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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted this on another forum yesterday, but have since found this forum which looks far more active. There is so much information here to learn, and for that I'm thankful. Unfortunately I need some advice quickly, so I will go ahead and repost this while I go reading other helpful threads.


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I am a new PDF owner that bought 4 little froglets two months ago. Until yesterday I though all was well. Then I found my favorite little turquoise and bronze auratus laying dead in the viv. :( He was skinnier than I remembered seeing him the day before, but then again he was always smaller than the others and I didn't get good looks as frequently because he was so shy and scurried under cover any time I approached for feeding. I did try to make a point of seeing him eat some flies each day, though.

Right now my previously active tinctorius seems sluggish and i saw him on his back a bit ago. Just a few hours ago he was happily snipping up flies. I set him back upright and he has taken a few steps since. This frog is the next skinniest after the deceased auratus.

I am not very experienced with PDF's but my first inclination is malnutrition. I do two daily feedings of FF's raised on Josh's Frogs medium, but unfortunately haven't been powdering frequently. Now I feel really guilty! I hope I haven't mistreated them! I'll certainly make sure I dust for nearly every meal. Is it essential for me to get some other variety in the diet as well? A local pet store does sell pheonix worms, but they seem awfully big for these frogs.


I took some pictures today and compared with pics from a month ago I think they are all skinnier except for the leuc.



Pics of current frog that isn't doing well:



He looks so skinny :(



Pics of my azurues:


I think this one is looking a little thinner too.



Pic of my fat, happy, bold leucomelas:




Pic of the deceased turquois and bronze auratus from last month :(




Pic of the current set up:




This is a 29 gallon with a little over half above water currently (I didn't intend to have such a large pond area, but I haven't yet started the big viv project with moving water structures, better drainage, etc). Substrate is coconut fiber that I'm disappointed with because it stains the water. Will probably move to sphagnum soon. Humidity is kept high with a Mist King system. Room temp stays around 75. I've got two small orchids in the back left, a cork bark structure, a wandering jew, and begonia, and one bromeliad. No leaf litter right now but they seem to spend most of their time under living foliage so I figured that's OK.

I've convinced myself that I've just been a bad owner and not paid close enough attention to their nutrition, having gotten spoiled with hardy lizards over the past few years. Do these pictures and info help any of you more experienced frog owners confirm that, and maybe give me a word of advice?

Thank you.
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That was 24 hours ago. Today's update is that the tinc is still alive but having trouble feeding. He is trying to snip up dusted flies, but his aim is terrible and so far I don't think he's managed to catch a single one.
 

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If they are all in the same viv, that could be a problem. They'll need a lot more ground than is shown in the pic. Also, they really shouldn't be mixed together. They can stress each other out and also produce hybrids, which are generally frowned upon.

You are feeding twice a day. How much each feeding? Froglets will want a lot of flies. I feed my froglets 20+ flies a day (thats 20 each). Some may do less.

Dusting is critical for frogs. They need calcium and vitamins. I use Rep-Cal calcium w/D, Herptivite, and Repashy Calcuim pluss ICB, alternating between feedings. Mostly use the Repashy. You may get other advice about that.

The flopping over on their back and getting up again sounds like seizures which could be caused by calcium deficiency.

The skinniness could be caused by not enough food and also by stress. It could also be caused by parasites.

Hopefully some of the more experienced will come by to help you.
 

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That tank set up isn't good for darts. That tank would be good for fire belly toads, salamanders. Way too much water. How many frogs did you have in there? And did you have Leucs, Auratus, Tincs and Azureus all in there?
I would go out and get soe pastic shoeboxes/containers and separate each frog

Then you need to read, read and read

Good Luck
 

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Hey Danny,

First off, sorry for your loss. I'm pretty new to owning frogs too (so I can't validate anything I say), but something I've read on multiple occasion here on dendroboard (which really is quite helpful and informative) is that you shouldn't be mixing different species of frogs together. I'm not sure if that could be a leading cause for your frogs' health, but perhaps inter-mixing is the problem?

-Mitch
 

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I agree. Get them into their own tubs. Give them some cover (vines, leafs, etc) and feed them up plump and let them recover.

