Just starting out

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I have been doing a lot of research into dart frogs and am very interested in getting into the hobby. I have a few questions to ask though on whats needed to convert my vivarium as i have read so many different points of view and whether its big enough and roughly how many would be advisable to have, I'm not bothered about cramming them in the tank just making them as happy as possible.
My vivarium is 24 inches wide by 18 high and 18 deep, its an exo terra one with a mesh lid, i also have an exo terra light unit on it but its just a basic one and was wondering whether to upgrade it to a light cycle unit to make it as natural as possible, is this a waste of money, and what do you think of misting systems in comparison to doing it your self.
My final question is when it comes to a lay out for the bumble bee darts, what kind of water quantity do they need, as in do they need a pool and do they prefer lots of live plants or fairly few.
I know these are basic questions but i always compare answers and there are so many contradicting answers I'm not shaw who's advise to go by.
Any advise would be greatly appreciated and once again sorry for the basic questions.
That's a very good style (brand and model) enclosure. You'll need some cut glass to lay on top of the screen though. Need to keep humidity high.

Lighting is no biggie. Any hardware store fixtures and 65K bulbs are fine. No need to spend money on fancy lights.

Same with misting. Buy a nice $17.00 medium sized pump hand mister from Lowes or Home Depot.

No need for a pool - Dart Frogs don't use pools / ponds or waterfalls. Dart Frogs do better with live plants - they also help hold in humidity / moisture. Live plants are easy to find. Go to your local greenhouse or plant nursery and ask them for 'Terrarium friendly plants".

Tap water - Is used by many people. If you feel that your "city" water or well water is suspect, use grocery store bottled "Spring Water" instead. NO need for RO or distilled water.


"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
First off - Welcome to Dart Den!

Some other tips to help you out...
If you buy plants from local store (ie.. Home Depot/Lowes) make sure to clean the roots of soil and give plant a flash bath in solution of water with small amt of mild soap or 1 cap of bleach in 5 gal bucket (then rinse in fresh a few times). Its easy to import unwanted insects.

As Phil said, tap water works fine, but I like to use cheap distilled water (from store) in my sprayer to avoid mineral build up on the viv glass. If your house has a water softener, prob not an issue.

I use exoterra hoods with the LED screw in light from Light your reptiles (my personal preference). If you live in warmer climate this will help you during summer. (Fyi -you might add your location to profile - this will help you network w other froggers) Also, Just buy a cheap timer from hardware store so you don't have to remember to turn on/off everyday.

Keep us posted w your progress!
Scott - North Dallas
Thanks for all your help, I've planed to use live plants from the off as i want it to be as natural as possible for them. There are so many different variations though its impossible to choose, how did you decide?
How many frogs would you say is acceptable for a vivarium my size and what male to female ratio is best. As i work with fish for a living i can get RO water free from work to the cost is no problem or is there another reason you prefer bottled water.
All you need is "Terrarium friendly" plants to start out. There are 2-3 good threads with excellent recommendations on "Starter" plants in the Plant subforum here. plants-bromeliads-aroids-moss-and-soil-f24/

Your size enclosure should be able to house 3-4 Dart Frogs of most species. That's a ballpark starting number....more or less depending upon size / age and species as well as how you "hardscape" it. enclosures-setup-and-construction-f23/

RO is ok for misting your tank and plants but it has limitations and cautions for tadpoles ect. water-discussion-f65/


"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
Just starting as well. Glass top is a must, what background are you using? Lots of places online also offer plant starter packs to help you out. 10g per frog is what most people have recommended on the forums for larger frogs (tincs, leucs, auratus). Also make sure to seed your tank before hand with a clean up/snack crew of springtails and isopods. I'm going leucs cause they are adorable. But azureus, some tincs and auratus have also been highly recommended to me. Also tons of great books to read. Good luck
Thanks, I've been thinking leucs too, I'm not shaw what background I'm doing yet. I was planning to use expanding foam for the base but ive also seen someone using a mud mixture kind of thing but I worry that once it gets wet it might colaps. I know the foam is messy but im good with that kind of thing.
Lots of people use great stuff to create the background. Other options are pre cut zoo-med bark panels, fern panels or you could try to make the tree root background some people have been experimenting with. Remember with great stuff to remove the glossy film off the top of the foam so that things stick better. Another good thing to look up for planning is the use of CPU fans in the viv to help airflow. There are youtube videos of how to do it. Good Luck
Remember...it's perfectly ok to start SIMPLE. Tree fern panel or cork is just fine for plants to grip and root in. After 6 months of plant growth....you never see the background anyway.


"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
What's a hand mister?? Could I use a spray bottle as long as I make sure the water is warm?
yep....make sure it's a clean unused spray bottle - nothing other than water ever used in it.

Water can be room temp....no need to warm the water.


"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
D. leucomelas are definitely a great choice for a first frog. Very bold, bright (i.e. easy to spot), great call thats not super loud yet still easily heard, can do well in groups, pretty forgiving about temp/humidity fluctuations...all-around good choice. The one word of warning that I always give is to be careful when getting leucs first because they are such awesome frogs you will be spoiled and any future frogs will have a hard time comparing.
-Field Smith
Some frogs...

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