When to add your frogs to their vivarium.
You’ve spent months researching dart frogs and natural vivarium construction, and you’ve taken the plunge! After weeks of planning and work (and throwing around a bit of $$$), you’ve mastered the art of fruit fly culturing and have a lush jungle growing in a glass box at home. How long should you wait to add frogs to your vivarium? Tomorrow? A month?
Waiting longer has its advantages. Let’s check them out!
1. A Stable Environment. Especially if this is your first vivarium, it’s not a bad idea to allow your vivarium to stabilize before adding frogs. Make sure the temperature remains in an acceptable range (mid 70s F is ideal), and get a grasp on how often you’ll need to mist to keep your humidity above 80%.
2. Root for the home team. Your newly minted jungle needs a chance to grow in! Freshly planted plants need a bit to root into their new environment before they can handle frogs bouncing about on their leaves. If you do decide to add frogs sooner than a month or so after planting, expect to lose a couple plants.
3. Microfauna – big changes. Springtails and isopods need a bit to colonize their new home. By giving them a head start (frogs will do their best to eat any springtail or isopod they come across) and feeding them with Josh’s Frogs Clean up Crew Cuisine for a month or so before adding frogs, your vivarium will be booming with microfauna before you know it!
4. Fun Time for Fungi. There’s a fungus among us, thank goodness! Fungi in vivaria play an important role in the nutrient cycle of a tank – they break down organics and make them available to plants. Fungus also serve as an important food source for microfauna, which in turn serve as an important food source for your frogs! Using Josh’s Frogs Bioactive Booster at setup can help jump-start this process.
5. Decisions, Decisions. Let’s face it – there’s a lot of frogs out there! While in an ideal world, every vivarium would be custom built with a particular species in mind, the truth is the vast majority of dart frogs out there will do well in a basic tropical vivarium. By waiting for a month or so after viv setup to add frogs, you can review your options and decide which frog is the best for you. Or, if you’re anything like me, you can plan out the next 20 vivaria, where they’ll go in your house, and where you’ll sleep when your spouse finds out.
So there you have it – a few of the reasons why it’s best to wait a bit. We recommend you hold off on adding frogs at least 4 weeks after the vivarium is finished, although it’s completely possible to have a successful vivarium with healthy frogs introduced a day or two after planting.