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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone,

I've kept planted freshwater aquariums as well as saltwater reefs for a while now. However, as far as keeping frogs I'm a Noob. I saw some Poison Dart Frogs in a terrarium set up earlier today and I instantly wanted some. So I've been researching how to care for them all day. However I'm still a little confused.

So, my question is:

What's the cheapest/most basic/easiest terrarium that I can set up for these guys. I think I want a 10'ish gallon aquarium with 2 Bumblebee Dart Frog, Dendrobates leucomelas. So, what is the minimum amount of equipment I need? Also, is there an alternative to live food?

Would an All-In-One tank like this work?

Habitat Kit Rainforest - Small for sale from ReptMart.com

Thanks- Wizzy :)
 

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Hello Everyone,

I've kept planted freshwater aquariums as well as saltwater reefs for a while now. However, as far as keeping frogs I'm a Noob. I saw some Poison Dart Frogs in a terrarium set up earlier today and I instantly wanted some. So I've been researching how to care for them all day. However I'm still a little confused.

So, my question is:

What's the cheapest/most basic/easiest terrarium that I can set up for these guys. I think I want a 10'ish gallon aquarium with 2 Bumblebee Dart Frog, Dendrobates leucomelas. So, what is the minimum amount of equipment I need? Also, is there an alternative to live food?

Would an All-In-One tank like this work?

Habitat Kit Rainforest - Small for sale from ReptMart.com

Thanks- Wizzy :)

Wow Wizzy.....no there is not alternative....they need live fruit flys and springtails...
If you don't know that id suggest you research more...

As for the tank all the ppl here seem to like the Exo Terra tanks.....that one looks like one.
No one really uses them like that....
Get some silicone and smear it all ove that background and put either eco earth(in a bag not the brick) or some peat moss. Cut out some holes for some plant pots first(before the silicone and peat) to stick some broms and some cryptanthus in there. Make sure you scewer some holes through the background for drainage.
Make a false bottome....ABG mix.....leaf litter....plant some ground plants.
Throw some wood in there or cork rounds and a coconut hut
Get some nice bright lights....
You're looking at a few hundred dollars dude lol

Before you do all of this....try the search feature or browse some threads and find out how to do all these things.
You can find some good builds here..... Parts & Construction - Dendroboard
 
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What's the cheapest/most basic/easiest terrarium that I can set up for these guys. So, what is the minimum amount of equipment I need? Also, is there an alternative to live food?

Would an All-In-One tank like this work?

Habitat Kit Rainforest - Small for sale from ReptMart.com

Thanks- Wizzy :)
Cheapest/most basic tank would be a ten gal tank with a full glass lid with sphagnum moss as a substrate, maybe some pothos or simple tropical house plant ie african violet, dead leafs (leaf litter), maybe a few rocks, and a standard aquarium light. That answers the equipment question too. Room temp is fine 69-80 degrees year round.

There is no alternitive to live food but that's one of the joys of dart frogs too. Once you start culturing your own fruit flies you'll see that it's by far cheaper and easy, and more convenient than going to the store once a week for crickets like other reptiles.

That rainforest kit would be fine but since the frogs require 70-90% humidity you'll need to cover the screen with a clear plastic, glass or plastic wrap. The screen top is sometimes better than full glass bc you can vent it a bit by sliding the glass/plastic cover to clear up the front glass as a full glass lid tends to cause condensation on the front of most aquariums.

Welcome to the hobby. You'll never look back :D
 

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Cheapest/most basic tank would be a ten gal tank with a full glass lid with sphagnum moss as a substrate, maybe some pothos or simple tropical house plant ie african violet, dead leafs (leaf litter), maybe a few rocks, and a standard aquarium light. That answers the equipment question too. Room temp is fine 69-80 degrees year round.

There is no alternitive to live food but that's one of the joys of dart frogs too. Once you start culturing your own fruit flies you'll see that it's by far cheaper and easy, and more convenient than going to the store once a week for crickets like other reptiles.

That rainforest kit would be fine but since the frogs require 70-90% humidity you'll need to cover the screen with a clear plastic, glass or plastic wrap. The screen top is sometimes better than full glass bc you can vent it a bit by sliding the glass/plastic cover to clear up the front glass as a full glass lid tends to cause condensation on the front of most aquariums.

