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Thread: The Woods Vivarium Build

  1. #17
    PA Woods's Avatar
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    Get ready for an exciting read...

    In this update I'm going to discuss the health of the toads, update you on the snails, and discuss some very interesting news.

    The good news is three toads were negative in May for parasites. Ace, Pious, and Wellsboro all tested negative. The hope is every 2-3 months to have them tested. The quarantine protocol for the toads will be the most intense because they have suffered the most. Production of their tank the upcoming 300 gallon will be coming hopefully next year. It's almost been a year Ace and Pious have been in quarantine. If Ace and Pious are negative for the next test I can give them back soil and we can see how they respond to having some. If they are negative with soil through many tests then we can begin considering them ready. I have not weighed the toads in a while but I know Ace and Wellsboro are over 100 grams.

    All the toads are eating and seem to be very active. Navi tested positive for parasites, but she has been doing much better. The hope is we deworm her and we can have her healthy. She's made great progress and I'm starting to see how she can voraciously catch prey. All is good for these four toads.

    The snails have been eating and doing great. They seem to be active when the toads are. The best part of keeping the toads and the snails together in the same room is seeing how they enjoy the same conditions of cool temps and wet/damp soil. When I mist the snails, they seem to enjoy it just like the toads. The species I believe my snails to be is the White-lip globe snail. This species I have been documenting in many places to literally live on the same trail as the toads. Let's hope the introduction between the two is good. I'm hoping a slow large snail that can curl up and remain motionless like a rock will deter the toads from preying on the snails. If they can live together we could be in for a treat.

    Some interesting news that I'm sure you will be intrigued by. I have decided to collect the native isopods from my area recently. Along with the isopods I will be keeping the Giant Narceus Millipede which has been showcased along with my gray tree frogs in another thread. This decision came from two important components. The millipedes are in the same room as the snails and toads and appear to be more active then when previous millipedes were in the hallway in much hotter conditions. So their higher activity in cooler conditions for me is the main reason for keeping them with the native isopods in a cooler room. The millipedes will not live with the toads because the toads Will eat them. I hope to breed the millipedes and still showcase them. The isopods are my main clean up crew decomposing poop, rotting wood, dead plants, and more. The isopods are going to be a protected and colonized. I really like the native isopods and I know the toads absolutely love to eat them. Colonizing them makes me happy because I like them and the toads happy because they love to eat them.

    I have a lot more surprises in store for this developing story still to come. It's like I'm building a team like how basketball teams try to build their rosters; that is how I am feeling while continuing to move forward with getting plants, inverts, and many other surprises along the way.

    Pictures
    1-2 Ace (Left) Pious (Right)
    3 Wellsboro
    4-5 Snail and Millipede eating
    6 Millipede
    7 Navi







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  2. #18
    PA Woods's Avatar
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    The update of updates (so far)

    Hey everyone! I have so much going on and am working hard to make my dreams a reality with career, relationship, and animals all in mind. The animals are thriving and doing the best they have maybe ever. In this update I have some very exciting and more detailed information about this thread and the animals that dwell here.

    The toads possibly have 2 clean and parasite free individuals. Ace and Wellsboro are seemingly negative and I have hope they will remain completely healthy forever! Now that I have more protocols in place I can help them faster, better, and more effectively. Ace and Wellsboro are plump and looking great. Pious looks great and is awaiting a poop sample to join Ace and Wellsboro potentially at the finish line. Navi is still positive so we are working on her.

    I said before the snails and giant millipedes that were notoriously associated with the gray tree frogs thread will instead join up with the toads. Let me explain how this will happen. The snails and millipedes will not live with the toads. They will get the first invert vivarium. They will be featured in videos and offer a different perspective of life within a mountainous woodland. We will get to observe these giant inverts together and life from their perspective.

