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Thread: D. hydei Culturing Issues

  1. #1
    Lynx
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    Question D. hydei Culturing Issues

    A few weeks ago I managed to successfully culture hydei from a handful of flies left in a couple of pet store vials. From that I made 2 more cultures one day apart. The older of the 2 had lots of dead flies withing a couple days and no larvae, while the newer did great. I even used some of those flies to start a third culture. One is beginning to hatch new flies, and the newest is starting to pupate. So, myquestions are:

    1. How long after flies begin to hatch should I reculture? It's my understanding that the females hatch first and take less time to reach sexual maturity. Anyone know how long after the initial hatching the males emerge?

    2. How long after they hatch should I wait to feed? I tried to wait a few days with the original before making another culture so that I'd have males and females, but after 3 days, it was getting really crowded in there, so I did end up feeding some to the frogs. I don't want to end up feeding all the females and still ending up with a skewed sex ratio.

    Sorry if it's a silly question, but I haven't been able to find an answer, and the froggies really seem to prefer the hydei to the melanogaster at this point. In fact, they don't even want to bother with the smaller flies anymore.

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  3. #2
    bshmerlie
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    Default Re: D. hydei Culturing Issues

    Wow...that's an issue I never really paid that much attention to. I guess I make mine a week after the culture blooms. Once the culture takes off I wait a couple of days until it looks real good then start to feed from it. Then a few days later I make my new cultures. At that time the culture is going really well. Hydei does not reproduce as fast as the Melanogaster so if I were you I would always keep a culture or two of the Melanogaster around as a backup. Of course depending on how many frogs you are feeding. Just be careful to ensure a culture crash doesn't cripple you.

  4. #3
    Founder John's Avatar
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    Default Re: D. hydei Culturing Issues

    1: I start new cultures every 7 days. Hydei cultures don't produce for long. As long as there are significant numbers of new flies in a newly producing culture you shouldn't need to fret about sexes after about 48 hours.

    2: I feed pretty soon after production starts, just don't feed more than 75% of he flies each day so the sexes will balance out.
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  5. #4
    Lynx
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    Default Re: D. hydei Culturing Issues

    Thanks much, guys.
    if I were you I would always keep a culture or two of the Melanogaster around as a backup.
    I always have 2 or more melanogaster cultures going, and will definitely continue to do so just in case.

    I start new cultures every 7 days
    I do as well, at least with the melanogaster. I only had the one hydei culture to work with initially, but now with 3 going, one a week from the first 2, I think I can do the same there.

    Oh! does anyone mix flies from new and older cultures when making a new one?

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    Default Re: D. hydei Culturing Issues

    There's no reason why you can't mix them, but be aware that mites often travel on the bodies of fruit flies, so the older cultures are more likely to have more mites in them, so using flies from the old cultures could increase the number of mites in the new cultures.
    Founder of Frogforum.net (2008) and Caudata.org (2001)

  7. #6
    Lynx
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    Default Re: D. hydei Culturing Issues

    Thanks for the heads up. Despite my best efforts, I have a serious mite problem. I have to discard cultures after about the weeks, sometimes less. I don't know if they can be cultured out or if I need to start from scratch.

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    Contributor berksmike's Avatar
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    Default Re: D. hydei Culturing Issues

    A good method is the first dust the flies with your calcium powder and then sieve the powder away with a vey fine mesh sieve. This will hopefully dislodge the mites. Also using mite papaer helps - as well as washing your hands after handling cultures.

    On the plus side most dart frogs will readily take mites as a food source - my azureus love them so I keep a few mite infested cultures in the shed for that purpose (well away from my active fly cultures tho)
    0.0.2 Ceratophrys cranwelli
    0.0.3 Dendrobates azureus
    0.0.4 Dendrobates tinctorius "Alanis" (tads)
    3.3.0 Epipedobates anthonyi (+tads!)
    0.0.1 Lepidobatrachus laevis
    0.0.4 Pyllobates terribilis
    0.0.3 Ranitomeya imitator "Chazuta"
    0.0.3 Ranitomeya vanzolini
    0.0.6 Xenopus laevis

  9. #8
    Lynx
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    Default Re: D. hydei Culturing Issues

    A good method is the first dust the flies with your calcium powder and then sieve the powder away with a vey fine mesh sieve.
    I can't wait to try it! That might also have the added bonus of cutting down on escapees...I seem to have more trouble with that when re-culturing hydei. Thank you so much for the tip! How did you learn that?

    Also using mite papaer helps - as well as washing your hands after handling cultures.
    I'm having difficulty finding the mite paper, so I've been using paper towels treated with mite spray. I keep the cultures in a different room than my frogs, and keep the older ones in a different room from the newer ones. And, of course, the hand washing

    Ah, azureus. Someday I hope to have a few, but not in the near future

  10. #9
    Contributor berksmike's Avatar
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    Default Re: D. hydei Culturing Issues

    Heres a US source for mite paper:
    Bug Kill and M'Lady No Bugs Insecticidal Shelf and Drawer Paper and Covering for Mite Control

    Ebay might be worth a try too. Another alternative is to keep your cultures in a shallow tray of water. Keeping old cultures away and regularly making new cultures also helps keep mites under control. Unfortunately tho I have found despite your best efforts they are a continuing problem but you can take those measures to keep on top of them
    0.0.2 Ceratophrys cranwelli
    0.0.3 Dendrobates azureus
    0.0.4 Dendrobates tinctorius "Alanis" (tads)
    3.3.0 Epipedobates anthonyi (+tads!)
    0.0.1 Lepidobatrachus laevis
    0.0.4 Pyllobates terribilis
    0.0.3 Ranitomeya imitator "Chazuta"
    0.0.3 Ranitomeya vanzolini
    0.0.6 Xenopus laevis

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