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Not Sure if My Gray Tree Frog is Still Alive

Discussion in 'Tree Frogs' started by stickynote427, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. stickynote427

    stickynote427 Member

    Edit: I checked my frog again this morning and she is actually alive.

    A few weeks ago, I was on vacation in Missouri, and found and caught a frog. I stopped by a pet store to buy it a small container and some terrarium moss, as well as a water dish and some crickets. I later did some research on the Internet and concluded that I had caught a gray tree frog.

    Once I got home about three days later, I went to a pet store again and bought some terrarium soil, a fake plant, a hollow half-log, a thermometer, and a heat lamp and light bulbs for the new terrarium I was making for the frog. I thoroughly washed out the 10-gallon tank I had owned and covered the bottom of it with about an inch to an inch and a half of the soil. I then covered some of the soil with the moss I had purchased earlier, and put all of the items in the terrarium.

    Once I put the frog in, it immediately went inside the hollow log, but soon thereafter came out and buried itself in the soil in about five or ten minutes.

    I have had the frog for about three weeks now; as far as I can tell, it hasn't emerged itself from the soil to eat, receive sunlight, or drink any water. I have had a daytime and nighttime lamp over the top of the cage, but have just had the nighttime light on since the frog doesn't seem to be coming out at all.

    Throughout the two weeks after getting the frog, there was moisture around it and I could see that it had moved around while I wasn't looking at it from time to time. I just checked it again tonight, though, and there isn't really any moisture around it like there had been a few days ago. I can't see the frog breathing, but there is some soil blocking my view of it. I misted the tank again after not having had done it for about a couple of days, and it didn't seem that the water was getting to it right away.

    So, I poured a bit of water right in to the tank on the soil around where the frog was; the water did seep down to the bottom of the tank, but pretty much completely missed the frog (I'm not sure if that's because I didn't pour water in the right place, or some sort of substance secreted by the frog is repelling the water or something). I poured more water in the tank, and finally saw that the water was getting to the frog. However, the frog still hasn't moved.

    I really want to dig in to the soil to where the frog is, just to make sure whether it's still alive or not, but if it's hibernating or something, I don't want to disturb it like that.

    I'm very worried about my frog. Does anyone have any ideas?

    Thank you,

    EDIT: I checked the frog again this morning, and I can completely see the underside of her (there is no soil underneath her to block my view), and it looks like she is breathing. Still, could she be hibernating? Why might she be keeping herself buried?
  2. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Grey tree frogs do hibernate this time of year. What are your daytime temps? Humidity? Are you treating the water with declorinator?
  3. stickynote427

    stickynote427 Member

    Thanks for the reply. I'm glad to hear that my frog is probably hibernating and that is probably why I'm not seeing her.

    It's a bit difficult to see the thermometer (it's a cheap stick-on one that goes on the inside of the terrarium) due to the red light of the nighttime light, but I believe that the daytime temperature is somewhere around 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit.

    I do not have a hygrometer, but I try to mist the tank once a day, especially now since I saw that the area around the frog was very dry. I misted it this afternoon, and all the water evaporated and/or soaked in to the terrarium bed in less than an hour.

    I am treating the water with a dechlorinator, which, according to the bottle:

    - instantly removes chlorine and chloramines
    - removes ammonia and helps prevent its accumulation
    - adds essential electrolytes (including calcium)
    - aids in rehydrating new arrivals
    - stimulates slime coat development providing a natural protective barrier for all types of amphibians
    - reduces pH

    Also, if the frog is hibernating, do I still need to feed, mist, and heat the frog?

    Thanks again!
  4. MsJumpers

    MsJumpers Member

    Don't worry it's in Hibernation. I'm assuming the temps are in the lower 60s too. If not what are they?

    And If you really are concerned try bring your temps up slowly to like a 70-80* during the day and see if she comes out. As far as the heat lamp you really don't need it. :) Just keep the room 75 degrees and your good.

    All so they can actually hurt your tree frog especially with a cheap sticky. Use a stick on heating pad and attach it to the side of the cage if your using moss. As for Humidity, it isn't as important with Greys but you still want to get a meter to keep an eye on it. If you keep using the heat lamp and dont want the tank drying out so fast, keep the heat lamp off till summer.

    Your water treatment is fine I use a similar one. I'm sure as long as you let your little Grey sleep and don't dump water on her barrow she will be good.
  5. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    WHOA. Way too warm!! That's why your frog is buried. Gray tree frogs need only temps around the 70 - 75 range. Lower those temps, you will probably see a frog.
  6. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    And depending on what type of stick on thermometer you have it can be considerably inaccuarate!
  7. stickynote427

    stickynote427 Member

    How might I be able to reduce the tank temperature if it is too hot? I think the lowest wattage I could find in bulbs was 75, which is what I am using.

    I should be going out within the next few days to by a new thermometer and a hygrometer.
  8. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    You can raise the actual physical distance of the bulb or reduce the wattage. You can get lower wattage bulbs that 75.
  9. stickynote427

    stickynote427 Member

    How might I be able to raise the lamp? It's just sitting on top of the wire mesh lid of the cage.
  10. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Some type of blocks or something to put under the dome reflector to lift the whole thing up.
  11. stickynote427

    stickynote427 Member

    Oh, that makes sense. I don't have any blocks right now, though. Do you think I could try just removing the heat lamp altogether? According the thermostat a couple rooms away from where the frog is, my house is set to be around 66 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Also, do I need to feed and mist the frog if it's hibernating?
  12. Frognut

    Frognut Subscribed User Premium Member

    Do you by chance have a light timer (one that turns lights on/off at certain times)? You could use the heat lamp at night when it is cooler and off during the day. If those temps are close to accurate, which they may be with a 75watt heat light, I would think you would be okay during the day to keep it off. I guess you could also just turn it off in the morning and on in the evening as well...:rolleyes:

    Don't know about hibernating and misting....
  13. stickynote427

    stickynote427 Member

    Ah, that's true too! I do happen to have a light timer. Thank you for the idea!

    Also, what kind of real plants can I put in the tank? Would this help keep the humidity?
  14. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    all you need is a normal house hold bulb. A 25 watt incandescent bulb should raise the temps a few degrees. Then you can just turn it off at night.

    Pothos are a great live plant to use. Very hardy. Grey tree frogs don't need it all that humid. BUT once you get rid of that 75 watt bulb, you won't have humidity problems any more. That bulb is drying everything out.
  15. stickynote427

    stickynote427 Member

    Oh, okay. I should have some sort of light bulbs around here. I will switch them and see how the humidity and temperature changes, and then try to look for some pothos at local pet stores.


    EDIT: Hmm, it seems that the light bulbs I have are also 75 watts. It says soft white / regular soft light on the package, as well as light output: 1150 lumens (I'm not sure if or how that affects how much light/heat is generated by the bulb). Would these still reduce the heat coming from the lamp? They are regular, everyday household light bulbs.
  16. Frognut

    Frognut Subscribed User Premium Member

    If you had an actual heat lamp, designed to heat the tank - then a household 75 watt bulb would definitely put off less heat. If it was just the red light (nighttime) bulb, then it won't change.

    And of course, the regular bulb would be off at night and on during the day. Don't mean to state the obvious, but just in case...;)
  17. stickynote427

    stickynote427 Member

    So, I'm are saying that the infrared, nighttime light bulb generates the same amount of heat that a standard household light bulb will?

    Re your second statement - should I still be using the nighttime bulb at night and the regular light bulb during the day?
  18. Frognut

    Frognut Subscribed User Premium Member

    I'm pretty sure the red nighttime bulbs do not produce much heat, I was always under the impression it was the same as a regular daylight bulb. A heat lamp, while also red, produces heat too - which is far greater than regular bulbs.

    So if you are using a regular red nighttime bulb (75 watt) and not a heat lamp, I would think those high temp readings may be off. Have you been able to get a better thermometer yet?

    For now you can just turn off the lights for now - until you can get a 25 watt. I think the lowest I've seen the red nighttime lights is 40 watt (at least at the pet stores).

    Did I clarify or muddy the waters more;)???
  19. stickynote427

    stickynote427 Member

    First of all, the red nighttime bulb does get quite hot. I can't touch any part of the lamp without burning myself (except for the cord), when I put the lamp face down on the tile next to my fireplace, the tile is very hot when I touch it, and it isn't exactly pleasant to have it less than a foot away from my face.

    I'm not sure if its a regular red nighttime bulb; the assistant at the pet store told me that I needed a daytime heat lamp that heats the tank, as well as provide the frog with some sort of UV rays. The nighttime bulb also produces heat, but does not give off any rays, apparently. She said that the nighttime bulb was "infrared" and would not bother me at night. (I figured that by "infrared" she meant that I wouldn't even be able to see the light [like how can't see the IR signals, but cameras can. That's how I thought it was going to be.], but that wasn't the case.)

    About plants: I called a local PetSmart and Petco and asked if they had any pothos (I pronounced it wrong over the phone, :p), and neither of them did. My mom suggested that I call some plant/flower shops, so I did, and they indeed carried pothos. My mom happened to be out and about, so she picked some up on her way home, as well as some other kind of plant. I will be putting them in the tank tomorrow.

    When exactly should I have the frog's lamp turned off (I do take it you mean the bulbs)? What light bulbs do you think I should be using if the lamp should be on (I have the daytime bulb, the nighttime bulb, and the household white bulbs)?

    Thank you all for all of the help so far; I really appreciate it. You have all made things a lot clearer and easier for me. :)
  20. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    People at petsmart are useless for the most part.

    Your frog does not need any special light. A regular house hold bulb will produce all the needed light. All those fancy bulbs they sell in pet stores that produce UV.... well, they are the same bulbs that you buy at walmart, in fancy packaging that are more expensive.

    As for the night bulb, its just a regular house hold bulb, painted red. Whatever wattage you bought, is the same amount of heat put out by a house hold bulb.

    Your wattages are too high. Go to walmart, or target, or lowes, or the grocery store, or wherever you want to buy a bulb. Get a 25 watt, regular light bulb. A package of 4 should run you about $2. If your house is 66 at night, that's fine for gray tree frogs, and you can ditch the red bulb and put the day bulb on a timer.

    Your concern should be with what the actual temps are, not what some person at petsmart tried to sell you. I don't even use a 75 watt bulb in my 90 gallon tank. If you don't switch out very very soon, you will be killing your frog.

    While at the store, get a digital thermometer. I haven't bought supplies at a petstore in years. They are overpriced and often don't hold up how they need to. Home Depot and Walmart are your friends.

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