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Enclosure size:

When selecting an appropriate ecnlosure for White's, the most important thing to concider is the size you will be using. To determine the amount of space needed, you just use this simple rule:

Tadpoles; 10 tads per gallon. This guidline is however, based on a minimum of a 20 gallon fish tank, whether there are 200 tadpoles in it or not. Anything smaller will cloud up very fast.

Froglets; Ten gallon fish tank, or the equivelent. If you want to add more juvenilles, simply add five gallons per animal. My definition of froglet is any frog that is smaller than a fifty cent piece in length. For a larger specimen, use the adult guideline.

Adults; Use atleast a 20 gallon fish tank sized enclosure. This is a minimum. It may seem as though something smaller would be fine and the pet stores may even tell you that its alright to use a ten. Remember though that these are tree frogs, and as such demand room to climb and explore. Without it, they will stress and with stress comes disease. For each additional frog, add ten gallons.

So for 200 tadpoles, you would need a 20 gallon tank.

For two froglets, you would need a 15 gallon high size.

For three adults, you would need a 40 gallon high sized enclosure.

Wait a minute? High? You never said anything about high... Well I am now :) Since these frogs are arboreal and will need to be provided with climbing areas ( to be discussed later on) they will need a high enclosure. This just means that the enclosure needs to be higher than it is long. If you still need help with this, just ask the people where you plan to buy the enclosure, they will know.

Enclosure type:

Most people use a high aquarium fitted with a screen lid. Screen lids are available at most pet stores or can be ordered online. It is important to have a screen lid for proper ventilation. If the enclosure is not well ventilated, the air inside the tank will become stagnate and can cause disease. Also, these are semi-dry frogs and therefore too much humidity can be bad for them. The more moisture in the air, the more bacteria is found in it. The reason that Red Eyes and other frogs are able to be maintained in high humidity is because they have a greater tolerance since they are tropical species. White's are found in more arid regions where the humidity is lower and are therfore not well suited for enclosures with high humidity.

You can also build your own enclosure. You can use plexiglass for the walls and wood for the frame. I would suggest using a wood that was not too brittle and that is finely sanded. Pine or cedar are definately not good either since they are poisonous to frogs. Oak or maple will work well though. Even three sides wood and one side plexiglass would be fine. Just remember the importance of proper ventilation.

Do not use a screen enclosure. People claim that the reason for this is humidity related but its not. If you use a screen enclosure, when your frogs walk along the edges, which they will, they will develop abrasions on their snouts known as nose-rub. This seems minor, but any open sores can become infected and infections of any type are very serious.

Enclosure contents:

Another important aspect of husbandry, is what you will put into the enclosure. In order to determine what any given species needs, you meerly look at behavioral habits i.e if a herp is terrestrial, it will need a long enclosure with a wide flat surface area. Here are some of the attributes of the White's tree frog tree frog and what they will need to support these factors;

Arboreal. This means that the frogs spend most of their time off of the ground. While these frogs are classified "arboreal" they really are somewhere in between arboreal and terrestrial ( ground dwelling ) leaning more toward the arboreal side. Therefore, they will need plenty of things to climb on, as well as some open space on the ground. Some things you might use for climbing are, grapevine, sticks, logs, driftwood, plants and climbing walls.

If you use sticks, make sure that they are well cleaned first if they are brought in from outdoors. What I do is fill the bath tub with very hot water and add a 10% bleach solution. This is always estimated, but I think I have gotten it very close. If you don't think you'll get it on the mark, try pouring water untill it gets as hot as it will get and then plugging the drain and turning the water off and on as you measure out the quantities. After the solution is made and the sticks are added, I let them soak untill the water cools. An easier method might be to make a small solution of 10 parts water and one part bleach and use it to meerly wash the sticks off before baking. Now you can bake the sticks so that they fully dry out, and any left over bacteria/parasites are killed off. If you used the soaking method, you can even just let the sticks/logs sun dry for two days, bringing them in at night.

