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Worried About Our Gray Tree Frog

Discussion in 'Tree Frogs' started by berry, Dec 4, 2008.

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  1. berry

    berry New Member

    Hi everyone,

    I am new here. I live in michigan and have a wild (caught not purchased) gray tree frog. He has been happily living in a 10 gallon tank since July. We feed him a few times a week. usually 8-10 crickets which he gobbles up immediately. Well, the last few days he has not been his old chipper self.. lots of lounging in the same spot. not soaking in his water and the last feeding of crickets are still in there.

    He just doesn't look right to me. It is cold and snowy here and the temp in the house is definitely cooler than in summer/fall. Is he naturally slowing down (my 7 year old seems to think so) or is he sick??

    I am not sure what to do.. help if you can!

    Thanks in advance

  2. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Because you have turned and outside animal, into an inside animal, you pretty much have to give him summer all year round. So if its cooler in your house, you need to add something to the tank to give it some heat. This could be something like an under the tank heater, a human heat pad or a light bulb.

    Have a care sheet. >> Gray Tree Frog (Hyla chrysoscelis and H. versicolor) Care
  3. titus

    titus Elite Member Premium Member

    I'll partly agree with Liz if you'd like your active frog back you'll want to get the temps up a bit. Though I wouldn't go so far to call it a need, Lots of people brutmate their frogs even to the point of placing them in small boxes in the frige. So lower temps and little to no food is fine as long as the temps are in a safe range. It sounds to me as though your frog has found a nice place to "bunker down" for the winter and cut back on his feeding. So long as you were to keep a good eye on him and the temps he really should be fine.
  4. Frognut

    Frognut Subscribed User Premium Member

    I don't think the fridge is considered 'safe temps' This was all just covered in the thread entitled Hibernating Tree Frogs. These frogs have been brought into a captive environment and need to be treated as such. A hibernating environment can not be reproduced in a captive environment - otherwise they will die.

    Please, get the temps up on the frogs. I don't have any fancy lighting or heat pads with my Grays and they are fine, active and happy. A regular daylight bulb during the day, and that's it. The house temps are 68-70f and the tank is a few degrees warmer than that since it is enclosed. And when I was having trouble with my tank temps on my Gecko, I just wrapped a blanket around the tank and that alone raised the temps a small bit. It doesn't take much to care for these frogs properly.

    I hope this helps!
  5. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    I think a very experienced herper could get their frogs to brumate over the winter in a captive environment, but it takes a bit more than lowering temps a few degrees and popping them into the fridge.
  6. titus

    titus Elite Member Premium Member

    Though I put out hibernating them as a option it is more complex and unneeded if not breeding the frogs. I would disagree on you last statement. Many people in warm areas keeping herps from nontropical areas need to use a fridge to overwinter their herps. Temps in most peoples fridges should be over freezing, being that it would be a controlled area for overwintering a good number of reptiles. An in many herps a brutmation period is needed for reproduction. In this case I would not recommend putting a Grey tree frogs are not that cold tolerant and wouldn't stand the temps in the fridge.

    I would recommend that the temps were brought up, on the main ground that the frog had been eating and most likely has food still digesting. As it has not been properly prepared for hibernation, this could lead to undigested food, in no better words poisoning your frog. An that to provide a proper hibernation period you need to have a very good knowledge of the animal your working with.
  7. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Just to get a handle on this. Hibernation (more properly brumation in herps) in a captive environment is possible. But its much more complex than just tossing an animal in a shoe box and stuffing it in Mom's fridge for a few months.
    Which usually won't make Mom very happy either!

    Titus has it right. Many breeders of temperate species will brumate their animals. With some species it is absolutely essential for the breeding process. However the animal are cooled down using a specific sequence of events and then kept in a cold room or refrigerator, either of which will be kept at very specific temps and conditions. They are monitored closely throughout the period of hibernation, making sure that temps and humidity are within the proper ranges.
    If not the animals will not survive.
    You really have to know your stuff to successfully brumate an animal.
    And unless necessary for breeding it is not necessary.
  8. rainflush

    rainflush Active Member

    I may be way off here, but from my initial research I understood that if an amphibian's temps are lowered but not lowered to the just-above-freezing-temp, then they will attempt to hibernate and use up all their fat stores due to the temps being warmer than normal hiberation. They won't eat because the temp isn't high enough, so they will rely on their fat, but they'll burn through it quicker in 50-60 degree temps than they would in the true hibernation temp. And thusly starve to death.

