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The Woods Vivarium Build

Joined
Feb 17, 2019
Messages
101
Hello, I am finally going to break my silence on what I will be doing next with my toads. I will not update this post as much as some others because I am very far away from the build but I will post when things happen.

So I have had different posts on here talking about my 125 gallon containing my toads. Well to get to the point as to why I'm making this thread I am actually going to upgrade their enclosure. I am still not 100% on the tank but right now if it stands it would be a 240 gallon enclosure. I plan long term to have two pairs of American toads inside the setup. I may add a different species a very very long time from now, but it is planned as an all toad tank right now. Many people are probably going to read this and be shocked only 4 toads in an 8 foot long enclosure?

I believe in less animals more space. I am using these toads for a project to also benefit the state at least my local neighborhood to replenish the toads by attempting to breed my toads and release the offspring in an artificial vernal pool I'm building.

I will answer what I have to if someone has questions or doubts about what I'm doing but that's not the focus of this post. I will have a disclaimer I have a license from the fish and boat commission and I spoke with the chief biologist on behalf of my project with my toads. I am also studying to be a researcher and herpetologist in the future and my focus is northeastern frogs and toads.

Now this setup will be something for a toad tank you have never seen before. I will have changing seasons with as accurate weather and climate conditions as possible. I will have rainstorms, thunderstorms, foggy days, sunny days, highs in the 70s, lows in the 60s, changing feeders, changing light cycles and many other things. I will attempt brumation in a mini fridge as the San Diego zoo did with the Red Legged Frog in CA.

I plan to have different feeders trying to replicate some of the feeders the toads will find in the wild at the time of the season we will currently be in. I will use grubs for example in the spring and small crickets, but as the season goes on in Autumn adult crickets both Domestic and Banded. I hope to breed grasshoppers and breed any parasites out of them so generations of grasshoppers. One thing when I was younger I wanted was to have insects in the setup. Aside from Isopods and Springtails I will not attempt to keep crickets or a feeder in the setup. I know there are too many variables unfavorable with this. If some survive the toads and live in the setup I will allow it, but it will be very difficult to do.

My toads currently have a parasitic nematode which they are going to be treated for, and until multiple tests show they are negative I am waiting to brumate. My toads must be clean or as close to dewormed as possible to brumate and to reproduce. They are indeed pets first and aiding my project after. So if something isn't right I am not forcing anything like if they can't brumate this year oh well. It's going to be done right.

These are my favorite animals and I go on trips in the spring to road rescue and document them. I love them in the wild and my toads (3 of 4) were rescued. Even though toads are abundant and mine were rescues I want to give back to the environment I obtained them from and it's one of my life's goals to help this species in the wild to thrive and to improve captive care. People have the greatest setups with Darts and exotic frogs and even though to some these are boring dumb toads I will have so much fun building this and creating an environment my favorite animals can thrive in.

In conclusion of this post I will say I'm very excited to plan this upcoming project and I am looking forward to introducing my toads to you in the next post. I have a lot to talk about like my goal only to use zoned plants basically native to the environment these specific toads lived in, my supplements, feeders, more details on the weather and all kinds of cool stuff.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I will leave you with some pictures of the toads and their 125 gallon enclosure currently.
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What's the story behind the hair on the toad?
His nickname is the Golden Toad because his skin is a very bright yellow pigment and I was told he make a trump face. So we took Trump's hair and put it on Wellsboro to see if it looked close!

What do you think?

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We have the first toad who might be parasite free...

So I recently revealed my plan to have 4 toads in a 240 gallon if they were all parasite free. Well when I went to the vet last Wednesday I got the test results back for Wellsboro the "Golden Toad" and he had his second negative test for all parasites. This is a big deal because he was so bad last year and withering away from many parasites. Now he currently is doing so well that he picks and chooses what he wants to eat.

I put different feeders in daily and he actually will refuse prey items and I talked to the vet and she said he could be so full that he might not want to eat larger prey items at the moment. Well I tested this and I found out after just two days of not feeding him it was true because he was refusing crickets for a while until I stopped feeding for two days. Then all of a sudden he started hunting them just like he used to. So even though it is the time of year when toads are less active, one my toads is actually so full he is choosing what he wants to eat!

Wellsboro could be the first toad to be hibernated in my care and even better the first confirmed clean toad. He looks the part and I'm super happy and hope he passes the next two tests. He will need to be healthy living with my female toad Ace who will challenge him because they hunt the same way. I have observed over the years my toads have different styles of hunting. Ace and Wellsboro chase and stalk prey. So as they live together some day I know it will be very exciting for me to watch those two hunting down crickets and other insects.

