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Cooling the Viv possible ?
#1
So here in my poorly insulated apartment in Boston, MA, I spent the winter with a heating pad underneath the tank and a blanket on top just to keep my tank in the low 70's at night. Now, we have a sudden heat wave (88* today) and having obviously removed the heater and blanket, i still can't seem to keep my tank cool enough. This afternoon the tank hit 92* even though i was keeping half of the glass lid open and a very small air conditioner running in my window. My two azureus juveniles didn't seem too upset, but definitely made more frequent trips to the waterfall and pond than usual.
So, since I'm sure this problem will only get worse during our inevitable week of 90+ heat sometime in July, I'm wondering what methods other people use to keep their tanks from getting too hot. Currently, I have an all glass lid and single florescent strip on top, though i was going to replace that with a compact florescent since the plants haven't been getting enough light. I've seen small fans for sale, but I'm not sure how i would be able to install one since my hood is all glass and i don't have any tools for that sort of project.

Anyways, i would appreciate any advice that you guys have. Also, does anyone know at what point my frogs won't be able to handle the heat? I'm obviously trying to cool things down for them, but it would be nice to know if they're currently at the breaking point or if they can handle a few days in the mid 90s as a worst case scenario. Thanks for all of your help.
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#2
Hi,
First , there is no need to keep the Darts at 70's for a low .70's can be the high, 50s or 60s the low . Heating is almost never an issue when Darts are kept in the same living quarters as us humans. With a light fixture the viv should be fine in almost any situation, day or night. I am curious where you got the info that they needed heat and a blanket.

Can you elaborate on why the viv would be in the 90s in your apartment even with an AC blowing in the area? What light fixtures are being used? Any specific info will help.

Also, what some froggers don't realise is that even though Darts don't drop dead due to certain conditions it does not mean they are not damaged. High heat can most definitely take a toll in a fairly short length of time and will kill/damage a frog WAY faster than cold temps.

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


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#3
Miclane05,
As Rich said, heat stress may not be immediately apparent, it can take some time to show signs. The frogs will be better off with tank temps that do not go above 80.
I would stick with the flourescent light, power compacts will only compound your heat problems.
As a temporary fix, you can place ice cubes in a plastic bag and lay them on top of the tank. Frequent mistings will also help.
Being in Texas we battle the heat every summer. We a have supplemental
AC unit for the frog room. We also go to a reverse light cycle (lights come on around 9 pm off at 9 am) Both of these make Texas summers a little more tolerable for the frogs.
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#4
The information I recieved regarding the proper temperature came from the "Poison Dart Frogs: Professional Breeder Series" by W. Schmidt and F.W. Henkel which lists a night time low of 71* and a daytime high of 81*, as well as the employees at Black Jungle Terrarium who informed me that the night time lows of 65* that my tank was experiencing this past winter (with an undertank heater) were still too cold and suggested placing a blanket on top of the tank at night to keep it from cooling off too much since the room that they are in (my bedroom) drops into the low 50's at night in the winter. I was told that when the temperature goes below 68, the frog's metabolism slows down and that they won't eat well and their growth will be stunted. A small space heater for my room and the blanket trick seemed to work to keep the night time low above 68 for the rest of the winter.

However, I did recently discover that my digital thermometer has been malfunctioning and giving artificially high readings lately so that while the real temp right now is 80.3 my Zilla digital thermometer reading is 91. I'm not sure why my thermometer just recently started giving bad readings, especially since its fairly new, but the good news is that my tank is not dangerously hot. Has anyone else had problems with the zilla temp/hydrometer? I appreciate the advice and the idea of ice cubes in a plastic baggie, since later in the summer i'm sure the heat will become more difficult. at least for now its no longer an issue though. Thanks for everything,

- Mike
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#5
That's great to hear that your temps are not as bad as thought.

I would venture to say that overnight temps in the mid 60's should not have a great affect on a frogs metabolism, since they are sleeping anyway.

Our experience with the thermometers that have reptile company names on them ( Zilla, Flukers, etc.) is they are for advertising the company, that's all.
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#6
I have a similar problem in CA. We do not have AC and temperatures frequently get above 100 for at least a week each summer. I am looking for an alternative location to keep my frog for the summer. In the meantime, we are dealing with a small heatwave and I am looking for ways to cool the tank. Below I have listed my set up and the ideas that I have heard so far. Are there any additional suggestions?

My setup:
- 25 gallons, solid glass top, three compact fluorescent bulbs.
- Currently on a reverse cycle, so the lights are on at night. Nighttime temperatures in the house are in the low 70s, daytime temperatures in the mid 80s. The lights heat the tank approximately 3-4 degrees.
- Current low in the tank is 77 and high is 82. I am concerned about keeping it from going higher.

Ideas I have heard so far:
- Fans to cool the lights. I'm not sure this will help, since my primary concern is for tank temps during the day when the lights are off. Can fans help cool the tank?
- Ice in a baggie on top of the tank. (We're currently trying this one, I'll let you know how it goes.)
- Mist a lot.

Thanks for the help!
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#7
I would leave the lights off all together during the heatwave, wont hurt anything. Yes a fan can help, frequent misting, cool mist humidifier could lower the temp a few degrees in a pinch.
"He that is slow to believe anything and everything is of great understanding, for belief in one false principle is the beginning of all unwisdom" LaVey
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#8
Your Temps are not too bad.

All your current ideas/ suggestions are very good and should be tried. Fans are usually good for a 3-4 degree drop. Watch the evaporation and loss of humidity though.

I would also place the tank on the Floor of a room - away from windows, sunlight ect.
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