Meanwhile you can work on your tank(s). :D

Darts like to be damp but not necessarily wet. They can get fungal infections if kept in tanks that are too wet. I try to design my tanks to have a small area that is wet, if they want that, but, also with area that is dry-ish, so they can get out of the wet. Let them decide.

I'm sorry about your auratus. He was a beautiful little frog. :(

eta: don't give up. These little guys are wonderful and rewarding, and, really not at all difficult once you have learned what they need. :)
 

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1. Seperate the frogs.

2. Try for steady temperatures of @ 75F......80F and above is fatal for some. Make sure the light on the lid is not raising the temps.

3. Get rid of the pond / water feature. Darts don't use it. Keep the enclosed glass top and good humidity.

4. Be sure you know how to properly dust the fruit flies. Describe what and how you are feeding in a little greater detail please.

5. Add a lot more plants - like pothos. Broad leafed ect. Leaf litter - dried magnolia leaves would be good too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Thank you for the replies so far.

I have been feeding the frogs around 10-15 flies each once in the morning and once in the evening. There are always a few leftovers, but not so many that I think they would bother the frogs. I pour the flies (and will do this regularly now instead of just every once in a while!) into a bag with a small amount of zoo meds reptivite so that they get well covered but I don't have extra powder left, then sprinkle that bag of flies into the enclosure within sight of the darts.

There were 4 frogs in this 29 gallon, one of each species I own. Now there are 3. The species intermixing aside, is that too small for 3 month old frogs? I'll get rid of the pond, but I do need to keep a siphoning area clear of substrate or the misting system will completely overflow the substrate, so that means they will end up with a mini-pond.

Now for the intermixing... I do understand that bullying, territoriality, or different frog behaviors between the species might cause some stress. I specifically asked the Reptiles Etcetera guy I bought the frogs from could live together if given enough space. He said that breeders would discourage this, but that they should coexist peacefully if I wasn't interested in breeding. My plans have been to keep the juvenile frogs together until I have experience setting up vivs, then split them up and add to my collection to fill out several species specific tanks. Is that a bad idea?

Of course I don't see what happens all day as I'm at work, but the frogs seem happy enough together as far as I can tell. The azureus and the tinctorius in particular seem to favor each others company. They will usually share hidey-holes or be sitting on top of the same leaf together. The leucomelas seems indifferent to the other frogs and will usually be found crawling up the grass or getting on as high a location as possible on the vegetation. Any time I entered the room I would typically see the auratus near the azureus but it would scurry deep back behind the bark.

I'm preparing some of the 5 and 10 gallon tanks I've got out in the garage now to seperate them since that is what everyone recommends.

Anyone had a frog acting as bad as my tinc that ended up surviving?
 

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As froglets, I think they might be ok in that viv until you get the others set up, as long as there are lots of visual barriers and you fill in that water area to give them more ground. Add a bunch of plants. Can just be something cheap like pothos. Toss it in there so they can easily hide from each other and make their own space.

Once they are all sorted out, a tank like that could house a small group of leucs or auratus, or a pair/trio of tincs or azureus.

All of these frogs are terrestrial and need a lot of ground space, but, A small pond is fine.

They need more in the way of supplements. Check out some of the sponsors on the site and look for the standard 3 (Herptivite, Rep-Cal with D, Repashy Calcium with ICB). It is very important for them to get vitamin A and calcium.

Your tinc might be ok once he gets the supplements he needs. His behavior sounds like a deficiency to me. That is, if the temps are ok. What temp is the tank? 68ish to less than 80 is good rule of thumb. You don't want to go over 80, so shoot for mid 70s to allow some heat from lights.

As far as what we tell you vs Reptiles Etc, remember that we are not trying to sell you anything :p
 

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I'd definitely increase the number of fruit flies per frog. Feed and dust everyday.

That much water in a 29 gallon decreases the surface area for the frogs, especially since you have 3. Looks like half of the tank is water (so it's similar to a 15 gallon).

If I were you, I'd try to read up on signs of aggression. Sometimes people think 2 frogs are "buddy-buddy" but one is actually bullying the other.

You said that the room temperature is 75 degrees? You might want to get a cheap thermometer at Petco for the actual tank.

