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A Bunch of noob questions.

First of all, Hello. This is my first post, I've been an active member on countless other forums for some time now, none dart related. I've been a reptile enthusiast for years and was recently looking to maybe start a salt water tank for a display. I decided it's less of a leap to do darts and I find them more interesting anyways. I've been through just about every page on blackjungle and I've still got some questions that I hope some of you with more experience can help me with! Smile

1) I notice in the first level of substrate many people use the tetralite (spelling) balls. I am intending to include a water feature in my setup, do these balls waste away over time? I see that in these setups people use cypress wood to separate the "water section" from the "land section" but I think for the water to be at the desired level in the "Water Section" the balls would have to be equally covered in water, right?

2) UV Light. I see many people saying that they use glass to cover their tanks. I know this is not an issue as far as enough oxygen but I'm wondering if by setting the UV light on top of the glass, isn't the UV filtered out? Do the plants grow despite this? Do the frogs themselves need UVB?

3) I've seen the videos at ExpertVillage by the BlackJungle co-owner, his name escapes me, so I think I understand for the most part what fly culturing is about. My question is, how many flys are required to feed the frogs? If I had 4 frogs do I need to keep 10 cultures of flys? Do they eat once a day? Three times a day? Once every few days?

4) I'm of the mindset "go big or dont go at all". I am torn between starting with a 40 gallon breeder or skipping that whole step and going straight for a 120 gallon. Would you recommend starting with a 40 gallon?

5) I've read that 10 gallons per frog is a good estimate. So 4 in a 40 gallon? I know the rules about pairing the different frogs, so long as they get along is 4/40 gallon ok?

6) Cleaning. I'm not sure I understand this at all. I've read that all you need to really clean is the glass? Do the plants and substrate really break down all of the waste? How do you clean the water? Just pull the pump from the waterfall area and pump it out of the tank?

7) Mixing. Do any of you keep pygmy leaf chams or klemmeri in the cages with your darts? I've read that this is acceptable and that they make nice cage mates. What are your ideas on this subject?

8) Recommended reading. I'd really like to find somewhere or some thing (books) that will help me with the care of darts. Can you please recommend some good books & online care sheets. Like I said I've seen and read all there is to see at

9) Anything else you guys think I should know, I'd love to hear it!

Thanks very much!


Welcome. Didn't catch your name.

1. I don't use balls on any of my "show" tanks, just natural substrate, but there are tons of ways to construct a viv. A search here will give you some ideas . lots of us post pics and such.

2.UV is not needed for the plants or Darts.

3. The # of culture would depend on the size of the frogs and type of FFs. I'd shoot for about four a week for 4 frogs though. I feed my adults about twice a week but also have a number of hitchhikers in-viv .Juvis would need to be fed more frequently.

4. In my opinion a bigger viv is easier to care for than a small on. I'd go for the 120.

5.The type of frog you select will dictate the # you can place in the viv. Some are good "herd" frogs, others should be paired. I'd try to go for no less than 10 per , much more if possible.

6.Wiping down the sides should be all the cleaning needed. Keep the viv heavily planted to clean the water and substrate.

7.ONLY Darts should be kept with Darts and ONLY same species or subspecies.

8. Forums will give you more info than any books I have read and i think i have read most of them out there.



Darts with parasites are analogous to mixed tanks, there are no known benefits to the frogs with either.

If tone is more important to you than content, you are at the wrong place.

My new email address is: and new phone number is 773 577 3476

Hi Rich,

The name is Bill Smile

I was under the impression that darts could be kept in groups with other darts that were of a different species, for example could you not keep the Blue Azerus & The Costa Rican G&Bs together in one enclosure? Or do you need to keep to a 3.1 of one of the other? Perhaps I was reading unreliable information? I was skeptical of the klemmeri and pygmy chams though, which is why I asked.

So it seems like maybe 1 culture per week per frog is about the estimation of food needed?

Do you just use regular lights on top of the hood then to light the cage?

Hi Bill,
Many reasons not to mix auratus with azureus with leucs with tincs, ect. Hybridization, aggression , disease, lots of reasons. Keep like animals only together as a good rule. There are many threads on this so a quick search should show that just about everyone with a deal of experience will tell you not to mix.
With a smaller # of Darts I just would feel better with extra cultures. If you have 100 Darts you won't be making 100 cultures every week or two.Thank god. With larger darts you may want to cultivate some larger food stuff than the FFs. With smaller Darts , froglets, juvis , and such you will want to have springtail cultures going also.
Some of my vivs have T8s others PCs but none really have the ability for UV to get through. Darts do much better with cooler temps than they do with extreme heat so you will want a fixture that does not get real hot.


