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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello
I noticed that many people have questions as to the best sizes of terrariums for dart frogs. Many people do not have the funds nor time to custom build a terrarium, so most would buy a already available model.

To this end, I would love your thoughts and input on the proper size and make of tanks, based on your experience and knowledge (often times what is on paper does not work in reality)

A format similar to the below would be great:

Frog Species - Quantity of Frogs - Tank Maker - Minimal Size - Optimal Size

An example:
Ranitomeya Vanzolinii - Exo Terra - 1.1. Pair - 18X18x24 - 36X18X18 Optimal

Cheers and Happy Frogging!
 

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In my opinion there are too many variables to say that any specific size of tank is the "optimal" size for a given species unless you just list the largest readily available sized tank for every species.
Agreed. You should give your frogs as big of a tank as possible.

Personally I don't think 18" in height is appropriate for any dart frog. Also, I don't think a footprint with a 12" measurement is enough floor space.
 

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So the simple answer is "As much space as you can give them".

Sure. 🤷‍♂️
I can't think of any dart species whose optimal viv size would be smaller than the largest available off the shelf Exo (36 x 18 x 36). Possibly I don't understand the question, though.
 

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That's exactly it, as the vivarium dimensions we construct will always pail in comparison to the grandeur of their natural habitat.

If someone asked me for a generalized answer in regards to "what viv size do you recommend" --- I'd go with 36 x 18 x 24 as the minimum for all species --- of course the number of inhabitants would affect the sizing but I would never recommend a smaller viv.

The larger the viv the:

1.) More enrichment your frogs have access to

2.) Easier it is to create micro-climates and properly control the husbandry

3.) More enjoyment you can have from being able to utilize additional floor and height space.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
3) I see where you are coming from but it's hard not to read that as a very bourgeois statement LOL!

Watching YouTube and even seeing pictures of many of the setups people have posted here, I see a LOT of 18X18X24's in use.
I might be singling myself out for mockery here but, if it's so wrong and a 36X18X36 is the minimum to properly offer, why is it so rarely represented (in my experience from what I have seen?)

Is everyone doing it "wrong"?
 

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18x18x24” seems to be the smallest acceptable dimensions for adult frogs of any species.
No. There are many species that that size enclosure is too small for. In particular terribilis.

OP - You asked us what the recommended size enclosure is for frogs. The answer is 36x18x36" because the frogs deserve the largest enclosure possible and it is the largest, affordable size out there. Many of us have 36" exos. You can check my threads to see my tanks. Neither of them are under 36" high.

What people recommend and what are acceptable are two different topics. Keep in mind what you asked before getting upset at the answers.
 

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No. There are many species that that size enclosure is too small for. In particular terribilis.

OP - You asked us what the recommended size enclosure is for frogs. The answer is 36x18x36" because the frogs deserve the largest enclosure possible and it is the largest, affordable size out there. Many of us have 36" exos. You can check my threads to see my tanks. Neither of them are under 36" high.

What people recommend and what are acceptable are two different topics. Keep in mind what you asked before getting upset at the answers.
I stand corrected. Lol.

I feel the same way about my Vittatus as well, especially since I have never once seen them climb. Thankfully tomorrow I am getting a 36x18x24 tomorrow that I will build for them. I’m hoping doubling the floor space improves their life quality.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I might be singling myself out for mockery here but, if it's so wrong and a 36X18X36 is the minimum to properly offer, why is it so rarely represented (in my experience from what I have seen?)
No one has said it's the MINIMUM. People have said it's the ideal size as that was the question you had asked.

Do all my frogs have 36x18x36" tanks? No. Am I working towards that? Yes, slowly as getting 36x18x36" tanks is very difficult where I live without driving 2 hours each direction and even then it's hard to find them in stock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You make very fair points. I do stand corrected and should not have allowed emotion to come into the equation.

As keepers we should all strive to provide the best care THAT WE CAN for our frogs. Unless we were able to provide massive walk-in livingroom size enclosures (like myhomeinnature does) then as was mentioned it will pale in comparison to the jungle the species comes from.

All that said, thank you all for your suggestions and recommendations.
 

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Watching YouTube and even seeing pictures of many of the setups people have posted here, I see a LOT of 18X18X24's in use.
I might be singling myself out for mockery here but, if it's so wrong and a 36X18X36 is the minimum to properly offer, why is it so rarely represented (in my experience from what I have seen?)

Is everyone doing it "wrong"?
Not everyone, but most are doing so.
Aside from that there are so much more common mistakes made than just enclosure size. Most people just build their quick candy for the eye and what get's them the likes they want on social media platforms.
So does many 'paludarium/vivarium' vendors, added that they financialy profit from such enclosures and or mistakes since this get's them to sell more.

Hence why the majority of frogs never get to reach to +20years old in captivity and why it's easy to find a vast amount of incorrect shot term advice rather than good advice based on long term experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Not everyone, but most are doing so.
Aside from that there are so much more common mistakes made than just enclosure size. Most people just build their quick candy for the eye and what get's them the likes they want on social media platforms.
So does many 'paludarium/vivarium' vendors, added that they financialy profit from such enclosures and or mistakes since this get's them to sell more.

