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Thread: PA Woods Vivariums

  1. #1
    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default PA Woods Vivariums

    This is the thread discussing both the Western PA Woods and the Pine Creek PA Woods Vivariums that will have a pair of American Toads and a pair of Gray Tree Frogs.

    The Western PA Woods is a 125 Gallon native perennial and native wild amphibian enclosure that got it's inspiration from various townships in Western PA. This enclosure is home to Ace and Pious (Toads) who are around 2-3 years old overall and over 1 year in my care. Christian (Male Tree Frog) is the only tree frog in this enclosure because I haven't gotten a female for him yet. I have a baby frog I'm hoping to be a female to house with him. The climate of this enclosure will is
    PA Woods Soil:
    Plantation Soil
    Top Soil
    Leaf Litter
    Sheet Moss

    Fertilizer: Bloom Plus


    125 Gallon Western PA Woods Vivarium Temperature:
    Spring/Summer
    Highs: May-June 71 July-August 73
    Lows: May-June 65 July-August 68
    Autumn/Fall
    Consistent temperature
    72-74F

    Humidity:
    60%
    Feeder Days:Thursday & Saturday
    Fertilize Days 2 Per Month
    Temperature Control: Zoo Med Hygrotherm*


    This enclosure is supposed to copy the environment of the western woods.

    The Pine Creek PA Woods is inspired by a state park in Potter County PA the Pine Creek State Park.
    The difference between the two climates is the Pine Creek a few degrees warmer then the Western Woods and is higher in humidity also. This build will have a different emphasis as the Western Woods focused on an open woodland space where as this build will feature runoff from a hill that will run down and make a small water feature. My goal was to have fish in this but they will be in another build. This enclosure will house the largest male toad I've ever seen "The Golden Toad" Wellsboro his mate Belmont and the lone Gray Tree Frog Bane. I am still searching for another female for him. Bane and Wellsboro are the largest two of their species. These two are very serious hunters so it should be very fun to watch them team up and even rely on one another to hunt.

    The climate for this enclosure is

    75 Gallon Pine Creek PA Woods Vivarium Temperature:
    Spring/Summer
    Highs: May-June 71 July-August 80
    Lows May-June 65 July-August 67
    Autumn/Fall
    Consistent Temperature
    77-80F


    Humidity:
    70%
    Feeder Days: Thursday & Saturday
    Fertilize Days 2 Per Month

    Right now the Pine Creek PA Woods is not built yet so all the amphibians are in the Western PA Woods until they hibernate and then I'll start working on the 75 Gallon so when the amphibians wake up their will be two enclosures for them to go.

    You can see the amphibians in this video
    https://youtu.be/whF4NbHmZPI

    These two enclosures will be featured heavily on the YouTube Channel and Facebook Page. I will have the link for the Facebook Page in the next post as well as more information on care articles and such I used for this build and more info on the YouTube channel. I hope that you can follow up with me as I update frequently on the status of these amphibians.



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  4. #2
    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: PA Woods Vivariums

    Sources for care

    Facebook Page
    https://www.facebook.com/PAWoodsVivariums/

    YouTube Channel
    Top Videos Playlist:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...0EFUdUrjjhEoK1



    First PA Woods Vivarium
    https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink?url...8&share_type=t


    2nd PA Woods
    https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink?url...8&share_type=t

    Pre build of Western PA Woods
    https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink?url...8&share_type=t


    Toad Care
    Reptiles Magazine
    http://www.reptilesmagazine.com/Frog...ding-And-Care/

    That Pet Place
    http://blogs.thatpetplace.com/thatre...pecies-part-i/

    Part 3 That Pet Place
    http://blogs.thatpetplace.com/thatre...cies-part-iii/





    Gray Tree Frog Care
    That Pet Place
    http://blogs.thatpetplace.com/thatre.../#.W2aH_skpA0M

    Reptiles Magazine
    http://www.reptilesmagazine.com/Frog...Gray-Treefrog/



    Both species in PA
    https://www.fishandboat.com/Resource...sandToads.aspx


    https://www.paherps.com/herps/frogs-...american_toad/


    I will be creating a care sheet for both species and a mixed species care sheet featuring these amphibians.
    Sources for care

    Facebook Page
    https://www.facebook.com/PAWoodsVivariums/

    YouTube Channel
    Top Videos Playlist:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...0EFUdUrjjhEoK1



    First PA Woods Vivarium
    https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink?url...8&share_type=t


    2nd PA Woods
    https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink?url...8&share_type=t

    Pre build of Western PA Woods
    https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink?url...8&share_type=t


    Toad Care
    Reptiles Magazine
    http://www.reptilesmagazine.com/Frog...ding-And-Care/

    That Pet Place
    http://blogs.thatpetplace.com/thatre...pecies-part-i/

    Part 3 That Pet Place
    http://blogs.thatpetplace.com/thatre...cies-part-iii/





    Gray Tree Frog Care
    That Pet Place
    http://blogs.thatpetplace.com/thatre.../#.W2aH_skpA0M

    Reptiles Magazine
    http://www.reptilesmagazine.com/Frog...Gray-Treefrog/



    Both species in PA
    https://www.fishandboat.com/Resource...sandToads.aspx


    https://www.paherps.com/herps/frogs-...american_toad/


    I will be creating a care sheet for both species and a mixed species care sheet featuring these amphibians.






