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New to dart den!
#1
Hello. My name is mike and im from northern nj (about 15 min from nyc). New to the site and new to the hobby. I've only only been here for a few days and have already learned so much. Thanks.
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#2
Hi Mike and Welcome to Dart Den !

Don't be shy about posting....look forward to seeing ya around.

~Phil
https://www.facebook.com/dartden/

https://twitter.com/DartDen


"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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#3
Welcome Mike. Do you have any frogs yet? Do you have any builds in progress? We love pictures here haha
Josh
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#4
I purchased two azureus about two weeks ago which i have in a 18x18x24 exo terra planted tank. First frogs, first vivarium. Ive owned tons of other frogs in my life but these are my first darts. It was a little sketchy at first with their eating but as of this week they have been pretty good. One eats like a pig the other is really shy and i cant tell so much yet. But i think looks healthy so im guessing it picks off flies when im not around. Thatnks for the welcomes!
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#5
Hey Mike! Welcome! I was in a similar situation 1( months ago when my kid said she wanted a "blue frog" for Christmas. Now I'm hooked! We had one pig of a frog that annihilated any flies in the viv (turned out to be the female) and one shy scrawny frog (turned out to be the male). Good luck with yours. Post lots of pics!
Jim from Austin --- Lorenzo keepers PM me about a US breeding program
lorenzo | nominant fants | highlands | summersi | bakhuis | azureus

http://www.oneillscrossing.com/dart-frogs
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#6
Thank You. Good luck with yours also. I also have a daughter who loves to stare into the tank. This is and is going to be an addicting hobby if i have luck with it. I just have to get the fruit fly cultures down . I think i just decimated mine. Did something wrong?
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#7
Hi Mike, and welcome! Fruit flies get easy real quick, so don't worry! What happened? We can help with culture questions easy peasy! Hang in there!
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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#8
Are you making you own cultures? When I had just two frogs (see, it won't be long) I was making 1 culture every Saturday. I had 4 to 5 active cultures at any given time and I could feed off two. You will have extra if you follow the one a week plan but it buffers against a crash and gives you predictability. Rule of thumb is toss them after a month. I'd check out the feeding section - Phil has a good sticky over there that is a good place to start:
http://www.dartden.com/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=4210

It's good to have some local contacts to rely on if (when) you have a crash or shortfall. Shipping in flies gets expensive....good luck! Give us more details like Diane asked for and we'll see how we can help!
Jim from Austin --- Lorenzo keepers PM me about a US breeding program
lorenzo | nominant fants | highlands | summersi | bakhuis | azureus

http://www.oneillscrossing.com/dart-frogs
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#9
Thanks for the responses. I had three cultures going. One was about done, and two others about a week apart. I ve been making my own cultures from a media i got from Black jungle. The two i had going just stopped. I dont think the temperature is high enough for them so im trying to raise it a hair. Last night I actually found that petco carries ff cultures. I bought two of them and am trying to make two more cultures from them. Should they be in a some what humid environment also? Should i mist if they appear to dry?
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#10
Hi Mike,
In my experience, if the cultures dry out too soon they will crash, and misting doesn't help. Are you using the standard 32 oz culture cups and the standard vented lids? If so, great. If yours are drying out and crashing too soon, I think you don't have enough media in the cup. That has happened to me before, when I was first experimenting with making my own media and cultures. If I don't put enough media in, it dries up and dies prematurely. Too little media is an inch deep or less. Successful cultures have 1.5-2 inches of media in them. Then they stay moist enough to continue producing for the whole month, usually longer. Also make sure your media is wet or moist enough. New media should be the consistency of very thick oatmeal. If you tip the cup it will move, when you first make it. Then you put the excelsior, coffee filters, etc in, and it kind of "sets" quickly. This, along with having at least 1.5 inches deep, will allow the culture to produce for at least the entire month.
As for temp, my house (and my ff cultures) are kept about 68-70 degrees in the winter, mid-70s in the summer, and they produce just fine for me.
After several months in the hobby, I wanted to make my own home-made culture media, so I read different recipes here on DD and experimented with 8 or 10 different recipes for several months. Following is my "recipe" which is quick, easy, cheap, and ingredients that most people probably have sitting around the kitchen. I compared the amount of ffs which resulted, and my recipe really makes tons of fruit flies! They really pop a couple of times, and produce for well over a month, as long as there is at least 1.5 inches in each culture cup!
Peel a banana and microwave the fruit for about a minute. Mix the banana well with a fork. Add about equal amount of applesauce, mix again. Add a couple of scoops of instant oatmeal (I use the small scoop that comes on the top of cough medicine--like Nyquil, etc--they say they are 30 cc). I usually add 4 or 5 scoops, depending on consistency. Add a splash of vinegar, mix. Consistency should be like thick oatmeal. If too thick/dry, add another splash of vinegar and mix. If too thin, add a bit more oatmeal, and mix.
Put about 1.5-2 inches of this mixture in the culture cup. Put a pinch of yeast on top of this mixture, do not mix. On top of this put a few crunched up coffee filters, or a bit of excelsior, or a toilet paper roll, or whatever you prefer. Once this is room temperature, add 25-50 dusted fruit flies. In 10-15 days, you have a booming culture!!!
Before too long you should branch out with food items and get some other insects for your pdfs. Isopods, springtails, confused rice beetles, bean beetles, etc. I've had good results with all of these, except I don't do well with isopods, for some reason. In January I went to a show and picked up some bean beetles. They have done "OK" up til yesterday, when they POPPED like crazy!!!!!!!!!! I had bought 1 culture, divided them when I got home, again in Febrary, and again last week, so I now have 6 cultures. Yesterday when checking them, they are ALL booming like crazy. Cool! My larger frogs enjoyed the feast today, and I still have lots more. This also allows the fruit flies a break for a day!
Keep posting, Mike! 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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#11
Thank you so much for the tips. I am using the 32oz cups and maybe I can make the media a little deeper, its close to an inch and a half but i might try two. I'm definatly gonna try your recipe. The two cultures i thought completely crashed had some flies in it this morning so i'll relax them a bit and see what happens. I have springtails in the tank and have two cultures brewing also. They have been producing quite well. My azureus froglets love them.
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#12
Out of all the different frogs I have, I love watching my Azureus eat--they are piggies! Aside from eating, my Azureus are out and about, checking out everything, very bold frogs. Quite enjoyable!
Glad you had some flies this morning! Sometimes they do pop a second or third time.
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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#13
+1 on that. I'm amazed when one of the adult azureus "misfire" on a fly and it goes hurtling across the viv and bounces off the glass...or when the female steps on the male's head to get a better angle on a fly. Too funny.

