It’s not hard to see why you’d want a tree frog as your new pet. Their unique and distinguishable appearance is a beauty to behold.
And it’s not just all looks with these curious little creatures. They have wonderful personalities too.
But it’s vitally important that before you bring this cute little frog into your home that you’ve correctly set up theirs.
We want our pets to be happy and comfortable in their living quarters and so there are a few things you’ll need to get in order.
The main thing that you need to be aware of is that your new pet is arboreal. What that means is that they like to live in trees.
Now obviously, I’m not expecting you to go outside and chop down your nearest tree and bring it into your home.
There would definitely be some spatial issues there. However, you do need to mimic this habitat within your terrarium.
That means that you’ll need to find one with height. Your terrarium should never be less than 18 inches tall. You’ll also want branches, sticks, vines, or plants littered within it too.
This will resemble their natural habitat enough to ensure that they are quite contented.
Ready to learn how to make the best home for your new pet? Come on then, let’s begin!
Getting To Grips With The Basics
So as I mentioned above, the basics of a tree frog terrarium are height and climbing areas via the use of branches, vines, sticks, and plants.
It is worth noting that while this is your basic guide, each type of tree frog is slightly different and so are their needs. Varying humidity and temperature will need to be set accordingly to the frog type (Also check out Do Frogs Have Hair).
With that being said, sticking to these basics will get you majority where you need to be to ensure that your favorite froggy can live a content, healthy and happy life.
You’ll want to do your research into your particular type of tree frog from care sheets to make sure that you can get that correct temperature, humidity level, and special lighting.
From there, you’ll be able to establish whether or not you need more specialized equipment than just the basics.
1. Terrarium Time
So the very first thing you will need for your new best friend is his actual home. You’ll need to go shopping for a terrarium if you haven’t already purchased one.
So, the main feature that you’re looking for is that it’s tall. You’re looking for extra height rather than width in this case.
The actual size of the terrarium itself will depend on the amount of amazing amphibians you are homing. Below, you’ll find a general guide.
1-2 Tree Frogs – 12”x12”x18”
This size terrarium will usually be enough space for one to two Tree Frogs. This can vary though depending on the type of tree frog you’re homing.
Red-Eyed Tree Frogs don’t tend to grow too big and so this should be fine for up to two of them.
However, White’s Tree Frogs can grow to be quite big boys and so this probably would not suffice for them and you’d need a bit bigger of a terrarium for two.
3-4 Tree Frogs – 18”x18”x24”
If you’re opting for a fair few froggie friends, then you’ll want a larger terrarium that will accommodate them.
This size and the one above are the most common options for tree frogs and are actually pretty inexpensive which is a plus.
But again, just remember to keep in mind the type of frogs that you own and just how large they’ll grow to be.
If you’re looking for a terrarium, I have some great recommendations below. These kits are perfect for any first-time frog owner.
They come with pretty much everything you’ll need. There will still be a few bits and bobs left to collect but they’re pretty comprehensive kits which is great.
- Exo Terra Rainforest Habitat Kit, Small
- Exo Terra Rainforest Habitat Kit, Large
- Zilla Tropical Vertical Kit
If you choose not to opt for an online purchase, then I would recommend going into your local pet store.
Colleagues should be able to guide you through the options available and help you pick out the perfect terrarium.
2. Starting To Set-Up
Okay, now that you’ve got your terrarium, it’s time to start setting it up ready for your Tree Frog.
Now, the best piece of advice I can give you is to place your terrarium where you want to keep it before you start your set up.
This is one of those life lessons I Iearned the hard way. Once you add all your bits and bobs into that terrarium it’s…heavy.
You won’t be lifting it with ease and placing it somewhere new so pick your placement before you begin your set-up.
And while adding the sticks and flowers may seem like the most fun part of set-up there’s some more basic matters to be taken care of first.
The first thing you’ll want to do is clean the glass so it’s nice and clear. You want to get rid of all that dust.
Make Sure You Only Use A Towel And Distilled Water For Cleaning The Glass
This is really important because you don’t want to hurt or harm your new pet and those strong chemical cleaners aren’t good news for them.
You also want to avoid just using tap water because it will inevitably lead to calcium build-up on the glass.
Now that the glass is nice and clean, we can start adding things into the terranium. The very first thing you’ll need to add is substrate.
Typically coco fiber or something similar will do the trick since they won’t spend much time on the ground.
You really want to try and stick to a non-particulate substrate so that they don’t get impaction which can be pretty painful and uncomfortable.
How substrates are prepared will depend on the type that you use. But you’ll find that they all come with instructions for preparation. Follow the instructions as stated.
Then for some Tree Frogs, you may need high humidity levels. In these cases I would advise also considering adding a drainage layer to your enclosure.
