How to buy a frog...

7 Replies, 1989 Views

I'm starting this thread sort of in response to the "ethics in the hobby" thread of Phils.
What I'm hoping for is a list of tips, questions etc... that a new person in the hobby should always ask a seller to help ensure they are getting a quality animal.
If you dont know the questions to ask, you cant ask the questions Smile

So, to start with:

Pictures: Always ask for a picture of the actual frog you are purchasing. I see a number of individuals who post that "the frog I received was very skinny and sick looking", a picture could have possibly saved this issue. If you cant get a picture, it doesn't always mean theres an issue, but, you should proceed with caution.

Lots of other suggestions come to mind, but, we'll see what others come up with hopefully.
1.5 kids and a bunch of frogs
Try to avoid shipping.

Unless you live in Montucky or South Takota, there should be plenty of options- people and places to get quality frogs within 1-3 miles of you.

A lot can go wrong with shipping - some possibilities and considerations:

1. Heat pack used in cold weather cooked the Frog or failed to heat the frog. Cold pack failed to cool.
2. Shipping Carrier lost / crushed / delayed the box and Frogs suffered.
3. Frog arrives looking sick, injured, not as pictured.
4. Replacement / Reimbursement is very hard to do.
5. Additional expense of $50 - $100.00 on top of the Frog(s).
6. Very hard to renegotiate issues or problems with people far away.

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
Asking for references is always good, as well as exploring other forums to find information related to the seller.

Making a forum post asking others to share their experiences with (name of potential seller) always brings in tons of information too!

I usually ask a lot of questions that most beginners wouldn't know to ask. I will try to convey as much as I can here, but am too short on time to organize my thoughts, so please bear with me! :-)

I inquire how one puts tanks together, to learn if they use proper sterilization methods.

Asking what they feed, what nutritional powder they use, and how often they use it can't hurt either.

If you're getting a frog shipped to you DEFINITELY ask about a live-arrival guarantee. You don't want to pay all that money, just to have them show up dead or dying, then realize you're screwed. This is also a good reason to look into the person you're considering buying from. Make sure they are a trusted source.

Although I do agree it's best to get frogs local, when you can, I happily pay shipping in order to get frogs that are healthier from more knowledgeable, more careful breeders. Which brings me to another point:

Watch what you're paying. Like most things, you get what you pay for. There are some sellers out there who are just money hungry, and even though they cost more, definitely do not offer a higher quality dart frog. Then there are also those who are money hungry and go another route, breed like crazy and sell as many as they can for as cheap as they can. So beware of frogs waaay cheaper than they should be. It's impossible, for me anyways, to raise frogs in the healthiest manner I know, and sell them for $25/per. I would be making waaaay less than minimum wage, and wouldn't have the money to keep the terrarium lights on for the half the day they need to be.

On top of learning how/if they sterilize, inquire about what quarantining procedures they use, if they do fecal tests, and their average frog life span. These beautiful creatures are able to live 20+ years if raised, fed, and taken care of right. Anyone that expects 5 years out of the frogs they're selling you, has frogs you should probably not buy.

Another good technique for buying a frog is how you ask your questions. I find that no matter what you know you get more honest answers, telling you the true limit of someones knowledge, by asking questions from a standpoint of ignorance.

For example, instead of asking, "Do you wash your hands before reaching into a frogs tank?" It might be better to ask, "Is it important for me to wash my hands before reaching into my frogs tank?" or, "Do I need to wash anything I put into the terrarium I'm building?"

Asking like you don't know gives sellers less of an edge, and makes them more likely to reveal the true limit to their knowledge.

Now just because someone is more knowledgeable doesn't necessarily mean they have healthier frogs, but it's more likely they will!!

One final thing to help when purchasing a frog: Search the forums for someone who appears knowledgeable, friendly, and ready to help others learn. It's even better if you can find someone like this local to you. Tell them you are considering getting a frog, and would like some assistance w/ making sure you make a successful purchase you're satisfied with. If you're lucky, they might be a trusted seller themselves. If you already have a specific seller in mind, the knowledgeable person you found on the forum might already know a thing or two about that seller, or know someone who knows the seller in question they can introduce you to. If you find someone local to you who seems friendly and full of information, see if they'll meet up with you. There's lots of good froggers out there eager to help newcomer.... Sadly, there's probably just as many jerks.....

Ok, gotta run. When I think of more, I'll definitely come back and add it!



P.S. Pardon any spelling or grammar. No times to proofread!
DendroTerra - A site in the making...
DOn't forget to use the search button on the forums on said member if you are buying from one of the forums. Not only will you get post/threads that they have made but also feedback if the forum allows it will come up as well. The frogs I bought I googled the breeders name/business for reviews and got what I was looking for.

I also ask for background info linage, import date, breeder they got their founding stock from etc...This way if something sounds hinky you can all ways search out who they got the frogs from this way you can get more background info and see if everything lines up. I ask as well if they have been recalled although I still plan on doing it myself it is nice to know the base that you are starting from. Much of what Tobias posted is what I believe and follow
I will add some thoughts to this as well.
I always follow up on the frogs I sell plus want the buyers to know to call me with any questions or concerns.
If I do not know the answer I will find it.
I always encourage QT and fecals to the buyers of my frogs.

I have found that there alot of sellers that just want the almighty dollar and do not have the time to answer questions.
I care about all of my frogs including the ones I sell.
Recalled= Fecal tested.....Never heard of a recalled frog...LOL
Another one I'll add.
There is no hurry, there is no rush. Avoid impulse buys.
When I build a tank I know ahead of time what type of frog I'm going to put in it, tinc, pum, thumb etc... and build it accordingly. If you follow "proper" QT procedures, you have time from when the tank begins, to when your finnished with construction, time to let the plants grow in and micro fauna to get established. I see alot of people building, getting done, then asking "what kind of frog do I get".

If its going into QT, not right into a viv, it doesnt matter what stage of construction your viv is in, you can look for the frog you want from a seller you can research and trust. I start looking as soon as I start building, knowing atleast what morph Im getting to narrow my search, and build the tank accordingly. I recently picked up a pair of pums, had an 18 x 24 tall exo sitting around (that i had purchased specifically for pums Smile )and started building the day before they arrived, they are sitting happily in their QT container right now.
1.5 kids and a bunch of frogs

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