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THE Secret to Mixed Species Vivs ......
#1
I want to start this post off by saying that each and every one of my vivs are mixed species tanks. That's right , every one.
It seems that at least once a week I read a newbie post on one of the boards asking what species can be mixed. I thought I would start a thread stating what species could or should be mixed.

As I said , each and every one of my vivs is a mixed tank. I have Dendrobates in almost every one . I have bug species in every one. Springtails of many different types. Rolie-polies. I am told that I may have fungus gnats, not sure though. Many bugs that I can't even ID! It seems that the bugs do very well with the dendrobates and I seldom have any issues. I would say that crickets in my mind are very evil little creatures and will never be purposely introduce into any of my vivs but other than that most bugs are welcome additions to my mixed species tanks. No too happy to see big old spiders in my vivs , but I really don't go too nuts over them. I find them, I kill them when I can, done.

On a more serious note though, the two times I have attempted mixed Dart tanks they both ended in what some may call successful, but what i call far from that. I have mixed "arboreal' with ground dwelling (terribilis with intermedius) and they got along just fine. No aggression, no cross infections, no hybridization, no anything, including no breeding. They were in-fact the ONLY tank I had running that was not producing one single egg, not one egg. At the time each and every other tank was "successfully" producing good eggs. My second attempt at a mixed dart tank produced the same exact "successes". No aggression in a big old tank but not breeding either. Tincs mixed with thumbs. Nothing good to report other than the fact that they did not kill each other. What did I learn? Mixed species tanks good. Bugs with darts will always work. Mixed dendrobates tanks bad. Mixed Dart tanks will never be as "successful" as single dart species tanks.

Rich
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: rich.frye@icloud.com and new phone number is 773 577 3476
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#2
I love it. I think I'll turn all of my tanks into mixed species tanks! Big Grin
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#3
We were just talking about this today. We need to get permission to post the picture of the pumilio with the tinc in a headlock from Jewels and make it a sticky.

We were also talking about breeding and temps. I think it was Aaron that was sharing some of his frogs were breeding during different seasons (I have experienced the same thing). Lowland morphs/species/populations breeding at higher temps than highland species/morphs/populations. Were the temps not right for either of the species?

Why do you think the addition of other frog species kept them from breeding? Was it too much competition for prime spots (be they sitting spots, spots of safety, breeding spots, feeding spots, etc.)? Is there some benefit to one species sabotaging breeding attempts and vice versa?

I have also heard (although I don't know how accurate it really is) that breeding happens most often at the extremes of the continum of Totally Happy - Totally Stressed Out (although there is some lee-way). Could it be that another species was a mild annoyance (I would say like one step closer to "Totally Happy" than having fruit flies crawling all over them from overfeeding) which placed both pairs square in the middle of this continum where they were annoyed enough to not be "Totally Happy" so they didn't breed and yet far away enough from Totally Stressed Out that they didn't have to breed for survival?

I had no breeding from my group of 1.3 intermedius, but I have had non-stop tads from them once I seperated the pair. Do your terribilis/intermedius breed in groups (Don't your terribilis breed in groups and your intermedius in pairs)?
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#4
I am sure the temps were fine , seeing how the other terribilis and intermedius in the same temps , with the same swings,were breeding.
Most Darts will breed when housed in single dart species tanks when stressed. A move to another viv, temps swings larger than usual, massive drops in feeding, all of which are not necessarily good for the frogs will produce eggs. I call it the " Oh no !I's the end of the world so let's breed to get our genes out there before we die effect." (copywrite Rich Frye 2003)
I think that it comes down to the fact that when needed a single species will produce when jammed into a tiny glass container even with a few more of it's neighbors than would usually be found in the wild. They just don't want to do it with more than one Dart species. I also have to guess that there may actually have been an egg produced here or there and not been found by me. I could absolutely believe that mixed species egg eating could be an issue especially after watching same species egg eating. I can't imagine what would stop it. The terribilis were in a group of four. The ints were 2:2 . I have had a number of breeding int tanks that had 2:1 , 1:2 , more than the 1:1 setup . It works as long as the tank is big enough and lacking terribilis.
I cycle my tanks up and down and what may seem to be super happy huge egg production sometimes scares me. I like to see a steady rate of egg production but have seen a number of species that seemed super happy produce a great number of eggs for a decent period of time only to be very slow later in life to produce. Burnout? Not sure.
Getting back to the "successful" mixed species thing. I think that "alive" is not a good yardstick to be used to judge a "happy" or "successful" viv.
One of the unfortunate facts of this hobby is that almost 100% of the information we have on Dart husbandry is anecdotal and will remain that way.
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: rich.frye@icloud.com and new phone number is 773 577 3476
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#5
Rich, I was just playing devil's advicate to get you to expand a little bit...

