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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was hoping to get A pair of Ranitomeya as my first frogs. I was wondering if any species are beginner-friendly or if I should start with another species. The tank would be an InSitu ecosystems amazonia with humidity around 80 percent and temps at 72. Thanks!
 

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A beginner could start with thumbnails. The reason we suggest against them is because they're not as hardy as larger frogs, they're more shy, and they can be incredibly fast.

As far as beginner ranitomeya, variabilis 'southern' and vanzolini are my top choices. They're bolder and do well in groups. People love imitators. If you're willing to track down a sexed/proven pair, they're a good choice too.

If you're going ranitomeya for your first frogs then do lots of research and make sure your enclosure and bug cultures are going good before you purchase frogs.
 

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How about Ranitomeya amazonica "Arena Blanca"? I think they're gorgeous. I have 2 'powder blue' tincs tadpoles growing out but recently I've been obsessing over them red-headed Rants. Might have been too hasty making my choice.
 

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One nice thing about the hardier, slower moving thumbs that are bold enough to be recommended to a novice keeper -- vanzolinii, imitator, and I understand variabilis -- is that middle of the field viv sizes are pretty decent for them. An InSitu Amazonia is ideal for a pair, and OK for a group of four of those species that tolerate group housing. That typical entry-level viv size (InSitus and 18 x 18 x 24 ExoTerras) isn't a great choice for the typical "beginner" species like tincs or leucs.

I also find thumbnail vivs much easier to design than those for tincs or leucs. Pile of ghostwood, bunch of plants, done.
 

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...and I understand variabilis
The southern locale should be in the collection of every ranitomeya lover. I can't gush on them enough. They're so bold you never miss a second of their behavior. They remind me more of pumilio than other species of ranitomeya in their movement and locomotion. And their flight response is somewhere between an auratus and a tinc. More than once I've had to shew a calling male out of the way so I could trim plants.
 

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I don't want to burst your bubble but I would strongly reconsider a different frog choice such as tinctorius, auratus or lecus. Why? Rainotemya depending on the class are territorial and require a lot more carefulness and observation. Also to reiterate what people said rainitomeya aren't as bold as larger obligates. I have owned several pairs of ranitomeya imitators and they are great frogs after you have experience and care behind your belt. Again I would consider something better (like the frogs mentioned above) to handle first. Perhaps work on your experience and then step into thumbnails rather than end up with stressed/ dead frogs.

About Arena Blanca I would say from what I have heard they can range from super shy to moderately bold. I have some right now being raised as tadpoles so hopefully I can acclimate them better from froglets. I plan on making their tank very heavy planted as well as constructing a background with the tank sides fully covered as well . I think tincs make excellent frogs just due to their boldness and hardiness as frogs in general. I think arena blanca are going to be hopefully a more relaxed thumbnail than my imitators but, who knows maybe they show some more aggression or who knows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I was wanting a pair of ranitomeya because that is what seemed to be a good amount of frogs for my tank. My current understanding of "boldness" in frogs is that if the tank is heavily planted and has a lot of hiding spots, they feel more comfortable and are therefore more visible. Coincidentally, I really enjoy the look of a "overgrown" tank.
 

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I keep a pair of tinc 'Bakhuis' (similar sized morph) in a similarly sized viv (more space would be better, of course). They're not as visible or bold as my imitator 'green' nor my vanzolinii. Tincs also have at least as much territorial hassle as imitators, and it can be harder to find a sexed pair. And frankly, they're fairly boring IMO.

Lots more research would help you decide. Reading up on all the thumbnail species can make a pretty decent orientation to one of those species; there's a lot of understanding to be gained though 'compare and contrast' with the various species in the genus. Reading threads in which new keepers have had problems (these are pretty common for tincs, mostly because more new keepers get tincs) provides a lot of food for thought too.
 

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My current understanding of "boldness" in frogs is that if the tank is heavily planted and has a lot of hiding spots, they feel more comfortable and are therefore more visible.
Not really. Providing your frogs lots of quick to reach hiding places and shadows will potentially let you see them more often but it does nothing to effect boldness. If your species is shy and doesn't want to be seen then more hiding spots and shadows just means they can move freely without you seeing them. Cage design will allow your frogs to be their boldest self. That "boldest self" may be hiding 9.5 hours a day instead of 10.
 

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If I could only have one species of frog, I'd agonize for awhile but hard to imagine I'd land anywhere other than imitator.

They are bold, beautiful, have interesting behaviors, and are quite hardy. The standard "green" morph is probably my single favorite frog, although another great thing about the species is the incredible variety of stunning color morphs.

If you have some background experience with herps, or aquarium fish, it's probably not an unreasonable starting place. If you're totally green to keeping animals in small cages, going with a Dendrobates would be safer, but you could plunge into Ranitomeya if your eyes are wide open.

If you get froglets, be wary of the risk of "loving them to death." They kinda just need a good, secure home with the right parameters, good cover, and lots of springtails, and then they thrive with a bit of benign neglect. For gods sake DONT rummage around every day and try to see them. That's maybe the biggest thing experienced froggers have over people new to the hobby - the confidence to trust their setup and let the frogs come out on their own terms.
 
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