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New to frogs, dendrobates azuereus and dwarf guinea
#1
Hello,

I was at the Concord, NC Repticon show today and purchased 1x azuerus and 2x dwarf guinea dendrobates frogs from underthecanopyfarms.net. I was looking for frogs that stay small, are hardy, colorful, and don't make noise and these are my favorites of the ones they recommended. I also purchased an exoterra vivarium and the folks I bought the frogs from (I believe it was Tom and Jane?) set up the viv for me with orchid bark and some kind of living moss for substrate, a cocnut hut and cork bark for decorations, and a few different bromileads as well. I also purchased a starter colony of fruit flies. Unfortunately this was an impulse buy but I do have some experience with exotics so I'm hoping I can figure it all out if I do enough research and get some help from internet forum gurus =)

I found out the fruit flies aren't all flightless when I opened the container at home. Is that pretty common, or should I worry about that? Also, they recommended "calcium plus" as a supplement that will take care of both vitamins and calcium but they were sold out so I still need to get something. Does anyone have any experience with this stuff and is it the "best" all in one I can get?

I've been able to find plenty of info on the azureus, they seem to be pretty popular. I'm surprised that I couldn't find much info on the dwarf guineas, they really have a ton of color. From the pictures I've seen they look similar to the cobalt blues but with orange heads. Does anyone have any info on these?

I'm already planning on upgrading their tank in the near future. This small exoterra is cute but ... I've seen fruit flies escaping through the crack between the closed doors and that's simply not ok. I am thinking about getting a standard 10 gallon and raising the substrate off the bottom of the tank via some egg crate and plastic netting sitting on some pvc pipe legs (got the idea from Tom). I then want to have a pump suck water from underneath the false floor into a little 1/2 cut pvc pipe "stream" that runs around the false floor and then empties into a shallow pool before going back underneath. I thought this might also provide some mechanical filtration of the water if I could attach a sponge to the intake, although accessing the sponge for cleaning may prove tricky. Has anyone done anything like this before?

Here's a camera phone shot of the current exoterra setup [Image: dartfrogsfront.jpg]
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#2
I don't want to kill your optimism but some issues need to be address to help with successful keeping.

1. A 10 gallon is to small for a water feature, and those froglets will quickly out grow it. I recommend completing two 20 gallons. Mixing morphs and species is not recommended. So the azereus will need to be separated from the dwarfs.

2. I like using LECA for false bottoms, then landscaping fabric barrier then my soil mix of milled sphagnum, coco fiber, and orchid bark milled in a blender. Zilla has a nice blend of sphagnum and fir bark already mixed.

3. Once substrate is layed then add leaf liter, and then use your live moss, broms, and other plants.

Order more fruit flies, you will need more.

I would mist twice a day, morning and after noon. Did you replace the screen top of your Exo-Terra?
Later and Happy Frogging,
Jason Juchems
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#3
Some types fruit flies "jump" or glide a bit....maybe you have those ?

Supplements - Vitamins and Calcium for dusting FF can be found at your local Petsmart or Petco.

A 10 gallon tank is going to be too small for 3 frogs of that size and absoultely too small to even consider any size pump and water feature.

All the information for beginners- especially your questions are here in the Beginner forum or elsewhere. Readily and easily findable. After some searching and reading....please post more questions. We are all more than happen to answer and assist with anything you need.

Tank looks....dry. Do you have a glass top covering 90-100% of the top ?

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"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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#4
It seemed to me that the flies were flying, although I could be wrong.
I haven't replaced the top, although I wrapped some plastic wrap around part of it. I'll wrap it around the whole top and see how that works. It's pretty dry in here, even with my fishtanks. I'm about to get some spring water and a mister to keep things wet in there. I'm also going to hit petsmart to get a hygrometer and check out their supplements (hopefully the petsmart store clerks will be a bit more forthcoming about supplements).

I've got to admit that I feel like I've been given a chilly welcome. I've spent more years than I care to tell helping people on fish-forums so I understand the frustration with new people coming in asking the same old questions, but to be honest it's hard to search for things when you're new to a hobby and don't know the right terminology. That's where, in theory, you experienced folk can help lead us newbies down the right path. Heck, why not put up a sticky with links to this information that, for you, is so easy to find?

