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Dart Frogs 'Best kept in pairs only" advice ?
#1
Thanks to Glenn for showing me that we have a necessary topic that we should devote a whole thread to.

A lot of people are curious as to both sex and individual animal numbers and ratios in a given enclosure and here are my .02

The hobby has pretty much established that 10 gallon 'fishy tank' / aquariums are NOT best practice for an adult pair of almost any species of Dart Frog. That 'all things being equal' - as MUCH space and size as one can afford is preferable. 'Five (05) gallons per frog" as a recommendation is all but dead, thankfully.

A adult frog / per Ten (10) gallons is more of what I would recommend. Extrapolate that to a 20-40 gallon commonly available glass aquarium for 2 to 4 or perhaps 5 frogs is a good ratio.

Now on to sex ratios:

without going into great deal, there are roughly 1/2 of the available dart frog species that do 'well' in a colony or group setting. There is also a similar proportion of available animals that can MOST likely be recommended as "DOING BETTER" as a pair, ESPECIALLY for new hobbyists.

A good example would be pumilio - better kept to a pair IF the hobbyist is newer. I myself, have maintained at least 6 breeding groups of Oophaga pumilio (different populations or 'morphs') in the standard 1.2 sex ratio, or One male and Two females. I had some female wrestling, especially with my Cauchero group and even some out and out warfare -my Rio Guarumos, so bad that I had to remove the third female. This is what I would warn a potential new hobbyists about, and caution them against a 1.2 ratio unless they felt they were up to it and were ready to devote a large amount of time to study and observe the vivarium for signs of stress and aggression. We all know a dart frog can go downhill and expire much faster than you think.

I feel that experience with signs of stress, proper vivarium design with regards to visual barriers, foliage placement ect is fairly important whenever someone considers a large group of species or a weighted sex ratio.

It's like 98.7% of everything in this hobby. Do you homework. Read up on forums. Ask questions and be SURE you are ready when you select even a small amount of animals.

Double all that to be sure, when you want to select a large group, different species ect. It's like the old adage 'if you have to ask about it, then you are probably not ready".

Let's discuss.
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#2
I agree. I think the pair only rule is for minimum tank sizes. IF you use a large viv it its possible for a 1.2 trio of pums.
It may be possible to keep a 1.2 trio of tons in a large enough vivarium. Personally I'm not willing to take the chance and devote the space to try 2 females in one tank. My pairs are doing fine and I'll lace out at that.
I do maintain auratus, Anthonyi, bicolors, vittatus, aurotaenia as groups with no problems. Its all about tank size and creating the right habitat.

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Jon
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#3
Like Jon said i think tank size, visual barriers are all important factors plus the individual compatibility of each frog in a group. Not sure every new hobbiest knows what aggression looks like or can spend a lot of time watching for it.
-Beth
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#4
Groups can be really hard....or get along great but usually the 1.2 type though I have seen and heard of 10 -15 in a 30 high, Intermedius, got along well and the guy would not pull any. Same person found 25 Castaneoticus in a 40 cube when he broke it down and he had no idea that many were even there. I currently have 4 Veradero in a 100, all females and I am going to have to pull one as she has diminished quite a bit over the last month or so, I believe that durn hidden aggression we hear about so often.
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#5
I prefer groups and the group dynamics that goes along with it. It's very interesting to watch! But, as stated above, it requires a larger tank and plenty of visual barriers and hides, which is fairly easy to do.

I often wonder where "Leucs and Auratus are communal frogs" and "Tincs do best in pairs" came from? I see far more aggression with my Leucs and Auratus than I ever have with any of my Tincs.

It is also stated on UE's site that Imis do well in groups, but we hear on forums that you're better off with pairs. I don't have any Pumilio yet.
Glenn
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#6
I agree Glenn. All Tinc and what I call 'Tinc Type' frogs - auratus, leucomelas can all get equally feisty in certain sexual combinations and groups.

I think some thumbnail frogs are most suited to having a 'communal' or group designation...much more deserving than Tincs and Tinc type frogs.
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#7
So what is the consensus on a 1:2 ratio with leucs? 1 male 2 females? I keep getting mixed signals as to if I'd be fine with them in a 33gal high.


Frogs, fish and soon to be ferrets!
working my way up to 3 little leucs soon! :3
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#8
They will be fine. I have a 1.3 and a 2.6 with no issues.


Lots2Learn Wrote:So what is the consensus on a 1:2 ratio with leucs? 1 male 2 females? I keep getting mixed signals as to if I'd be fine with them in a 33gal high.


Frogs, fish and soon to be ferrets!
What some see as death, others see as beauty.


Casper
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#9
One thing to take note of is there is a good chance of egg eating with female heavy groups of Leucs. Easy to overcome by pulling the eggs as soon as possible.
-Beth
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#10
Frogs are like people - some get along great and some never do.

When I recommend group and sex ratios, it's a general statement, kind of like playing the odds / percentages.

