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Several questions on varied topics
#1
HI everyone, I posted in the intro forum, but not a whole lot. For background, my name is Lisa I'm a wife & mom of 2 kids. We live in central New York, not too far from Syracuse.
I've never kept darts, but have kept various animals, fish, etc most of my life, some of which are cats & dogs, newts, hermit crabs, anoles, an iguana, and a great time successfully breeding/raising bettas. Due to the bettas, I am familiar with culturing live food, and the fact that there are lots of things to be learned on a forum like this, which is why I found one as soon as I decided this was something I wanted to do. Smile

Regarding answering my newbie questions, as I know the veterans get tired of answering the same thing a zillion times Wink I don't mind searching, but a effective search term would be great help (I get sidetracked to other (often unrelated) topics way to easy when my search isn't specific enough :oops: ) if that is an easier route to answer with, I really appreciate the guidance.

I'm sure I will have many questions as I start this hobby, here are a few:
I'm thinking through my viv set up and learning all I can to accomplish this with the best situation for the frogs, and family.

I read somewhere to keep the darts away from a TV (might not have been here, but TV won't work in the search function lol) is this because of the light, heat, or some other factor? I ask because my viv will most likely have to be in our living room with the TV, and a couple of computer monitors. It would be several feet away from any of these at a minimum and all the way across the room from most of it.

While I would love a front door, more cube shaped viv in the 24x18x18 size range - larger if I could afford it, I may have to resort to a 20L tank I already have. Is it not recommended to house frogs in a used habitat if I could find one for a good price that way or would that be ok with proper cleaning?

On the same lines of tank size, are the darts big leapers? If I use the 20L how great are the chances they could leap high enough to escape if a lid were opened above them (for feeding, misting etc? Would it be a better idea to convert that size to a vertical setup? Only about 12" wide that way, and the darts (beginner) being mostly terrestrial...

Another thing is that we heat with a wood stove in winter, (I realize that can cause a humidity issue also) so I have some temperature concerns. Our furnace is set at 65, so unless power goes out at night & we don't notice, it is very unlikely it would get too cold. My concern is actually the opposite. Because the house is small, on occasion it gets hot inside. Is there a way to help deal with too warm temps? Seems like I saw a reference to an internal fan? Would an external fan work, blowing around it? Seems as though the air temp, is the temp whether it is blowing around the outside or not.

Thanks for taking the time to read and advise. The community in forums like this make any hobby, that much more enjoyable and successful!
Lisa
In central NY

R. Imitator 'Cainarachi Valley' 2.3.0
R. Imitator 'Cainarachi Valley' Froglets 8 and counting.
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#2
Howdy from Texas, and welcome to the wonderful addictive hobby of poison dart frogs! I personally am going into my 9th year with the lil darlings, and it's definitely something you will love, especially if you were successful in breeding bettas. I did that as a kid. I haven't heard anything about frogs being too close to a tv, but I suppose it could be an issue. What if they don't like what you're watching? Jest kidding - if someone knows of documented instances of harm to frogs due to watching rotten tv shows, I'm sure they'll post.

IMO, a used tank will work just fine. Naturally, you'll want to clean it thoroughly, and I believe the recommended method is 10% bleach. If you have hard water stains, use lemon juice to remove them. Seriously. This works each and every time on any type of glass.

I have a few different types of frogs, from tincs to thumbs, and I've never seen one jump thru an opening. I've seen them squeeze thru a very small opening, so your best bet will be to cover the top with a glass lid. You might want to leave a little room on the end(s) for screen ventilation. You can always cover them to keep the humidity up. I really can't help with the temperature issue. All I can say is that all of my frogs survived the hottest summer in years, but it's also very humid down here.

It seems to me that the pdf hobby is made out to be a lot harder than it really is. Trust me, it's not. Build your tank for the type of frog you want. In most cases, people will suggest (me included) that you start with Leucs. They're a social frog, so you can keep more than one, and the males have a pleasant call. Please don't add any other type of frog - it's a well-known fact that Dendrobates will breed together when mixed and the conditions are right. Hybrids are worthless in the hobby, and mixers are scorned/blacklisted/given the evil eye.

One of the things you'll want to do before you get your frogs (weeks before) is to learn to cultivate fruitflies. Very easy, once you get the hang of it.

It's an awesome hobby and you will love it. There are a lot of folks up north who can probably help you out if you need hands-on type of help. Otherwise, ask away, and we'll be happy to answer.

kristi
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#3
I believe the TV warning is about loud noises causing stress. A top opening tank will be fine, just keep an eye out when you open the lid. Most of my vivs are standard aquariums and I have never had a problem (knock on wood). A 20L is an ok size, just keep in mind that after a false-bottom and substrate you are not going to have very much vertical space at all. This is ok, but it will limit your plant choices. You will definitely want to figure out a way to keep your lighting off the top of such a shallow tank and maybe even use a fan outside the tank (like you were asking about). Honestly, I would just go get a 29 which would be much easier to work with and shouldn't be too expensive.
-Field Smith
Some frogs...
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#4
I think if she just sets the tv channel on National Geographic, the frogs will feel right at home. As far as the light goes, it can be set up on blocks or something of that nature. Get creative. We built hoods for two of our larger tanks and they work out great in regulating the temp and humidity. The fan idea is a good one.

