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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey all, I'm looking for plant species or plant forms/shapes that dart frogs seem to like. While I recognize Bromeliads are a favorite, what else do your frogs seem to enjoy? Do they like plants with long stalks, big leaves, ones that form bunches to hide in. I recognize leaf litter is more important than moss but are there certain species of moss you catch your amphibians on? I'm not a novice by any means to plants, but I am to frogs so any recommendations for their preferences would be much appreciated. Or contrarily what should be avoided?
 

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Dart frogs are less interested in species of plants / moss and more interested in formations, that is to say, they like things they can sit on, or under.

So plants that have leaves tough enough to hold the frogs weight and in a location that a frog can climb and jump onto.

I have not noticed any preference for moss species.

Frankly the only plants in my insitu tank that are big enough to hold the frogs are the broms and the root ball of a rabbits foot fern.
 

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Dart frogs are less interested in species of plants / moss and more interested in formations, that is to say, they like things they can sit on, or under.
Agreed, plus they need formations that won't be a troublesome formation for that particular species -- e.g. leucs could be expected to have trouble navigating a wall of smaller-leafed Marcgravia (mine do, anyway) whereas many thumb species don't have that issue. So, plant for the frog species to be housed.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
@Robru as a landscape architect I care and try to use only native plants in my designs and work. Do you feel that it is pivotal to have overlapping plant species from the areas of origin for captive-bred frogs? Is it from an ideal to keep the same species they may genetically recognize, or is it for aesthetic reasons and trying to replicate their forest floor? What are your qualms with non-native plants to a dart frog's habitat in an already hyper artificial environment?
 

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@Robru as a landscape architect I care and try to use only native plants in my designs and work. Do you feel that it is pivotal to have overlapping plant species from the areas of origin for captive-bred frogs? Is it from an ideal to keep the same species they may genetically recognize, or is it for aesthetic reasons and trying to replicate their forest floor? What are your qualms with non-native plants to a dart frog's habitat in an already hyper artificial environment?
I have absolutely nothing against enthusiasts using non-native plants. Everyone has their own taste. Personally, I prefer to try to recreate a piece of habitat where the frogs live. What I just don't care about is that everyone wants their vivarium to look the same as everyone else. For example, there are dart frogs that live at higher altitudes, in mossy areas with a lot of gravel and almost no leaves on the ground.
 

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For example, there are dart frogs that live at higher altitudes, in mossy areas with a lot of gravel and almost no leaves on the ground.

This sounds interesting. Which species? Can you link to habitat pics?
 
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This sounds interesting. Which species? Can you link to habitat pics?
I have read and collected a lot of research material, in this particular case about the Phyllobates terribilis. I would also like to add that I think we romanticize the Amazon and the like too much in a certain idea about jungles. These areas are so immense, and are not uniformity.

A small selection of generally accessible information:

Golden Poison Frogs can be found in the western foothills of the Andes on a “northerly inclined spur of the Cordillera Occidental” in Pacific coastal Colombia. The terrain is rough and hilly, with mostly steep, even perpendicular slopes. Elevation in their range varies from 90-200 m above sea level. They live in rainforest, occurring throughout the forest both on drier ridge tops and on moister slopes. They tend to live near smaller streams since forest along the larger streams has either been cleared for agriculture or is dense secondary growth forest (Myers et al. 1978).
Golden poison frogs thrive in lowland Amazonian rainforests. This an extremely humid region that receives up to 5 m of rain per year and a minimum of 1.25 m. The region they inhabit is characterized by a hilly landscape, elevations varying from 100 to 200 m, and is covered by areas of wet gravel and small saplings and relatively little leafy debris. They are terrestrial animals that live on the forest floor, but they rely on freshwater to support their young.(Bolívar and Lötters, 2004; Stewart, 2010).

Source:
 

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This is not from China, and is from the tropical Americas where dart frog live...
Sorry, I take my words back, it was not about this pilea species that is native to China. I was confused with Pilea peperomioides.
 

