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Calci/Phoenix Worms

PuffDragon

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I have been doing some reading on these feeders and wanted to get some feedback. I would like to get some for my Crested Geckos. Anyone using them? Pros/Cons? Notice any benefits since you started using them? They are apparently packed full of good stuff, especially calcium. If not fed off readily...will they gestate into the fly? Thanks all.
 

shiftylarry

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Pros:
-Squiggly and enticing to any predator
-soft bodied
-Fatty (if you're trying to put on weight)

Cons:
-As stated above, they're basically just fat. I wouldn't use them as a staple.

There is kind of a frenzy out there to find "the best feeder". I like roaches personally. Lobsters are nice and small; a great alternative to crickets. But I don't know how a crested gecko would react to them. I'm not well versed in geckos.

-Chris
 

PuffDragon

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They would def. not be a staple in the diet but as you said could help in maintaining healthy weight. Especially for breeding females (cresteds). The females tend to loose calcium fast when laying so I figured I would try these feeders out. They seem to come in small enough size for hatchlings as well. The smallest Dubia roaches are just a touch to big for hatchlings so I wanted to try these.

This is a nutritional chart I pulled from The Phoenix Worm Store....they aren't as fatty compared to mealworms and superworms.

chart2.jpg


<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://store01.prostores.com/servlet/thephoenixwormstore/Page?template=comparison">http://store01.prostores.com/servlet/th ... comparison</a><!-- m -->[/img]
 

DZLife

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Can you apply the same diet principles for Leapords as you can for cresties (aside from the fact that leapords can get bigger)?
 

playlboi

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those numbers are awesome. and i think that those things would be great for the breeding gecko, leopard or crested. good info
 

ThePHX

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im trying my hand in breeding my own phoenix worms..i talked with bert from agama intl, and he was telling me that its rather easy to do...butt i still have my compost bucket and have only seen aroundd 2-3 slack solider flies. But i have a book allll about live foods coming, so soon ill hopefully have an answer to my problem...buttt ive seen tons of maggots unfortunately i think they are the blue blow fly larvae...not the solider fly

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://reptilegeeks.com/user/ThePHX/blogs">http://reptilegeeks.com/user/ThePHX/blogs</a><!-- m -->

thats a link to my blog in which ive been posting every few days with updates
 

tupinambis

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The Pheonix worm is otherwise known as the Soldier Fly anywhere else in the world. I HIGHLY question the nutritional data supplied by the company that is supplying them at AN EXTREMELY INFLATED price, but not solely on the basis of price (although I have seen these insects sold elsewhere under a different name for far, far cheaper than Pheonix worms are). First of all, before being contemplated as a food item for reptiles, Soldier fly larvae have been used all around the world as a bio-agent in composting programs. These insects appear to not mind chowing down on any kind of garbage, and prove to be quite resilient to any ingredient.
Which brings me to my next point. Many of the other prey insects have been experimented with in order to try bringing their nutritional content more in league with what is needed by your pet reptiles, primarily in trying to increase their calcium content. This is been pretty much exclusively done by modifying their diet. Unfortunately, what usually happens with crickets, mealworms, waxworms, etc. when their diet has a high calcium load is that they die. They can't tolerate that much calcium. Once dead, they are pretty much useless as a prey item for reptiles or amphibians that rely upon movement in order to determine their prey (ever stop to wonder why those jars of dehydrated bugs as food aren't that prosperous?). Soldier fly larvae seem to be an exception, therefore their nutritional content is likely based upon the media they have been raised upon, not what they actually contain in and of themselves. If you don't raise them on an appropriately nutritional media, they probably aren't as nutritional as the company would like you to think.
Lastly, during the years I was researching in Brasil, these were one of the few insects I could readily get my hands on to feed reptiles and amphibians I had in captivity (down there they are called bicho de l'aranga - literally animal of the orange as they parasitize oranges). NONE of my animals would touch the things. I don't think this was solely due to the fact that maybe the animals were unpalatable in and of themselves, but to the point I brought up above - their nutritional content and palatability are primarily a product of the medium they've been raised upon. I doubt the brasilians culturing them were concerned about their nutritional content (they were sold as fishing bait) and likely used the cheapest means possible. The Pheonix worm company MAY indeed be more concerned about that, but similarly to other prey insects that are gut loaded, if not used quickly (ie. within 24 hrs) then that nutritional media is exported out their rear portal and they wind up as nutritionally balanced as the next maggot. For the price of them, Pheonix worms are not worth the gamble. Are YOU sure the stock you are buying from the store (which I guarantee you know nothing about the insect) is fresh and less than 24hrs on shelf from the Pheonix company?
Let me clarify that I don't think the Pheonix worm is harmful to your pet, I just question the claim of its nutritional content and whether the price paid is justifiable.
 

ApriliaRufo

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Christ Colin. I was just gonna say that my animals won't eat em and they're so damn expensive that I can't supply them for any of my animals. Heck my cranwelli won't eat em and he eats ANYTHING.
 

ThePHX

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lol, thats why ive been trying to get them for free :p all it takes is just a hardy stomach...suppousidly. i just need to go diggin into the rotting "offal" to see if the maggots i saw were blow fly or solider fly, but i KNOW for a fact i have seen a solider fly around the bucket...but i have seen a lot more blow flies
 

PuffDragon

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Nice...let me know how it works out for ya. I got enough room around here for a stinky bucket of chum.
 

