It’s a question we get often at Josh’s Frogs – how do I keep my froglets happy while finishing their vivarium? While the best option is to have a properly set up vivarium for them to go to at the time of arrival (we gladly hold frogs for up to a month), sometimes weather, life, or other uncontrollable events align and results in a need for temporary housing. In this blog, we’ll teach you how to set up a temporary home for 1 to 3 dart frog froglets.
1.Container. At Josh’s Frogs, we’ve found that a 128oz container and lid makes the perfect home. It’s not 100% air tight, but will keep the humidity and fruit flies in. Our 128oz containers are crystal clear, making observation easy. Froglets should only be kept in these containers for 6 months max.
2. Substrate. Since your pet dart frogs will only be staying the temporary container for a couple months, there’s no need for the multiple substrate layers we utilize when setting up a vivarium. Go for a 1″ thick layer of New Zealand Long Fiber Sphagnum Moss. Long Fiber Sphagnum moss is naturally antibacterial and will help keep the enclosure clean, and it’s great at holding in humidity. The sphagnum moss can easily be ‘fluffed’ to provide additional hiding places and visual barriers for your frogs. Don’t be surprised to see you frogs burying into the sphagnum – they feel secure there!
3. Plant cuttings. Due to the lack of soil, most rooted plants will not do well in the enclosure. A cutting or two of a hardy, low light plant (such as pothos) is a great option. Pothos will quickly develop roots and uptake nutrients (aka former frog poo) from the substrate, and provide cover for your froglets.
4. Leaf Litter. Throw a handful of leaf litter into the 128oz. Leaf litter will providing hiding places and visual barriers, as well as breaking down and providing a snack for microfauna, such as springtails.
5. Springtails. We recommend adding springtails every couple of weeks to the enclosure. They’ll reproduce in the container and provide a bit of extra food to your frogs, and will act like tank janitors and help keep things clean.
Now that you have your temporary housing set up, you’ll want to mist it 2-3 times a week. Feed as frequently as you would in a vivarium – some people prefer daily, some 3 times a week. Either way, you’ll need to feed smaller amounts than in a vivarium, as all the food will be concentrated in a smaller space. Don’t overfeed!
Check out our YouTube video to see a temporary container built in real time: