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Hello all I am new to the forum. I have read a lot from this forum through google search while researching my tank. This tank is my first ever attempt at a vivarium. I do keep a 40 breeder reef tank that has been my hobby for some time now. I acquired a 20 long critter cage tank and decided to give some of these awesome little frogs a try. Instead of the "dart frogs' I went with the "painted mantella". I'm fairly certain that the mantellas that I have are Mantella madagascariensis. I have 2 at the moment, but may possibly add a 3rd soon. I just picked the frogs up yesterday after having them held for me giving me time to set up the tank and let it settle a bit after adding springtales and such. I wanted to set up a water fall/pump in the tank even with having the limited height. I used Great Stuff foam to form the background as well as eco earth, cork, and other wood. I used the Zoo Med hydro balls (2 bags), window screen, and repti-soil for substrate. I added a bunch of moss, a fern that was marked down for $1 at lowes, a "mini orchid"(seeing how this plays out, hoping well), and a buddy gave me a sprig of somw type of ivy that I liked. The mantellas seem to be doing very well and are smashing fruit flies. The light I went with on this vivarium is a (petsmart) 30 "National Geographic freshwater LEDs. I wanted LED's on the tank, and for the price and coverage, I figured I would try these out. If necessary, upgrades will be made as this tank goes on. Here are some photos on the frogs and my vivarium. Comments, suggestions, criticism... it's all welcome!

Finally bringing the frogs home.



My little 20 long vivarium.



One of the frogs really seems to like the cork round that is used for the water fall.









Locked on to a fruit fly.




 

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My big criticism would be the moss. Mantella love leaf litter and cork bark pieces to hide under and dart to and from. Most PDF's really value leaf litter, honestly, but I consider it a must for Mantella. The moss looks nice but isn't doing anything for your frogs.
 

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Awesome tank. Great to see people working with Mantellas.
Thanks!
My big criticism would be the moss. Mantella love leaf litter and cork bark pieces to hide under and dart to and from. Most PDF's really value leaf litter, honestly, but I consider it a must for Mantella. The moss looks nice but isn't doing anything for your frogs.
Thank you for being honest. I do have some leaf litter in the tank, but just where the moss isn't. I wasn't sure if the frogs would mind walking about on the moss or not. I did just really like the idea of a decent carpet of moss though. I kinda figure some of it would die, especially the packaged "frog moss". I have already tossed out 2 chunks of that. The other moss I used I got from a friend who had a bunch of. I could always make more available leaf litter area on the tank ground.
 

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Thanks!

Thank you for being honest. I do have some leaf litter in the tank, but just where the moss isn't. I wasn't sure if the frogs would mind walking about on the moss or not. I did just really like the idea of a decent carpet of moss though. I kinda figure some of it would die, especially the packaged "frog moss". I have already tossed out 2 chunks of that. The other moss I used I got from a friend who had a bunch of. I could always make more available leaf litter area on the tank ground.
The moss carpet idea is often attempted and can be done, to quite a beautiful degree. With big bold frogs such as Terribilis and Tincs I'd be more prone to try it. I personally, was always taught with Mantella to give them a lot of leaf litter and some cork pieces.
 

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Beautiful frogs and tank- all I can say is if you aren't 100% sure of species you have do not add a 3rd.

We definitely do not need hybrids, no Frankenfrogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Beautiful frogs and tank- all I can say is if you aren't 100% sure of species you have do not add a 3rd.

We definitely do not need hybrids, no Frankenfrogs.
Thanks you! There was a batch of 6 ordered. They are all the same species. If I add it will be from the batch that I got these 2 from. These things don't really fly off the shelves in my area. I would like to increase my likelihood of having a pair though.
 

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Took some more photos today of the mantellas and the viv. Im going to be added some more leaf litter as well as possibly removing one of the moss slabs later on. Just fed these guys and don't really want the little flies all over the room. :)

Tank shot.


Top tank shot.


The orchid.




