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I feel so bad about how my whole dart frog experience has gone... I feel like I haven't done a very good job and I hate that.
Almost two years ago, my mom and I got three D. auratus and set them up in a beautiful exo terra vivarium. They were doing well, but we really didn't see them that much except right at feeding time.
Several months ago, one of them passed away. He was very, very skinny when he died and kept losing weight as I upped the feed and the other two gained weight. The remaining two again seemed to be quite happy- they actually got a bit bolder.
At the end of October, my family moved from Alberta to Ontario, a 5 day drive. The frogs came too, in a large tupperware with ventilation, wet paper towels, leaf litter, and a little ceramic cave. They took the trip very well, they were surprisingly active in their temporary home! We set them up in the new house on November 3rd. As of November 10th, both of them were out eating, although they were on the thin side.
After not seeing either for several days, I went digging... and found the female not only dead, but black and crispy. WHAT? It was horrifying. I was sure I was going to find the male dead too, but as I kept looking I found him burrowed under a log, alive.
The whole terrarium was a lot drier than I would like- I think it hadn't gotten enough water since the move, but there were moist spots in the soil. The male now has a crooked spine/hips, which I have never seen on him before. Could this be from shoving himself under the log? He gets regular calcium+ dustings (they all did) on his flies, and UVB. I heavily watered the whole terrarium, put him back, and fed some dusted flies and he's hopping and eating like nothing's wrong.
So... Should I be worried about the hips? What killed the female and made her a charcoal briquette? Is the remaining frog okay on his own? How do I be a better frog keeper??
 

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What size enclosure do you have? If the UVB light was too close to the frogs, this could be the cause of the charcoal "briquette". Not quite sure if this applies to this species (more experienced froggers help me out), but sometimes in the wild, dart frogs hide from UV(B) light because of the sometimes harmful rays. In contrast, some frogs benefit from this light (again not 100% sure about auratus), but opinion (and facts!) varies heavily in the hobby.

If this is indeed a species that does not enjoy UVB, this could explain them always hiding in your enclosure.

It would also help if you would post a picture of your vivarium, this could help us discern if there is some underlying problem here.

Sometimes Exo terra vivariums have too much ventilation (passive and possibly active). Exo terra vivariums also are not fruit fly proof. I fixed the latter problem by sticking a piece of duct-tape on the ventilation strip below the doors on the inside (make sure the duct-tape is animal/plant safe). You can raise the humidity by modifying the screen top so that there is less mesh screen. You can look on the search bar here for "Exo-terra lid" or "modifying Exo terra screen" or "Exo terra glass top."

The humidity might also be a point of concern. Check out the care-sheet section here on dendroboard for accurate info, but most dart frogs thrive with humidity staying around 65%-80%, with some frogs liking it higher or lower (depending on species and locale).

I wish you luck! (y)

Gastrotheca
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Crested Gecko 0.2.0
 

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Thank you so much! I believe its 24x18x18, I do have the ventilation strip covered and a lid on the whole mesh top.The humidity definitely has been running too low this past week or so, it's normally kept around 85%. Really good info about the UVB! I can't believe I didn't do more research on that. I can't remember exactly what bulbs I have but I will check. I'll grab a photo of the terrarium asap
 

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When a small dead frog is found in relatively dry place, it will dessicate into a darkened shriveled, stick figure like state. If it died in a wet spot, it will be found in a puddle of adipocere.

Flourescent uvb lamps cant turn things into burnt crisps. Its just a dark, shriveled dead frog.
 

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I fixed the latter problem by sticking a piece of duct-tape on the ventilation strip below the doors on the inside (make sure the duct-tape is animal/plant safe).
Don't ever put any tape inside any animal enclosure. When an edge of the tape peels, up, the animal will get stuck. Tape and small herps mix very, very badly. :(

I agree that this sounds like a lack of moisture issue. Misting once per day minimum is the norm.
 

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Don't ever put any tape inside any animal enclosure. When an edge of the tape peels, up, the animal will get stuck. Tape and small herps mix very, very badly. :(
I didn't use tape! Just a piece of board over it. My mom told me a horror story about her childhood lizard and tape.... HORRIFIED.
 

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I didn't use tape! Just a piece of board over it. My mom told me a horror story about her childhood lizard and tape.... HORRIFIED.
I was replying to the quote in my post -- sorry for the confusion. :)
 

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I secured the tape very well. And, the tape was exposed to about 75% humidity for about 6 months with no signs of curling. I think the trick is to dry the intended surface for application very well, so the tape sticks securely. When I removed the tape recently for a check, all I found was a few springtails. Additionally, I cover the tape with leaf litter so there is no possibility of the animal getting caught and injured. I am fully against glue traps and applications of the sort!! I see where my initial comment could have caused confusion and concern!

Gastrotheca
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Fully sealing the underdoor vent for darts isn't advisable, but if a person did have a reason to do so, a bead of silicone over that vent would be safe and effective. Some keepers silicone no-see-um mesh over (or inside) the front vent for FF control.

Throttling ventilation in an ExoTerra is best done by partially (not fully; frogs need ventilation) covering the top.
 

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The whole terrarium was a lot drier than I would like- I think it hadn't gotten enough water since the move, but there were moist spots in the soil. ... I heavily watered the whole terrarium
By what method are you watering the vivarium? Frogs absorb water through their skin so if you have been dumping water in there not through misting but through say the use of a watering can frogs might not be getting much of that. This is one reason we use a mister. If you don't own a mister (either automatic, or hand mister) then that's one purchase you should make right away.

Also what water are you using? RO or distilled water is the gold standard for a reason. If using tap water, that may to have contributed to the death of the other frog since the contents of that water might not be safe for the frogs.

I agree a picture of the enclosure would be helpful in figuring things out. Good luck.
 
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