Good luck with your froggies.
 

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Can three different species live together, grow and thrive? Yep...it is possible....

Is it good advice for a new person to provided with those frogs to be housed together? Nope...

A lot of people will use the old..."I'm gonna seperate them when they grow up" ect ect and most never do.

Even small Tinctorius froglets can show quite a bit of aggression, attitude and feistiness. The potential for "things to go bad" increases greatly. We recommend that all beginers start out with 2-3 of one species. It's interesting to know who provided you with what I would consider, less than steller advice -especially considering the were your first frogs.

There could be several unknown health problems with that Tinc and now the others, since they are all housed together.

Seperate them to be able to better see which ones are eating and how they are acting. Add a lot more plants for security. Try not to stress them with loud noises, snapping the lid a lot, turning on bright lights, high temps or wide range temp fluctuations.

Buy Heptivite and calcium at your local petsmart or petco.

Buy the standard 32 oz plastic "deli" cups. They are sold by the sponser on this site ( click on the banners). Use a clean plastic deli cup and shake a bit of powder into it. Then take your FF culture and tap the sides kinda hard causing the flies to fall. Take the lid off and keep tapping and tilt the cup over the empty cup with the powder. "pour" in the flies and keep tapping....

Swirl the dusting cup with the flies vigoursly - you won't hurt them. Tep and feed out the newly dusted flies...

Here's a bunch of videos to check out...

black jungle dart frogs youtube - Google Search
 

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Substrate is coconut fiber that I'm disappointed with because it stains the water. Will probably move to sphagnum soon.
Just saw this. That staining is from the tannins in the coco fiber and it will clear out after a bit of flushing. A sphagnum only substrate will likely stay too wet. Many like to do a mix of stuff. I use fir bark, chopped sphagnum, some crunched up charcoal, a bit of peat moss, coco fiber. Some of the sponsors on here sell a premade stubstrate. There are many, many ways to do up the substrate. You want it to be something that will drain well and support plant growth. Especially something that will drain well :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You all have been fabulous, thank you! (By the way, how do I do the "thank you" feature?) I'm implementing your suggestions right away.
 

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You just click the thanks icon in the box of the reply you wish to thank. I'm just backing up a few suggestions.
1. Check that temp, don't let it get above 80
2. Sphagnum WILL be too wet as the sole source of substrate.
3. Just about any appropriate substrate will stain the water but you need to lose the water anyway. Be sure to read up on false bottoms and/or LECA.
4. Of course the salesman told you they would be ok together. The only thing he care about was the sale. Do NOT go back there! Buy healthy froglet here on Dendroboard from a breeder. And Separate them quickly.
5. When you say you feed about 15 flies, I hope you mean about 15 flies per frog! Still not enough.
Good Luck and keep reading. It really is a rewarding hobby!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
It seems that some people have been misinterpreting what I have been feeding the frogs. 15 flies per frog per feeding, so 30 flies per frog per day. And that's of course a rough estimate as i don't count them quite that closely :)

I do use LECA under my substrate. Unfortunately I haven't put anything else between the two, so when I redo this viv it will be a mixed together mess. I'll have some landscaping cloth tomorrow hopefully.

[edit]
P.S. The temps (around 75) that I quoted are from a thermometer inside the aquarium. It's a cheap one that I don't fully trust, but as that is showing just a couple degrees higher than the room temp, it's probably fairly accurate. The cheap hygrometer that came in the set on the other hand is WAY off. It never claims more than 70 percent humidity in my solid glass top viv even right after a thorough misting.

P.P.S. I still don't see a thanks button next to any of the replies.
 