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    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: PA Woods Vivariums

    As I was looking through more articles I found that someone fed the Mealworm Beetle to their amphibians which really surprised me. I am going to attempt to feed the beetles to my animals to see if they will take them. I have an army of mealworm beetles and they may be a part of the next battle of the swarms videos.

    I have already begun work on the next video that's the second video of the Banded Crickets. I got some great video of everyone so every animal will be in the next video. The voting ends tomorrow and I'll reveal what the winner of the vote was for the next video in the Swarms Battles.

    Were you surprised to see how the toads and tree frogs reacted to an unfamiliar insect?

    Were you more surprised how effective Bane's strategy was or that a Christian hunts on the ground even though he is a tree frog?

    What's one thing you want to see in the next video?

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    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: PA Woods Vivariums

    An update on devices, the enclosure and the next part to the Swarms Battle...


    Before we get into this week post don't forget to checkout the new video in the link and follow us on Facebook!


    https://youtu.be/whF4NbHmZPI

    https://www.facebook.com/PAWoodsVivariums/

    So I've been trying to get the Zoo Med Hygrotherm to work for me to accommodate what I need with my tank but it won't be able to do that at least in the summer. So I bought a Zoo Med Timer and I am going to attempt to have the fan on a day and night cycle along with the fan. I'm still debating what the best decision would be. I'm hoping to get the devices back up and running. So far just the light is working and up. I am reconnecting the Mister Fogger and Fan tomorrow.

    The enclosure is great and up and running. After the devices are connected next is the plants and insects. I need to add Woodlice and Scallions. My goal over the next year is to make this enclosure a true bioactive setup. There are worms in my soil and baby crickets from the banded crickets that were in the enclosure and produced offspring. There are too many toads for the Woodlice and Crickets to establish colonies. It wouldn't be good if there were say hundreds of crickets but about 5-20 would be good and when the crickets in the past survived there weren't more then that. There are 4 amphibians that would eat them now from different angles so there would be no way for the crickets to have that many.

    I think this would be a possible next year mini series trying to get different insects to colonize in the enclosure. What do you guys think would it be cool if I showed this?

    The swarms battle part 2 is coming soon. I'm very close already to having the video done. I have some small stuff to do but it turned out great. You will see Christian shedding and then stop completely to eat a cricket. The shot I got of him eating is unbelievable how good the quality was. You will also see how I will introduce the animals so if your watching the video you will know the animals by name. After the next video is coming out the next one will feature from popular vote Earthworms, Waxworms, and the Mealworm Beetles.


    Has there been an insect you thought could work in your enclosure along with your animals?

    What should I add to the next swarm battle with the worms and beetles?
    A) Fogger, foggy day in the woods
    B) Mister, rainstorm


    Is there something you want me to talk about during the video like care for one of these animals or something like feeding schedules or anything about the enclosure? Let me know!



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    Default Re: PA Woods Vivariums

    I have a bad situation with some devices but don't worry I have a plan...

    Today I did in fact get my Mistking setup. The problem was then it started dripping and did not spray anymore. I have had my Mistking for over a year and had problems with it. I had an Exo Terra Monsoon for around 3 years and then had a problem. I think I'm going to go back to the Exo Terra Misting System for the Western PA Woods. Thank goodness I have a fogger still. The foggers have proven to be more consistent and reliable then misters.


    So I have figured out that I'll use my Zoo Med Repti Temp Temperature Controller for my Fan. I'll need to get a hygrometer and see how my humidity during the day is. I may have my fogger on a timer to run through the day on a low level just to keep my humidity near 50-65 just how humid I want it. I'm going to try and use the timer I bought but I had a hard time figuring out how to use it lol. So I have my humidity plan figured out and my fan will take down the humidity some and the fan and fogger will keep temperature down. When I get the monsoon up and running it will run once a day and maybe not every day I may have to only use it once a week because the soil stays moist in this setup. So for the next video my tank made it's own decision that I will have a foggy day when the PA Woods inhabitants battle the worms and beetles.

    I will give my Mistking to the animals in my hallway which are the exotic animals. I'll get it up and running again but for the Western Woods needing consistently upkeep there is no room for inconsistent mister production no matter the brand. The Five Lined Dumpy Family will love the 7 Sprayers that will be split up into their tanks. This means the old mister they had will be given to the Pine Creek PA Woods.

    One of the most unique interactions I've observed is how my young female toad Belmont follows my Adult female toad Ace. She follows her and it seems like Belmont and Ace have formed a bond as females. They seem to like each other's company. I'll have to get it documented in a video but it's so unique a toad is teaching another about life.

