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Thread: 15 gallon aquarium suitable for for thumbnail pair?

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    Default 15 gallon aquarium suitable for for thumbnail pair?

    I am thinking about converting a 15 gallon (24.25 x 12.75 x 12.5'') aquarium into a vertical vivarium for Ranitomeya variabilis or imitator. Would a tank this size be suitable for a pair? These would be my first dart frogs, but I have kept tropical fish and planted aquariums for years. One of the biggest mistakes you can make when fishkeeping is starting with too small of a tank, so I want to make sure that my setup is suitably sized before doing anything else. I have read that 10 gallons is considered sufficient for a pair of Ranitomeya sp., but some say that is way too small. The vivarium would be bioactive and planted with small bromeliads, heart ferns, button ferns, java moss, peacock moss, fittonia, and small orchids on driftwood or cork bark.

    I am a student and limited on space, so unfortunately I can't have a huge vivarium.
    What do the expert froggers think? Good or bad idea?

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    100+ Post Member DanDrobates's Avatar
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    Default Re: 15 gallon aquarium suitable for for thumbnail pair?

    Are you planning on converting it to a vertical? And are you getting a sexed pair? Thumbnails can be tricky. Social dynamics can develop into problems within a group so yes bigger is better. I’d go with an exo terra 18 by 18 minimum. Aquariums are harder to orient vertically and the exo terra’s front doors make them more user friendly. It’s worth the extra money if you can swing it. If this is your first attempt at keeping darts though you may want to try a member of the Dendrobates genus or Phylobates first. They are much more forgiving.

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    Default Re: 15 gallon aquarium suitable for for thumbnail pair?

    I am planning on converting it to a vertical and installing a front door using some polycarbonate panels. I thought about getting larger dart frogs but they seem to prefer more floor space than I have room for at the moment. Are there any beginner-friendly arboreal dart frogs? I know Leucomelas climb a bit more than other darts, but I am concerned about how loud their calls are and potentially bothering the neighbors.

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    100+ Post Member DanDrobates's Avatar
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    Default Re: 15 gallon aquarium suitable for for thumbnail pair?

    Well, they do make noise when they call but epidobates anthonyi would be a good species for you.They are hardy, small, inexpensive, colorful, do ok in groups and breed like crazy. If you can get passed the loud calls they are a perfect fit for what you described.

  6. #5

    Default Re: 15 gallon aquarium suitable for for thumbnail pair?

    Thank you for your help, Dan. I had never heard of Epidobates anthonyi, but they sound interesting. I listened to some recordings of their calls. How loud are they? Can you hear them when the vivarium door is open? Are they readily heard through walls?

  7. #6

    Default Re: 15 gallon aquarium suitable for for thumbnail pair?

    From what I have read on this forum, Epidobates are notorious for their loud, frequent calling. If Epidobates are too noisy, then what about Dendrobates galactonotus? Other threads say their care is similar to Tinctorius, but they are less aggressive than tincs are and more inclined to use vertical space. Would they be okay as long as I give them plenty of ledges, plants, and branches to perch on? They also have quiet calls like tincs which is a big plus. The dollar per gallon sale is still on, so I can pick up a 20 gallon if that gives me more options, but a vertical setup is still preferred due to floor space limitations.
    Of course, the welfare of the frogs is my highest priority and I can try to find a way to fit a more horizontal vivarium if it is in the best interest of the frogs.

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    100+ Post Member DanDrobates's Avatar
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    Default Re: 15 gallon aquarium suitable for for thumbnail pair?

    Galacs can be a bit shy and are considered more of an intermediate to advanced species. Personally I consider anything in the phylobates genus to be the best beginner darts but again they don’t really suit the setup and conditions you are looking for. Plus their calls are on the loud side. It is ultimately up to you though as far as the species you choose goes. Tincs aren’t off limits to beginners they just need some supervision if kept in groups. If you can find tinctorius “oyapock” though, I think you will be happy. They are very small for a tinctorius and a single frog will do fine in a 10 gallon tank. But again, the choice is yours. No species is off limits to beginners but if you decide to get a species with a more advanced level of care be sure to do your research. Figure out what will work for the animals and for you and go from there.

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