A Dart Frogger's Responsibility/A Dart Frogger's Debt
All dart frog Hobbyists owe a debt to our hobby and the frogs we keep. We are in debt to the hobby because, through it, we gain friends and find a community to be member of. The hobby of keeping dart frogs let us be artistic and intellectual, pushing ourselves as we build better (and often bigger) vivariums for our frogs. Through the hobby and our interaction with the frogs we gain a perspective on life and world around us. We also gain interesting material for dinner party conversations. Finally through this hobby we find many calming hours, absorbed in our frogs.
We are in debt to the frogs we keep because without them, obviously, there would be no hobby. We are in debt to the frogs because even though the hobby needs the frogs we bring about the death of many frogs. The process of importing wild collected frogs (for us) brings about the death of many frogs along the way. Many frogs die at the hands of unskilled froggers who (through our lead) think having frogs is cool and easy. The frogs make a vast payment, in lives, so that we can have something pretty in our glass boxes. We are in debt to them for their sacrifice.
We owe a debt, so how can we make amends?
The hobby is duality of people and frogs, so to support the hobby we must support both. The act of supporting hobbyist is often enjoyable because much of it is just being a good friend. Build friendships with others who keep frogs. Those who keep frogs tend to have similar views on life and so making friends is easy, you already have the frog sin common. Start with the frogs but you'll soon find you're talking about so much more. Share and working with these friends and you will all gain knowledge, building stronger friendships and better skill with the frogs.
You don't have to be friends with all hobbyist, or even many, but you should always give help to other hobbyist. Help can come in the form of answering questions, either in person, over the phone, or even online. Help can be getting flies to someone whose cultures have crashed. Help can be a supportive word when a frogger has had an upset. It is especially important to help new froggers, the hobby needs new blood to keep going so new froggers are very valuable.
Supporting other hobbyist is important but care for the frogs is even more important. You owe the frogs some thought even before you get them. Research what the frogs need through books, the web and from talking with skilled hobbyist. Gather knowledge and be ready for the frogs you owe it to them.
You must set a good home for them. Start with an enclosure that will give them plenty of room to live. Use your research to set up a vivarium that fits the frogs' needs. Plant the tank with your frogs in mind and not to make them easily viewed. Make sure your vivarium works well by letting it grow a while before adding frogs so that once they are in their homes you wont harass them again for months or years.
Even the process of getting frogs can help you pay your debt. Start by getting captive bred frogs from a good breeder. Getting captive bred frogs means you are helping support a breeding project that is already established and successful. You are not directly supporting the importation of wild collected frogs and so not helping cause the death of frogs that is part of such importations. Good captive bred frogs are more likely to thrive in captivity so you are less likely to kill them, which would make you feel awful and put you in greater debt. By getting captive bred frogs you are also supporting a skilled hobbies, which may help the hobby, and also you may build a friendship.
When you buy your frogs you owe it to them and the hobby to get a good sized group. Get a pair at minimum so that our group could keep the species or line in the hobby. You owe it to the frogs to keep their native genetic back ground pure and strong, not hybridizing them, letting substandard frogs out in to the hobby, or breeding substandard frogs.
Dart frogs will easily live for at least 10 years, with proper care. You may not have it in you to keep in the hobby that long. You may not wish to keep some particular dart frogs that long. You should always give your frogs to a good home. Rare frogs you should get into the hands of a proven breeder if you don't wish to keep them. In leaving the hobby you do not leave your debt behind unless you've left the frogs and the hobby in better shape for your time in it. Pay your debt.
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