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Thread: Fruit flies are small so how often should I feed them?

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    swords's Avatar
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    I've been practicing breeding fruitflies for my upcoming pair of dart frogs and I decided to start feeding them to the Nepenthes in my lowland terrarium every week or so. I can't count how many go in each time-maybe 50 or so of the very smallest species of FF -D. melanogaster I think) total there's probably 35-40 pitchers on 5 or 6 different nepenthes (most are on the N. coccinea though). Do you think this is too many flies? They're usually gone within 2 days or so (the tank is sealed BTW)-no escape!

    Anyway, I was just curious if I can "overfeed" my Nepenthes with insect prey such as this?

    Also I have continued a weekly/bi-weekly misting of the plants with a 1/4 strength Orchid Fertilizer (with a drop of Aquatic Plant trace elements). Meaning when I happen to think of it!

    I sure have noticed increased growth when I started doing all this about a month ago (before I only gave the plants pure distilled water). I'll keep doing this routine if it can't eventually hurt the plants any.

    Thanks for your thoughts! 8-)

    (Edited by swords at 11:14 am on April 29, 2002)

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    I have no scientific basis for this, but I expect that your probably doing just fine. If a pitcher is over fed, it generally begins to rot.

    Just keep in mind the more a pitcher is fed, the sooner it will go into decline.

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Yes it's true most Nepenthes will respond well to a light fertilizing. Particularly if they are getting pure water and infrequent food via their pitchers. One thing you will have to watch for though in an enclosed terrarium system is the build up of salts since the potting mix is not flushed clear periodically.
    Tony

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    swords's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info!
    No pitcehrs have started to decline yet (all been open at least a month) so if I see one start to die off I'll cut back on the fruit flies.

    In the lowland terrarium I have each plant in it's own pot ranging from 6" to 8" so they can get flushed clear no problem.

    But I have just built the cork trunk planter and terrarium which I will try and grow some highlands in. i was planning to bury the cork trunk in the sphagnum mound but if flushing is very important I will arrange it so the cork trunk simply leans against the wall inside the 24"W x 48" H x 24" D enclosure and can be taken out and flushed from top to bottom occasionally.

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