ThePHX

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get it started, from what ive seen it taste a little bit to attract the flies, but after reading berts book he said around may/june you should see thousands of larvae in the bucket. But he said that youll start to see the flies in april
 

Harveysherps

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Why not feed the blow fly maggots then. A maggot is a maggot you would think.If they are raised int he same medium. It's just a thought that run through my head. While reading this thread. I have to say I agree with tupiambis to a degree though. But if you can raise them yourself. Then why not give it a whirl. In our chicken houses there are billions of micro meal worms. I use them to feed baby geckos and chameleons. All baby lizards love them. I say if you can raise them go for it. If that is your thing.
 

ThePHX

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"Soldier fly larvae seem to be an exception, therefore their nutritional content is likely based upon the media they have been raised upon, not what they actually contain in and of themselves. If you don't raise them on an appropriately nutritional media, they probably aren't as nutritional as the company would like you to think. "

I wish you would of read my blog in which i discussed the media I am using, and the only medium that they live in. that is a good point harvey, since they are in the same medium you would think that they would have the same nutritional breakdown. The only thing i have done with the purchased phoenix worms is dump them into my bucket to try to get more solider flies.

I actually have never purchased a mealworm, i love superworms they are soo easy to breed, and im currently waiting on my cricket eggs to hatch.

Here is what bert has in his book: for the Calcium:phosphorus
crickets(gryllus) 1:3
locusts 1:7.5
mealworms 1:3-14
fly larvae 1:3-10 (he only discussed solider fly larvae)
earthworms 1:1.4

not sure how to read that table, but he finishes up saying that earthworms appear to be richer in calcium than insects
 

tupinambis

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It is interesting whenever I post something like this that I get people disagreeing with something I haven't said, but something they interpretted as what I've said. I'm not saying don't use them. Personally, any invertebrate you can get your animals to eat that isn't toxic or otherwise harmful will help diversify their diet and is a good thing.
Most invertebrates nutritional content is not set in stone, those tables are based upon averages of groups and different studies will give you different values. That being said, there is also not so much variability that you can make something like a waxworm much higher in calcium content. The fact that the soldier fly larvae is so robust as to survive on just about anything is more than likely to affect its nutritional content. Raising them yourself is a GREAT idea (no sarcasm, that's genuine agreement). You are then more likely to control that nutritional content. Go for it. But I'm willing to bet if you take Pheonix worms straight from the supplier, test them at 2hrs and then at one week later after sitting in moist sawdust, you will have very different nutritional contents. Considering what they cost, I don't think that's a good investment (ie. if you were buying them regularly from the store, not if you plan on rearing them yourself).
My experience with them, however, and so it seems others have had similar, that despite the claims of the Pheonix company that animals just love them, none of mine will touch the things. If yours will, great, go for them.
And yes, earthworms generally have a much better Ca:p ratio than other invertebrates. However, they are almost a cruel torment to feed to an inertial feeder like a monitor or a tegu. They don't go down so easily :)
 

Harveysherps

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I actually haven't used them. But you are right in what you say. Buying them isn't cost effective. But raising them could be. If the reptiles eat them. If they don't then it's all a waste of time. So maybe one should try them and see if their reptiles like them before going the the trouble to raise them. Would that be a good summary of the pros and cones you mentioned. That is my take of it. Not trying to be sarcastic or anything.
 

ThePHX

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lol, my herps love them, ive probably spent like 100 bucks on phoenix worms. My bd comes running from across the room because of the pop-rocks noise they make
 

ThePHX

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tupinambis said:
It is interesting whenever I post something like this that I get people disagreeing with something I haven't said, but something they interpretted as what I've said. I'm not saying don't use them. Personally, any invertebrate you can get your animals to eat that isn't toxic or otherwise harmful will help diversify their diet and is a good thing.

tupinambis said:
"Soldier fly larvae seem to be an exception, therefore their nutritional content is likely based upon the media they have been raised upon, not what they actually contain in and of themselves. If you don't raise them on an appropriately nutritional media, they probably aren't as nutritional as the company would like you to think. "


I do not think i mis interpretated what you said, you said that if i dont raise them properly then they wont as nutritional as i think. I took that as you saying I have no idea what im doing, and that i'll get worthless larvae. But I am rasing them 100% properly. which is what i meant by, if you read my blog...you would of noticed that im doing is right, ive done my reasearch on how to get to breeding the larvae and im not an idiot. Its a compost bucket...cant go tooo wrong with that :D My mistake man, my herps love them they eat around 100+ a day if possible, and thats my 2 Bd's, 7 Chams, and both CWDs. No hard feelings
 

tupinambis

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I took that as you saying I have no idea what im doing, and that i'll get worthless larvae.
Your interpretation and your interpretation alone.

However, beings as you are saying you are
rasing them 100% properly
and that you've done your research, I'm curious as to the testing method you utilized to determine the nutritional content of your soldier fly larvae. I see no mention in your blog of the analysis methods.
 

ThePHX

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i havent tested any method. And im not analyzing anything, im just trying to get free feeders...i just copied what bert had in his book and doing the exact same as he said too. Ill ask him what method he used to determine the nutritional content, and ill get back to you, ok?
 

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