What is the benchmark for acceptable/success? I kept my leucs in groups and got zero breeding (could be they didn't lay or could be they were eating eggs). I seperated them out into pairs and got eggs within the next month. Would this mean that it is not sucessful or acceptable to keep leucs in groups?

I find these to be acceptible cautions or reasons for NOT intermixing species or other animals:

1. Interbreeding. I have talked to many who said "I just want a ton of colors in my tank, I won't sell the offerspring". What are you going to do when your rainbow of auratus are growing in numbers exponentially?
2. Climates. Not all darts like the same temps. I think many people who keep single species bend/break this rule too though.
3. Disease. One frog could be carrying some benign "thing" and it could be deadly to another frog from another area because immunities aren't there.
4. Annoyance. The presence (or forced presence as there is no where to escape contact) of other animals impacts the behavior of frogs. Intermedius will act quite different in the presence of terribilis. I think this is at play in tanks of one species in a group, but the impact is different. In a greenhouse, your mixed tank may have worked.

If we could add a few more reasons starting with D and T we could have an acronym like ADDICT or something. Or maybe we could work IDIOT by changing climate to "temperature" and annoyance to "interference".
www.JoshsFrogs.com - All Your Poison Dart Frog Supplies in One Place!
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#6
Or how about:

HOLDIT! IDIOT! **

H ybridization
O ffensive activities
L ess species, more experience
D isease
I nadequate living space or microclimates
T old you guys again and again and again, NO!
!

I nteraction not found in the wild
D o what you want , they're your frogs after all.......
I can't find one single positive thing to say about mixing, well...
O nly the pretty colors mixing
T OOOOO much time writing warnings against mixing but doomed to feel

the need to warn people anyway even though many will not listen and are doomed to experience negative effects and possible crashing of tanks and sick, stressed, underfed, flighty, hybridized, animals because they won't listen to a number of froggers who have actually made the mistake years before therefore making it possible for others (newbies) to learn by said mistakes rather than reliving said mistakes!
!

I have found Luecs not to be group animals as Terribilis are. I have seen some wicked fighting by the female parent of the Leucs you got from me and her previous female tank mate. The tank was not tiny, but not huge at all. I think a lot could be pulled off in a greenhouse environment. Once again, what we consider large in nothing compared to what the dart have to choose from in the wild.


**I am by no means calling anyone or any establishment an idiot if you mix. I just happen to think/know there is a better way.


Rich
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: rich.frye@icloud.com and new phone number is 773 577 3476
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#7
Long overdue bump...
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: rich.frye@icloud.com and new phone number is 773 577 3476
Reply
#8
Hey Rich,

I just want to clear something up, as it confused me, but I think I got it now. When you were saying you had a mixed species tank, you were talking about your darts and the inverts that inhabit it, and not that you were mixing, say dendrobates with tricolors or anything....

