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Posted by Pennebaker on September 03, 2002 at 01:32:38:
I was reviewing my post on calcium supplementation where i was speaking of using calcium gluconate diluted with water. Something didn't sound quite right, so i reveiewed my notes to find that I used 8cc of (23%,by volume)calcium gluconate per gallon of H2O. Not the 17cc/gal, which is what i use on all my other lizards.
I was paranoid of overdoing it and knowing how HLs are with supplements, apparently cut the normal ratio in half. Just wanted to clarify my error so that someone doesn't try using the original ratio thinking I'd done it without detriment.
The other reason for this post is based on my other advice about feeding ants high calcium greens.
First, i know that ants merely take the greens underground in moist, cool chambers and 'harvest' the fungus or mold that grows from the greens' decay; not that ants eat the greens directly themselves. However, my thoughts and, in essence, my question, is based on calcium transmission from greens to fungus to ant to HL.
Will a detritivore that feeds on high calcium greens still contain calcium that could be transferred or used by the ants that eat it? That is to say, if a fungus breaks-down a high-calcium food source, will this this fungus also contain calcium? Obviously this calcium transferrance functions in several other food chains, but does it work for detritivores? It would make more sense if calcium in 'mineral' form (heavier, harder to break-down) transfers more readily than plant-based calcium because it's easier to break down & utilize. But, being that it would make sense that some calcium is transferred each time in lessening degrees, i had always thought that it couldn't hurt to try. What do you guys think?
Second, I too refrigerate ants. I usually have around 5K in the fridge and about a 1K out at most times. Many of my HLs obviously prefer their ants cold and fully take advantage of the fact that the ants are slow and relatively easy-pickins'. However, some of my HLs like their ants warm and oozing with health. For this reason, and others, i take some out of the fridge and feed them high quality diets and provide ideal conditions for their sterile colony. The ants fed from here are always fat and hydrated and, IMO, frequently seem to offer better nutritional value per ant. My indoor Cbb yearlings really appreciate these sort of ants.
Anyhow, I just wanted to clarify and ask a question that's been nagging at me for a year or so. Gordon, you seem to know quite a bit about ants and, thus, i directed this Q toward you as well. Thanks to both of you in advance for any feedback you might have on the aforementioned issues. Please answer at you liesure and only if time allows. thank you.