Amphibians are becoming popular pets, but to have a happy frog, you need to make sure they live in the correct environment.
The bigger the better!
The general rule with any pet is the bigger the accommodation you can give them, the better. White’s Tree frogs will spend most of their lives in their tank, so it’s beneficial to give them as much space as you can. The frogs will jump and climb, so both horizontal space and vertical space are important. I like Exo-Terra tanks for frogs. They have front opening doors to allow you to access all areas of the tank, and they have mesh on top to allow ventilation. The mesh can be lifted off so you can access from above too. These tanks are also waterproof, which is important as your froggies like humidity to thrive.
They need to climb
As their name suggests, White’s Tree Frogs live in trees and therefore will need lots of things to climb on and hide under. The possibilities are endless when furnishing your tank. I use a mixture of natural wood and cork along with artificial plants for them to hide behind (I prefer to use silk plants).
Although you’ll want to be able to see your frogs, you must give them the opportunity to hide away if they want to. Give them lots of platforms and textures to jump from and to utilise the space within your tank (Vines are an easy way to make the most of the space). Don’t have too much empty space, as this is wasted.
Natural or artificial?
You can have a natural setup or artificial depending on your preference. I have a natural setup with live plants and springtails to clear away the dead matter, meaning they do most the cleaning for me. This is called a bioactive setup.
To achieve this, the first layer is clay balls covered with a layer of hessian which allows water to drain. On top of this is soil (I use Zoo Med Eco Earth) and I plant my plants into the soil. The plants draw water from the clay layer, and I siphon the dirty water out periodically. If you don’t want a natural set up, you could go for reptile carpet or damp paper towels which can be removed when soiled.
Don’t forget the water!
White’s Tree Frogs need high humidity in their tank and this can be achieved by misting their tank several times a day with dechlorinated water. You can either buy water treatment to remove the chlorine or let the water stand for 24 hours until it is safe to use. Remember in the very hot weather to spray your frogs more often to prevent them from drying out. You can use a normal spray bottle, but I prefer to use this as I have several tanks to spray every day. I always have two in the cupboard, meaning the water has always stood for 24 hours and is ready to be used.
As well as spraying, your frogs will need a size appropriate dish to sit in and soak up that water. These frogs don’t need a large body of water to swim in like a fully aquatic frog, but it should be deep enough for them to cover their body and have their head sitting above the waterline. If you have baby frogs, don’t give them anything too deep, to begin with, and upgrade their water bowls as they grow.
Keep it hot, baby!
White’s Tree Frogs need a temperature gradient of 25-30°C (77-85°C). To achieve this, stick a heat mat to one side of the tank and attach it to a thermostat to regulate the temperature. This will give you a natural gradient, allowing your frogs to move closer or further away to the mat, depending on their preference.
It’s a good idea to monitor your temperatures with a digital thermometer or thermometer gun. In my opinion, heat mats are better than heat bulbs as bulbs dry out the tank quickly. They also need D3 to thrive which can be provided via a UVB canopy above the tank. Exo terra makes a canopy that fits on the Exo terra tank if you go for that option.
Food, glorious food!
These guys have huge appetites, and care must be taken that they don’t get too fat as they will eat and eat! Give them a variety of live food for a varied diet, and always make sure it’s size appropriate depending on your frog’s size. Locust and crickets are good staples for these frogs, but waxworms and earthworms can be given as a treat. Don’t use earthworms you find in your garden as they may have been exposed to pesticides, only feed ones from reptile suppliers.
I put my live food in a plastic tank with good ventilation as the boxes they arrive in from the supplier are small and makes it hard to keep them clean.
Gut load your live food with a good diet of fruits and vegetables as the better you keep them, the better they are for your frogs. Remove uneaten from the live food cage daily, or it will rot. You can also get food for live food if you don’t want to feed them fresh.
Find a good vet
Hopefully, your frogs will stay healthy, but any animal has the potential to become unwell. Before getting you frogs, make sure you know where your nearest exotic vet is (most vets won’t treat frogs!) and register with them. If your frog becomes unwell, you won’t want to be stressing trying to find somewhere to take them. Do the research first and keep their number to hand should you need them.
It’s also a good idea to have a suitable carrier to hand should you need it. The last thing you need is a frog who needs to see a vet with nothing to take them in. All you need is a small, plastic carrier and line the bottom with damp kitchen towel.
These frogs can live up to 20 years, which is a huge commitment. Really think before getting frogs as you’ll need to commit to them for their whole lives. Who will look after them when you go away? Can you take them with you if you move?
I love my frogs, they aren’t for everyone, but if you enjoy amphibians, these are good frogs to have, and they are super cute too! Like these frogs? Find out more about my Pacman frog.