    In about two weeks the next swarms battle part 2 will come out finishing the battle with the banded crickets for 2018. The Swarms Battles will be a series next year also. After I do the next swarms battle the worms and beetles I will be doing shorter feature videos of the other series called perspective. For this video series I will only feature one or two amphibians and introduce them and discuss their care and as suggested feeding advice and other interesting information.

    In the Perspective series pick a number that you want to see in the premiere episode of The Perspective Series:

    1 Ace and Christian (Cover Animals)

    2 Wellsboro and Bane (Pine Creek Ambassadors)

    3 Pious and Belmont

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    Default Re: PA Woods Vivariums

    More understanding of what I'm looking for...

    I have said the many features my 125 Gallon possesses and I'm proud of the hard work paying off for this build. My Mistking Mister has once again developed a problem so now the 125 Gallon has no mister once again to start September. This same thing happened a year ago and I also was having a hard to figuring out how to get the Hygrotherm to cooperate with my needs for my touchy climate. So the two most critical devices failed me.

    This year is different then last year. I have a better fan, I have a clutch Fogger that does the job and the Zoo Med Repti Temp controls the fan to shut off when the temperature I set is reached. The Temperature Controller will be able to control the fan which will save the life of the fan not running as much and I am looking into my timer to use the Fogger. I'd like to have it set in the morning since in Western PA it's foggy to start the day. Then I can toggle when I want the fog to come on. These 3-4 devices are clutch for survival of my life in the enclosure.

    The toads are good I haven't seen them much since I was on vacation. I will be excited to split up the toads once the 75 gallon is theirs. Everyone seems happy and healthy.

    The same goes for the tree frogs they are good too. Both are healthy and happy. I will be happy to see how both male frogs interact with a female and how that looks in their own setup. The baby tree frog is growing and hopefully is a female. Then I'd just need one more tree frog!

    The second Swarms Battle is out now.
    The battle with the Banded Crickets was very fun to make and watch. I'm excited to see the next battle because there are a few feeders for these videos. The Earthworms and Waxworms won the vote to be the next swarm battle so they will be next. I will be excited to show more of the appetite the amphibians have with these insects because neither are fast moving so it should be a highlight reel.
    I may have something planned though for the next video. A guest appearance by a feeder insect. A swarm of them.

    The perspective Series will be coming soon and I'm sure you will love to hear more of the background of the amphibians. I will discuss many things about the specific animal that is being discussed.

    What is one thing you want me to talk about in the next videos?

    What are your experiences with the Mistking? What's better Mistking Mister or Exo Terra Monsoon?

    Should I use the Fogger in the next video?

    https://youtu.be/05RH4rbss88


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    Default Re: PA Woods Vivariums

    More updates! Toad and Tree Frog Care Sheets coming in September...

    In September I will make 3 care sheets. I'll try to start and finish an American Toad, Gray Tree Frog and an American Toad and Gray Tree Frog together care sheet.

    I will begin filming soon for the Second Swarms Battle and the Perspective Series Premiere video.

    So after I went through my ideas I felt I only needed 3 series for the PA Woods Vivariums. Swarms which is feeding videos, Seasons (coming soon) how the animals interact with a changing environment and PA Woods Vivariums which will feature Perspective Series videos and when I do Toad Week and Tree Frog week. The PA Woods series will cover many different types of videos in the enclosures.

    The first Perspective video title:
    Animals of the Western PA Woods

    Swarms Battle 2
    Worms and Beetles



    Update on devices
    So as I ordered crickets from Josh's Frogs I bought more tubing to fix my Mistking problem. I'm going to see how it works and if it's still a pain then I'll try using the tubes on my old Monsoon RS400 Exo Terra. I have to drill holes in one piece of plexiglass and hook up the other devices. The plants are pretty set except the Scallions. I need to plant those soon. I'm trying to get the devices setup then plants. I am excited to create care sheets and to try to finish the Western PA Woods and to make more videos of it!

    I'm excited to try and start the Pine Creek PA Woods planning for the spring too.

    The Pine Creek PA Woods will have a Rain Wall, Fogger, Mosquito Fish and pairs of American Toads and Gray Tree Frogs. It will be slightly warmer and have different plants.

    The Western PA Woods will be updated in the background since the toads dug into it. This will have a Mistking/Monsoon, Fogger, Drainage Pump, Speakers to simulate noises (Both tanks will be impacted by this), fan for lower temperature and humidity and Repti Temp Controller and Timer to regulate fan and fogger.

    Are you excited to see two PA Woods Vivariums?

    Have you ever seen a rainwall in a background?

    What's your thoughts on a mixed species care sheet?

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    Default Re: PA Woods Vivariums

    Questions
    What plants do you have specifically? Are they native Pennsylvania plants or something else? If native, how did you acquire them?

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    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: PA Woods Vivariums

    Quote Originally Posted by LydiasMom View Post
    Questions
    What plants do you have specifically? Are they native Pennsylvania plants or something else? If native, how did you acquire them?
    So for the 125 Gallon Western PA Woods I have these plants
    Autumn Sedum
    Autumn Fern
    Pachysandra
    2 Species of Coral Bells
    Primrose
    Day Lilly
    Moss
    Attempting to grow Scallions soon

    I selected all these plants but scallions from a local plant nursery that I worked at for 7 years and the place where I caught the exact toads that I have. The toads in the wild would actually hangout in the plants I chose but I got a light to try a few new species like the Autumn Sedum. I have them free of the fertilizer used. It was months before the toads interacted with the plants. This build was as close to wild as I could do because it's supposed to be as authentic to the PA Woods as possible.

    The Pine Creek PA Woods will have native wild plants and a Cranberry Plant. I have a friend who works on water shed resources as he treats wetlands to prevent from pollution and he has various plants that are legal for me to attempt. I am also considering using a Mum possibly.








    I finally got some devices working again...

    I got the fan connected to the Repti Temp Controller and then I got the fogger connected to the Zoo Med Timer. So the good news is I put good use to some of the devices. The bad news is the Mistking Mister didn't work for the PA Woods so I took it out and added it to my White's Tree Frog enclosure. It for some reason worked fine in there so I decided to give it to the tree frogs. This means that I now have a decision and a lot of time to decide which Misting System I will use for my enclosure.

    The amphibians are doing great and the next video will be a Perspective Video on the Amphibians of the Western PA Woods
    Ace
    Pious
    Christian
    The video will be featuring these animals and I am very excited that I get to share different information on these animals.
    Is there anything you want to know about any or all of these three amphibians?

    There is not much news on these guys I was focused on the animals of another enclosure all this past week but I can say everyone is doing well.

    One sad note. The baby gray tree frog didn't make it. I believe it was a female and it was about the size of my pinky nail. We still have a problem finding two females for Bane and Christian. Let's hope that we can find some for their sake so they can breed.

    After the first Perspective video comes out the next Swarms Battle is coming. One big thing is I'm going to a reptile expo tomorrow which could mean there is a feeder insect that I could choose to use in a Swarms Battle. I'll let you know if I find a feeder insect that will make it in a future video. Is there a certain insect if I find it you want me to get for a video?

    I said in another thread about how this might be the year of my White's Tree Frog. Around Thanksgiving would you want to see a verses video between the Western PA Woods and the Dumpy Family and the enclosure who receives the most votes will be the winner?

    What would you like to know in a perspective video featuring care of each specific animal or them as a group?

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    Default Re: PA Woods Vivariums

    Some takeaways from the Reptile Expo what I found and more...

    So this was the third place in my area that held an expo and when I walked in I saw things I never saw before! There were so many enclosures and accessories and possibly inverts for my Skink Dynasty in another thread. I will share more of what I went for and some other important occurrences.

    I went to get more leaves for my enclosure and I did get some, however I made some connections with some vendors and the place I got insects from gave me advice on caring for a new feeder insect, gave me 100 free crickets and said they would possibly further talks of sponsoring me. What does it mean if a store and vendor sponsors me? It means first hopefully I save money and can get free feeders for my animals which would be high quality. Next I might be able to get some products they have and review them. Lastly it would be more exposure for the forums, my Facebook Page and YouTube Channel because that is how I would be able to partner with them. They gave me the number of the boss (owner) and said to call him because he's into working with people and doing this such thing. If I could only have feeders or products I would choose feeders in a heartbeat! Imagine going to the grocery store and getting what you want and eating comfortably and never having to pay for it! As I said there is a lot of talk that needs to happen but it would be great in many ways!

    So other then Crickets I got a new feeder and they told me they sell them cheap and are able to ship to me. So I have to research YouTube and Google to see if there are videos of American Toads and Gray Tree Frogs eating this insect. For the first time I have been able to get some Hornworms that will hopefully provide a very nutritious meal for the tree frogs and toads! So as requested I will post the next Swarms Battle with Earthworms and the Mealworm Beetles. The battle after that will probably be a one part battle with the Hornworms. These can get as big as a toad (4inches) so I got a small size and will allow them to grow so the Gray Tree Frogs can even eat the Hornworms. What are your thoughts on an upcoming battle with a new enemy?

    So there was something else at the Expo that I saw that hot me excited. I have been fascinated with Ants and love Ants Canada how he has so much information on the ants yet it's interesting to watch. These are not ants but something that I heard is a good feeder for tree frogs and toads. There was a vendor who breeds Earwigs! They are Giant Asian Earwigs so not zoned from PA but could be a feeder as well. I'm not sure yet what I would want to do if I would keep them as a colony but I'm thinking about it. A trusted herpetologist said an earwig is a valuable feeder for toads and I'd imagine tree frogs too. Have you ever considered using insects such as Ants or Earwigs?

