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Hi! Pacific Tree Frog Care Tips?

Discussion in 'Tree Frogs' started by Jynuine, May 21, 2010.

  1. Jynuine

    Jynuine New Member

    Hello everyone!

    I will start off by telling you what I know... mostly, because I'm sure some people come in asking questions and you have no clue where they are coming from or how much research they did before they got their frog. :) I have done a lot of research before finally deciding to join here for more long(er) term tips on how to care for the PTF. We have also cared for a bunch of hermit crabs for the past 4 years which live in a similar environment, so I feel fairly prepared. I was only able to find sparatic info on actually caring for them rather than information on them in the wild.

    We live in Portland, Oregon and we have a drainage pond area my son just LOVES to hang out at, near the house. He would live there if we set up a tent. Unfortunately, it's INCREDIBLY unsanitary, especially during the summer when the water gets warm and all sorts of microbes grow. I do not like him going in it. That, of course, does not stop him.

    He brought into the backyard, a bucket full of tadpoles and ... various other nematodes and pond snails, from the pond a few weeks ago. I love critters, just not the ones that are in the millions and could potentially grow into biting mosquitoes- so I took out 3 tadpoles and a pond snail (still cant identify this guy- hes all black and definitely marine) and set them up in a small hermit crab enclosure. One of the pet stores (Petco or Petsmart) gave me a bunch of tiny cleaner snails for free and I put those in there too with aquarium gravel on the bottom and a piece of coral for cover. Was FASCINATING to watch every morning noon and night.


    We fed the tadpoles boiled lettuce and SMALL crushed granules of hermit crab pellets. They devoured the lettuce pretty quickly and I ended up having to change out the water every other day due to a slime that would form ( I read they are dirty little poopers and build ammonia in the water quickly). They grew TWICE their size within a few days, I could say. I didnt even think they were 4 weeks old when we brought them into our house.

    Unfortunately, after they all popped out their back legs and one popped out an arm- my 4 yr old daughter decided a few of them needed some 'air' and she went into the tank while I wasn't looking and scooped out 2 tadpoles. I found one barely alive and mangled in the blankets next to the enclosure and put him back in.. he didnt make it. The other one is MIA to this day. We had a LONG talk about this issue and she is not allowed inside any of the animal tanks.

    So- alas, we have one froggy and he took his first hops out of his watery home last night. This morning I transfered the snails to their own vase and set up his temporary home in the same enclosure until we can get him a 10Gallon. He has a wet coconut substrate in half and aquarium gravel in the other half with a stick. There is water in with the gravel.


    He hasn't absorbed his whole tail and he's not interested in eating yet, so I thought that I would take this time to ask you what you think I am going to need that I haven't already thought of.

    I figure- pretty much everything they NEED is in our yard, already. It's pretty rainy and cold out there and much warmer in here (we keep the house at 70 because I have a daughter with arthritis and a naked Lorikeet). So here are a list of my questions- feel free to add any other tips you might feel is beneficial!

    1.) TEMPERATURE: is it better or worse for them to be in a warmer environment? 10 gallon tanks tend to be a little bit colder inside than the room so would I need to provide a small side tank heaterpad, if they need it warmer? I honestly would figure their natural environment here is cold outside, however it gets pretty warm in the summer, too. Do they do better when it's warm?

    2.) HUMIDITY: From what I know, Frogs also breathe through their skin so I figure it should be pretty humid in the tank. What is the ideal humidity at? My crabs like anywhere from 80%-90% humidity to be happy- would the pacific tree frog need similar humidity? If so/not, are they susceptible to any types of disease from humidity or enclosures I should know about? I have a tank meter for both temp and humidity.

    3.) NUTRITION: I read they eat anything from spiders to beetles to ants (boy we have lots of those as well as fruit flies that LOVE our nectar-eater Lorikeet) to worms and we have all these things in the backyard that Danny catches, regularly. I also have hermit crab pellets that consist of things like fish and shrimp. What would you suggest I feed this baby froggy first and how often? What is normal feeding for them? Do they need any special vitamins?

    4.) HYGEINE: How often am I looking at cleaning his home? Is there any special tip for this or will I have to toss substrate every so many days? Is it better to have a water dish or to put a dish in with pebbles and water or does it not matter?