Welcome to the hobby. You'll never look back :D
I breed my own crickets :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the replies everyone! So, right now the biggest issue for me is the live food. I don't want insects crawling around my house so I'd like to know what the safest method of feeding your frogs is. I watched a video of someone making the fly culture and then they just poured flies from it into the tank. Is there a safer way so as to reduce the chance of the flies escaping?

Also, does anyone know of a specific build that is around my tank size (10 gallons) and is relatively low tech?

Thanks- Wizzy :)
 

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Unfortunately the live foods are a must (except while they are still tadpoles). There is really no absolutely necessary equipment in this hobby except for a tank, light, and spray bottle to mist by hand.
I don't know of any specific 10 gallon builds, mostly because they are so common and basic that most people don't bother to post them, but here would be an absolute basic, easy method:
10 or 20 gallon aquarium with all glass lid.
Fill tank with ~1" of rinsed gravel.
Cover this with a piece of weed fabric or mesh screen that is cut to fit the whole bottom (this is a barrier between substrate and drainage level).
Then put 1-2" of sphagnum moss in. You can also mix in some orchid bark and coco-fiber/peat moss (all without fertilizer, of course) to help the plants.
Put in 2-3 easy plants that can be bought at local stores like Home Depot (such as pothos, creeping fig, bromeliads, etc. that do well in high humidity).
Put a coco-hut in for hiding.
Cover the substrate with a layer of leaf litter (collected without pesticides, of course).
Mist the tank, put the lid on, turn the lights on, add the frogs in a few weeks after they are quarantined.
Bryan

*Edit*- that "all-in-one" tank that you linked would not be good for leucs because leucs are more terrestrial and need more floorspace. Check out a standard 10 or 20 gallon aquarium instead.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
hypostatic- Thank you for the awesome links. Great Info there!

Baltimore Bryan- That sounds like a great build to help me start off in the hobby. A couple questions though. If I had plants do you think a hut would still be necessary? I thought that the frogs would be able to hide in the plants.

General Questions- Do you think I would need a heat pad? My house is usually in the 70's year round. Also, since live food is a necessity, are there any tips on how to keep the insects contained. At the moment feeding/keeping everything contained is really my biggest concern.

Thank You- Wizzy
 

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hypostatic- Thank you for the awesome links. Great Info there!

Baltimore Bryan- That sounds like a great build to help me start off in the hobby. A couple questions though. If I had plants do you think a hut would still be necessary? I thought that the frogs would be able to hide in the plants.

General Questions- Do you think I would need a heat pad? My house is usually in the 70's year round. Also, since live food is a necessity, are there any tips on how to keep the insects contained. At the moment feeding/keeping everything contained is really my biggest concern.

Thank You- Wizzy

I would still include a hut. The thing with plants is that unless it is really densly planted, there isn't actually space for them to be completely hidden usually. With the hut, they can go in or out as they choose, knowing that it is more "protective" than just plants. Mine seem to use the hut for rest/hiding frequently, but don't think you won't see them because leucs are very bold.
No heat pad- room temperature + lights + mostly sealed tank= perfect dart frog temps (68-78). If the tank breaks into the mid 80's, you could have some serious problems from the heat depending on the frogs and set up.
There are a few threads I think about tips on keeping the flies contained while feeding if you search. There are wingless fruit flies, so all they do is crawl, which certainly helps. Tap down the containers before, during, and after the transfer from culture to cup so that the flies don't crawl up and out. I usually do this over an open tank so that if any manage to escape they just end up as extra frog snacks. If any do get out and avoid the tank, you can set up little "feeder stations" around the tanks of a cup with some mushed up fruit/apple sauce or something in it. Any loose flies would go in there, so just dump them and then replace the media once a week or so to prevent the loose flies from reproducing out in the house. It takes a bit of practice, but after awhile feeding becomes rather quick and easy, with no (or just a couple) flies escaping.
Good luck,
Bryan
 
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While you don't actually need the "coconut hut", you really do need some sort of opaque "hide" for them to hide in (mine like sleeping in it sometimes). I guess you could even accomplish this by using an opaque plastic container and cutting an entrance for them. The dollar store can be very helpful for that ;).
You should ALSO get plants/leaf litter. The best reason for this (besides a healthier environment in the tank) is that your frogs will feel safer, so they'll spend less time hiding and you'll get to see them hopping around more often!

