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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Many of us have heard the "rule" of one frog for every 10 gallons of tank size, I personally don't think this is very helpful due to the different needs of different frogs. I was bored (and am a math teacher :D ) so I started messing around with some numbers.

Different frogs need different amounts of space, what if we gave each frog a minimum "recommended" size ...
examples...

Ranitomeya (Thumbnails) 80 square inches per frog
Oophaga 100 square inches per frog
D. Auratus, D. Leucomelas 150 square inches per frog
D. Tinctorius 200 square inches per frog
Phyllobates Bi/Terr. 250 square inches per frog

Area that would be counted would be the bottom of the tank and half of the background
(assuming that the background was planted/clay/foam).

That means a
12x12x18 would have 252 square inches to work with
18x18x24 would have 540
24x18x24 would have 648
18x36x24 would have 1080
10 gallon (vert) would have 320
10 gallon (horiz) would have 350
20L (vert) would have 324
20L (horiz) would have 540
20H (vert) would have 384
20H (horiz) would have 480

I know some of these numbers would need to be tweeked and other types of frogs would need to be added but I am interested in hearing thoughts of other frog keepers.

Any thoughts? (other than I am weird)
 

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Sounds like pretty good standards, but to me they sound like the high range of the minimum. Some people have successfully kept and bred Azureus in 10g tanks. With your rule of counting half the background and the entire floor area, this would mean there were 320 square inches, which is well below the 400 inches you said were ideal for D. Tinctorius. Maybe you should cut the 320 in half to 160 square inch per frog and say that is the absolute bare minimum, however you could keep the 200 square inch per frog as ideal.
 

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Sounds like pretty good standards, but to me they sound like the high range of the minimum. Some people have successfully kept and bred Azureus in 10g tanks. With your rule of counting half the background and the entire floor area, this would mean there were 320 square inches, which is well below the 400 inches you said were ideal for D. Tinctorius. Maybe you should cut the 320 in half to 160 square inch per frog and say that is the absolute bare minimum, however you could keep the 200 square inch per frog as ideal.
Just because there is anecdotal evidence that some people have kept X frog in an Z gallon tank does absolutely _not_ mean that a Z gallon tank should be recommended for frog X. Things like keeper experience and how well the breeding tank was set up are very heavy factors that help determine success.

I personally hate the idea of setting any kind of "minimum requirement" for a frog. Too many people come in to the hobby already thinking "what can I get away with" rather than "what's best for my frog." Seems like setting a minimum requirement may only help beginners try to get away with the minimum they have to do with their animals. Also, again, it seems to take away from factors like how well a tank is set up. a 12x12x18 may be just fine for many thumbnails when set up properly, but I've had the unfortunate experience of talking with some froggers with that kind of tank with limited climbing area and no background to speak of saying "well, there's a ten gallon minimum for this pair of frogs, so I'm safe." It's just not the case.

That said, your figures are off. Terribilis are pretty communal frogs. They need some space due to their size, but small groups seem to be pretty comfortable in relatively small tanks. Oophaga on the other hand, you have them listed as just barely having more space than thumbnails. Considering their territorialism, their need for lots of lay and depositions spots, many breeders have found Oophaga do well in extremely large tanks. Basically your Oophaga figure should dwarf all of the other frogs you have listed.

One further note, there is a bit of an issue lumping thumbnails in the same category. It may be fine for frogs like imitators and variabilis, but I would _definitely_ not want four reticulatus being kept in an enclosure that only provides 320 square inches of space....
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I appreciate the info on frogs that I haven't dealt with. I just picked a few of the main types of frogs and put up numbers based on the size of those frogs. I haven't researched prefered numbers/living conditions on many of them, that is what I hope comes out of this thread. I feel that many of the care sheets lack some of the most important information that they could contain. Also some of the more popular frogs don't even have care sheets.

I know having a set number probably isn't the best way to go about it but one of the popular dart books says something like 2.5, 3.5, 5 gallons per frog for small/medium/large frogs. Anything has to be better then letting those numbers stand as recommendations.
 

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Many of us have heard the "rule" of one frog for every 10 gallons of tank size, I personally don't think this is very helpful due to the different needs of different frogs. I was bored (and am a math teacher :D ) so I started messing around with some numbers.
A lot of this was deconstructed in this thread.. http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/beginner-discussion/3449-mixing-multispecies-exhibits.html

Even discussing square inches as a measure of volume is limited in its viability as for incrediable extreme example an area of one inch by one inch by 36 feet is 432 cubic inches or close to the volume you got for the 20 gallons but in no way acceptable for a frog...

Ed
 

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I appreciate the info on frogs that I haven't dealt with. I just picked a few of the main types of frogs and put up numbers based on the size of those frogs. I haven't researched prefered numbers/living conditions on many of them, that is what I hope comes out of this thread. I feel that many of the care sheets lack some of the most important information that they could contain. Also some of the more popular frogs don't even have care sheets.

I know having a set number probably isn't the best way to go about it but one of the popular dart books says something like 2.5, 3.5, 5 gallons per frog for small/medium/large frogs. Anything has to be better then letting those numbers stand as recommendations.
It makes sense that since you're a math teacher you would go for a set number. I just don't know that a set number is a realistic way to go about it. Every tank is different. A 20 gallon long is not necessarily equivalent to a 20 gallon long....

I agree that the 2.5, 3.5, 5 gallons per frog is hardly adequate. That's why some of us have attempted to abolish such rules of thumb here on the board. It hasn't always existed and there is still the idea that there is some minimum number of space that is adequate for a frog, but... maybe I just haven't been checking the forum as much (and I haven't) but it seems like the minimalist posts have been diminishing over the past year or two....
 

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thumb here on the board. It hasn't always existed and there is still the idea that there is some minimum number of space that is adequate for a frog, but... maybe I just haven't been checking the forum as much (and I haven't) but it seems like the minimalist posts have been diminishing over the past year or two....

Well a rule of thumb was well established in the hobby traceable back to the ADG days... It has decreased in recent times.. whether it is a lull in the question or a real decrease is yet to be seen.

I know I have been trying to get people to pay more attention to how an enclosure is set up versus an automatic minimal requirement as the latter rapidly becomes set in dogma....

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't even want to touch a thread about mixing species, but thanks for the link to examine.
as for incrediable extreme example an area of one inch by one inch by 36 feet is 432 cubic inches or close to the volume you got for the 20 gallons but in no way acceptable for a frog...
Not quite sure this "What if" situation is useful for anything.
I listed the common smaller tanks and I think that the square inches formula I threw together seems to work pretty well for common sizes.

I agree that some of the numbers I listed would need to be adjusted by those who are experts with certain species.
 

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Well a rule of thumb was well established in the hobby traceable back to the ADG days... It has decreased in recent times.. whether it is a lull in the question or a real decrease is yet to be seen.

I know I have been trying to get people to pay more attention to how an enclosure is set up versus an automatic minimal requirement as the latter rapidly becomes set in dogma....

Ed
Would you say the best setup is the one that finds a way to make the most surface area out of the space provided? Or are you talking about something totally different?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well a rule of thumb was well established in the hobby traceable back to the ADG days... It has decreased in recent times.. whether it is a lull in the question or a real decrease is yet to be seen.

I know I have been trying to get people to pay more attention to how an enclosure is set up versus an automatic minimal requirement as the latter rapidly becomes set in dogma....

Ed
I totally agree that the setup is critical, I hope that each new member would examine the successful tanks on this site and use those ideas to better care for the frogs they purchase. I was just hoping to discuss a way to guide new frog keepers so that they don't fall back on the 2.5 gallon or 10 gallon rules.
 

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looking at those numbers that means 3 thumbs per 10 gallon vert, which i dont think would even be a good minimum. also, oophaga need less than auratus and tincs? i doubt that as well.

i dont really think there should be a "minimum" because thats what people will choose to do. people shouldnt think of the hobby as just the bare minimum.
 

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Personally, i dont agree with using size of the frog as the only dependent varaible in your equation. Some frogs, thought smaller, may need more space. I choose to exceed the 10 gallon rule. But I also design a tank to suit my frogs need. You tend to see alot of post where people ask "what should i put in there". The best answer to that question, in my opinion, is you should have figured that out before you even purchased a tank.
 

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I don't even want to touch a thread about mixing species, but thanks for the link to examine.
You should read it... it isn't quite what you think...


Not quite sure this "What if" situation is useful for anything.
I listed the common smaller tanks and I think that the square inches formula I threw together seems to work pretty well for common sizes.

I agree that some of the numbers I listed would need to be adjusted by those who are experts with certain species.
It isn't a what if example, it is the inherent flaw in using any form of volume as a example of the minimal "need". There are many different conformations that can result in a volume (regardless of the units used) that are unsuitable for the animals or if the resources are properly placed do work for the frogs. It is more how the enclosure is designed more than anything else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It isn't a what if example, it is the inherent flaw in using any form of volume as a example of the minimal "need". There are many different conformations that can result in a volume (regardless of the units used) that are unsuitable for the animals or if the resources are properly placed do work for the frogs. It is more how the enclosure is designed more than anything else.
I agree that many tanks have large volumes that are not useful, that is why I suggested a method where volume isn't used. I think the surface area method is a better indication of the useful size of the tank. Any size tank can be unsuitable for frogs if poorly designed, picking a tank that is large enough is just the first step to a successful build.
 

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I agree that many tanks have large volumes that are not useful, that is why I suggested a method where volume isn't used. I think the surface area method is a better indication of the useful size of the tank. Any size tank can be unsuitable for frogs if poorly designed, picking a tank that is large enough is just the first step to a successful build.

Except area needed is dependent on how resources are set up and allocated within the tank... It is not unreasonable to believe a person can set up insufficient resources in a 55 gallon tank versus a 20 or even ten gallon tank.

Did you read through the link I marked above?

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
That is what I just said.

Any size tank can be unsuitable for frogs if poorly designed, picking a tank that is large enough is just the first step to a successful build.

I think we agree that the build of a tank is critical to keep frogs healthy and happy. I see there being four possible things that can come out of a tank build-

1) Large enough tank, good build (frogs happy)
2) Large enough tank, bad build (frogs unhappy)
3) Tank too small, good build (frogs unhappy)
4) Tank too small, bad build (frogs unhappy)

My goal was to try and eliminate situations 3 and 4. It doesn't matter what your build looks like, if you start with a tank that is too small you won't have healthy frogs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I did read through the thread (with the exception of a couple areas regarding mixing species).
Maybe my replies are not coming across correctly because it seems like we agree on the issue of useable space and the possibility for larger tanks to be set up poorly.
 

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If you go back through the history of the enclosure size recommendation, the standard recommendations starting way back in mid 1980s until 2004 was 5 gallons per frog. After several arguments, I deconstructed the recommendation to show that any argument of a volume/frog is flawed as the larger the volume of the enclosure the smaller amount of space is available per frogs as long as the ratio is followed. That resulted in people suddenly recommending ten gallons/frog or even larger volumes without a understanding the inherent flaw is still present. So now we have a recommendation on "appropriate" sizes that ignores almost 20 plus years of success as well as resource allocations...

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Volume is useless.

I am not sure why gallons/volume keep being mentioned, in my original post I said that the surface area of the bottom (and part of the back) is the only useful numbers that should be looked at.
 
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