    Toads eat millipedes and snails in the wild. These giant inverts are no different. I like both the snails and millipedes too much to offer them as food. So it's best for me to admire the toads separately from the giant inverts. You might know that I'm working on creating habitat and more resources for the wild toads native to the woods I'm mimicking and if I breed snails and millipedes in captivity and release the offspring then it makes more food for the wild toads. It also increases the number of snails and millipedes in the ecosystem. It's a win for both sides.

    I'm ready to reveal one of the next surprises that will create more anticipation for this project. Before I name the surprise I will explain that this thread is not just a 300 gallon toad only update post anymore. For many reasons especially for convenience and for storytelling "The Woods Storyline" is going to tell the stories of a group of enclosures that will feature different aspects of the ecosystem I'm trying to recreate. You know of the Toad 300 Gallon and the Giant Inverts Vivarium now, but I am also breeding a native insect as a pet and feeder. American toads in the wild consume one insect more then anything else. Carpenter Ants. That's right I am in the process of raising a colony of carpenter ants. The ants will have another enclosure so they can live without competition and will not colonize the other enclosures.

    The carpenter ants will be a key focus of this story because their queen can live for at least 15-25 years! She will build an army for decades. This colony will not be just pets. The interesting part of them is whenever they become more abundant than I like I will have a tube running from their ant encloisure to the 300 gallon. I will secure the 300 gallon so the ants don't escape and try to conquer me. I will also place a cap in the tube to avoid too many ants falling into the 300 gallon and becoming a meal for the toads. I hope this sounds epic that I am preparing to allow the two most voracious groups go head to head inside the 300 gallon. Of course I'm not going to let the ants swarm the toads, but it will be very nutritious for the toads, and a good way to keep the ant population in check so they don't outgrow their enclosure.

    The ants can eat the dead feeder insects becoming a decomposing center as well as benefiting from the spoils of the toads. Carpenter Ants are not known as aggressive like fire ants. Carpenter Ants are more peaceful and are more curious. Toads eat them more then anything in the wild. So I guess you can say they are ant specialists. The cool thing is I can allow the future ants that can reproduce to do so by releasing the males and future queens and allowing them to breed which will create more ants and toad food.

    What do you think about the new direction for the story arch? So far I revealed 3 separate enclosures: Toads, Ants, Giant Millipede and Snail. are you excited for the toad and ant battle? It's going to take time for this, but it's in the process.

    What is your opinion of breeding the inverts for their benefit in the wild as well as for the wild toads?

    There is more surprises to comeThe Woods Vivarium Build

    Pics in order

    1 Wellsboro
    2 Queen Laurel (Ant Queen)
    3 Ace (left) Pious (right)
    4 Ace, Pious, Navi (far right)
    5 Giant Millipede
    6 White-lip Globe Snails



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  3. #19
    PA Woods's Avatar
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    More positive news and an important update...

    Hello again everyone! I have more big news to cover for this thread. I just started a new thread titled "PA Woods and Forests Storyline" that details some of my upcoming projects and updates about many of my pets. As for this thread, it is still focused on the animals starring in the upcoming storyline"The Woods." The intent of this thread and the YouTube videos, blog updates, and everything else is because I have an end game of two things. I wish to educate and entertain you with the lives of the animals I keep as pets, and to inspire conservation.

    This thread will focus on many of the animals I am hoping to protect and study later in life as I am pursuing herpetology. I hope you will enjoy the anecdotal stories through the knowledge I have of the species, the personalities of my animals, and the entertainment from the stories I create. From this point on you know my intentions of conservation and entertainment/education with this specific thread.

    Moving into the topic of the upcoming build now...The Woods is coming along great. I am having issues with getting stool samples consistently checked by the vet. This is not something I want to elaborate on because it's not a good look for my vet's office. The toads are all gaining weight and look good. Pious looks a little thin so I'm working on him, and Navi probably still has parasites. Ace and Wellsboro still lead the way. I hope some day soon I can move the toads out of quarantine. It's going to have been around two years the toads have been in quarantine and three years for Wellsboro. I believe 2021 is their year. I'm hoping and doing everything I can to make it their year.

