Poison darts frogs as a pet :
- Can I keep a poison dart frog as a pet? :
courtesy to : customers.hbci.com/~chdavis/FROGS/FROGS.HTM
Poison dart frogs can be kept as pets, just like other frogs. This is because, for some unknown reason, when they are kept and bred in captivity, poison dart frogs are not poisonous. Scientists think maybe this is because their diets are different.
Poison dart frogs should be kept in a vivarium, which is a kind of terrarium that is very warm and humid. The vivarium should have lots of plants and water, especially running water. You can also spray the plants every day to keep the tank moist.
You should have an ultraviolet plant lamp to keep the plants healthy. Don't make it too bright or your frogs will hide. Remember that they live in the jungles and not lots of light comes through all those tropical forests.
Poison dart frogs like company. It's good to have about five together. But they also like space. For five frogs, it would be best to have a 55 gallon tank. The frogs spend more time near the ground than up high, so it's good to have a long tank instead of a tall one.
If there isn't enough space, your frogs will be unhappy and they may stop eating. They may even die from stress!
In captivity, poison dart frogs usually live about 2 to 4 years. Some can live as long as 15 years!
Poison dart frogs can even be bred in captivity. The green poison dart frog, Dendrobates auratus, was among the first to be bred in captivity and is still a favorite as a pet. Dendrobates truncatusalso breeds well in captivity. Phyllobates vittatus is the easiest Phyllobates species to breed.
If you want your frogs to breed, put 'honeymoon huts' in your vivarium. A honeymoon hut is a half of a coconut shell with its meat removed. Saw a door in it, turn it upside down and put a petri dish inside with water and a leaf in it. Your male frogs will go inside and call to the females. The frogs can also hide in the honeymoon huts if they are feeling stressed.
You can buy a poison dart frog for about $25 to $250 each. There are places on the Internet, like Vivaria Projects in Amsterdam, where you can buy poison dart frogs and the vivarium and supplies you need. But poison dart frogs are not good pets for beginners.
- SO YOU THINK YOU WANT DART FROGS?
November 4, 2011
A Pre-Guide to Getting Started in the Hobby
Poison Dart Frogs make amazing captives. They are colorful, relatively easy to care for, low maintenance, and available captive bred from a wide number of sources. A properly set up vivarium can easily be the focal point of any living room. It’s hard to think of any reasons why someone would not want to keep some of these colorful anurans. However, there are some things to consider before bringing your froggy pet home.
In captivity, Poison Dart Frogs are harmless. They glean their toxic characteristics from a diet of various insects and arthropods found in the jungles of Central and South America. At this point in time, it is not possible to make a captive bred dart frog toxic. Even with wild caught frogs, they tend to lose their toxicity over a period of months when they are subject to a captive diet.
In the wild, this Phyllobates terribilis has enough toxins in it’s skin to kill several men. In captivity, it is harmless.
Buy Captive Bred :
Captive bred (CB) Dart Frogs are much better suited for life in captivity. They are already used to the confines of a vivarium, and are generally much bolder and more readily settle in to a new environment. CB Dart Frogs also are typically much healthier than their wild caught brethren. Parasites are less of an issue, and captive bred frogs never had to undergo the stress of being caught, held, then shipped to another country. There are also less environmental concerns with captive bred frogs – the frogs are not being directly removed from a potentially declining wild population just for your enjoyment! Every captive bred frog purchased is one less wild caught frog removed from it’s natural habitat. All frogs offered by Josh’s Frogs were bred here, by us for you! We have strict quarantine practices in order to maintain a ranavirus and chytrid free facility. When you purchase frogs from Josh’s Frogs, you’re not only getting captive bred frogs – you’re getting the best!
This Dendrobates tinctorius ‘Cobalt’ metamorph is well on it’s way to being a healthy CB froglet.
Being that they are relatively small, it may come as a surprise that dart frogs can live well over a decade. It’s not uncommon for thumbnails (Ranitomeya sp.) to live upwards of a decade. Larger frogs, such as tincs (Dendrobates tinctorius) can live over two decades. There are reports of D. auratus living well over 25 years! Make sure that you take this into consideration before purchasing a dart frog – it may very well be with you for the next couple decades!
