Sunday, May 30, 2010

About that obsession 'thing'

(Pic 'borrowed' form the Dendroboard forum, these froggies aren't mine, they belong to a woman that goes by Elkdreamer on the board. They did, however, inspire me to get this particular coloration of dendrobate.)

This most recent one is frogs. Yes, I know, you now pity the poor hubby. He'll survive but it probably won't be pretty, poor tolerant dear. The kid is totally with me on this one even though I won't let her get one of the main frogs she wants, a tomato frog. They are weird looking, even for a frog, and they are poisonous if another frog eats them. Some you have to worry about when mixing in the same tank. I'm not setting up a whole tank just for those ugly things (don't worry, I didn't say that to the kid). I just told her no poisonous pets. Then explained that the poison dart frogs momma is getting aren't poisonous in captivity. No, no one knows why that is but I will still use gloves when handling them. I'm a chemist and therefor more careful (ie paranoid) than your average herp geek.

The vivariums I'm having built are still not done yet which is fine. I think I've mentioned before that I'm kinda a research geek when it comes to diving into new obsessions right? So I am planning 2 froggie vivariums, 1 for mossy frogs and one for poison dart frogs. The mossy frogs are still kind of hard to find and I'll only go to a reputable breeder (picky much? Uh yeah) which I was able to find. They are still in tadpole stage right now and I won't be getting them until they have sucked up their tail and can be shipped. In the meantime I call up the breeder every month to check to see how they are progressing. Yeah I'm totally serious. The word I am using is obsession right?

The dart frogs are turning out to be even more convoluted. There are an amazing amount of variations and 2 sizes, damn small and minute. The minute ones are called thumbnails and not because they are the size of your thumbnail (that's closer to the 'damn small' size) but because they can stand on you thumbnail. With room to turn around. Yes, that small. They eat flightless fruit flies. That you have to grow/culture yourself. Then dust with vitamins before you feed them. Are you starting to understand why you should pity the hubby yet? Mind you this convoluted pain in the ass may seem insane to most people (don't ask how much these wee frogs cost, you'll just get a coronary) but it appeals to the scientist in me. I live for this kind of crap. I also view it as a great learning experience for the kid, seriously, how many kids get to culture fruit flies and springtails before they are 10 years old? Yup, I run an odd kinda household.

I finally decided which variation of dart frog I wanted. Newbies like myself are not recommended in buying the thumbnails as a starter frog. Smaller is more fragile. I never followed the rules beforehand I don't think I'll start now so thumbnails it is! I did not, however, start out with my favorite morphology (colors in laman terms) because they cost $105 each plus $50 shipping. I may be adventurous and overly confidant but I'm not a screaming moron either. FWIW you can't find these things in your local pet store normally. And even so I wouldn't trust them to live. Stress kills. Instead I found an individual on the main dart frog forum who had some froglets for sale. Upside? Great price, $35 each. Downside? He won't ship. Hasn't done it before. Upside? He lives in San Diego and my dad wants to fly me back out to visit him. I haven't seen my dad since 2007. So I gave the guy a deposit and I'm (hopefully) going to fly halfway across the country to visit my dad, bring my kid back from her summer in San Diego (she visits the mil and does camps out there all summer), and bring back froglets. Whole new level of geeky huh? Again, obsession is the key word here.

This is my youngest froglets in San Diego, notice it hasn't absorbed it's tail yet. It'll be a few months before I fly out anyway.

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