    The queen ant Queen Laurel is eating good and I've seen her actually going to the food and eating it herself without the nanitics helping her. She's very thick. This storyline is featuring the ants as they are a star. They will be the first predatory insects that I keep and build up to become a major group in my brand. Queen Laurel's Highlanders are two nanitics strong now and she has many larva and eggs laid. Let's hope before the colony slows down for winter that we can get more nanitics! The bigger the colony, the faster they get a custom terrarium!

    The snails are doing great. I moved them into a jar to create high humidity because snails do well in high humidity. They don't dry out! I moved them into a large jar probably equal to 2-2.5 gallons. Big enough for 4 snails as they wait to get an invert vivarium. The snails will be joined with Queen Laurel and her Highlanders in the future. The ants will not attack the snails from my understanding. I will make sure to keep the snails safety as a top priority. Even so, the snails will be getting a nice vivarium at some point.

    This exhibit and storyline will not just focus on Toads and Ants, and feature Snails. There are other surprises in store that I've been keeping quiet for a long time. There are more main characters I promise. But for now you have to cheer on the toads to get healthy and the ants to continue to reproduce and grow so we can have some awesome content to cover. I hope to control the population of ants with feeding some to my toads every so often. This can only happen if the ants get big enough.

    Last point I will share is the tank. I am approaching a company about an enclosure this week. I'm hoping to reach a deal also this week. I am hopeful this will work out and it's a good business negotiation. I'm hopeful to work with this company if they accept. The Woods Enclosure is going to be massive and I am hoping to collaborate with a company to create it exclusively as a one of one enclosure. This tank has different dimensions depending on if we can reach a deal. This is big also because if we can work something out, I will come back to this company when the ants need an exclusive enclosure. Do you want to know some of the dimensions of the upcoming "The Woods" enclosure?

    First 3 Queen Laurel
    Next 2 Wellsboro
    Next 1 Ace
    Next 1 Ace and Pious
    Next 2 Navi
    Next 2 Ace and Pious

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  4. #20
    PA Woods's Avatar
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    A new update...


    Hey everyone! It's been a long time since I made a post and updated this storyline. In this update, I'm going to talk about the status of the toads, Queen Laurel, and discuss where we are at with progress.


    Wellsboro and Pious are parasite free! We now have both male toads clean and able to live in the large habitat that is to be created. This is fantastic news! However, We still have some work to do. Ace and Navi still have parasites. They have moderate cases, but any amount is too much. Let's hope that the females can get healthy and we can have a completely clean Woods Vivarium!

    Queen Laurel is doing well. To my surprise, she is still active and tending to her brood. She's become very fat from the honey and cricket legs. She seems content in the PA Woods and Forests Community. Her kingdom will become the most dominant invert group ever in my care. I'm excited to have a native food source for the toads/garbage disposal of dead insects to be used. The carpenter ants will not be offered as feeders as a regular food source until they clear over 1000 in population. With only two workers and a bunch of brood, there is a long time to go before they make a substantial contribution to the storyline. Let's root them on just as we do for the toads!

    The enclosure was decided on. To make sure it fits in the room I have desired, the enclosure is smaller than the 300-gallon tank I hoped. The actual size of the next toad enclosure will be 225 gallons. Still large; the setup will be 8 feet long by 18 inches deep by 30 inches tall. I wanted height for the plants and a more aesthetic looking habitat.

    The enclosure design will allow for quality airflow. Small reptile grade fans will push in and pull out air. This will help with getting rid of bacteria and drying out the habitat after I mist or have the fogger run. I have purchased a water chiller and we intend to have a background that will have fresh filtered water running down the background to simulate the mountain runoff that occurs in nature where these animals are from. The chiller was something I always wanted to do and finally, I have my wish.

