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Painted Mantella (Mantella madagascariensis)
A.K.A. Baron’s Painted Mantella
Beautiful Mantellas are very small frogs with black backs and green and orange legs. These frogs only grow to about an inch in length. The male will sometimes chirp for females at night. They can live up to 6 years in captivity.
Habitat and Tank Requirements:
This species is native to Madagascar. They do well with plenty of live plants and other things for them to climb, such as wood and rocks. Use soil, a soil/sand mix, or finely ground coconut husk for a substrate and some use a large aquarium gravel. Keep the substrate moist at all times.
Approximately 1/3 of their tank should be water. You can either use an under-gravel filtration system or clean the water every 2-3 days. You can use a small bowl just deep enough for the frogs to submerge themselves. If you decide to go with a filter, use common sense: a pump that is too small will leave the water dirty, while a too-powerful pump with filter out the microorganisms needed to maintain a healthy pH.
Be sure there are no openings in the tank through which the frog can escape. A hole large enough for a frog to stick its head out of is large enough for it to escape.
Beautiful Mantellas are small enough that you can keep 2 or 3 in a 15-20 gallon tank, however, as with all frogs, do not keep different species of frogs in the same tank. There is a risk of disease and parasites being spread between species, even if the carrier frog does not show any symptoms.
The comfortable temperature range for these frogs is 72-75º F during the day and a slight drop to around 68º F at night. LEDs or other low-wattage light bulbs work best for maintaining these temperatures.
Beautiful Mantellas are mainly insectivorous and will feed on small crickets, fruit flies, mealworms, wax worms, and any other insect small enough for them to ingest. Some will also eat fish flakes. It is recommended that food be dusted with calcium to prevent bone softening.
Allow your frog time to become accustomed to its new home before handling them extensively. Handling them little by little over a period of time lets the animal get used to you and reduces stress.