Moving on from Wellsboro is his hopeful mate Navi. She was rescued in September and I have yet to find poop from her. She looks great and has settled into captivity. She's a very lazy toad though. I thought all females might be these awesome predators, but Navi has never chased any prey item. She sits between the food dish and water dish. I'm not sure how this will go with her sitting and waiting for food while two other toads are hopping around trying to eat everything. She shows great patience which is what wild toads do when waiting for prey and usually younger toads do this. If this is her hunting style the camping and sniping style then it will be cool to see how it works out with Ace and Wellsboro being true hunters.

When I can get a stool sample from her I will know how much work we need to do to get her to hibernate with Wellsboro assuming he stays healthy. It would be a truly incredible feat to see a newcomer such as Navi with little to no worms. Hopefully we can find out soon!

Next it's time to talk about the toad couple Ace and Pious. These two have been living in the 125 gallon and are doing very very well. There is one thing I'm nervous about with them and it's the results from a fecal exam. They may have pinworms. These are nasty little creatures and if Ace and Pious do I will have to figure something out with the vet and come up with a plan to kill them off. She suggested removing the soil and putting in new which I will do this week. The vet didn't have the results on her chart but she said either Ace and Pious have pinworms or the gray tree frogs do. If it's the tree frogs it's an easy fix because they are already in quarantine. Let's hope and pray it's them and not toads in a bioactive vivarium.

Ace and Pious look really good. I said this before and I will say it again that this is the healthiest Ace has looked ever in her life. Not only that but Pious looks happy to be in the setup with her. Pious is more laid back and his hunting style he will wait like Navi, but he moves around a little bit more. He doesn't chase prey but he lets Ace bring it to him. They actually complement one another. Ace causes panic and Pious ambushes a cricket here and there. I am very happy with these two and I'm very excited to see them healthy so they can hibernate and we can attempt to breed them in the spring. They are the original couple so I really want them to be the first pair to mate for me.

I just wanted to give the update that for the gray tree frogs and all the toads tested negative for the nematodes. This is the first time ever so I'm hoping as I said Wellsboro is clean for two more tests and that Ace and Pious can get on track and be next in line to be clean.

In the next update I'll explain more about the seasons and the changing environment for the 240 gallon with authentic weather conditions.
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More parasites news, changing weather and etc...

So I got back the results and it turns out Wellsboro has pinworms which can be difficult to get rid of and these cause prolapses. I have been making sure to feed him as many prey items that he will take but also I have been trying to add in fattening him up with wax worms. Tomorrow I am going to take everything out of his tank and he has to go backwards in terms of progress so he's going to hate me but in the grand scheme of things it's for his own good. It's a shame but there was not a great deal of pinworms found so if we can act quick and take everything out, sanitize his enclosure, and give him the dewormer the vet gave me then we should be in good shape. We will have to begin looking for parasites as we start over in counting for negative fecal exams.

I just weighed Wellsboro tonight and it turns out he is sitting at 82 grams which is much better than what he weighed in over the majority of this year. He was somewhere between 60 to 70 grams most of the year but has gone up by 12. Hopefully fattening him up and giving him the dewormer we can finally get him over 100 grams. There's not positive news about Wellsboro due to the fact that he has parasites, but there is optimism because he doesn't seem to have anything quite as bad as what he did and I don't believe he has the parasitic nematodes that he was suffering from for a while.

I still have no confirmation about Navi. I just changed her enclosure and I upgraded her quarantine tank and now she is at a 10-gallon. I'm hoping by giving her extra space it will encourage her to run around a little bit more and maybe to show more natural behavior. It's going to be like this until I can find some poop. I would love to move her together with Wellsboro or in the 125 gallon with the other two toads but I have to get a confirmation on where she stands with parasites. So really only an upgraded tank is the most exciting news from Navi. I did weigh her and in her first weigh-in she is 70 g.

As for Ace and Pious in the 125 gallon there is sad news because Ace tested positive for some type of a parasite and I'm not too sure how she would have gotten this only living with the male toad that she has been with for a long time. The two have lived together in captivity for four years, so it's just very odd she would pick something up now. It could have come in on a plant or some insect but I'm not entirely sure how she got the parasite.

I'm awaiting the vet to respond back to me. The good news about this parasite is that toads can develop an immunity to it, so for Ace once we get her healthy and deworm her from the parasite she will never get it again. It's like getting the ultimate flu shot. I'm not sure if I have to take out everything in the tank or what to do but I'm awaiting the results. The really good news for Ace is that she weighs in at 112grams. A year ago she was fighting for her life and she weighed 46 grams she has more than doubled her weight in a year's time. I'm very hopeful that the other toads can do the same thing as long as they're not borderline obese.

