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F.A.Q.

Are Dart frogs poisonous?

In the wild they are usually poisonous. But they are born with no poison and they get their poison from their food (bugs!). So frogs that are born and raised in captivity are perfectly safe because they eat fruit flies which are not poisonous.

How do you take care of Dart Frogs?

There's a terrarium building and frog care page here and a page on breeding frogs here. The web page lists where I get my supplies. If you find cheaper sources please let me know and I'll update the website for everybody.

What's the best beginner frog?

Most dart frogs are very hardy so I really don't think it matters.

D. auratus is very hardy, the least expensive, but also the most shy. They have a very faint call. I had a pair in a 59 gallon tank at work for years that weren't shy at all and they were awesome to watch. But in 20g tanks at home all of my auratus hide most of the time.

D. leucomelas are not as shy, do well in groups, and have a nice call.
 
All of the D. tincotorius are very bold and are out all the time. Their call is too faint to hear and they are not quite as hardy as the auratus and leucomelas, but being able to see them all the time has made them one of my favorites. It is usually said that D. tinctorius don't do well in groups but I think this is only partly true. I have groups that grew up together since they were little and they do fine. But if you mix up the groups they will fight and a lot of them will get stressed out and die. So start groups of tinctorius as babies and don't change the groups after that.
 
The thumbnails and pumilio are also very hardy but tend to be more expensive. Basically, I think all of the dart frogs are much easier to keep than any tree frogs so it's hard to go wrong.
 
Can you ship me pairs? How many do I need to buy to get a pair?
 

I sell baby frogs that are 2 to 4 months old. They are not sexable at this age. The won't be sexable until they are about a year old. If you want to make sure you get a pair, the more you order, the better the odds are. If you buy 2 your odds are 50%. If you buy 3 your odds are 75%. If you buy 4 your odds are 88%. 5 is 94%, 6 is 97%, and so on. Personally, I always buy at least six and then separate the pairs into their own tanks when they are old enough.

How do you know what sex they are?

There are several things to look for. On some species the front toe pads are much larger on males than on females. On some species the body of the female is slightly larger than the males, and has a different shape. Also, male frogs call and females don't. For the tinctorius, leucomelas, and auratus the body shape and size is a good indicator. Calling is a very good indicator for leucomelas and also works for auratus (the auratus call can be faint so you won't hear it in a noisy room). For most tinctorius, the toe pads are informative. Most frogs aren't sexable until they're at least six to twelve months old.

Can different species be kept together?

This is absolutely the most frequently asked question of all time. Every beginner wants to know if they can pick out a smorgasbord of colors for their frog tank. The short answer is "No, just keep one species per tank". The long answer is "Yes, it would probably work just fine". When they are young you can definitely keep multiple types of similar size together like auratus, leucomelas, and tinctorius. Once they get older and start pairing off, some frog species become territorial. For instance, tinctorius or leucomelas females will fight with each other. With the tinctorius it can be bad enough that they should just be kept one pair per tank to avoid deaths. However, a lot of the fighting subsides within a few days of putting them together and with the leucomelas or auratus the fighting is so mild that many people keep them in groups with no problem. Most dart frog species fall somewhere on that scale. I have kept tinctorius in groups with no problem but others report that it hasn't worked for them, so your mileage may vary. I think if they are raised together from babies they do fine. If you change the groups or make new groups, they have to establish new pecking orders and that's when there are problems. A group of different species is very much like a group of the same species. If you have a pair of each of two different species, the females might be annoyed by each other and fight or they might not recognize each other as competition. So they might fight and they might not. Even if they fight, they might get over it after a few days. I suspect it would actually work just as well as, or better, than keeping a group of the same species, but I have a lot of tanks so I've never actually tried it. In fact, most people on the internet say they have never tried it and they just keep a separate species in each tank. So I can't really answer the question except to say that my guess is that it would probably work just fine, but it's safest to get separate tanks. If you were going to try it, I think it would be best to put all the frogs together at the same time as babies and let them grow up together.

However, another thing to consider is that many species can actually produce viable offspring when they breed with another species. These hybrids are highly scorned in the hobby because there are so many subtle variations between different locations of dart frog species that people are trying very hard to keep accurate records of collection locations and blood lines. Hybrids throw a wrench in the works. Although, in my opinion, if people label it properly it shouldn't matter because it is not going back into the wild anyway. Fish hobbyists do this all the time. The ultimate record keepers are the killifish hobbyists. Every killifish collected has a location and date code attached to the species name. People have kept these lines in the hobby for decades and they keep them labeled appropriately. However, they also selectively breed for interesting color variations and label the variants appropriately. For example, there are wild forms of Aphyosemion australe with location codes and also color variants of this species. People keep all of them labeled appropriately, it works just fine, and the sky doesn't fall. Of course, there are people that really take this to extremes. Look at some of the bizarre varieties of fancy goldfish. Parrotfish are the most gruesome of all. Some of these man-made varieties seem disgusting and even cruel. The bottom line is that some people only like wild forms, some people really like a little extra color (fancy bettas or guppies for example), and others really like the hideous stuff like parrotfish. To each their own. The vast majority of frog hobbyists really only like the wild forms and they get very annoyed with the idea of hybrids. So if you keep several species of frogs in the same tank, it is possible, maybe even likely, that you will get hybrid offspring. Personally, I think the results of these matings are interesting and not a big deal if you keep them labeled appropriately. But the vast majority of the frog hobby people will give you a hard time about it.

Why should I buy from you? Do you have any references? How do I pay you? How do you ship?

All of these questions are answered here.