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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have photos of their mantella vivs they can share? I'm putting one together for a pair of baroni that are in quarantine, and I'm curious to see what everyone else does for theirs.

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I have a trio I bough earlier this year along with the Exo 18x18x24 they were in. It’s pretty standard, foam background with coco fibre siliconed on and some fake vines. Substrate is ABGish. Only change I made was the top, I put a standard Exo top on with half glass and then cut a piece to cover 2/3 of the front screen which I can remove if I want to do a seasonal humidity cycle. You can’t see it in the pics because the ficus is overgrown but there are ledges and little cave like structures at various heights in the back corners they use a lot.

I may eventually make some changes here but the frogs seem to be happy so it hasn’t been a priority. From what I’ve read on breeding them it would be nice to have a larger water dish with some over hanging structure maybe.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks! Glad to hear they like using the ledges/caves. I've been building several into mine so it's nice to hear they'll probably use them! Not sure what sex mine are so who knows if breeding will become a thing 🤷
 

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I would use a cave set up with your plants and a small stream for baroni, cowani, and nigricans as they appreciate some height and ledges unlike madagascariensis, crocea, or aurantiaca which prefer more leaf litter. Nigricans (which are geneticaly identical to baroni) seem to like to climb. All mantellas appreciate running water that is turned on seasonally in their tank as in nature they gather by streams for breeding. I turn water features off in the winter while they're cycling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
@Rain_Frog do you have any recommendations regarding betsileos? The seller sent a free one with the baroni, which I was definitely not prepared for 🤦 So far there are no takers in my local Facebook frog group, so I think I now have a new frog to house. It's in a quarantine container right now, but I have an 18x19x12 that I just tore down which I can convert into a long-term tank (small I know, but I really wasn't ready for another frog).

Regarding the baroni, I haven't ever done any water features for my darts so I'm not really familiar with them - is there a simple setup you'd recommend for one? (Or could I do a fixed pond-type feature that I could easily clean out?)
 

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Betsileo (ebenaui) can be very shy frogs. They are actually one of the more attractive frogs out there but I rarely see mine. However, all mantellas are bolder if kept in a large group, especially if you want to breed them which you should. Ebenaui need warmer temperatures but are very hardy and live a long time. I bred them long ago. I've had my male ebenaui for 17 years and he is my oldest mantella, but I rarely see him. So, get your ebenaui some company and you will hear them call and see them more often despite the shyness.

As far as a water feature, as long as your tank isn't tempered, drill a hole in the bottom and a hole in the back of your tank for a sump with a diamond hole saw. There are plenty of videos out there on the internet how to use a diamond hole saw, and it's not difficult as long as you go slow and use water to cool the glass.

It makes things MUCH easier for water flow to have a pump externally, and I will no longer use false bottoms with mantellas as I would have frogs dig underneath and get stuck under the false bottom. Fortunately I found frogs every time but I use LECA specifically for that reason now. Mantellas unlike dart frogs do appreciate a shallow water feature in part of their tank and I find some of my frogs regularly visiting the water but make sure its not too deep as the males look for sites to attract females as in nature, the rain washes the tadpoles into the stream. Turn off the water feature during the winter time and drain it to cycle the frogs with lower temperatures according to the seasons. That's important to breed mantellas-- cycling. Baroni, nigricans, and cowani are difficult to breed-- the people who have had success have kept them in very large groups and offered a wider variety of food as this group of mantellas can have difficulty gaining the weight that other mantellas will for breeding. The easiest way to tell if you have baroni or madagascariensis is how easily they are bred. Mads will lay eggs for me even when I do not want them to, whereas the majority of people I know with the other three species can have difficulty with egg fertilization rates if they are not kept in a big group.

You can keep most mantellas except laevigata, cowani, nigricans, and baroni in a ten gallon in a small group at a bare minimum. But, with baroni, nigricans, laevigata, and cowani especially, you will need at least a 20 gallon high tank that gives them the ability to climb, like a square shaped tank vs a long tank that betsileo, mads, crocea, expectata, milotympanum, viridis, aurantiaca, and pulchra like. I rarely see my madagascarensis climb. I do not know off the top of my head if bernhardi appreciate a taller vs longer tank as I have not worked with them.
 

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Mantella baroni, Dendrobates auratus, Afrixalus dorsalis, Theloderma corticale
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Does anyone have photos of their mantella vivs they can share? I'm putting one together for a pair of baroni that are in quarantine, and I'm curious to see what everyone else does for theirs.

