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Newb questions (cost/setup/darts)
#1
I recently was exposed to the world of Darts at a reptile expo near where I live, and I was absolutely amazed at their beauty. What amazed me more, upon researching them, I found that their enclosures were half the fun of keeping them! Curiosity turned into longing quite rapidly, and I'm starting to put together some idea of what it might cost me to make one of those beautiful set ups. At the moment, if I were to undertake this challenge, I would not add frogs right away, but allow my viv to grow and establish itself for at least a month or two before adding any Darts. I'm not new to keeping exotic critters, having bred and cared for many species of tarantula and scorpion along with my 3yr old ball python gal.

I have several tanks to start with, but I'm not sure which to use. I am interested in buying the 12x12x18 medium exo terra front opening glass terrarium, but I also have a 20gal long and a 10gal as well. I'll most likely buy the exo terra, as it looks a heck of a lot nicer and fits my purposes more readily (plus it comes in a kit with a compact fluorescent hood and a few other odds and ends for $100). I want a false bottom with circulating water (pumping water to a water feature of some sort, or a rain system), with a fogger for humidity (and because it makes it look more "rain forest-y". I don't want a lot of plants, but I do want a mossy jungle look to it with carpet plants and a few standing plants.

I have yet to pick a Dart, but I want a larger variety that isn't too shy and isn't very expensive. I hear tincs are good starters (I like the powder blue). Ideally, I'd want a paired species to observe breeding habits/etc, keeping in mind that although I don't object to caring for eggs, I would like the most maintenance free species possible. Not sure what my limitations would be with the 12x12x18 though.

I want to create a highly efficient, low maintenance, naturalistic vivarium. I figure: If I am going to invest my time and potentially a good chunk of change into this project, I want to do it right and make it the best possible set up my resources can afford me. With all of this in mind, would anybody be able to recommend a Dart species and possibly a rough estimate of the funds needed to make a good habitat. It may be laughable, but I don't want to spend much more than $250. I realize my desired probably wreak of "newbness", but hopefully you can set me straight in what a reasonable goal for a beginner is.
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#2
Im new to PDF as well and Im here looking for info on DIY vivariums. That being said, if you are handy, $250 should be about enough for a tank, some foam, a pump, water heater, some plants and any other decorations. Im getting ready to post a thread asking for pix of DIY tanks with small ponds and waterfalls. Id like to get started on building an enclosure while Im still reading up on the husbandry of the frags...
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#3
I was thinking about getting the Med Exo Terra also but I ended up finding a 40g hex with stand and light fixture for $35! on craigslist of course. After researching a bit I came to the conclusion that the tank with the doors open to the front might be too inviting for people (kids) to want to handle the frogs. And I think it will definitely keep cost down in the end. I am wondering what kinds of garden or household woods and materials I can use in building the landscape to save money? Can I use just about anything if I boil it?
Love, Love, Love
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