Construction photo. The orchid is planted in the "foam cup" to try to keep it from staying drenched around roots. It seemed like a good idea to me, but still observing everything.


The waterfall from above.


Random shots of the frogs, who seem to enjoy hunting on the moss from what I can tell so far. So far they seem to be getting comfortable pretty quickly. They where pretty active and somewhat bold at the store I got them. I watched them for a month there up until i got them.


















 

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I'm fairly certain I have identified these particular frogs as Mantella baroni, not Mantella madagascariensis like I had originally thought. Here is the article that helped me in finding this out-
Correctly Identifying Mantella baroni and Mantella madagascariensis

Today I picked up another cork round and split it in half to make for log tunnel for the frogs. I also cleared a little moss area out and added some more magnolia leaf litter. I also planted 2 very small ferns that where collected at my parents by a stream. Though it may not look like it, there are plenty of little hidey holes in the tank for the little guys to hide about. Everything seems to be going well so far. I think once the ivy takes off in the front left of the tank, there will be more cover provided for that portion of the tank. Here is some photos of everything after the slight remodel.





















 

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Added another 2 mantella from the same batch a few days ago. I could've swore I heard one calling yesterday and today so I think I have a male now. I've been working on restoring a shelf to make a more solid stand for the viv today as well. Should be ready to go tomorrow. The plastic shelving that is currently being used for the stand is a tad flexible causing the tank to slightly shake a bit when I'm near it. All the plants still seem to be looking good as well. I added another shorter orchid as well as an "earth star". Should have sone updated photos coming soon.
 

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Your frogs look really gorgeous!

One quick tip about your orchid (the Phalaenopsis)- most Phals are not terrestrial, so you will have better luck with it lifted up off the ground. Otherwise, it's likely to rot, since that foam cup it's in is probably going to break down faster than you expect. Keeping it in a plastic pot buried in the substrate won't give any real drainage or airflow around the roots, and it will be hard for you to keep an eye on how it's doing.

Phals are also susceptible to crown rot, which happens when water sits too long in the base of the leaves, especially overnight. You might want to mount it on that piece of cork log in there, and be careful when misting, so that you only spray the roots. It's a little tough with a short tank, since the inflorescence can be quite tall.

You did a nice job on the background, and did well with not stuffing too many plants in there. It's going to look even better as it grows.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Your frogs look really gorgeous!

One quick tip about your orchid (the Phalaenopsis)- most Phals are not terrestrial, so you will have better luck with it lifted up off the ground. Otherwise, it's likely to rot, since that foam cup it's in is probably going to break down faster than you expect. Keeping it in a plastic pot buried in the substrate won't give any real drainage or airflow around the roots, and it will be hard for you to keep an eye on how it's doing.

Phals are also susceptible to crown rot, which happens when water sits too long in the base of the leaves, especially overnight. You might want to mount it on that piece of cork log in there, and be careful when misting, so that you only spray the roots. It's a little tough with a short tank, since the inflorescence can be quite tall.

You did a nice job on the background, and did well with not stuffing too many plants in there. It's going to look even better as it grows.
Thanks! I realize that about the orchids. I am currently building another tank from scrap glass from a 20 tall that I plan to make a taller tank with. i will probably end up moving the orchids to that one. The height of this 20 long is hard to do orchids with. The second orchid I added is elevated as much as possible on wood and spagnum, I think it will be ok. I've been keeping an eye on them. I really appreciate the background approval as this is my first time ever doing anything like this.
 

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Here are some updated photos.

Here is a shot with all 4 mantellas present. This was taken the day after adding the 2 others and before I added a couple plants.


The new earth star and orchid.



Then we got this guy...


FTS


Left side.


Right side.


And some random frog shots.






 

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Really nice work.. those frogs are awesome... i love the contrast between their body and legs..are they pretty active?

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
 

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Thank you! Yes, they seem to stay pretty active for the most part. I've never kept PDFs before do can't really say if they are more active than others, but they are usually out and about. I can put my hand right up to them and they could care less. Lol.
 
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