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Best Dart Frog kept in small groups ?

I am currently making a vivarium from a 75gal aquarium I got from a friend. I am just wondering what type of Dart Frog would be best to keep in a small group (5-8 frogs). I know that mixing varieties and colors is not a good idea. I am looking for one frog species / variety to keep.


Most of the phyllobates species do well in groups, and in particular terribillis and bicolor are stunning display tank inhabitants, as they are bold and easily seen.
D. lucomelas are also reported to do well in colonies.
P. vittatus and P. aurotaina are gorgeous but some say they are shy.
They are not really darts, but golden mantellas do better as a group and are really fun to watch.
Just my $0.02!

Brian T. Sexton

I had the same idea, get a group of darts, and a member of the forum (Cindy Dickens) gave me some suggestions. Heres what Cindy had to say:

while tincs would be a good choice for a beginner frog......I would not recommend trying to keep a group of them. With that size tank you might want to look in to doing a group of leucomelas ( one of my favorites), or
galactonotus, auratus, or some of the phyllobates such as terribilis or vittatus.
Tincs are a good beginner frog from the stand point they are hardy, easily obtainable, able to eat larger food items. However they are territorial.
More than likely they ones you would purchase would be juveniles, and they would do fine together until the start to reach sexual maturity (around 12 months of age). At that time you will start to see them battling for position to breed ( males VS males, females VS females) so unless you had the room to separate them should you end up with something more than a male female pair, it could cause problems.

Cindy Dicken
Vivarium Concepts

You should definately check out her site, www, as well. Its got some great shots of a variety of darts.
Good luck Big Grin.

This site also has some choices (for purchase too!) of frogs that do well in groups. The right-hand column do best alone, and the left-hand column do fine in groups.

Thanks for the input... I really appreciate it. I was primarily interested in Dendrobates (like auratus) species. Are there any in this family that are group friendly? Where can I find a good list of Phyllobates varieties so I can see what color morphs are available.

Thanks again!

Dendrobates auratus, D. leucomelas, D. galactonotus, DA. imitator, Phyliobates terribilis, and P. vitattus are all group friendly, in my personal experience, which is limited, because I haven't tried to keep other species that might be so. I'm also limited to personal experience with D. pumilio, D. reticulatus, D. fantasticus and DA. castaneoticus, and DA. azureus, which aren't. Although the thumbnails, like D. fantasticus and D. reticulatus appear to get along in a group at first, I'm not certain they do in the long run. They seem to get more territorial with age. Pumilios are decidedly territorial and don't get along with anyone but an opposite sexed mate.

There are two color morphs among the P. terribilis that I have. One is sort of orange and the other is the mint green. Both are delightful and bold. Don't be put off by having "just a green frog," if you should choose the mint green. It is a very special, glowing, reflective green, even more striking than the orange or yellowish ones.

Among all of the good "groupie" frogs, I think my very favorite is the D. galactonotus, pumpkin orange, splash-back morph. They are the only dart frogs I have that seem to have a modicum of "intelligence," in the anthrophomorphic sense. They appear to know what is going on outside of their vivarium, as well as in. It may be just the location of their 135 gallon paludarium, with open views upon both the living room and kitchen, but they seem to observe us, as much as we observe them. Dinner guests want to feed them from their plates, because they seem to be begging like dogs from that side of the tank. They seem to be more curious and inventive that the other darts. They seem to communicate with each other about unusual food sources. When one of them inadvertently caught a platy fish fry from the aquarium portion, while fishing for fallen in fruit flies off the bank between the aquarium and terrestrial portion, within a minute, the rest of them were there lined up, "fishing." All they needed was a miniature six pack of Bud, to look exactly like our local river fishermen in an orange jumpsuit.

Maybe it is just because the galacts are more observable because of the location of their habitat, but so are the blue auratus, and we rarely see them. They scurry away if you spot one. They hate being looked at. Galacts look you in the face and tell you to give them food. They appear to recognize you as "the food guy."


I would go with a group of Costa Rican dendrobated Auratus. They are very active and do great in groups, are a great begginer frog and have bright coloation. You could go for a group of 8 in that size of a tank. Give me a pm if you want some Auratus for a great price.


All you guys are really helpful. I am researching all the frogs mentioned. If there are any more you think of by all means please post them. I will be researching for a year or so until my vivarium is fully stable and established. Don't really want to subject my frogs to an underdeveloped vivarium thats still in the "testing" phase.

Can Dendrobates amazonicus be kept in groups???


Hi 41714049,
yes amazonicus can be kept in groups, and a 75 gal tank would be a good size for a group.
I wouldn't necessarily consider amazonicus a good thumbnail to start out with however.

Cindy Dicken
Vivarium Concepts

I agree, I wouldn't start out with a thumbnail either, If you really wanted to, then I would suggest Vents or Imitators.


Why are amazonicus not recommended??? What makes them more difficult to take care of???

Would Phyllobates vittatus be a good choice... it is also a small frog... too difficult to take care of too???

Thanks for all the replies.

We'll actually I stated that wrong, I wouldn't personally put thumbs in that big of a tank (you probably would never see them). But Amazonicus are more expensize and not reccomend for begginers, they need smaller food sources such as springtails and woodlice, and including fruit flies. I f you wanted to start off with thumbs, I would go with vents, they are the cheapest, but you would have to house them in a ten to twenty five gallon.


Sorry, I was just wondering why not amazonicus. Thanks for the info. Still researching.

I am not against having frogs that I only see once in a while. I enjoy looking for my animals as they go about their lives. Besides I am willing to give up seeing them once in a while if they are happy critters with enough space to feed, breed, and play. I just noticed that amazonicus actually like living in trees. Probably a very tall tank would be good. Unfortunately, my tank size is geared more towards terrestrial frogs.

Are Dendrobates ventrimaculatus more arboreal or terrestrial???


They would need a vertical tank also, just like most thumbs, except Retics. Most thumbs are found in the forest trees, except Retics which are found in both the trees and leaf litter. For your tank I would go for Azeurs, Leucs, Auratus, Blue Auratus, Terriblis, Bicolors, Tricolors, or any of the various forms of Tincs.


Thanks for the input. I am thinking between the auratus "Hawaiian", auratus "Blue", or leucomelas. I would like to have a group of 4-6 maybe 8 if possible.

Thanks for helping.

Necro thread of the week. A response post by Patty Slayton ! Those of you old timers may remember her.I do.

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".

Vents do best in groups . Probably the best 100% hands down

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