Darts with parasites are analogous to mixed tanks, there are no known benefits to the frogs with either.

If tone is more important to you than content, you are at the wrong place.

My new email address is: and new phone number is 773 577 3476

Hey Rich,

Thanks, you've been very helpful. I think I'll start with 4 Azerus in a 60 gallon tank. I'll probably try a false bottom with a water section and waterfall as well included in the natural background. I'll get a piece of glass cut for the top and set a light fixture on top of it, maybe a canopy.

Does the tank have to be an aquarium due to the weight of the rocks/water or will Terrariums work because it's not completely full, or is it best to err on the side of caution?

I will need to warm my tank up 5-10 degrees, as the room I keep it in is at a constant 68 degrees, if I put a heat lamp on the top of the tank will that even work through the glass? Do I need to instead use an undertank heater with a thermostat? How do you recommend heating a tank up 5-10 degrees if needed?

Are adult frogs relatively easy to come by? I'd like to start with some mature frogs, or at least well on their way to being mature. Is this relatively easy considering D. Azerus is one of the most common species?

I've checked out your website (very nice) and was also considering Terribalis (sp). They are less flashy it seems (though the yellows look very nice) and it says that they do very well in groups. I know that Azerus can some times have issues in groups so would you recommend the Terribalis over Azerus for a beginner? Is a group of 4 Azerus something that is too risky?

Are the larger darts, like the ones I'm considering, able to eat fresh born roaches & small crickets? Is this what you mean by other larger food stuffs?

I dont know what T8's or PC's are Sad



Hi Bill,
There are vivs that are not aquarium grade glass. The water levels are not the same.
No heat needed. Darts do better with cool temps than heat.
Adults are not that easy to find compared to juvis. Breeders are much more expensive.
Terribilis are great beginner frogs and great "herd" Darts. I'd pick them over a group of Tincs or Azureus.
Roaches are good food for bigger darts. I don't do crickets for a large # or reasons.
T8s are long "standard" flourescents, PCs are power compact flourescents.
These are just some quick answers. there are tons of posts pertaining to each of these questions if you do a bit of time searching. Also you will get a few more frogger's input that way.
Take care,

Darts with parasites are analogous to mixed tanks, there are no known benefits to the frogs with either.

If tone is more important to you than content, you are at the wrong place.

My new email address is: and new phone number is 773 577 3476

hey bill,

rich implied, but didn't come out and say, that normal lights will heat the tanks 5-10* depending on how close they are to the tank. this also provides that 10* drop in temps at night which are beneficial.


Speaking of lights, I just have to ask this Sad Would a Coralife Colormax freshwater aquarium daytime lamp be ok for my couple of D. Leucomelas?15 Watt, 18" flourescent lamp.

Im scared they might get fried or something... Confusedhock:


What size tank do you have Slip?

10 Gal wide, soon-to-hold a fine pair of Dendrobates Leucomelas(Black and yellow banded)

Slip, what are your temps now? Assume a 5*F degree increase with that light.

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

Yes, I have a Thermo/Hygrometer setup in there:

Max Temp:88*F
Max Humidity:92%

That max temp is high. Normally a good max temp is 82 or below. Can you lift the light off of the glass a little more? Maybe a fan to move some of that hot air away from the viv.
Do you have any ventilation?

Not at the moment, no fans or anything. The aquarium is on the western edge of my home in front of a window, soaking on some rays from direct sun. My dad grows orchids for a living and has tons of fans ventilating. Ill look up a way to get that light some distance away from the glass some more, also. Is there a stand or a pair of "legs" i can get to place my light on?

I do not know of any "generic" stand for lifting the lights. Some lights have legs as an option, and many people fabricate legs from wood and such.

I chose to hang my light from the ceiling so that I could adjust the height as needed.

My air condishioning is totally out downstairs; thats why the temps have been so high :oops: (I was wondering why it was so hot in there)

Ill get back with info. on the viv with ligit temperature measures at normal room temp. :wink:

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