Give it to me straight...

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Hi everyone! My daughter and I are researching frogs for her as a pet. Obviously, we know that any type of frog we get will not be a pet she can play with and handle. That is fine with us. And we also realize that at 8 years of age, I will be doing most of the work. Orginally, we were thinking a Red Eyed Tree Frog, simply because they look so neat! But then, the guy at the reptile store said that the green dart frogs were more active during the day and fun to watch. So we've been leaning towards getting a couple green dart frogs.

What is the difficulty level of taking care of these little creatures?? Low being 1 and high being 10.

I've been reading online sources for about two weeks now and am getting conflicting information. I just want to be completely informed before we spend any more money on this little adventure. I already spent $100 on a terrarium and substrate. Of course, as is my luck, there is a no cash return policy at the store I bought them from. Smile That doesn't bother me much, as I'm sure we could find another creature to inhabit this little set up.

I just do not want to risk the life of an innocent little frog or two because of my ignorance, so can you help a girl out??
the trickiest part about these frogs is the small live insects which the frogs require. there are options. if a nearby pet store has fruit flies and pinhead crickets steadily available, and you don't mind spending the money, that would work. many online feeder insect breeders (ED's flymeat, for example) also offer regular deliveries, again at a price. the cheapest way is to culture your own insects. look through the food section here for ideas.
also look at the q&a, newbie, and construction sections here on the board. you should find tons of info, and can come back with more specific questions.
as for the green darts, i assume the guy means auratus. these are larger(by dart standards) and commonly recommended as beginner frogs. they reportedly (i'm sure not going to experiment on mine) handle a wider range of temp. and humidity. you should shoot for mid to upper 70's for auratus with humidity between 80% and 100%. with live food, temp, and humidity under cocontrol, lighting the plants is the last challenge. you want enough light for plants, but to not heat up the viv to unacceptable levels. playing around with a thermometer/hygrometer for a few days should allow you to nail down your peparameters within a few days.
one thing i would add is that auratus are very shy frogs, so while they are active during the day, they are not really bold. my green and black are bolder than my blue and black, but even so it would take a patient 8 year old to really enjoy them. i think boldness varies frog to frog, but some species, like tinctorius, are very bold and very seldom hide. tincs are a bit more expensive than auratus, but if i were buying for an 8 year old i'd probably go for tincs or leucomelas. i don't own any leucs, so i'm basing this on what is commonly recommendended in books and boards. all three species (auratus, leucs, and tincs) are often suggested as good beginner frogs. again, look around at different posts and use the search function on the board, and you'll find lots of good info.

good luck!
Thank you so much for your reply!

I have a local reptile store that is kind of directing me on how to set everything up. But it is a bit overwhelming to tell you the truth. We bought an Exo Terra Terrarium, Blusana pebbles (???) and some Zoo Med expanding substate. Are these all things that will work?? I haven't set anything up yet, but would like to start here in the next few days.

One thing I forgot to ask when I bought this stuff, what type of water do I use? I've read conflicting reports about distilled water. Is bottled water ok? I believe tap water is out, right?
is the exo terra the one with the swinging doors then bugs could get out of the cracks in the tank. about the tank a regular 10 gallon will a screen top will do fine for 2 will also be cheaper. don't think i ever heard of those pebbles. also i don't know how the substrate mix is good for a tank.
just check the forums on how other people do things. i used one of my tanks something called jungle mix by ????? i can't find the bag right now to tell you the company. might even be exo terra. then all you need is some plants and you will be set.
the little one can even help with the set up.
Just off of intuition, I'm guessing an 8 year old that can't touch her little pets will lose interest pretty quick. Than again, she may be more patient and curious enough to enjoy observing these beautiful creatures. My point, if *you* are ready to take care of the frogs - go for it! They're quite enjoyable to watch.

Mack told ya' and I'll testify, know your food source before you get PDFs! Its cheaper to raise fruit fly cultures yourself, but you may have a local food source or have the money to have flies sent to you. It is *the* most important part in keeping these little guys (and gals.) Before you get PDFs, you have to learn to raise a new pet... fruit flies.

Do a little looking through the construction forums. There are a million ways to make a good tank, but some will save you time and effort in the long run. A false bottom with an easy way to drain excess water is a good start. A hole in the bottom of the tank will help ... not necessary, but I wish I'd done that myself.

As far as water goes, you can use tap water ONLY if you add a de-chlorinater (there's reptile specific stuff, but the freshwater aquarium stuff is just the same.) The friend I got my frogs from told me just to use bottled spring water - not distilled water. Spring water still contains the trace minerals that's good for the plants and frogs in the tank.

The stuff you purchased sounds OK - just make sure the tank doesn't let flies out. I don't know what blusana pebbles are... but if they're safe for an aquarium they'll be fine. Exo-Terra stuff should all be good for a tank.

Read up - there's plenty of info around here and the net. Don't be overwhelmed, just be prepared. Its more fun to measure twice than find a dead pet - especially if you're an 8 year old girl, get me? Keep asking questions - lots of informed folks to help you out!
hey there AIM,

good luck on your studies about darts. as everyone has stated, they will end up as your pet. the auratus can be very shy too sometimes around alot of movement. i was wondering if you would be so kind as to share the pet store's name and location so other froggers in your area, and especially those new to the hobby, will know where they can find dart frogs. thanks
1.1.1 Hawaiian Auratus (reticulated), 1.2.2 Leucomelas, 3.2.1 Cobalt Tincs, 1.0.0 Kauluha & Creme / Camo Auratus, 2.0.1 Yelloback Tincs, 0.0.4 Azureus, 1.1.0 Spotted Auratus
Rivetchick Wrote:hey there AIM,

good luck on your studies about darts. as everyone has stated, they will end up as your pet. the auratus can be very shy too sometimes around alot of movement. i was wondering if you would be so kind as to share the pet store's name and location so other froggers in your area, and especially those new to the hobby, will know where they can find dart frogs. thanks

I've been thinking the leucs might be a better bet at this point. I'm really rethinking the whole frog thing after reading more about them last night. I can't stress enough how much I don't want to kill an innocent little creature.

Anyways, the store I've been going to is Global Exotics Pets in Kitchener, Ontario. The guys in there have been very helpful and have a wide selection of animals.

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