View attachment 300837
Here's mine, 25 gallon tank. The fan you see in the left upper corner is part of a water cooling system I built. There is a waterfall which is currently switched off as the frogs didn't like the buzzing of the pump. Following Rain_frog advice, I will be drilling a hole in the glass to take the pump out later this year when I move house and when the breeding season is over (this originally wasn't feasible where I currently live). The idea is to have the back area with more plants to provide cover, sleeping spots etc, whilst the best spots for egg deposition are in the front underneath the moss and cork slabs. So far this has been working out pretty well.

All plants except for the moss are from madagascan origin.


13 baroni in there, currently have some tads swimming around. But I'll make a separate topic about that a bit later.
 

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Mantella baroni, Dendrobates auratus, Afrixalus dorsalis, Theloderma corticale
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Nice! How big is the viv? And is that green patch on the right your water feature?
60x40x40 (in cm, which translates to 24x16x16 inches roughly). The water feature is on the left behind the plants. It's mostly just a waterfall as the water drains quickly into the filter foam and back into the pump. There are rocks on top of the foam to create a kind of rocky waterfall/pool scene.

The substrate of the rest of the viv is akadama, with just a bit of ABG underneath for the plants. Drainaige layer of hydroballs. I will change the drainage layer to fully filter mat when the pump is moved out of the viv.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'll have to post a photo of the full viv this evening when I get home from work, but this guy was out hunting Whe I popped in over lunch. He's very reclusive and I haven't seen him out like this before, but this morning I switched the lighting mode to a more bluish option to simulate deeper shade. Looks like it had the desired effect!

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'll try to get a better photo of frog # 1 next time I see him out (a good, nornal sitting/standing side shot when he's not so stretched out) to get a better shot of his body condition, but here are some photos of frog #2 out hunting this morning:

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And a shot of the vivarium. I have another plant on the way, but I'm debating using that elsewhere and maybe buying another grass-looking plant or two instead, based on some photos that I've seen of baroni breeding sites. Still pondering...

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Frog #1, poking his head out as soon as he heard me put flies in.

@Johanovich he does look thin now that I can see him in a normal position, and not stretched forward like he was. I'll have to reach out to the vet that I found and see what she says. These two have been kept together since April, and the guy I bought them from did treat them for parasites (although I don't know how many times and he didn't do a fecal). Would it be nornal for one to be healthy-looking and the other to be thin from parasites? I would have expected them both to be thin if it was a parasite issue, but maybe not...

Do mantella bully each other the way some darts do?
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Frog #1, poking his head out as soon as he heard me put flies in.

@Johanovich he does look thin now that I can see him in a normal position, and not stretched forward like he was. I'll have to reach out to the vet that I found and see what she says. These two have been kept together since April, and the guy I bought them from did treat them for parasites (although I don't know how many times and he didn't do a fecal). Would it be nornal for one to be healthy-looking and the other to be thin from parasites? I would have expected them both to be thin if it was a parasite issue, but maybe not...

Do mantella bully each other the way some darts do? View attachment 300988 View attachment 300989
Some frogs naturally stay thinner compared to others, but this one defenitely needs a bit more reserve. It happens that some frogs are affected by parasites while others aren't. It has to do with personality and susceptibility to stress. I have never heard of bullying in mantellas, males do wrestle during mating season, but if both are not calling that probably isn't happening here. The fact that he comes out to eat is very good. Just make sure he gets enough food, and some fatty stuff like flour beetle larvae is definitely good. As soon as his/her sides have a bit of a curve and it has a bit of a belly you're in the clear.
 

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I would use a cave set up with your plants and a small stream for baroni, cowani, and nigricans as they appreciate some height and ledges unlike madagascariensis, crocea, or aurantiaca which prefer more leaf litter. Nigricans (which are geneticaly identical to baroni) seem to like to climb. All mantellas appreciate running water that is turned on seasonally in their tank as in nature they gather by streams for breeding. I turn water features off in the winter while they're cycling.
Hi,Do you know where to buy painted Mantellas ( prefer WC Baroni) in Us? Online store are all out of stock. I have kept them for over 2 years before I came to Us,so I really want to see them again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi,Do you know where to buy painted Mantellas ( prefer WC Baroni) in Us? Online store are all out of stock. I have kept them for over 2 years before I came to Us,so I really want to see them again.
I got lucky with my two, Shawn Harrington had a couple available when I was looking for something else so I grabbed them. I think your best bet may be to just keep an eye out online, unfortunately 😕 maybe try calling around to your local(ish) exotic pet stores too, to see if they have something in stock or see if they can contact you if the I acquire any.
 

