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Are Dart Frogs Poisonous?

Dart Frogs are not poisonous in captivity. In the wild, Dart Frogs get their poison from their diet. Certain ants and other insects’ rich in toxic alkaloids aid in their toxin production. They do not produce toxins themselves.

In captivity, Dart Frogs no longer retain their toxin. Even wild caught species, will loss their toxicity after some time in captivity.

How long do Dart Frogs live?

Scientific studies have shown that the lifespan of a Dart Frog in the wild, only range from 1 to 2 years. But, through successful captive breeding programs, Dendrobates Auratus have been reported to live as long as 25 years. But on average, Dart frogs can have an average life spans of 7-10 years in captivity, with great care.

Where should I buy my Dart Frogs?

At Dart Frog Connection, we are a one-stop shop for all Dart Frog needs. If we don’t carry it, you don’t need it. We provide diverse captive bred Dart Frog species. You can also meet us at various reptile shows to see our Dart Frogs in person. Dart Frogs do not have a set-breeding season. Different species will be available through out the year. Visit our website often and sign up for our newsletter to get your Dart Frog availability update. All our frogs can be shipped via US Mail, UPS, Delta Dash, etc.

What is the difference between a froglet, a juvenile frog and adult?

Froglets range from OOTW (out of the water) stage to about two months old. Juvenile frogs range from about two months to around six months old. Sub adults are from 6 months to about a year old. Adult frogs are typically over a year old and are able to be sexed. At DFC, we provide frogs at different stages of their development. Price does very based on their stage.

What do Dart Frogs eat?

Dart Frogs only eat live food. At DFC we provide as much diverse food as possible to keep our Dart Frogs healthy. Their diet can range from fruit flies, flour beetles, wax worms, springtails and various isopods. All food items are dusted with vitamins and minerals on a routine basis. Fruit flies are easy to culture and they can produce rapidly with simple care. See fruit fly culture sheet.

Can I feed the Dart Frogs something else, if I am not comfortable working with fruit flies?

Some bigger species like Phyllobates Terribilis and bicolor will take large food like crickets and firebrats. But when they are juvenile, fruit flies and springtails are a must.

How many Dart Frogs can I keep together?

Dart Frogs are territorial by nature. The amount can depend on which species of Dart Frogs, their age, and the environment size. While the Dart Frogs are juvenile, a small group of 15 to 20 can be housed together in a larger tank. When they become mature, it will be very stressful for them. In general, DFC recommends that 1 pair of larger species adults should be housed in no less than a 20 gallon tank. Thumbnails can be housed in a 15-gallon tank without any issues.

The Dart Frogs behavior will indicate if they are being overly crowed so observe them carefully. Persistent fighting, losing weight or consistently hiding is a good indicator that there perhaps is over crowing in your habitat.

Is it compatible to keep different types of the Dart Frogs together in the same vivarium?

At DFC, we recommend keeping the same species of Dart Frogs in the same vivarium that is best suited for that individual species. By nature, Dart Frogs are already very territorial within its own species. Combining different species in the same enclosure can add unnecessary stress to the health of your Dart Frogs.

In general, Dart frogs can be broken down into two groups. We recommend that one group be of same species. The other group is only individual sexed adult pairs.

All Epipedobates and Phyllobates, Dendrobates auratus and D. leucomelas can be kept in same species groups with no real problems.

Territorial aggression can still occur among these species, but they don’t normally fight to a point where the health of any frogs will suffer.

In this group, breeding females can still fight over males and can even eat each other's eggs. Always observe closely when breeding activity occurs and make healthy decisions for the frogs. Technically, these different species could be housed together, but hybridizing / cross species breeding can occur. In the Dart Frog hobby, this is discouraged.

The rest of the species, especially D. tinctorius and D. azureus, should be kept in individual pairs as adults. Two females should never be kept in the same vivarium. Aggressive fighting will occur. Keeping 2 males and one female is more suitable. At DFC, we do provide proven pairs as well as sexed adult pairs if you are interested breeding Dart Frogs.

Why is Hybridizing of Dart Frogs discouraged in the hobby?

This is a subject that has been heavily heated by Dart Frog hobbyists for many years. The most common form of hybridization is when two frogs of the same species with different morphs or from different localities are interbred. Other related hobby groups such as corn snakes or leopard geckos, thrive on developing new color forms and genetic mutations to create new morphs. The fact is the Dart Frog hobbyist is strongly against this.

One of the main reasons the hobbyist discourages hybridization is to preserve the true morph of the Dart Frog species. In the wild, many of the Dart Frog species came from remote rainforest areas that are still relatively safe from development and habitat destruction. Others species came from habitats that are already extinct. This is particularly true of some of the D. pumilio and D. auratus forms. To protect the species’ preservation of the true morph in the wild, many hobbyists discourage interbreeding with frogs from different morphs and from different localities. Hobbyists make a point by asking, “Why add more morphs to the species when there are so many to begin with? Why add to the confusion?”