    I am going to begin shooting for the next Swarms Battle and the Perspective video that will feature the care of the American Toad and Gray Tree Frog. I'm really excited to get another video out for you all for more educational purposes. I am attempting to provide care sheets and document feeding encounters with feeder insects anyone can obtain but you can see an honest interaction if the toads and tree frogs will eat the insects. I can tell you now the Gray Tree Frogs won't eat a Red Wriggler Earthworm. I am hoping they will attempt the beetles but I believe the Gray Tree Frog must be opposed to insects that secret odors. My toads all 4 however don't care. This behavior is very fascinating because I have toads that will consume a foul smelling insect that's how opportunistic they are and many toads do not eat these worms so my toads will be showing that toads will eat this specific worm. My toads will consume things that many other animals wouldn't meaning they are very opportunistic hunters but even as they have gone sometimes long without food the same toads have a peaceful temperment not hunting the tree frogs. I truly believe I have some of the most fascinating toads of their species how opportunistic yet peaceful they are. My featured toad Ace is a beautiful color I've never seen and Wellsboro a featured toad for an upcoming build is golden and Ace's mate Pious is an ordinary looking toad yet he keeps growing. So I have colorful toads and unique with their traits. I'm also thankful for my tree frogs. I can't believe how friendly these two are how much they trust me. Bane in the first Swarms Battle hunted on a higher level then I thought a tree frog could. Christian the smaller featured tree frog for this tank is so active and he interacts with the toads. He's so fascinating because he will push the toads out of the way even just to get to wherever he wants. He has also come to the floor a lot at night to even sit among the toads. I can see Christian feels more comfortable with Ace and Pious which is good because those are the toads next year that he will be living with.

    So to end my rant I have all the devices set into place and have the feeders for more videos and still am looking for female gray tree frogs and am looking at what mister will fit this tanks needs. I may get sponsored by a company and on Thanksgiving the Western PA Woods will face the Dumpy Family for bragging rights as to who has the better setup.

    Have you ever used Hornworms as a feeder?

    Are you interested in voting on Thanksgiving for your favorite enclosure?

    Are you surprised of my observations of my amphibians of their personalities?

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    Default Re: PA Woods Vivariums

    1st picture is cover photo for 2018-2019
    Cover for the Perspective video (care sheet compatible video).

    2nd photo is the next Swarms Battles Ep cover.

    3rd and 4th photo the Hornworms

    5th photo the Mealworm Beetles colony.


    I am going to talk to the company sometime this week. I have begun recording for the next two videos.
    It so far has been a toad highlight reel. Just a beginning of the week update!

    Here is the playlist for the Western PA Woods so far!

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...ElawrHvCWVb83S




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    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: PA Woods Vivariums

    This week was crazy...
    So I was feeding my animals and as I was doing that some really crazy unbelievable situations happened. I'll elaborate more in this post but things have really changed.

    So I decided to use the Hornworms that I got at the reptile expo and I found some very interesting interactions.

    So when I first put the Hornworms in they were very small little critters. There were some that ate the worms.
    Ace, Bane and Belmont had decided to eat them. While I saw this I also learned more about my animals personalities and I Saw what happened in the tank while I went on vacation a few weeks ago. Let me explain what I mean. I saw Belmont change the ecosystem of the tank. She was the least likely that I thought to be the dominant animal in the enclosure. She actually bullied Pious to the point he climed up to get away from her. She took a Hornworm from Wellsboro the biggest male toad I've seen. She even showed dominant behavior with Ace. Belmont has single handedly caused all the amphibians stress. Tonight was the first time I saw the tree frogs come to the ground. Sadly I will not be able to keep her with the animals of the PA Woods because she is too aggressive and as a juvenile toad she is harassing adults and that could be terrible when she grows up. I'm going to see if I can find her a home and if not I'm going to have to release her. She has come a very long way with how dominant she has become. It's very disappointing but I'd rather release a healthy strong willed one eyed toad then lose all the other amphibians I own. In the next Swarms Battle I was supposed to have the Earthworms and I filmed that but I saw a lot to help people who own toads and tree frogs. So I am going to put out the Hornworm battles.

    So outside of what I saw from my toad the few amphibians that did eat the Hornworms the first time once the worms got bigger they wouldn't touch them after they grew a few inches. I think the toads thought they were poisonous or the little horn they saw on the back deterred them from eating the worms again. This shows that the toads understand that there is something dangerous to them and they will not just eat anything. Another example of this knowledge is Ace who had eaten a Hornworm just a few days ago and she had two chances to eat another. She came up to the worm like she would eat it and she just followed it and she was contemplating on whether or not to eat it and she decided not to. I saw a lot of the intelligence by the toads and once Bane saw it he didn't even try again to eat one. So the next video is going to be of the Hornworms and I'm going to say my opinion of whether or not that someone should use the Hornworm as a feeder.

    What do you think I should do with Belmont?

    What do you think of my findings of the Hornworms being used as a feeder?

    There was more info but I'll talk more about it tomorrow.

