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500 gallon vivarium, how many frogs?

13055 Views 64 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  Guest
Hello folks,

I'm new to the forum and am converting a 500 gallon reef tank into a vivarium to keep as many dart frogs together as are confortable. I know that everyone frowns on mixing species in small setups, but I wonder who has had experience with big setups and reasonably how many frogs can be comfortable with 24 sq. ft. of bottom area. I hear that the American Museum on Natural History has an exhibit going on now with something like 250 frogs.


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Mid-Atlantic Dendro Club

The DC area is going to be having a group meeting soon (Sun. Dec. 12, 7pm or Fri. Dec. 17, 7 pm). I think this would be a fascinating topic. You would have the input of about 20 people! Also, you would probably get some free plant clippings to get that monster started and definitely frogs to buy! From what I have read, I would start the vivarium with no frogs in them to get the plants going and work out the feeding situation/schedule and make sure all the tank parameters (temp, plumbing, lighting, misting, etc.) are in order. You could also buy the frogs at the same time and grow them out in multiple 10 gallon tanks to check the health of frogs and make sure that they are all eating properly. With a tank that size, I think it would be hard to see all of them on a daily basis. Follow thiese threads for the DC group meeting:



StevenBonheim said:
Wow, 500 gallons!
Jumping right into the hobby with such a big project is pretty risky.
The experience one gains by doing things in succession is key. There are thousands of little things that a new hobbyist will learn as they begin to try new things and learn from their mistakes. These things will dictate the success or failure of such a project. I’m not saying it’s impossible… I would just try something smaller first. Also as time goes on, your talent as a “terrarium constructor” will grow and you may end up hating your first few tanks. At least that's what happens with me...
I was wondering how things were going. I can't wait to see that thing! You should be documenting this with a digital camera...I want to see some pics at the Mid-Atlantic Dendro Group meeting in about a week! Oh by the way, are you bringing some food or snacks? If so, post it on our sticky thread in the Lounge!

See you then!
I think a project this size is very risky...I couldn't imagine doing it myself. Having said that, I agree that Dave will have his hands completely full with his 500 gallon monster of a tank, but he is going about it very slowly (no frogs yet - he is going to get a few to raise in smaller tanks to acquire the nessasary skills that are Dart specific). Right now he is more concerned with gaining knowledge and getting a handle on providing a sustainable food source! Plus, he is part of the Mid-Atlantic Dendro Group meeting this Friday. I hope that the group will cover and adopt this project to help him out.

k2bordr03 said:
I hate to burst your bubble, but a 500 gallon viv just isnt realistic for you. you might have had fish in the past but dart frogs are a whole new world. even if you could culture the springtails and enough food(which would be tons of cash for a tank that size) you havent had any experiance with these animals. that is the key that you are missing. Even some of the most avid keepers dont keep over 250 gallons. just not practical. you would be lucky to ever see the frogs and god knows how many are alive. to me its just a waste of money and an idea that just sprang into a beginners head. I dont mean to upset you its just that you should really downsize the viv, not just for monetary reasons but for the ability to enjoy these fascinating creatures.
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