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Not sure why the topic of fecals came up again 馃 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! 馃榿
Because when you acquire new frogs, particularly wild caught animals, you want to make sure they are not harboring potential pathogens that could spread to your long term captive frogs and to avoid having to tear down an expensive vivarium if frogs start having problems. I lost an entire group of nigricans due to wasting away and I made the mistake not checking the fecals from a vet, which was an expensive mistake.
 

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Mantella baroni, Dendrobates auratus, Afrixalus dorsalis, Theloderma corticale
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Not sure why the topic of fecals came up again 馃 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! 馃榿

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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Frog is indeed looking pretty good now. Nicely done!

Fecals are a pretty good skill to learn if you have the option (access to a microscope is probably a limiting factor). I do fecals for my frogs myself as I know pretty well what to look for. Like what @Rain_Frog said making sure your frogs are parasite free is pretty important to ensure that you get to enjoy the animals long-term.

A group of 7 should be fine in a 24x18x18, but giving them more space is always good. Keep in mind that Mantella behave differently from dart frogs as they are not territorial like darts and females need the stimulation of wrestling males to successfully deposit eggs (with males present for fertilisation).

Similarly the setup differs quite a bit as well. Drainage layers are fine and so is ABG substrate, but keep in mind that they dig and deposit eggs in the substrate (sometimes pretty deep). And the clutches partially "merge" with the substrate after a day or so, so ABG will be a massive pain to get clutches out of. I have a small layer of ABG, with akadama on top which makes things easier for collecting clutches. I have found that baroni do enjoy leaf litter for hiding, sleeping and hunting, but they do not seem deposit eggs where they sleep and I have yet to find eggs in leaf litter. So what I do is make a more overgrown area at the back with leaf litter in between the plants, and then make a more exposed area at the front where there is a sheet of moss. During the year the plants will slightly start to move into the exposed area so i have to prune every few months, but the frogs don't really seem to mind as long as there is enough cover. Out of the 11 clutches I had this year, 8 were deposited underneath moss so I do believe that a moss area is essential for reproduction in baroni. To make it easy on yourself, don't use a single sheet of moss but have two or three large pieces that come together. That way you can lift each piece up more easily to check for eggs.

I also put down a few cork bark pieces adjacent and partially underneath the moss. They seem to use these as connection points between moss and back area, as well as sleeping and deposition sites (one is used exclusively for sleeping, the other occasionally for clutches). My tank has a waterfall, which was not used this year because the pump started vibrating after a while, which the frogs didn't like. I am moving houses soon however and will need to tear the tank down anyway, so I plan to drill a hole in it and make the waterfal and misting system with an external pump and filtration system. With a group of less than 10 animals you will likely need a waterfall or something similar to reproduce the sound of running water as this can really help stimulate the males into calling.

I am also planning an upgraded big madagascar-themed tank for my group, but that is for next year or later depending on when I have the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Frog is indeed looking pretty good now. Nicely done!

Fecals are a pretty good skill to learn if you have the option (access to a microscope is probably a limiting factor). I do fecals for my frogs myself as I know pretty well what to look for. Like what @Rain_Frog said making sure your frogs are parasite free is pretty important to ensure that you get to enjoy the animals long-term.

A group of 7 should be fine in a 24x18x18, but giving them more space is always good. Keep in mind that Mantella behave differently from dart frogs as they are not territorial like darts and females need the stimulation of wrestling males to successfully deposit eggs (with males present for fertilisation).

Similarly the setup differs quite a bit as well. Drainage layers are fine and so is ABG substrate, but keep in mind that they dig and deposit eggs in the substrate (sometimes pretty deep). And the clutches partially "merge" with the substrate after a day or so, so ABG will be a massive pain to get clutches out of. I have a small layer of ABG, with akadama on top which makes things easier for collecting clutches. I have found that baroni do enjoy leaf litter for hiding, sleeping and hunting, but they do not seem deposit eggs where they sleep. So what I do is make a more overgrown area at the back with leaf litter in between the plants, and them make a more exposed area at the front where there is moss. During the year the plants will slightly start to move into the exposed area so i have to prune every few months, but the frogs don't really seem to mind as long as there is enough cover. Out of the 11 clutches I had this year, 8 were deposited underneath moss so I do believe that a moss area is essential for reproduction in baroni.

I also put down a few cork bark pieces adjacent and partially underneath the moss. They seem to use these as connection points between moss and back area, as well as sleeping and deposition sites (one is used exclusively for sleeping, the other occasionally for clutches). My tank has a waterfall, which was not used this year because the pump started vibrating after a while, which the frogs didn't like. I am moving houses soon however and will need to tear the tank down anyway, so I plan to drill a hole in it and make the waterfal and misting system with an external pump and filtration system. With a group of less than 10 animals you will likely need a waterfall or something similar to reproduce the sound of running water as this can really help stimulate the males into calling.

I am also planning an upgraded big madagascar-themed tank for my group, but that is for next year or later depending on when I have the time.

I snagged a 36x18x18, to give myself more space to work with.