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    100+ Post Member Cliygh and Mia 2's Avatar
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    Default Re: PA Woods Vivariums

    Especially if she's missing an eye, I'd say make a separate enclosure for Belmont and keep her. I've heard that hornworms are pretty fatty, so I'd limit them to the occasional treat, much like waxworms. I can't wait to see the earthworm swarms battle!

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  23. #14
    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: PA Woods Vivariums

    Quote Originally Posted by Cliygh and Mia 2 View Post
    Especially if she's missing an eye, I'd say make a separate enclosure for Belmont and keep her. I've heard that hornworms are pretty fatty, so I'd limit them to the occasional treat, much like waxworms. I can't wait to see the earthworm swarms battle!
    I wouldn't include the waxworms as an occasional treat I have them incorporated into the toads diets just like Earthworms and Crickets. I think if we take something like the waxworms out of a normal diet and only make it a treat then we take away a different part of their diet even if it's in small quantities. I saw some unique interactions between the toads, tree frogs and the Hornworms. Like I said yesterday the animals that ate the worms before didn't attempt to eat them this time and I believe they sensed something different about the Hornworms as they grew. I think it will be easier explained in the next video. I believe the battle with the Hornworms is very important because I can finally give answers to people who keep these two species. There is very little documentation of using the Hornworms as a feeder so hopefully this will really educate people about from my observations if they should even be used as a feeder for these amphibians.

    As for Belmont I am going to see if there is someone who can keep her. I aqquired her a few months ago and she's been eating heavy and is in the conditions as cold or colder then the wild. She is just very aggressive and she is a very able hunter. If I cannot find her a new home I'd rather release her while I can and knowing that she is fat and healthy would be the best way to release her I think. I would rather not release her and I am sad it came to this but I have the reason why actually filmed. She showed exactly what her personality is.

    I'm excited to share both videos of the battles. I still have another post coming tonight too!

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  25. #15
    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: PA Woods Vivariums

    The toad care sheet has been started! I have begun to make the care sheet for the toads. I feel that the next two Swarms Battles will be great lead inns for the perspective video of the animals of the Western PA Woods. I think the Swarms Battles are very important because I'm going through the feeder insects that are captive bred and offered as feeders universally for all amphibians and reptiles. Hopefully if you watch these videos you see how the different insects are important to the amphibians I keep and it can be applied to others with similar needs for care.

    My care sheet will be different because I want to help you look at your weather conditions if you caught one of these animals as the ideal way to try and keep it instead of giving you some numbers. I will have my own criteria for telling you what temperature and humidity it should be but I really want that to be a last resort. For instance as a quick teaser of my information for the care sheet I believe the low temperature average would be ideal for keeping the toads and tree frogs. They like it cooler and come out at the coolest part of the day. The humidity would be something more of a generalized topic but just for temperature for the toads now you can see the direction I'm coming from. There is a lot more to it but that's a general idea of one part of my care sheet. The video on these amphibians will be very important because I can continue to refer people to read and watch which could make this more effective.

    No contact with the possible sponsor yet.

    So I said I had unfinished business from yesterday so as I said no amphibians except Belmont ate a Hornworm. Ace continued to follow one around and she kept trying to figure out whether she would eat it or not. Unlike in the first Swarms video when she tasted the Banded Crickets she did not attempt this for the worms.

    So I also found that the Ace has a preference for one tree frog over the other. This was massive in gathering information on personality of these toads and tree frogs. So Bane came close to the Hornworm on the ground and Ace felt like he was going to eat it and she snapped at him. He immediately felt threatened by her and kept his distance. As he climbed up the tank I saw she was watching him and seemed to be standoffish with him. So I went and got Christian. I wasn't sure if Ace was snapping at the gray tree frogs or if it could just be Bane. So I didn't want to take a chance with Ace eating Christian since he's the smallest amphibian. I took him out of the tank and let him climb on the glass from the outside of the enclosure. He crawled right in front of Ace and was next to the Hornworm but on the outside. Now as he climbed around on the outside she ignored him completely. I put him in the tank and Ace didn't seem to be bothered. Christian has come down and actually sat on the same rocks as the toads. Pious has shown favor of Christian as he climbed up the plant Christian lives on and the two sat together side by side. I've seen Christian also push Ace in order to sit next to her or to get into the water. I believe the toads don't see Christian as a threat and they just seem to tolerate him just like another toad. So it's good that Ace and Pious like Christian because those three are living together and Bane and Wellsboro will have a 75 Gallon together next year. They have no problems. So the matching up I did of the animals I ended up to be exactly right as to who would be best to live together.

    Now Ace may have been stressed by Belmont and snapped at Bane because she was tired of missing out on food. That could be out of her being hungry more then territorial behavior. Ace has never done this before. This could be the only variable.