For example, "water feature" is totally new to me and the search terms "river" or "stream" pull up information mostly on the origin of wildcaught specimens. Now that I know what to look for I've found a few good threads to read (although I don't see why a 10 gallon is too small). The term "dwarf guinea" simply pulls up my thread here and it's not listed in the species list. The care sheet sticky for newbies on this forum is helpful but, as you can see, I'm looking for a bit more detailed information. I appreciate the fact that the frogs would ideally have 20 gallon tanks to themselves, but can you tell me why they need that much space? To someone with no knowledge of this stuff that seems like a lot of space for tiny frogs that aren't territorial.

Is there another forum I should check out that may be a bit more newb-friendly?
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#5
Oh we are newb friendly. You are going to get 100% real, honest, helpful info here. I'm not sure what exactly you wanted. You didn't post an "announcement type" thread or give your name, so I think the info and reply could be looked at as a little impersonal, based on that.

Some other things that have given us some "pause" and may be construed as "chilly" :

1. The admitted impulse buy. Not uncommon in any animal hobby, but still a little hard to take sometimes.

2. The sale of multiple morph frogs to a beginner. Something the majority of the hobby does not condone. Also, I've been in the hobby for @ 7 years and I've never heard of "dwarf guinea" Tincs. Are all these frogs Captive Born / small size, or are they larger - hard to tell from your cell phone pic.

3. A less than stellar report of aftercare post sales from your vendor. It appears they sold you frogs foremost with very little supplementary assistance. They didn't hook you up with Calcium and Vitamins right there at the Expo ?

Just some thoughts. BTW, this forum has helped countless new hobbyists. It contains a veritable "Library of Alexandria" / treasure trove of information. It's helped many people and it stands ever ready to help you with whatever you need.
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"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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#6
I think a key point is "successful keeping." You have made your investment in keeping terrarium specimens, you made a post and the most pertinent issues were addressed. I just wanted to give you the up front facts, no one wants to see you have issues in husbandry. Care sheets provide minimal information, and you stated you are looking for more detailed information, have you consider buying a book ? There are several on the market.

Plenty of information is provided on this forum to get you are the right track.
Later and Happy Frogging,
Jason Juchems
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#7
I forgot to mention, the frogs are more than likely French Guinea Dwarf Cobalts. That should help with researching.
Later and Happy Frogging,
Jason Juchems
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#8
I guess I could have done a better introduction! The name's Adam, I'm a Pisces, I work with computers. I like reading, walks on the beach, animals, and surfing =P I've kept fish tanks since I was a kid, I used to keep reef tanks when I lived at the beach, and since I moved away (darn economy!) I switched back to cichlids and planted tanks. I've also got a dog, two cats, and a girlfriend who's not into "icky" pets but is digging these beautiful frogs.

You're right, impulse buys can get you into trouble. I could certainly see how that would irritate people who've devoted so much of their time to the hobby but I hope you understand that I want to do the best I can for my new little buddies.

I did talk with the vendor for a good while before and after the purchase, picking their brains and weighing the options. I know animals are always harder to keep than people at shows say they are but the vendors seemed very knowledgeable and I was hoping I could figure out the finer points as I go along. They recommended the repashy calcium+ sup. but were all sold out. I figured I'd ask around and get some more opinions before deciding on anything. I got a trial size Flukers "calcium with vitamin d" at petsmart that I'm hoping will last long enough for me to make a decision. From what I've read there is no consensus on supplements besides "variety is best" so I'm thinking about getting rep-cal calcium with vitamin D3, repashy supervite, and repashy calcium plus and using a different one every day. Any opinions on that mix? Does anyone know what the shelf-life on these products are? With only 3 frogs I'm hoping they last at least a couple years or else I'll be wasting a lot.

The vendors said all the frogs they sell are captive bred. See the camera-phone picture below to get an idea of how big they are vs. a quarter. This cobalt is maybe a tiny bit smaller than the other, the azureus is just a tad bigger and bulkier.

Why do you suggest against having multiple kinds (morphs?) of frogs in the same enclosure? Not arguing against experience here, it's just that the vendor said they should be fine if they're of similar size and are raised together. I do have an extra 20l that I occasionally use as a quarantine tank for my fish. Will possible traces of fish meds on the glass prove an issue for frogs?

I saw all three frogs eat today although the one in the photo above is the only one that went out and did any hunting. The other two just sat in their hiding spots and lapped up anything that came by. It's hard to tell how much to feed these guys!

Thanks for the heads up, JJ. I still haven't been able to find much info on these but from what I've read they're similar to the regular cobalts, just a bit smaller. I'd rather not buy a book if I can discuss things with a knowledgeable community in real time.