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2. Sphagnum WILL be too wet as the sole source of substrate.
3. Just about any appropriate substrate will stain the water but you need to lose the water anyway. Be sure to read up on false bottoms and/or LECA.
4. Of course the salesman told you they would be ok together. The only thing he care about was the sale. Do NOT go back there! Buy healthy froglet here on Dendroboard from a breeder.
I do use LECA under my substrate. Unfortunately I haven't put anything else between the two, so when I redo this viv it will be a mixed together mess. I'll have some landscaping cloth tomorrow hopefully.
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pumilo: ive used LFS in my temp containers, well.. since i started with darts. it works fine when done right and not saturated with a heavy mist or too frequently. obviously i suggest leaf litter as well, but sphagnum is a perfectly suitable substrate (IMO)
its also interesting that everyone is pushing the false bottom deal. while not as easy to move gravel or LECA is just as good (better looking IMO too).

danny: when you rebuild (as others have said get rid if the water, you can continue to drain with an easy system like this:

i have posted this before but here goes....
supplies:
1/4 in black rose garden sprinkler hose
1/4 in brass valve
zip ties (optional)
1/4 in 90degree adapters (sold right next to the tubing)
1/4 in drill bit and drill (some full hoods already come with two 1/4 in holes drilled)

drill a 1/4 in hole near the corner of the hood (if it does not already exist)
cut a length of tubing 1/2 inch less than the height of the inside of the tank
cut a 1.5 in length of tubing and attach the two lengths via the 90 degree bend
cut a third piece of tubing to your liking but so that it reaches from the end of the 1.5 in piece to below the bottom of the tank. (the lower you can get it the better)
attach this piece to the 1.5 in piece again via a 90degree bend creating a U shape.
attach the valve to the longest of the three pieces of tubing
cut and attach a 6-12 inch piece of tubing from the bottom of the valve.
place the first piece you cut through the hole in the top of the tank so that the end of the tubing is pushed through the substrate and nearly 1/2 inch from the bottom of the tank.
zip tie according to your own situation.

now that you have the drain installed you must create a siphon. open the valve and suck (with your mouth or a clean suction gun if you have it) until water begins to come out. now you have a permanent siphon on the tank. as long as you don't let the water level reach below the end of the tubing you will never have to create the siphon again. simply close the valve tight and next time you need to drain simply open it again.

this is by far the most simple of the ideas i have tried. no moving parts and extremely cheap. it runs about $7-10 per tank as the tubing comes in 50ft rolls which should last a very long time the only repeated expense (if using o multiple tanks is the valve and 90 degree adapters.

james
you can also manually drain the tank (pain in the @$$) or there are other methods as well (passive drains drilled into the tank, solenoids, dosing pumps, etc)

if its any consolation by the way, i never use anything separating the two layers of substrate and drainage, its harder to work with but i like the natural look.

james

PS separate your frogs!!! just from your posts it sounds like there was a lot of stress.
 

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I'd say that along with lowering the water level/creating more groundspace, you should also at least double the amount of LECA in there.. I can't even see any in the pic except for a few balls sitting on top of the substrate.. you want the top of the LECA level to be ABOVE the water's surface. If you don't like seeing the layer, then grab some black contact paper and you can cover it up.
 

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pumilo: ive used LFS in my temp containers, well.. since i started with darts. it works fine when done right and not saturated with a heavy mist or too frequently. obviously i suggest leaf litter as well, but sphagnum is a perfectly suitable substrate (IMO)
its also interesting that everyone is pushing the false bottom deal. while not as easy to move gravel or LECA is just as good (better looking IMO too).
James, I guess it depends what you are doing. There are as many \\\"right\\\" ways to set up a Viv as there are successful froggers! As for me, I mist very often and heavy to encourage breeding for my thumbs. Right now I\\\'m misting 4 times a day for a minute each time with 4 misting nozzles. So for me, that would be a pretty waterlogged substrate. It would depend on the plants you are growing too. I use agb mix from Josh\\\'s frogs as it is very well drained for those who mist heavily. It allows me to grow even plants that don\\\'t like \\\"wet feet\\\". As far as the false bottom goes, we all have our favorites. Even gravel will work but it\\\'s heavy if you ever have to move your tank. I actually recommended that he read up on both. Then he can choose his own method. I\\\'ve used both and they both work fine.
Doug
 

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I don\'t know why Dendroboard stuck all those slash marks in my reply! Weird!
 

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I specifically asked the Reptiles Etcetera guy I bought the frogs from could live together if given enough space. He said that breeders would discourage this, but that they should coexist peacefully if I wasn't interested in breeding.
This is pretty troubling to me, to be honest.
 
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