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Old 02-13-2019, 05:41 PM
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Hey guys! To start off my name is Ryan and I have no idea what I'm doing! Well I guess I shouldn't say that. I have done my research and read just about every article I can find online about up keeping your frogs and their enclosure. I am just the kind of person that isn't comfortable with something until I do it a few times.

A little background. I have a friend that has owned various snakes, lizards, geckos...etc. He is my main source of information as far as general upkeep goes, as he has never owned poison dart frogs. I also have my brother who has owned various frogs, but once again no poison darts. My gf has 2 turtles and is looking to get a snake. So taking care of animals isn't exactly new, just the specifics.

Attached is a picture of my vivarium. It's obviously not done yet, plants are arriving today! As well my springtails and isopods, I'm also going to be getting a piece of glass cut to cover a portion of the top. This seems to be my general setup, at least for now, but if you guys have any suggestions I'll gladly listen. After today I should be pretty well setup and probably won't be getting frogs until March 2nd, there is a local reptile expo and the selection at local shops for poison darts is slim to none.

My main question right now is does this setup look like the frogs will enjoy it? Right now I am thinking of getting azurues (sp?) But if you guys would think that another frog would be better suited for this setup just let me know what kind and why.

Other than that I am sure I will have more questions as I go further down the rabbit hole, and from what I have seen this is the forum to go to when you need help and advice!

Few notes about the picture: that is not where I'll be keeping my thermo/hydrometer, and yes I will be getting a digital setup. Until I get my plants setup I have been keeping it on top of that shelf on the right hand side.

I look forward to meeting all of you and please feel free to offer any suggestions!
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:57 PM
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Welcome.

The dimensions of that look small and the available surface area could be increased with some cimbable features. I wouldn’t put more than one tinctorius azureus in there.

When you get your glass cut, plan for ~20% of the area for ventilation.
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Old 02-13-2019, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by DPfarr View Post
Welcome.

The dimensions of that look small and the available surface area could be increased with some cimbable features. I wouldn’t put more than one tinctorius azureus in there.

When you get your glass cut, plan for ~20% of the area for ventilation.
To be honest, I knew only one would be a good idea in this size, however I was hoping 2 would be ok. Oh well, guess I will just need a bigger tank down the road. I will have to look into some climbing features for them. It may be hard to see but I do wanna say that there are three levels in here. The base, a cork log in the back, and that shelf off to the right.
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Old 02-17-2019, 10:18 PM
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Don't forget to add leaf litter! Super beneficial for your frogs and the microfauna in the tank.

Probably too small for a pair of tincs as stated above, but there are a bunch of smaller darts that may work as a pair in there.

Some advice for the future, pick your animal first, then design around that rather than the other way around. You'll be much happier with the results, and more importantly, so will your animals.
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Old 02-18-2019, 06:34 PM
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I did add leaf litter! at that point I didn't have my micros in there so I just wanted easier access into the substrate. I have changed the tank around a couple times. Moved a plant here and there, added in leaf litter and my microfauna. I also did that but there were some arguments from the GF about getting a tank larger than this, and I figured worse comes to worse this is a fine starter tank, and I can get used to the setup and upkeep for 1 frog. Plus I can always move to a bigger tank in the future if I really get into the hobby. Of course on one of our trips to a pet store we saw a Tinc Azurues and she is in love and now wants to go all out with it

Honestly I feel like my battle for now is humidity. I know the analog gauges aren't accurate, but mine sits around 60-70% on this gauge, although I feel like it gets to be more (I have no gauge for what humidity feels like, but when I put my hand in the enclosure it feels like one of those days where you go outside and by the time you get your other foot out the door you are already wet.)

My last (hopefully) setup question is how long would it take for the humidity in the tank to level out with the plants and mosses being in there? I know you should let the tank cycle for 3-4 weeks before adding any frogs, I am just looking for a ballpark of how long it takes for the plants to start contributing to the humidity, and how much can I expect the humidity to change with the plants in there now?
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Old 02-19-2019, 06:59 AM
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Glad you have leaf litter already. It's great stuff.

