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Concerns about new dart frog
#1
I had been wanting to get dart frogs for about two years or so. I got a terrarium set up back in spring and finally got my first dart frog a couple days ago at a reptile expo Smile. I figured I'd start with one in a small (about five gallons or so?) tank and perhaps upgrade in the future.

I ended up getting an adult D. leucomelas. I was told that this would be one of the easier species to keep and I liked the fact he was already an adult. I realize a 10-gallon would be ideal...I'm sure I'll end up moving him to one. But for now it seems he has plenty of room and hiding spots. I made sure to include Ghost wood to climb on so it's like having a second floor, hehe.

Of course I was originally planning to feed fruit flies until I found out my mom is very anti-fruit flies...even wingless. I didn't expect this because I've kept about every other sort of feeder insect. But I was told the frog would eat phoenix worms and pinhead crickets. The breeder said that springtails wouldn't work for a frog of his size but maybe I'll get some anyways? I've heard butterworms mentioned as a food source too so I'll look for those. Basically I am willing to feed anything besides the flies.

Now I have a few concerns...

Temperature- I've seen some caresheets recommend temperatures in the 70's during the day and mid to high 60's at night. But then others say that the high 70's to low 80's are perfect. My tank isn't heated as the lights keep the temperature around 72-75 or so during the day. It goes down to the mid-60's at night. Last night it was down to 62 at night because I left the window open...how cold is too cold for a dart frog? I had read that high temperatures are more dangerous then low temperatures hence the lack of heater. I have a heating pad but no thermostat but if it comes down to it I could hook it up and monitor it closely for now. Remember, this is a small tank with a single dart frog...I'd imagine a heater may do more harm then good?

Food- I haven't seen my new frog eat yet. I've had had him for two full days now...how long can he go without food? I offered him phoenix worms using tweezers but that only resulted in him being freaked out. He technically could've eaten since I dropped some by accident. Maybe I'll put some in a food dish? Would they climb out? Any tips on getting him to eat?

Lethargy- My frog hasn't moved from out behind the ghost wood (his favorite hiding spot...he ignores the coco hut) in 24 hours now. Unless he did when I wasn't looking and ran back. He changes positions sometimes but won't come out. He was active when I first got him...what happened? Is he sick or just still freaked out? Is it too cold?

I'm really worried about him...I want to make sure I'm doing everything right! I'd never forgive myself if he suffered because of a stupid mistake =/. I'm not new to amphibians at all (and have a cane toad, actually) but this is the most "exotic" amphibian I've kept.

Oh, and about his set up...it's a 5-gallon with a thick layer of gravel for drainage. Then there's eco-earth and moss on top of that. I want to use leaf litter but it just rained so I'm waiting to get some. I plan to mix soil in as well...right now my only plant is mounted on top of the ghost wood. I should be getting more plants later this week. I have UVB power compact lighting...a bulb intended for rainforest animals. I can't remember the wattage but it's probably like 12 or 15 watts.

I really hope some of you guys can help me out. I'm especially concerned about the not moving thing.
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#2
Hello Sasami,
welcome to the forum.
I would be careful feeding the Phoenix worms, and crickets. Some frogs have no interest in the Phoenix worms, crickets can carry some 'nasties'. I don't recommend butterworms as a diet staple, they are very high in fat, the should be fed more of a 'treat' once or twice a week only.
Fruit flys are a very good feeder that the darts will readily accept.
Your mom does understand that the fruit flys you will be feeding are flightless, and if your tank is set up properly there should be no issues with escapees?
It is recommended that the tank temps do not exceed 80 degrees. Temperature spikes to the low side are better tolerated. I would suggest not using any type of heating device on the tank, you will cook the frog before you realize it. Is there a warmer room in the house you could move the frog at night? Are you using a good quality digital thermometer to check the temps inside of the tank?
What type of lid do you have on this tank?
How often are you misting the tank?
Have you checked the humidity level?

