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Newbie Looking for Dart Frogs and Supplies in Austin, TX

Ok, so I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a vivarium till a few weeks ago when searching some orchid forums there was a discussion about them. As soon as I saw it I wanted one! These are way too cool, plus it means I can make use of one of the 55gal. aquariums that my husband has laying around. (I can already feel myself getting sucked into the addiction)

I have been doing lots of research on-line searching through the forums. I plan having a false bottom and use an Eheim 2213 (I’m think its overkill but I found one for cheap) for filtering and water features. Haven’t figured it out yet but I also want an automated mist system.

Anyway I was hoping that someone knows of some local places to Austin, TX that would carry dart frogs and supplies or even an upcoming reptile show that might have them? Zoo Keepers is the only place I can find and although helpful they have a very limited selection. I know I can get everything online but being so new I would rather see what I am getting first. Anyone that can reply with any other suggestions where I might try looking? Any upcoming reptile shows in the area that might have them? I would drive anywhere from San Antonio to Waco.

If you look through the forums, there are explanations of how to change one of those cheap WalGreens brand humidifiers into a mister. Im sure that if you have an old one laying around you could turn it into a mister.

As far as buying darts, I wouldnt know. I live in Nebraska and have no knowledge of Texas. But if no one else can help try here:

A lot of those sites will ship the frogs to you... check around for prices though. They can get pretty pricy.

Big Grin

I didn't find the Ehiem 2213 in my catalog, so I don't know for sure what the gallon per hour (GPH) is, however the other 2200 series are rated at over 250 GPH, so your model might put out a little too much for what you are wanting to do, considering you will probably have less than 15 gallons of water in your setup. We have never used Ehiem, we usually use the Fluval series. Most of our applications we can get by with the Fluval 104, and we don't have any problems with too much flow for the water feature.

As for misting systems, we carry the Rainmaker system. The Rainmaker Jr with 2 misting heads would be plenty for that size tank.

a fogger and a mister serve too different purposes. A fogger will help to increase the humidity of the tank while a mister will clease the tank by washing off the leaves and flushing everything to the substrate.
What you are discribing is where we take an ultrasonic humidifier and modifying it to fog the tank to help raise the humidity( and it is also pretty cool to watch).

Cindy Dicken
Vivarium Concepts

Oh heh heh yeah. I knew that, but I didnt at the same time?


The Eheim 2213 has ~120GPH flow rate, I think it is comparable for the Fluval 104. I have found the Eheim for $50 - $60 local, which seems to be a pretty good price. I was considering doing more of a paludarium set up with small fish. After researching about the frogs I am thinking I will just stick with the vivarium with water features, at least for my first set up (we have 3 55gal empty aquariums!).

I was hoping to find a less expensive way of doing a mist system. The kits look nice but they are a little pricy (maybe I can trade one of the aquariums for a discount ha ha).

I also want a fogger just because they look cool but since I don't have a humidifier laying around I'll just buy one. They don't seem to be too bad in price.

One other thing I am trying to figure out is the lid for the aquarium. I have been told to get a screen lid to clip on and then to get a piece of plexi glass cut to fit the top as well with a 2"x2" area cut of of two corners for ventilation. This seems like it would make it a big hassel to feed the frogs being that the light, screen, and glass would all have to come off. There must be a better way to do this?

as I recall that
is about the same flow rate as the Fluval 104 so you should be able to work with that.

You might be able to Google a DIY misting setup.

As for the fogger, you can pick them up at the drug store, or the big box discount stores or around $30-$40. Just be sure it says it is an ULTRASONIC humidifier.

I would bypass the screen/acrylic combo, and get a glass lid for the tank.

Cindy Dicken
Vivarium Concepts


Again thanks for all the information.

Can you elaborate on the glass lid? I have heard of getting a glass lid in two pieces. One that covers 80% and the other 20%, so its easy to remove the small one and feed. The one question I have about this is what do you do for ventilation? I was told I would need a very small area open for this? So I am not sure how I do this with a glass lid? Also what about any hoses running out of the back?


glad we can help you!

55gal tanks are fairly standard and easy to find parts for. You can probably find a lid at Petsmart. Does your tank have the center brace running from front to back in the middle of the top opening, or is the top totally open?

Cindy Dicken
Vivarium Concepts


I believe they are totaly open but I will have to double check. I think we have one lid with three hinged sections in the front (described to me by my husband). Sounds like I could make this work but I am unclear on the ventilation aspect and if I would need to leave one of the three sections open?

hey erin,

i'm just piping in to say that i've just moved to austin, and have noticed that lots of austinites seem to be into darts. i would like to maybe start a local chapter of Texas Dart Frogs. i'm still in the moving in process, so need some time before starting something, but shoot me a pm and maybe we can have a coffee. at the very least i have some plant cuttings which are clean(no pesticides, fertilizer, or contact with frogs) which i can hook you up with.

hey cindy,
nice to see you here helping folks out. the imi's are doing splendidly. i'll see you here in august if not before.





Hi Mack,
it's good to hear from you!
I'm glad the imitators are doing well!

I think it would be great if we could get an Austin chapter going, there are quite a few froggers in that area!

I hope you and Erin can meet up!

Cindy Dicken
Vivarium Concepts

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