As for the news regarding the toads as a whole it appears they are all still battling some type of parasite. The goal is to try and finish the parasite off before they can double up or get worse and spread all throughout the toads body.

Moving forward from talking about what's happening with the toads currently, I said I was going to talk about the changing weather inside the 240 gallon pending all of the toads are able to get healthy. This is one of the most exciting parts about creating this enclosure is also trying to replicate the weather. In the springtime it is going to be cooler and due to the fact that I have a misting system and a fogger, there will be foggy days and foggy nights, as I will allow the fog to roll through the enclosure for a decent period of time. The hope is that the animals actually think it is getting foggy.

I am also going to have rain storms at planned intervals more frequently in the spring. I will probably have somewhere between 5 to 15 minute rain storms possibly every other night with the misting system. The unique part of having a fogger and a misting system is whenever they are both on, the water vapor goes to the top of the enclosure and the mist coming out of the misting system looks like rain so it actually looks like rain is coming down from the clouds.

I am going to have authentic highs and low temperatures to the best that I can. In the spring I'm probably going to have the high temperature in the upper 60s and the low temperature in the lower 60s. I can only drop the temperature in to the lower 60s because I will be using an air conditioner to cool the room off. The humidity will also rise and drop throughout the day. The fogger will actually make sure daily the humidity fluctuates as the fogger turns on at a different time either during the day or late at night depending on the season. The water area will be much higher to simulate the rainy season and temporary puddles of water in the wild where these toads would interact with them.

I am just going to share in this update my plan for the spring with the weather conditions for this update. From foggy days and nights, to rain storms, to bright and sunny days, the 240 gallon is going to try and replicate weather conditions similar to the conditions happening outside. there will be fluctuating temperatures and humidity that will stimulate natural behavior and also cause more activity out of the animals.

One of the last things for in the spring that is going to change during the different seasons will actually be the feeder insects. I plan on trying to feed a majority of grubs because in my area when the American toad comes out crickets and grasshoppers are very small and I do not believe they would make a large portion of the diet in the spring. The feeders list for the spring will go as follows:
Repti Worms (Main Feeder)
Waxworms Rotated Side Meal
Mealworms Occasional
Butterworms Rotated Side Meal
Isopods Inevitable

Reptiworms can provide good nutrition for these toads and some people actually use them as a staple feeder. It is important to note that the feeder insects are going to change every so often this will not be the only feeders these animals get. The reason why I want to cycle feeder insects is also with the hope to replicate more authentic conditions not just with weather. There are a limited windows where insects are breeding and are more plentiful than others and that is the idea behind provide a specific group of feeders for a specific season.

I do not recommend only using reptiworms as a staple I believe variety is key but I do believe they are sustainable enough as a feeder insect for the amount of time that I will be offering these little grubs and larvae to the toads.

I am just going to talk about what I am doing in the spring season for this 240 gallon. I will elaborate on the Summer and Autumn season in the future. I also have yet to describe the lighting system, the soil, the plants, the cleanup crew, and anything else that maybe I have not covered yet. The idea behind such an in depth enclosure is to benefit the animals and to create artificial seasons to stimulate the animals.

I hope to have better news in the next update for the toads sake.

Pictured
1) Navi
2) Ace
3) Ace and Pious (I didn't have anything to report on for Pius because I did not find him and I did not weigh him but whatever Ace has he probably has too)
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TOADally awesome update...

I have some good news for the toads that are going to live inside a 240 gallon enclosure next year. They are all holding steady in weight! Just like last time I only weighed Ace, Navi, and Wellsboro, but not Pious because he is not active. Ace is 110 grams so she lost two, but Wellsboro went from 82 to 87 grams. He is catching up to you Ace!

As I said before these two are doing well and are the largest two toads I have. I think they both are doing better and soon we will have another fecal exam. Wellsboro is being picky again and isn't taking crickets so I am going to get other feeders for him. I only have mealworms and crickets and I'm not feeding him only mealworms. Ace has no type because she eats whatever moves.

Navi made the most improvement going from 59 to 71 grams. She's eating very well and you would think she would want to go dormant but she's very alert and eating. She's just a very lazy toad also. I can't wait to see these toads together.

I wanted to touch on something not necessary but I am doing this for the ethics and hopefully to silence more critics of the attempt to breed and release the offspring. I am going to purchase a very high grade air purifier that will keep the air clean of bacteria, smoke, dust, and everything else. I already have a humidifier on to make sure the humidity stays stable and now I will be focused on the air quality. I feel if the room is actually very kept up with then the animals will be very happy also. It's totally unnecessary but if I were not doing this project I probably wouldn't have a WiFi compatible humidifier and security camera to check in on the tank [emoji23]

I also am going to purchase a 5 filter reverse osmosis water system to provide pure water for all of my animals, but especially the toads and gray tree frogs since they have a very important task. The filter will remove all chlorine, minerals, metals, led, and anything else that can be harmful. The 5 stage filtration system will make for some of the purest water one can use even for human use. I really want to have the top of the line for all of my animals and these two devices I feel are very necessary for helping in some of the smaller ways with my animals lives.

Not only do I wish for clean water and air for the animals, but I also am locked in on the soil for The Woods enclosure. I wanted to use something that absorbs moisture well. I will use the ABG Mix once again but it will have more of a role and I will use it as more of a 60-40 role opposed to 80-20 as to what I have now. I will combine the ABG Mix with Exo Terra Plantation Soil, Exo Terra Forest Moss, Exo Terra Riverbed Sand, Charcoal, and maybe more. Having this soil should make for loamy soil that amphibians love to live in. The ABG/Plantation Soil will be the base soil that I will mix together. I wanted to have a more natural looking forest or "woods" looking floor and I just like this combination.

Another thing I want to elaborate on is the supplements and gutloads the toads and gray tree frogs will be on. This might be one of the most important sections that I include in my timely updates of my animals because if they do not get the right supplements and gutload then it actually can kill them. I will lay out all of the supplements and then explain them.

Supplements:
Mazuri Better Bug Gutload
Reptocal by Tetrafauna
Repashy Crested Gecko Diet
Repashy Superpig
Tetra Pond Color Sticks
Yummy Chummies Grain Free Wild Alaska Salmon Dog Treat
Flukers Cricket Quencher
Oxbow Carnivore Care
Repashy Vitamin A

The only got load I use is the Mazuri Better Bug Gutload because this was found in a research study as the most effective feeder to offer crickets and other insects before native eastern toads and tree frogs are them. This gutload has helped my toads and all of my pets. Due to the fact it was proven for native toads and it works for mine I will use it.

The Reptocal by Tetrafauna was also used in the study and found to be very successful with the Mazuri Better Bug Gutload. The Reptocal is put in the gutload to include more vitamin D3 and calcium which is what it does. The calcium is not in high levels but just enough with the gutload to create an even better feed.

My third ingredient is the Crested Gecko Diet by Repashy. This smells nice and the feeders love the little powder right out of the bottle. I do not add water I just use the powder and put a decent amount of this in with the Reptocal on the Mazuri Better Bug Gutload. I don't really think there is much of an added benefit using this except it works for attracting the feeders.

Repashy Superpig is just something to enhance color and it's really not necessary. I really have not noticed a change in the color for any of my animals but I do not have colorful animals only green, gray, and brown so to speak but it also adds into the smell for the feeders. This is not necessary for anyone to use for toads or gray tree frogs.

Tetra Pond Color Sticks or something very similar to the Superpig but I did learn there are extra ingredients in this fish food that are beneficial to include. This fish food has many different ingredients off the top of my head I do not recall which ingredients are important but I can get back to you if you are that interested about this one. It seems to be relished by the feeders I have seen crickets, roaches, mealworms, isopods and others eat this.

Next is the Yummy Chummies Grain Free Wild Alaska Salmon Dog Treat and this was also included in the same study as the Reptocal and Mazuri. There are three things this treat does. This treat helps with the heart and has Omega 3 in it. Also it has glucosamine which is beneficial for joints. I'm not sure if it helps with aging toads but it might. The dog treat is actually made of salmon which is very good for protein as well. I have not used this product yet but it is something I am working on getting. It is very pricey.

Flukers Cricket Quencher is just my preferred offering of a water substance. This is more made like Jell-O but it offers calcium which is like a combination giving the crickets or any type of feeder insect water, but also calcium. So my crickets and mealworms especially get more calcium in their diets.

Oxbow Carnivore Care was recommended to me as an emergency diet in case one of my animals refuses to eat but it is starving. I have not had to use this yet and hopefully I won't but if I need to I at least have it ready to go. You can look up the reviews and read what it is about, but basically if you have an animal that refuses to eat you would mix this stuff up and force feed the animal. It has really good reviews and ratings. My vet also recommended this so it already has the ok for me.

Repashy Calcium A is something I am not using yet very similar to the dog treat, but I really believe after my Superpig supplement runs out that I will get this in its place. I don't really offer any vitamin A except for what is found in the gut load. The Reptocal doesn't offer it, I don't believe the fish food does and the superpig doesn't. The crested gecko diet might, but I just feel tagteaming the Reptocal with the Repashy Calcium A could really make a tremendous difference with my supplements. This along with the dog treat are on the list for 2020.

So now that you have read about the soil which I will have to get more in-depth in for the next update on, and you also have read about the supplements and a little description as to what I am using them for. I am really looking forward to building the 240 gallon enclosure and I am looking forward to sharing the updates as they come along. This is more about the busy work for me how I feed my animals and the soil, so it's not necessarily as interesting as talking about artificial weather or the different kinds of feeder insects I want to include in the diets of the animals. I have a lot of really exciting surprises and hopefully even more good news to come your way soon. If you have any comments about the soil, the devices, or the supplements feel free to comment below or message me.
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Just wanted to post some of the most beautiful pictures captured of the toads by a good friend. Ace, Wellsboro and Navi are all showcased in these three photos
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Some big updates other then parasites and weight...

Finals week ended and I got back from a long road trip out to Michigan to tour Josh's Frogs facility. Josh's Frogs will return to sponsor Frog Week and will also sponsor this enclosure The 240 Gallon Woods or "The Woods" for short. It was an amazing experience meeting Josh and Zach and all of the crew. It was a memorable experience and we had a lot of laughs and they showed me where all of my feeder insects come from. Nothing like actually seeing where the crickets, roaches, isopods and others are kept.

They donated the Autumn Brilliance Ferns that will be added to the enclosure so I actually have them growing in a small critter keeper. I will have pictures and videos from the tour to follow on other media, but I just wanted to thank them for the awesome experience and the sponsorship of Frog Week 2020 and The Woods.

I actually just agreed to a deal with a friend to become the personal photographer for the PA Woods and Forests Brand. I'm really excited to show you pictures from his work on here as we build The Woods. He's someone I believe is good enough to work for national geographic but he is not out of college yet so I'll have him for a while lol checkout the pictures above of the three toads to see his work!

I found Pious! He looks chubby and I weighed him. He's like 63g which I'm not sure what he was earlier but I don't think he lost any weight. He slows down for the winter so he's less active. He wasn't happy with me picking him up but he forgave me. He's such a cute little toad because he's so particular. He will wipe his face off and run away from the sprayers when they most him. He also gave up creeping on Ace and trying to mate. So he will be monitored as time goes by. It's all good for him though.

Navi I believe is overweight so I'm trying to cut her back. Wellsboro and Ace I'm trying to put more weight on them so I'm feeding reptiworms and waxworms both for their meal. The reptiworms are good as a main feeder and the waxworms are a fatty added part to the meal. Think steak and fries. The waxworms are the french fries.

I am also looking to work on a native species tree frog and toad feeder pack and hopefully to submit it to Josh's Frogs. I am very excited for this opportunity and I will be running everything by my vet to make sure that she agrees with the kit for authenticity. Really excited and looking forward to this!

Lastly I don't know if I said this but I am hoping in the spring to collect and breed grasshoppers for my toads. I'm not sure what species it depends on what we can catch the most of. I really like them and I find them fascinating. They aren't just going to be feeders I will take them out when I give presentations as well because they are a part of the PA ecosystem just as the toads are. I know they really aren't different from crickets if at all in nutrition but I just want to have them. More of a nostalgia thing for me. I'll still have Banded Crickets because I like them. They are far less aggressive then the domestic pet store crickets. So to add for nostalgia not only will there be native toads from PA but native grasshoppers as well. I have plans for possibly a few more natives to make an appearance with this build. No spoilers just yet. As for the Autumn Brilliance Ferns and English Ivy which aren't "native" that's true but the state has them as a naturalized species which means they are so abundant and so many people have them they are now an integrated part of the ecosystem. And my 3 toads (Ace, Pious, and Navi) all lived where these two plants were sold so there is a good chance they could have even hid in these plants in the wild!

Many big things to come with The Woods and lots of beautiful pictures featuring these toads, plants, and now you know grasshoppers.
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Just wanted to give an update on the toads...

Some bad news to report sadly. Ace tested positive for many parasites again and Pious her hopeful mate who also has lived with her likely has them too. They are going to have to forgo hibernation this year. Now my other pair Wellsboro and Navi are not even in the same enclosure together. Navi is soon to see the vet because she hasn't pooped since September before I found her. I have to get Navi tested, and then the goal is to test poop and see where Navi and Wellsboro are at before they move into quarantine together.

