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  1. #11
    BPnet Veteran AAronCap's Avatar
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    Re: The Woods Vivarium

    Check this update out...

    I do not have another update about the toads tonight. They are still doing great and we are awaiting the results to determine what's going on with Wellsboro and his eating strike.

    I thought it would be a great opportunity to discuss a couple of interesting points for anyone following this. I know I need to speak on the possibility of a mixed species enclosure as well because I promised.

    The Woods will not just be a story about one enclosure. I am working to designate an area for plant, feeder, and useful inverts, as well as a possible enclosure for offspring in the future. I am calling this "The Woods Nursery" or "The Woods IV." Which do you like better? This will feature my colony of isopods, grasshoppers, banded crickets, mealworms, and my plants I'll grow for use in the enclosure.

    The idea of having feeders at the house on tap sounds like a better idea especially thinking about global events like we are in currently. Mealworms aren't a great feeder, and they are not native, but they are so dang easy all I can think of is "why not?" Worst case scenario and an occasional feeders are great to have just in case. The banded crickets may retain their bin and will not be bred by me if I can successfully colonize native grasshoppers. The goal is to use them as a main feeder by next year. I'd have to catch a lot and not feed any off for a long time which I am planning. They could along with banded crickets be the main feeders if I get them rolling. If grasshoppers do not work I'm going to try the native field cricket.

    I am hoping to have a decent sized terrarium for the grasshoppers, but also have plants live with them like the ivy plant I'm going to try to grow in the 300 gallon. I want to have designated feeders like banded crickets and mealworms, and have other creatures that live in an ecosystem that I can tap into if I need a plant or to feed my animals.

    The terrarium for the grasshoppers I also want to try colonizing native isopods. The terrarium will be a grasshopper and isopod nursery. I will grow a couple of plants that can be explained as replacement plants if need be or if something happens. These plants will be away from the toads, so the toads do not pass parasites to the plants. This way I don't have to start all over again buying plants. I'm trying to make sure I have plants and cut the costs of having to start over. Of course with the super long quarantine for the toads I would hope they never have parasites again, but if they do at least I have plants I'd raise to add back into the enclosure.

    An additional enclosure will house native Millipedes and Snails that will live in the terrarium with the Gray tree frogs from another thread. I hope to produce enough of both species to be able to release the offspring back into the wild, or offer some up to people as a gift in addition with some plants.

    So to conclude with the inverts this is the overview:

    Feeders I'm keeping:
    Banded Crickets
    Mealworms

    Native inverts:
    Grasshoppers
    Isopods
    Millipedes (not feeder)
    Snails (not feeder)

    As for plants I will only speak of a couple because I have some really interesting ideas and I do not want to reveal the plans for some plants yet. The plants that will be living with the grasshoppers and non feeder inverts will be:

    Autumn Brilliance Ferns
    Dragon's Tail Ferns
    Periwinkle
    Pachysandra

    The brilliance fern is the hardiest and my go to native plant. Pachysandra always does well for me and I like the way it looks. Both of these plants will be grown for the Gray tree frogs and toads. If a fern or ivy dies I can uproot one from the nursery and quickly replace it. The Periwinkle is my hands down favorite plant. I am going to try it again now that I have more experience and knowledge of how to grow native plants. It has never survived long for me, but I'm hoping this is the time it will.

    I really enjoy periwinkle and it's a naturalized plant in the state. I remember at my grandparents house toads would hide in the periwinkle, so I'm hoping that this ivy thrives and the toads will enjoy it as much as me. I have big plans for this ivy. The Dragon's tail fern is another plant that dies quickly for me. I'm going to give it a try. It is a cool little hybrid fern that has the DNA of a native species fern. If successful it could be a really unique addition. I'm hoping for the best with these two plants. With more experience and understanding I'm hoping to be successful this time around. I have a couple of other plants, but I'm withholding that information until later this year for some.

    My 30 gallon tank and a terrarium will hold most of the plants and the native inverts. I will have 5-7 possible enclosures that will become The Woods IV. Each are important in their own way. Replacement plants, food, or an invert that will benefit the ecosystem of the two native enclosures.

    The offspring enclosure I am planning will hold the offspring of the animals that will live in The Woods. While this is hypothetical, I am planning out what will live in this setup and how many offspring it can support. If something happens to the parents, or at least to preserve the parents legacy, the offspring will have the potential to someday live in The 300 gallon tank where their parents did.

    As for a mixed species enclosure; I believe the roads will be in quarantine and hibernation and possibly another quarantine if they emerge with parasites. So the toads aren't seeing anyone else anytime soon. If I were to keep another species I'd try to raise it from a baby and quarantine it as well for a long time. A baby would also take at least 1-2 years to get big enough to live with the toads, so if another animal lives with the toads it will be a while for health and safety reasons for both parties.

    I'll finish this section giving a list of potential animals I've been considering, looking at, or have previously looked at and opted out of but still wanted to include to make you wonder.

    Northern Leopard Frogs
    Wood Frogs
    DeKay's Brown Snakes
    Redbelly Snakes
    Fowler's Toads
    Eastern Spadefoot Toads
    Five Lined Skinks

    These are animals I once considered, am considering, or have chosen not to but added them anyways for a longer list. I am considering the possibility, but nothing is set in stone yet. By the way I'm not saying that all of these animals can live with toads or for someone to try keeping them together. I'm just explaining the animals I've researched and thought of. I discourage anyone from trying this because I am going to have a 300 gallon tank so I'll have enough space as long as I plan my personal requirements for the animals responsibly.

    So there you have it. I am trying to build a nursery for my plants, inverts, and hypothetical offspring. I'm trying to colonize 4 native inverts and want to use two in enclosures as feeders and ecosystem managers (isopods.) I'm attempting to go back to two of the first plants I used and hope to make it work. I'm still keeping secrets for a project that's over a year away. I'm considering a second species after a long quarantine to raise from a baby to then raise on its own for a year or two. My hands are full with projects between the 4 big enclosures, maintaining everything in the gray tree frogs thread (bee keeping, gardening, terrarium keeping), going out looking for wildlife to film for Frog Week, doing business things for the brand, work, school, personal life, and now trying to create a nursery. I'm crazy. I will explain two big details next time along with the results of Pious and Wellsboro's poop tests.
    Last edited by AAronCap; 04-03-2020 at 01:19 PM.

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