Humidity levels in your tank are mostly going to be a function of ventilation and your misting schedule. Sure plants will contribute in the equation, but not as much as the airflow you get from your ventilation and the frequency and duration of your misting schedule. Unfortunately there is not a once size fits all level of ventilation or misting schedule. It's going to be something you are going to have to fiddle with until you get it dialed in the way you like it. You will never achieve a perfect equilibrium of humidity. It is more of a balance of misting given your ventilation.

While it is ideal to let tanks "cycle" (I don't like that term, I prefer establish my tanks, as in establish root systems and microfauna population) it is not 100 percent necessary. Preferred yes, requirement no. I have set up many tanks with short notice before with great success and stocked them the same day they were set up.
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Old 02-19-2019, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by varanoid View Post
Glad you have leaf litter already. It's great stuff.

Humidity levels in your tank are mostly going to be a function of ventilation and your misting schedule. Sure plants will contribute in the equation, but not as much as the airflow you get from your ventilation and the frequency and duration of your misting schedule. Unfortunately there is not a once size fits all level of ventilation or misting schedule. It's going to be something you are going to have to fiddle with until you get it dialed in the way you like it. You will never achieve a perfect equilibrium of humidity. It is more of a balance of misting given your ventilation.

While it is ideal to let tanks "cycle" (I don't like that term, I prefer establish my tanks, as in establish root systems and microfauna population) it is not 100 percent necessary. Preferred yes, requirement no. I have set up many tanks with short notice before with great success and stocked them the same day they were set up.
Thats good to know about cycling, Ill have my tank setup for about 2 weeks before the Carlisle, PA reptile show. I planned on getting a frog there so I should be good.

As far as my humidity I swapped out my bulb for one that doesn't give off as much heat. I read that those bulbs can dry out your enclosure and so far it looks like it's helping. I doubt that ventilation is my issue, I have a zoomed tank that has the fron ventilation and I closed off the top completely. I think it is something that I'll just need to keep toying with. Possibly a deeper water dish would help.
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Old 02-20-2019, 05:30 PM
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Thats good to know about cycling, Ill have my tank setup for about 2 weeks before the Carlisle, PA reptile show. I planned on getting a frog there so I should be good.

As far as my humidity I swapped out my bulb for one that doesn't give off as much heat. I read that those bulbs can dry out your enclosure and so far it looks like it's helping. I doubt that ventilation is my issue, I have a zoomed tank that has the fron ventilation and I closed off the top completely. I think it is something that I'll just need to keep toying with. Possibly a deeper water dish would help.
The humidity is controlled more through ventilation than by heat in my experience. Overheating is definitely a concern with dart frogs. They do not like reptile temps. As for your water dish, deeper is not going to achieve higher humidity. A water dish's contribution to the humidity is more correlated to the surface area of the standing water since that is what evaporates. So put a wider/longer dish in if you must, but you shouldn't need to. In fact many dart frog keepers don't use a water dish at all. I don't. Deep water can actually be dangerous in a dart frog tank, they are not good swimmers. There are many accounts here on the forum of peoples frogs drowning, even in very shallow water.

If you plan to pick your frog up at the reptile show, make sure to look up the vendors and see their reputation. Not all vendors are created equal. In fact some are downright awful. Good luck with your tank and your frog.
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Old 02-20-2019, 05:34 PM
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Right now I have all my ventilation except for the front vents closed off, I think my stupid analog gauge is just off but who knows, I have been paying more attention to the condensation on the side of the tank and last night it stayed till this morning so I think that the humidity is probably where it needs to be at. Just need more research to confirm.

And yes, the gf is going to hate when we say we want that frog and I jump online to find some reviews.
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Old 02-20-2019, 05:41 PM
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Most humidity gauges are pretty inaccurate. Especially the analogue ones commonly found at pet stores. Many keepers, as they gain experience, can just look at their tank and tell if they are in spec. You'll be at that point in no time.


Just want to emphasize once again who you buy from matters. There are some terrible vendors out there, some just downright unethical. You may have to pay a few dollars more for your frogs from a reputable breeder, but you will be glad you did. Nothing worse than getting an unhealthy frog. Especially if it is your first dart frog.
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Old 02-20-2019, 05:43 PM
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Yeah it is my first. Do you have any recommendations as far as who to stay away from? Or any preferred vendors that you'd definitely get from? I don't mind paying more for ethics and condition.
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