PA Woods Vivariums - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 46 Old 09-02-2018, 01:07 AM Thread Starter
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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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post #12 of 46 Old 09-07-2018, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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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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post #13 of 46 Old 09-09-2018, 12:31 AM Thread Starter
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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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post #14 of 46 Old 09-10-2018, 04:22 PM
They sound nice but you might not want to publicize your project. This line is from PA government.

It is illegal to take or possess wildlife from the wild. Under state law, the penalty for such a violation is a fine of up to $1,500 per animal.
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post #15 of 46 Old 09-10-2018, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Den Socling View Post
They sound nice but you might not want to publicize your project. This line is from PA government.

It is illegal to take or possess wildlife from the wild. Under state law, the penalty for such a violation is a fine of up to $1,500 per animal.
I did everything by the law as long as you have a fishing license you are allowed on toad and gray tree frog. If others with a fishing license live with you then you can have as many of the amphibians as long as that many people have a license. I also contacted the fish and game commission through email and I know someone that's a part of it and there are no problems.

Thanks for the concern though I can answer any questions you have legally or about my enclosure.

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post #16 of 46 Old 09-10-2018, 09:57 PM
That's good to hear. I thought that you might be putting yourself in jeopardy. I've heard of people getting in trouble for having raccoons or trying to keep a fawn. I didn't know that amphibians were an exception.
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post #17 of 46 Old 09-10-2018, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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I really wanted to do something special and include my state in my project so I wanted to do my research and make sure I wasn't doing something against the law and I took a lot of time researching the laws and asking good questions to those who enforce them to make sure that this was a legal enclosure and there were no loose ends that could come back to bite me. That is crazy about people wanting to keep farms and raccoons but I can see it that's not for me but that's pretty epic!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Den Socling View Post
That's good to hear. I thought that you might be putting yourself in jeopardy. I've heard of people getting in trouble for having raccoons or trying to keep a fawn. I didn't know that amphibians were an exception.
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post #18 of 46 Old 09-12-2018, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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Checkout the new Swarms Battle

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post #19 of 46 Old 09-15-2018, 12:54 AM Thread Starter
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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?


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post #20 of 46 Old 09-16-2018, 12:58 AM Thread Starter
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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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