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Everything I read says not to do that, but at the Shedd Aquarium they were mixing different types. Do they not know what they are doing is there a reason why it's ok for them to do it but not hobbyists?
 

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They have a staff to watch over the animals and a larger budget than any private hobbiest to build terrariums. Even then they are incentivized to make displays visually pleasing over the actual interest of the frogs. There is no benefit of it other than that. That is why this board doesn’t recommend it to anyone.


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a larger budget than any private hobbiest
An anecdote: I used to know a zookeeper. Well, he was a friend of a friend, and he gave both of us a private behind the scenes tour of the zoo he worked at at the time. Neat tour. He took us to a place behind and above one of the big outdoor habitats where you could spy on the animals (and guests) without being seen, and showed us a big aquarium build that was still under wraps, and we went above one of the big aquatic display and fed lettuce to the sea turtle -- stuff like that.

Anyway, this zookeeper had interned at Shedd (a couple decades ago by now), and told us that in planning meetings, if they were contemplating some project and someone suggested a far cheaper way to accomplish the thing almost as well, that suggestion was heckled out of the room, they had such a limitless budget. Possibly hyperbolic, but this is what I was told.
 

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The face of a zoo that is for the public is just that. But there is a whole different level of bureaucracy that often puts keepers at odds with the admin. With many issues.

Many exhibits are themed to reflect native localities. Its a big part of zoo culture presentation.

Comparing zoo goals to hobby modalities can be a straw man of persons wanting to 'fortify' the desire to put guys together by using zoological 'ecological awareness themed' displays.

But the reasons why private persons wish to mix species usually has more to do with space economy and the appeal of colors/ kinds varieties than anything else.

This has all been gone over many times, in lots of threads through the years but needs to be refreshed regularly.
 

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Zookeeper here. The tl;dr always boils down to don't do what zoos do. We have massive resources compared to the average hobbyist, our goals are not your goals as a hobbyist, and we can successfully get away with doing a lot of things that even I personally wouldn't do at home, simply because I don't have the need or the resources to get away with it. Zoos aren't there to teach you how to take care of exotic animals, if anything, that's the OPPOSITE message we're trying to send to folks; We really don't recommend most folks keep these animals yourself.
 

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People in this thread say zoos have an unlimited budget and boundless resources, and that's fine, but that doesn't explain how that unlimited budget and massive amount of resources keeps one type of frog from getting an attitude with another type of frog in a large terrarium with lots of plants. I mean there is only so much anyone with any amount of resources can do, and either what they do is ethical or it isnt. If I want to throw money and resources at a hobby, I honestly dont understand what a zoo is doing that anyone else cant do or why its ethical for them, but not for me doing the exact same thing.

Unless they are spending $500/Hr on weekly frog psychiatrist sessions and dusting flies with prozac and I'm just totally unaware of such trade secrets...

To be clear, I dont want multiple types together. I would personally never do that. I think it looks unnatural and gaudy. But the "rules for thee and not for me" deal makes zero sense to me. I cant possibly think of anything they could possibly do that anyone else cant who is willing to shell out the cash and do the homework.
 

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@Clintonsparsons89 an institution like that has a different mandate as others have pointed out already:
  • An institution presumably has multiple full-time staff and veterinary care available for livestock in a given exhibit. Your typical hobbyist is one person with a job and/or family, school, social life etc.
  • An institution has the collective experience in its staff to make observations a hobbyist may overlook due to insufficient experience.
  • An institution may accept the loss of the odd frog in service to raising public awareness etc.
  • An institution most likely has far superior bio-security protocols.
  • An institution won't knowingly or unknowingly allow hybrids and then send them out to market.
The points above more or less repeat what @MasterOogway has already said.

Experience matters and that can only come from time spent, not just by keeping a bunch of species for a couple of years. Error margins need to be much wider for newcomers to the hobby. It's not elitist it's just a fact, but people don't like being told 'no' because they have egos and personal agendas to do whatever the hell they want, when they want because their mommy told them they were special or maybe they want the Facebook likes.

Very salty of me, I know. But I've seen a lot of dead animals that didn't need to be, and it grinds you down after a while.

Frogs don't spontaneously combust when mixed, given a water feature, deprived of leaf litter, etc. etc.

But if I drew a graph based on what I've seen, the mortality rate would increase with time due to people taking chances they should not. Keeping animals alive isn't the same as having them thrive for many years.

So in a way you're absolutely right, it is "rules for thee and not for me" but in the same way that a novice is presumably smart enough not to get in the ring with a seasoned fighter with a record of 30-1-1 and expect a good outcome.

The very same way I'm not going to keep a tank full of Su fan cobras like I saw at the reptile zoo, just because I kept a few arboreal boids and think I know snakes now.

I admit that it's all possible to do, I contend that most of the time it should not be done based on the likely outcome, even if that outcome is down the road.

A frog stressing out or dying isn't as dramatic as getting knocked out or killed by a cobra, so people don't give it as much weight. Most hobbyists can't even tell when a frog is stressed, or we wouldn't keep seeing photos of emaciated, bullied frogs on this board amongst other things.
 

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@Clintonsparsons89 an institution like that has a different mandate as others have pointed out already:
  • An institution presumably has multiple full-time staff and veterinary care available for livestock in a given exhibit. Your typical hobbyist is one person with a job and/or family, school, social life etc.
  • An institution has the collective experience in its staff to make observations a hobbyist may overlook due to insufficient experience.
  • An institution may accept the loss of the odd frog in service to raising public awareness etc.
  • An institution most likely has far superior bio-security protocols.
  • An institution won't knowingly or unknowingly allow hybrids and then send them out to market.
Also a zookeeper here. Zoos definitely have more resources and space than your average hobbyist would. I would agree that a lot of it comes down to experience and time, for new hobbyist, the best solution to this is keeping everything as simple as possible. In a zoo setting, we have access to things such as multiple full-time staff & veterinary care without having to worry about the cost and time it would take, whereas a hobbyist may have to spend a few hundred dollars running tests/getting medications and also getting time off work for that vet visit. It's totally possible to mix species, just not recommended for the average hobbyist.
 

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It's totally possible to mix species, just not recommended for the average hobbyist.
Yup. The zoo thing is brought up regularly in these discussions, and it's very frustrating, because a home vs. an institutional setting isn't remotely comparable and you'd think that's obvious.

I think a lot of hobbyists see a glass case and think "I can do that" when the fact is, the vast majority of them don't even want to pay to have fecals done or spring for the larger enclosure, never mind their lack of experience. They simply overestimate themselves.

As cynical as I sound, it comes from years of seeing this stuff over and over. The hobby has improved a lot which gives me some hope, but it needs to shed some very damaging ideas that hold it back. Part of the problem is certainly the vendors, the rest of the responsibility lies in the lack of due diligence and restraint on the part of hobbyists.

Herpetoculturists generally, wonder why people keep trying to legislate them out of existence. A look in the mirror is in order.
 
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