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Old 04-16-2018, 05:06 AM
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Default I must be doing something right

It's been awhile now. ET is getting bigger. Caught the camera flash just right while sitting on the branch. Lucky shot of the shy species.
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Old 04-16-2018, 03:54 PM
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Default Re: I must be doing something right

That ground is to wet and those gauges are the worst ones you could be using. They aren't worth the plastic they are made from. You need more going on in that tank also. There should be live plants and visual barriers throughout it. The more secure you make the viv for them the less they would be afraid to come out
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Old 04-17-2018, 05:40 AM
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Default Re: I must be doing something right

Well I misted right before that picture so of course it is wet in the tank. My substrate is separated by mesh from the clay balls so I am not sure if you think I have a swamp going on? If so, I don't.
My set up is for a frog not plants. My frog comes out quite a bit but hides from the light of the camera. That is all I meant by shy. They are forest floor dwellers by nature. It has plenty of places to hide and a branch runs through. That is a 20 gallon tank for 1 frog. It is quite bold and loves a shower but sees the cellphone light come on and flees into the leaves.

Ps. Those are the gauges that were available at the local stores which are better than just the stick on tape temperature gauge piece of crap. I didn't understand there was a difference until too late but hope to buy some digital ones that stick into the substrate in the future.
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Old 04-17-2018, 02:14 PM
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Default Re: I must be doing something right

The frog looks good, but I too just want to inquire about some things for the tank. It's good that you have a drainage layer, but what kind of substrate are you using? I know that a lot of vendors nowadays suggest adding a layer of sphagnum moss above the substrate, but I can't tell from the pic if you have one or not. I'm just being cautious, but if you do, I would ditch it. Sphagnum moss holds moisture like nothing else, and having it as a full layer above the substrate can have consequences. People have had frogs lose their legs just from bacterial infections from the constantly moist sphagnum.

While digital humidity gauges are better than the plastic ones, they can still be unreliable. I have a digital humidity gauge, and I take its readings with a grain of salt, because they can often be calibrated wrong, or eventually drift so that the readings you get are consistently higher or lower than the actual humidity in the tank. I'll typically gauge humidity by looking at the plants and by looking at the sphagnum moss on the background.

A thick layer of leaf litter is definitely the most important thing for giving you frogs hides and making them comfortable, even arguably more important than having live plants in there, but I really think that having both is the best. A well planted tank will have some plants that block the light from above somewhat, making the frog more comfortable to come out of the leaf litter and under the shade of that plant. I'm not saying you need a ton of plants, but throwing in a cheap and easy to grow pothos or ficus pumila or any easy to grow tropical plant will help replicate that rainforest environment even more.

I've seen D. auratus in the wild, and while it is true that they hang around predominantly in leaf litter piles, there are still plants around.

These are just some suggestions that I have, with the best interests of the frog in mind. Let me know if you have any questions.
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Old 04-20-2018, 03:58 AM
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Default Re: I must be doing something right

Hi Josh
My substrate is eco forest floor with some crushed charcoal mixed in. Then there's a bunch of layered leaves and a branch that bends up and back down. I have been lurking on the board for months and read a post about spaghnum eating off my frogs legs. I think it was a post by Ed. That's not in there.
I put a green blanket over the glass most of the time. I have small lights so it feels more like a forest home. My frog was captive bred so it knows no different.

I am NOT a plant person. I would have a bunch of dead plants in there very quickly. I was looking at plastic ones but haven't purchased.
I plan on making my clay ball and rock area more than 2 inches before Summer to help keep the tank cooler. I read a post that said 5 inches regulates the temp better. Any thoughts or opinions on that are welcome.
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Old 04-20-2018, 04:03 AM
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Default Re: I must be doing something right

Hi Josh
My substrate is eco forest floor with some crushed charcoal mixed in. Then there's a bunch of layered leaves and a branch that bends up and back down. I have been lurking on the board for months and read a post about spaghnum eating off my frogs legs. I think it was a post by Ed. That's not in there.
I put a green blanket over the glass most of the time. I have small lights so it feels more like a forest home. My frog was captive bred so it knows no different.

