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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. Brand new to dart frogs but I've been doing fresh and salt water aquariums for a few years. A buddy is into darts and he introduced me to them. I've got a viv build with him coming up so I've been poking around the build threads and whatnot. I've got a few questions.

Why is there so little rock used in building vivs? I'm used to scaping with rocks. I've got some red schist rock that almost looks like petrified wood. I don't have any actual driftwood to use in my viv. I can easily see it being a weight support issue with a false bottom but could the false bottom be replaced with gravel instead? It would be heavy but all of my stands are designed for aquariums so it should hold up. Are there other reasons? I do have some grapevine from my yard but people seem mixed about whether its ok or not.

The posts I've read on mixing frogs (not planning on doing it btw) say that you have to provide the right environment for the type of frog you are going to put in it and they each have special needs. Is this about mixing dart frogs with other types of frogs? The care sheets don't specifically list what part of the forest the frogs typically occupy such as roots, branches, vines, etc. How do I know that I'm building the right type of background for the frog that I will be getting? (first one will be an auratus) Or will a generic PDF viv design work for pretty much any PDF I get?

I'll be building my viv with the methods that my friend uses so I'm sure it will be done properly. I'm just curious about the two points above.

One last question. If I decide this isn't for me, how hard is it to convert a viv back to an aquarium?
 

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Welcome!
1) I've seen some builds with rocks...especially bgs done with lava. I would avoid sedimentary rock because it will quickly leach into the viv. Igneous rock should be fine (disclaimer: I'm not a geologist, this is just what I have been told...I'm sure there are exceptions so research would be good).
2)Mixing can be either different darts (species, even different morphs/localities) or different species or genera (i.e. treefrogs and darts). Obviously it can be done, but can cause problems (inter-species aggression, transfer of pathogens, improper conditions for both species, etc...). Honestly, the best way to find out about habitat and behavior is to read through posts about the frog in question (often there will be habitat pics, or look at pics of builds that were done for the species you are interested in). Gathering information about a frogs collection area can lead you to articles about the flora, weather conditions, geography, etc... of the region.
3) It depends on what type of BG you choose. Getting GS and silicone off a BG can be a chore (some ideas are here: http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/parts-construction/74976-best-viv-de-construction-tools.html), but it is doable. If you do clay then it should be a breeze. If you do cork panels or treefern panels it shouldn't be too much work. But really its a moot issue because you are gonna love darts and won't want to break the viv down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
OK thanks! We'll be doing clay backgrounds.

I almost feel excited to cut back on my fish. It will be interesting to see if that wears off.
 

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Some good answers from Field. You asked about gravel instead of eggcrate. Gravel can be used but it is very heavy. Instead, consider LECA (Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate). You can get it anywhere that sells hydroponic supplies. It would be a very lightweight solution.
 
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