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Classroom Application - Dart Frogs
Hi I'm new to the forums and wanted to ask more experienced folks about an idea I had. I learned about a month ago of the amazing possibilities that come with raising dart frogs. I returned to AZ three years ago and during that move I had to give up my salt water aquarium due to the increased cost and availability in the desert. Upon seeing the creative vivariums you all have constructed it really took me back to the joy of observing your own little biome. I'm waiting on Amazon for both Poison Dart Frogs: A Guide to Care and Breeding by Jason Juchems and Poison Dart Frogs (Complete Herp Care) by Amanda Sihler and Greg Sihler. I like to take my time and won't be even attempting set up for months until I have spoken one on one with breeders and feel like I have really done my homework. Sorry for the long winded start but I wanted folks to know I'm not a goof off and will take your responses seriously. I'm currently getting my masters in Spec. Ed and I would love to share the life cycle of these creatures with my class using a web cam that they could look at when in class. Is it even reasonable for a first time breeder to try and get tadpoles so they could see the whole process from beginning to end or should I work more towards setting up a vivarium and work with juveniles to adults first and hope they eventually breed. I know that tadpoles have a lower chance of success than young adults and haven't even contacted AZDR about the possibility. I also haven't been to a reptile show to see if breeders even offer, (I plan to go the upcoming one in Phoenix) but I thought I saw online someone offering . I just want to know if this is one man's crazy idea or if it actually has a chance of working. The two species I have been looking at in-depth are D.Leucomelas, and D. Auratus (Costa Rican G&B). I have a 20 gallon standard and a 29 gallon biocube that I was thinking of converting after heavy duty cleaning and an application of bleach (also removal of the back panel so nothing can get back there). If I need to, I am completely willing to by a new aquarium and will purchase one anyway for isolation. I can take criticism so if I'm way off the mark please let me know. Doing this correctly is more important to me than doing it soon. Thank you for your time.
The application of Dart Frogs breeding cycles is very possible for classroom study, in my opinion.

The are two distinct life cycles in Dart Frogs - Obligate egg feeding and Non obligate egg feeding. With obligate egg feeders, such as Ophaga pumilio (strawberry poison dart frog from Panama) for example, the female will feed the tadpoles exclusively with unfertilized eggs and one day, a fully formed froglet will 'magically' emerge from a bromeliad.

Non-obligates such as the two you have listed above, will transport the tadpoles to a small pond or pool and drop them off, never to be attended to again. You, the keeper, will need to provide the tadpoles with some commercially available tadpole foods.

In both cases, the breeding, transporting and metamorphosis is easily observed and enjoyed in the classroom environment.

When you say web cam, you are planning to NOT keep the vivarium itself in the classroom ?

You are in luck, geographically, as well. There are a number of good hobbyists that can provide suitable species, that live near the Phoenix area, I believe.

I would recommend a 20 gallon for a pair of frogs or a 40 gallon for a group of 2 males and 1 female (2.1)

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
#3 have selected two of the best beginner books for Dart Frog Care !

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
I hadn't planned on keeping the vivarium at first in the classroom. Since stress seems to be like such an issue I would hate for something to go wrong and not only have a deceased frog but also a child feeling guilty for doing something they didn't understand was going to stress them out. Also in a special education classroom depending on the student, the frogs themselves could stress the student out. I was going to use a cam for the most part to make sure I can maintain more control and to avoid scenarios like classroom power outage, having to lug it home weekends to maintain humidity and more. When I got comfortable with the whole process I wouldn't mind bringing things to visit or actually have an automated in class setup, but I want to get the hang of these things first in my own home and thought the cam was the best middle ground til I feel more broken in. Thanks for your advice and time.
Ok...gotcha. I had a cam set up here on a viv and even with a free hosting live-stream....the application was very good IMO.

I think you can certainly pull it off. A great cam for only $100.00 is a logitech. I mounted mine on a camera tripod and it could be positioned and moved very easily.

