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Thread: How to manage long burrowing

  1. #1
    100+ Post Member GRABibus's Avatar
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    Default How to manage long burrowing

    My graboune likes to burrow, too much according to me.
    The substrate (Coco fiber) is humid, temps are between 33C (Hotest spot) and 24c (coolest point) during the day.
    She stays at a place at roughly 28C.
    22C to 23C at night.

    I spray with dechlorinated mineral water(Without nitrats) 3 times per day.

    Even with these conditions, she burrowed last 2 weeks.
    As substrate was dirty, I woke it up with a big amount of water.
    Then, I put her into a bath, changed the subsrate. She did a poop.
    During the 2 following days, she was quite like "Apathic" with lower feeding response as usual and lower appetite.
    She ate some nightcrawlers, dubia roaches dusted with calcium and D3, on adult locust.
    2 days after I woke her up (Means yesterday), she burrowed again.

    My question is simple : as she was not prepared for a long burrowing (Lot of foods some weeks before and a big poop before), when do I have to worry if she doesn't come back to surface ?
    One month ? Two months ?...

    Do I have top wake her up after a certain period to feed her ?

    And why does she burrow more often than the others (This is my feeling) ?
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  3. #2
    Sublime
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    Default Re: How to manage long burrowing

    My pixie has been doing the same thing and I was worried what was contributing to this behavior. Since I haven't had him more than a year I can't figure out if it's just seasonal behavior or something I was doing wrong. I had him on all natural top-soil that I used about a month and a half ago right about the same time this behavior started. The soil had sticks, and other miscellaneous pieces of forest debris in it. After he would bury for a week or two, I knew it didn't seem right so I would put him in a tub and soak him in warm water. He went poop and then repeated the same behavior burrowing back into the dirt and acting real lethargic barely eating. Then after a couple other weeks I soaked him in warm water again, but this time also added about a tablespoon of honey into the water. I tried this thinking that the honey would making him snap out of his lethargic behavior, but it didn't change much.

    Then, I thought maybe he was irritated from the dirt he was in. So I changed the dirt back to coconut fiber yesterday and fed him last night in it in which he actually did eat and today he decided to start soaking in his water source again . Ok so back to your issue, sorry I just wanted to share this as I felt it was so closely related to what you're experiencing. If your pixie is still a juvenille under 4-5 inches, I wouldn't let him or her burrow for more than 4-6 days. Semi adult-adult 4.5-8+ inches I wouldn't let burrow for more than two weeks without eating depending on the size (just isn't normal behavior), unless you are putting them through aestivation (hibernation) which is a whole other topic we won't get into. I don't use the Celsius measurement, but it seems like you know what you are doing as far as temperature/humidity conditions and diet.

    The only way to pinpoint your issue would be start with the following: Try soaking in warm water with honey for 30 minutes or more. Does dirt dry too fast? Is the water source easy for him or her to get into and out? Where is the heat source? Reduce dirt level to try to reduce burrowing behavior. I'm guessing some pixies don't handle human contact as well as others and feel the need to hide by burrowing under the dirt to feel safe from predators (you; not trying to be mean, but imagine a huge object approaching you). The bigger pixies typically handle human contact or exposure better than young ones since they have grown accustom to that daily lifestyle.

  4. #3
    100+ Post Member GRABibus's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to manage long burrowing

    4 days ago I saw her head outside of the subsrate, but still with closed eyes (Sleeping?).
    I sprayed a lot around her head and her head also, and finally she came out of substrate.

    But, still same behaviour :
    - Feeding response very low (Refusing foods a lot of time)
    - Lower appetite
    She eats but, she doesn't react very fast and agressively as 1 month ago and before...
    I have to move the prey some minutes sometimes to get a little reaction...
    - Closing its eyes slowly and reopening them slowly..
    - Sometimes, fearing the prey itself !!

    I changed the enclosure 2 weeks ago to a bigger one.

    So, what happens ?

    - Is she in a period where she wants to burrow, then when she comes outside (Forced by me), she is still apathic?
    - Health problem ?
    - Is she stressed by new environment. I think not, because this behaviour started one month ago, just before changing the enclosure.

    I am really concerned...

    Hope she doesn't have a problem..
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    Moderator GrifTheGreat's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to manage long burrowing

    Quote Originally Posted by GRABibus View Post
    4 days ago I saw her head outside of the subsrate, but still with closed eyes (Sleeping?).
    I sprayed a lot around her head and her head also, and finally she came out of substrate.

    But, still same behaviour :
    - Feeding response very low (Refusing foods a lot of time)
    - Lower appetite
    She eats but, she doesn't react very fast and agressively as 1 month ago and before...
    I have to move the prey some minutes sometimes to get a little reaction...
    - Closing its eyes slowly and reopening them slowly..
    - Sometimes, fearing the prey itself !!

    I changed the enclosure 2 weeks ago to a bigger one.

    So, what happens ?

    - Is she in a period where she wants to burrow, then when she comes outside (Forced by me), she is still apathic?
    - Health problem ?
    - Is she stressed by new environment. I think not, because this behaviour started one month ago, just before changing the enclosure.

    I am really concerned...

    Hope she doesn't have a problem..
    What is the ambient air humidity level?


  6. #5
    Mikey
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    Default Re: How to manage long burrowing

    I do not keep enough eco earth in the enclosure for complete burrowing to occur. I also keep an ambient temp of 82 all day and night. Could perhaps be a simple fix.

  7. #6
    100+ Post Member GRABibus's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to manage long burrowing

    Ambient humidity level changes when the lamp heats the tank all the day : it goes from 86% when lamp heating lamp is "off" (All night) until 40% at the end of the day (After one day of heating lamp).
    What is important is to have a substrate which is humid.
    I spray the substrate 3 or 4 times a day, when I am at home.
    The tank is covered and I would like to know how you succeed to keep permanently 80% humidity with a heating lamp (Which dries the atmosphere a lot!).
    Do you use frogger ? Are you permanently at home so that you can spray all the day ?

    I am open here to get some ideas, but according to me, it's not an issue. My substrate is humid.

    At day my temps go from 91F (Only a small hot point) to 77F => average is 80,6F
    At night, the temp is 75,2F in all the tank.

    Until one month ago, the frog was very gluttonous and with a very high feeding response in exactly the same conditions, during 5 months.
    Recently, she burried a lot and when she comes out after burring, she has the behaviour I describe.

    Maybe I could try a full water tank during one month for example to see if she recovers appetite and if it helps her to wake up...

    ??
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  8. #7
    100+ Post Member GRABibus's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to manage long burrowing

    Why I am a little bit concerned with Graboune :

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  9. #8
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    Default Re: How to manage long burrowing

    I am not home all day. My wife is home while I work and I'm home while she is at work, but I have a Hygrotherm unit made by Zoo Med. it does have a Reptifogger hooked up to it that the unit turns on when humidity drops below 80%. so my climate stays consistent which is very important. Ambient air humidity is just as important as moist substrate. if the soil is moist, but the air isn't then they will burrow so that they can retain moisture. it can make them lathargic from being full of water from the substrate. Not feeling comfortable when above ground is also stressful. I'm almost certain that she is burrow down all the way due to ambient air humidity lacking enough moisture. I see my Pacman Frogs do this all the time., but without lathargy and appetite loss.

    I believe this is causing stress which is why your frog lacks an appetite.

    You might want to invest in a Zoo Med Hygrotherm and a Zoo Med Reptifogger to help maintain your Eric's climate. It's a good investment.


  10. #9
    Sublime
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    Just soak her in another tub for a couple hours. I would also try a different food item because mine didn't want to really eat when I fed only earthworms.

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