White tree frogs are popular first-time frogs for many amphibian owners. These are hardy frogs; they are easy feeders and tame well. In order to provide the best tank setup for your white tree frog, you need to know the frog’s natural habitat. The white tree frogs come from the eastern and northern parts of Australia and New Guinea where they live in semi-dry and humid areas. These are adaptable frogs that have developed adhesive pads on their feet, enabling them to climb plants and trees.
In order to ensure you provide the best habitat for your white tree frog, you want to ensure you buy the right size enclosure, use the best substrate and provide the best heating, lighting, and humidity to help your frog thrive in a captive environment.
When selecting a white tree frog enclosure, bear in mind that bigger is always better. When making your selection, ensure you choose a tall enclosure, rather than a wide one, bearing in mind that your tree frog enjoys climbing.
The enclosure must provide ample ventilation with a mesh top to encourage airflow. Glass is the preferred enclosure material for these frogs, as the glass allows the heat to escape, providing a comfortable and cool enclosure. Wood enclosures, for example, will retain too much heat, which can become uncomfortable for your frog.
These are messy eaters with voracious appetites, which means they will eat another frog if it is smaller than themselves. Only adult white tree frogs should be housed together, never put a baby with an adult. The smallest frog must be half the size or bigger than the largest frog in the enclosure. The benefit with these frogs is you can house more than one in an enclosure, as long as you follow the size rule mentioned bellow.
Number of frog
Some of the best enclosure for white tree frog are
- Exo Terra Glass Natural Terrarium Small Tall 18L x 18D x 24H - a 33 gallon tank which is suitable for 1 or 2 white tree frogs.
- Carolina Custom Cages Terrarium Bio Deep 24L x 18W x 30H - a 56 gallon tank which is suitable for 3 - 5 frogs with bioactive setup.
Substrate is an important factor to take into consideration when it comes to white tree frog tank setup. These frogs do eat anything and can easily become impacted when using the wrong substrate.
You don't want to use a dry and dusty substrate for your amphibian pet. The substrate should be kept slightly moist to provide a comfortable bedding for your pet. Ensure it is not soaking wet. The most favored substrate is coconut husk and sphagnum moss, which can be strategically placed to help retain moisture and humidity throughout the day. Coconut husk is the perfect substrate if you are going to be using fake plants and branches, add some moss to hold moisture, such as the Zilla Coconut Husk Brick Reptile Bedding and the Zilla Jungle Mix. For live setups, you will want to buy an eco earth, the ideal solution for bioactive setups.
Substrates to use
- Coconut husk
- Coconut fiber
- Sphagnum moss
- Eco earth
Substrates you shouldn't use
These substrates can be ingested, which can result in impaction.
White tree frogs thrive in warmer temperatures, though they prefer the opportunity to move between warm and cool, which is why you need some form of heat source, as their temperature requirement is higher than the average room temperature.
Your frog is going to enjoy daytime temperatures ranging between 75ºF and 85ºF with nighttime temperatures should never fall below 65ºF. An overheat heat source is preferred. Try not to use a heat mat, as they are not as effective and don't raise the temperature enough to keep your frog happy and comfortable.
During the day you can use a regular incandescent bulb or a daylight heating lamp. The Zilla Reptile Terrarium Heat Lamps Incandescent Bulb is an ideal choice to provide comfortable day time temperatures for your new amphibian pet.
To achieve night time temperatures, you can use the Zilla Night Black Heat Lamp or a ceramic heat emitter (CHE), such as the Zoo Med Repticare Infared Ceramic Heat Emitter. Remember when using a ceramic heat emitter, to combine it with a thermostat, ensuring you achieve optimum temperatures.
Effective Temperature Monitoring
When providing heat into the enclosure, you want to be able to monitor it effectively. Regular monitoring can ensure that your new frog stays happy and healthy and that temperatures don't go too high or too low. Consider using a digital thermometer with a probe over an analog option. The digital thermometer is more accurate and easier to read and monitor.
The Zoo Med Digital Thermometer has an external waterproof probe, enabling you to monitor temperatures in the enclosure with confidence. This digital thermometer measures temperature in Fahrenheit and Celsius with a remote probe to provide accurate readings. The display is mounted outside the enclosure, while the probe is placed inside using the suction cups provided.
The reason you need to provide lighting into your frog’s enclosure is to provide a day and night cycle. You can keep your pet in any room, but you must provide them with a day and night cycle, as they would get if they were in the wild. This means focusing on providing a twelve-hour day time cycle and a twelve-hour night time cycle.
Lighting is also imperative if you have decided to create a bioactive white tree frog tank setup complete with live plants that need light in order to grow.
One of the big debates regarding the white tree frog and lighting is whether they need UVB or not. It has been found that low amounts of UVB of between 2% and 5% is acceptable and safe. It is even able to assist with calcium absorption. The Zoo Med ReptiSun 5.0 Mini Compact Fluorescent Lamp is completely safe for your frog, providing a reliable day time light.
In order to achieve a reliable twelve-hour day time and twelve-hour night time cycle, you will want to purchase a timer, which is more reliable than trying to remember to switch the lights on and off physically. A timer can save you time and ensure your frog enjoys a cycle that ensures it remains healthy and happy in its enclosure. The Zoo Med Laboratories Repti Day Night Timer is easy to use and durable, designed to turn your lights on and off at intervals that suit your frog’s needs.
UVB cannot penetrate glass, so you will want to place your day time light on top of the screen top of the enclosure, enabling it to penetrate through the mesh.
