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  1. #1
    Elite Member geckoguy14's Avatar
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    Dart frog tank size

    ok, so i found some dart frogs for sale (dendrobates leucomeus) and so i told the store (very very reliable, i swear) to hold three of them for me. So, i went out and bought a 20 gallon long aquarium with regular eclipes lighting and hood, (for humidity preservation). The substrate is gravel with moss over it and a bromeliad plant and another tropical plant i happen to find at walmart (i can't remember the name but i did research and made sure it was safe). I kinda went crazy though. I realized that the tank was too big as soon as i brought it home, the frogs are juvenilles and dart frogs need to be fit to the exact size tank for their size when they are young so they will find their food alright. Should i section off part of the tank with something until they grow a little bit? Should i put them in the large critter keeper that i have? they r not froglets but it's the size that is too large to be froglets and too small to be juvenilles. Any suggestions will help.

    i promise i have done my research, i know how to care for these animals but i just need help as every first time dart frog owner would
    -Adam

    "Help Protect our Planet from Overcollection, Purchase Aquacultured Livestock and Captive Bred Herps"






  2. #2
    Elite Member CodyW's Avatar
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    Do you have any pics of your setup? I have more fun setting up dart frog tanks than caring for them....well almost. The plants can be just as rewarding as the inhabitants.

    There are several things you can do to help the frogs find their food. What do you plan on feeding them? The tank needs to be rather heavily plants with lots of places for them to hide/retreat. Most darts are very timid, especially when a giant (you) approaches the tank. This will also help them to find the food by reducing the amount of space. Your frogs will usually forage the entire day. If there is adequate food, they will find it.

    Another way to help them is to feed in the same spot every time, they'll learn really quick where the food is going to go and will usually linger around that spot. You can also place small pieces of fruit in that spot so the insects will also linger there, you'll have a little food web going in a limited space.

    Don't worry I got some nasty responses from the dart frog community when I posted about my first new acquisitions, I don't deal from the same deck. Get those cultures going soon and make sure to always have a back up...cultures will crash! If you want poke around here Dendroboard.com

    Post pics if you can, and welcome to a wonderful new world Darts ROCK!!

  3. #3
    Elite Member geckoguy14's Avatar
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    Hey, thanks for your input. I don't have any pictures now because i have been spending the afternoon doing homework and i have not had time to take any. This tank size is rather large (20 long) and for 3 juvenille dart frogs, is it too big? I will be feeding fruit flies and pinhead crickets that will be set in a shallow dish. Remember the substrate is plain aquarium gravel. If it is ok, i would like to put the moss down that i bought for added humidity and ambiance. Will the frogs get lost or something in the moss? Should i section off that tank since they are still small frogs? I'll get some more plants for the tank as well but i just need to know those few things.

    thank you,
    -Adam

    "Help Protect our Planet from Overcollection, Purchase Aquacultured Livestock and Captive Bred Herps"

  4. #4
    Elite Member CodyW's Avatar
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    Will your frogs get lost? It might seem like it at times, a properly planted tank will actually make most species more bold. I doubt you will see all three at the same time if they are all healthy and happy, aside from feeding time. A bare tank makes them almost always timid and hiding behind anything and everything.

    I don't think you need to worry about having too big of a tank. People have trios of thumbs in 50 gallon tanks. Your frogs will want to hide, just make sure they can't get into something they can't get out of, like a false bottom or intake for a water pump.

    The moss should do fine on top of the gravel. Is it pillow moss? Java Moss? or just Sphangum Moss? Depending on the type you may need to do a little care--i.e. pillow moss will probably need a small layer of sphangum on top of the gravel. All mosses need high humidity, you will almost need a small collection of water at the bottom of the tank. Watch out with the moss and Ca powder, it will turn most mosses brown almost instantly.

    I wouldn't bother feeding the insects to the frogs in a small dish, just drop them in a designated spot, the insects are going to go everywhere once you put them in. What I do is I have a small rubermaid with a small hole in the lid. I take a small funnel and place it in the hole, I then pour the insects into the funnel and then the vitamins, shake, then pour them into the enclosure. Once the food is in the enclosure it shouldn't be able to get out, my darts constantly forage and they usually find something.

    What light are you using? And what are the temps and humidity?

  5. #5
    Elite Member geckoguy14's Avatar
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    thank you for your help. Just to let you know, the humidity is kept pretty high, i am not sure of the exact humidity because i don't have any gauges yet for humidity or temp, i was planning on getting them with my dart frogs on saturday. The light is a regular terrarium bulb but i am trying to find a brighter one for the bromeliad, even though it may fade between now and the time i get a light (if i even get a brighter one). The moss is "fluker's terrarium moss" i am not sure at all what type it is, but it is died green with a die that is said not to leach out into the tank. Whichy brings me to another question that i have. When i kept grey tree frogs. I only had a flourescent tube and a fish tank hood like i do now with my dart frogs. The moss seemed to mold very quickly, the kind of fuzzy cotton-like mold. I read somewhere that if you just leave it alone, the mold will go away. The moss is dead, so i am thinking i will have to change it out whenever it molds. What do you think?
    -Adam

    "Help Protect our Planet from Overcollection, Purchase Aquacultured Livestock and Captive Bred Herps"

  6. #6
    Elite Member CodyW's Avatar
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    The mold is probably due to poor lighting. Fungus, mold, algea all enjoy poor lighting. You don't necessarily need anything brighter but you do need something will support the plant growth. Any bulb above 5500K will suffice. Most fluro tubes are about 2000K.

    Im not familiar with the moss. Im also not a big fan of flukers, however the one Fruit fly culture I bought by them did last me months.

    For a good ground cover just use sphangum. It has great antimicrobial properties and even though its mostly dead it usually comes back to life and will leave you with a nice green mat for substrate.

    You'll also need some leaf litter. Magnolia leaves and oak leaves work best, get ones that look all brown or as though they will be soon. The frogs and insects you feed will use the leaf litter as hiding.

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