But this won’t be the case for all Tree Frogs so you’ll need to refer to your care sheets to see if this is applicable.
If you don’t need a drainage layer then fill your enclosure with approximately 2-3 inches of your chosen substrate and then make your way to step four!
For Those Who Need A Drainage Layer
The first thing you will need for your drainagelayer is a filter medium. A popular choice is hydroballs.
These will work perfectly well, but personally I find that matala pond filter pads work amazingly well for drainage layers. Either option will do the job perfectly, so it’s completely up to you which option you choose.
Now, you’ll want to fill the bottom of your enclosure with your chosen filter medium.
You’ll need around a 1.5-2” layer of the hydroballs or you’ll want to cut a piece of the matala filter that fits the base of your terrarium.
Once you’ve done this, you’ll need to place a barrier between the filter medium and the substrate. A mesh screen works well.
It enables the water to fully flow through but will keep the substrate on the top. Then obviously above your barrier you’ll place your substrate.
4. Tree Time
As I’ve mentioned before, frogs like to live in trees. Obviously since you can’t quite fit those into the enclosure, you’ll need to add items that mimic their natural habitat.
So you’ll want to add branches, sticks, or logs into the terrarium so that they feel right at home.
These amphibians like to climb so you’re going to add items that they can climb up, and have great fun doing so.
You’ll need to keep in mind the kind of wood that you are going to use.
If you need high humidity for your enclosure then you don’t want to use a type of wood that is going to break apart or mould from the water in the space. Hardwood is usually a good option.
If you don’t require a lot of humidity then you have a few more options to choose from.
From a aesthetically pleasing point of view, I’d recommend going for a large grapevine. Cork bark always works well too.
Regardless of which wood you use, one facct remains the same, you need to really think about the placement of the wood.
Remember you’re trying to create an environment where your froggy friend can get climbing. So ensure that those branches or sticks make their way up high and that there are various levels too.
5. Pretty Plants
Once you’ve made your enclosure into a climbing wall for your new pet, you can start to think about adding plants and vines.
These are pretty essential for any terrarium for a variety of reasons. First of all, it gives them even more to climb!
And boy do they love to climb. But also, when it comes to bedtime, they like to nestle down and get some shut-eye on a nice leaf.
It doesn’t really matter if you want to opt for real or fake plants. They’ll enjoy them nonetheless. If you opt for real plants you will need to ensure that you have a low-powered grow light.
You can find these in most pet stores as they you can find some designed specifically for terrariums. It’s just really important that it’s never higher that 5.0 UVB.
And that isn’t there only usage. These leaves will provide a place for your frogs to store water.
Your frog will drink water droplets that linger on plants a whole lot more than they will from their designated water dish.
Though you do still need one of those. Misting your plants and terrarium with water is always a nice thing to do for your new pet to help make them feel more comfortable and at home too.
6. Drinking Dish
I know that I just said that they’ll mainly prefer to drink from those leaves that you’ve just added, but they will still need a water source in their enclosure too.
You will want to stick to a shallow dish though, because it might surprise you to hear that these frogs aren’t very good swimmers.
The actual size of the dish itself doesn’t matter all that much, but depth should be kept quite shallow.
Other than them not being great swimmers, you’ll tend to find that they won’t drink all that much from the drinking dish unless there’s little water to be found on the leaves.
They are quite fond of the occasional skin soak though, so it’s always good practice to have it available for them.
I wouldn’t recommend filling their drinking dish with tap water unless it is treated with a water conditioning agent that makes it suitable for them.
Tap water untreated contains chemicals that can harm or hurt your pet. Chlorine, and other chemicals and Tree Frogs don’t mix.
Personally, I would always say to use clean, dechlorinated water to be on the safe side rather than treating tap water.
7. Add Lights, Thermometer, & Hygrometer
And now we’re nearing the end of all the set up. All you need to do now is add any remaining essential gadgets.
Some frogs will need lighting, automated misting systems, or foggers. All frogs will benefit from a digital thermometer and a hygrometer though.
These will keep an eye on the temperature and humidity of the enclosure to ensure that it’s safe. Keep your thermometer at the bottom of your tank and the hygrometer close to the top.
8. Mist It Up
And lastly, before you let you’re froggy-friend get acquainted with his new home, you’ll want to give the terrarium a good old misting.
Don’t be shy here, the wetter the better. This is also the perfect opportunity to ensure that the hygrometer is working properly!
Once you’ve followed all these steps you can finally introduce your new pet to their brand new home! Be careful and patient when transferring them into their terrarium.
If they are in a plastic container, I would suggest placing it in the enclosure and letting them hop out freely on their own.
Once they feel comfortable and safe they’ll get climbing and adventuring around their new home and then you can remove the container and close up the doors.
And there you have it! All done!