The false bottom really depends on how tall it is. If it's tall enuf to accommodate a water pump, then yes, it may limit the room. If it's only a couple of inches, I don't think she'll have any problems. We just don't want those beautiful plants getting wet feet.

To the OP (original poster) - have you considered what kind of frog you want to start with yet?
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#5
Thanks for the replies, I am going today to check out various other sizes/types of tanks, see what the prices are around here. I really do like the look of more vertical space.

I'm not worried about it being hard, it seems pretty straight forward, and I am pretty confident in my husbandry "skills", and ability to learn quickly, so on that front no concern. More of a concern to me is spending the money on plants, wood etc and having it look awful! LOL

The hardest part of all will be choosing what type!! They are all so beautiful! I have been reading, so realize just one type. I know it will be one of the 4 beginner type: Azureus, Tinc, Leuc, or Auratus. I have seen morphs of all of these that I like. It may come down to what I see that catches my eye & is available once the tank is ready! I would like ones that I could have a group or trio of, based of course on the size viv I end up using. At this point nothing is decided. Is it a bad idea to just wait for the viv to be ready, then decide on impulse when I see something I like (out of the 4 mentioned)?

How long is recommended to wait before introducing any pdf - after the tank is set up, planted, springtails introduced etc? I haven't come across that info yet.
Lisa
In central NY

R. Imitator 'Cainarachi Valley' 2.3.0
R. Imitator 'Cainarachi Valley' Froglets 8 and counting.
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#6
The TV thing is odd....I've heard speculation about fruit flies receiving radiation from tellies and producing fliers, but nothing about frogs.

Shy frogs become more bold when placed in the "flow" of a room. It may take awhile, but I'm sure of it. No worries with a living room other than the odd escaped bug - no biggie either IMO.

Planting and "seeding" a vivarium before adding frogs is personal preference as well. I would say, the longer you wait after adding microfauna, the better - gives it a chance to dig in and get established.
https://www.facebook.com/dartden/

https://twitter.com/DartDen


"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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#7
It's really better if you can decide on what type of frog you want first before deciding how you're going to build your tank. Some frogs are more arboreal than others, which make a vertical setup very nice; others don't climb much at all and they prefer a horizontal setup. If you're thinking of getting more than 2 frogs, then you'll want to stick with Leucs or Auratus. Azureus and other tincs do better in pairs. Otherwise, there will be wrestling matches that can result in death. I saw this recently at a local pet store - very sad.

I believe that most folks give their tanks about a month to establish the plants and the microfauna. During that time, your frogs will most likely be in quarantine if you have them already, and you'll be making fruitfly cultures. There are a lot of good homemade recipes for the dry ingredients and they work quite well when mixed with water/vinegar. Other hobbyists use a store bought mold inhibitor, tho I can't remember the name. The frogs that you've listed can take Hydei, which is the largest of the fruitflies. They take about 3 weeks until they hatch, and i can usually get 2 hatches from my Hydei cultures. Melanogaster are much smaller and they come in several varieties including flightless, wingless, and others. They are pretty quick to hatch out, maybe two weeks. On the downside with Mels is that if they get over-heated, they WILL learn to fly. Also, if a wild fruitfly gets in with your mels, they'll start flying. It can be a pain, but they can also save your butt when all other cultures crash, mainly because they hatch so quickly. Other food sources include termites, bean beetles, isopods and such. If you do any outside collecting, stay away from areas that might be treated with insecticides or fertilizer.

I know it's hard to pick out one kind of frog even before you make your tank, but the tank setup will depend on the type of frog. Btw, don't plan on sticking with one tank. The hobby is very addictive and the frogs are fascinating and you will be adding more tanks to your collection.

kindest regards,
kristi
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#8
For your first frog I really can't recommend D. leucomelas strongly enough. They are bright, bold, hardy, can do well in groups, and their call is amazing. A word of warning though: If you choose leucs as your first frog you will be spoiled and choosing your next species will be tough (other stuff just has a hard time competing when compared to the awesomeness of leucs). With that said, my first frogs were D. auratus and they were great. I like my D. tinctorious, but honestly my favorites are still my leucs (with my E. anthonyi "Santa Isabel" coming in a close second...not a bad beginner frog either, you should check them out). Good luck with whatever you decide.
-Field Smith
Some frogs...
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#9
I think Guppygal said get the fies up and running.
Thats very good advice.