That is interesting about mixing the terribilis and the imitators though. Did you find that if you removed one of the species from the tank, they would suddenly breed? Or did you not try? If you still ahve the tanks, it is worth a shot to make sure that it is not something that is wrong with the frogs aggression/egg stomping between the females.
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#9
fishieness Wrote:Hey Rich,
I just want to clear something up, as it confused me, but I think I got it now. When you were saying you had a mixed species tank, you were talking about your darts and the inverts that inhabit it, and not that you were mixing, say dendrobates with tricolors or anything....
That is interesting about mixing the terribilis and the imitators though. Did you find that if you removed one of the species from the tank, they would suddenly breed? Or did you not try? If you still ahve the tanks, it is worth a shot to make sure that it is not something that is wrong with the frogs aggression/egg stomping between the females.

Yes, a bit of a play on the term "mixed". Only darts and bugs now. The terribilis and ints both eventually bred when I separated them into single dart species vivs.

Rich
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: rich.frye@icloud.com and new phone number is 773 577 3476
Reply
#10
You both made off-handed mention of a greenhouse environment as different from your comparatively small tank set ups. Obviously in the wild, the frogs have thousands of acres separating the species, but do you think a greenhouse or "jungle room" would provide enough space to allow two species to coexist and actually thrive/ breed? For discussion purposes, can I propose that the room/ greenhouse is 500 square feet. Assuming plenty of plants and everything else, I would think a single sexed pair of frogs could go unnoticed for quite some time in such a large enclosure. Would you feel comfortable introducing a second species?

Also, I know that others have tried these large greenhouse sized set ups before but I am curious of how to feed frogs in such a large enclosure. Obviously plenty of bugs will naturally find their way in, but surely that can't be enough. Anyone have frogs in a greenhouse want to share some info?

- Mike
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#11
mgizmo05 Wrote:You both made off-handed mention of a greenhouse environment as different from your comparatively small tank set ups. Obviously in the wild, the frogs have thousands of acres separating the species,
Not quite true. There are species that live beside each other, but do not cross breed. There are morphs simply divided by a river or other geographical barrier.

mgizmo05 Wrote:but do you think a greenhouse or "jungle room" would provide enough space to allow two species to coexist and actually thrive/ breed?
Yes, but they would need to be truly different species which would not interbreed.

mgizmo05 Wrote:For discussion purposes, can I propose that the room/ greenhouse is 500 square feet. Assuming plenty of plants and everything else, I would think a single sexed pair of frogs could go unnoticed for quite some time in such a large enclosure. Would you feel comfortable introducing a second species?

Again, only if the non-interbeedable restraints were met. 10'x50' is not crazy large.

mgizmo05 Wrote:Also, I know that others have tried these large greenhouse sized set ups before but I am curious of how to feed frogs in such a large enclosure. Obviously plenty of bugs will naturally find their way in, but surely that can't be enough. Anyone have frogs in a greenhouse want to share some info?

- Mike

There would undoubtedly be enough bugs from tons of plants to feed a decent number of darts. That coupled with substrate to cultivate the numerous hitchhikers and a few FF cultures left out would be fine for the task.

Rich
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: rich.frye@icloud.com and new phone number is 773 577 3476
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#12
Very interesting thread! Thanks dart den. Youve got a new follower !!

Shaw
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#13
I've often said that Mixing frogs is like catching a baseball in your mouth. Maybe it can be done, but at best, all you accomplish is not causing all sorts of damage.
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#14
Boondoggle Wrote:I've often said that Mixing frogs is like catching a baseball in your mouth. Maybe it can be done, but at best, all you accomplish is not causing all sorts of damage.

I always wonder when someone is going to reopen these older threads / topics.

I'm just suprised that I don't have a post in this one.

Mixed species vivs....zoological exhibits...advanced dart frog hobbyists with 2 different Genus in one enclosure - ALL can and do occur.

but

It's like the old saying goes..."If you have to ask...then you are not ready, grasshopper". Seriously. There may come a time when you feel like attempting something like this, but by then, you should have amassed enough knowledge and experience where you will only need a small question or two - a fine tuning perhaps.
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