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Advice on 46 bowfront viv for (probably) orange galacs

Hi everyone,

I was fascinated with darts as a kid, but could never convince my mom that they really weren't poisonous in captivity. A trip to the zoo this week rekindled my interest, and I've been doing as much research as possible since then. I love the looks of D. Azuerus, but I'd like to keep a group of 4-6 frogs, so I think the orange galacs are my best bet. I want active frogs that aren't too shy, so please correct me if the galacs aren't right for me.

I'd like to set up the tank with a waterfall on one side, and a small stream flowing into a 5-10 gallon pond on the other side, maybe with a small waterfall from the stream into the pond. I'd like to keep a few fish as well, possibly some sort of killifish. I'm thinking about using an external Eheim canister filter to power the waterfall and keep the water clean.

I'm probably going to start landscaping the tank in a week or two, but it will probably take me 6 weeks to finish it, and a few more to get it planetd. I don't plan on getting my frogs for 3-6 months, because I want to make sure everything is stable and ready for them. I'm really looking for some advice on the tank layout, and things I should take into consideration to make it the best home I can for them. If anyone has any advice, I'm definitely open to it.

Hello AccidentalChef,
welcome to the hobby.
I think your choice for orange galactonotus is great. They do well in groups, are not shy, and I highly recommend them for a first time frog.

Your plans for the tank sound very interesting. Are you going to have a false bottom, or will you try to contain the water area by separating it? Approx how deep are you thinking of having your water area? Also, will you be drilling your tank to accomodate the external filter?

Thanks for the reply Cindy,

I'm glad to hear the galacs will work out. I'd still like to set up a small take for a pair of Azureus, but I'll probably wait until I have a year or so of experience first.

I'm not sure what the best way to do the tank is. I'd considered both options, and even doing a false bottom in the land area separated from a water area. I'm not sure what the advantages and disadvantages of each method are. I want the tank to look as natural as possible, if that helps. I hadn't planned on drilling the tank. I was thinking about hiding the tubes for the filter in the back wall. The filter I'm looking at is rated for just over 100 gallons per hour. Is this a good amount of flow for the waterfall? I understand that these frogs aren't the best swimmers, so I'm a little concerned about having too much current. I might put the filter intake near a beach area, so that if they fall into the water, the current will carry them to a place they can easily climb out. I was thinking of making the water 6-7" deep, since the tank is 20" tall, but I'm not sure how much vertical space the frogs want. I want enough space in the water for a few fish and some aquatic plants. I've looked at a lot of construction threads on DartDen and DendroBoards, but I haven't found a complete guide anywhere yet.

I want a good variety of plants both in the water and on the land... I've got a couple years of experience doing planted aquariums, but very little with land plants. I'm thinking mostly bromeliads and orchids, with a few ferns and moss on the land, but I'm still trying to learn what plants will do best.


azureus are great frogs, in male/ female pairs.

Usually when you try to separate the land from the water area by using a divider, it seldom works, the water will win. This is where a false bottom comes in, just elevate the land above the water, rather than trying to fight it. If you do decide to go with a false bottom, you can partition it off, so the frogs will not have access to the area under the land portion. Then you can place your inlet for the filter in that area, and not worry about getting a frog sucked up. The frogs will probably not spend a lot of time in the water, but if they do get in the water area, as long as they have a way out, some sort of shoreline, they will be fine.
As for running your filter hoses up the back of the tank, it will probably work, if you have the filter sitting on the table or stand with the tank, rather than sitting below the tank.
I'm not familiar with the Ehiem filters, we use the Fluvals. Fluvals have an output control, so we can throttle it down if neccessary. If the Ehiem does not have an output control, you can probably put something inline to regulate the flow if need be.
As for your plants, there are a few orchids that will tolerate the warm, stagnate air of the vivariums. Also a lot of aquarium plants can be conditioned to grow on land if given adequate humidity and moisture.

Cindy you seem to know a bit about Azureus's Can you do larger groups in say a 50 gallon or is this a bad idea? Do you have any experiences with Tincs as groups?
I am in the begining of planting my vivarium and its layout sounds similar to Chefs. BTW I am using a false bottom and it seems to be working great!
There is a couple square feet of land a small pond and my background has lots of paths for not quite aboreal but nontheless curious frogs. Once planted there will be several hidings spots and micro climates.
I really want to do Azureus and was thinking 2 to start but hopefully getting them to mate.
Ideas? Comments?

