How Did My Dart Frog Die?

how did my dart frog die

You might wonder how your healthy dart frog suddenly got ill. In the worst-case scenario, your dart frog died and left you questioning yourself – Why did my dart frog die!

Hence, we have researched to find out the reasons.

The pet dart frogs die if there’s any in-coordination among their temperature, humidity, foods, water, maintenance, etc. Sometimes, the parasites cause their illness and distaste for foods leading them to death.

So, let us get enlightened together to know the potential reasons for your dart frog’s decease. For this, we urge you to go through the rest of this article.

Probable Reasons For Dart Frog Death

Higher Temperature

The higher temperature in the terrarium can cause your dart frogs’ death. Let’s see why higher temperatures can be blamed for their demise.

You must know the fact that the frogs are ‘cold-blooded’. Or, you can just call them exothermic. The dart frogs are no exception.

So, it’s hard or quite impossible for them to control their body temperature. As a result, the dart frogs need to get dependent within such an environment, having a specific range of temperature.

In the case of dart frogs, they tend to live between 60 – 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If it goes over 80 degrees Fahrenheit, this puts stress on them. Thus, high temperature leads to the demise of your dart frogs.

Even in those hot rainforests, the dart frogs choose such areas where the temperature is comparatively cooler. Thus, when you decide to keep dart frogs, you need to set up their tank within the perfect temperature range.

Make sure that the daytime temperature of their terrarium remains between 70 – 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Again, make it cooler in the night time. It must not be lower than 60 – 65 degrees Fahrenheit at night.

You have to keep in mind that the tank gets warmer than the room temperature. Because it has lightings. So, we suggest you not use any special lightings for your dart frogs.

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Don’t forget to keep a thermometer in the terrarium and check its temperature often.

dart frog humidtiy

Low Humidity

The second concerning thing for your dart frogs’ demise is low humidity. People often put their dart frogs “difficult to care for” category. Because they can’t ensure 100% humidity for their dart frog that it requires.

To be precise, the humidity range must be constant between 80% – 100% in the terrarium of your dart frogs.

 Your dart frog needs a wet and soaked place. If the humidity level goes below 50% for a sustained period, this can lead to your dart frog’s death.

On the contrary, this entire thing can go wrong if you do over misting. Over misting can cause bacterial and respiratory infection to your dart frogs.

For measuring the temperature as well as humidity in the frog enclosure, I really like to use Exo Terra Combometer. With this, you can measure both the temperature and humidity in 2 separate digital meters. To me, this is one of the must-have for every reptile and amphibian keeper!

Wrong Food Diet

Another reason for your dart frogs’ demise may be the wrong food diet. Many people don’t understand well how much and what food they should provide. Again, if you don’t dust their food or over dust it, your dart frog can get sick and died.

 In captivity, you must provide your dart frog with large varieties of insects. These will help meet their nutritional needs.

 You should provide 80 – 100 fruit flies to an adult dart frog three times per week. A juvenile dart frog can consume 20-25 per day. Be careful of not overfeeding or making them overweight.

Also, you must dust slightly with proper vitamins/minerals with each feeding. If you make the mistake of over dusting, there’ll be great havoc.

Here, the size and age of your dart frog are big factors.  Also, you must notice if the frog quickly eats all of them or the flies remain uneaten. So, increase or decrease the number of flies noticing their food habit.

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Improper Vitamin Supplement

Dart frogs need proper supplementation and vitamins to meet their nutrition needs. But, too much vitamin can be dangerous for them.

Your dart frog might die because of improper vitamin supplements. They just need a light dusting of vitamin/mineral supplements with each feeding.

Also, choosing the correct supplement is a big deal. The wrong supplement or its wrong dose can be fatal on your dart frog.

Providing Unclean, Chlorinated Water

If you provide your dart frogs such water containing a high level of ammonia or nitrites, your dart frog will die.

So, in case you’re wondering why did your dart frog die, providing unclean water can be a reason.