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I have read and collected a lot of research material, in this particular case about the Phyllobates terribilis. I would also like to add that I think we romanticize the Amazon and the like too much in a certain idea about jungles. These areas are so immense, and are not uniformity.

A small selection of generally accessible information:
I have read and collected a lot of research material, in this particular case about the Phyllobates terribilis. I would also like to add that I think we romanticize the Amazon and the like too much in a certain idea about jungles. These areas are so immense, and are not uniformity.

A small selection of generally accessible information:
Tbh, you can find a lot of different and even contradictory scientific information/lecture about this topic.

In captivity, you always want to try and create something that 100% sure works and would mimic the neotropical environment.
Making a tank full of moss and running water to house frogs for example, has been proven numerous times to be not working.

It's quite simple and logical if you lthink about it.

You'd be providing a constant and only saturated envorinmont on a small surface. Wich it not at all the environment or climate the frogs live in.. Unless you are able to complete dry the tank and recreate the 2-3 short dry periods that also occur in situ, you frogs won't last long and literly rot. Esteheticly one would also end up with a tank that will only have rocks and looks absolutely hideous since the moss will dry and die fast during these dry periods..

That's why we create enclosures that are perfectly balanced for the frogs. Dry spots, leaflitter, larger plants,hiding space, climbing areas.. It's mostly to create as much possible micro climates and moveabke space in sipmly but harshly put : A SMALL GLAS BOX.
The box the size of a car would still be small compared to the range and the acces the frogs have to different micro climate in situ. Don't forget terrotorial space..

Probably the best way to found out what the locality of frog you wish to keep is to look for information/photo's directly from people that work in the field with those frogs. This could help inspire a potential build a lot!

This is one of the main reasons why I like instagram so much these day.
 

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Tbh, you can find a lot of different and even contradictory scientific information/lecture about this topic.

In captivity, you always want to try and create something that 100% sure works and would mimic the neotropical environment.
Making a tank full of moss and running water to house frogs for example, has been proven numerous times to be not working.

It's quite simple and logical if you lthink about it.

You'd be providing a constant and only saturated envorinmont on a small surface. Wich it not at all the environment or climate the frogs live in.. Unless you are able to complete dry the tank and recreate the 2-3 short dry periods that also occur in situ, you frogs won't last long and literly rot. Esteheticly one would also end up with a tank that will only have rocks and looks absolutely hideous since the moss will dry and die fast during these dry periods..

That's why we create enclosures that are perfectly balanced for the frogs. Dry spots, leaflitter, larger plants,hiding space, climbing areas.. It's mostly to create as much possible micro climates and moveabke space in sipmly but harshly put : A SMALL GLAS BOX.
The box the size of a car would still be small compared to the range and the acces the frogs have to different micro climate in situ. Don't forget terrotorial space..

Probably the best way to found out what the locality of frog you wish to keep is to look for information/photo's directly from people that work in the field with those frogs. This could help inspire a potential build a lot!

This is one of the main reasons why I like instagram so much these day.
This is a clear and logical story Tijl. Therefore, most vivariums will look alike, because in a vivarium you are always left with a large amount of excess water. I am now also building a false bottom so that the substrate does not turn into a mud pool.

297032
 

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This is a clear and logical story Tijl. Therefore, most vivariums will look alike, because in a vivarium you are always left with a large amount of excess water. I am now also building a false bottom so that the substrate does not turn into a mud pool.

View attachment 297032
I'm nevet realy left with a large amount of acces water in my vivariums tbh. There will only be 0.5cm of water max in my own builds.

I personaly like to use pond foam as 'fake botom'. I highly dislike any for of substrate like coco, peat or abg mix since they all soak up water and frogs are able to swallow tiny bits of the substrate. Gravel works perfect to mount plants imo and it has perfect drainage. I never have issues with plants dying or having a lack of nutriënts..
 

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I'm nevet realy left with a large amount of acces water in my vivariums tbh. There will only be 0.5cm of water max in my own builds.

