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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
since it seems every week someone new is asking about CP's in dart tanks here is a quick guide to all common and a few not so common species and my thoughts on their suitibility to dart tanks.

Aldrovanda: “water wheel plant” not at all suitable to dart frog tanks, not enough water, not enough light, to much nutrients

Byblis: not terribly suitable. Probably would grow just fine but they are fairly flimsy plants and the frogs would probably trample them to death

Cephalotus: “Aussie pitcher plant” not suitable, this species can be tricky to grow in good conditions; it generally doesn’t like to be kept constantly soaked, also doesn’t like water sitting on its crown for long periods.

Darlingtonia: “cobra lily”, temperate plant, generally likes cool conditions and air/cool water movement around its roots. Gets to large for most tanks anyways with its mature pitchers being up to 3 feet tall

Dionaea: “Venus fly trap” NOT SUITIBLE! This is a temperate plant that requires a cool dormancy to survive. Also needs a lot of light, full sun being the ideal, doesn’t grow well under fluorescent lights. A good-sized VFT could eat frogs the size of adult imitators.

Drosera: “sundews” there are around 171 known species, obviously I can’t comment on the suitability of all these but in general the genus does not like high humidity coupled with little to no air movement that is common in most dart tanks. Most species also like a lot of light, more than most dart keepers provide their tanks. Most species are probably susceptible to being trampled to death by larger frogs. I, personally, would be worried about larger Drosera species with recently morphed thumbnail froglets. Tinc group frogs probably have no worries.

Genlisea: “corkscrew plants” these will probably do quite well in dart frog tanks. Constantly wet soils, combined with warm temps are ideal for this genus. Being that this genus preys microscopic soil living organisms they are harmless to the frogs. Most have pretty flowers. Also, species such as G. filliformis, G. violacea, G. lobata and G. aurea are in cultivation and are also likely found in area’s that darts also live in Central and South America. Only issue is they may not hold up to constant frog traffic, might be suitable for an out of the way nook that gets decent light.

Heliamphora: “sun pitchers” not suitable, like very high light, metal halide is ideal, combined with cool temps (mid 50’s-low 60’s ideal). Also likes loose soil mixes. It is possible that one of the man made hybrids COULD POSSIBLY be used in a high light dart tank as they are more tolerant to higher temps.

Nepenthes: “tropical pitcher plants” yes these can grow in some dart tanks. However most do not like constantly soaked roots and like plenty of air movement around the roots. While I do know of individuals who have used these in dart tanks and have never heard of a dart being killed by one I do know of a grower in Florida who routinely finds dead tree frogs being digested in the Nepenthes pitchers in his greenhouse. Also remember that these plants are in all reality small to large vines. Most species will out grow all but the largest dart tanks. Infact the species most suited to the conditions in a dart tank(as in it can take constantly soaked media) is N. bicalcarata but this species can easily and quickly grow to 6 feet in diameter. If you must try these in your dart tank I suggest species such as N. gracilis or N. ampullaria.

Pinguicula: “butterworts” temperate species are not suitable, as they generally need a cool dormancy. Mexican butterworts however potentially could do very well, especially mounted on a branch towards the top of the tank where there is plenty of light as they do like lots of light but they do well under fluorescent lights. Think of them as a highlight orchid. Like orchids they need air movement in order to do well, high humidity with no air movement will likely lead to rot. If you are growing orchids in your tanks and they are doing well give Ping’s a try as they pose no harm to frogs as most cant catch a house fly.

Sarracenia: “American pitcher plants” these are not acceptable. They must have a cool-cold dormancy to survive or they will die of exhaustion. Also require very high light, full sun being ideal. A lot of species and hybrids will grow to big for most dart tanks anyway.

Utricularia: “bladderworts” terrestrial and “macro” species potentially can do quite well though you will not see any carnivorous action as its all subsurface, however they do have nice flowers. For terrestrial species try any you can get your hands on, U. livida and U. sandersonii are generally easy to find and ideal species to try. U. tricolor also excels. “macro Utrics” are sometimes called “epiphytic Utrics” though this is misleading as very few are truly epiphytic. I know of one dart frog keeper who has successfully raised U. humboldtii in bromeliad wells in the vivarium like the species is normally, but not always, found in nature though this is probably not a good practice if your frogs are raising tads in the broms. U. alpina is probably the easiest to find to try. It will probably do best in a mossy area with bright light. I grow it in some long fibered sphagnum that was placed on a branch close to the water so that the moss stays damp but not soaked. another plus is you can likely get ahold of species native to areas that darts are found. Stay away from aquatic species as these do trap and eat tadpoles in nature.
 
G

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Thanks for the great guide!! I think I would like to give Mexican butterworts a try! Maybe terrestrial bladderworts as well. So far, the only carnivorous plant I have had any luck with is Utricularia vulgaris.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
glad yah approve, its not as comprehensive as i would like but in all reality i havent done alot of experimenting with anything but Utrics and for the purpose of this board i see no need to list all those species as i cant get anything but U. tricolor to grow in over 75% of the tanks ive put it in. its kinda trial and error with whatever you find, ive got sandersonii, lateriflora, and tricolor going nuts in one tank and all but tricolor refuse to grow in the next tank over. and as for the Nepenthes i dont plan on using them at any point in the future except if i possibly wind up producing more frogs than i need, i might throw some in a Nep tank to see how they do but for any frog that i purchase to me its a risk not worth taking when #1 i know frogs have been captured by Neps and #2 darts and Neps have never crossed paths in nature and if tree frogs are occationally dieing in nep pitchers i cant see where darts are more suited to exiting the pitchers.
 