Many people are used to providing tap water to their pet dart frogs. But, perhaps they don’t know that tap water contains chemicals which is detrimental to frogs.

If you want your dart frogs safe, always ensure providing clean and dechlorinated water.

Wrong Substrate

The substrate can also be found on the list of guilty of your dart frog’s demise. Many dart frogs die due to bacterial infections or worms. This’ll wonder you knowing that those bacteria or worms grow in the substrate.

We all know that dart frogs require higher humidity. For this, we keep substrate to retain water for purpose of increasing humidity in the vivarium.

But, if the substrate choice isn’t right, it can’t hold the water when it becomes moist and stagnant. As a result, there’s a growth of mold and bacteria over time. Thus, this causes a hamper to your dart frog.

For any type of frog habitat setup, I really prefer Zoo Med Eco Earth Coconut Fiber as the substrate. This is the industry standard choice for setting up reptile and amphibian habitats. This substrate is specially made from eco-friendly resources that are healthier for the frogs.

dart frog habitat

Unfit Drainage Layer

In the above, we’ve given you an idea of the growth of bacteria on the substrate. You might be wondering how the substrate can be soggy and become responsible for dart frog’s bacterial infection! This happens due to an unfit drainage layer.

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A drainage layer helps drain the excess water. This layer allows excess water to flow through the substrate to the bottom. Or, you can simply remove it off from the enclosure.

In this way, a proper drainage layer can keep the substrate becoming moist with water.

Hence, if your drainage layer is unfit, the substrate will be soggy. As a result, there’ll be an outbreak of mold and bacteria. Thus, your dart frog dies.

For the drainage layer, use hydroballs. These hydroballs are made of expanded clay and designed specifically to be used as the drainage layer.

Excessive Handling

Even if you find your tiny dart frog cute, you shouldn’t hold them again and again. This can put stress on them.

Also, excessive handling can create risks of passing harmful chemicals to dart frogs if your hands aren’t clean. This leads to infection.

So, it’s better to not hold them much without proper cautions.

Keeping Different Species Together

It’s not a good idea to keep different species of dart frogs together. Also, you need to consider their age and size. Again, you mustn’t dare to put two females together in a terrarium.

 Don’t forget that the dart frogs are territorial by nature. If you see them fighting constantly, losing their weight, or hiding; it’s a danger sign.

 It means that your dart frog finds its vivarium over crowing. This can be stressful for them. As a result, it leads to fighting. Their aggressive fighting can cause injuries leading to death ultimately.

Dart Frog Diseases

Putting aside all of these above-mentioned reasons, dart frogs can get sick and die due to diseases. Sometimes, making them quarantined can stop spreading the disease. So, firstly you need to diagnose the symptoms and their cause. Otherwise, you can certainly take help from the professionals.

In the following chart, we’ve made a small list of symptoms and probable cause. Let’s check it out.

Diseases   Symptoms
Parasites in Intestines    Eats properly but loses weight and remains fatigued  
Bacterial InfectionDistaste for foods and loses weight; having lumps and other irregularities on the skin
Parasites in Intestines  Tends to hide and remains listless
WormsFaces muscular contraction or  spasmodic, dry skin and loses weight
Hypothermal  Listless and distaste for foods
Wounds  Reddish spots on skins
Red leg Pseudomonas hydrophilla  Fungus on body skin
Infections in IntestinesBulging Rectum
Spindly Leg SyndromeSkinny, weak, front legs

Final Words

This fascinating 1.5-inch amphibian can be a good pet. Your dart frog can survive 4 to 12 years with good care. Thus, you need to make sure about the above-mentioned factors in this article for your dart frog to live a healthy life.

Muntaseer Rahman

About Author

Hello, I’m Muntaseer Rahman, the owner of I’m passionate about aquarium pets like shrimps, snails, crabs, and crayfish. I’ve created this website to share my expertise and help you provide better care for these amazing pets.


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