Dendrobates auratus ‘Costa Rican Green and Black’. There are reports of D. Auratus living over 25 years!
Dart frogs, hailing from Central and South America, require certain temperature ranges to stay healthy. Unlike us, dart frogs, along with all other amphibians and reptiles, are exothermic, commonly referred to as “cold blooded”. This means that they cannot control their body temperature, and are dependent on their environment staying within a set temperature range. As a general rule, you want to keep dart frogs between 60-80 F, with a temperature drop during the night. Some species, such as Phyllobates sp. or Epipedobates sp., prefer it slightly cooler. Temperatures over 80 F can stress your frogs, and higher temperatures can quickly lead to their demise. Make sure you’re using a thermometer to measure vivarium temperatures.
Some frogs, such as this Phyllobates bicolor ‘Gold’, prefer cooler temperatures.
Keep in mind that your future frog companions will depend on you to provide the proper temperatures for them. In some parts of the country, this may mean running the furnace or air conditioner when you normally would not, leading to additional energy expenses. In the event of a power failure in winter or summer, you may need to find a refuge for your frogs with more stable temperatures, such as a friend’s house or a hotel.
A properly set up living vivarium is a work of art. It can contain various orchids, bromeliads, mosses, ferns, water features, and all the characteristics of that imaginary tropical oasis that we all have in our minds. A vivarium can easily be the focal point of any room, and a topic of conversation.
Small insects, such as this fruit fly (Drosophila hydei) make up the majority of Dart Frog diets.
A living vivarium is truly a work of art!
Although much less expensive than actually traveling to the habitat it attempts to emulate, setting up a vivarium is often not a cheap endeavor. It requires both money and experience, either first-hand or learned, to be successful. It’s common to spend more on the vivarium than you would on the frogs! For novices, a 20H to 29G glass aquarium, or one of many of the glass terrariums available on the market, make for a great start to your first living work of art.
If you aren’t sure how to setup a dart frog tank, we highly recommend our Dart Frog Habitat Kits.
Even though many Poison Dart Frogs can reach a size of 2-3 inches, most will not readily consume prey over an eighth of an inch. There are some exceptions (Phyllobates sp., Epipedobates sp.. Ameerega sp., among others), but as a general rule, you will be responsible for providing a varied diet of small fruit flies, crickets, springtails, isopods, and the like to your anuran wards. Fortunately, these foods are readily available from a variety of online sources, and even some pet stores have begun to carry them. Most are also easily cultured cheaply at home! If you have a fear of bugs, or are unwilling to have them in your home, Dart Frogs may not be the pet for you.
One of the many pluses of living vivariums is that they are relatively low maintenance. This does not mean that they are maintenance free, however. Chores such as misting, feeding, pruning plants, cleaning glass, and the like will have to be done on a regular basis. Save yourself some hassle (and make a more stable environment for your frogs!) by investing in a quality timer for the lights. Time will also need to be spent every week making new cultures of feeder insects, and if you are lucky enough to breed Dart Frogs, caring for the eggs, tadpoles, and resulting froglets. Expect to spend about 30 minutes a week taking care of a single vivarium. It’s not a bad idea to make a list of weekly chores that need to be done.
Wiping algae from glass is just one of many chores that come with the responsibility of Dart Frog ownership.
The Dart Frog Hobby can be an expensive one. Currently, most dart frogs cost $30-70 each. A vivarium can easily cost from one to several hundred dollars to set up and maintain. Additional electricity and water will be spent on maintaining the vivarium and it’s anuran inhabitants. There will be costs involved in procuring food for your pets – some of these can be offset by you making your own cultures at home. Although not expensive to maintain in the long run, initially preparing for Dart Frogs in the home can be a costly undertaking. Keep in mind that this is an investment. You’re setting up something that will bring years of enjoyment, and is very inexpensive to maintain and feed.
The Dart Frog hobby can be expensive. Frogs, such as this Dendrobates tinctorius ‘Azureus’, typically cost $50-$70.
Ultimately, you are responsible for the well-being of your future froggy pets. You will have to not only feed them, but insure that they have everything they need to be happy and healthy. An enclosure will have to be constructed with their needs in mind, to provide a secure environment in which they can grow and prosper.