[Image: frogvsquarter.jpg]
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#9
Shinosuke Wrote:I guess I could have done a better introduction! The name's Adam, I'm a Pisces, I work with computers. I like reading, walks on the beach, animals, and surfing =P I've kept fish tanks since I was a kid, I used to keep reef tanks when I lived at the beach, and since I moved away (darn economy!) I switched back to cichlids and planted tanks. I've also got a dog, two cats, and a girlfriend who's not into "icky" pets but is digging these beautiful frogs.

You're right, impulse buys can get you into trouble. I could certainly see how that would irritate people who've devoted so much of their time to the hobby but I hope you understand that I want to do the best I can for my new little buddies.

I did talk with the vendor for a good while before and after the purchase, picking their brains and weighing the options. I know animals are always harder to keep than people at shows say they are but the vendors seemed very knowledgeable and I was hoping I could figure out the finer points as I go along. They recommended the repashy calcium+ sup. but were all sold out. I figured I'd ask around and get some more opinions before deciding on anything. I got a trial size Flukers "calcium with vitamin d" at petsmart that I'm hoping will last long enough for me to make a decision. From what I've read there is no consensus on supplements besides "variety is best" so I'm thinking about getting rep-cal calcium with vitamin D3, repashy supervite, and repashy calcium plus and using a different one every day. Any opinions on that mix? Does anyone know what the shelf-life on these products are? With only 3 frogs I'm hoping they last at least a couple years or else I'll be wasting a lot.


The vendors said all the frogs they sell are captive bred. See the camera-phone picture below to get an idea of how big they are vs. a quarter. This cobalt is maybe a tiny bit smaller than the other, the azureus is just a tad bigger and bulkier.

Why do you suggest against having multiple kinds (morphs?) of frogs in the same enclosure? Not arguing against experience here, it's just that the vendor said they should be fine if they're of similar size and are raised together. I do have an extra 20l that I occasionally use as a quarantine tank for my fish. Will possible traces of fish meds on the glass prove an issue for frogs?

I saw all three frogs eat today although the one in the photo above is the only one that went out and did any hunting. The other two just sat in their hiding spots and lapped up anything that came by. It's hard to tell how much to feed these guys!

Thanks for the heads up, JJ. I still haven't been able to find much info on these but from what I've read they're similar to the regular cobalts, just a bit smaller. I'd rather not buy a book if I can discuss things with a knowledgeable community in real time.

[Image: frogvsquarter.jpg]
Hello Adam.
Thanks for joining Dart Den. This is the forum that can and will help you, you're in the right place.

Sounds like you have your hands full so we will try to help you sort things out the best we can.
A good rule of thumb is one frog per 10 gal size enclosure. Even though the frogs are small, they need there space, so anytime you can provide the max space possible it will be a plus for you and the frogs. In the wild a frogs territory is measured in meters, not inches. What you have obtained are probably juvenile frogs so keep in mind they will get larger.
I would STRONGLY urge you to separate the azureus, it will quickly become the dominate frog in that group and the others will suffer.
It is not acceptable in this hobby to mix different species/morphs, due to the fact that they can and will crossbreed. We do not accept hybrids (aka designer morphs) in the dart frog hobby. Also keep in mind that frogs like people have different attitudes and temperaments, they do not all get along and play nice, these frogs are territorial. Some do well in group settings if they are provided with enough space others do best in male/female pairs. As for the vendor telling you they would be fine in the same enclosure, I HOPE they meant they could be housed together temporarily as juvi frogs, and not as a long term solution.

As for feeding the flys need to be dusted at every feeding. We use and recommend the Rep-Cal and Herptivite vitamins. Some folks also work the Repashy calcium plus ICB in to the rotation. The Rep-Cal and Herptivite have date codes stamped on the container, you want to purchase the freshest product possible with a date code at least one year out. Once the vitamins have been opened they start to degrade. Expired vitamins are of no benefit to the frogs and could be detrimental. Once opened we keep ours in the fridge. I suggest writing the date that you opened the vitamins on the container so you can keep track of it. Most people replace their vitamins between 6 and 12 months after they have been opened. So yes, you will have a large quantity of unused vitamins, better safe than sorry.
It sounds like you need to find a source for some flightless fruit flys and start culturing asap. You can use the flys you have, to feed. I would put them in the fridge for a few minutes to slow them down, then feed to the frogs. I would also place a piece small of fruit (banana, peach) in the tank for a feeding station. This will help attract the flys and give the frogs a chance to find their meal.

