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After much thought, I think I have finally settled on D. tinctorius (cobalt) as my first frogs. I plan to take my time getting the tank all set up and practicing culturing fruit flies before I get them to make sure everything is ready. It looks like the frogs are going to be quite expensive, so I'm deathly afraid I'm going to mess something up and kill them. :( But everything I've read says they're good as beginner frogs, so I think I should be okay...

A few quick questions:
1. The care sheet says they prefer small prey items. Will melanogaster fruit flies be good? I'm also wondering if I can keep the fruit fly cultures in a closet where they will get limited light. I just don't want them out in the open- the ugly factor. Will the limited light impede them?

2. The care sheet also says D. tinctorius are a larger species who use a lot of floor space. I plan to keep only two (male and female) in a 29 gallon tank, oriented horizontally. Will this be a good tank for them? Do they like to climb as well? I was planning on creating at least a minimal climbing wall of some sort for them using Great Stuff.

3. Even though there will only be two frogs, is it a good idea to include 2 coconut huts in the tank in case they want more than just the one hide-out?

4. Even if I decide against a small water feature, is it still a good idea to build a false bottom and a siphon tube (to empty it when need be) so the substrate can drain well?

Alright, that's all for now, but I know I'll think of more questions later on!
 

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I can only comment on part of number 1 (with full confidence) and 4.
I'm also wondering if I can keep the fruit fly cultures in a closet where they will get limited light.
This is something that has come up many times. Some will say it's fine, and they can be raised in the dark, however Ed has brought up a potential decrease in nutrition of the flies if raised in the dark. A paper on it that Ed has linked in the past.

Keeping flies in the dark interferes with the ability of the flies to convert carotenoids to retinyl. Retinal is produced in the retina from Vitamin A, from dietary beta-carotene.

So, from what I have read from Ed, the light isn't necessary for raising the flies, but probably aid in raising more nutritious flies.


Regarding number 4, a false bottom will aid in drainage of your substrate with or without a water feature. Whether you will need to drain it periodically will depend, though it is a good idea to have a siphon tube or some means to drain it if/when necessary.


edit: another thread on flies and light where he links to another article.
 

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Your flys will be fine.. 29g will be great and plenty for them. You dont need two cocohuts.. mine hardly ever use them. I have one for 4 Cobalts. Cobalts were my first frog. Yes false bottom with siphon tube for drainage. Melanogasters are fine, thats what I feed as well. Cobalts arent too expensive. Shop around and you can find them for around $30 at a show or a local breeder. I think I covered it all :)
 

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Cobalts are large and very beautiful. It sound like you're doing all the right things. IMO, Cobalts would much prefer the larger Hydei fruitfly to mels - less work, more food. The flies take a little longer to reproduce, but I've always managed at least two cycles before pitching the old cultures. BTW, the older the culture, the more likely that it will become mite infested.

Cobalts are usually bold, but when they do hide, it's in the greenery, or behind the driftwood, or any cave-like structures. Most frogs use the huts for courting/breeding. Just make sure that you have plenty of plants in your tank, and they'll be fine.

Best of luck with your new babies!!

kristi
 

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Cobalts were my first frog too!

A few quick Answers:


1. Yes, melanogaster will be fine. See previous post about fruit flies in the dark.


2. A 29 will be perfect for them. Mine are all over the tank, so be sure to make little "froggy roadways" up the background for easy climbing.


3. Mine have just one coco hut. But two wont hurt. Hideouts include leaf litter and plants as well.


4.Yes. A false bottom is a considered a must have, and can be done a couple different ways. (LECA or egg crate)
 

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A lot of good answers. Just one thing I'd like to amend. When people speak of flies being more nutritious in the light, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.
1) This difference is extremely minimal
2) Most of us never actually get that difference as the tests that Ed linked to, where done under Actinic lights. Those are very blue reef tank lights spiking around 420nm.
 
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