You do not need a heat pad. 70s is perfect.

My viv keeps the bugs contained by having a glass lid on top. I also have a fan circulating air around to compensate for this.

***I should really note that its very important to get your viv set up before purchasing your frogs. This way you can work out all the temp/humidity kinks (and any others that may arise) before the frogs are living there. Also, this way you can also design the viv to suit the specific species you'll have in there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks! Sounds pretty straightforward. Ok, so now what kind of light do you think I'll need? (Since I have multiple aquariums I'm familiar with all the different types of lighting.) I'm trying to keep this setup as low cost as possible just so I can see if I like it. So are there any specific species of plants that could grow under low wattage fluorescent lighting? Also, what is the best kit for breeding fruit flies? Do I need to put supplemental powders on the flies before feeding?

Thanks- Wizzy :)

P.S. Any advice/comments are appreciated even if they don't answer my question(s). I need to learn as much as possible.
 

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Thanks! Sounds pretty straightforward. Ok, so now what kind of light do you think I'll need? (Since I have multiple aquariums I'm familiar with all the different types of lighting.) I'm trying to keep this setup as low cost as possible just so I can see if I like it. So are there any specific species of plants that could grow under low wattage fluorescent lighting? Also, what is the best kit for breeding fruit flies? Do I need to put supplemental powders on the flies before feeding?

Thanks- Wizzy :)

P.S. Any advice/comments are appreciated even if they don't answer my question(s). I need to learn as much as possible.
Yes, tons of beginner plants do fine under your basic flourescent strip light. No need to use a HOT5 or LED light if you are just getting your feet wet. Some of these plants include pothos, many bromeliads, wandering jew, creeping fig, etc.
I don't know if there is a "best kit" per say, many sponsors here offer different beginner packages depending on how many flies you will need. You will need culture cups, lids, excelsior/coffee filters, and media. You can make your own media, but if you want this to be low-cost, low-maintenance to test it out, it's probably easier just to buy pre-made media that you just add water when you get the other fruit fly stuff.
Yes, you should supplement the flies. Look into repashy calcium +ICB or whatever the exact name is, it's good stuff and it's an all-in-one supplement essentially so you don't need different powders for calcium, vitamins, etc...
I've bought a lot of this stuff from Josh's Frogs. He's a sponsor here, check out his site or the other sponsor's sites because you can probably get an idea of what you need and then buy everything in one place to save on shipping.
Bryan

*Edit*- when you get a hydrometer and thermometer, this is something you should not skimp on. A lot of the pet store ones are honestly crap, they can be way off or get stuck in a position and give false readings. There are some quality devices that are not too expensive, like $20 or so that should be much better. I honestly almost never use them since I have a good idea of what to expect and how things should look/ feel, but they can be the difference between a happy dart or a cooked frog if temps are in the 80's and the thermometer is off.
 
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There is NO way to keep fruit flies from getting out. There are many ways to reduce how many escape but you cant stop them. Some jump when making new cultures and some escape when you open the culture to feed. Plus you cant always dump flies from the culture straight into the frogs tank. That would mean you are not using supplements. Live food such as flies,springtails and isopods is a must.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks once again everyone! This forum has helped me so much!

Ok, so I'll just get some low light plants that can grow under the fluorescent lighting. I'll probably get this kit for culturing fruit flies Deluxe Melanogaster Culture Kit with Flies - Fruit Fly Culture Kits with Fruit Fly Cultures | Josh's Frogs It seems to have everything I need even though it's a tad expensive. Would this be the best option for me? Also, as far as a hygrometer and thermometer goes would these work-
Exo Terra Hygrometer (Analog) - Temp/Humdity Monitoring | Josh's Frogs
Exo Terra Thermometer C&F (Analog) - Temp/Humdity Monitoring | Josh's Frogs
Or are these the cheap ones that would read incorrectly?

momkris- I guess I'll just have to be super duper careful Lol. Thanks for the warning and advice. :D

Thanks Everyone- Wizzy :)
 

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Thanks once again everyone! This forum has helped me so much!

