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Thread: How do i dust and deploy my feeder bugs?!

  1. #1

    Default How do i dust and deploy my feeder bugs?!

    I know this sounds like an obvious one, and I trawled this part of the forum for a while, but can anyone give me some tips on the dusting, and then transfer of bugs (fruit flies and micro crickets) into my Dendrobates viv?

    We've had our new guests for just over a couple of weeks and so far i've used small kitchen tupperware pots, business cards for catching escapees, funnels, tubes, sticks... arg!

    1. Escapees from main pot when shaking into viv
    2. Tried a 'transfer dusting pot' - Overdusted bugs in transfer pot - I end up with dust in the viv which looks horrible and a bit worried about it getting all over frog's skin..
    3. Shy 'Henry' stays at the back of the viv for ages before venturing out (very active when he finally arrives - but missing out whilst 'Pheobe' cleans up)... how can i distribute bugs more evenly around the tank?

    Does anyone have a cracking system for bug deployment? Or do i just need to get a grip?!

    Hope you can help! Carly and Rory

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  3. #2
    Super Moderator flybyferns's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do i dust and deploy my feeder bugs?!

    Hello Carly and Rory,
    You're right , I don't recall many threads regarding these 'tactics' either---but I'm sure there are plenty.

    I use one gallon baggies....not the zip lock kind

    -bang the flies off culture lid to the culture container
    -remove the lid
    -quickly wrap the plastic bag around the opening of the FF culture container
    -tip the container
    -tap the flies out that begin to climb to the rim

    Once in the plastic bag dusting is easy ( add some air ) and coat the FF by gently shaking the bag.

    I add the supplement first, actually. The powder will subdue the feeder a bit; especially the D. Hydei fruit flies as they are more proficient at climbing the side of the plastic bag. I use my CLEAN un-gloved hand to scoop them up and toss them into the enclosure.

    As for pin head crickets. ( I don't feed PDFs pin head cricks)
    But for my tree frogs.....I use baggies as well....but bang the cricks out of the paper towel rolls >>> into the baggies.

    If you culture more than one species of FF........ careful not to mix the species.....
    The result of mixing their genes is usually a ff that is not longer 'flightless' Not fun.

    A frog can become intimidated if a lot of flies are tossed near the frog and begin to approach the frog too quickly.

    Personally, I have a 'feeding station' in each of the PDF tanks.

    The frogs will learn where the food 'appears'.
    You can keep a VERY tiny piece of banana in this feeding spot.
    The banana helps to keep the leftovers in one area of the tank as well as attracts the iso pods.
    Green zucchini works good for attracting the isopods.
    TINY though ( it can grow some very interesting fungus very quickly) , you can cover it , lightly, with a little substrate.

    As for feeding a frog that is really shy. I suppose I would put a few near him so he eats.

    Over-dusting....takes a little practice. The more the flies ...the more the supplement
    I typically feed one tank at a time ( different species of frogs and flies ) --- I use a the very tip of teaspoon > to dip into the supplement container.
    Feeding one tank at a time will also prevent 'over feeding'

    If you wish to get the flies more broadly distributed ( I do this for the O pumilio enclosure to ensure the froglets find their food more easily) .......let a few, lightly dusted flies climb on your hand and 'flick' them into the plants.

    I'm sure there are plenty of great "bug deployment" ideas out there that other members will share

    Current Collection
    Dendrobates leucomelas - standard morph
    Dendrobates auratus “Costa Rican Green Black"
    Dendrobates auratus "Pena Blanca"
    Dendrobates tinctorius “New River”
    Dendrobates tinctorius "Green Sipaliwini"
    Dendrobates tinctorius “Powder Blue"
    Dendrobates tinctorius "French Guiana Dwarf Cobalt"

    Phyllobates terribilis “Mint”
    Phyllobates terribilis "Orange"
    Phyllobates bicolor "Uraba"

    Oophaga pumilio "Black Jeans"
    Oophaga pumilio "Isla Popa"
    Oophaga pumilio "Bastimentos"
    Oophaga pumilio “Mimbitimbi”
    Oophaga pumilio "Rio Colubre"
    Oophaga pumilio "Red Frog Beach”
    Oophaga pumilio "Rio Branco"
    Oophaga pumilio “Valle del Rey”
    Oophaga pumilio "BriBri"
    Oophaga pumilio "El Dorado"
    Oophaga pumilio "Cristobal"
    Oophaga pumilio "Rambala"

    Oophaga “Vicentei” (blue)

    Oophaga sylvatica "Paru"
    Oophaga sylvatica "Pata Blanca"
    Oophaga histrionica “Redhead”
    Oophaga histrionica "Blue"
    Oophaga lehmanni "Red"
    Oophaga histrionica "Tado"

    Ranitomeya variabilis "Southern"
    Ranitomeya imitator "Varadero"
    Ranitomeya sirensis "Lower Ucayali"
    Ranitomeya vanzolinii

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    Default Re: How do i dust and deploy my feeder bugs?!

    Thats some great advice thank you!! I think i am definitely using too much supplement as you suggest.. I will have a go at flicking some into the back of the tank, just to get the shy chap going - he's normally ok once he has had one or two and he starts properly scrambling around.

    Will try the bag technique also, need to get in there with those bugs!! We only have one variety of fruit fly so far, and will be careful to stick with them.

    Our guys seem to really enjoy the pin heads, and handy for the shy chap as one or two quickly trundle into the far recesses of the viv, the FFs seem to take longer and stop to 'groom' themselves..

    Rory will return later and have some more questions related to your post..

    Thanks again, Carly

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