That being said, I hope that you decide to pursue Poison Dart Frog ownership. It is a very rewarding endeavor, and can lead to many more additional interests. For those of you with children, caring for animals can teach many life lessons difficult to teach any way else. A vivarium itself is something wonderful to have in the home or office – it brings a slice of nature into an otherwise structured and artificial world.
- How do I care for Poison Dart Frogs?
Zach - September 12, 2015 20:02
ABOUT POISON DART FROGS
Poison dart frogs are frogs of the Dendrobatid group. Colombian Indians utilize the 3 species of poison dart frogs to poison arrows for hunting. Some of these frogs are extremely poisonous in the wild, but loose much of their toxicity when kept in captivity due to the change in their diet. In the wild, the frogs eat ants that eat poisonous plants, while in captivity they don’t get to eat these ants. In captivity, poison dart frogs are harmless. These frogs range in adult size from 2 and half inches to some that never get bigger than your thumbnail! These frogs can enjoy a long life (there are reports of these frogs living for over 20 years in captivity). As long as a few things are kept in mind when you are planning the acquisition of your new pets, Poison Dart Frogs make great pets.
For those of you planning to keep poison dart frogs as pets, we strongly recommend reading the blog “Before You Buy“. There are also several relevant articles available under the Josh’s Frogs How-To Guides sections “Poison Dart Frog Care” and “Poison Dart Frog Caresheets“.
Poison Dart Frogs should be housed in what is called a naturalistic vivarium. A naturalistic vivarium is an aquarium that has been designed to create a tiny ecosystem. In this ecosystem, there are plants, soil, and a drainage layer to keep the soil from becoming completely saturated. A naturalistic vivarium creates a balance in which the animals waste is used by the plants. This balance creates an environment where the maintenance involves adding food for the frogs and cutting plants out as they grow. No removal of waste and/or tank cleaning is necessary!
The rule of thumb is that you should house one frog per five to ten gallons of tank space. More space is always better than less space. Giving your frogs as much space as possible leads to healthier frogs, bolder frogs (you’ll see them more in a bigger tank), and allows you more options when designing the terrarium. Josh’s Frogs STRONGLY recommends against mixing different species or morphs of frogs. These poison dart frogs occur in unique, separate populations in the wild, and have different adult sizes and levels of aggression.
For tips on how to construct a naturalistic vivarium, please visit the terrarium construction section of Josh’s Frogs How-To Guides.
TEMPERATURE AND HUMIDITY
Before you get frogs, you need a Temperature and Humidity Probe (the Exo Terra ThermoHygrometer sold by Josh’s Frogs is ideal). This tool is a necessity. High temperatures and low humidity can kill a frog quickly. Your humidity should stay above 80% all the time and your temps should stay between 70 and 80 degrees. This is best accomplished in an all glass aquarium with a glass lid. Screen lids will be unable to maintain the correct humidity in the majority of setups, without frequent misting. For the vast majority of setups, no heater will be needed as the lighting will create enough heat to keep the terrarium slightly above room temperature.
For instructions on how to heat or cool your vivarium, please refer to the blogs “Heating Your Vivarium” and “Keeping it Cool“.
Poison Dart Frogs eat fruit flies, springtails, isopods, rice flour beetles, phoenix worms, and other small bugs. Before you get your frogs, you need to start culturing their food items so you get the hang of it. There is nothing worse than not having enough food to feed your frogs. You will want to dust your bugs with a multi-vitamin and calcium supplement every other feeding. At Josh’s Frogs, we recommend rotating between Repashy Calcium Plus, Rep-Cal Calcium with D3, and Rep-Cal Herptivite.
For information on various feeder insects, visit the Feeder Insects section of Josh’s Frogs How-To Guides.
Josh’s Frogs has a huge amount of information available on the HOW-TO GUIDES section of our website, which can be accessed from www.JoshsFrogs.com. Simply click on the How-To Guides button on the yellow menu across the top of the page, and start browsing.
Josh’s Frogs also offers the best customer support in the industry. We can be contacted by phone at 1 800 691 8178, via email at , and through the live chat feature on the website.
picture above courtesy to : joshfrogs.com
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