Thanks for the detailed description of how you set up the substrate and all, that'll help a lot! I'll look into a small waterfall; i'd much rather do something small like that into the mossy corner than do a full-fledged water feature.

ETA I wouldn't mind learning to do fecals myself 馃
 

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I snagged a 36x18x18, to give myself more space to work with.

Thanks for the detailed description of how you set up the substrate and all, that'll help a lot! I'll look into a small waterfall; i'd much rather do something small like that into the mossy corner than do a full-fledged water feature.

ETA I wouldn't mind learning to do fecals myself 馃
Yeah the waterfall doesn't need to have a pool underneath as it's all about the sound. If the water hits some rocks on the way down it should produce enough sound to stimulate them.

With my rebuild I will likely use filter foam as a drainage layer base and just akadama on top with a little bit of ABG around the roots of the plants to make my life even easier in the future.
 

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Frog is indeed looking pretty good now. Nicely done!

Fecals are a pretty good skill to learn if you have the option (access to a microscope is probably a limiting factor). I do fecals for my frogs myself as I know pretty well what to look for. Like what @Rain_Frog said making sure your frogs are parasite free is pretty important to ensure that you get to enjoy the animals long-term.

A group of 7 should be fine in a 24x18x18, but giving them more space is always good. Keep in mind that Mantella behave differently from dart frogs as they are not territorial like darts and females need the stimulation of wrestling males to successfully deposit eggs (with males present for fertilisation).

Similarly the setup differs quite a bit as well. Drainage layers are fine and so is ABG substrate, but keep in mind that they dig and deposit eggs in the substrate (sometimes pretty deep). And the clutches partially "merge" with the substrate after a day or so, so ABG will be a massive pain to get clutches out of. I have a small layer of ABG, with akadama on top which makes things easier for collecting clutches. I have found that baroni do enjoy leaf litter for hiding, sleeping and hunting, but they do not seem deposit eggs where they sleep and I have yet to find eggs in leaf litter. So what I do is make a more overgrown area at the back with leaf litter in between the plants, and then make a more exposed area at the front where there is a sheet of moss. During the year the plants will slightly start to move into the exposed area so i have to prune every few months, but the frogs don't really seem to mind as long as there is enough cover. Out of the 11 clutches I had this year, 8 were deposited underneath moss so I do believe that a moss area is essential for reproduction in baroni. To make it easy on yourself, don't use a single sheet of moss but have two or three large pieces that come together. That way you can lift each piece up more easily to check for eggs.

I also put down a few cork bark pieces adjacent and partially underneath the moss. They seem to use these as connection points between moss and back area, as well as sleeping and deposition sites (one is used exclusively for sleeping, the other occasionally for clutches). My tank has a waterfall, which was not used this year because the pump started vibrating after a while, which the frogs didn't like. I am moving houses soon however and will need to tear the tank down anyway, so I plan to drill a hole in it and make the waterfal and misting system with an external pump and filtration system. With a group of less than 10 animals you will likely need a waterfall or something similar to reproduce the sound of running water as this can really help stimulate the males into calling.

I am also planning an upgraded big madagascar-themed tank for my group, but that is for next year or later depending on when I have the time.
Hi, good to see someone having success with M. baroni breeding. Interesting to note the differences between dartfrog and mantella husbandry and tank design. I have a couple questions reference your tank set up. What type of moss do you find works best, live sphagnum, sheet moss or some other type? Also, any chance of a plant list from your tank as you mentioned all plants except the moss are Madagascan.
Cheers
SteveC
 

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Mantella baroni, Dendrobates auratus, Afrixalus dorsalis, Theloderma corticale
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Hi, good to see someone having success with M. baroni breeding. Interesting to note the differences between dartfrog and mantella husbandry and tank design. I have a couple questions reference your tank set up. What type of moss do you find works best, live sphagnum, sheet moss or some other type? Also, any chance of a plant list from your tank as you mentioned all plants except the moss are Madagascan.
Cheers
SteveC
The one I use is a type of sheet moss. I'm pretty sure any type of moss is fine as long as they can dig into it, but the nature of sheet moss makes it an ideal candidate as you can lift it up in a single piece to check for eggs. I would not recommend live sphagnum as it would be impossible to remove clutches without removing a large chuck of sphagnum with every clutch. It also really hates the calcium carbonate in vitamin powders so keeping it thriving is a challenge. I did use some long fibered sphagnum underneath the cork slabs and the sheet moss as I thought it would stimulate the frogs to deposit there. They didn't care at all so I don't replace it if it gets taken out a bit with a clutch. By now over half of what I put in originally has disappeared due to taking out eggs, combined with natural decay.

Current planting list:
Medinilla sp. (probably ambrosea)
Medinilla sedifolia
Commelina sp. (Probably bengalensis), this one is a weed so unless you're prepared for regular pruning don't put it in
Begonia lyallii
Hypoestes phyllostachya
Nesaea triflora (although this might have disappeared over time)
Plecranthus rosulatus
Aerangis fastuosa

The bigger tank I will make next year will have more orchids and epiphytes, as well as some more general diversity. That tank will be 90cmx120cmx60cm, so plenty of space to be creative.
 
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