a small 1" solar screen vent on the back and a glass lid to help keep evaporation down and prevent froglets from crawling out. I change about 50% of the water every other week - quick siphon of the old water and replacement with RO water. I feed 3 to 4 times per week.
The benefits are:
- reduced tadpole grow out footprint
- no cup management
- no "jumpers" from shorter cups
- no tilting cups or worrying about a froglet crawling out unexpectedly
The potential downsides:
- hormones? I have not witnessed slowed growth, nor have I seen any studies on it, but the subject seems to come up a lot.
- you have to get comfortable not having an exact count on tadpoles. I'm OK dumping a clutch in a tank and seeing what morphs out 3 to 4 months later. I feel like this approach is the next best thing to in-viv rearing. I have not seen substaintial tadpole losses with this method, but I have seen the occasional newly hatched tadpole not make it (likely a tad that would have not made it in a cup either).
Obviously I'm a bit biased as I like group rearing tads and my methodology is working for me. I'd love to see others' experiences with this and discuss the pros and cons in more detail.