I personaly like to use pond foam as 'fake botom'. I highly dislike any for of substrate like coco, peat or abg mix since they all soak up water and frogs are able to swallow tiny bits of the substrate. Gravel works perfect to mount plants imo and it has perfect drainage. I never have issues with plants dying or having a lack of nutriënts..
The height of the false bottom is now 2 ". So I can easily lower it to 1" or even lower.

I was thinking to build the substrate like this:
  • False bottom with root cloth.
  • Thin layer of perlite.
  • Blend of fine orchid bark, tree fern, charcoal, sphagnum.
  • As a top layer a thick layer of oak and beech leaf.

Please, shoot on my idea ;)
 

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The height of the false bottom is now 2 ". So I can easily lower it to 1" or even lower.

I was thinking to build the substrate like this:
  • False bottom with root cloth.
  • Thin layer of perlite.
  • Blend of fine orchid bark, tree fern, charcoal, sphagnum.
  • As a top layer a thick layer of oak and beech leaf.

Please, shoot on my idea ;)
It's everyones personal preference.. It's seems like a good mix.

I personaly prefer gravel + leaflitter so the frogs are not able to swallow annything and the way the drainage is perfect. Simple, budget friendly and it does not degrade aside from the leaflitter.
 

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I personaly prefer gravel + leaflitter so the frogs are not able to swallow annything and the way the drainage is perfect. Simple, budget friendly and it does not degrade aside from the leaflitter.
So do the plants that are in the gravel get enough nutrition from the waste products that the animals and other living organisms in the vivarium produce and from the leaf waste that slowly digests?
 

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So do the plants that are in the gravel get enough nutrition from the waste products that the animals and other living organisms in the vivarium produce and from the leaf waste that slowly digests?
You can judge for yourself on the photo's on my topics :)
 

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Quote:

A small selection of generally accessible information:

Golden Poison Frogs can be found in the western foothills of the Andes on a “northerly inclined spur of the Cordillera Occidental” in Pacific coastal Colombia. The terrain is rough and hilly, with mostly steep, even perpendicular slopes. Elevation in their range varies from 90-200 m above sea level. They live in rainforest, occurring throughout the forest both on drier ridge tops and on moister slopes. They tend to live near smaller streams since forest along the larger streams has either been cleared for agriculture or is dense secondary growth forest (Myers et al. 1978).
Golden poison frogs thrive in lowland Amazonian rainforests. This an extremely humid region that receives up to 5 m of rain per year and a minimum of 1.25 m. The region they inhabit is characterized by a hilly landscape, elevations varying from 100 to 200 m, and is covered by areas of wet gravel and small saplings and relatively little leafy debris. They are terrestrial animals that live on the forest floor, but they rely on freshwater to support their young.(Bolívar and Lötters, 2004; Stewart, 2010).

Source:
https://www.herpetologic.net/
Encyclopedia of Life
end quote.

Interesting stuff. Thank you for providing it. :) Note that Myers (1978) is the original species description, and as such should be considered as very tentative in relation to any subsequent study. Bolivar and Lotters (2004) seems to no longer exist (it was a species entry for IUCN's website).

Actually, the quotes do confirm some of the accepted care guidelines for terribs: gravel in areas with little tree cover should be expected to dry out quickly after rainfall -- this is in line with the recommendations for drying substrate regardless of the material (leaf litter could well substitute for gravel practically speaking, since it is almost certainly the relative dryness that matters, not the actual material; the frogs aren't known to exploit gravel in any way, to my knowledge).

Regarding humidity: captive herps don't tolerate the high humidity the way the do in the wild, likely (my hypothesis) because of the severe lack of air movement in captivity relative to wild conditions. This is true for almost all captive herps, and has been proven time and time again over many decades by many ill and dead and 'hard to keep in captivity' and 'failing to thrive' animals.

My favorite quote is this (emphasis added): "They tend to live near smaller streams since forest along the larger streams has either been cleared for agriculture or is dense secondary growth forest." We tend to forget that there is no wild habitat unaffected by human alteration, and animal behaviors deviate from 'natural' (whatever that means) in response. Simply because a species does X in the wild doesn't mean that X is beneficial to that species.
 
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