Chef dont mean to hijack your thread but hopefully we can both glean some info from these questions.

even though a 50 gal is large by our perspective, people forget that in the wild, the frogs territory is measured in meters, not inches.
Since it is believed tincs and azureus are related, the tincs can be just as territorial as the azureus, and should be kept in pairs if you plan to breed.


Avarax, don't worry about it... any question that I learn something from is great, no matter who asked it.

Just out of curiosity, how big would a tank need to be to keep a group of Azureus? Thinking about that is making me wish I'd kept my 110 (48x18x30 tall). That would make a stunning viv. I'm just dreaming of havng that much vertical space.

I'm moving my 46 into my condo today, and hopefully I'll start construction in a week or so. The false bottom seems like the way to go. The only thing I'm still trying to figure out is how to make it look nice around the edges. What do people do to make it look like solid dirt all the way around? Seeing under the false bottom doesn't seem like it would be very attractive.

After going to the orchid store yesterday, I'm definitely interested in having more than the 2-3 of them I'd initially wanted. It seems that only a few species would do well actually planted in the ground, because the humidity could cause their roots to rot. On the other hand, lots of them would do well mounted on a piece of bark on the back wall, as long as water isn't constantly dripping over them. I know I can set cork bark into the GS, but is there an easy way to make it removable and still look like a part of the wall? I'm worried about setting the bark into the wall with the orchid already on it... no sense in killing a $30 plant if I don't have to. I still need to be able to attach the orchid to the bark though, and the standard way of doing that is with fishing line tied around the plant and the bark. Any suggestions as to what the best way to do this is? I'm sure the same question applies to bromeliads as well.

Also, what's the best thing to use for streams? Can you just shape the GS and use silicone to seal it, or is it better to use some type of flexible tube cut in half? How much GS will it probably take to do a 46 gallon? I have a feeling a big Home Depot trip is in my near future.

The bigger the better! I know of one person that has a large enclosure approx the size of your 110 gal that have 1.4 ( that is 1 male and 4 females) azureus and have them breeding. One of the problems of this situation is the females will eat eachothers eggs if they are not pulled shortly after being laid. This person purchased all five of the azureus as juvis, so they were all raised together and developed a so called pecking order early on. It was just by luck that there was only one male in the group, therefore there was no need to alter the dynamics of the group. If you can get a group of azureus as juvis and raise them together, pull any excess males, you would have a chance if it working. On the other hand, if you were to end up with all females, and try to introduce an adult male to the group, that would cause problems.
This is provided you can supply a large enclosure for the frogs, that is very heavily planted, that you might have a chance of a small group with only one male, multiple females.

I think you will glad you chose to go with a false bottom.
As for hiding the false bottom "guts",you can coat the inside of the tank (front and sides) with black silicone where the false will be hidden, or you can use black vinyl stuck to the outside of the tank. Also some times we have cut the eggcrate approx 1/4" short so it does not go all the way to the glass, then we made a divider that blocked off the portion under the false bottom, then we filled the 1/4" gap with small aquarium gravel. If you use this method, keep in mind that the water from your false bottom will somewhat be visible through the gravel, and over time, you may get algea growth, or stains from the tannins in the water.

A lot of times you can find mini orchids that are already mounted on corkbark, or wood pieces. These will usually have a wire hanger, and you can drill a small hole and stick the wire into the cork.

We use spray foam (Great Stuff, or Becketts) to form waterfalls and streams, it is easy to work with. Then we coat it with silicone, and we can embed rocks into it or coat it with the Quick Dry Mortar.

Cindy, Correct me if Im wrong, but I was under the impression that azureus can be kept with multiple males and only one female. Females fight eachother, and males will be fine.

[Image: Frank4.jpg] [Image: frank1.jpg]

I'm not recommending trying to keep more than a male/ female pair, simply relating an experience of a fellow frogger. I don't understand why they haven't stressed eachother out.
This is all based on if you have a large enclosure.
It is possible for females that are siblings, raised together to coexist. When you will have a problem is
when the females hear or see a male, this will stimulate them to breed and this is when problems start. If you do not stimulate the breeding response, they don't know they're not supposed to get along.
Males are territorial.
Keep in mind, that just because they are coexisting doesn't mean it's the best situation for them.

I built a nice 46bow vivarium that housed a blue aratus and a green aratus, and two cobalt tincs.

It consisted of a false bottom made with eggcrate supported by pvc legs. It had a waterfall carved from feather stone lava rock. In the front I cut the eggcrate short and laid screen down to hold back some black gravel. The gravel also looks a bit like a stream bed where as I have the water fall running into it and the moss a bit back from the front.

Good luck and have fun

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