    After I had this experience with Belmont being dominant over the entire ecosystem and King III trying to eat the tree frogs I felt that it would be best to just have Ace and Pious mate and get a female offspring from them as the mate for Wellsboro because they are both very peaceful toads and then it increases the chances of a more peaceful toad. So I will not be looking for another toad for Wellsboro he will be living the single life until I get to be a grandparent of toads! I do plan to get two Gray Tree Frog females because it's crucial for my two males they don't have any related to them so they can breed in the wild together to have pure genes and it doesn't cause any diseases or health problems of offspring. I am learning a lot about personality of these amphibians this year more then ever. This could be cool to share in another video too. What do you think? Would you like to hear of my personal experiences and opinions of personalities of these animals?

    What do you think the real reason Ace the toad snapped at Bane the tree frog? Was it from stress and frustration or her showing she does not accept Bane?

    Do you like the idea of breeding a sexed pair and using one of the offspring as a mate with another unrelated toad?



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    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: PA Woods Vivariums

    There will not be any update tonight as I am working on the video for the next Swarms Battle and possibly other videos! I'll have an update tomorrow for sure and possibly a video!

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  29. #17
    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: PA Woods Vivariums

    This is the post you have been waiting for...

    I have decided to go with the Red Wriggler Earthworms and Hornworms for many reasons. This up to this point has been the most important and educational video I've made because you get to see the intelligence and personality of my amphibians. There may be people wondering whether or not to use both of these feeder insects and I am confident my findings and video documentation will really inform American Toad and Gray Tree Frog keepers. This will be the last video appearance of Belmont the One Eye Toad. You will see what lead to this decision I made to have to take her out if the PA Woods Vivariums.

    This was the longest video ever made for the PA Woods Vivariums too so I hope you don't mind watching a 15 minute documentary style video.

    This week I'm going to email the vendor from the Reptile Expo. I wanted to wait until I had something to show them before just asking to work together.

    I finally got my refrigerator!
    This was one of the last 3 on sale so I was very happy and lucky to get it. This was kind of sad because it means in just a couple months these animals will hibernate and I risk everything trying to give them more then I ever have. The goal now is getting things measured so I can have one or multiple hibernation bins. While the amphibians are asleep I'll update the 125 gallon and build the 75 gallon. One toad will not hibernate. Wellsboro will remain active and hibernate next year because I am going to breed my toad pair Ace and Pious in an attempt to produce a female that Wellsboro can have as a mate. I'm hoping this offspring will take on the personality of Ace and Pious so she will be peaceful not like the past few toads. The other goal will be getting two female gray tree frogs. I am very excited to be preparing for the future for these amphibians and the enclosures.

    The new video will come out this week! I'm working on the advertisement soon tonight!

    Did you know most people are misinformed about feeding their toads Red Wriggler Earthworms? They think the toads won't eat them but we will put that to the test in this video.

    Did you know toads and tree frogs can discern if they think a food item is dangerous or poisonous? You'll see this in the video too!

    Is there a feeder insect that you want me to try next?


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    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: PA Woods Vivariums

    Checkout the new Swarms Battle
    https://youtu.be/-9iy7J0ygGQ

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    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: PA Woods Vivariums

    The main point of the video was to recommend the Red Wriggler and to discourage the Hornworm as feeders. I am not sure if anyone caught this but this video is crucial to toad owners because it shows what a dominant aggressive toad does and others who see similar behavior will know they need to separate the toads. The other main point for both species is how the same amphibians that ate Hornworms the first feed decided not to the next time. This shows the memory, the judgement and intelligent of both species. They did not just keep eating the Hornworms they saw them as dangerous or perhaps looked similar to another type of caterpillar that both species may have known to be poisonous. This was very important for displaying intelligence of Toads and Tree Frogs.


    An emotional farewell...
    Today I had to do something I was dreading and tried to hold off for 2 weeks. I had to release Belmont where she was from. I fed her really good and let her go in a spot where there were some nice bushes. She was not a bad toad and was very tame. She didn't want to leave my hand when I set her down. After five minutes went by I encouraged her to go and she stayed by me for a while. Then she finally went into the bushes. I still keep thinking about her I really tried to find a home for her but nobody would take her. I have hope that I will see her again and she will be full grown. It would be one of the most humbling experiences if I see her again and I hope I do. Now I have to move on to the updates or else my night will be ruined.

    The PA Woods is doing great and I am prepping the tank for two more videos. I will do the perspective video and the next Swarms Battle. The Woods will be more open without Belmont but she was not supposed to stay in this setup anyways. It will be interesting to see how everyone else will handle the extra space and food. I am hopeful to see the environment and ecosystem return to normal now and to see Pious more active on the ground. He was very stressed by Belmont and now I am anticipating he will stay out more. With more space I may be able to add some Woodlice by the end of the month. They are one of the most important and beneficial assets to a bioactive setup like the PA Woods!