The vet had recommended and I agree 100% to at the maximum, double up in quarantine. Instead of having all four toads live together they will not meet one another until hopefully they are 100% clean, and one by one enter into the hibernation enclosure. So they won't actually meet until the next spring. Keeping two pairs separate can decrease the amount of stress the toads have to deal with. The more toads there are the more competition there is.

Ace, Pious, and Wellsboro lived together in 2018 before they were found to have parasites. So they know each other and Ace and Wellsboro have some type of aggression towards one another. They appear to still view each other as adversaries. So keeping the two "rival" toads in separate enclosures is to their benefit. The four toads will live together in an 8 foot long enclosure hopefully in 2021. While they may still have their problems with one another the hope is having such a large enclosure the toads will be able to spread out and especially Ace and Wellsboro will have less interaction. The 240 gallon is much more spacious then the 125 gallon. For now just a 20 gallon and 30 gallon long will be their home.

I believe how this started is Ace my female toad just had a serious load of parasites for years, and it spread to the others. Until now we have not killed the cycles of the different parasites as well as we thought. I believe I have found a new strategy to eliminate these parasites.

Before anybody says that these parasites are natural and they will never be free of these parasites; I just wanted to say my gray tree frogs who are all native caught and all tested positive for these parasites in 2019, and have been parasite free currently for many many months. They passed four spaced out fecal exams testing negative with zero parasites. So if my gray tree frogs were able to respond to my quarantine method now I am going to attempt doing this with my toads.

I will update everyone as this whole situation moves forward, but for now my toads will be in quarantine for a long time.

First picture is Ace (in food bowl) and Pious eating

Second picture is Wellsboro on the left and Navi on the right.
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Finally a toad update!

It's been almost a month since I updated you about the status of my toads. There is generally good news, but the toads I can say collectively of the different groups of animals I have are in last place for health. One toad has gone on to break a record for me, one toad is up and coming, and two I am watching closely.

Pious is underappreciated and he has been showing us this since entering quarantine. Pious has been a calm and timid toad which is ironically a testament to his name. This time around he is that same toad, but he is also showcasing his voracious appetite and his agility stalking prey and eating pretty much any insect in his path. I really am enjoying seeing his active personality and I just wanted to make sure that I updated the toads storyline with the underappreciated toad. He is proving his value and forcing us to remember how special he is. He was not talked about as much because he would sleep for months. He's more then awake now.

Ace is not doing as well. She's been on medication and along with Pious they tested positive just for the parasitic nematodes again. They had three different parasites last test so hopefully we are truly down to one. Ace is not eating as much right now and I'm making sure to monitor her closely. She has a vet appointment along with Navi in two weeks.

Navi is swollen and we are monitoring her. She doesn't have any tests done so we are unsure what's wrong. She has a vet appointment soon. More info to come on Ace and Navi soon.

I wanted to end this update with a high note. Wellsboro is the only toad to be parasite free for now. He has gone three months without them which appears to be great. He has one more test to confirm his health. It appears he is doing great so maybe this time around he truly is clean and free of parasites. Wellsboro has attained a record weight for me. I got a picture of Wellsboro on the scale in a proud stance that you can even see the golden reflection of the Golden Toad himself. He weighs 97 grams which is the heaviest male toad I have ever kept. There is optimism for Wellsboro to be the first healthy toad. Pious has some optimism as well with his active energy and seemingly good health. Ace and Navi are still to be monitored, but there is a bit of hope for them as well.

Ace and Pious tested low for the nematodes, so the hope is the medication has killed more then we thought and soon within a few months the rest of the toads will follow Wellsboro and join the healthy animal list which has been growing slowly!

Pictures:
Two Wellsboro
Pious with paper towels left and Navi right
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A positive progression...

I felt it was necessary to post an update on the status of the toads because I last updated you guys with not so good news. This time I have good news. All four toads are doing better right now.

Ace was the most concerning toad, but she has started eating and now she doesn't want to stop! She gained 14 grams since the last update. I am keeping a close eye on her and I'm thrilled she's responded to the medication. She has one more round to go which was due today, but I decided to hold off because she had a tough time with it the first go around. Hopefully spacing it out will let her add more weight and she can recover more internally. I am very excited to see her trending upward. She is the most voracious toad currently.