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I got lucky with my two, Shawn Harrington had a couple available when I was looking for something else so I grabbed them. I think your best bet may be to just keep an eye out online, unfortunately 😕 maybe try calling around to your local(ish) exotic pet stores too, to see if they have something in stock or see if they can contact you if the I acquire any.
Hope that I could get the luck one day!
 

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I got lucky with my two, Shawn Harrington had a couple available when I was looking for something else so I grabbed them. I think your best bet may be to just keep an eye out online, unfortunately 😕 maybe try calling around to your local(ish) exotic pet stores too, to see if they have something in stock or see if they can contact you if the I acquire any.
I highly recommend you do a fecal check prior to putting frogs in a vivarium. I have treated mantellas with ivermectin which I have gotten negative fecals after three treatments. You'll need to have your vet weigh one frog in order to dose it correctly, but it's more reliable than fenbendazole, particularly if a frog is anorexic. Take a spare deli cup to the vet and have them tare it out before putting the frog in the other cup on the scale.

The only mantella species I had 100% loss (6 frogs) (and they were long term captives from a reputable person too) was a group with nigricans that I never even checked for parasites. Of course, I kept them in too small of a tank (a ten gallon) with not enough height and they slowly wasted away. I thought they would spend most of their time living in the leaf litter like madagascariensis, crocea, ebenaui, expectata, and pulchra which are quite happy to live in a small group in a ten gallon provided there's plenty of leaf litter.
 

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I highly recommend you do a fecal check prior to putting frogs in a vivarium. I have treated mantellas with ivermectin which I have gotten negative fecals after three treatments. You'll need to have your vet weigh one frog in order to dose it correctly, but it's more reliable than fenbendazole, particularly if a frog is anorexic. Take a spare deli cup to the vet and have them tare it out before putting the frog in the other cup on the scale.

The only mantella species I had 100% loss (6 frogs) (and they were long term captives from a reputable person too) was a group with nigricans that I never even checked for parasites. Of course, I kept them in too small of a tank (a ten gallon) with not enough height and they slowly wasted away. I thought they would spend most of their time living in the leaf litter like madagascariensis, crocea, ebenaui, expectata, and pulchra which are quite happy to live in a small group in a ten gallon provided there's plenty of leaf litter.
Febendazole is also available in solution to be applied in the same manner as Ivermectin and Levamisole. All of them are great treatments to parasitic worms. For other parasites such as flagellates, you'll need other stuff like Metronidazole for example.

I have and always will keep recommending people to get medicins in solution for topical application if possible, particularly because a sick frog will eat less compared to a healthy one so powdered Febendazole (Panacur) will often lead to overdosing for healthy frogs and insufficient intake for sick frogs.

Not meant as criticism btw, just adding extra info ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Not sure why the topic of fecals came up again 🤔 but I'll definitely keep it in mind. I actually found a vet local-ish (about an hour and a half away) that specializes in small amphibians, so going to reach out to her to get some info. Especially because...

I finally found someone selling more baroni, including a calling male and at least one egg-laying female, so I'm about to greatly increase my group size from 2 to 7! 😁

This means a new vivarium build, since the tank for my current two is only a 24x18x18. I also want to set up the new vivarium specifically to encourage breeding, since it sounds like I'll have the appropriate frogs to do it and baroni are so hard to find (hopefully more than one male, but my two sure haven't called and the seller is only aware one one calling in her group - boo).

From those of you with more baroni experience and who have successfully bred them ( @Johanovich hoping you're around to chime in in particular, since I know you've been getting nice clutches lately!) what size viva would you recommend for a group of 7? With darts I would go quite long, but not sure what's best for a breeding group of baroni?

It also looks like Johan's builds are quite different from what I normally do with my darts - large mossy areas for them to burrow and lay eggs in, for example. The current small viv is set up similar to my dart vivs (drainage layer, ABG substrate, tons of leaf litter), only real difference being a pond in the corner (non-flowing because I wasn't prepared to take that step yet), but I'll want to set the new tank up quite differently I'm guessing.

Photo of my previously-thin-but-healthier-weight-now frog for tax :)

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Plant Terrestrial plant Grass Frog Amphibian
 
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