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I'm a noob, yeah i said it
#1
Ok
I have been doing reef aquariums for about a year and saltwater aquariums for a year and 3 months
the other day i was working and found a salamander and started thinking, i want to do something besides fish. then i remembered seeing poison dart frogs at the zoo and wondered if you could keep them as pets. I decided to come home and do some research.

I don't know how but i came across this site and i've always found that the best source of info tends to be on forums.

I have a 150 gallon aquarium that leaks with a lot of pressure and haven't been able to reseal it yet. I was thinking of setting this up for them. I don't know if it needs water in the actual tank or if i can build a little pond or something to put in it I also have retro kits for 4 65 watt power compact bulbs
i've been looking around and cant figure out whether or not these are enough light for plants or what spectrum i need (i want it to be a vivarium i think the ones with live plants) Theres so much info on here and i cant find the stuff i need.

from what i've found it sounds like i need a porous base with some sort of divider on top with the final substrate on top of that. I think i need a lot of light for the plants right? or not a lot but the right spectrum not really sure. i am guessing they need plenty of places to hide and maybe a little house?

i am also trying to figure out the best place to buy them and supplies
I was wondering if i could have more than one species in a tank this size
its 48" long 24" deep and 30" tall

all help is greatly appreciated
Kiki
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#2
For lights you need something in the 6500 or 6700k spectrum. Yours are probably 10,000k if they are for SW?

As far as the tank leaking, might not be a big deal unless you end up having a large water feature. Even if you do you can make it so it is self contained so if you tank leaks then it still won't be too big a deal.

Substrate, you are correct. You need a layer to wick away moisture that drains though the top layer. You can get LECA which is small little balls of baked clay that absorbs the water. You can also use regular aquarium gravel. Either of these will need a layer of fiberglass window screen between the drainage layer and the "dirt" layer to keep them separate. You can also do a false bottom which is a layer of egg crate topped with the window screen and the dirt layer on top of that. You prop the egg crate up with short sections of pvc pipe so the water can drain from the dirt in to the empty bottom space of the tank that is under the egg crate. These are the most popular three methods and all work and have their pluses and minuses.
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#3
Thanks
that helps a lot :]
right now the fixtures dont have bulbs its a standard PC fixture.
does the amount of wattage matter a lot
one fixture has 2 65 watt bulbs and i have 2 of them

i was thinking of doing a little pond in an upper layer with a larger area on the bottom, and i wanted to try and make this out of the foam sealant stuff

ive been looking some more and it says that you can keep more than one species as long as they are not cramped, the frogs i was looking at are the D. tinctorius; D. auratus Green and Black or Blue and Bronze; Phyllobates vittatus; or the D. galactonotus red
I'm not sure if any of these are more difficult to care for than others
it doesnt seem like theres that big of a difference just wanted some personal opinions

if i do get more than one species do i need to put them all in at one time? or does it matter
Kiki
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#4
4x65 watts would be PLENTY of light. Just make sure you get the bulbs in the 6700k spectrum and you will be set on lights.

Great Stuff foam is very popular in vivariums. Once it is cured in a basic shape you can easily sculpt it further to get exactly the shape you want. Then you need to cover it in silicon and then while the silicon is wet you cover it with a sand mixture or coco fiber. That gives it a more realistic rock look. It also makes it water proof.

As far a mixing, that is a very sensitive subject and the over whelming majority will say not to do it. Some of the reasons are because of aggressiveness, stressing the frogs, and the big one is crossbreeding. If you read more you will see that not only are frogs just really neat to keep and the vivariums are a blast to build and maintain, one of the BIG reasons these frogs are kept is for conservation purposes as the PDF natural habitat is disappearing and/or being encroached on by humans and these wondering animals are being threatened. Because of these conservation attempts, crossbreeding is not a good thing for the future of the frogs, so it is heavily frowned upon.

With that said, there are plenty of frogs that you do not have to worry about crossbreeding because they just can't, but you still have the fighting and stress issues to contend with so it will still be strongly suggested not to mix, especially for people new to the hobby, myself included. But please read up on it if you are interested because there is a lot of threads on the subject probably here but on other boards I know about and they are usually very long with lots of information.
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#5
Do you cover the great stuff with the silicon that comes in the caulking tubes or is there silicon that you can spray or paint on?
Is there some stuff that you can sculpt with that doesn't need sealing?

http://www.saurian.net/htm05/currentavail.html
I was looking on this site, not sure how reliable it is or anything and it says most of these tend to be compatible with others. Im guessing thats to sell more and because they aren't generally aggressive towards each other and they don't take cross breeding into consideration. I will definitely look into that a lot more before making my decision.

if that is not a good site could you suggest some better ones?
i've also been looking at black jungle and i think its called josh's frogs or something like that
right now i've just been looking more for research purposes
Kiki
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#6
Hi Kiki,
welcome to the forum.
That size tank wil make a great vivarium for a group of dart frogs. Group as in all the same, no mixing.

As for your lighting, you need to be careful with PC's as they give off a lot of heat, and this will be a problem with the frogs.
What are the dimensions of your tank?

The silicone that is used to cover the Great Stuff is in a caulking tube. Be sure you get 100% silicone with NO additives.
The reason people cover the Great Stuff is to disguise the screaming yellow color and embed peat/ coco fiber. We prefer to use the pond and waterfall foam made by Beckett ( Great Stuff also make a pond and waterfall foam) it is a dark grey color and will sit up a lot quicker than the Great Stuff, we find it is easier to work with.

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#7
thanks
will i still need to cover the becket with silicon and coco fibers and do all that fun stuff? Im guessing so since im sure that will make it look more realistic.
Kiki
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#8
Keep us updated on that tank, would love to see some pictures when it is finished. I have a few big tanks that I'm thinking about making into terreriums.
Thanks / Ron
www.alphafishfarm.com
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#9
Yeah
I decided against trying to build that one. I did buy a 15 gallon at a local show though. I just couldn't stop the tank from leaking. Maybe some other time. :[

I have a 55 gallon that was a reef tank that I'm taking down and intend to convert to a dart paludarium. It will be a while as I plan on doing it as i come across parts and stuff. I'm not in any hurry. I'll post pics when I start if you would like.
Kiki
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