Are Dart Frogs aggressive?

At the froglet and young juvenile stage, most hobbyists keep the different species of Dart Frogs in small groups. Once the Dart Frogs begin to mature, they can show aggression toward each other. Most of the aggressions are derived from female to female territorial behavior. This can vary from species to species. Males can also express the same aggressive behavior when the enclosure becomes over crowed. Their aggression is shown by wrestling and pinning each other down.

It is necessary to separate the fighting Dart Frogs to protect them and prevent injury or death.

Dart Frogs are can also be aggressive toward each other when they are different in size. Each individual Dart Frog grows at different rates. Smaller Dart Frogs can often be dominated by the larger ones. This can cause a lot of stress to the small animals. Remember stress can lead to the death of your Dart Frog.

Are Dart Frogs difficult to breed in captivity?

At DFC, we have a very successful Dart Frog breeding program. Some Dart Frogs species are easier to establish for breeding, and others may be a bit more advanced for some Hobbyists. Click here to read about breeding your Dart Frogs.

How do I know which Dart Frog is suitable for a beginner frogger like me?

At DFC, we have indicated which Dart Frogs are great the beginner, intermediate or advanced hobbyist.

We do recommend species like D. tinctorius to our beginner froggers. They are often more bold and less shy in a vivarium.

What kind of a habitat does a Dart Frog need?

There are many different types of vivariums on the market for Dart Frog hobbyists to pick from. It is important to know which type of Dart Frogs you desire to keep, so you can build the best suitable habitat for them.

Dart Frogs come from the rainforest. We recommend an environment that is humid and well planted. The goal is the mimic the natural rainforest where the Dart Frogs are from. At DFC, we have selected plants, barks, wood, and substrates that will be best suited for your Dart Frog vivarium construction. Click here to read about building a vivarium or here to read on caring for your Dart Frogs.

What kind of lighting does my Dart Frog need?

Lighting is not necessary for the Dart Frogs themselves. However, it is essential for plant health and growth in the habitat / vivarium. A balanced equilibrium habitat will only yield healthy Dart Frogs. Lighting will also have a physiological effect for hobbyists that are interested in breeding Dart Frogs. Click here on lighting recommendations.

What temperature should I keep my Dart Frog’s vivarium?

In captivity, Dart Frogs need their habitat temperature similar to theirs in nature. Daytime temperature is ideally maintained around 72 °F (22 °C) to 80 °F (27 °C) and no lower than 60 °F (16 °C) to 65 °F (18 °C) at night. The day light period should range from 12 to 14 hours. Over heating is one major concern you should have. Stress of overheating above 80 °F for an extensive period of time can lead to your Dart Frogs' death. It is important to let the temperature drop a few degrees at night so the frog may get a sense of natural circadian rhythm.

Make sure you invest in a good quality thermometer to monitor your habitat and maintain good healthy conditions for your Dart Frogs.

How humid should I keep my vivarium and how often should I mist my vivarium?

Most of the Dart Frogs species thrive where the humidity is kept constant at 80%. Dart Frogs need humidity, but do not thrive well, when the habitat is soaked and overly wet. Humidity is important, but over misting can cause bacterial and respiratory infection in some species. Over misting is a common mistake made by many hobbyists. Only mist one to two times daily. Once in the morning and if necessary, mist again in the late afternoon to simulate the rainforest.

Invest in a good quality hygrometer to monitor your vivarium.

What substrate do you recommend?

At DFC, we recommend the DFC mix. Dart Frog Connection formulated an all-natural, pH balanced mix that is engineered to drain more efficiently and prevent acidity build up and bacteria growth. The mix consists of Panda Moss, Bamboo charcoal (which is much greener than the traditional charcoal commonly used in the hobby), tree fern fiber and firm bark. Panda moss is collected from the region where Panda bears reside. This signature moss to DFC is more pH balanced than the long sphagnum moss. With the equivalent draining quality and anti- bacterial / anti fungal properties, this moss provides a perfect environment for growth of microfauna. This new signature formula rivals the popular ABG mix. Don’t forget to top of the DFC mix with a layer of leaf litter. Leaves serve a couple functions in your habitat. It serves as a hiding place for the Dart Frogs to lower their stress level. The leaves also break down slowly over time, providing organic food to isopods and other microfauna that live in the habitat.

We do not recommend the use of coco bedding for the substrate. It will quickly rot. Coco bedding is a very aggressive water-retaining agent, and it will soak up and retain water even if given plenty of drainage. Too much moisture can cause unwanted bacteria to grow. Proper drainage is the key to keeping your vivarium healthy and your plants growing.

Why does my vivarium smell like rotten eggs?

The means that the water in your vivarium has saturated the substrate and it is causing bad bacteria to grow in your vivarium. When this happens, the old substrate needs to be replaced immediately. Make sure that the false bottom water does not saturate the new substrate. In general, the substrate should be replaced once every few years and new leaf litter can be added every half-year.

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