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How to induce breeding ?

This is a discussion on How to induce breeding ? within the Bombinatoridae: Fire-bellied toads forums, part of the Anura: Frogs & Toads category; Hi there, well, spring is almost here, so laying eggs should be on the priority list for my FBT... I've ...

Bombinatoridae: Fire-bellied toads Discuss these lively little toads here.

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Old 25th March 2013   #1 (permalink)
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Default How to induce breeding ?

Hi there,

well, spring is almost here, so laying eggs should be on the priority list for my FBT... I've done everything I usually do to put the little guys is the right mood, which is:

- 1 month cooling at ~14C and 7hours photoperiod during december
- gradually increasing the temperature to ~22C and the photoperiod to 12h (it will eventually get to about 14h)
- Raising the water level
- plenty of food (flies and earthworms)

So, my two females are plump as can be, the males are healthy, but everyone seems only interested in eating. I mean, the males are not even calling

Last year and the year before, I've had lots of eggs with the same guys so there should not be any problem, right ?

What do you think I'm doing wrong ?

Thanks a lot,
Phil



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Old 25th March 2013   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to induce breeding ?

Hi DocZelop!
Maybe one month of cooling them wasn't enough to induce breeding?
Cheers
Tom



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Old 25th March 2013   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to induce breeding ?

I know that this sounds crazy, but I heard on this forum from someone that putting them in the fridge
(at a certain temperature) Makes them feel the cooling period.

So maybe.. just maybe like tom said, put them in the fridge for a little longer and then see if they are in the mood.



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Old 27th March 2013   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to induce breeding ?

Hey, thanks for your replies !

Actually, a fridge might be too cold for FBT, although it's perfectly OK for european species, so I wouldn't try this...

Tonight, I'll try a silly idea, just to see what happens... I'll play some bombina calls on speakers near the terrarium, maybe they'll react to this, you never know...

And if that fails, I'll switch to some Barry White, just to set the mood right



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Old 27th March 2013   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to induce breeding ?

I hibernate B. orientalis for 2 months at 7C with good results - they animals don't lose weight and breed successfully. Their wild range gets quite cold in the winter, with some frosts occurring, so this is completely natural. They are packed into tupperware boxes of damp moss (they hibernate on land in the wild) with a few ventilation holes and put into a wine cooler or fridge for 6-8 weeks. I then warm them up to a water temperature of 24-25 C and provide bright lighting with a basking spot. The males start calling almost immediately and spawning takes place once the photoperiod gets to 14:10 from 12:12 (day:night), with additional spawnings taking place at intervals throughout the spring and summer.

Try warming your tank up a few degrees, increase photoperiod and continue to feed heavily. Playing calls to them will certainly help get the males calling, but with warm temps and long photoperiod it shouldn't be necessary. Also make sure the lighting is bright and that you have several bits of the spectrum - lots of fish tank fluorescent bulbs are very blue or very red or very yellow - I use a mixture of blue and yellow, which seems to work well for Bombina. It may not be completely necessary, but it is more natural for this diurnal species and, in my opinion, leads to more natural behaviour. It also makes the tank and toads look much better!

If you do get spawn, you will have fun rearing many many tadpoles! It is worth just keeping a subset of the eggs to raise, once you are certain they are developing, as it can be difficult to raise and rehome hundreds of toadlets.

Good luck!

C



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Old 28th March 2013   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to induce breeding ?

The number one trigger for me is always water changes. Allow the water to drop over a few weeks, then tip in a bucket of cold water and let it warm to their normal temperature. If they're well fed and conditioned, they'll spawn within 24 hours. This has worked for me with orientalis, variegata and maxima.

All bombina can take very low winter temperatures, mine have got down to 2C with no problems.



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Old 28th March 2013   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to induce breeding ?

Hi there!
I have to confess that I hibernate all my amphibians in our basement fridge (not the one my wife uses...). This method seems perfect to me, because you can control the temperature. You just have to take care of a humid substrate and wait till it's the right time, normally when it's getting nice outside, too. The length of day, e.g. the missing light, is not a big problem in my eyes, because many amphibians hide in a subterrenean shelter during wintertime and don't notice light very much. So far my experiences with the fridge have been good.
Cheers
Tom



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Old 29th March 2013   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to induce breeding ?

Many thanks for all these detailed answers !

I didn't know that B. orientalis could endure such low temperatures, so this is really helpful... It's SO much easier to maintain a steady 5C (thank you fridge) than 13-14C.

So, next winter, my frogs will all go to the fridge, just as the newts and salamanders !

I'll try the 'cold water' trick this weekend and let you know about it...

Many thanks again,
Phil



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Old 23rd December 2013   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to induce breeding ?

here's how I induced mine (I have 1 female, 3 males, and now 28 toadlets)
1: I feed them up nicely and I peak their daylight cycle at 15.5 hours
2: I decrease daylight by half an hour every 2 weeks
3: the toads stop eating at 12.5 hours, which is when I put them in a container of moist moss in my closet (which reaches temps of 55F in winter)
4: the toads get just 1 hour of light a week with occasional waxworms for 11 weeks
5: I remove them to a cage with half an inch of water and 13 hours of light
6: over the next few weeks I feed well, increase daylight, and raise water
7: at 14.5 hours and 6 inches water, they spawn. this takes 4-6 weeks after emergence from the closet



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Old 16th March 2014   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to induce breeding ?

My experience is the same as Caleb's. No thermal preconditioning was ever required. Photoperiod and temperature (set on the heater (~77F) was constant all year long. They produced in waves every few months but they would lay tons of eggs after a large (75%+) water change with cold water (~55F).

If this group has already produced for you try a large water change and see what happens.



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