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I’m going to disagree with some of what’s been suggested…

There’s something to be said for doing your own thing and working with what you have. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the tank you have and it can be made completely suitable for dart frogs with a bit of effort. My experience with most folks here is that, while they might have valid opinions, they are mostly averse to ‘out of the ordinary’ builds and approaches that take a bit more effort to see through; most want a plug-and-play system and choose materials and methods that they’ve seen others use, while expending as little effort as possible, which is not always the most interesting, or inspiring, approach in terms of end result. If you are an individual who enjoys the build process – and all involved – as much as relaxing and admiring the end result, then take on the project.

Front-opening tanks can be just as difficult to interact with and maintain as top-opening tanks – it has much to do with the hardscape layout in either case. If you accept the challenges that come along with a top-opening tank – and, again, I think there are just as many challenges present with front-opening tanks – then there should be no reason to keep you from doing what you want. Frogs can be, and likely are in most cases, just as difficult to remove from a front-opening tank as they are from a top-opening tank – if your frogs are easily removed from a front-opening tank, chances are you’re hardscape is poorly constructed and isn’t benefitting the frogs as much as you think. There are benefits and drawbacks present with both designs – it is not always as black and white as some may suggest.

You can achieve adequate ventilation by modifying your top to add screened openings and incorporating active circulation to ensure proper air movement within the enclosure. If necessary, draining can be done by adding an access point from the top of the enclosure down to the drainage layer via a tube (PVC or ABS pipe is commonly used here and can be easily obscured by background materials) from which a flexible tube can then be temporarily inserted to siphon excess water out (if you find the need to drain your enclosure with any sort of frequency that prompts you to incorporate tapped drains into the enclosure, then it’s likely that you are over-watering, have too much ventilation, or some combination of the two). This is all very simple and basic assuming you have the time and tools necessary. All of this information can be found by searching the forum, and while some may suggest that these practices are ‘outdated’ they are still very much applicable in this context. The simple idea that a specific tank shape is not ideal for use in the construction of a vivarium is bogus and overlooks the vast possibilities for modification.

1word4words, I think you have a very nice looking tank to start with and you could end up with a uniquely beautiful and functional display with a bit of creativity and thoughtful planning. I don’t think the hardscape layout will require a different approach than with any other tank shape/size, but I think you will find that the majority of it will be oriented predominately towards the center of the display (especially when incorporating hardscape elements that project from the background), while the bottom of the tank can still utilize the whole space (effective layering of hardscape elements will be key here).
 
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