I am NOT a plant person. I would have a bunch of dead plants in there very quickly. I was looking at plastic ones but haven't purchased.
I plan on making my clay ball and rock area more than 2 inches before Summer to help keep the tank cooler. I read a post that said 5 inches regulates the temp better. Any thoughts or opinions on that are welcome.
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Old 04-20-2018, 04:37 AM
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Default Re: I must be doing something right

That forest floor bedding is awful for frogs. It holds to much moisture in it. You should really go with an ABG style substrate from a vendor that specializes in PDFs.Contrary to what you think, your ground is to wet.
Plants can just be something simple like a pothos but they do more than just brighten up your viv. They greatly help with humidity control as well as give your frogs somewhere else to climb and hide. Regardless of your frog being CB, you should still try and give it a somewhat natural environment. I know you feel that ,by the title of your thread, you're doing something right, you built something that is barely viable.
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Old 04-20-2018, 05:18 AM
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Lightbulb Re: I must be doing something right

You live your life and I will live mine Jesse.
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Old 04-20-2018, 05:23 AM
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Default Re: I must be doing something right

Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnMetal View Post
You live your life and I will live mine Jesse.
I'm just trying to share my nearly 20 years of keeping reptiles amphibians and invertebrates. I guess your couple months of reading a few threads has given you a greater insight than me. Enjoy your frog and please consider improving your husbandry in the future.
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Old 04-20-2018, 02:01 PM
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Default Re: I must be doing something right

I know that it's really tempting to discount the advice of others. Pride often gets in the way, and the online everyone-versus-me fight or flight response is strong. I 100% get that. However, here's the bottom line: there have been some really valid points made here. I've only been keeping frogs for about a decade, but in that time I have been humbled by this board more than once. The amount of knowledge and experience contained herein is mind boggling, and unlike some other communities, it is truly rare to see someone here that wants anything other than the absolute best for ALL frogs, whether their own or those belonging to someone else.

So, here's what I suggest. If you can get over your pride, take some of the advice here and post some updated shots. You'll get encouragement; I promise you. If you can't get over your pride, and I get it, it's tough, STILL take the advice but pretend online you didn't. Your frogs will benefit and we'll never know that you admitted that other people had good points.

We won't know the difference, but your frogs will!

P.S. Was I the only one who took like 30 seconds to find the frog? It was like "Where's Waldo?"
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Old 04-20-2018, 02:07 PM
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Default Re: I must be doing something right

I have to agree with Aldross, here. You are making some really non-standard decisions with regard to keeping dart frogs. That substrate and the absence of plants are not decisions that I would have made to keep dart frogs. Some things are not just subjective or aesthetic decisions. They directly impact the welfare of the animals. I hope you spend some more time perusing this board and looking at the commonalities of the habitats that people who that have been in the hobby for decades have created for their dart frogs. You will probably have more long-term success if you stand on the shoulders of giants.

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Old 04-20-2018, 02:41 PM
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Default Re: I must be doing something right

That your frog is still alive and is occasionally visible isn't an indication that its habitat is ideal. Previous commenters aren't interested in telling you that you're wrong (or telling you how to live your life), they're concerned for the health and wellbeing of the frog. They're trying to help you provide the best home for an amazing animal.

Please take them up on their recommendations to swap out your substrate, add some plants (I bet you can keep them alive!), and generally improve the set-up for your pet. Get these supplies from a vendor that specializes in PDF care. It really is in your frog's best interest. And if you can't keep plants alive, then you should re-home your frog to a more experience owner before it dies. Right now it's setup is akin to keeping a person in solitary confinement with a soggy floor. It may survive for a while -- possibly a few months, but it's stressed, at serious risk for physical health problems, and a really poor environment in almost every way.
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Old 04-21-2018, 02:01 PM
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Default Re: I must be doing something right

The internet can be a terribly judgmental place. I joined this board to learn not to be verbally attacked by the very first reply with no actual knowledge of my tank just assumptions. No questions ~ JUST ASSUMPTIONS. If you notice Josh gave great advice without assuming anything. Josh also received a reply that matched.

I was very tired from a long day at work when I replied to Josh and I am actually using Zoo Med Forest Floor and crushed Charcoal. I found the package I used. This substrate is meant for a humid tank like this which is why I purchased it.

I researched the MANY different ways to CHOOSE to raise these frogs plants or no plants, substrates, drainage layers, misters, size of tank, etc. Some people put them in tiny sweater box enclosures with spaghnum moss. Some think they MUST have a water feature. Others make fantastical slices of the rainforest. There are many decisions to make and to make assumptions from one small picture is ridiculous.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I will be creating a new larger drainage area soon. I have a chance to change the substrate but the springtails seem to like this one. Any valid suggestions on that new project are welcome.
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Old 04-21-2018, 02:09 PM
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Default Re: I must be doing something right

The internet can be a terribly judgmental place. I joined this board to learn not to be verbally attacked by the very first reply with no actual knowledge of my tank just assumptions. No questions ~ JUST ASSUMPTIONS. If you notice Josh gave great advice without assuming anything. Josh also received a reply that matched.