Pious got the second round of the dewormer. He may be dewormed faster then Ace. He responded well to the first round and he's been eating well so I figured he's in good shape for round two. He is still doing great and I love his prissy attitude and behavior. He makes angry faces when he wants fed and he will face me to make sure I know. He also will make small distress calls when he's hungry and I found this out one day by watching him on the camera. He was just sitting around and I got the crickets out to feed the gray tree frogs and he came up to the front of the tank, put his front leg up touching the glass and started making the distress call. Then when I came over he stopped and just looked at me. What a funny toad!

Wellsboro is still awaiting the hopefully last fecal test coming probably late March or so. If he is still negative he's the first toad healthy for the longest time. In April he could be 6 months parasite free! He is slow from the winter so he only eats a couple items every so often, but he's still gaining weight. Not too much to report on for Wellsboro because last update was his moment to shine. Hopefully he has another one being proven to be clean and free of the parasites.

Navi has swollen up and decreased in swelling. It's looking like a rollercoaster ride. The vet visit is Tuesday so she will be patiently awaiting that. We will be doing some testing for her to see why she is swollen. Hopefully we get some answers and we stop completely the swelling. A poop sample would be nice too!

All four toads have made progress since the last report and I'm hoping to keep the momentum going.

Checkout these photos from this week!

Ace is 114 grams in the picture

Pious left and Navi right watch Ace begin eating.

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An update on the toads...

It's been a while since I had an update for you guys about the toads and their battle with parasites and just their daily lives. Thankfully this update nobody is doing bad and everyone is doing slightly better.

Ace was in rough shape because she had two parasites and was being heavily monitored for a possible prolapse. I made sure to consciously give her soft bodied feeders and she made it through the tough time without a prolapse. What a difference education and knowledge can make! A year ago back to January 2019 I didn't understand why or how she had prolapses, but through the vets help and through individually educating myself I learned why and how this happens. Not saying that it can't happen or won't again, but I've come a very long way.

Another battle Ace had was a loss of weight. She was 118g before the treatments for parasites. She fell to 95g in 2 months of the treatments. Now she's somewhere between 121g-130g. She's rebounded and if I can get a stool sample hopefully we can find that she is healthy or close to it. She needs to be without parasites for a long time before we confirm she's good. I'll explain more of the aggressive treatment after the update on the toads.

Pious has been doing great. He's eating and active. He's been gaining weight and he has such an interesting personality. So Pious is next to Ace and Navi so I was wondering if maybe he will prefer one female over the other. This has nothing to do with any wild information about these animals, just my specific toads. I found that he looks at Navi as a competitor because he looks in her tank and tries to eat her food. When he looks at Ace's tank he doesn't do that to her, but he does come over to look at her. I caught those two staring at each other through their tanks which was a cute moment. Pious has a sample going to the vet soon to be determined if he's got his first negative test.

Wellsboro is actually the most watched right now because he's been refusing to eat for a while. He went from 97g to 93g over a couple months. I'm going to try roaches and see if maybe he just doesn't want crickets, but I think he might have parasites again. If he does it's the perfect time to catch them and treat so he can later on inherit the 300 gallon from day 1. I'll let you know more about him after the results of the sample are revealed.

Navi finally has lost some weight. So I don't know how other then peeing because I haven't found poop from her still and she's in an enclosure without soil. So it's easy to see if there is poop. The vet wants her to soak more and have her on a diet, so that's where she's at. The soaking has worked and we are waiting for her to poop sometime to learn if she has parasites.

The treatment plan is going to be aggressive. So regardless of if they test negative three times I'm not concerned about that as much. As soon as I have three straight negative tests then that toad will continue to be monitored. I am hoping to have negative tests as soon as possible until December 2020 then to hibernate the toads. So before I would get negative tests and let the toads go into the enclosure, but this time I'm holding them for almost an entire year in quarantine.

If I have to hold them longer in quarantine then I will. So the goal is to go through different cycles before saying the toads are clean completely. I am seriously pulling out all the stops for this quarantine. It's sad, no fun, and I hate it, but if the toads never have to be in quarantine for parasites again then it's worth it. I'm tired of them getting deathly sick. Toads are hard to get clean because they live in the soil that the parasites continue to attack them. I'm hoping next year to really have the toads in their new home.

The 300 gallon has been thought of numerous times. I've been planning it for over a year already and I can't wait to build it. Even though the toads will not live in the setup for a long time, I am excited for the plants, Isopods, and springtails that will call the enclosure home. Of course I'll look into other inhabitants invert wise. This enclosure even though I don't officially own it, I do have many devices and other things ready to go for it. The 300 gallon will have actual seasons in the setup. I don't want to reveal everything, but I know someone might wonder about this being a mixed species enclosure. I'm not saying that it is or is not. I will explain more about this in the next update.

