Hobbyist Feature – John Mederski

My second hobbyist feature will be John Mederski from Avalon Exotics.  Avalon Exotics is located in Tonawanda, NY.  They have built over 500 terrariums and completed nano tanks up to 165 gallons and everything in between.  They currently carry a full line of repashy brand vitamins and minerals, LED lighting, plans, decor and more!

How long have you been keeping frogs?

I’ve been keeping dart frogs for a little over 10 years now, but I’m always learning new things about feeding, advancements in husbandry, biology etc.

How many types/ frogs do you have?

I have 31 different species/ morphs that i work with as well as a couple of geckos and mantids, about 50 tanks total in my house.


View of John’s Frog Room

What was your first frog?

My first frog was a group of Phyllobate Bicolor ‘ Green Leg’


View of John’s Frog Room

What got you interested in keeping frogs?

Ive always loved animals starting with aquariums. But I really love the rain forest so when I discovered terrariums it was like a lightning bolt hit me. The frogs actually came afterwards. My mom tells me I used to catch and house toads and frogs when I was a kid so I guess that’s really when it started.


View of John’s workshop/hall

What is the least common frog that you keep?

My least common frog is the Oophaga Sylvatica ‘Bilsa’


Oophaga Sylvatica ‘Bilsa’   Male-Red   Female- Gold

What is your favorite frog that you keep?

My favorite frog would either be Ameerega basseleri ‘chrome’ or my ranitomeya benedicta ‘shucushuyaca’


Which frogs in your collection are your most shy frogs?

Hmmm most shy… most of my frogs are pretty bold and active. I guess oophaga pumilio ‘isla popa’ would be


Which frogs are the most bold?

Almost all of my frogs are out all the time even my thumbnails. But my tincs take the cake for being the boldest with the citronellas and giant orange ruling that list. Although my Santa Isabel, Vitattus and Bilsas are the most vocal.


What feeder foods are you using? Which is your favorite? Your frogs favorite?

I use a pretty big selection of feeders, for fruit flies i use melanogastor, turkish gliders, and hydei as well as springtails and a variety of beetles – peanut, bean, and rice flour.

I like the turkish gliders as they produce the most the quickest and the bean beetles cause I find them very easy to harvest. The smaller frogs prefer springs and TGs/melanos. The larger frogs like a mix of hydei and beetles.


Isopod, Peanut beetle, rice flour beetle master cultures

What is the one frog that you wish to one day add to your collection?

Right now I’m getting into the Ameereega’s and large obligates more. Id really like to get some blue histrionicus

If you had all the room and money in the world, what would your dream tank look like? What would it house?

If i had all the money in the world I would just move to the rainforest and buy a large part of it. But I suppose if I had to limit myself it would be an entire LARGE room. Probably modeled after the huallaga river valley or tarapoto in Peru. And it would house….everything.

Any piece of advice you would give to someone new to keeping frogs or the hobby in general?

Advice. There’s so much to give. Don’t rush it. Your creating a world, an actual environment to mimic the rain forest. Do your research, look into frogs first and see what you like based on color, call, sizing requirements. But mainly take your time.

Here are some close-ups of his Oophaga Sylvatica ‘Bilsa’



Thank you so much to John for taking time to answer my questions and sharing a little bit about him so we can all be jealous of his collection.

Definitely take a moment to like his facebook page and take a look around!


Let me know if you or anyone you know would like to be featured!


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