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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
See Quotes a few posts down for 'explanation'

The original Mixing 101 caresheet Circa 2006:

Kyle:
Mixing

Why is mixing frowned upon?
Many people within the hobby believe that mixing is irresponsible and can cause hybrids, which up until now have been somewhat limited in the hobby. That’s not to say that they do not exists, but unlike some other hobbies its not the norm. In many cases with PDFs a hybrid does not do very well and or live very long. They also in some reported cases can never breed.

But I’ve seen mixed tanks at the zoo...
Yes many zoos and displays often have mixed tanks. In many cases, at least what I have seen, these are done with younger animals and larger enclosures. Younger animals tend to not be as aggressive as adults, and larger enclosures offer a place for a stressed frog to hide and get away from another frog. A number of people have had success with mixing a arboreal species with a more ground dwelling species, but there have also been a number of cases where it has been suspected that the larger ground species frog has possibly ate the smaller arboreal species.

I paid good money for these frogs and ill do what I want with them...
Most people agree that yes you have every right to do what you want with them; I and others ask that you be responsible to the hobby and not sell cross breed offspring. Also note that you may see odd unexpected deaths as the frogs can stress easily. Some people even take it a step further by saying: “I bought a blue and bronze auratus, and a green and black one, and have them together but that’s ok because they are both auratus." This is not true, as they maybe the same species but could be from totally different locations so mixing them is just as irresponsible as anything else.

Past discussions on the topic:
http://www.dendroboard.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=30529
http://www.dendroboard.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=13169
http://www.dendroboard.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=13126
http://www.dendroboard.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=4532

If you have anything you would like to see added or changed in this guide please send me or a mod a PM [Kyle] "
 

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Alot of times people want to set up a "mixed species tank", "a bio-tope tank", or a "mini-ecosystem" with a mixture of various species of either poison dart frogs or a mixture of various reptiles and frogs.

This can be done, and it is done by zoos, aquariums, and some experienced hobbyists with various levels of both success and failure. However, it is not recommended for beginner or intermediate hobbyists for many reasons.

In this care sheet, we will address the concerns that must be considered when attempting to set up an enclosure that will not be species specific, and explain why it is not recommended.

Different Requirements
Different species have different requirements, and as minor as these may seem, not meeting these requirements will cause undue stress to one or more of the animals. Even animals from the same regions or climates have different requirements in lighting, temperature, humidity, etc. In nature, you have thermal gradients where the temperature and humidity at ground level are much different than the temperature and humidity 20 feet off the ground. In a standard fish tank enclosure, it is not possible to create these gradients, so the arboreal species that habitate the canopy of the forest in the wild are often kept at improper humidity levels, which are fine for the terrestrial species in the enclosure, but it can cause stress and health issues for the arboreal species.

Territorial Space
Enclosures for a mixed species setup need to be much larger than the typical standard sized fish tank. You need to insure that each animal in the enclosure has the territory it needs to interact and search for food in a somewhat natural manner. There is a plethora of different species in any given area of the natural habitat, however, most of these species do not interact with each other, and alot of times when they do, it is because one species is preying on the other which has been determined to be a food source.

Toxicity
Everyone that has taken an interest in Poison dart frogs knows that these animals secret a poison in the wild that is more or less absent in captive bred animals. But, these are not the only animals that secret toxins. Alot of the various other amphibians also secret toxins including alot of toads, newts, salamanders, and other frogs. For example, the Fire-bellied toad secrets a toxin through its skin that can be fatal to other species. The toxin can build up in the enclosure as well as taint the water supply simply by the toad sitting in it.

Parasites
Different species from different regions have a natural immunity to the parasites in the area they habitate. The animal can carry the parasite with not ill effects what so ever. However, once placed in an enclosure with a species from a different area of the world, the other species could be at risk since it is not immune to the parasites.
 

