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New to dart frogs.....looking for some guidance.

Hey everyone,

I've recently begun reading and looking into keeping dart frogs. I have a 20 gallon tall aquarium that I will be using for my initial jump into the hobby. My son and I wanted to keep a pair of D. azureus. Are there any other frogs that can live in the aquarium with them without problems?

Since my other hobby is a 90 gallon reef tank I have some spare lighting. I have 2 x 36 watt PC's with 65K bulbs from AH supply that is not currently in use. Do frogs get bothered by too much light?

My first major issue is designing the look of the tank. Can you guys give me suggestions on how you would design a 20 tall? At this point in time I'm pretty much looking for you guys to hold my hand. Big Grin

I wanted to have the tank planted at least a couple weeks before adding any frogs. I also wanted to become accustomed to raising fruit flies before I get frogs. Any good links to raising them would be great.


Jon...sounds like for the most part, you are on the right track.
Just stick with the pair of the same morph for now.
Mixing species and morphs is generally not a good idea.

Brian T. Sexton

Heya Jon - careful, PDFs are just as addicting a hobby as reef tanks! Wink

You pretty much have to stick to one type of frog per tank. Especially just starting out, and with a 20 gal tank. Someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but you might be able to keep 4 azureus in that tank if you wanted.

If you can take a bulb out of the fixture you have, I think a 36 watt would be perfect. Yes, too much light is a bad thing for frogs. If you look at other people's tanks you'll see they all have plenty of hiding spots and leaf cover. PDFs natural habitat is under a rain-forest canopy, right? Give `em plenty of shade.

Oh baby... I can't wait to do another tank. With a 20 gal tall I'd start with a false bottom. There's just too many benefits to having one. If it were me, I'd drill a hole in the bottom of the tank for drainage. Not necessary, but I'm doing it on all my future tanks. Theres plenty of info on using `Great Stuff` foam for doing a background. They look great and help in creating a waterfall or other water features. Again, not necessary, but a waterfall really adds to the look of the tank, and helps humidity. I'm guessing you'll have some ideas of a look for the tank (being a reef guy) - but in case you're not the visual type, find pics of a tank you like and copy it. You might want some larger branch/wood pieces - go find or buy those and use them to help build up the tank design. Ask away if you have any specific questions...

Get the tank up and running before getting the frogs - good call. Get those fruit fly cultures going! I wasn't prepared for my incoming frogs, and I wish I had the fly thing down before I even started the tank! Its not hard, just takes a little trial and error.

This site and are my favorites for info on all things dart.

Have fun - keep asking questions when they come up and keep us posted on the progress!

Also, I have a 20H that is lit by a 36w from ah supply, and it works perfect. I have what I hope is a pair of Brazillian yellowhead tincs in there.

Brian T. Sexton

A pair would be ideal, IMHO, tinctorius group (which includes azureus) frogs are known to be fairly aggressive towards one another.

I choose to use LECA as my drainage layer instead of false bottom.
What I did on my tank to drain it is run a small tube up behind the tree fern panel background, and use it to siphon out water when I need to.

Brian T. Sexton

Thanks for the quick replies....

I'll do some searches and look at other members set ups.

I have a leftover bag of Flourite (freshwater live plant substrate) from my FW days. Can I use that for any part of this project?

Just what I need..another addicting hobby!! Who knows maybe this will replace my reef one day and I'll be talking about a 90 gallon PDF tank. Especially if I find it a lot less frustrating than my reef.

Hopefully I can get this thing going by tomorrow. I'll take pics.


One more quick thing.

Give me your best fruit fly site so I can get that ball rolling. Anyplace you guys have used and/or recommend highly.


People have used flourite for the bottom layer of substrate - seems to be as good a choice as anything. Maybe a little more expensive than some options but if you have a bag sitting around...

LECA isn't a bad option either - I just prefer being able to see everything under a false bottom. Just personal preference really... Either way you're going to have to do some siphoning once a month or so.

Honestly - I'm starting to prefer the frogs over fish tanks. I'm kinda' sick of hauling water and getting my arms wet when I want to do some re-arranging. Frog tanks are easier too. Less work and all of the `ooooh wow` factor!

Ed's Fly Meat is popular., and also come to mind. I haven't ordered anything from these places yet because I've got a local pet store that meets my needs - so don't take just my word for it!

Thanks for the FF links. I got my substrate some Great Stuff and coco bedding. I'm hoping to start this weekend. There is a show on Dec. 3rd about half an hour away from me. Hopefully I can be set up so I can go there and get some frogs. I'll take pictures so you guys can critique.

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