Would like to start PDFs: need all the help i can get!

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Hi everyone! I'm new to frogs, well, sort of. I've kept snakes, geckos, tree frogs, etc., but now I'm thinking of PDFs.

my room is covered in fish tanks: 180, 125, 75, 65, and 29 gal tanks, full of tropical fish (if anyone needs help in that area, leave it up to me :wink: )

I love my fish, but I feel like I've kept every type of freshwater fish available out there, and I'm looking to start a new project. My initial idea was starting a saltwater tank, but a dart frog vivarium looks like so much more fun!!!

As a newbie in the planning out process, I've got some questions:

What size and style tank would be best to start out with? Starting on a small scale to test the waters first, before committing to a big tank? Or is it like fish, where the bigger the set-up, the easier it is to maintain it and keep things stabilized?

What type of equipment do I need (not talking about the decorations and plants and what not, but the basic necessities)?

I've seen a local pet store keep a bunch of different kinds of dart frogs together, but is this a good idea? Can different species of dart frogs be kept together, and if so, are there any that can't go together?

What are some good dart frogs for newbies, in terms of resisitance to illness, ease of care, hardiness, non-picky eaters, forgiving of mistakes Tongue etc.

Is there a general stocking rule with these guys? Like for tropical fish, the general rule of thumb is 1" of fish per gallon of water...

How much regular maintenance do these guys require?

What is the #1 killer of these guys, and what should every newbie be aware of when starting out?

Seeing as I already have plenty of tanks, how much would it cost for the other equipment I need?

I appreciate the help in advance Big Grin
I am VERY new to all this too, but I will attempt to tackle a few of your questions. Others will chime in too I am sure.

Size matters but it also largely depends on what frogs and how many you plan to keep. Some can only be kept in pairs while others do well in groups as large as you have room for. The rule is 5 gallons per frog minimum, many people say 10g per frog. I went ahead and went the fish route and did a bigger is better setup using a 75g tank I used to have FW fish in. I think other than slightly higher initial setup costs, the upkeep is pretty similar. But the bigger tank allows you to get more plants, bigger plants, and just more room for cool and bigger hardscape features. It also increases your options as to what frogs you can keep and how many.

Equipment, you need proper lights to allow your plants to thrive. You need a tight fitting lid to keep in humidity and the frogs and the fruit flies you'll be feeding your frogs. A hydrometer and thermometer are needed. A spray bottle. Can be simple or fancy or even an automated misting system. There is more but that is all off the top of my newbie head that I can think of.

Mixing is a huge debate. In short, no. Especially for us newbs. There is great debate to whether different frogs can or should be kept together. Some of the issues include territorial issues, fighting, stress, different care needs, and cross breeding.

I would say the #1 killer is someone that does not do their research before getting in to PDF.

Costs, I think that depends on how far you want to take it. I already had my tank. So without counting the tank I am in I would guess $200 or so. Maybe closer to $300 since I just placed a $100 order for a couple more plants and my FF and springtail cultures.

Like I said, I am very new to this all as well. I hope I was able to help some.
Thanks, Nubster, that did help.
Here's another question. For the live plants, you'll obviously need a plant light, maybe some UVA/UVB for the frogs as well?
You said that you want a tightly fitting lid to keep the humidity in, which I understand. That makes me think of a regular fish tank lid, the glass covers. However, is it not true that glass reflects UV rays, disabling the rays from reaching the plants? If so, how do I compact the problem?
It all depends on the type of glass and the depth you are trying reach. I am a newbie in the frog world, but have been keeping fish as far back as I can remember. It is the same idea behind reaching the depths on a tall aquarium, you need a different spectrum/wattage bulb for the plants on the bottom vs. the top (planted on the wall). I am new, so I have read differne t things behind the dart frog needing/not needing uvb/a light. I am sure this doesn't help but maybe we can get an better answer for the both of us. I do know that incadecent is a big NO NO.
As far as lights, they are for the plants, not the frogs. You don't want lights that are going to heat the tank too much. A search should give you answers to all your questions. I think all of those topics have been discussed before. I know I spent tons of time reading through the posts here. Setting up a PDF tank is a lot of fun, so enjoy.


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