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Thread: Mantella Species - Guide : Care, Tips, and Pictures

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    Default Mantella Species - Guide : Care, Tips, and Pictures

    This thread is for all the Mantella owners. There is surprisingly little information that can be easily found on these little beauties. I am hoping we can compile a decent list of basic care tips, Setup ideas, breeding tips, and anything else that might be useful. Maybe even get enough information so it can be compiled into a care article on them for this site. I'll start things off with information I was able to find through reading forum posts across the internet, wiki articles, and fact sheets.

    Please feel free to respond with questions, additions, and alternative points of view.


    Enclosure - A variety of enclosures can be used for the M. Betsileo. They can range from the most simple to a vary elaborate setups. The key parts will remain the same regardless of the type of setup. Temp/Humidity requirements and Hide spots.

    Temp - M. Betsileo can tolerate a pretty wide range of temperatures. I have read anywhere from 65F - 75F. It is important to keep the temp some what stable and avoid any drastic spikes or dips in the temp. M. Betsileo are carry adaptable when it comes temp variations, but do better in the range provided.

    Humidity - M. Betsileo do not require high humidity like Dart frogs do. The humidity in their natural environment stays relatively low except during the wet season. Maintaing humidity around 70 - 80% should be perfect for them and spiking it up to 90 - 100% when simulating the wet season.

    Food - Everything I have read says crickets and Fruit flies are a good staple. They do good with just those but providing a variety will help them. Seeding the tank with Isopods and Springtails will allow them to snack on the tank janitors in between feedings.

    Lighting - They do not require UVA or UVB lighting. The lighting will simply be to simulate sun light, unless the tank has live plants and then a full spectrum bulb should be used. The standard 12/12 day/night cycle can be used. When simulating seasons you can decrease the day cycle during the dry season, but Madagascar does not see a big swing in daylight time during the season changes light other parts of the world do.

    -------------------------------

    I read on one site that it is better to feed M. Betsileo several small meals a day and not one big meal. That site recommended feeding them in the morning, mid day, and just before lights out. Does anyone have any input on this? I did one feeding for mine yesterday being their first day in the tank, but I over fed them a bit because only 3 of the 5 came out to feed the others watched from the safety of the hides they were in.

    As for my enclosure, I have a build thread on the site for it, but here is a picture of it. I got inspired by Geo (from this forum) and built a natural style terrarium. I used Slate rocks (boiled and then baked in the over for 2 hours). I layered them to create the height to get the land mass above my water line and then covered the rocks in dirt, ABG mix, Moss, Leaf litter, and so on. In the water I put leaves and sticks and dirt (think bottom of a pond or lake), Ghost Shrimp, and a couple sucker fish. The tank is a 40b <36x18x16> Here is a pic of it. The gauge was temporary while I let the tank settle in and waiting for the digital meter to arrive. The tank is heated with an aquatic heater and an undersized filter is used to circulate the water and encourage healthy bacteria growth.

    Click here to view the original image of 800x600px.


    Everything about the tank (minus the heater, filter, and fogger) are natural. No glue, foam, or silicon was used inside the tank. The internal temp runs between 72 - 74F and the humidity is at 80%. Humidity is running high right now, I am doing heavy misting on the moss till it acclimates in the tank.

    What is your setup? Any additions or changes to the care categories. I will keep adding more information as time goes on
    1.1.0 - Oophaga Pumilio 'Blue Jeans' (2014 Nicaragua Import)
    1.1.0 - Oophaga Pumilio 'Chirique Grande' F1
    1.1.0 - D. Tinctorius 'Citronella'
    1.2.0 - D. Tinctorius 'Azureus'
    0.0.2 - D. Tinctorius 'Sipaliwini'
    0.0.2 - D. Tinctorius 'New River'
    0.0.4 - D. Tinctorius 'Leucomelas'
    0.0.4 - Terribilis 'Mint'
    1.1.0 - R. Ventrimaculatus 'French Guiana'

    Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/hashtagfrogs
    Youtube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgC...sEZiZQoT8sOuuw

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    100+ Post Member MsBlueRose's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mantella Species - Guide : Care, Tips, and Pictures

    What size is the set-up in the pic. I always thought you needed a BIG tank for the Dart Frogs. That looks like a 10 gal maybe? If you can use something like that for a single frog (or pair of them), I may be able to add one to my collection even soon than I had hoped! I will still end up getting something bigger than they need eventually, I do it for all my babies and they love their homes. None are exotic though. Thanks for the care info. Your right, there is not enough out there to properly care for our pets, especially the Darts. I have driven myself crazy hunting down info that simply was not available... I like what you have done here.

    Best Wishes;
    MsBlueRose

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    Moderator deranged chipmunk's Avatar
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    Default Mantella Species - Guide : Care, Tips, and Pictures

    Amy, you can keep darts in a tank as small as 10g for a pair. Or to make life easier (I learned this lesson the hard way) an 18x18x18 terrarium. I have done both aquatic tanks and vivs, and I will never go back to an aquatic tank for frogs. Front opening is the way to go.
    1.0.0 Oophaga Pumilio 'Black Jeans'
    0.0.10 Phyllobates Vittatus
    0.0.3 Phyllobates Terribilis 'Mint'
    0.0.3 Dendrobates Tinctorius 'Patricia'
    0.0.5 Dendrobates Leucomelas
    0.0.2 Dendrobates Tinctorius 'Powder Blue'
    0.0.2 Ranitomeya Variabilis 'southern'
    0.0.3 Epipedobates Anthonyi 'zarayunga'
    1.2.0 Phyllobates bicolor
    0.0.3 Dendrobates tinctorius 'azureus'
    0.0.1 Avicularia Avicularia
    0.0.1 Gramastola porteri
    0.2.0 Canines
    1.0.0 Tabby/Maine Coon Mix
    2.1.0 Genetics Experiments
    0.1.0 Bed Bully

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    Default Re: Mantella Species - Guide : Care, Tips, and Pictures

    Quote Originally Posted by MsBlueRose View Post
    What size is the set-up in the pic. I always thought you needed a BIG tank for the Dart Frogs. That looks like a 10 gal maybe? If you can use something like that for a single frog (or pair of them), I may be able to add one to my collection even soon than I had hoped! I will still end up getting something bigger than they need eventually, I do it for all my babies and they love their homes. None are exotic though. Thanks for the care info. Your right, there is not enough out there to properly care for our pets, especially the Darts. I have driven myself crazy hunting down info that simply was not available... I like what you have done here.

    Best Wishes;
    MsBlueRose
    The one pictured is a 40 Gallon Breeder. I agree with Bill, If I had it to do over again I would of got a 36x18x24 tank for this. I went with the 40B because it was on sale at Petco for $40 during their $1 a gallon sale. An 18x18x24 tank goes for $109.00 on Amazon with free Prime shipping. That is hard to beat. My Son has 2 Azureus in a 29 Gallon Long and they love it!
    1.1.0 - Oophaga Pumilio 'Blue Jeans' (2014 Nicaragua Import)
    1.1.0 - Oophaga Pumilio 'Chirique Grande' F1
    1.1.0 - D. Tinctorius 'Citronella'
    1.2.0 - D. Tinctorius 'Azureus'
    0.0.2 - D. Tinctorius 'Sipaliwini'
    0.0.2 - D. Tinctorius 'New River'
    0.0.4 - D. Tinctorius 'Leucomelas'
    0.0.4 - Terribilis 'Mint'
    1.1.0 - R. Ventrimaculatus 'French Guiana'

    Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/hashtagfrogs
    Youtube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgC...sEZiZQoT8sOuuw

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    Default Re: Mantella Species - Guide : Care, Tips, and Pictures

    It has been entertaining watching the M. Betsileo in the Paludarium. They started out using the natural hides the wood and rocks created. Now it seems they have dug little tunnels around the tank. I will see one disappear under a log and then re appear 12in or more away in a crack in the moss or under some leaves. I was not aware that they would do any construction on their own lol. I have also witnessed them pushing leaves around. In one instance one of them moved leaves down into a hide to block the view from the back side of the tank.

    They do stay hidden most of the day and only venture out into the open when food is placed in the tank. I moved away from 3 times a day feedings and now do one big feeding first thing in the morning and randomly add tiny crickets to the tank in the evening. They go crazy for the crickets but I still am keeping them as an infrequent treat. In between feedings they have been seen snacking on Springs (isopods are being added to the tank in the next two weeks, the breeding culture is still getting established for them). Every meal is dusted with Calcium with D3 and one day a week they are dusted with Multi Vitamin


    Humidity - I had a failure in my temp/humidity sensor for the past 2 weeks. I recently got a replacement in the tank and am now working to bring the humidity of the tank down some so I am putting the tank through a simulated dry season. I waited 3 days between mistings and then did a light misting on the plants. I will continue this until the humidity drops down into the mid 70s (which I am not sure is even possible in this tank due to the water in the bottom of the tank).

    Temps - Temps are staying steady in the mid to high 70s. Typically around 76F due to the low ventilation in the tank. I increased the ventilation in the tank today by 50%. I am aiming for temps in the mid to low 70s somewhere around 74F

    ----------------------------------------


    Breeding and Sexing

    Breeding - This is short for now as there has been no breeding that I know of in the colony so far. Breeding for the colony (if and when it happens) will be allowed to happen naturally with the tadpoles morphing in the water in the bottom of the tank.

    Sexing - I am still not sure what the sex of individual frogs are yet. I have some decent educated guesses, but nothing definitive. It doesn't help not knowing the age of the frogs. I have not heard any calling from them yet, but I am not down by the tank 24/7. My guess would be they are juveniles still. I have seen some growth in them since I bought them. I have 2 or 3 of the 5 that are noticeably bigger than the other 2. I am hoping I end up with 2 females and 2 males, but I suppose time will tell. Any tips on sexing M. Betsileo would be greatly appreciated.

    ----------------------------------------

    More updates coming.
    1.1.0 - Oophaga Pumilio 'Blue Jeans' (2014 Nicaragua Import)
    1.1.0 - Oophaga Pumilio 'Chirique Grande' F1
    1.1.0 - D. Tinctorius 'Citronella'
    1.2.0 - D. Tinctorius 'Azureus'
    0.0.2 - D. Tinctorius 'Sipaliwini'
    0.0.2 - D. Tinctorius 'New River'
    0.0.4 - D. Tinctorius 'Leucomelas'
    0.0.4 - Terribilis 'Mint'
    1.1.0 - R. Ventrimaculatus 'French Guiana'

    Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/hashtagfrogs
    Youtube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgC...sEZiZQoT8sOuuw

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    100+ Post Member MsBlueRose's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mantella Species - Guide : Care, Tips, and Pictures

    Thanks for the tip, Bill. I always thought that Dart Frogs needed a larger enclosure. Now I don't have to wait so long to get my first pair. And yes I agree, front opening is the way to go. This 55 gal long is proving to be a real pain... and I don't even have the frogs in it yet, lol.

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