It's not uncommon for a frog to take some time to become accustom to their new home.

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#3
Cindy Dicken Wrote:Hello Sasami,
welcome to the forum.
I would be careful feeding the Phoenix worms, and crickets. Some frogs have no interest in the Phoenix worms, crickets can carry some 'nasties'. I don't recommend butterworms as a diet staple, they are very high in fat, the should be fed more of a 'treat' once or twice a week only.
Fruit flys are a very good feeder that the darts will readily accept.
Your mom does understand that the fruit flys you will be feeding are flightless, and if your tank is set up properly there should be no issues with escapees?
It is recommended that the tank temps do not exceed 80 degrees. Temperature spikes to the low side are better tolerated. I would suggest not using any type of heating device on the tank, you will cook the frog before you realize it. Is there a warmer room in the house you could move the frog at night? Are you using a good quality digital thermometer to check the temps inside of the tank?
What type of lid do you have on this tank?
How often are you misting the tank?
Have you checked the humidity level?

It's not uncommon for a frog to take some time to become accustom to their new home.


Yes, my mother realizes they are flightless and I have assured her there wouldn't be any escapes. I'm still trying but I don't want to bug her too much. If I breed my own crickets then I don't have to worry about parasites as much, though, correct?

No, there isn't really a room to move the tank to. Are the 60's too cold at night? I was recently told by a dart owner that above 55 was ok. Is that true?

I don't have a digital thermometer...just a regular one (but not the stick-on kind since they are inaccurate). It can't be too inaccurate since I have a bunch of tanks in my room with different thermometers and they read the same temps.

Humidity is staying at 70%...sometimes going a little bit lower or higher. I've been misting when I notice it start to drop...I haven't kept track of exactly how many times.

The lid is your standard black aquarium hood...it's completely covered.
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#4
I doubt you could totally rid the crickets of the nasties, as they will be passed on from the adults to the hatchlings. Raising crickets can be a very smelly operation, they will require daily maintenance.

Your humidity is a little low. The black plastic aquarium lid is not a good choice for this tank. You need something that not allow the humdity to evaporate.
Try to get a piece of glass cut to fit the top of that tank. Once the frog becomes active it can and will escape through that plastic lid. Increase the humidity to 80-100% and up the temps a little and I think you will see a change in the frogs activity.

I would urge you to invest in a digital thermometer. You would be surprised how inaccurate analog gauges can be.
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#5
Cindy Dicken Wrote:I doubt you could totally rid the crickets of the nasties, as they will be passed on from the adults to the hatchlings. Raising crickets can be a very smelly operation, they will require daily maintenance.

Your humidity is a little low. The black plastic aquarium lid is not a good choice for this tank. You need something that not allow the humdity to evaporate.
Try to get a piece of glass cut to fit the top of that tank. Once the frog becomes active it can and will escape through that plastic lid. Increase the humidity to 80-100% and up the temps a little and I think you will see a change in the frogs activity.

I would urge you to invest in a digital thermometer. You would be surprised how inaccurate analog gauges can be.

Ok, I'll try to do that. I didn't realize a plastic top wouldn't work. How should I up the temperature, though? You said not to get a heating device and I don't know what else I can do.
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#6
What type of lighting do you have for the tank?

Overnight temps are probably ok, but during the day you might want to up them just a little.

Also, have you been able to add any additional plants or leaf litter to the tank?
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#7
I use Saran wrap or however you spell it to keep humidity in. My tanks stay at 100% humidity. It works really well just put lid back on over it. It will also keep any food you feed in the tank.....Just a thought
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#8
Cindy Dicken Wrote:What type of lighting do you have for the tank?

Overnight temps are probaly ok, but during the day you might want to up them just a little.

Also, have you been able to add any additional plants or leaf litter to the tank?