    I'm not trying to spoil anything but I already decided on the next species for the Swarms Battle and I have decided again on two species. The Mealworm and the Waxworm. I am also going to show the other stages of their lives. Beetles and Moths. I am hoping to encourage Christian to be in this video as I missed him from the last video making a brief appearance. I think the moths will become bait for the Tree Frogs and I have never seen either species consume a Mealworm Beetle. Maybe both will or both won't. I am hoping to have another component to the Swarms series as we have had a great run so far. We saw Gray Tree Frogs choose the best strategy to hunt Banded Crickets and we just saw American Toads eat an earthworm many say they will not. We also saw toad behavior and tree frog and toad intelligence. We have seen some very good and educational videos within the series.

    I am going to email the Vendor from the Reptile Expo and show them the video with their Hornworms. I am hopeful for the best.

    The care sheet is just about finished for the toads. I have to clean up some spelling errors and put in pictures but it's ready. I will be starting the Gray Tree Frog Care Sheet this week! I am excited to put my thoughts and the sources that have given me much of the information I use and apply to my amphibians. I am excited to create a mixed species care sheet between American Toads and Gray Tree Frogs. I think it will be very informative and even if some do not agree with mixing species I'm extending a hand showing my experiences how hard it truly is doing something like this. It is not to encourage others to do it it's to educate people on the challenges and struggles as well as to prove that this species combination is successful. It's something to be observed not replicated this is not for the faint of heart with some decisions that are very emotional and hard to make also it's a risk to attempt something like this. I am very educated and experienced with toads and I have a lot of former experience with Gray Tree Frogs in captivity. I'll go into detail in the care sheet but I think everyone will be able to appreciate the effort and research it took to build this.

    I am almost ready to set the Refrigerator up for the amphibians to hibernate in the upcoming months. More info on that to come later.

    If you could share the video that just came out of the Swarms Battle that would help me a lot!

    What do you expect the aftermath in the enclosure to be from releasing Belmont?

    From watching the swarms battles what have you observed from them? Is there anything you really enjoyed or were surprised by?

    https://youtu.be/-9iy7J0ygGQ

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    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: PA Woods Vivariums

    The first day back in the woods...
    Today I did notice that everyone was out more Ace who was hidden for a few days and both Gray Tree Frogs as well as Wellsboro who looks to be more relaxed. Pious was sleeping a lot today so it seems there is a lot of rest happening right now and healing for the amphibians. It is unknown what is next for these 5 remaining amphibians. One thing is certain and that is nobody else is leaving!

    I was unable to clean up the enclosure today but I just wanted to watch and see how things went and it's as if the ecosystem took a deep exhale. The goal now is to get everyone fat and ready for the winter. This will be a very important winter actually the most important one of my life with how I am attempting my first time to hibernate frogs and toads which is all or nothing. They could all die or all live and it's important for research of keeping these two species there can be some missing information that can be filled in if hibernation should be a must or if it prolongs life even. I want to give my animals the most natural life I can so I am going to try to hibernate them for them to do what they would in the wild and I also want them to breed which is why I am so focused on accomplishing this.

    The greatest opportunities will be with adding insects to the soil finally. This is a crucial factor for a bioactive setup and it will make the videos more enjoyable. The one thing between my attempt at building the 75 gallon compared to the 125 gallon is that the 75 gallon had a wide variety of insects that thrived and colonised in the enclosure. We are getting closer to what the actual number of frogs and toads will be which means more insects will have the chance to hide and survive. The greatest feeling for me is not just that the amphibians and plants are thriving but also for me I want to have insects because that is one way to tell your setup is healthy with a variety of insects. I truly miss this as one of the most epic parts of a setup and I feel it's very overlooked by many who have live bioactive enclosures. There is nothing like seeing Woodlice (Isopods) living alongside Springtails and Crickets and now two different species of crickets! And also alongside Earthworms! These are the most noticable insects. Crickets are opportunistic and I understand the risks of keeping them but when the Crickets have food in the setup it is really incredible to see the Crickets just living like they would in the wild and watching struggles of survival and for my frogs and toads the struggle for food. It's great to see how different the animals hunt as well. It's easy to catch something that is dazed and confused but once it knows the land it's a whole different story. You can look forward to seeing this as it is something as important to me as hibernating my animals.

    In the next video for Swarms I will talk about adding the waxworms as a complimentary part of the staple diet. There is a bit of misinformation about waxworms and I feel they need to be used as often as Crickets or Earthworms alongside the main feeder to make a complete meal. We will also talk about the Mealworm and more information about using them with amphibians.

    I will be trying to get the other two care sheets up also.

    So I will be hibernating the amphibians and I will be trying to establish various insects in the Western PA Woods. All is going well for the amphibians as they are recovering from Belmont. The care sheets are in progress and I contacted the vendors and am awaiting the response.

    Did you ever hear of using a complimentary feeder with a staple feeder for your animals? Let's say you feed crickets and Waxworms one day on a schedule and the next feed you use Earthworms and Mealworms or something like this. Or have you just fed one feeder at a time?

    Are you surprised to hear that the amphibians seem to be in recovery mode since Belmont has been removed?

    Do you think my idea of including different insects in my setup is interesting, crazy or your not sure?



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