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Hey guys I was just wondering how you got started in the dart frog hobby?

When I was 8 and I saw some darts at my local pet store I new i'd be hooked for life :)
 

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I was actually looking into keeping tropical plants in terrariums but as my research evolved I discovered the dart frog hobby. Then I actually did a lot of research on this board. Got my first luecs from richard who also showed me his frog room and gave me alot of good advice. Its been almost 2 years since then I just spent about 1K on my first rack and I've only finished the first shelf.
 

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2006. A kid was busted for growing marijuana ( hydroponics AKA lecca) used for 12 different plants. Well. He had 5 Vivariums with darts. ( I felt sorry for the frogs) police were going to confiscate them. I asked to take them. After that I was hooked!!
 

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I think there is another thread on this. I got into darts when I saw a guy selling some at a local reptile show, he's now a good friend of mine, and I have quite a bit of this collection ;) lol.
 

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I started out with reptiles. First bought a spotted python when i was in HS, it escaped :(. Then in college i bought a Brazilian Rainbow boa, after researching a bit on natural looking cages i came across some sites (blackjungle and im pretty sure this forum) but didnt get to in to it at the time.

Once my snake got to big for my exo 18" cube i started looking for new residents, and it was at this time i wanted to make a living vivarium. I purchased two baby Gargoyle geckos at the Sacramento Reptile show and started my construction. While doing research on how to build the background i slowly but surely got sucked in.

I have been ravenously scouring these forums for the past two months before i build my second viv and aquire my first group of dart frogs. I can almost feel the cameras froma future episode of "Animal Hoarders" looming in the distance.... haha
 

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Cobalts, Azureus, Green & Bronze Auratus, Northern Variabilis, Leucomelas & Vanzolinis
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I've always been fascinated with the dart frogs I've seen at various zoos or aquariums that I've been lucky enough to visit. Then I learned that Frog Day (2005, I think) was going to be at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens (about 100 miles away from me). My wife wanted to go also and thought we might get a couple of frogs. I stated that I just wanted to learn about keeping the frogs first and maybe get into purchasing them at a later date. We enjoyed seeing the frogs, talking to the vendors and listening to the various lectures. Well later that day, we returned home with two pre-made vivariums from Black Jungle and five or six froglets! Now, six years later, I'm still loving my darts!
 

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I had before I got into dart frogs been in the reef hobby for 25+ years and started toget burned out after so long. I seen some pictures of R. imitator 'varadero' pictures of
D3monic's on one of the reef boards and it blew my mind that there were little animals that had these colors. It took about 3 weeks of talking to him and another frogger on that site that I choose to make a change.....I sold off all my coral and equipment which totally funded my main display and group of varadero.....Been addicted since and have added 4-5 other Ranitomeya to my collection.
 

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I was a freshwater fish guy for 29 years then one day I stopped over at a fish friend’s house and he showed me his viv and the next thing you know I could not build a viv for myself fast enough. That was 4 years ago. Now I have 22 vivs complete and 23 different types of frogs and I only one 90 gallon fish tank up and running:eek:
Great hobby!!!!!!
 

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I made a thoughtless spontaneous purchase. ;)

I had experience with fresh and salt water tanks, but I was a "snake guy" with rooms dedicated to stacks of cages. I went down to Anaheim for a show and on a complete whim decided to buy a couple tiny Azureus and a pre-built 10 gallon tank for my wife. I made every mistake in the world with those frogs.

Over time I started noticing how much more I was enjoying the frogs so I bought another pair. Only about then did I really start to educated myself regarding their care. Pretty soon I was selling snake hatchlings to fund frogs. Then I was selling adult pairs and cages to fund frogs. Now all I have are frogs.

I still have that original pair, and they produce for me every month. They are all in much larger tanks now.
 

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Allen hunter brought a display to one of our reefing shows.. was interested then.. started researching paludariums.. realized couldnt keep much cool in them.. and that evolved into a vivarium.. then darts... so called allen up.. went to his house.. came home with a viv and some cobalts.
 

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Been keeping herps my whole life. Native species only until I was 5, then I got my pair of ball pythons (1984) which I had until I sold them when I graduated high school. I mostly had snakes throughout junior and high school-corns, kings, milks, bullsnakes, but also had a breeding trio of tegus, and quite a lot of arachnids and a HUGE tiger salamander I brought back from Wyoming when I was 9 that I had till I sold him whenI graduated high school and moved away. I used to volunteer in the reptile/rainforest houses at the woodland park zoo, and fell in love with dart frogs then. I went a long time without any pets at all between age 18-25, except for one neurotic cal king I rescued from an old boss. When my life calmed down a bit, I really wanted to get back into herps, specifically darts, so I could combine my love of miniature orchids and vivarium keeping. My girlfriend bought me my first trio of darts (leucs) for my 26th birthday from Black jungle, and I havent looked back since. Now I have a few different species, but since I like making bigger planted vivs for display, instead of the whole rack set up thing, I am limited to the number of species I keep.
 

