Basic question about feeding larvae.

Chinadog

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I'm currently raising about ten Alpine newt (apuanus) larvae and everything's going well, but my goodness can they eat! They get two net fulls of live daphnia/mosqueto larvae mix, along with frozen bloodworm and the occasional tiny chopped worm daily and their bellies are visibly bulging and yet they still frequently rip each others legs or tails off and eat them! I've raised C.pyrrho larvae for the past two years and they seemed like gentle creatures, I certainly never saw this level of gluttony and cannibalism!
So basically what I want to know is:

Is it possible to overfeed them? Not from a fouling the water point of view as they swallow everything!

Can they digest everything they eat in a day, or do they just carry on swallowing stuff and pass what they don't digest as waste?

Is it normal for them to be so cannibalistic, even when they are obviously well fed?
 

Otterwoman

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I'm going to say the more they eat the better, but let's see if anyone else has experienced larvae overeating.
 

JM29

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I agree with Otterwoman, except perhaps with ostracodes. I had some problems when feeding larvae with ostracodes but it was not with alpine newts.

Moreover, if food isn't sufficient, dominance problems can occur, especially with alpine newts (a personal observation).
 

Azhael

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When raising apuanus i never had a problem with over-feeding, but i did have a problem with nutrition the first time. Make sure they get calcium rich foods. I would skip the bloodworms entirely and focus on earthworms and crustaceans.
They are vicious little things, but they make up for it by being gorgeous.
 

Chinadog

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Cheers for the replies, I guess if you're born into a temporary puddle or road rut, the pressure's on to morph as quickly as possible!

Azhael, how would I spot malnutrition in larvae, deformity?
 

Azhael

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The problem is that by the time you can tell something's going on, it's already too late. In my case the first two i ever raised grew very fast and very well at first, but when they approached metamorphosis their growth became stunted, their development stopped (they looked neotenic-like) and from then on they lost weight and deteriorated.
I have to say that i've had problems like this because the water in my area is ridiculously soft to the point that they have to artificially put some CaCO3 in it so that there is any at all (and it's still one of the very softest in the country). In different conditions of hardness you probably don't have to worry as much as i've had to, but nevertheless there is no better prevention than offering only calcium rich foods. Also, as far as i understand, apuanus come from calcium rich territories in Italy, so it's best to be extra paranoid. I never had any such problems with pyrrhogaster or orientalis, but i've had them with european species, so their tolerances are clearly very different.
 

Chinadog

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I understand, thanks for the heads up. I raised my Leopard tortoises from hatchlings, so I should know how important calcium is to fast growing herps.
 
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