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talk to the frog / Help / Could midnight shift be killing my dart frog?
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KittenClaw22
Member
4924 posts4924 posts
# Posted: 21 Apr 2006 17:09


Over the last several weeks I have noticed that my dendrobates leucomelas has lost a lot of weight. He used to be plump and active, and called often. He could be heard calling almost every day, and even into the night. Lately he has stopped calling all together and has really thinned down.

About a month and a half ago my husband went on midnight shift, working 12am-9am. It


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back2eight
Member
1554 posts
1554 posts

# Posted: 21 Apr 2006 18:04


I wouldn't think so, although this is a good question. I have never heard of anyone with nocturnal animals having trouble with them in that way. I feed my tomato frogs and mess around in the cage, changing the water etc. during the day and I wake them up often when I do that. They have to wake up and eat. It has never bothered them. Luecomelas are pretty easy-going frogs and don't seem to stress easily, or at least mine don't. I do know, however, that stress can lead to the symptoms you are describing with your frog. Is he alone? If not, are any others in the cage showing the same signs or are they fine?

KittenClaw22
Member
4924 posts4924 posts
# Posted: 21 Apr 2006 18:18


He's all alone.

He is about a year old, and has always been a really good eater, very active and energetic.

Now he is unenthusiastic about eating and not very active at all.


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back2eight
Member
1554 posts
1554 posts

# Posted: 21 Apr 2006 19:29


Poor thing. Maybe you are right. I'm sure you know your frogs!

nuggular
Member
2847 posts
2847 posts

# Posted: 24 Apr 2006 21:02


I doubt it is the night/day shift. Although, it very well could be. Its hard to say. Did this happen around the same time as the light shift. Has anything besides that changed in the tank? Temps? Humidity?

Also, leucs do much better in larger groups. You might want to think about getting like 3 more leucs in the near future. I am picking up a group of 4 in a week or two.

Mabye you could take some pics of him so I can see how thin you are talking about. He might just need some time to adjust to the new lighting. But it could be something else like parasites or disease.


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KittenClaw22
Member
4924 posts4924 posts
# Posted: 24 Apr 2006 22:13


Well I sort of doubted the parasites or disease because he has been here for over a year, almost 19 months, and he was captive bred.

It seems like he would have shown symptoms sooner.

He has been eating on the same colony of fruit flies for pretty much the same amount of time. I have been making new dishes from the original I got off of Patrick Nabors.

I'll take some pictures in the next couple days and get them uploaded, my digital camera takes special software and I need to find it. I lost the original install when I reformatted.

Humidity hasn't really changed, although it could be slightly cooler in the house because of spring, I turned the heater off, and it does sometimes get below 65 and it has less than perfect temperature control.


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lostriver
Member
1737 posts
1737 posts

# Posted: 25 Apr 2006 06:54


If the below 65 degree temperatures come during the artificial night, that would be fine, because it would simply render the frog inactive, which he tends to be at night anyway, but if the temperature is that low during the artificial "day" when the frog should be awake and active, perhaps it's too cold for him to feed properly.

If you change night to day, you need to adjust the temperature aspects as well. Frogs are cold blooded, and depend upon ambient temperatures to warm them up for activity. At 65 and below, darts are very slow or entirely immobile.


Lee
KittenClaw22
Member
4924 posts4924 posts
# Posted: 25 Apr 2006 08:11


Well, in my experience, it is not always the same temperature in a vivarium as ambient room temperature may be. The lighting does raise the temperature by a few degrees.

Everytime I looked at the thermometer it was around 70, but I am sure it has some natural fluxuations.

When I feed he still meets me at the fly drop sight. He used to be so visable all the time, always active, and now he hides much more.

I am going to take a stool sample to a vet to test for parasites.


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Heather
Moderator
7561 posts
7561 posts

# Posted: 25 Apr 2006 15:34


How old is he? Perhaps he's just startig to show his age?

Just a thought... I know very little about these little guys.


* Heather *

1.1.0 Dendrobate Azureus
KittenClaw22
Member
4924 posts4924 posts
# Posted: 25 Apr 2006 18:46


Should be just under 2 years old or so.

He was a juvenile I obtained in a trade for services at a petstore. He came from a not so good breeder and was thin when I got him but plumped up almost right away and remained healthy until now.

He is what I would consider very small for a leuc.

I am not sure what the import/export of leucs are like, but knowing this "breeder" he could have been a WC import and sold as CBB.

But judging from his size I would guess he is CB and inbred, and crossbred and inbred again.


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nuggular
Member
2847 posts
2847 posts

# Posted: 25 Apr 2006 21:32


65F is way to cold for the day. I know Devin Edmonds just lost his male Poweder blue due to very cold days in the 60s. Get those temps up.


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TimOsborne
Member
2256 posts
2256 posts

# Posted: 25 Apr 2006 22:31 · Edited by: TimOsborne


But judging from his size I would guess he is CB and inbred, and crossbred and inbred again.

