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Hello from Seattle! New to the frog world!
Hi there! I just set up my first frog tank and found this forum so thought I would say hello and introduce myself as I will probably be posting a lot in the near future. I have been keeping reptiles since I was young, mostly lizards and snakes, but never frogs. I currently have an orange hypo bearded dragon named Leonard. Some friends of mine recently had a baby, and decided to rehome all (or most) of their reptiles. Their dart frogs were the one that they insisted on keeping since they had invested so much time and money into their set-up. A few weeks ago I got an e-mail from these friends that said after much discussion they had decided to get rid of the frog tank, but wouldn't give it to just anyone. Me, being the reptile enthusiast that I am, was first on their list! I jumped at the opportunity! Their last frog had died over the summer so they had just been keeping the plants alive, which I admit was perfectly fine with me... this gives me a clean slate to work with.

So, it is now a week later, I have already purchased a new glass top, and a new lighting system. The compact fluorscent lamp they had on it when it was given to me was kind of a yellowish glow and diminished the look of the vivarium a bit. I got a brand new dual T-5 fixture with 2 bulbs. 1 7k bright white daylight, and 1 plant bulb. it looks AMAZING compared to how it looked before. After 3 days of having these lights on, the plants already look healthier. The setup is fairly old, and they substrate needs to be replaced. Its not draining properly into the false bottom and just looks flat and sad. So... I also ordered 3 new plants ("wandering Jew," Neoregelia dungsiana, and a jewel orchid), a natural fern panel background, 2 bags of ABG mix substrate, a new substrate barrier in case the one that's in there has been corroded, live moss, and some vines. I am now roughly $150 into my "free" dart frog tank... which the wife isn't too thrilled about, but shes excited too so she got over it soon enough lol. Once my new stuff comes and I let the tank settle and let the springtails re-colonize, it will be time to finally add the frogs!

Any suggestions on starter frogs? Im thinking a male/female pair of either Dendrobates tinctorius 'Azureus', or Dendrobates leucomelas 'Fine Spot' or another type of leucomelas. Are these good starter frogs? And is a pair a good idea or would you recommend a group of 3 or more? The tank is a 20 gallon tall by the way.

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Well for starters welcome to dart den! Glad to have you in the community. You sound like your on a path to success. In addition to what you said above, first thing I would do is remove the water feature and buy a huge bag of leaf litter, enough to cover bottom surface at least 1" or more. Then add some spring tails. Next, make sure you have a good handle on culturing FFs. While the viv is under construction, read this website inside and out. Buy a cheap Dart frog book on Meet local froggers if possible. Don't be shy about posting questions.

Keep us posted w your progress
Scott - North Dallas
Hello,and welcome a lot of good info here be sure to search the forums. Leucomelas are good in groups. They are pretty active and have a nice call too. I prefered them over azureus.
Be sure to clean and disenfect everything in the old set up. Ten percent bleach solution works, dip the plants in that too and rinse well.
Leucs do well in groups, but with a 20 gallon, a pair is good. Rule of thumb, 10 gallons per adult frog. Both leucs and azureus are good for beginners. Leucs OK in groups (10 gal per adult), azureus (also 10 gal per adult) keep 1:1--they tend to scrap if more than a pair. I have both, and really enjoy watching both leucs and azureus. Both colorful and beautiful, and active! With a 20 gallon, a pair is perfect, so I would go with what you can find locally. It's so much less stressful to buy local, or person to person, vs having to worry about shipping.
Keep us posted, and good luck!
P. Terribilis orange, R. Imitator Cainarachi Valley, D. Leucomelas, D. Auratus, D. Azureus, P. vittatus, D. cobalts, D.Oyapok, Bombina Orientalis
Welcome! This is an addictive hobby and I'm sure this won't be your last viv! I have a pair of azureus and they are great. Always out, they don't care about a three year old standing in front of the viv pointing and laughing. They seem to enjoy movie night, pulling up next to the glass and watching us watch a movie. I have not kept leucs, but as others have said, you can't go wrong with either frog! Maybe you should just get that second viv now so you can setup for both Wink

Word of caution on Wandering Jew - it grows fast and can take over, so don't be shy about pruning. I ended up throwing mine out - it overtook most other plants in the viv and in general it never looked good in my viv. Good luck and keep the pictures coming!
Jim from Austin --- Lorenzo keepers PM me about a US breeding program
lorenzo | nominant fants | highlands | summersi | bakhuis | azureus

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