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Diet
Most Poison dart frogs require small prey items such as FFs, isopods, springtails, etc. While some of the larger species will readily accept pinhead crickets. Other animals such as the various tree frogs and Anoles for example require a much larger adult sized cricket and will not go after too small of prey items. So both sizes must be fed. An adult cricket left unattended in an enclosure can and will prey on a sleeping animal such as a dart frog.
Ok, so you only place animals together that require the same size food items. The slower of the two animals may be bullied by the faster animal over food supply, or just be out hunted by the faster animal. So constant monitoring is a must to insure all animals are eating.

Predators
All of the insect eating reptiles and amphibians are oppurtunistic hunters with surprisingly large mouths. While most of these animals search out prey that is of a certain size and shape, they may decide to make a meal out of another animal in the enclosure. If they are unable to swallow the animal, the animal will suffer undue stress if it does not die following the attack.

Body language
Yes, animals other than humans use body language as a sense of the situation. Think of dogs here. If a dog approaches another with its tail down and wagging all is good. If the first dog has his tail up in the air and the hair on his back is standing up, the second dog immediately goes on the defense. In the enclosure, one animal could feel threatened by an innocent display by another animal and attack it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Sean Stewart 9-19-08 [Herpetologic] by permission

Sean:
"Here is my two cents on mixed species terrariums, feel free to use the information:

Mixed species terrariums are a thing of beauty and something all hobbyist dream about. It makes you feel as if you have cut away a piece of the rainforest and placed it in your home. However, even experienced dart frog hobbyists can struggle with keeping all frogs happy in a mixed species environment. In general, it is not recommended. In place of one large mixed species terrarium, the better solution is a few smaller terrariums in that same space with single species in each. Having said the above, many hobbyist will seek out the challenge of a mixed species terrarium nonetheless. It can be a satisfying and successful experience if a few tips are acknowledged.


A mixed species terrarium is possible. Remember each species inhabit a characteristic "mic ro-niche"; such as terrestrial wet and cool, OR terrestrial dry and warm, OR arboreal within a bromeliad and dry. Also each species may be bold and territorial, or bold and social, or shy and recluse. Furthermore, each individual within a species can be bold, timid, or down right schizoaffective. So in designing a mix species tank you need to plan specifically for the needs of each species beforehand.

In addition, you need to provide more space and "micro-niches" to support a mixed species environment. You also should not put particularly shy species with bold species, especially if both utilize the same "micro-niche" requirements and space. You need to feed more and be more observant. If an individual frog is looking thin, it will need to be removed in order to prevent demise. Also, when introducing frogs together, make sure they have been quarantined especially if from different sources. They should also be similar in size if they inhabit similar niches in the terrarium.


For those that want to set-up an "indigenous mixed-species terrarium", here are a few brief suggestions. Such terrariums&nbs p;start with finding a variety of indigenous plants from the area you choose to recreate. Then you create the niches necessary to house the species of frogs you choose. For example, if you wish to do a "Costa Rican Vivarium" you would create a vivarium for Green & Black auratus, Phyllobates lugubris and Blue Jean pumilio to thrive together. If you decided on a "Guyanan exhibit", you could keep tinctorius with ventrimaculatus. For Brazil, galactonotus with Brazil-nut thumbnail frogs. For Peru, azurieventris, bassleri or trivattatus with imitator. For Ecuador, anthonyi or tricolor with vents. In these examples, the species chosen are bold. Furthermore, the species inhabit different space in the terrarium, i.e. one species is terrestrial and one is more arboreal. In all cases the temperature and humidity requirements are the same.

If the endigenous aspect is not an important limitation you can mix species that do well in groups like galacts, auratus, bicolor, terribilis, leucomelas with a pair of tincts, azureus or even a bold arboreal thumbnail. A pair of bold D.azureus along with a three or four orange galacs or yellow leucomelas tend to offer a striking and contrasting combination. A group of Phyllobates terribilis or bicolor mixed with a bold thumbnail frog such as D. imitator provides a great size contrast among dart frogs. The terribilis is the largest dart frog and is a terrestrial frog will generally ignore small arboreal thumbnail frogs i n the same terrarium. Dendrobates tinctorius and D. azureus dart frogs can often be raised together in groups, however as adults, same sexed rivalries often prevail. As adult frogs, primarily females, may bully and harass other females by wrestling or squatting on the weaker female. In some cases a dominant female can kill other females in the tank. Not too mention, females will eat the eggs of other females in the same tank. Males of these species also can compete with each other but usually in more of a psychological manner and not as physical. However, I have successfully kept terrariums with azureus and tinctorius by providing space, lots of hiding spots, lots of food and a watchful eye. There are a great variety of dart frogs and many are better candidates for keeping in a group, such as E. tricolor, D. auratus, D. galactonotus, P. terribilis, P. bicolor and D. leucomelas. While these species often show similar behavior and social interactions, they usually are more tolerant of a social situation. All these suggestions are best handled by experienced hobbyist nonetheless. Also note that the hobby frowns upon interbreeding different color or locality forms of the same species, so we never recommend keeping these together. The fear is that interbreeding can contaminate the gene pool and frogs can be misrepresentated in the hobby.

