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Getting Set Up
#1
My boyfriend and I have decided to create a vivarium for dart frogs and probably a few small lizards. The tank is a standard 55 gallon plexiglass tank. We have currently attached cork bark (?) to the back with 100% silicon, and tomorrow after it is dried we are going to fill in the gaps with moss. Well anyhow we are having a good time and we have awesome help for setting this up. He's a manager of Animal Mania here in south Florida. However, we are just getting ideas from him. He makes it sound like having dart frogs and mantellas will be fairly easy once we have the environment stabalized. My concern is how hard is it to get the ecosystem stable and what recomendations on the type of dart frogs to start with? Any information would help. Thanks
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#2
hey jessi,

the most commonly suggested starter darts are:

tinctorius: hardy, and really bold frogs, but very aggressive toward other frogs. most people recommend keeping only one pair per viv.

leucomelas: hardy, pretty vocal, and not overly shy. these are kept often in small colonies. i don't have any leucs, so this is totally based on what i've read in books and frogboards.

auratus: hardy,lots of color morphs, and again, kept in small colonies(of the same morph). the 'catch' is that they are really shy and hide a lot.

as for setting up your viv, kick around the site and look at construction tips/techniques. if your viv can maintain humidity, prevent escapes, and you manage lighting the plants without overheating the tank, you've got it made. also consider keeping the water in the bottom of your tank oxygenated to avoid the nasty stank of anaerobic bacteria taking over the water. false bottoms, drainage layers, and water features(waterfalls, rivers, drip walls) are all tools to avoid stagnant water.

the only moderately tricky part of 'normal maintainance' (vs. breeding and health issues) is culturing live food. it helps to get food cultures going strong before getting frogs, so you don't have the pressure of hungry frogs while you are experimenting with bug culturing.

the last tip is that most froggers find it unethical to keep more than one type of frog per viv. this goes for species, color morphs, and even catch locations. i recently called an expert breeder to ask about mixing two different shades of 'blue and black' auratus. he advised against because they possibly come from different locals, even though i've never seen these frogs listed as anything but B&B(i.e. specific location is never mentioned beyond general region of occurence.) use the search function and try things like "hybrid" or "mixing"...you'll see that there is lots of info and some passionate opinions.
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#3
Thanks so much. We have been overwhelmed with information and trying to get everything set up. We are taking our time on the viv to make sure everything is perfect before we consider adding frogs but this really helps!
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#4
Actually another question...We were looking at having a couple different frogs in our setup. Most people are talking about keeping only one species. As I mentioned earlier we have a 55 gal. viv so can we have different species with no problems? The viv we looked at before is about 75 gal and had several different species including PDFs, Mantellas, and dwarf chamelions. What is your guys input on this?
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#5
Jessi, you and your man are gonna have fun! I'm just a little over a month into the hobby, and its amazing!

Like it's been said, start your fruit fly cultures! Its not hard, but you need to have a food supply up and going before you get your frogs, it'll save you from some stress. While you are waiting for silicone to dry, read about and learn how to get the fruit flies going. Learn to love the FF!

Regarding you wanting to have multiple types of frogs in a tank - the majority says NO. Especially not for a beginner. Mixing PDFs with lizards and other critters is also not a good idea if you are a newb. Take a look at where each of the animals came from in the world. They usually won't be found anywhere near each other in the wild, hundreds of miles of seperation, not just a few gallons. Unless you want to see lizards killing frogs (expensive ones too), don't mix and match. Wink

Do a quick search on hybrid's on this board, and others like dendroboard.com. The major majority of folks who know their stuff frown on mixing frog types, for some good reasons.

Keep asking questions, get the FF cultures up and running, and keep having fun!
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#6
I think that if you are really set on having more that one type of frog in you viv. Pick up some tank dividers 1, 2, 3 whatever. Section the large tank into smaller vivs. Then you can have 1 pair of two- three different frogs per tank. Plus the fun of designing a few distincly different vivs. No matter how hard you ask for the approval or advice for the mix species tank. I've never seen a post by one of the forum veterans that said. "Go for it. Mix those morphs"
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