It would be helpful if you could post your location, we can try to locate a fellow frogger in your area that can help.
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#10
Thanks for the kindly welcome!I'm near Charlotte, NC. If there are any other froggers near here I'd very much like to meet them! I never learn so much about fish as when I visit someone with an impressive "fish room", no doubt there are some pretty good "frog rooms" around as well that I can learn a lot from.

Does anyone know about using old fish tanks as vivs? I've got that 20 long that I can use but, as I mentioned, it has had fish medications used in it.

I'm running into a bit of an issue feeding. Either my frogs aren't eating enough or I'm over feeding. They all seem to be pretty plump still so I'm guessing I'm over feeding. I don't see but a couple FF's in the tank at most times but when I mist it they come out of the "reindeer moss" by the dozens. The frogs either really enjoy the spritzing or have learned that it means the ff's come out because they come running into the open when I mist the tank. About how many FF's should I be feeding per meal if I want to feed 2x a day and the 3 froglets are all about the size of the one in my previous picture?

On the feeding note, the vendor I got them from said to make a new FF culture 1x a month and that should work just fine for all 3 frogs. From what I'm reading, people say to make one a week per frog! That's a huge difference, so what is the real-world recommendation?

Does anyone have any links to "construction of a viv w/ water feature" articles, hopefully 20 long specific? Luckily I just started working for a hardware wholesaler so I can get most materials on the cheap but I'd still like to learn how other people create realistic backgrounds and floors, keep their pumps accessible, and do all those other things that you don't think about doing before you start slapping great stuff into the back of an aquarium for the first time! I'm also curious as to which plants would work well in a tank that's only a foot high like 20 longs are.

One last thing I wanted to ask about is humidity. When I mist the tank the humidity goes up to 100% and stays there for a couple hours before coming back down. It is usually about 70-75% in the morning and after work when I spray it. Is it alright for the humidity to go up so much during a mist or should I cut back on the water?
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#11
some advice:

1. On the 20 gallon that had "fish medications" used in it. I wouldn't use it. I'd pay the $30.00 for a new tank or wait until the bi-annual Petco or Petsmart tanks sales at $1.00 per gallon.

If you have the $$, and want to "do it right"....buy a Front Opening vivarium such as an Exoterra or Zoomed. Front opening is the way to go.

2. Plump frogs are much better than skinny frogs.

3. You need to make a New FF culture EVERY WEEK. For three frogs, I would make 2 new cultures - pick a day of the week and stick to it. My FF culture day is every single Sunday. If you miss a week....you will have a gap in production and things will one day.....go badly.

4. For your first viv...I'd skip the water feature and concentrate on general husbandry issues. Water features are not nessa for frog keeping and are more for human aesthetics than for the frogs.

5. You need a glass lid that covers between 85-100%of the tank. Glass is MUCH better than plastic, plexi or saran wrap. Covering the top will glass will ensure good humidity. As long as the tank "looks moist" and there is some water condensation of the glass sides and / or plants....than you know your humidity levels are at least "ok".

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"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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#12
Yes, it is always much easier to 'understand' when you can see a frog room in action!!
There are some froggers in your area, just need to flush them out!

Old fish tanks are what most people use. Very cost effective, and easy to work with, not likely to leak.
Do you know what type of medications were use in the tank? The only one I would be very concerned about would be anything with copper, but then it would depend on how long ago it was used too.
I would take the tank and fill it to the brim with water and add a 5-10% bleach solution to it, let it sit for an hour, the drain and rinse. Then refill with clean water and add an aquarium de-chlorinator and let it sit for a few minutes, drain and rinse, and let it air dry. Then you should be good to go!

A good rule of thumb is setting up one new culture of flies per 2 frogs per week,. So if you have 2 frogs, plan to make one NEW culture of flies per week, if you have 4 frogs, plan on making 2 cultures per week, etc.
Remember, it is ALWAYS better to have too many flies, than not enough!

Trying to set up a tank with a water feature is going to be a challenge, especially in anything less than about a 29 gal size tank. I know others have done it, heck we have even done it in a 10 gal tank, would I do it again..........hell no! I do not set up a tank with a water feature unless I can drill the tank and have an external canister filter. I know a lot of people are big on having in tank pumps, but these are just too much of a hassle, and not worth it in my opinion, as you will be limited in your planting selections since you will need to maintain accessibility to the pump because IT WILL BECOME CLOGGED!

As for your humidity, what type of gauges are you using to measure your temps, and humidity?

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