I was very tired from a long day at work when I replied to Josh and I am actually using Zoo Med Forest Floor and crushed Charcoal. I found the package I used. This substrate is meant for a humid tank like this which is why I purchased it.

I researched the MANY different ways to CHOOSE to raise these frogs plants or no plants, substrates, drainage layers, misters, size of tank, etc. Some people put them in tiny sweater box enclosures with spaghnum moss. Some think they MUST have a water feature. Others make fantastical slices of the rainforest. There are many decisions to make and to make assumptions from one small picture is ridiculous.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I will be creating a new larger drainage area soon. I have a chance to change the substrate but the springtails seem to like this one. Any valid suggestions on that new project are welcome.
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Old 04-21-2018, 02:37 PM
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Hello, first off i dont have frogs yet and could not (until recently) keep plants alive. The plants will make the viv more balanced and provide security. Pothos is super easy to care for, i mist 1 or 2 times a day and all my plants are doing well, or at least no brown stems or die offs. Once you have a few tropical plants in there, they will do well since you are already replicating their native environment. I have a large viv with a skink that eats and crushes the plants regularly, yet they keep on kicking since environment is decently balanced.
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Old 04-21-2018, 06:35 PM
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Default Re: I must be doing something right

Good morning,

Firstly, welcome to the board.

Since you are planning on updating the enclosure, now would be a good time to offer up some suggestions as to what direction you could move in terms of your substrate.

Given that this is a 20 gallon and seemingly a normally oriented tank (top opening is up), I think we would all suggest making a false bottom out of egg crate (will save on weight). Or, you could use some of the Leca clay balls, gravel, etc.. The point of this layer would be give excess water a place to go. IE, water that isnt soaked up by your leaves, substrate.. etc. Without a drilling a hole in the enclosure though, and installing a bulkhead, even this water will eventually build up to a point that it will need to be removed or siphoned out. Otherwise your substrate will become waterlogged and you will end up with a soggy/stinky mess. There are plenty of threads on here if you do a quick search on drainage layer or false bottom that go into much more detail.

As for your substrate. I do have to agreed based on my experience, it needs to go. It is sold as a product meant for humid conditions at your local pet shop yes... however, it is seemingly not a substrate meant to be in an enclosure that is going to be misted multiple times a day. As Jesse mentioned, it does soak up too much moisture.

I am sure everyone one else would agree on this point, it is good that you are using charcoal, and this is really probably what your springtails are liking so much. Especially if its activated charcoal. Activated charcoal helps allow some extra airflow in the soil, keeps it airy. The carbon in the charcoal will work as a filter and absorb many impurities in liquid and gases in your tank. Will also help it smell a bit better as well. Can also use search to go more in depth.

As your main substrate, a lot of us use ABG mix. This can be mixed by yourself (you can search for successful recipes on here), or can be ordered from various places on the internet. Plants seem to love it, microfauna do well in it, and it has charcoal in it.

Regardless of whether or not you go with egg crate false bottom, gravel or leca for your drainage, you will want to cover that with screen, and place some fiberglass mesh/window screen over it. This will prevent the substrate from falling down into your drainage. Then assuming you will use ABG, put that on top of the screen, your leaf litter on top of that and, viola, you have a decent enough substrate and drainage. You will still need to figure out how to get water back out though once it collects and builds up to a point. No one wants soggy substrate. I would recommend drilling a hole in either the back or one of the sides, installing a bulkhead and either fitting a hose (will need some sort of screen to keep draining medium from clogging the bulkhead most likely) or set up a ball valve or something. Otherwise you will need to siphon out water before it builds up to be level with your substrate.

Plants are definitely recommended as well. They will help regulate temp and humidity and will provide places for your frog to hide. As suggested previously, Pothos, is an excellent beginner plant. Will do fine with a couple CFL's above it, or some T8's even.. or could go T5's or LED's and just water it every once in a while. It is nearly indestructable.. can get quite big though..

Honestly, I would probably just go buy another 20 gallon and start over. But, before just jumping in, look at other people's builds.. methods in creating backgrounds, internal air circulation/ventilation, lighting, misting.. etc.. you will probably get some inspiration and hopefully when you are done, will have something that is as functional as it is aesthetically pleasing..