You didn't say... but how hot do you think it could get with the woodstove in the area they are being placed?

I am no expert, but I think everyone agrees to try and keep them under 80 degrees.

Good luck- you will love them!
Todd
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#10
Hi Todd,

Yes, Kristi did mention the flies, and I keep forgetting to mention that I do have them going (my son as a salamander that is also eating them.) Thanks for making sure Smile

It only happens occasionally, for example we have the stove going and it warms up outside etc. I would say at those times, it can get up to 85 or so for periods.

I have thought about it, and if that is dangerously high, I'm thinking that if it becomes extreme like that hubby & I could move the tank temporarily to our room which tends to be a little cooler, and even more so if we close it off. Would that stress them terribly? My thought is to put a board on the stand under it which could be used to lift the whole thing and relocate.
Lisa
In central NY

R. Imitator 'Cainarachi Valley' 2.3.0
R. Imitator 'Cainarachi Valley' Froglets 8 and counting.
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#11
A question regarding high temperatures from any cause (or stress in general). Are there specific behaviors that one can see that will give warning of stressed frogs?
ex. my bettas would go pale and get horizontal stripes, or a dog panting heavily without an obvious cause like heat, or exercise etc.

I'm sure that once I get them I will spend way to much of my time watching, (experience speaking from my betta breeding days!) and would recognize changes to normal behavior anyway, but just wondered for a newbie, if there would be anything specific to watch for until I established normal behavior.
Lisa
In central NY

R. Imitator 'Cainarachi Valley' 2.3.0
R. Imitator 'Cainarachi Valley' Froglets 8 and counting.
Reply
#12
I've heard that frogs tend to bury themselves in the substrate when temps are too high for their liking. Someone else may have a better answer, tho -

k
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#13
hmmm. A "flattened" frog is a stressed frog - but that's usually physical stress and not temp related. I have seen pumilio take temps over 85F before but I would never recommend that. Usually any temp reading close to 80F and I start to get worried. Go by "room temp" / ambient temps and then you have to add on / consider the lighting heat (usually 3-8 degrees depending on wattage and distance yada yada).
https://www.facebook.com/dartden/

https://twitter.com/DartDen


"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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#14
Thanks k & Phil,

I did get a Temp Gun with the laser so I will be able to keep close tabs if it starts to get too near 80 in the room, and if fans don't do the job and it is necessary will move it (viv) to the slightly cooler room until it is safe again.

On another topic: I have pretty much decided to use LECA instead of a false bottom, with the screening between that and the substrate. Will this require a drainage hole or similar? Any cautions against doing it this way?

I am pretty much at a standstill on doing anything further on getting a viv going, since I can't find anyone in the area yet to know what types of frog are available to me locally, and I understand that I need to know the frog type so I can build the correct habitat for them...

I was very excited to find a couple of attractive wood pieces at a store near me, mopani and driftwood. Also have FF & springtail cultures going, my temp and humidity checking tools and have several options for getting the leca from hydroponic supply places in the area.
How much LECA would be required for the 18x18x24 Zoo Med? I understand around 2" deep is needed?
I think for this first one, I will forgo the GS and go with one of the panel type backgrounds, perhaps (if it can be done on/with the panels) using just a bit of the GS, for maybe ledge type spots for climbing/broms.
Lisa
In central NY

R. Imitator 'Cainarachi Valley' 2.3.0
R. Imitator 'Cainarachi Valley' Froglets 8 and counting.
Reply
#15
Wanted to say, so no one worries, that I relooked at my notes and noticed that it may not be best to keep a trio of tincs in the tank I'm getting. Any comments on this one way or the other?
Lisa
In central NY

R. Imitator 'Cainarachi Valley' 2.3.0
R. Imitator 'Cainarachi Valley' Froglets 8 and counting.
Reply
#16
Have you decided what type of frogs you're going to get? And you are correct - the larger tincs are quite selfish and they prefer couples rather than a threesome.
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#17
I am not for sure, there are things I like about them all! I seem to keep coming back to the tincs, because the yellow and blue together really appeals to me, I like the brightness, and that they tend to be more bold, too.

Without finding anyone near enough to pick up frogs from, though, I don't know how I will ever be able to make a final choice, since I won't know what is available to choose from Sad

What are your thoughts on the age of frogs that are best to get and also, if unsexed, what number to get to hopefully get a pair? Or do you recommend another way of getting a pair? Beside money making a difference. I also would very much enjoy watching the development/growth of them if younger was a feasible way to go. I would love to breed eventually, but am in no rush for that.
Lisa
In central NY

R. Imitator 'Cainarachi Valley' 2.3.0
R. Imitator 'Cainarachi Valley' Froglets 8 and counting.
Reply




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