Individuals of diffedrent species can be mixed with the above information in mind. However, when you keep a single specimen of any particular species you miss out on many of the joys of keeping dart frogs. Even if you keep many single specimens of many different species. The behaviors that these frogs of the same species (and especially opposite sex) display toward one another is awesome to watch. Even if you do not want to breed the frogs, I recommend keeping at least a pair of each species in a terrarium. You will provide yourself with an endless amount of joy by watching these interactions.


Design the terrarium with the species in mind. For terrestrial species, such as, auratus, azureus, leucomelas and tinctorius, provide a terrarium with more ground space than height. Arboreal species, such as, “thumbnails,” ventrimaculatus, pumilio, and fantasticus prefer tall terrariums that offer multiple platform and plant=2 0levels and a combination of ground space and height should be provided for species, such as, galactonotus, tricolor and other semi-arboreal species.


Regardless of your ultimate goal, your specie selection should be based on aesthetics, behavior and size. Do you want a large ground-dweller that displays well in a planted terrarium, or would you prefer a smaller frog that can be seen resting delicately on the tip of a bromeliad axil? Which color most captures your interest; blue, red, or the contrast of lemon-yellow on a jet black background? Do you want a uniformly colored-frog or one displaying multiple colors, patterns, dots or reticulated patterns? Would you prefer a specie whose care requires little expertise or one that presents a challenge to maintain? Would you enjoy a frog with a bold, commanding demeanor, or one that is socially and communally interactive? Would you prefer a frog whose call is especially melodic, or one whose call is shrill and rhythmical? The choices are endlessly exciting! "

Sean

-----Original Message-----
From: Sc ott Richardson <[email protected]>
To: [email protected]
Sent: Thu, 18 Sep 2008 3:28 pm
Subject: Caresheet information


Good afternoon Sean,
There has been an on going discussion on Dendroboard concerning the request for information on mixed species tanks. Several members have voiced a need for a well written unbiased, and balanced caresheet on mixed species enclosures that is not based on opinion. Most are not in favor of mixing species in one enclosure, but realize people are going to mix species, so the information should atleast be available to reduce the chance of failure due to improper design and husbandry exercises if they do chose to do so.

I discussed the well written caresheet on mixed species enclosures you have on your site with Shawn Harrington. Shawn recommended I email you and ask if A) You would allow use of the caresheet on Dendroboard, or B) You would be willing to help author a caresheet on Mixed species enclosures for Dendroboard.


Thank you for your time.

Respectfully

Scott r


-------------------------------------------------
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
This is a old discussion that is brought up nearly monthly. Sometimes purposefully by members who relish in the controversy, but most often by an unknowing new hobbyist who steps on the landmine.

I would propose to have a Sticky if not also a Caresheet that Moderators and members can point posters too when the question arises again.



Reasons:
  1. The questions surrounding mixed species tanks ALWAYS lead to argumentative posts and that distracts from DB community atmosphere.
  2. The 'problem' isnt solvable not by the 50th thread on the subject, and not by "just one more poll'. We should have a place to direct the questioning and a reason to lock/delete new threads when they pop up 'innocently'.
  3. The community looks ridiculous honestly....always bickering on this subject with a few members who cant seem to help but fuel the fire.
It doesnt need to be a definitive position statement on the subject. Much like European imports, WC animal stock, conservation tactics...etc...there will never be a completely accepted answer.

