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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I'm helping put together a tank at a local montessori school, and instead of just having the tank there, I wanted to write a little for them to read and learn about the frogs in general and as pets. Maybe we can get some little froggers started.

I'd love it if I could get some feedback on what I've written already, and suggestions on what else could/should be included.

It's not formatted or in order but other feedback is welcomed.

Brian
Edit: It is saying the file is too big, so I'll just post it here:

Merrimack Montessori School

Dart Frog Resource Book

How to make a Fruit Fly culture

1. Get all supplies ready. 32 oz. deli cup, media, nutritional yeast, active dry yeast, water, excelsior, fruit fly culture.
2. Put 1/3 cup of media and 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast into deli cup.
3. Add 1/2 cup tepid water and mix.
4. Add a small pinch of active dry yeast, but DO NOT MIX.
5. Add about 50 - 75 flies.
6. Add excelsior ball and cover.
7. Write date culture was made and approximate date next culture should be made (roughly 2 weeks).

How to dust and feed Fruit Flies

1. Put a pinch of vitamins into dusting cup.
2. Tap Fruit Fly culture on table to knock down flies.
3. Open quickly and tap appropriate number of flies into dusting cup.
4. Tap Fruit Fly culture on table again to knock down the flies.
5. Cover Fruit Fly culture.
6. Swirl Fruit Flies around to coat them in the vitamins.
7. Tap dusting cup so flies fall into vivarium. Try to keep extra vitamins in dusting cup. (This is purely for aesthetic reasons, the vitamin powder won’t hurt the frogs.)

Are those live plants?
Yes! A terrarium is a great place to grow plants. The tank is virtually sealed off keeping the humidity high. The lights are on timers giving the plants the much needed light. Even if you kill the hardiest houseplants, you could do this.

Why do dart frogs make such great pets?
There are so many reasons, but the most important one is that they’re FUN! Dart frogs are diurnal, which means they are active during the day, and sleep at night. They are very colorful, and usually out and about hunting or exploring their vivarium so you get to see them almost every time you walk by. They are fairly easy to take care of, minimal tank maintenance (no water changes like there are with fish). Keep their tank at a comfortable temperature (72 to 80 degrees), keep it humid by hand misting the tank daily, and give them food, and they’ll be happy for years to come!

What do dart frogs eat?
Any small bug that will fit into their mouth really. However, the dart frog community staple is flightless or wingless fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster or Drosophila Hydei) because of the ease of culturing, low cost and they are good for the frogs. A dart frog can live it’s whole life on only fruit flies, but there are some supplemental bugs that can be offered as a treat or to vary the diet. They are Bean Beetles, Rice Flour Beetles, Springtails, Termites and some species of dart frog can eat small crickets.

These fruit flies have wings, how come they can’t fly?
Great question! These have been genetically altered to produce fruit flies that have wings, but don’t know how to use them. It’s great for the keepers of dart frogs, because it makes it easy to feed fruit flies to your frogs. Imagine if they could fly, how would you get them into the tank?

How much do they cost and how much does it cost to keep them?
The initial outlay can be kind of expensive (Tank $50, Lighting $30, Tank furnishings $100, Fruit fly culturing supplies $80, Sprayer $10 and the frogs $30 - $60 each for a good starter frog)

It’s still much cheaper than a $1,000 puppy.

The ongoing expenses are minimal. Just food and water, and you culture your own food. Maybe $120 a year for 1 or 2 tanks (1 to 6 frogs). There are many ways to cut your costs too. You could use mason jars and never have to buy deli cups. Coffee filters or toilet paper tubes can replace the excelsior. There are many recipes online to make your own media.

And if you’re lucky you might end up with a male and a female and be able to sell your baby froglets to cover many of your costs! And you get to see the life cycle of dart frogs. Beware though, once you see the eggs, watch them turn into tadpoles, and eventually morph into cute little froglets, this can become a life-long addiction (I mean hobby!).

Can you find the springtails?
Springtails are cryptozoa frequently found in leaf litter and other decaying material, where they are primarily detritivores. What all that means is springtails eat decaying leaves, decaying bugs and frog poop.

They are tiny, less than 1/4 of an inch! Look down near the ground of the tank any you might be able to spot some. They do clean some of the decaying material out of the tank, but that’s only if the frogs don’t eat them first.

Where are these frogs from?
Dendrobates Azureus are from Southern Suriname. Suriname is in South America, north of Brazil and west of French Guiana.
 

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Great start! I couldn't read all of it because my phone is about to die, but it looks really good. I'm actually doing something exactly like this for my zoology project, but it's on a PowerPoint. I'm actually presenting it to the class tomorrow!
 

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I think it's pretty cool you guys are doing this for the kids. If your planning on having a little opening/presentation, maybe you could get with the school's librarian and see if they would be able to pull all the materials they have that pertain to dart frogs or even frogs in general and set something up so that the kids would have even more information available to them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I forgot to mention because I was trying to make the file small enough, I took out the pictures. I have a map of where Suriname is, a pic of a springtail and some pictures of the frogs.

I was lucky enough to get the frogs donated by DJBoston on here, the school already has a tank and stand. I'm going to donate some materials, and I'm going to ask around to see if anyone else wants to donate anything.
 

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What age group of kids are you writing this for? How to make a Fruit Fly culture & How to dust and feed Fruit Flies may be too detailed. It would help with more critique if you tell us what age group you are targeting and what the primary goal/focus of the writing is for in your opinion.
 
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