    5.) LIGHT: Do they need any special UV? Would keeping them closer to the window be fine, out of direct sunlight? I know our window has UV filters on it but it seems to me that they like to hide in foliage and come out at night rather than roam about in the sunlight.

    6.) LIFESPAN: About how long in captivity can we look at them living? We would like to catch a few others for the tank- maybe raise more frogeggs, also. Do they mate readily in captivity if they have proper cover/feel safe? How long after metamorphing will they be sexually mature?

    I know these are a lot of questions! I feel that the safety of my creature and their overall happiness/health is very important to me. This is a great learning situation for all my kids, too. :) Thanks, in advance!


    P.S. I Have been reading the Tree Frog Care Secrets and I wasnt sure if this was for ALL tree frogs or if a lot applied to the Pacific too. I would LIKE to make a small environment in the backyard for the frogs however Im verry worried about harboring Mosquito larvae (I know tadpoles eat them, but I wasnt sure if they eat them faster than they form).
  2. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Temp: your tank is not colder than the room. It only appears this way to you, because of the humidity. Get a thermometer/hygrometer combo with probe. Knowing temps and humidity is one of the most important things. An indoor/outdoor thermometer from walmart is what i use and can be had for about $10. As for what the tank should be, since they are native, mimic the temps outside. It doesn't have to change every day, but if your average for the month of June is 75, then the tank should be 75.

    Humidity: Again, mimic how it is outside. 80% is tropical and that humidity may make your guy ill. Lower humidity (maybe around 50%) and a dish to soak in is what is needed. Be sure any water you use is de-chlorinated. VERY IMPORTANT.

    nutrition: we always advise against wild caught bugs. Lord knows where they have been (pesticides, fertilizer, etc). See if you can find fruit flies locally, if not pinhead crickets. Your frog won't eat for about the first week on land.

    Tank: The 10 gallon tank is fine for now. You may want to consider upgrading to a 20 gallon or even a 29 gallon at some point. The more room the better I always say. You are going to want to offer your guy some cover and he will be stressed out without it. Cover up 2 - 3 sides of the tank with something, like aquarium back ground. Add a few live plant cuttings. I find pothos work great. This will help your guy feel more secure.

    Cleaning: The more live plants and beneficial things you add, the less you have to clean it. I find adding a few rolly pollies (potato bugs) and live plants is all it takes. In fact, i have a tank i never clean, because its so self sustaining.

    Nothing special is needed

    No idea. I had a whites tree frog live 10 years. Anything is possible with proper care.

    If you want to make an outdoor pond to lure frogs, add fish! They will eat any mosquito larvae. So will tadpoles.
  3. Jynuine

    Jynuine New Member

    Thank you!!!
    I found a very helpful youtube series also on how to care for and feed froglets- was going to post it but I guess youtube is a four letter word here. I have the thermometer and humid meter (Im sorry forgot the technical name) that you stick on the inside of the tank... is this acceptable? Its what I use for the crabs too.

    I am very careful to dechlorinate the water! I have dechlorinater for the crabs already :)

    I was figuring we would catch the bugs that are from around the pond area where we got the tadpoles from- but you know, we have bananas here all the time and the fruitflies are bananas, themselves- just need to figure out how to catch them and get them to stay in the tank.

    It sounds really bad and always turns my stomach but.. my 7 yr old has a tendency to catch flies and pull off their wings. I know, cruel- but would this also help to feed to the frog?

    Also, what about putting some small earthworm babies in the tank with the substrate? And wood lice i.e; Sal Bugs?

    Thank you so much for getting back to me! I have 6 kiddos here happy to have the guy around.
  4. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    THe problem with Youtube is any shmuck can post anything and who knows if its correct or not. The good thing about a forum is there are checks and balances, and people to make sure the information is correct. Also, since we are a kid friendly site, youtube is often just 2 clicks away from some horrible graphic video, so yes. If you do want to share what you found, upload the links to our video section, where a mod will approve and post it for you. :)

    Sal bugs and other ground critters would help with decomposition and also feed your little guy. Worms will help too.

    For your hygrometer/thermometer, just be sure its digital. Those round dial ones can be horribly inaccurate.

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