If you have a bioactive tank setup for your white tree frog, you can consider a LED live plant light to assist with health and growth. The Bio Dude 6" Glow & Grow Best Plant Growth Reptile & Amphibian LED Bulb for terrariums is a reliable LED light for bioactive setups that does not emit any heat or UVB, offering a full mixed spectrum growth with red and blue diodes, suitable for most tropical plants and desert plants. The light comes with a one-year warranty.
Remember that the white tree frog is not a tropical frog, therefore they are happiest when living with a humidity range of between 30% and 50%. The humidity can spike to as high as 80% after misting, as long as it returns within the permitted levels soon afterwards.
These frogs do not do well in high humidity enclosures. In fact, high humidity can result in fungal and bacterial infections along with respiratory problems. This is very common with high humidity and cool temperatures.
In order to achieve the right humidity levels, you will want to mist the enclosure at once a day, ideally twice a day. Remember humidity levels will spike after misting. Monitor your humidity levels regularly, the same you do with your temperate. You can purchase a digital thermometer and hygrometer, combining temperature and humidity while having accurate readings you can trust. Zoo Med Labs Digital Thermometer Humidity Gauge is a digital thermometer and hygrometer, which is quick and easy to read, comes with a waterproof probe, and offers reliable readings you can trust.
It's not really necessary to set up an automatic misting system or a fogger, but some white tree frog owners do use them for when they go away for a couple of days. It's important when using one of these systems to ensure that the humidity levels stay within your frog’s preferred range.
Ensure you provide adequate ventilation. Ventilation allows ample airflow that helps to reduce humidity within the enclosure. The Exo Terra, Zilla, and Zoo Med enclosures offer excellent screen tops for excellent ventilation.
Decorations can help make your white tree frog feel at home in their enclosure. Providing ample climbing space, great hides, and more can ensure the comfort and health of your frog in the long run.
Real or Fake Plants
Some excellent fake plants that look natural and can enhance the design of your frog’s enclosure includes:
- Fluker's Repta Vines for Reptiles and Amphibians - 6 feet of natural looking vines with suction cups
- Exo Terra Plastic Terrarium Plant, Large, Mandarin - realistic looking plastic plant
- Exo Terra Terrarium Plant - create natural hiding spots
White tree frogs love to climb, which is why you may want to consider adding some branches and vines to your enclosure design, providing ample climbing and hiding space for your amphibian pet, such as
- Coolrunner 8FT Reptile Vines and Flexible Reptile Leaves with Suction Cups - Lifelike jungle vines made from premium ecofriendly and non-toxic PU.
- Flexible Bend-A-Branch Jungle Vines Plastic Terrarium Plant - Material: PU and metal. Natural looking 120cm flexible jungle vine.
- emours Natural Driftwood Vine Branches - natural wood branches
- Exo Terra Forest Branch – Natural, 3-dimensional heat-treated branches.
Hides / Caves
Your frog may enjoy hiding from time to time. Hides and caves provide a secure and safe place where your frog can get some peace and quiet and feel unthreatened, thereby reducing stress. High quality hides and caves can be beneficial to your frog, these include:
- Zilla Reptile Habitat Décor Hideouts Bark Bends – Easy to clean, high quality non-porous resin reduces the risk of bacteria growth, natural design.
- Reptile Hides Cave Natural Coconut Shell – made from natural coconut hair, offering an ecofriendly cave for your white tree frog.
- Fluker's Labs Reptile Corner Half Log Hideout – Made from natural wood
Rocks and Ledges
White tree frogs love to climb Providing some rocks and ledges offer your amphibian pet a place to sit where they don't have to be on the ground, examples include:
- Zilla Reptile Habitat Décor Shale Rock Den – Provides an elevated platform and hide in non-porous material to reduce bacteria growth.
- MagNaturals Rock Ledge – This ledge, originally designed for aquariums can be a welcome addition to provide your frog with a comfortable and safe ledge to sit.
A water bowl must be provided at all times. Some examples of suitable water bowls for your white tree frog includes:
- Exo Terra Water Dish – A large natural looking water dish complete with steps. Made from durable non porous material, it is durable, stable and easy to clean.
- emours Reptile Amphibian Water Dish - This bowl is made from resin, that is non-toxic and sturdy offering cactus and stone decorations.
Remember when filling the water bowl that you should only use spring or dechlorinated water, use Zoo Med ReptiSafe. This is an instant water conditioner, making tap water safe to use for your white tree frog. The ReptiSafe product from Zoo Med removes any chlorine and chloramines in the water, providing essential ions and electrolytes your frog needs to stay hydrated.
White Tree Frog Tank Setup - Put it all together
Putting it all together is quick and easy once you have purchased all the items you need. It's recommended to ensure your tank is set up and you have the right temperature and humidity levels before you bring your new frog home.
- Select enclosure location
- Clean enclosure using reptile cleaner, such as Fluker's Super Scrub Organic Reptile Habitat Cleaner
- Prepare substrate as per manufacturer instructions. This usually includes soaking the substrate in water for a period of time. Place substrate in the bottom of the enclosure and add some moss for added humility and a natural finish.
- Place a large water bowl in the center of the enclosures
- Place a hide so your frog can get some privacy and security when they first arrive.
- Surround the water bowl and hide in vines and branches, giving your frog plenty of place to climb and explore.
- Prepare your lighting to sit on top of your screen top
- Place your thermometer and hygrometer where you can see them easily for regular monitoring.
- Remember to mist daily to maintain the best humidity levels for your amphibian pet.