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Thread: Feeding my Neps today

  1. #9
    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    This may be a bit disturbing but maby you also know them as piss ants. They are the little ants that are like the size 2-3 pin heads and run all over the sidewalk. They are known more commonly as sweet ants as they are commonly found around spilled soda drinks and sweet stuff. But they are know as the latter because they can be found around alot of foul things too, like rotten vegatables,old fruit,and well as thier name implies! If this offends anyone I am just telling you the ants 2 names it has been given.

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    Smile

    I was reading though Neps of borneo (very good book) today and it seems to me that you might want to feed your plants lots of small insects as opposed to a few big insects. Smaller insects are easier to digest than bigger ones, so there is less of a chance that the pitcher will die. For those of you that have the book, I'm thinking of the bicalcarata case study graphs of the NH3 concentration vs time. I think that the best food for neps would have to be ants and fruit flies since they are fairly plentiful and small.

    Just an idea.

    Joel
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    Joel Martínez
    San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA

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    The thing with ants though is that they are almost all chitin... Theres not loads of nutrition in htere, is there?

    The thing I like with ants, is you cripple them, putthem on the pitcher, and by the time they're done fixing their legs, they forget that they are scared, so they go up to the peristome, and start lapping up the nectar, and you get to see just how the ants really get caught. Very interesting to watch...

  4. #12
    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    Yes, but chitin does have some amount of protein and calcium in it. So the plant will benfit from only ants but that is why I add the small crickets for small plants too, for larger palnt liek N.Truncata I will throw in 2 mature big crickets along with a dozen or so live carpenter ants. So the plant will obtain nutrients form ant's that aren't in crickets and nurtrient's from cricket's that aren't in ants.

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    Actually parasuco, a very high percentage of what Nep pitchers catch are ants. Case study 3 in Neps of borneo shows that close to 90% of the prey found in lower pitchers of n raff are ants, compared to 60% of the total prey in upper pitchers. I guess putting bigger insects isn't such a bad thing, but considering that most of the natural prey in nep pitchers are ants, I think it would be best to mimic what they experience in the wild. Just a thought...

    Joel
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    Joel Martínez
    San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA

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    this might be sort of off topic
    but have you wondered why so many ants go in there ?
    i sort of think of it as a dead ant (end) hehe
    they leave their traisl behind, their buddies follow wme
    and before its too late they cant get out either ehehe

  7. #15
    swords's Avatar
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    "Sugar ants" is what they call em here. When I was a kid my neighborhood pals and I used to lay a strip of caps over an ant and stike the cap with a sharp rock and set the poor guys on fire! (sick kids I know...)

    I just don't want to end up with a "pile" of bugs in the pitchers and the plants start smelling bad. I guess worms ought to just disintergrate anyway as they shouldn't have a chitinous exoskeleton like a cricket or mantis.

    Here's one of my 29G lowland tanks overview


    pictured L-R are: truncata, ventricosa (F), X Morgana (B), alata(F), X Judith Finn (B) and bicalcarata

    Here's a close up of the false bottom (in another tank in which I used larger PVC piping).:

    that IS a D adelae plantlet growing in a clump of java moss in the water portion!

    I've also made false bottoms that will allow me to hold like 3" of water under the plants but I haven't found any problems with humidity by having a shallower water pool and it give me increased vertical growing room. Humidity in these tanks runs about 85%+ at all times-had to wipe the glass to take the photos! I pack as much flourescent light on as I can (29 Gallon tank is 30" long so I use 4x 20 watt tubes and surround the tank on 5 sides with tinfoil to make a nice "light box". the crimson flushes on my alata pitchers shows me that he's happy with it!

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    swords's Avatar
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    Anybody try keeping a "antfarm" as a source of food for their Nepenthes? The only thing I would fear is loose ants all over the house!

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