Hey Mike - if you look closely at the media do you see any maggots moving around? Usually if you are between booms you'll be able to spot them. If most of the media has turned from a lighter shade of tan to a dark brown and you're having trouble seeing fresh maggots then they're about kicked.

Generally I don't hang onto melano cultures for more than 4 weeks - after that you risk mite booms. You can certainly stretch it, but for me it was not worth the risk. Not sure if you mentioned how old the cultures in question were. I dust and sift/strain all my "seed" flies now to reduce the risk of moving mites along with flies between cultures. That seems to have helped stabilize my cultures and extend their production. There is a cool photo of a mite being transported by a fly here:
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=7052

My froglet azureus take mostly melanogaster - my adult pair are almost exclusively on hydei and golden hydei these days. They were absolutely crushing melanogaster cultures, so I went to a "meatier" fly for them. It's worked out well but hydei are bit trickier to culture at first. It also keeps me moving three cultures along a week, so I usually am over stocked on flies. Anyhow, something to keep in mind as your azureus grow out.
Jim from Austin --- Lorenzo keepers PM me about a US breeding program
lorenzo | nominant fants | highlands | summersi | bakhuis | azureus

http://www.oneillscrossing.com/dart-frogs
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#14
My one azueus is definitly a pig, hunting and searching all day the other a little shy. I have 6 cultures of melanogaster cultures right now all about a week apart. I keep them in a big foam cooler sprayed with mite off. Actually two of my cultures popped so i guess its just lack of experience and premature assumptions on my part to think they died off. Jonelll809, what do u mean "dusting your flies."
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#15
There's a good sticky here:
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=5096

It's in the "Feeder Insects, Nutrition - How to feed your Frogs" sub forum. Basically you are supplementing your FF with vitamins in powder form that you dust or coat the flies with. In terms of transferring to other cultures, the dusting also happens to knock mites off the flies, so it helps reduce the transmission of adult mites from culture to culture if you couple the dusting with mechanical separation (e.g. sifting).

If you are not using supplements, you'll want to get some in a hurry. Generally you'll want to get on a rotation of high quality supplements. There's lots of sound advice in the feeder sub-forum on types of supplements and different rotation strategies. Good luck!
Jim from Austin --- Lorenzo keepers PM me about a US breeding program
lorenzo | nominant fants | highlands | summersi | bakhuis | azureus

http://www.oneillscrossing.com/dart-frogs
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#16
I forgot to mention that I save my expired supplements for dusting the transfer flies. Any supplements you buy should be replaced after 6 months but you can use the old ones for mite removal purposes.
Jim from Austin --- Lorenzo keepers PM me about a US breeding program
lorenzo | nominant fants | highlands | summersi | bakhuis | azureus

http://www.oneillscrossing.com/dart-frogs
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#17
Thanks. I do dust my flies before i feed. I have two types of calcium and two types of vitamins i rotate. I will get more soon. I will def try dusting the flys i colonize, makes sense. I guess it either irritates the mites or suffocates them?
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