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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ribbit all!

This will be my first time setting up a dart frog habitat. I have a background keeping a few reptiles, freshwater fish, reef tanks, and I also propagate corals on a moderate scale.

My first terrarium will be a 46 gallon bowfront aquarium, in which I plan on using a primarily gravel based substrate with some hydroton within the substrate, and possibly vivarium soil and/or sphagnum moss mostly around plants. I have several pieces of driftwood in the tank, and have picked out several plants for my setup. I have a small pump I plan to use to make a small water feature. The frogs will most likely be Surinam Cobalts, Azureus, or Citronella. Right now I am playing with temperature and humidity.

I have been doing some research and have found some great threads on this site. I do though have a few questions. First, do I need to have a background other than the aquarium background I'm currently using in this size tank with ample wood and plants? I have a couple of other tanks I plan on using to test background techniques, so I would prefer to use my simple background on this first one, if possible. Second, is pH important? Can I use a few collected large rocks? Are there certain kinds to avoid, such as sandstone, or limestone?
 

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Welcome! :D

I'm a noob so I won't try to answer your questions about pH. I will tell you that I've seen pictures of some pretty awesome tanks with no backgrounds.

Please post pics!
 

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Ribbit all!

This will be my first time setting up a dart frog habitat. I have a background keeping a few reptiles, freshwater fish, reef tanks, and I also propagate corals on a moderate scale.

My first terrarium will be a 46 gallon bowfront aquarium, in which I plan on using a primarily gravel based substrate with some hydroton within the substrate, and possibly vivarium soil and/or sphagnum moss mostly around plants. I have several pieces of driftwood in the tank, and have picked out several plants for my setup. I have a small pump I plan to use to make a small water feature. The frogs will most likely be Surinam Cobalts, Azureus, or Citronella. Right now I am playing with temperature and humidity.

I have been doing some research and have found some great threads on this site. I do though have a few questions. First, do I need to have a background other than the aquarium background I'm currently using in this size tank with ample wood and plants? I have a couple of other tanks I plan on using to test background techniques, so I would prefer to use my simple background on this first one, if possible. Second, is pH important? Can I use a few collected large rocks? Are there certain kinds to avoid, such as sandstone, or limestone?
Croak,

Welcome to the addiction Frogzilla! First let me start by saying that backgrounds are not needed, but serve a purpose. If you have a floral paper background that is taped to the outside of the tank, then that will be fine. It will make your frogs feel more secure in their home. Now, if you want a functional background you are going to want to create a custom background. There are various techniques to create a background. Some include, clay/kitty litter method, Great Stuff expanding foam/silicone and peat method, cork wood, or tree fern panels, etc...The method you use is your choice. pH should not be an issue as long as you mist with spring or distilled water. The pH is normally a neutral from those water sources. There shouldn't really be any pools of water unless you want to raise tads in the tank. If you raise tads in tadpole tea, then I believe the pH is slightly acidic but it is not a problem as the tea is beneficial to them. The tea replicates an Amazonian Biotype. If you decide to use rocks from outside make sure to sterilize them before placing them in the viv. As for the types of rocks, I believe you want to avoid using any kind of limestone. You may need someone else to chime in as to why not to use limestone. It may be ok to use, but I avoid using anything found outside to avoid contamination. Research, research, and do some more research. Hope this helps.

-Chris
 

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Limestone would generally increase the alkalinity and hardness of the water it's placed in. CaCO3 can be added to acidic waterbodies in an attempt to increase the buffering capacity.
 

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I have heard that all sedimentary rocks should be avoided because of leaching. Igneous rocks should be fine though. The harder the rock is, the less chance that it will erode. Harder rocks are also much easier to clean because they are much less porous, so if you use bleach to clean them it won't soak in as easily. To clean rocks I use a stiff brush with a 50/50 bleach/water solution, then rinse like crazy, then I let them dry in the sun. Good luck and enjoy the build!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies all! I figured that sandstone and limestone wouldn't work but wanted to verify. Gumby, do you suggest I design the tank floor completely terrestrial with no water pools nor water dishes? I hadn't intended on using water dishes, but I was considering sloping one corner of the tank down below water line (just slightly to create a pool in one corner).
 

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I keep a small pool, as you described, in most of my tanks. It's how I access the water to syphon it out when it gets too high. Also, I like to supply my frogs with water if they want it, although, it is said often on here that they don't need it.
 

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Thanks for the replies all! I figured that sandstone and limestone wouldn't work but wanted to verify. Gumby, do you suggest I design the tank floor completely terrestrial with no water pools nor water dishes? I hadn't intended on using water dishes, but I was considering sloping one corner of the tank down below water line (just slightly to create a pool in one corner).
Since you plan on working with a Tinc (Cobalts, Azureus, or Citronella), then I'd make the tank as terrestrial as possible. Water dishes and the like are not needed, but the sloping idea is great. I use this technique to syphon out any extra water. Here is a pic of one of my vivs with a slope with a few of my frogs...

Cobalts and Viv
 
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