Lastly, no one was attacking you man. They were just being matter of fact about what they were suggesting. No one here is intending on being mean. We all want the best for the frogs, the hobby and the hobbyists. There is an extreme wealth of knowledge on this board and would say it is strongly suggested to accept said knowledge and opinions.

Anyway, those are some starting points, probably should have PM'ed you instead, just realized how long I have been typing.. My apologies.. however, this way we can all see and offer input and/or correct other's mistakes or offer better ideas. This place is about growing and helping each other grow.

Later and good luck.
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Old 04-22-2018, 05:31 AM
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Default Re: I must be doing something right

I just wanted to respond again too. Once again I want to emphasize that we are just trying to help, and Iím just going to offer some simple suggestions that may match those already stated by other members. I know you already have a drainage layer, so youíre good on that. The way a drainage layer works, though, is that water must first get through the substrate in order for it to work. ABG isnít just widely used because itís better for the plants, but because it has an important draining quality due to the way itís made. The main thing I worry about would be the current substrate not draining properly and essentially causing the same issue as would a sphagnum moss layer like I mentioned before. Iím no expert on what the forest floor substrate is like though, Iím just stating worries that I would have if I were using that substrate.

I know it can seem like you canít keep any plant alive, but there are some freaking weeds in my tanks that are almost impossible to kill. I mentioned them before: pothos and ficus pumila. Itís just a suggestion, but I encourage you to pick up any hardy tropical plants you might see at a grocery store or hardware store, sterilize them, and then plant them in the tank. I think youíll be surprised by how well some plants survive given at least a decent amount of light. I only suggest this because D. auratus as Iíve seen them in their natural habitat do have some small plants growing amongst the leaf litter.

Can I just enquire as to what light you are using? That might be why plants arenít growing so well. One cheap and easy solution is to buy some daylight colored compact fluorescent bulbs from a hardware store and putting them in a light hood or spare desk lamp. Iíve grown plenty of plants doing this. It can give that nice spotlight shaded forest floor look youíre going for too.

Once again, let me know if there are any questions, or anything I can help with.


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Old 04-22-2018, 07:33 AM
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Default Re: I must be doing something right

Hi, it seems that you think I'm attacking you on this but I'm not. Your setup is poor, I stated this. It is not an assumption btw, nor a personal attack, it comes from seeing the picture and knowing the product your using mixed with years of experience and wanting what is best for long term care.
Even though the substrate you are using says it's for humid enclosures doesn't mean it's optimal for what you're doing, it just means it can withstand it. That bedding is just larger shaved coconut husk, adding the charcoal alone will not be enough to get proper drainage, for the most part we use the charcoal to absorb odor and to keep the soil as fresh as we can as long as we can (I have ABG that is over 6 years old and plants till growing in it).
As for the researching and picking what you thought would be the best way of housing for you, I've never once seen a long term and experienced keeper ever use or recommend what you're doing. We all know for a 100% fact that it will hold to much moisture. As for the "tiny sweater box enclosures with spaghnum moss", we call those grow outs. I'm sitting next to one right now that has a dozen thumbnail froglets in it. It is the easiest way to raise up sensitive froglets while being able to keep track of them and do constant changes on the bedding.
You need to not take this so personal. I, like many others didn't get my 1st PDF tank right. I left almost no hiding spots and used no leaf litter. I was corrected on it, from showing a picture just like you, I then fixed it.
You don't have to have some crazy build that costs 10x the amount of the frogs, though with a single frog that's easy to hit, it should just have a bit of effort put into it. I built a viv today for another breeding project, I didn't do a background but it does have 2" of leca, 2" of soil, about 2" of leaf litter, spare broms, and a huge wood piece in it. This took me about 2 hours to do and that included me making my own screen vents and getting glass cut. It's easy and it should be fun for you. If you hate doing work and making the vivs then why be in the hobby. Looking at 1 frog on a pile of leaves is rather boring.
I understand that you may not want to change the soil out since your springs are doing well in it but that in not indicative of good or bad bedding. I have 4 tubs of springtails in just charcoal and water with thousands loving life but I'd never make a frogs live in that.
As I am not really a fan of doing long posts , especially on a topic that has been covered so much that you can no longer even tell it was a horse being beaten, I'll end this here.
If you really want what's best for your frogs talk to this guy.
https://www.facebook.com/GlassBoxTropicals/
His name is Mike Rizzo and he can get you taken care of so easily, would love to do so, and above all else, he has an amazing wealth of knowledge about substrate and plants.
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