SETTING UP

This page contains information on setting up your own vivarium.

Important topics:
1. the right temperatures
2. the right humidity
3. enough light
4. hideouts / lay-out
5. ventilation
6. plants
7. buying frogs

1
In general the right temperatures for the vivarium are 27 degrees Celcius during the day and 22 degrees Celcius during the night. These temperatures are suitable for most frogs. Measurements should be taken in de middle of the vivarium. Use a ceramic infra-red heater as a heat source. The power depends on the size of the vivarium. It is important that you place a termostate in the vivarium, preferably somewhere in the centre. In normal conditions the vivarium will not reach temperatures lower than 22 degrees during the night. However if this does happen, an extra termotate for night temperatures is required.

2
De humidity should be about 80% tot 100%. To reach this level of humidity you can build a waterresevoir under the area of land. Use strips of glass with gauze on top an put peat on top of this. Put a heater in the water and set it to 24 degrees Celcius. This causes humidity to rise to 100% during the evening and night. Also make sure the vivarium is sprayed at least once a day. You can use an automatic sprinkler system. Make sure there are enough wet and dry spots in the vivarium. When you have small frogs in the vivarium (tricolor, ventrimaculates, pumilio), you should put some Bromeliaís in the vivarium for them to lay their eggs on. De sprinkler system will keep the plants filled with water, so that the larva can survive.

3
Use Tube Light with the colour 82, 83 or 84. You can also use an extra Grolux light for the plants. The amount of light can be estimated by using the following formula: width x depth in decimeters = wattage. Then enlarge the wattage with 20% every decimeter of height. Every day the lights should be on for about 14 to 16 hours. If you use multiple lights a timeswitch is advised. You can shut down or turn on one light every 15 minutes. You can also add some halogan lights for a nice effect, but make sure the frogs can't reach them (they might burn theirselves). Switch these off during the summer to prevent overheating.

4
Make sure there are enough hideouts for the frogs, but make sure you can alway see them (use a mirror if necessary).

5
Add ventilation on the ceiling of the vivarium. A 5cm wide strip should be enough. The heat in the vivarium causes a natural ventilation. Make sure the air goes up behind the front window to prevent condensation.

6
The following plants can be used:

Plant

Bromelia's
Tillantia's
Anthurium
Platycerium
Aeschynanthus
Hedera helix
Bladcactus
Selaginella martensii
Phillondendron
Epiphytische OrchideeŽn
Vriesia Fenestralis

Rhaphidophora
Pilea Cadierei
Siderasis Fuscata
Zebrina Pendula

Place

spread
spread
fixed spot
fixed spot
climbing/hanging
climbing
high
bottom
crawling
spread

spread

climbing/hanging
bottom
middle/high
hanging/crawling

Conditions

moist
moist - dry
moist
somewhat moist
somewhat moist
moist
light
moist
moist
moist - dry

bromelia filled with water
background
somewhat moist
moist
somewhat moist

 

7
Before buying frogs, the following points should be taken care of.

1. The vivarium should be the way you want it to be, so that you don't have to change much when the frogs are inside. Also make sure the plants are ok and check the roots of the plants.

2. Make sure there is enough food for the frogs. Start breeding fruitflies several weeks before purchasing the frogs.

If you've just started with this hobby, you should begin with frogs that are easy to maintain, such as Dendrobates Auratus, D. Leucomelas, D.tinctorius of Epipedobates tricolor. D. tinctorius and D.auratus usually live on the bottom. D. Leucomelas move up and down the vivarium. E. tricolor live higher up in the plants. Keep this in mind when you buy the frogs. Don't buy to many frogs at once. Buy them at a store or from a person with experience and make sure they can provide information on keeping these frogs. Make sure they're not skinny or listless. Check the legs and the back and watch the frogs for a while. Make sure that the frogs have a good shelter during the transportation and keep them warm. Put the dish with the frog in the vivarium without the lid and throw in some fruitflies. Keep a close eye on the frogs for the first couple of weeks and observe them every once in a while without being noticed.