    Feel free to point me out if I'm mistaken here. ;)
  9. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    You are correct, BUT...

    The temp needs to be lowered in a certain sequence or your frog will perish. Think about the wild, it doesn't magically drop to 35 degrees overnight. They get many many seasonal changes.

    Plus there really is no need unless you plan on breeding them.

    And what will really happen at the 50 degree mark if its kept at a constant, what they do eat won't be digested properly, and you are right, they will starve to death.
  10. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Overall, brumating amphibians is a difficult and somewhat tedious process that can be avoided unless you plan on breeding them. It'll be much less of a headache (or heartache) to just keep them in eternal summer.
  11. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    I wish I could stay in eternal summer. :mad:
  12. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    *poof* you are a frog living in captivity.

    I don't think it worked.

    I'd prefer eternal winter, though i'd have a heck of a time keeping my herps warm through that.
  13. willk

    willk Active Member

    yeah ok so everybody's complaining on me here because i said i was thinking of putting my gray treefrogs in the fridge, but listen to this: gray treefrogs ARE freeze tolerant, they FREEZE during winter, and this is part of their LIFE CYCLE. It is normal for your frog to be all sleepy and unactive; if it is winter where you live right now, your frogs knows its time to sleep for a few months. Hibernating makes them live longer. Everybody on this site seems to consider gray treefrogs like exotic fragile pets. They are tough creatures who live in our backyards, people! They need care and space and specific habitats if you keep in a tank of course! But they dont need special heat and special humidity or special whatever else that isnt part of your house! My treefrogs live in a huge fish tank with moss and rocks and branches taken from behind my backyard and i feed them with outside bugs that i catch myself, and now it is winter (i live near Montreal) so i put dead leaves in the tank, the basement temperature is 8'C, and my frogs are hibernating under the moss and leaves just like they should.
  14. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    No one is having a problem with you putting them in the fridge BUT YOU HAVE TO DO IT RIGHT. You can't just take them from captivity and stick them in the freezer. They WILL die. In nature, going into winter happens slowly, with lots of elements you don't have in a captive tank.

    Remember, even though they are outside, they aren't frozen. They don't freeze, they come close to it though.

    Calm down.
  15. willk

    willk Active Member

    they do freeze, their hearts stop beating and they turn blue. I know what I'm talking about, look it up on the internet. Its possible they dont do that where you live, but here and in all northern states, they freeze.
  16. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    They do NOT Freeze.

    Gray treefrogs hibernate on land, and the common gray treefrog is known to produce glycerol, an antifreeze used by some insects to protect cells during the freezing process. Without this protectant the frogs would be forced to hibernate on or in the substrate of ponds or swamps or at least below frost line on land.
  17. fire2225ems

    fire2225ems Subscribed User Premium Member

    Ok, lets see if we can answer questions and try to put this matter to rest... There is no point in continuing to ARGUE about this...

    According to the Univ of Wisconsin: Copes Gray Tree Frog - Frogs - University of Wisconsin Sea Grant
    "Gray tree frogs cope with cold temperatures in an unusual way -- they literally freeze!
    Experiments have shown that Gray tree frogs can survive temperatures as low as -6 C (21 F) for several days, when more than 40% of their body fluids may be completely frozen.
    They accomplish this by producing large amounts of glycerol in their blood and body tissues, which acts as a natural "antifreeze" to prevent ice from forming inside their cells."

    Some notes I want to make about this!!!
    * this study was done on the Copes Gray tree frog, NOT the Eastern Gray tree frog and the 2 are often misidentified...
    *this was done in a controlled environment
    *40% does not mean 100% (they aren't completely frozen)
    *several days does not mean 3 or 2 or even 1 month

    Another Article: article was commissioned by the same University of Wisconsin that wrote the above article )
    "It's body can withstand partial freezing (down to about -4 to -5 degrees Celsius)."

    Now lets try for something from Minnesota DNR: Cope's gray treefrog - Frogs & toads: Minnesota DNR
    "Winter habitat: Terrestrial. Body can withstand partial freezing."

    All of these articles come from sources that I would trust. They aren't just someone repeating a rumor they heard, but actually have scientific research behind them. And when doing research on the internet you have to keep in mind that ANYONE can write ANYTHING they want and post it on the net. Just because you can find it on the internet doesn't mean it's real... OMG!!! Miley Cyrus is DEAD!!!!
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