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Leucomelas, setup and ABG questions
#1
hi there. new here (as you can tell).

i am interested in keeping some leucomelas (about 3) in my 25 gallon long vivarium. from what i've read, this is ok and not too cramped and since i am new to the hobby, they should make great starters.

i plan to have a small exo-terra waterfall in my viv to keep up with humidity and moisture. but i have also seen videos where people let you keep the feeder insects(springtails) in the same viv as the frogs and let them breed. will this be ok or will the springtails harm the frogs? will the springtails jump into the waterfall and drown, making them bad for the frogs to eat?

i have also heard that the tank can be completely self-sustaining with no maintenance what-so-ever (since the food is already living next to the frogs)? is this true or will i still have to change anything every-so-often (i doubt that its completely self sustaining ).

another question, what are good alternatives to hydroton. i have never seen hydroton or anything similar in any of the exotic stores so i am curious to alternatives.

final question(sorry for all the questions) but how do leucs. handle long travels. i live in the north of england and the only place i know that sells healthy, well kept leucs. is about 2 hours away. can they handle a 2 hour trip or should i look for something closer?

Thanks for your time,

scar
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#2
Hi Scar, and welcome to Dart Den !

Dendrobates leucomelas are an excellent "starter" dart frog. They are hardy, bold, good in small groups, easy to find within the hobby and affordable. A VERY good choice. I maintain 2 breeding groups of 2.1 in seperate vivaria for going on 6 years now.

2.1 (2 males and 1 female) is the best ratio for compatablilty and yes, three Leucs should be fine in a 25 gallon long.

Waterfalls are ok, but most frogs could care less for them. Springtails may drown in water but it's unlikley that any water feature will cause a springtail colony to not sustain itself.

Make sure you have an all glass top - covering at least 90-95% of the entire tank top, for proper humidity retention.

Hydroton is readily avialable.....I'd look a little harder for it, unless you live way out in the country. It ships well too, as it's light, so no worries there either. An "egg crate" or white plastic light diffusor is an alternative and makes a great false bottom.

Dart frogs can travel really well....all day if need be. Just make sure they have good moisture in the carry container and temperatures don't get too hot or too cold. Keep out of direct sunlight too.

Lastly and MOST important ! You cannot rely on a self sustaining vivarium to feed your frogs. You MUST learn how to culture wingless fruit flies or your frogs will not thrive and most likely die. They require DUSTED fruit flies - powdered vitamins and calcium commonly available at pet stores or online.
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#3
sorry for a few more questions but somethings came up,
i am using an old fish tank, with a plastic covering lid with a VERY small amount of openings. i take it i should seal these openings up with something? (black tape etc.)
also, do i absolutely need lighting? the tank-top already has some lights in it but they arent working. the viv will be in a sunny area of the house (90 degrees to a large window) but should i still get some UV lights for the plants (i plan to have plants in).
oh and i dont mind dusting fruit flies. i used to keep reptiles so i am ok with that. but i take it i dont need to clean up the frog excretement as the substrate will just absorb it?

thanks again
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#4
scarloc Wrote:sorry for a few more questions but somethings came up,
i am using an old fish tank, with a plastic covering lid with a VERY small amount of openings. i take it i should seal these openings up with something? (black tape etc.)
also, do i absolutely need lighting? the tank-top already has some lights in it but they arent working. the viv will be in a sunny area of the house (90 degrees to a large window) but should i still get some UV lights for the plants (i plan to have plants in).
oh and i dont mind dusting fruit flies. i used to keep reptiles so i am ok with that. but i take it i dont need to clean up the frog excretement as the substrate will just absorb it?

Very small holes -@ the size of a pencil eraser may be ok as long as there is only a couple of them. FF will get out if they are not covered in screen. You're just going to have to set the tank up and "water" it prior to getting frogs for about a week or so and judge the humidity for yourself. You will easily be able to see if it's humid enough - condensation on some of the glass sides / front - substrate moist but not sopping, that sort of thing.

Some sort of electrical light is important for the plants to grow - yes. The frogs are not like Reptiles - they don't need UV or Basking light.

I would AVOID putting the tank anywhere near a window. Drafts can be bad and direct sunlight gets maginifed thru glass and could overheat the tank quickly, should the sun ever shine directly on the tank. Not good.

Culturing FF is easy once you get some confidence and repetition in. Pretty easy after awhile.

Good luck and post questions if you have them.
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"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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#5
Sorry but I have another question,
about the substrate, I know it comes in 4 layers:

leaf litter
------------------------------------
spaghnum moss
------------------------------------
substrate-ABG mix
------------------------------------
hydroton.

what i need to know is, are there any alternatives for the ABG mix and what should the leaves in the leaf litter be. thanks
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#6
No problem on the questions ! Happy to help.

Yep...you can "fudge" ABG mix, if you have to....just don't ever considered anything with styrofoam pellets, fertilizer, manure, artificial colouring ect. Keep it pure and 100% organic.

Leaf Litter should be "Magnolia" leaves and small "live oak" .
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#7
what would you recommend as an alternative to ABG mix?
and the magnoila leaves and live oak, will they be available in say, a garden center?
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#8
Here ya go on just about everything:

http://www.dartfrog.co.uk/equipment/landscape.html
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"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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#9
Thanks dude. I got all the info from the site and will check the garden centers if they have it. Thanks again.
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#10
Quite welcome....glad to help sort you out.
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"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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#11
Regarding the hydroton, pretty much any hydroponics store will have it too...
I didnt see in your info, but where are you located? May be some local froggers that can point you in the right direction as well.
derek
1.5 kids and a bunch of frogs
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#12
I think he's in the U.K somewhere.
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"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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#13
Not so sure on that Phil, his use of the term "Dude" as opposed to the term "Mate" tells me he's state side, but then this isnt a thread on site specific posters Big Grin . We'll have to stay tuned and see, maybe Rich will chime in.... Big Grin .

Quote:Thanks dude. I got all the info from the site and will check the garden centers if they have it. Thanks again
Derek

Ps: No matter where your from, welcome to the site and hope you enjoy your stay Scar...
1.5 kids and a bunch of frogs
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#14
lol thanks. yes i am from england btw. manchester (north-west) to be precise.i have searched for local hobbiest but there arent many. i think i found a few, but i have no way of finding them at all. nevermind though, i dont mind a 2hour drive much. thanks
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#15
sorry for double post (i couldnt edit my post above) but the link phil posted above "http://www.dartfrog.co.uk/equipment/landscape.html" is actually the same company i plan to my my PDF's from. does anyone have any experience from this company? are they reliable etc?
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#16
That Business - "Dart Frog" U.K has been around for awhile and I've heard of several members over your way, buying frogs from there.

I think Stu (Stu&Shaz) just bought a few frogs there very recently - I'd give them a PM.
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"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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#17
ok thanks. also, is there anyway to stop them breeding? i wouldn't mind little baby tadpoles (got some in my garden) but i'm not sure that i have enough space for that many frogs. can i stop them breeding or should i just let nature take its course and sell of the babies ASAP?
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#18
Getting them to breed and taking the eggs all the way to tadpole - let alone, froglet size is actually a lot harder than you think. It's far from easy. A lot of time, eggs will dry up, won't be fertile and 15 or so other things can go wrong.

You could:

1. Not pull the eggs and let them dry up in the viv.
2. Pull the eggs and dispose of them.
3. Get all male frogs.
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