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Thread: Beginner Question / Time Commitment Expectations

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    Default Beginner Question / Time Commitment Expectations

    Hi everyone,

    I have spent a bit of time researching dart frogs and have wanted to keep them for years. Before diving into the hobby, I wanted to ask some questions. First, I work a lot (often 70+ hours a week) and will need to travel a few days a week for work occasionally. I am trying to get an understanding of how much daily and weekly maintenance / time is necessary to successfully house dart frogs. I understand the culturing of fruit flies and the time it might take to mist the tank (are there auto misters?), but what I am trying to wrap my arms around is how much time I should really expect per day and week.

    Given my work schedule, if there are times when I am out of town for a few days, would this be a huge issue for my frogs? What are some things I can do (if there even is anything) I can do to make sure my frogs are okay if I leave for a few days at a time for work?

    While I love dart frogs, the last thing I would want to do is jump in and buy some and realize that I canít provide them with the proper care that they deserve.

    i apologize if this is a fairly vague question or if this has been answered, but I have searched around quite a bit and canít seem to find answers on this point. Any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated and thanks so much in advance for your time!

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    100+ Post Member DanDrobates's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beginner Question / Time Commitment Expectations

    This is a good question but it doesnít necessarily have one answer. Ultimately care and husbandry depend on the species you plan on keeping, their age and general health, how the vivarium is set up and how you plan on culturing feeders. I have a large collection so my daily routine is based around a large collection. I have over 17 dart frogs (not including tadpoles) so I have to set up enough cultures each week so I have enough, feed my developing froglets daily and hand mist any vivariums not on my misting system. However I also keep other species besides those in the dart frog clade and that adds to my routine as well.

    Here is my advice to you.
    Start with a larger beginner species such as Phylobates terribilis. They are generally hardy and will take pinhead crickets if you canít provide fruitflies. Cultures do crash from time to time and the last thing you want after a few days away are dead cultures with no flies. Most pet stores sell crickets so youíll be ok feederwise in a pinch.
    Secondly set up your vivarium in such a way that it calls for as little maintenance as possible(This process is more expensive off the bat but the convenience will pay off) Set up an appropriately sized vivarium, stock it with microfauna and a misting system. I use exoterras with a drainage layer and a mist king system. Drilling an overflow for drainage is also wise if you plan on being away for a while and you canít monitor the water level regularly.
    Thirdly you want fat and full frogs before leaving them for any length of time. Beefing them up a few days prior and leaving an open culture in the vivarium is good practice if youíll be gone more than a few days. Also leaving a slice of banana somewhere in the vivarium helps as it provides a feeding station that draws flies to it.
    Finally understand that these suggestions are only to reduce maintenence time. I personally wonít leave town for more than 4 or 5 days and I do a lot of prep before hand to ensure my frogs are well provided for. At the minimum,for a pair of adult Phylobates Iíd allocate at least 10 minutes a day or an hour a week. I spend at least an hour a day on my collection but bear in mind Iím also very retentive lol. I hope this helps and good luck.

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    Default Re: Beginner Question / Time Commitment Expectations

    Dan,

    Thank you for taking the time to write your very helpful response. I certainly have more color on how to move forward. I do like the Terribilis quite a bit and have read they are one of the boldest species - I love how their call is loud too!

    I definitely agree that setting up the vivarium in such a way that it can be as self sustaining as possible is the best route - I do not mind investing the extra money for less headache/maintenance going forward. I think that I am going to start doing some research into setting up the vivarium first and work on getting the plants all set up nicely for a few months before i get the frogs. I have a background in aquascaping, so building a beautiful planted tank definitely appeals to me.

    What size tank would I need to house 4-5 Terribilis? Also, apologies if this has been answered, but do you know of any resources (YouTube channels, specific threads, etc.) that you would recommend to someone like myself for these questions?

    Thanks so much again for your help!

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    Default Re: Beginner Question / Time Commitment Expectations

    You’re welcome. As far as YouTube goes I’d try Troy Goldberg’s channel or the dart frog queen. Tanner Serpa has some good build videos as well. As far as vivarium size I’d say for an adult pair you’d want at least 24 long by 18 wide. Juveniles can be kept in a smaller enclosure such as a 10 gallon. With younger frogs sometimes a smaller vivarium is better in terms of monitoring feeding and behavior.

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    Default Re: Beginner Question / Time Commitment Expectations

    Great stuff, thank you Dan!

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