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Territory is a major requirement for survival


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Posted by henry on March 31, 2003 at 09:09:00:

In Reply to: Re: RETF and Other Treefrogs, posted by cold_blooded on March 30, 2003 at 10:14:01:

I agree that mixing species flies in the face of all good sense. There may be ways of postponing disaster but I have no idea how you can count that as a successful system. I know because I have tried it both ways, as have many of you long-time keepers. Eventually your frogs will vote on the setup by dying off. Does it matter whether it's in a week or in a year and a half? There are no full life-expectancy frogs in a mixed setup. Frogs do not die of old age in a mixed tank. I can tell you that with complete confidence. And its not hard to understand why.

Frogs are territorial; that's why they vocalize. Frogs are motivated to do only two main things -- they eat and they vocalize to establish territory. They are stressed by having one of their own species intrude on there territiory. Having another species in their territory stresses them in the extreme.

Prove this to yourself by going out in the field. If you were to camp by a river overnight you should be able to get a fix on where the calls are coming from and how they are spaced apart. If you hear a second species note how it is positioned relative to the first one. And even this proximity -- a lot further spaced apart than in a 45 gallon tank -- is a compromise for mating only. Once this is accomplished many species will leave the water body entirely.

There is much more to this issue and it has been debated endlessly for many years. I know no serious keepers or breeders who keep mixed tanks. This is a fascination limited only to newcomers. But I don't know any serious keeper who never tried it. What does that tell you?

- henry


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