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My brother had been telling me for about a year how cool the dart frogs were. He and I had many discussions about the different species and conservation ideas. We both agreed that at some point we should do some cooperative project and see where it went. I was still a little hesitant about getting into them because I was already doing cichlids and did not have room to expand into much more. I finally went to visit my brother and checked out his frog room. From there it was only a short "hop" to get me into the frogs. He gave me a viv for my birthday last year and a pair of Azureus to get me started. He also taught me how to culture fruit flies and springtails. Since that time I now have 4 vivs with Cobalts, Patricias, and Azureus. One of my 55 gallon fish tanks has recently been converted into a 55 gallon viv that houses my cobalts and my fish room is now my frog room. My brother also introduced me to the goodness that is Dendroboard. :D
 

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I've always been fascinated by darts and checked them out at every zoo/aquarium I have ever visited. But I never knew they could be kept as pets until Mike (it's all your fault! lol) came along. I'm sitting in my grad class doing the typical introduce yourself nonsense. I'm barely paying attention and I hear "I breed poison dart frogs." My ears perked up. My brain started screaming, "don't even think about it!" Now I have leucs and variabilis and spend the majority of my time watching them and researching them.

I don't smoke, don't drink anything with caffeine, and I only drink occasionally. I figure one addiction is permitted!
 

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Went to see bill and kathy that were breeding darts and we bought 18 of them to get started and have enjoyed it ever since.
 

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walked into the local pet store in 98-99 and saw some nicaraguan bjs. i HAD to have them. i also made every mistake in the book, and ended up with the pums, powder blues, and auratus, as well as 3 brackish tanks, an aquatic turtle display, chameleons, and a large reef tank. eventually i got out of the hobby (all of the animals) and a few years ago i decided a good way to occupy my time was to get back into animals. i started keeping fresh water puffers, since i had remember what a pain in the ass frogging used to be, until one day decided i was wasting time and money with the puffers that i could use on something i really liked, the frogs. i contacted the old breeder i knew (ray g. who had also gotten out of darts) and he referred me to bill, who he had known for years. of course i was looking for more BJs and quickly found out that they werent as common as they used to be, so i got mancreeks and auratus, and it took off from there.

james
 

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I was a member of the New England Herp Society since I was 10 years old and my family always bought me books and supported my interest. First reptile was a diamond back water snake named venom when I was eight years old and then a ribbon snake. My mother owned a garter snake named fang as a kid. She loved her snake and it lived with her parents until after she went to college in the late 70s. What's cool is that the first snake I owned was housed in a 10 gallon tank and metal screen top that her snake was housed in from the late 60s. I had the snake for eight years and the tank was actually set up with the same light and heat rock she had bought in 1969. I have it somewhere. Looking back it was handmade by someone using heat tape and a ceramic pot that was cut. I learned that heat rocks were bad though this one actually had zero hot spots to burn the snake. I had venom up until 1998. So eight years from 1990-1998. Not bad for a first snake. He used to eat feeder fish out of this bowl lol

Around the mid 90s I got into reptiles heavily and was known as the kid with a room full of tanks. I kept a lot of different animals, bred a few here and there including leopard geckos, ball pythons, corn and king snakes, american black kingsnakes, mexican black, etc. I also had some pet reptiles like an adult savanah monitor I raised from a small hatchling to a 3ft huge adult.

I was always obsessed with dart frogs and had a stuff toy and 3 figurines that actually had accurate colors. To me they were legendary and only in zoos when I'd see them and drool over their mystique.

Fast forward to 1998-99, I did some research and bought an adult male cobalt at a NH reptile show. Silly me was still in reptile mode and a screen top was in my head still. I figured I could keep the tank misted and covered with plastic wrap. Didn't help and on a hot day, I found my frog dried out. Lesson learned. 3 months later I ordered 5 leucomelas from LLLreptile.com and they did great now that I switched to a glass top. I had still kept reptiles and bred sand boas and a few small boids up until 2006.

Sold my frog collection due to fruit flies driving me nuts as I wasn't up on actually learning how to keep them contained or trapping flies at all. So I sold the frogs and in that time successfully bred green tree pythons, diamond pythons, albino ball pythons, and tons of geckos.

I slowly got out of the reptile hobby and in 2010 I decided that I was going to set up a dart frog tank again as I missed owning them. Nothing beats dart frogs for tank design and just being able to watch them all day.

So now, my frog collection is on a single rack and I have 33 frogs including froglets, 30 tadpoles, and 30 eggs lol

I'm pretty much to the point where I want my collection at. I have enough to enjoy until I can have a frog room. My fiance loves it and already knows quite a bit about dart frogs. I have 1 more tank I'm eventually going to set up for a special rare frog I've always wanted. Bout it.
 

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Long story short...

Had app called Pocket Frogs. Went to lake. Saw a frog. Searched "buy tropical frogs" on google. Saw darts. Did research. Decided to buy darts. One day I decided to make a rather big purchase and it wiped out my dart money. Then I got some small, cute local frogs. They looked exactly like darts to me aside from the color difference. Now I have a froglet, a metamorph and two tads with back legs. :)
 
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