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quick question, I've got some bare root Utricularia sandersonii comming from california carnivores that I'm going to place in less trodden areas of my vivs. Should the same preventantive care be taken as far as washing before placing this plant into the viv? I would imagine a bleach dilution would probably damage these plants a little more than usual. Also how does one propigate this plant. Is it as easy as pulling off a clump like moss? escuse my ignorance as I've yet to see this plant in person.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
i really cant say weither or not bleach will harm them, might what to try it on a a small division. i never sterilized mine as to how smart that is i cant say, but Cali Carnivores raise their plants in greenhouses so in theory there could be native frogs living in there so i prolly would see if it will handle bleach solution. if you want to try the bleach thing just take some sorta dish, put some water logged long fibered sphagnum in it and place the sandersonii in it and put it under bright light and it will grow just fine until you deside weither the bleach harmed your test division.

as for propogation yeah just like a clump of moss, tear off a chunk. when grown in pots species like sandersonii MUST be divided regularly or they crash and die. dividing the quick growing species is essential when using pots, if they have room to run like in a tank its not as essential but if it starts forming dense mats, you may want to cut chunks out of the middle to give it room to expand again.
 

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this is a great post. it's nice and comprehensive. i have questions about two points. first is cephalotus. have you had problems with them? i grow the standard (i'm going to break my clump in the spring which is 8 inches in diameter with at least 15 heads), and the german giant. they prefer a lot of light, but i've never had problems with misting them nor growing them with very little air flow. i haven't put any in with frogs yet, but will definitely try this spring when i break up my 5 year old clump.

the other question i have is about mexican pings. have you put them in tanks? they normally experience a wet and a dry season. i simulate this with mine, letting them dry in the winter as my light cycle shortens. they put out succulent leaves and flower, then put out carnivorous leaves again in the spring with lengthening hours of light and greatly increased watering. people report growing them wet all of the time, but my young clone plants remained stunted and some showed irregular growth patterns for several years until i started to cycle them.

i also think that no ping will stand up to frog traffic. i might try a tropical ping again in a wet spot in my intermedius tank, as they never hang out on the floor of the tank. i tried primulaflora in a drip wall, but it died off. i really thought it would thrive...could bear a second try.

anyway, thanks for putting the work into this post.
mack
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
first rule of CP's is not everything works for everyone :D and no problem, these are the kinds of quesions i dont mind answering. its the "can i grow Neps with my frog's?" questions that are posted every 10-14 days that drive me nuts.

on Ceph's: yes ive had problems in the past but i think ive hit on a combination that works for me. im on my third attempt to keep the species. first one i kept to wet and the second was kept to dry. my current one is kept in a much larger pot. infact its in a bigger pot than some of my medium sized Neps. for me the species likes just damp soil, the best way i can acomplish this is a 8 inch tall pot thats always sitting in 1/2 inch of water. a couple friends have also had problems, but for them it was in how they watered, if they ever poured water directly on the crown the plant soon rotted. if you are growing the species in conditions similar to what is found in dart tanks, by all means try it but realize that how your growing it is not the norm. as i said in the top of the first post, these were my opinions on the suitibility, never said they were the end all rules :wink: Cephs are especially prone to causing fits of frustration with growers as what works for one person wont work for the guy down the street. a good friend of mine who is growing truely difficult species is on his attempt #8 with Ceph's, he has yet to hit on a combination of soil/water/light/ect that works for him.

Mexican Pings: yes i am growing one of the small 'Yucca Do' plants in one of my tanks. it is a myth that they NEED a wet and a dry period. i and atleast one other grower(he is in Arizona) keep all of our Mexican Pings wet year round. however some growers cant seem to accomplish it, as to why im not sure, i originally grew them this way as i didnt know that they "must" have a wet and dry period, since no one told me any different i didnt know any better and it worked fine for me. i did notice some stunted plants but this has gone away once i switched from mostly peat mediums to mostly fired clay mediums(aquatic plant soils).

here are some that have been wet year round for 3 or 4 years:


if you cant get yours to grow in constantly wet enviroments you probably want to skip trying them. but i know it can be done which is why i suggested them. in my tanks though i am not shooting for 100% humidity as i want air movement so i can grow orchids in the tanks, i see my imi's all the time in 75ish% so i believe ive struck a balance between humidity and air movement that works well for me. im also mounting them on wood like orchids and not planting them in the ground. there are species in this group that are regularly found growing on trees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Mexican pings, other than a very small handful that die back to underground bulbs, DO NOT have a dormancy, they have winter leaves and carnivorous leaves. truth be told they actually put on more leaves quickly when producing winter leaves. they are always growing so their for it cannot be called a dormancy. a couple look like they had it a bit rough in shipping but all should snap out of it just fine just keep them in a tray of water(prolly should only keep maybe a 1/4 inch worth in since your not sure weither you can keep them wet year round) and under light and they should snap out of it just fine.

the sandersonii looks like a standard sized plug. put it in water logged peat or LFS and it should go nuts
 

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In my experience, and this only applies to plants With the same climate/temperature needs as darts, If the plant fits in the tank than it is harmless to darts, most tropical carnivorous that could hurt frogs are WAY to big to fit in your average vivarium setup.
 

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Woo hoo 5 year ressurection.

But I have to disagree, I have a N maxima and truncata tha would easily fit in an 18x18x24 exo that are throwing 6"+ pitchers that could easily entrap nearly any dendrobatid
 

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this is why the internet is great, so we can continue conversations with strangers years later!

back to the point, i have good luck growing: P. 'sethos', U. sandersonii and D. adelea in my dart frog tanks, their sometimes continuous flowering is great addition as well.

this thread was boring with no pictures so maybe i should resurrect it again with some pics of mine!
 
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