A Care sheet for Young Froggers

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Often times when we think of a care sheet, its very scientifically written etc...all good information for most of the intended readers. However, one of the things I learned back in school, when writing, remember who you are writing to, or who will be reading it. This care sheet is a little different spin on the official care sheets "formatted" else where.

The story behind it: I was asked by a co-worker to build a viv for his sons birthday. His boy was turning 8. He wanted it complete with a water feature and frogs. I supplied him with 3 leucs, an 18 cube exo, suplements, lights and bulbs, even a mister so he would have everything he needed. In the end, the boy lost interest (mom didnt care for the fruit flies which didnt help either) and I bought it all back from him. I also supplied him with this care sheet. Having had several 8 year olds now, and having read MANY childrens books, I tried to write it in a way an 8 year old could understand and easily comprehend, it took maybe 45 minutes to type up.


Hi! My name is Derek, and I built the tank you got for your birthday. I’m sorry I’m a little late, but I wanted to make sure that it had everything it needed to be the best home it could be for the animals that are inside of it. I wanted to take a couple minutes and tell you a couple things about it, and what’s inside.

First the name for this type of tank is called a “vivarium”, but most people just call it a “viv” because its easier to say. Viv’s are little worlds all by themselves. They are places where plants and animals from very far away places can live. Here in Michigan, with our cold winters and hot summers, many animals from other parts of the world cant survive (that’s why you don’t see giraffes in your back yard). But inside of a viv, the temperature is always the same, and something called “humidity” is always the same. This is called a “controlled environment”. Your viv is set up to be just like a little piece of a tropical, South American rain forest, like what you would see on the discovery channel.
Whats inside your viv is very special. Your viv is home to 3 poison dart frogs. These frogs came all the way from Brazil (a very far away country) to live with you. There are many, many different types of poison dart frog. These are called “leucamelas”, or “leucs”, but I like to call them bumble bees because they are black and yellow like a bumble bee. Because they came from so far away, we want to make sure that we take extra special care of them. So there are going to be a couple rules.

Rule #1 is misting. These frogs come from a rain forest where it is very humid, so in their viv we have to recreate that humidity. We do that just by spraying the insides down with the water bottle I gave your dad. You only have to do this once a day, if you miss a day, its not that big of deal though. What is important is the water you use. Only use bottled spring water that you would buy from a store. The water from your kitchen sink has chemicals in it that can hurt the frogs. So make sure you let your mom know when your running low on water. Also, before you open the doors look to see where they are.

Rule #2 is vitamins. In the wild the frogs get their vitamins from the bugs they eat. The bugs we feed them though don’t have any of these vitamins. Im going to show your dad how to do it, but you will have to make sure that you do it when you feed them. I give them their vitamins every time I feed them. If you don’t, the frogs can get very sick. The vitamins that im giving to you are only good for 6 months after you open them. Im going to write the date on the containers so you will know when you need more.

Rule #3 is no picking them up. Now, just because they are called poison dart frogs doesn’t mean they are poisonous. In the wild they are from the bugs they eat, but these ones will not make you sick at all. But, we still don’t want to pick them up or take them out. They get scared really easy. Usually, the more you leave them alone, the more you will see them. It takes a little time for them to get comfortable in their new home, but the safer they feel, the more they will be out.

Rule #4 is temperature. Mainly, they will be fine anywhere in your house you put them, except for in direct sunlight. The viv is just like a green house, it will get hot really fast if the sun is on it, so right in front of a window is not a good place. The same thing in the winter, if you put them by the door you come into or go out of a lot, they can get too cold.

Rule #5 is putting things from the outside into your tank. Dart frogs absorb water thru their skin, they don’t have to drink water, but, if anything you put in your tank has bad stuff on it they will absorb that thru their skin too. Even putting bugs in there can be bad. Ive even heard of a person who put a praying mantis in the tank, it ate the frogs.

Rule #6 is about food. Dart frogs like to eat fruit flies. Im going to get you a clear plastic cup or “Kit” for making bugs, you will need to do this every week. Probably 2 cups 1 week, 1 cup the next. But, fruitflies like to escape from the viv. They cant really fly but they crawl real fast. The reason they escape is not to get away from the frogs, but to look for food. So, if we give them a little bit of food they will stay put. I like to put 2 or 3 little slices of banana in the viv, the fruitflies will stay on the bananas and your frogs will be able to find them pretty easy, and, your mom will be happy because the bugs wont get out.

Really its pretty easy, you feed them, spray them, and look at them, they’ll be fine. Make sure they don’t escape (they can only live for an hour or two outside of the viv before they get too dry). If you have a boy, he will start singing at about 6 months old, yours right now I think are 5 months old. But the girls take a little longer than that before they start to lay eggs. They like to lay eggs inside the coconut hut in your viv. In another month or 2 put the lid of a butter dish under the cocohut, check it every other day or so and maybe youll get some eggs, they lay 4-10 eggs per time. If and when that happens, have your dad talk to me.

If you have any questions about anything, write them down and ill answer them. I hope you have fun with them, and if you need anything I will do my best to help.

1.5 kids and a bunch of frogs
This is my second entry to the contest Big Grin
If you have a similar idea on a care sheet, or other similar story, please share.
1.5 kids and a bunch of frogs
Wow. What a great idea to make a short concise care sheet geared to young kids.

Much needed !


"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
Thanks Phil. It was actually kinda fun to write.
1.5 kids and a bunch of frogs
That's really good Derek.....
And, an easy read for adults burning the midnight oil :mrgreen:
1.5 kids and a bunch of frogs
By the way, if anybody wants the original word document, shoot me a pm and I'll email it to you. Its generic enough to make some simple changes and apply to many different frogs.
1.5 kids and a bunch of frogs
That is a great write up Derek! My boys would understand every bit of it.

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