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Old 11-02-2015, 02:36 PM
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Default Newbie Vivarium Questions

Newbie here. Not new to herps, but new to dart frogs. A couple of questions to start...

- What's the best shape for a dart frog vivarium? i.e. tall vs long vs deep?

- I understand that maintaining high humidity is important. I'm assuming a glass top with limited (but adjustable) ventilation would be good for that. I'd also like to have a heavily planted vivarium, which means lot of light. Also...I'd like this vivarium to look good on the outside, so I'm thinking of a wood canopy to hold and hide the lights. So the question (at last)... where/how can I buy/make a combination of a ventilated glass lid and wood canopy with lights that all fits together and looks good? TIA!
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Old 11-02-2015, 02:48 PM
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Default Re: Newbie Vivarium Questions

Welcom, MisterMan.

The ideal shape of the tank will depend on the species. Heavy-bodied frogs like Tinctorius, Leucomelas and Auratus will be better off with as much footprint on the bottom as you can give them. All of these will climb to a greater or lesser extent, but the footprint will be what helps them the most, IMO. It will also influence how many individuals you can keep in the tank. This is mainly true for frogs that do well in groups, though (NOT Tincs/Azureus, usually). Smaller frogs like most Ranitomeya and pumilio will benefit from some height since many spend lots of time higher up in the trees. I have found really short tanks to be the only ones I have not liked, either aesthetically or for the benefit of the frogs.

Humidity is important. I think that many of us, when we first started with darts, thought that it needed to be a lot higher than it actually does need to be. You should shoot for 60-80%, not 100%. If you have condensation in the tank all the time, that is probably too high and not enough ventilation. A glass top will work, but I would recommend putting more ventilation than you think you will need from the beginning and just covering up what you don't need with plastic wrap on the outside. For instance, I have several converted aquariums (my least favorite vivs, but the frogs are happy, so I suck it up). In these, I have just removed the back strip and replaced it with fiberglass screen. This has proven to be inadequate ventilation for some of the tanks, especially those that have a thicker background that further obscures the vent from the inside. A computer fan setup can mitigate this, but I don't have the cash to do this with each of my tanks, many of which are far enough away from each other than I would need complete fan setups for each tank.

As for the canopy, etc., again you can make good use of fans and ventilation to carry excess heat and humidity away. It is certainly possible to do this without any difficulty. Just be sure you have accounted for the heat and humidity balance for the viv.

Best of luck,

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