    The Mistking Ultimate system is the "rain-maker" of choice. It allows for more sprayers, and we will need them to make it rain in a massive habitat. The new Evergreen pet supplies reptile fogger is also a new component that along with the misting system will create weather artificially. We can have foggy days, rainy days, rainstorms with clouds, and windy days because of the fans. We can warm the water level if desired to simulate the seasons changing. We can have the water stop running down the background as well to signify changing seasons. I have many more surprises in store as well but am holding on to them!

    Lastly, I want to address the primary feeders I'll be using. Things have changed a little bit. Aside from the carpenter ants, I have decided to use both Banded and Domestic crickets instead of collecting grasshoppers at least not for many years. I also plan on using the Canyon isopods colony that I've had for over two years. They will be used instead of native isopods and will be introduced to the habitat as food and inhabitants. The canyon isopods are very big, and the toads already eat them. They get very excited when I throw them in. My canyon isopod colony can live with my banded crickets in a 55-gallon tank. They have lived together for months. The isopods have exploded in population! I see that if I can sustain some feeders then it will save me a lot of money. I also breed mealworms. So there are many good options. I have other inverts I'll be breeding and hoping to get to use as feeders.

    Just a side note, the Giant Millipedes and White-Lip Globe Snails are staying in this storyline, but will not interact with the toads. To prevent the inverts from being a snack, and to save the toads from tasting nasty toxins and mucus, I just feel it is best. The snails might be something we experiment with down the road later, but for now, I am content with them being in their own world.

    So many things going on all at once! What do you make of the update? Surprised by anything?

    Picture order:

    1 Wellsboro
    2 Pious
    3 Queen Laurel



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  5. #21
    PA Woods's Avatar
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    More news on the animals of the exhibit...


    After a successful launch of Frog Week (check out PA Woods and Forests YouTube channel for more), I have decided to put more intense work into getting the animals that are still in the battle with parasites healthy. Ace and Navi this upcoming week are set to get the second round of dewormer. We are hoping the dewormer will kill the parasites, but we know it will take more tests and more rounds of dewormer. Both female toads are very alert and competitive. They are housed next to each other and seem very competitive towards one another. We will have to keep an eye on this situation because they have never lived together but are hopefully going to have that chance in the upcoming 225-gallon enclosure build.

    It will be fascinating to learn how both Ace and Navi will interact when under the same roof. It will be the first time I have ever kept two females together. They are doing well right now handling the dewormer. Let's hope sooner than later they can be free of parasites.


    The interaction between the male toads is fantastic. I was skeptical because Pious is literally half the size of Wellsboro. Either Wellsboro doesn't see Pious as a threat, or he has calmed down after two years in captivity. Year three for Wellsboro will see him enter the toad promised land being the massive 225 gallon. He has the best record being over a year clean of parasites. He has gained weight since being paired with Pious. Speaking of Pious, he has maintained the same weight since his cohab. In 2018 when they were introduced I was worried because Wellsboro was an aggressive and seemingly territorial toad that outcompeted Pious around every turn. He was trying to starve Pious in 2018.

    In 2021 the narrative is different. Both males are very calm and relaxed around each other. There have been no battles for food and I have made sure to place more prey items than both toads can eat in the enclosure so if one toad dominates the other can eat still. I spend a thorough time studying and observing both toads. Wellsboro has become a very late night hunter. He comes out near 2 am to hunt. Pious is a more nocturnal hunter as well, so, the nice part is both are looking for food simultaneously which means no stress for either toad to hunt urgently. That will change when these studs live with aggressive and greedy females. I am no stranger to keeping both sexes together so we will deal with the difficulties of co-ed living arrangements when we get there.

    I am learning how to use Davinci Resolve to edit my footage now. I have been waiting to post videos in 4k, and finally, I can! I am not going to make a major announcement until after the upcoming video is released. All you need to know is a massive spoiler/reveal is in the works. I can't wait to share this surprise reveal with you.

    Picture 1 (Toad closest) Wellsboro, (Toad Farther Away) Pious

    Picture 2 Wellsboro

    Picture 3 Pious

    Picture 4 Ace
    Last edited by PA Woods; 01-02-2021 at 01:37 AM.

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