It does get confusing, especially when the male pumilios are more aggressive against other males, be secondary, the females can fight other females as well. Tinctorius females fight each other more than males. Somewhat confusing, I'll admit.

99% of new hobbyists attempt to acquire a 'hard and fast rule' on group sizes and sexual ratios and...it ain't easy to explain.

Like Rich always says about Vivarium size - " All things being equal, select the largest size enclosure'

We probably could also say - "When in doubt about group sizes of Dart Frogs, go with the SMALLER size grouping"

A lot of newb questions start with ' How many ___ frogs can I fit in a ____ tank"...
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#11
Philsuma Wrote:Tinctorius females fight each other more than males. Somewhat confusing, I'll admit.

This is said all the time and have witnessed a very good scrap between two females. But, I wouldn't go as far as to say they fight more and certainly would not say they will fight to the death, which you see posted all the time. I have yet to hear of one frogger coming out and say they actually "witnessed" a female kill another female.

Confusing yes. It's kinda obvious though if you need to separate them. A frog hiding all the time, not coming out to eat, losing weight is a reason the pull the frog. This doesn't happen overnight though and there's plenty of time to rectify the situation IMHO.
Glenn
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#12
frogfreak Wrote:
Philsuma Wrote:Tinctorius females fight each other more than males. Somewhat confusing, I'll admit.

This is said all the time and have witnessed a very good scrap between two females. But, I wouldn't go as far as to say they fight more and certainly would not say they will fight to the death, which you see posted all the time. I have yet to hear of one frogger coming out and say they actually "witnessed" a female kill another female.

.


In the wild it is very rare to encounter deaths for the sake of killing. Humans are the exception to that.
Once the dominance has been established the loser/submissive animals is kept in check via the pecking order. Not killed, kept in check. This usually occurs between males.

The stress that this causes may be brief and almost unnoticeable or it may cause sever problems down the road, but very rarely do the direct actions of a single encounter or a couple encounters cause death.

The problem here in our hobby is that the loser has no place to go in a small enclosure. Think even a 40 gallon tank is large? Think again. The submissive frog cannot adequately escape and the constant stress leads it downhill, to eventual death. 

This is one of the reason when people post of "frog drownings" I always question if they'd actually witnessed the actual "drowning" , (which BTW would take a very very long time to occur, being that amphibians tend to be able to hold their breath for very very long periods of time) ...or if in fact they had witnessed their frog sitting in water before the "drowning". Darts tend to go to water when things are 'not right', speculated that they are attempting to leach out parasites and such.
Darts with parasites are analogous to mixed tanks, there are no known benefits to the frogs with either.


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#13
Philsuma Wrote:Frogs are like people - some get along great and some never do.

Absolutely dead on.
Darts with parasites are analogous to mixed tanks, there are no known benefits to the frogs with either.


If tone is more important to you than content, you are at the wrong place.

My new email address is: rich.frye@icloud.com and new phone number is 773 577 3476
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#14
I wonder if the standard viv layout has anything to do with aggression, with only the sides built up vertically and a floor space in the middle. It's almost like the Colosseum where the frogs are released to battle for flies (that would be a wild viv theme though). I rarely see any significant visual barriers in vivariums.
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#15
The ancient Roman coliseum were battle occurs, otherwise known as the 'poorly constructed vivarium'.
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#16
lolz Phil
Glenn
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#17
I have kept Tinc Azureus for almost three years now. I originally started with five young juveniles that we're kept in a twenty gallon long. Somewhere between the eleventh and twelfth month one of the frogs, a female, started fighting with one of the other frogs. I took the frog that was being picked on and put it in it's own vivarium. At the same time I noticed this female hanging around one of the other frogs, following it everywhere. I assumed that frog to be a male. The female then started attacking the other two and I removed them. So I ended up with 1 male and four females.

Seeing those females fighting was really disturbing. Someone who is interested in Tincs should buy three or four froglets or juveniles and raise them up together and let them pair off and remove the others from the pair and either keep them or sell them.

I keep Lake Tanganyika cichlids called Neolamprologus brichardi and they behave the same way. You buy five or six fish and raise them up together until 2 of the fish pair off. At this point the pair will drive all the other Brichardi into a corner and you will have to remove them. If you don't the pair will kill them off, one by one.
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#18
The scary part is that while dart frogs are not as immediately aggressive as those fish, they ARE aggressive and absolutely capable of creating death by stress.
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#19
Philsuma Wrote:The scary part is that while dart frogs are not as immediately aggressive as those fish, they ARE aggressive and absolutely capable of creating death by stress.

Agreed, but a somewhat experienced keeper would notice a frog(s) doing poorly. It's not that difficult to notice...But, I've seen many frogs that are doing poorly, yet the keepers seem oblivious. :|
Glenn
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#20
But they all look so cute and cuddly...kermit the frog could never hurt another frog!
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