Hence why the majority of frogs never get to reach to +20years old in captivity and why it's easy to find a vast amount of incorrect shot term advice rather than good advice based on long term experience.
Very well said! Could you make some specific points as to mistakes that you are mentioning?

What are some of your tips for helping frogs live to 20 years? I know you are a master of this craft and I would love to hear
 

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I think the question was fair, and people have focused on the 'optimal' part which was perhaps bound to happen. I do think it's always good to reiterate that bigger=better (or even, biggest=best), but understand that most of people don't have the space or money to house the frogs in the setups they would ideally like. It's important that as a community we discuss what is practical and realistic, as well what is ideal. People in glass vivs shouldn't throw stones etc.

To that end, let me answer your question in the format requested - I think it isn't a bad exercise, honestly...

Dendrobates Leucomelas - Euro style step-Vent Viv - 3.2 group - 36 x 18 x 24 - Orinoco Rainforest, Venezuela ;)

My reasoning for this was that I had 0.0.3 in a 36 x 18 x 24 and I saw the frogs on odd occasion travel from the ground to the top corner in about 5 hops. That explains the width. 24 inches minimum due to what gets eaten up by substrate, 18 inches due to background and just being able to scape it in a way that provides enough hiding spaces. Male-heavy group due to research about females being territorial and sometimes aggressive, so giving more than 1 option for mating would likely diffuse that aggression. Also more calling frogs would be my preference! I think 5 would be fine, given correct viv layout and enough hiding, sleeping, and egg-laying spots for each frog to feel comfortable. I'm unsure if euro-style =/= step vent, but a vivarium with top ventilation as well as underneath sliding doors is best. A low step-vent is my preference, allowing for unobstructed viewing of the vivarium.

The last part is of course a joke, but I would definitely agree with the consensus that 36x18x36 in terms of commercially-available vivaria would be best, though scaping an even larger tank is a very rewarding challenge, giving lots of room for interesting plants, pieces of hardscape and design elements.

Hope that helps
 

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Very well said! Could you make some specific points as to mistakes that you are mentioning?

What are some of your tips for helping frogs live to 20 years? I know you are a master of this craft and I would love to hear
Not that I don't to be of help but I think I personaly covered and discussed those mistakes already at least 50-100 times before in other and similar topics. I don't have any interest in covering them again since this takes up a lot of time and once the next disscusion comes up, get lost for again the 51st-101 time.. 😂

This is how I approach the 'indoor' part of the hobby :

 

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I think the question was fair, and people have focused on the 'optimal' part which was perhaps bound to happen. I do think it's always good to reiterate that bigger=better (or even, biggest=best), but understand that most of people don't have the space or money to house the frogs in the setups they would ideally like. It's important that as a community we discuss what is practical and realistic, as well what is ideal
I agree, my friend. It was the "ideal" part that had me perhaps a bit sensitive.

I'll stick to types of frogs I keep

Ameerega pepperi, Ameerega bassleri, Ameerega trivittata:
small group (3-4 frogs),
36x18x24" minimum, when designed well.
Design notes: these are medium-large size dart frogs, capable of jumping 12" or more in a single bound. Open movement space is important. Avoid cluttering the ground level of the tank as this can impact movement space. Tall, sturdy plants will be used by the frogs as roosting spots at nighttime. Cork ramps / ledges can increase the available usable space for the frogs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I think the question was fair, and people have focused on the 'optimal' part which was perhaps bound to happen. I do think it's always good to reiterate that bigger=better (or even, biggest=best), but understand that most of people don't have the space or money to house the frogs in the setups they would ideally like. It's important that as a community we discuss what is practical and realistic, as well what is ideal. People in glass vivs shouldn't throw stones etc.

To that end, let me answer your question in the format requested - I think it isn't a bad exercise, honestly...

Dendrobates Leucomelas - Euro style step-Vent Viv - 3.2 group - 36 x 18 x 24 - Orinoco Rainforest, Venezuela ;)

My reasoning for this was that I had 0.0.3 in a 36 x 18 x 24 and I saw the frogs on odd occasion travel from the ground to the top corner in about 5 hops. That explains the width. 24 inches minimum due to what gets eaten up by substrate, 18 inches due to background and just being able to scape it in a way that provides enough hiding spaces. Male-heavy group due to research about females being territorial and sometimes aggressive, so giving more than 1 option for mating would likely diffuse that aggression. Also more calling frogs would be my preference! I think 5 would be fine, given correct viv layout and enough hiding, sleeping, and egg-laying spots for each frog to feel comfortable. I'm unsure if euro-style =/= step vent, but a vivarium with top ventilation as well as underneath sliding doors is best. A low step-vent is my preference, allowing for unobstructed viewing of the vivarium.

The last part is of course a joke, but I would definitely agree with the consensus that 36x18x36 in terms of commercially-available vivaria would be best, though scaping an even larger tank is a very rewarding challenge, giving lots of room for interesting plants, pieces of hardscape and design elements.

Hope that helps
Hello friend!

A wonderful reply, thank you for expressing my meaning in a way I could not. Agreed that the Rainforest is the ideal location for them, but in captivity, I think the biggest we could offer is a good answer, but yours shows there are other workable options.

Thank you!
 
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