Pics
1&2
Ace left, Pious right

Pic 3 Wellsboro

Pic 4 Ace

Pic 5 Wellsboro

Pic 6 Pious

Pic 7 Navi
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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.


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A much needed update on the toads...

On the agenda for tonight's discussion

1) how the toads are doing
2) the new plans with plants and soil
3) special reveal of a new member to "The Woods" group


Before I go in depth I just wanted to apologize for my absence from social media. I am hard at work with summer classes and soon to begin working on my production of Frog Week, but that's a different update. I will be slower to update this because it's the slowest moving project out of the many I have. Now on with the update.

1

Ace is doing great. She tested negative for parasites in the May fecal exam. She's put on good weight. From 95g to now a lean 140g+. She has been thriving and I have loved interacting with her. She has never lost ferocity and boldness. She is ready to get back to a large home. Little does she know the plans I have to give her a home as close to her natural habitat as possible.

Pious also tested negative for May and he's put on a steady weight. From 70g to a modest 75g. It's harder for males to put weight on because they naturally are smaller. He's eating well and his tank sits next to his future love partner Ace. They still sit next to each other frequently in their separate quarantine enclosures. Pious seems like he can't wait to have soil again. He's a true soil lover. I bet he will disappear under the soil when he gets it back.

Wellsboro is looking like a monster of a toad. Weighing over 100g as a male toad in captivity the "Golden Toad" has shown his ferocious hunting skills and appears to be the first toad possibly completely healthy. Wellsboro tested negative for I believe 4 consecutive tests. He has soil unlike the other toads, but he's in a version of the yellow faze of quarantine. I can't wait to watch this toad is an 8foot enclosure because he will be one of the most exciting animals to document. Not to mention his rivalry for being the top toad in the hierarchy facing off with Ace.

Navi finally has pooped and we found the reason for her inflation. She had parasites. Intestinal parasites. Navi is being treated and weighs around 83g which she's underweight for her size but we will fix that. She is hopefully going to reveal her true behavior once she is out of quarantine for the first time hopefully next year when she gets her new home. A potential to be paired with Wellsboro awaits her.


2


I have a new plan for plants and soil. I have made my decision with the soil for numerous reasons being better for burrowing for the toads and better for growing for the plants and better for living for the inverts. My ingredients will be as follows: Exo Terra Forest Moss, Exo Terra Plantation Soil, Zoo Med Creature Soil, Josh's Frogs ABG Mix, Charcoal, and Sphagnum Moss. Leaf litter will be spread throughout the enclosure to make some spots look actually like a forest or in this case woodland floor.

The plants I am still not completely sold on the entire list but I do have some plants I will definitely use.
Periwinkle, Autumn Brilliance Fern, Pachysandra, Scallions, Organic Mushrooms, Glow Mushrooms, Spring Hyacinths, Daffodils, Cranberry, Native Violet. These plants are going to be attempted for the upcoming enclosure. I'm really excited to try spring flowers and vegetables. Scallions and Cranberries grow native in the woods and forests of Pennsylvania. Periwinkle, Pachysandra, and the spring flowers are naturalized into many woods and forests of the state. I am very excited to work with the first native plant from my woods. The native violet. This plant is simple and maybe not appealing to you but it's beautiful white flowers growing near vernal pools and on mountains drew me to the flower. I'm hoping it continues to thrive in my terrarium quarantine. This could be one of the coolest additions to my setup.


3


The special reveal is very long in the making. It's not a reptile. It's not a mammal. It's not a carnivore. It's a snail. A giant native snail. This might not be the most exciting reveal or the creature you hoped for, but it has so many positive areas. Not only will it avoid competition in eating with the toads, but it can be found living beside them all over their overlapping range. The snail has a common name. It is called the Tooth Globed Snail. The true ecosystem I'm trying to replicate is an upland suburban woodland. Just in my woods I have seen the two share the mountain in the same spaces and I am hopeful to bring more attention to these snails and maybe to encourage people to care about them just like my mission for encouraging interest in frogs and toads. I have learned through my research of this species of snail is that it does not live in large groups. Only to mate and to share food time from time. These snails can get very large and live very long. I am happy to have a pair of them in my care right now. The good news is they are hermaphrodites so they can produce with another snail. So what do you think about the update on the toads, plants, and snails?

Pictures order First 3 Wellsboro
Next 2 Ace
Next 1 Pious
Next 1 Navi
Next 4 Snails
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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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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 come[emoji16]

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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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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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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