There is no direct relationship between CB and size, or inbreeding and size Kitten..

Most of the time, unless there are scares or rubs, it is very very hard to tell if they are CB or WC just by looking at the animal. Sometimes the color is a bit more vibrant on the WC.. but that is about it.

I agree with Nugs though.. 65 is way way to cold for leucs. I would not let the tank ever get into the 60's.. I usually keep my leucs no cooler than 74/75.. If your therm is close to the light, or at the top of the tank, you can get a false reading as well.. The only way to accurately know the tank temp is to take temps at several locations with an accurate infra-red or digital probe.. I have a 55gallon tank that I just checked, the upper right corner it 83, the lower left is 73..

KittenClaw22
Member
4924 posts4924 posts
# Posted: 25 Apr 2006 22:39


I was just speaking with a person who recently made a trip to panama to do some research and claimed that the wild auratus are at least an inch larger than captive ones we see in the industry. Also went on a long speil about pumilios.

He claimed that the inbreding in the industry is damaging the blood lines and making severel generation captive frogs smaller than wild ones in some cases.

Now weither any of this is true or even applies to leucs remains to be proven but it was just an idea.


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KittenClaw22
Member
4924 posts4924 posts
# Posted: 26 Apr 2006 00:53


I clamped a 40w heat lamp to the shelf above his enclosure, it is a good foot above the top of the enclosure but it should raise the temp by a few degrees.

I measure the temperature at the base of the enclosure. You can see the themometer in this photograph. It is also a demonstration of his "smaller" than usual size.




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nuggular
Member
2847 posts
2847 posts

# Posted: 26 Apr 2006 14:30


Leucs dont get very big in the first place kitten. They are one of the smaller darts. It is best you keep the temps up during the fake day. It will confuse him if the temps are cold during the fake day and warmer during the fake night.

And yes, alot of dart frogs are inbreed. But the only problem I have seen from that is SLS (Spindly Leg Syndrome). SLS can also mean you need to give your breeders a break for a bit.


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Heather
Moderator
7561 posts
7561 posts

# Posted: 26 Apr 2006 17:14


Well... if he is small... inbred, wild... crossbred... and wasn't the healthiest when you first got him. Is it possible that it aged him a bit more quickly? The original husbandry could really impact the lifespan. Look at what happened to my Zero... he was only 3 years old... but there were problems with the quality of rearing when he was a tadpole. Poor water quality, difficulties morphing... he was definitely the healthiest of my morphs, then one day he up and died.

Sometimes you just never know. I'm really sorry that he's having problems right now and I really hope that he pulls through and adjusts.


* Heather *

1.1.0 Dendrobate Azureus
lostriver
Member
1737 posts
1737 posts

# Posted: 27 Apr 2006 05:55


Female leucs will get to about 38mm and the males just a couple of mm smaller, so they are not among the smaller darts, but among the medium sized ones. I have found that they grow in size somewhat more slowly than some others, such as the auratus, galactonotus, and azureus, however. They really aren't even fully mature until they are nearly 2 years old, although they may breed some what earlier than this. So "aging" isn't the problem here. They will live a long time in captivity, well over 6 years at the least, and probably up to 10 or even more.

I agree with you Kitten, that a fecal for parasites may help with the diagnosis if your temperatures are right between the night and day, especially with the history you give of a rather poor start.

I wouldn't use a heat lamp, however. Darts don't bask, and this might make him even more reclusive. Leucs also seem to thrive better and be more active in small groups, as long as there is enough space, so you might think about getting him a companion or two after you check out the possibility of internal parasites.


Lee
KittenClaw22
Member
4924 posts4924 posts
# Posted: 27 Apr 2006 06:38


Thanks Heather.

I'm going to be working on a planted 75 for leucs over the next couple weeks, this guy will be going in there with at least 4 friends.

I've been wanting to wait for this local breeder to have enough to sell to me. He claims that his breeding is going very well but he has been trading a lot to expand his breeders. But it seems every time I talk to him he says "wait another month." So while it would be nice to save the money and frog stress of shipping, I'm losing faith in my breeder.

He claimed his female tincs have been laying 25 eggs every 2-3 weeks. Seems like a lot to trade to me. He also claimed to have F1 azureus, and later changed his story to F3, then he just didn't know (which I will believe.)

So long story short, he'll be getting a bigger home and new friends soon, so long as he gets a little more healthy.

But without a heat lamp how else am I to keep him warmer?

As I said, the cage temperature is typically around 70 degrees, sometimes higher, very rarely any lower.

As I checked it right now without a heat lamp it is around 72 at the base of the vivarium in the middle of the artificial night.


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nuggular
Member
2847 posts
2847 posts

# Posted: 28 Apr 2006 14:42


Thats alright for temps than.


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