Ok, so I'll just get some low light plants that can grow under the fluorescent lighting. I'll probably get this kit for culturing fruit flies Deluxe Melanogaster Culture Kit with Flies - Fruit Fly Culture Kits with Fruit Fly Cultures | Josh's Frogs It seems to have everything I need even though it's a tad expensive. Would this be the best option for me? Also, as far as a hygrometer and thermometer goes would these work-
Exo Terra Hygrometer (Analog) - Temp/Humdity Monitoring | Josh's Frogs
Exo Terra Thermometer C&F (Analog) - Temp/Humdity Monitoring | Josh's Frogs
Or are these the cheap ones that would read incorrectly?

momkris- I guess I'll just have to be super duper careful Lol. Thanks for the warning and advice. :D

Thanks Everyone- Wizzy :)

Personally I would get this kit instead Melanogaster Culture Kit with Flies - Fruit Fly Culture Kits with Fruit Fly Cultures | Josh's Frogs and this supplement Repashy Calcium Plus (4 oz) - Repashy Supplements | Josh's Frogs simply because I like this powder supplement better than what comes with the deluxe kit... you should be set with this. 20 cups is plenty to get a nice rotation going when you do cultures so that you always have a few with adequate flies for feeding.
I'm not familiar with those specific hygrometers and thermometers, but unfortunately if it says analogue and it's made by a reptile company sold cheaply in pet stores and the like, I have to doubt it is truly good. I could be wrong, but I would do some more research, maybe search a bit on here and elsewhere, to see if there are other options that are better.
Hope that helps...
Bryan
 
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Wizzy,

I'm not trying to be rude and whatnot but you seem to only wanna skate by on the bare minimum...
This hobby needs to be precise to ensure these beautiful frogs have a great long life.
It's gonna take a lot of effort and is time and money consuming...

If you're looking for the simplest build I would go with some PDFs that stay on the grond mostly and not do a verticle tank.
Vert setups are anything but low tech. Almost always you have to make abackground and plant it.
Although with a non vert tank you can just put some plants in the substrate and just get a cork panel background.

I really suggest you just put the effort forth and make a nice tank to house your frogs.
This hobby isn't low tech at all really lol
 

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Wizzy,

I typically advise against a "minimalist" mentality. It's not that you can't get by on a minimalist set-up, but often, when providing frogs with complex set-ups you allows yourself to truly experience the frog. While it's pretty cool to have a brightly colored frog in a glass box, it's _so much_ cooler to watch your brightly colored frog explore the entirety of a little slice of the rain forest.

That said, I would say Bryan has done a pretty good job at describing a pretty minimal set-up. I would like to add, though, that if you're looking at getting leucomelas you ought to look at getting a 20 gallon long tank (or bigger). D. leucomelas are one of my favorite frogs because they are bright, they are bold, and they are active. They will seriously explore all the space you give them. 10 gallons for two frogs really isn't enough space to provide them with all the opportunities of exploration (they really are a trip to watch).

As far as a hygrometer/thermometer, I would ignore those almost entirely. Unless you want to get a high-tech digital version, these are going to be pretty pointless. Especially where you're looking at analog versions, these are renouned for being prepetually inaccurate.

As far as your flies go, if you want to prevent them from getting out I would recommend avoiding Exo-Terra. Get yourself a normal aquarium with a lid that will seal on the top. It's not fool-proof, but it will likely prevent flies from getting out the most.

As other people have said, welcome to the addiction. The board is a useful tool for all kinds of information and I would really suggest looking around the board for both more information on your future frogs as well as builds that may help you provide the best home for your frogs.
 

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Hi Wizzy,
I hope I am not mistaken, but I just interpreted it as you not necessarily being "cheap" or minimal, but rather wanting to take a "test run" with darts to see if long term you will love them and continue one before investing in all of the more complete components. In this case, something as described in terms of a nice simple, but sufficient, tank would be fine for a few months, and then once you realize how fascinating they are and have a desire for more species or a nicer tank (which I'm sure you will very soon...) then you could do a really nice display tank that is a bit larger, like Jake said, and even keep a group of leucs in it.
With a bit of experience under your belt, a lush vivarium with tropical plants and colorful frogs in it is a stunning display that is honestly do-able and much more low-tech and low-maintenance than comparable hobbies like reefs.
Keep up the research,
Bryan
 
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