ReptoMin Floating Food sticks have long been recognized as a valuable dietary staple for many aquatic reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates, and are used in zoos and private collections worldwide. A new version, ReptoMin Select-A-Food, contains the original food sticks as well as freeze dried plankton and shrimp. The size of the individual food items is geared towards smaller creatures, and each ingredient is housed in its own compartment, allowing for careful control of your pet’s food intake.
ReptoMin Food Sticks are unique in that they form a nearly complete diet for quite a few species…the addition of freeze dried invertebrates increases the product’s value immensely. I have used Reptomin Foods Sticks while caring for herps in the Bronx Zoo’s collection, as well as for my own pets, since its introduction, and most other professional zookeepers do the same. Following is a brief summary of those species for which I have used it as a major component of the diet.
50-75% of the diet of African clawed frogs (several species) and of fire-bellied, red-spotted, California, ribbed, alpine and crested newts, among others.
80-90% of the diet of Mexican axolotls and of larvae over 1 month old.
50-75% of the diets of the larvae of numerous salamanders, including spotted, marbled, tiger and fire salamanders.
50-75% of the diets of numerous tadpoles, including American and African bullfrogs, green frogs, edible frogs, American toads, Wallace’s flying frogs, Australian bell frogs and horned frogs (several species).
Except for live food specialists such as the mata mata, nearly every aquatic and semi-aquatic turtle relishes ReptoMin and freeze dried shrimp. Due to the high calcium needs of growing turtles, I tend to supplement their diets quite frequently with whole fishes and crayfish as well. I vary the percentage of ReptoMin with the species and situation, but usually rely upon it heavily.
I have used ReptoMin for 50-75% of the diets of hatchling red-eared sliders and snapping turtles, and 30-40% of the diets of spotted, painted, musk, Asian box, Bornean pond and many other turtle species.
Reptomin is eagerly accepted by crayfishes, fresh water shrimp and most aquatic snails, as well as a number of terrestrial invertebrates – millipedes, roaches, snails, crickets and sow bugs.
For those pets that require larger food items as they grow (i.e. the huge African clawed frog pictured here) you can offer the same basic nutrients by switching from Select-A-Food to a combination of ReptoMin Food Sticks, ReptoTreat Suprema Food Sticks (krill) and ReptoTreat Gammarus Shrimp.
For a look at another very useful food item for aquatic animals, please see my article Zoo Med’s Canned Shrimp .