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Re: Live Foods Digest V1 #119

>Subject: live food for newts

>            is there a type of live food wich can live and reproduce in a

>paludarium and feed some newts or frogs?

>I was thinking to set up my old terrarium and raise some nice frogs or some

>nice newts but the problem is that when I live for vacation nobody will

>feed them and I also would like to set up a totally autonomous system.


Earthworms (Best food for amphibians) white worms and several small terrestrial insects such as aphids, meal worms ect should live and breed quite happily in such an environment. They will come to the soil surface at night when the newts / frogs hunt and will be eaten then.

You could also set up a fly feeder (see our back pages for the article on flies maggots and pupae). In the water if you have a good layer of mulm on the bottom or heavy planting them freshwater shrimps, louse and other aquatic insects should breed if not eaten to quickly by inhabitants. Snails may also be taken as snail spawn or when newly hatched and the shell is soft.

A totally autonomous system is hard to set up in a confined space sealed off from the outdoors unless exceptionally large. You do not say how long your vacation will be but most amphibians will be able to survive a two week period without regular feeding.

I would like to thank the list member who manages the livebearer site in

the UK, for his instructions on feeding Daphnia with Gram Flour. I never

had success using yeast or green water, but since I started to use Gram

flour my daphnia cultures have began to increase, instead of slowly (or

rapidly, in some cases) going down. Contrarily to other people's

experience, strong aeration interrupted culture growth: maybe the

environmental conditions I have are different (for example, I use 5 gal

buckets, rather poorly illuminated).  

Glad you find the Gram flour works, as it is made up from ground chick peas it is 100% vegetable matter. I must confess I am unsure if the daphnia actually eat the flour in suspension as the are filter feeders or the infusoria that multiply as they feed on it however it works for me (and you). If possible I would try and increase the illumination (My indoor cultures live on the kitchen window cill, 60oF at present) as daphnia do require light. I only aerate when a culture crashes as this seems to clear the problem as to why the culture crashed and seems to encourage the resting eggs to hatch and restart the culture.

On a completely different note I obtained a tri-culture (daphnia, a tubifex like worm and a celphopod creature) that originated in the USA. My culture crashed but in its place a new (to me) culture appeared. The creature is cigar shaped about 1mm long whitish in colour. It is free swimming and inhabits the whole of the container from top to bottom and the water appears cloudy from a distance. It is only on close inspection that the individual organisms are apparent. I am cultivating in 2 litre lemonade bottles and feeding (yes you guessed it) Gram flour. In two days the bottle is fully populated. I have been feeding to my livebearer fry and Heterandria formosa and Neohetrandria elegans all of which eat it, so far with no ill effects. I will try and have it identified and report back on it.


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