Dart Frogs VS. Mantellas - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-15-2008, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 10
 
Dart Frogs VS. Mantellas

I've got a large 44 gallon aquarium, and I'm in the process of acquiring another large 118 gallon aquarium over the weekend. I would like to get dart frogs or mantellas for one, and preferably some other kind of frog for the other. My questions are: what are the differences between dart frogs and mantellas care wise? Which would you recommend to a beginner? Which is easier to maintain? Which has a longer life expectancy?

Also, if you have any suggestions for the other type of frog that I could acquire (something also suitable for a beginner) or even any other amphibian or lizard really, I'd be glad to hear it. I've got plenty of time to research any critter you throw at me and decide whether its right or not for me, I just need some help lol. Thanks
Renay is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-15-2008, 07:36 PM
Will It Ever Change?
 
mulder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Ottawa
Age: 35
Posts: 7,346
  
for beginners, i've heard geckos, like leopard geckos are good starters, but i could be wrong, i can't reeeeeaaally remember

"If you can't change your fate, change your attitude." - Amy Tan
mulder is offline  
post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-15-2008, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 10
 
my sister had a gecko, I'm looking for something that would benefit more from an environment similar to what a dart frog or mantella needs. maybe a newt or salamander? I'm not sure lol, but I'll look up some info on geckos thanks for the suggestion!
Renay is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-15-2008, 11:13 PM
Resident Aquarium Nerd
 
Sasami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Murfreesboro, TN
Age: 28
Posts: 9,930
   
I haven't kept mantellas but they seem more sensitive then dart frogs, especially when it comes to temperature.

The best "beginner" species of darts are probably D.auratus, D.azureus, D.leucomelas, D.tinctorius, P.bicolor, and P.terribilis.

D.auratus are pretty shy so I don't normally recommend them but you have a large tank and therefore will have a nice sized group . With a large group you should be able to see at least one or two frogs whenever you look in the tank.

Remember not to mix species. In fact, I wouldn't mix color morphs either, since you don't want them breeding. The color hybrids that result from this can have health issues.

Although there are plenty of hardy dart frog species, that doesn't make them good beginner frogs. They need a varied diet of small insects...this usually means fruit flies. Buying fruit flies constantly gets to be difficult/expensive so it's usually best to culture your own. You'll want to have a few cultures at all times since sometimes a culture will crash for no reason. You do NOT want to ever run out of food since darts need to eat a lot.

Other good foods are springtails (very easy to culture, just make sure you get a species that can survive at room temperature), pinhead crickets (not all darts will eat them and they shouldn't be the staple of the diet), extra small phoenix worms (some darts love them, some won't touch them), and wood lice (I haven't personally bought any but other people have had great luck in feeding them to frogs). As you can probably guess, diet can be trial and error (except for the fruit flies...darts usually have no problems eating those).

Have a food source ready before you get the frogs. This is really, really important. The last thing you want to do is have to wait a few days to get some flies shipped because you just found out that no pet stores sell them.

Live plants are pretty much a necessity since darts (and mantellas) thrive in a living terrarium. This means that you'll need good lighting, incandescent bulbs won't cut it (and will heat the terrarium way too much). I would recommend power compacts. UVB isn't needed but may be beneficial. I use UVB bulbs myself, though.

Depending on the room temperature and lighting, you might need an under tank heater. Make sure you have it on a thermostat so the tank doesn't get overheated. The tank should also be kept humid...you don't want a screen top for this reason. A glass top is the best since it won't allow too much moisture to escape. Even with a good top you'll want to mist the tank a couple times a day with dechlorinated water.

Definitely research a lot before getting darts or mantellas. They aren't as hard to care for as they seem but they definitely aren't "easy" pets either. They can be pretty expensive and it's not always easy finding a good amphibian vet. Buying from a petstore is usually a bad idea so you'll want to locate a breeder or go to a reptile expo.

Dart frogs are more work than a lot of other frog species but it's definitely worth it IMO .

Some other good terrarium species to look into are house geckos, tokay geckos, day geckos, crested geckos, tomato frogs, green treefrogs, white treefrogs, firebelly toads, reed frogs, and pygmy chameleons .

Bearded dragons, leopard geckos, African fat-tailed geckos, pacman frogs, Mali uromastyx, skinks, and anoles are some other options (although they aren't quite as suited for terrariums...some of these are actually desert-dwellers).

As far as salamanders/newts go, they're pretty neat. Salamanders aren't very active, though, and tend to hide. Still, they can do well in terrariums. The best beginner salamanders would probably have to be tiger or spotted salamanders. Newts require at least part of the tank to be water...some are actually fully aquatic. That means you'll probably need an aquarium filter. The best beginner newt, hands down, is the firebelly newt. I really love the paddletails myself...they're completely aquatic but a lot of fun.

Salamanders and newts have long lifespans and tend to be hardy when cared for properly. Most species prefer cooler temperatures so you'll want to keep them in an air-conditioned room during warmer times of the year.