We just dont need to reinvent the wheel every 2 months....

The 'Original' Dendroboard Mixing Care Sheet from 2006:

Kyle :
"Mixing

Why is mixing frowned upon?
Many people within the hobby believe that mixing is irresponsible and can cause hybrids, which up until now have been somewhat limited in the hobby. That’s not to say that they do not exists, but unlike some other hobbies its not the norm. In many cases with PDFs a hybrid does not do very well and or live very long. They also in some reported cases can never breed.

But I’ve seen mixed tanks at the zoo...
Yes many zoos and displays often have mixed tanks. In many cases, at least what I have seen, these are done with younger animals and larger enclosures. Younger animals tend to not be as aggressive as adults, and larger enclosures offer a place for a stressed frog to hide and get away from another frog. A number of people have had success with mixing a arboreal species with a more ground dwelling species, but there have also been a number of cases where it has been suspected that the larger ground species frog has possibly ate the smaller arboreal species.

I paid good money for these frogs and ill do what I want with them...
Most people agree that yes you have every right to do what you want with them; I and others ask that you be responsible to the hobby and not sell cross breed offspring. Also note that you may see odd unexpected deaths as the frogs can stress easily. Some people even take it a step further by saying: “I bought a blue and bronze auratus, and a green and black one, and have them together but that’s ok because they are both auratus." This is not true, as they maybe the same species but could be from totally different locations so mixing them is just as irresponsible as anything else.

Past discussions on the topic:
http://www.dendroboard.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=30529
http://www.dendroboard.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=13169
http://www.dendroboard.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=13126
http://www.dendroboard.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=4532

If you have anything you would like to see added or changed in this guide please send me or a mod a PM [Kyle] "
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Again this was brought up in the Moderators Forum:

If we all have some time to pull past threads and link them here that would be great. A brief overview of the thread would be good if someone actually reads them.... ie: "old thread that has some good discussion from a scientific perspective on the subject" etc....

Ed K from this thread:
......I am not in favor of hybrids for a number of reasons but the following are the primary reasons
1) at this time it, based on some basic projections we currently do not have sufficient members in the hobby to maintain the current selection of species and as a consequence we see the boom and bust cycles of popularity and each one reduces the genetic variability as the populations typically crash down to only a relatively few animals. Some of the frogs in the hobby have may have done this more than once.
2) People often aquire a frog and decide that they do not agree with the identification and post pictures asking what do people think it is and by popular acclaim assign it to a morph that may be different than the it really is. This is something that could very easily happen with hybrids between species and crosses between morphs and the result is a serious problem for the long term maitenance of the pure populations of those species.
3) Dendrobatids can live for a long time and a failure to properly mark crosses and hybrids means that if a person gets out of the hobby a purchaser or even a reseller can misidentify the frogs.
........
http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/members-frogs-vivariums/38335-crossbreeds-update-5.html


The typical innocent question followed by pages of debate:
http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/general-discussion/41247-hybrids-pics-questions.html

Mixed genera/species debate:
http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/beginner-discussion/47539-crested-geckos-dart-frogs.html

The rapid personal attack decline:
http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/beginner-discussion/47423-mixing-tincs.html

Selective breeding, crossbred, hybrids, conservation discussion:
http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/general-discussion/47152-more-waffling-hybridizing.html
.

.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I know there were some much older discussion worthy of notation here.....just with my satellite Internet speed it will take me a month to locate and site them all.

Another thing is that the old posts need to be LOCKED so that this thread doesn't serve as a launching point to resurrect the old battles :rolleyes:. The point is not to add to the clutter of active hybrid threads.

..
.
and then I find Eric [pl259] has been working hard on this list as well:
 

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I'm more than open to reworking this care sheet as well as posting it when people ask the age old question. I should have some free time coming up over the holiday break and hope to work on my frog room and the care sheets.
 

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Go Tim go!

Geez so many threads, interesting that a new one is started when a simple search will find them.

A new one:
do you think makeing a hybrid for a personal collection is wrong?

Is there really a "e" in making?
 
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