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Dendrobates auratus (green and black dart frog) Care Sheets
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Average Rating Given To This Care Sheet Is 4.15    (1=lowest, 5=highest)    Last Updated: 07/21/2006

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Years Experience:

5 to 10 Years


Dendrobates auratus (green and black dart frog)

Other Species or Phases this Care Sheet May Cover:

May cover other species of Dendrobates and Phyllobates.

Sexing and Characteristics:

Males are usually more slender and have pads on the front toes. Sometimes their vocal sac is visible, as it is usually grey.

Mostly Active During:


Substrate and Water Needs:

One substrate that many keepers use is aquarium gravel with a thick layer of live moss growing on top. It is the most economical and easy to clean. Live plants can be planted right into the substrate. other good substrates are potting soil, or bedabeast.
I have a 2 inch layer of gravel, then a thin cloth, then 4-5 inches of 60%soil 40% bedabeast, and finally live moss. I think this substrate is the most natural. When i water the plants, the water seeps through the soil, cloth, and gravel. It flows out of a tiny hole in the bottom of the tank, so that the excess water doesnít become stagnant.

Decomposing leaf litter should be part of your tank. It helps create natural bacteria and fungi that break down harmful organisms.

A small shallow water section is preferable for D. auratus, although they will rarely use it if the tank is humid enough.

Lighting and UVB:

Dart frogs should have some sort of lighting so they can distinguish a day/night cycle. I like using fluorescent tubes. If you have live plants, a good fluorescent tube is a must. Donít use incandescent bulbs, as they create "hot spots" in the tanks and burn holes through the plants.
Darts frogs specifically do not need the UVa/UVb rays, although it may increase health and activity level. These rays also show an increase in healthy eggs.

Temperatures and Humidity:

The temps for D. auratus (green and black darts) should be about 72-80 degrees F. With my tank (20 gallon high) the fluorescent tube keeps the temperature good.

Humidity should be fairly high. Strive for 75% or higher. The substrate should be sprayed a couple times daily with dechlorinated water.

Heating and Equipment:

Usually the fluorescent bulb brings the temperature to the correct amount. If not, use a low wattage ceramic heater to help.

Caging Provided:

The general rule is about 1 frog per 10 gallons, although new acquisitions or froglets should be kept in smaller containers to monitor feedings. The tank should have frosted glass, or an aquarium background on 1-3 sides to prevent stress. It should have minimal ventilation. Enough to prevent mold, but these frogs need very humid air and minimal ventilation is optimum.



Description of Diet:

Many breeders feed their frogs a steady diet of fruit flies, while others mix up their diet. Suitable food items include pinhead crickets, springtails, fruitflies, and many other small insects. Fruit flies and spring tails are particularly easy to cultivate.

Supplements, Nutrition and Usage:

A good calcium supplement should be used at every other feeding. Multivitamins should be used instead 1 time a week.


To eliminate some of the work, you can get a timer to turn on/off the lights, and a misting machine (habba mist) to eliminate daily mistings. Other than that, feed daily, check for sick and injured frogs, and generally make sure the tank is running fine.

Some Words on this Species:

Dendrobates auratus are one of the easiest dart frogs too keep and can be very rewarding. The fact that they are attractive and diurnal means you can set up some stunning tanks. Because they are easy to breed, their popularity in the pet trade will stay for a while.
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The information contain in these care sheets represents only the opinions and husbandry care of members and therefore is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate or reflects the advice or opinions of It is always advised to seek additional information or the advice of a qualified veterinarian or qualified reptile dealer. It is also advisable for you to a good amount of research before implementing any of the ideas and care described in these care sheets. We also recommend you ask many questions in their related forums before acting on any information.

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