I would try to get the school to spring for a paid broadcast service - to make the video stream crisp and popping to help keep the kids attention.

Please post more ?? as you think of them. Exciting project, to be sure.

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
Are you a SpEd teacher, resource, ED, Self-contained? Grade levels?

Your educational level is going to be diminished by using a webcam. The interaction and actual physical habitat will aid in your education. The experience is going to greatly improve what you students will learn. I would have the terrarium in the classroom if your building administrator and BOE allows them.

And thank you for buying my book!
Later and Happy Frogging,
Jason Juchems
I teach science at a high school here in Southern California and had frogs in my classroom for quite a few years. A few years ago in an effort to save energy they connected the heat/air to a local control. The air / heat was off everday at 4 and on the weekends. Needless to say all frogs had to come home. It was a huge loss to the students.
There a quite a few applications for the frogs in the classroom. The two big areas I used them for where for my ecology and evolution units.
If you would like any help or ideas feel free to pm or email me. Good luck.

If you can still count the number of frogs you have, you obviously don't have enough.
Thanks for all the responses. I'm currently a grad student working in a school as a student teacher while completing courses. I don't know exactly what type of room I'll be placed in since I'm cross catagorical and it could be anything on the spectrum from full special ed classroom to full general ed classroom. I guess I just assumed not to bring them to school because it could stress them out, but if you all think it's ok and as long as my building admin and BOE think it's then I'm up for whatever. I guess I'm still curious more about tadpoles themselves, if folks know of places to get them, looking at probably non-obligates which I would have to feed with a mix of fish flake and algae. What is the mortality ratio people have generally found and what tips would you have on dealing with them? Anything else you think I should know? Thanks for all the support, time and great answers.
So you want tadpoles now.....not adult dart frogs ?

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
Sorry I think I have gotten people confused. I'm not ready to start now and won't be for atleast a few months to ensure proper space and cash flow to accommodate beginning the hobby. I was interested in starting eventually with tadpoles because I could use it to document the development cycle for a classroom. I just wanted to know the opportunities for that or even if it was a good idea vs. starting with a pair and waiting to document until they began laying their own eggs. Sorry for any confusion.
Bumping this for 2-3 teachers who have just signed up here.

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
For anyone wanting an update. My 18x18x24 has been growing in well for the past month. I'm moving saturday which is exciting because then I can mount the case fan and the mister system for my viv. Getting frogs in about two weeks and couldn't be more excited. After spending enough time with my viv I decided for the classroom that I would make a smaller viv either 10 or 20 gallon that way transporting wouldn't be so hard. My exo-terra even with LECA weighs a ton. For other teachers looking to use vivs in class I would definitely read lots of material and I was super privileged to visit a local breeder and see their set up, try and do the same if possible, it makes a world of difference. I will post pics of my leucs as soon as soon as I can as well as pics of the phoenix reptile show
So things changed a little in the last few weeks. I went to the reptile show and fell in love with some oyapocks. I have always found them to be the ones I was most drawn to and these guys looked healthy and active. Then in my quest to scour the internet for frogs and fun I came across a local breeder leaving the hobby due to unspecified reasons. He needed to move his frogs to a good home and offered me an amazing price. So now I have a few more frogs. In the deal I acquired some leucs, a pair of bakhuis and a pair of pumilio. I was very nervous about the pumilio being a beginner (well read, but still new) but they are one of his first pairs, they are around 7yrs and he walked me through extensively how to care for them. They all eat like little pigs and aside from some replanting that needs to be done in their vivs all look healthy and happy. Now folks will be worried about me taking on so much responsibility that it could jeopardize the health of the frogs, but I have been working very hard to establish a routine to make sure they get what they need every day. The tincs and the leucs are just fine and although the pumilio are a bit shy one of the pair is pretty much always perched watching the room from his film canister. I'll be posting pics of what I can, and my viv after two months of growth under LED's. As for classroom application, I plan to create a 20 gallon classroom display to take a pair of leucs in for my class to see. Sorry for pic quality, more to come.

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