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Old 03-03-2018, 07:41 AM
AAronCap AAronCap is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2018
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Insects
Hibernation
Seasonal Cycle


Insects

So as I was messing with my tank a little bit I saw about 20-30 baby crickets jumping around! Somehow I managed to breed crickets with Lizards and Toads constantly hunting the crickets. The insects are an important part to making this enclosure accurate and authentic to the woods. Various cricket species as well as Woodlice, Springtail, Earthworms, Red Wrigglers, Stone Centipedes are going to live inside the enclosure and hopefully breed. The predator and prey relationship is truly amazing to watch. If you have a big vivarium I would encourage you to attempt this because it is very interesting how the crickets have the ability to learn daily patterns and know when it's safe to get food and bring it back to their nest. The frogs and toads can still ambush them if they aren't careful so even though the frogs and toads are your pet you may find yourself rooting for the cricket to make it back to the nest to raise the upcoming baby crickets. Obviously the goal is not to have an infestation of any insects but a healthy number and a continuous stalk of food so if in a mixed species vivarium if a species is more dominant at feeding time the less dominant species will be able to hunt and feed the abundant number of insects at their own pace. The setup of American Toads and Wood Frogs shouldn't have any unbalanced feeding issues. I would love to attempt to keep grasshoppers or locust inside the enclosure if it's possible which I know need to be native because you can't buy locust in America. I think they would make an even more interesting native insect should they be able to adapt and not be hunted to extinction in the enclosure. These insects are an important part for me to have a native enclosure and have proven to make for an even more appealing display. I know the frogs and toads won't mind to keep their dinner in their house.

Hibernation

So I'll have a 125 Gallon Vivarium and for 4 months or so it won't have any frogs or toads inside it. It will be run by the insects for this time to populate and own the PA Woods. As this sounds a bit funny it is also interesting to me to see what will happen with the insects and how much the plants will grow without being trampled on. The Toads and Frogs are only going to breed if they mate so there are no other options. I will place one by one or by the pair in a separate enclosure and have the animals fast for 2 weeks to clean their guts and then place them in a bin inside a minifridge I'm going to buy to hibernate them. I'll place them in until they are all hibernating and then I will make the soil moist and check on them daily to make sure nothing wild happens. Then one of the most exciting times will be to see the frogs and toads wake up and feed on a large group at this point of insects and hopefully breed. I will keep 1 offspring of the toads and get the opposite sex and I will keep two of the wood frogs opposite sex and release the rest of the tadpoles into areas to increase their numbers and give back to the woods I took them from. So hopefully we can have generations of frogs and toads just like the crickets.

Seasonal Cycle

This is only possible by accident because the light fixture I used for the 75 Gallon had options to turn on different sets of lights on different times. So I can have one set on in the morning and two on for afternoon and one in the evening and the LED at night. I can also take or give hours of light as the seasons change. This will be important for breeding and to indicate to them it's time to hibernate. The Mistking will also be programmed to come on twice a day for almost 3 minutes for 4 days a week so I water the plants enough but don't soak the enclosure. I will also have a temperature control that will have a fogger and fans to control temperature so the Wood Frogs don't over heat. And the fogger will moisturize the air as the fans blow into the enclosure. So the cycle should help to make the enclosure even more natural with changing light ambience and more or less light depending on the season.
All in all this enclosure is going to be very interesting in every aspect. So what is the most interesting part to you from this post? Is there something you want me to talk about in more detail? What do you guys want me to talk about next?

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