blue poison dart frog

Guide on How to Set up a Dart Frog Vivarium

Poison dart frogs need to be housed on a tropical vivarium. Aside from being their home, a vivarium also makes your dart frog stand out as their colors combine well with the tropical plants and structures inside it. dart frogTheir small bodies also enable them to avoid trampling those small plants and they also give off a minimum amount of waste.

A vivarium will surely be the best place for your dart frog to live. Here are the steps you need to do for you to create one.

Basic Set Up

A vertical vivarium is perfect for dart frogs because they are arboreal. Glass terrariums maintain the humidity, warmth and moisture inside. A hood that is tight and escape proof, together with a bright light will maintain the safety of your frog and retain the moisture as well. There is also a vivarium that has a false bottom for you to clean it easily.

Heat and Light

A good vivarium should have a UVB full spectrum fluorescent light. A vivarium which has no indirect natural sunlight requires a 12-hour light cycling together with 12 hours of darkness each day. Otherwise, use only the light for 2 to 4 hours each day. You should also not place your vivarium in direct sunlight as it can make your vivarium overheat. You must maintain a temperature of 72 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit in daylight.

Marine Features

Your dart frog needs humidity within 80 to 100 percent. You can make this possible by putting a waterfall or a fog machine inside. If ever any fungus shows up on your vivarium, you must lower down the humidity levels until the fungus clears up. Your vivarium must also have a narrow pool of water that must be changed constantly. For better moisture monitoring, a hydrometer could be a great help.poison dart frog vivarium setup

Real, Live Plants

To beautify your vivarium, you can place plants such as ferns, orchids, mosses, bromeliads and heliconia inside. Ferns do not have any roots and it ca be also planted in any kinds of substrate. However, plants with roots will need a layer of gravel with some pesticide on top, plus soil without any fertilizer. Don’t worry as plants inside your vivarium won’t need to be watered regularly because of the high levels of humidity.


The arboreal nature of dart frogs will require you to put decors inside your vivarium which they can use to cling on. Premade backings can be also a great way to decorate your vivarium. There are also logs, branches and rocks to emulate your dart frog’s natural habitat. All of the decorations you will need is available on your nearest pet stores.

Having a dart frog as a pet can be quite exotic yet enjoyable. Follow this guide and you can surely build a good vivarium for your dart frog. Good luck and happy building!