~Stephanie

"We weep for a bird's cry, but not for a fish's blood. Blessed are those with a voice."


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




Sasami is offline  
post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-16-2008, 06:26 AM
Curmudgeon
 
Mygala's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Tycho Base, Luna
Posts: 1,843
      
If you are looking at lizards, there are quite a few options in the Gecko world. Tokays are attractive, pretty easy to keep and maintain, just be aware that you want to be super careful in handling them, they have a serious bite. A very cool thing about them is that they vocalize. It's almost a bark, but it's where their name came from "TO-kay!". You'll wonder what the heck that is when you first hear it.

Leaf tailed geckos are my favorite, but a bit more difficult to maintain. If you can keep your temperatures and humidity constant, these are relatively easy to keep. They don't like high temps, so upper 70's to low 80's is good. Simple insect diet, as for practically all insectivores you want to gut load and/or dust your food items before presenting them to your lizards. There are numerous species available, all are stunningly beautiful IMO. Check them out. I think they look better in a well planted terrarium (if you take into account the tails of the species you have before buying and planting) than any other lizard or snake.

Bob



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

The Mistress
"Cogito Ergo Zoom"
I think, therefore I drive fast.
Mygala is offline  
post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-16-2008, 09:01 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 10
 
In the summer we use an air conditioner, will this affect the humidity levels of my viv for the frogs? Also, should the lighting be kept on all day/night? And leucs were my species of choice for darts, followed by the azureus. In mantellas I would have to go with the golden, I want a frog that is going to stand out against the foliage in the viv. and because my living room is a nice avacado green, I'm thinking any of these three frogs would accent that particular room wonderfully...

Pygmy cameleons... Never heard of that species, I'm off to research it along with the tokay gecko.

I've decided to make the 118 gallon viv. into the frog sanctuary as I'll call it, and the 44 will go to the cameleon or gecko and I'm also looking into a few snake species. Is a 44 gallon viv adequate for the cameleon or gecko though? Thanks
Renay is offline  
post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-16-2008, 05:49 PM
Curmudgeon
 
Mygala's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Tycho Base, Luna
Posts: 1,843
      
Will an air conditioner affect humidity levels?

Yes, ..you have to work to keep constant humidity in your enclosures. I've used three methods, depending on what works best for the animals and plants in the enclosure.

You can seal it off, allowing no air exchange and then regulate the amount of water exposed to the air. After awhile you can get it down pretty good. This is not necessarily the best way for many animals, especially chameleons, who like a lot of fresh air exchange. For some spiders this has worked out great, for other species, not so much. Too high humidity can lead to fungus or mold, ...bad things.


Another way is to monitor the humidity closely, allowing fresh air exchange and misting the enclosure when the humidity starts to drop or adding additional open areas of water such as a pools or dishes when outside temperatures require constant air conditioning or heating. Live plants and good mulch hold and release water at a fairly constant rate, so you can use these to reduce the speed and severity of the dips in humidity. In most houses with winter heating and summer air conditioning, the humidity inside the house could be fatally dry to many types of animals.

A third way is to still allow good fresh air exchange, but use a room humidifier in close proximity to the enclosure. You still should monitor the animal's enclosure to see if misting is necessary. If you are keeping animals that require high humidity and temperatures, you need to be careful about mold using this method. It can pop up anywhere in the room, or in the humidifier itself. If you have a dedicated "herp" room, you can paint the walls with mold resistant paint and make sure to clean and disinfect the humidifier frequently (as you should anyway). In your living room, this might not be the best way....

A 44 gal is plenty big for a Tokay, but again, watch how you plant it. Make sure that when the time comes for you to catch the lizard up (and at some point you'll have to..) that you can get your hands easily in all the corners of the enclosure. ...oh and you might want to get a good pair of leather gloves, supple enough to feel through, yet thick enough to soften the bite. I don't know any owner who hasn't been nailed, at least once. It can be a memorable experience if you aren't wearing gloves, trust me.

As for the chameleon, most authorities will advise you to not keep them in an aquarium. And, am not one, I find them very challenging animals to keep unless you are lucky enough to live where you can keep them outside, ...like my brother's backyard in Ft Meyers, FL (the lucky stiff!). Poor ventilation is thought to contribute to infections of the lungs, eyes and skin. Some people do it successfully, but the real pros that I know all have screen sides to their enclosures.

One of the best online sources for chameleons is the Chameleon Information Network.

A first stop for any herp info search should be Mellissa Kaplan's Herp Care Collection.

Bob



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

The Mistress
"Cogito Ergo Zoom"
I think, therefore I drive fast.
Mygala is offline  
post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-16-2008, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 10
 
The only viv. that will be in my living room is for the dart frogs. Now that I've read about tokays and how they bite, I'm not sure if they're the right pet for me, I'll have to admit that I'd be scared to handle it again if I was bitten. What about Day geckos? Does anyone have any experience with these? Or the common green gecko?
Renay is offline  
Reply

Tags
bearded dragon, bearded dragons, crested gecko, leopard gecko, pet store, pet stores


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome