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Housing Tree Frogs

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  » Common Questions
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 Cage Type

The best type of cage to use is a glass aquarium or reptile tank. I wouldn't attempt to use anything else.

The absolute minimum size for a tank is 10-15 gallons (for one large frog). But since these frogs grow, if you plan on using only one tank you should invest in at least a 20-25 gallon tank. Of course you can start of at 10 gallons and buy bigger as necessary. When housing more than one frog you need to add 10 gallons onto this per large frog, about 2-5 gallons per small frog.

Remember these are called Tree Frogs for a reason, so make sure you get as high a tank as possible (about 1.5-2 feet for a permanent large tank).
Just use your judgment in giving each frog it's own 'space' and enough room to move around without disturbing another. Basically, the bigger the better, and height is more important that floor space to a tree frog.
There are variations on each volume of tank. For example, a 25 gallon long, 25 gallon regular, and a 25 gallon high. Obviously, a 25g high is best as it gives more area vertically.

As for the top of the cage, you will need one that fits fairly securely since these guys can climb up the glass and get out pretty easily. You can use a metal/meshed reptile tank lid and a piece of glass/Perspex to cover part of the top as necessary to control humidity. You can buy clips to hold down screen lid more securely, because although these fit fairly tightly when new, with use they often fir more loosely and may allow your little frog friend to escape.
You can either but a fluorescent hood to go over the top of this, or try to get a hood smaller that the tank size and use a screen lid to place it on. That way you get the convenience of using a hood with lighting sockets, and a screen top for good ventilation

There are two main types of cage setup for the frogs:

  • Arboreal Tanks where the emphasis is on height, with plenty of room to climb.
  • Terrestrial Tanks which has a bigger 'ground' area.

Although an arboreal setup is preferable, the frogs can spend a lot of time on the ground and so like a good area to hop around in. So, a compromise between the two is probably the best solution; basically the biggest tank you can use in preference of height and then floor area.
 

 Cage Location

The cage should be placed away from direct sunlight as this will cause the growth of algae in the water and along the tank. Other than that, find a spot which is kept at normal room temperature throughout the day (even dropping slightly at night (see Heating& Light).

If you use a glass aquarium you must cover the back wall of the cage with a dark green material such as paper, cloth, or the tank backing many pet stores sell. The backing will prevent light from entering the back of the aquarium during the day, while the backing will prevent direct light from hitting your frogs. This will allow your frogs to rest peacefully in a dark warm area during the day like they do in the wild.
 

 Substrate

This is the 'lining' of the cage. The substrate used should be one that will not be swallowed when the frog snaps up it's food. A White's frog can munch anything that gets in it's way when capturing food.
The best solution is some kind of reptile carpet and you can also cover this with moss. Another alternative is paper towels which can work as long as they are changed very regularly.
By far the bets solution is top-soil with a thin layer/mixture of moss, to retain moisture.
Do not use soil with fertilizers or any chemicals in it. And don't go and find your own wild moss, the store bought type is parasite and chemical free.

Plants & Branches

Live plants can be used with success in a White's cage. Make sure you water the plant with de-chlorinated water when spraying the tank and do not use any kinds of fertilizers. Do not use wild plants.
However, recommended for ease of cleaning and maintenance, most people tend to use plastic plants on bases or suction-cupped to the aquarium walls. These work very well and provide the same kind of benefit as real plants when misted with de-chlorinated water daily. This also helps keep them clean.
Also needed are thick pieces of wood or small branches for the frog to climb on. These should not be taken from outdoors, since they can carry parasites that can harm your frog. Instead visit your local pet store which should have something suitable. Just use common sense as to how to arrange the plants and branches so the frog gets the maximum climbing space.
Remember that White's are nocturnal and so need some dark places to hid away during the day.
In a large enough cage, small smooth rocks and other suitable furniture can be added to provide shelter/cover for the frog.

 

Water & Humidity

A water bowl must be provided; frogs don't drink, they just sit in water and absorb water through a permeable patch on their bellies.  A bowl should be deep enough for the frog to sit in without having to swim, and should have easy access into and out of the water.  There are lots of stone bowls available suitable for this.  Just make sure you fill it with de-chlorinated water and change the water daily.  As your frog grows you'll need to buy a bigger and deeper bowl.

 Heating & Lighting

As far as heating goes, by far the best way to heat a glass enclosure is an under-tank heating pad. These provide a temperature about F above the room temperature and can also be controlled on a thermostat or rheostat.

Avoid any kind of direct heating, such as heat rocks, since the frogs can easily get burnt on them.

Try to use a light source with a time set for 12 hours light and 12 hours darkness. There is a good debate as to whether the light needs to be full-spectrum. The simplest solution is to use it: If you have live plants they will benefit, and if you don't need it it certainly won't hurt!
 

 

 

 

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