I have a UVB power compact bulb. It's actually a rain forest one and had dart frogs on the package. So I figured it'd be a good choice. I just don't know how to warm up the tank by only a little bit =/. I have an incandescent light fixture lying around...maybe I can turn it on next to the dart frog tank so it shines on it? I know incandescent bulbs tend to produce a lot of heat. I don't want to overheat the tank, though. Or bother the dart frog with all that brightness.

Yes, I did add leaf litter. Magnolia leaves, to be exact. I couldn't get any more plants...do you think maybe I should get a plant from outside for now? Because I might not be able to get plants until Thursday. I'm not sure. With all of the leaves he should have plenty of places to hide, at least.

He actually was out today for a little while but I spooked him by accident and now he's hiding again.

rumanic Wrote:I use seranwrap or however you spell it to keep humidity in. My tanks stay at 100% humidity. It works really well just put lid back on over it. It will also keep any food you feed in the tank.....Just a thought

Thank you, that's a good idea! Smile I'll definitely try that.
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#9
Hi,
Didn't catch your name.
Out of everything posted only two things stand out to me. One is the food issue . You will be very hard pressed to feed a Dart without the use of fruitflies. It can be done , but is next to impossible to do without it being an extreme pain to the owner and possible detriment to the Dart's health. As stated ,crickets are nasty little creatures which can/do carry all sorts of nasty parasites and can themselves stress out the Dart. I know that if I woke up to a cricket chewing on my leg I'd get a bit stressed. Field sweepings would be your next best bet to adding a decent rotation of nutritional bugs, but again can be carriers of parasites and possibly worse contaminants. So in short I would suggest having a big heart-to-heart with Mom or possibly getting the frog to someone who can culture fruitflies.
The second issue I would address is the fact that single adults do not come upon the market very often. When they do it is often the result of the loss of the mate. The loss of a mate many times is the result of a medical issue. I have no idea who you got your frog from but generally frogs like Leucs do not take very long to settle in and start feeding. I think that a fecal is in order. The stress of a move coupled with possible parasite issues can very well throw a Dart into the state you are describing. Have you contacted the breeder with any of this info?
All other parameters seem fine , including the heat which actually to me seems perfect with perfect swings at night.
Good luck,
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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#10
RichFrye Wrote:Hi,
Didn't catch your name.
Out of everything posted only two things stand out to me. One is the food issue . You will be very hard pressed to feed a Dart without the use of fruitflies. It can be done , but is next to impossible to do without it being an extreme pain to the owner and possible detriment to the Dart's health. As stated ,crickets are nasty little creatures which can/do carry all sorts of nasty parasites and can themselves stress out the Dart. I know that if I woke up to a cricket chewing on my leg I'd get a bit stressed. Field sweepings would be your next best bet to adding a decent rotation of nutritional bugs, but again can be carriers of parasites and possibly worse contaminants. So in short I would suggest having a big heart-to-heart with Mom or possibly getting the frog to someone who can culture fruitflies.
The second issue I would address is the fact that single adults do not come upon the market very often. When they do it is often the result of the loss of the mate. The loss of a mate many times is the result of a medical issue. I have no idea who you got your frog from but generally frogs like Leucs do not take very long to settle in and start feeding. I think that a fecal is in order. The stress of a move coupled with possible parasite issues can very well throw a Dart into the state you are describing. Have you contacted the breeder with any of this info?
All other parameters seem fine , including the heat which actually to me seems perfect with perfect swings at night.
Good luck,
Rich

My name is Stephanie Smile.

Thank you, I will find a way to feed the flies. For now I might have to feed pinheads, though, until I order some. Do you think that will be ok? I'm pretty sure he's not going to touch the worms.

I got him from Black Jungle at a local reptile expo. He was with another adult frog so I'm thinking maybe that was his mate?

Today he's actually been out of hiding a lot Smile.
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#11
Interesting 3.5 year old thread I found...
https://www.facebook.com/dartden/

https://twitter.com/DartDen


"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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