Nocturnal. While some individuals may spend a few minutes perhaps even an hour or more in the daylight awake every day, these frogs are nocturnal meaning that they are active primarily during the night. Since they are nocturnal, their eyes are designed to magnify light and therefore are very light sensative. Now if their eyes were so sensative to light that small amounts of light would injure the eyes, they would be at a serious disadvantage so thats not the case. But in any event, they are light sensative and so must have an area to hide during the daytime. One might use a slab of cork bark that can be leaned against or glues to the back wall, a hollow half log hut or a terra cotta pot turned upside down even. If you use a pot, be sure to create an entrance : P

Plants are a wonderfull addition. They add an aesthetic appeal to your terrarium as well as making your frogs happier. The frogs will use plants for all kinds of purposes will enjoy them in many respects. Another hobby of mine is horticulture so I have been able to test alot of plants. In my testing, I have found several species suitable for White's. My favorites and the ones I concider the best are;

  1. Sansiveria, Mother-In-Laws-Tongue or Snake Plant

  2. Pothos or devils ivy

  3. Philodendron

  4. Mature Dwarf Schefflerra ( Umbrella tree ) Only for large enclosures

When you use plants, you must remove them from their pots and thoroughly remove all of the soil. Shake the soil off of the roots and wash the root system well. This is because plants you buy at a store ( including greenhouse ) contain fertilizer which is very toxic to frogs and they may also contain perlite which can be ingested and cause impaction. Then you can choose to either plant them directly into the medium or to replant them into clean dishes or pots that are filled with 100% organic soil that does not contain any perlite. If you replant them into pots or trays/dishes then you should bury them into the substrate as far the the top of the pot/tray/dish in order to maintain your terrariums aesthetic appeal.

Water. A shallow water dish must also be provided. Frogs breath and drink through their skin and therefore will absorb the water in the dish as they rest in it. Since these are tree frogs, while they can swim, they can't swim very well. You may notice that they do not have webbed toes. So if a water dish is too deep, the frog(s) can drown in it. The water should come half way up the sides of the frog. If you build your own enclosure and make a large filtered water area, just be certain that there is a shallow end where the frog(s) can rest and not be floating. The water dish should be changed every day to prevent amonia build up/bacterial and algae growth particularly since the frogs will frequently deficate in the dish. Reverse osmosis water is the best. If you do not have this avaible bottled water is fine. Tap water can be used if you boil it and then let it stand for 48 to allow for chlorine disipation. It is never advisable to use tap water.

Substrate. When deciding on a substrate, you must look at the animals natural habitat and the qualities of the animal that will require specific properties in a substrate or ground medium. In nature, the frogs would generally be positioned over rich soil or mossy earth. Since the frogs are somewhat arboreal, this is necessary in the event of a fall. Some spring to the substrate will help prevent injuries if the frog should take a spill from up high ( and believe me they will ). You may decide on the least expensive substrate, which is 100% organic soil that does not contain any fertilizers or perlite. Remember that fertilzer is deadly to frogs that have any physical contact with it, and perlite can cause impaction, which brings up another point: Substrate cannot be made up of any indigestable material large enough to swallow. Such as gravel or bark pieces. Another great substrate is Bed-A-Beast which is made up of coconut husks. There are also less expensive coco-husk products. A less desirable but functionable substrate is newspaper or paper towels. We all no about paper cuts, but thats really not that common with frogs. I wouldn't recomend either of these but people do use them both, particularly breeders.

Enclosure specifics:

As with any other reptile or amphibian (herp) out there, the enclosure specifics are very important. Lighting, temp and humidity are the most important of all.

Lighting. Since these frogs are nocturnal, a daylight bulb is not necessary. It is recomended though that you use some for of light on a timer set at twelve hours on and twelve hours off so that the frogs may get onto a regular photo schedule. If you have added plants to your enclosure, a grow light will help them out a great deal, and will also provide the necessary daylight (photo) schedule for your frogs.

Temp. White's come from Eastern Australia and Indonesia ( by introduction ) and are therefore sybjected to a climate that you might find very similar to Georgia and northern Florida in the U.S. A daytime temperature should be kept somewhere around 82-86 degrees nad nightime temps shouldn't fall below 72 farenheit. The temperature can fall as low as 65 with no ill effect, but it might cause your frogs to attempt hibernation. It is important to create a temperature gradient in your enclosure. This can be accomplished by simply placing the light over one side of the tank so that it stays warmer than the other. This is needed so that the frog can regulate its body temperature. Since frogs are cold blooded, they are the same temperature inside as the air is outside. It is necessary to warm up while digesting, and to cool off when uncomfortabley warm and therfore a gradient is essential. The best source of daytime heat is a simple aluminum clamp light with a bulb wattage adjusted to the size enclosure you have. If the nightime temps are too low, a red bulb can be purchased at your local pet store. These are also great if you plan on viewing your frogs at night.

Humidity. Humidity is particularly important in frogs. If the humidity is too low, the frogs can dry out and die. If it is too high, the air can grow bacteria ver quickly. In this species, like I mentioned before, high bacteria levels in the air equals ill frog(s). The humidity is best kept between 25&60% with proper ventilation. A humidity gauge is very inexpensive but is also very important.


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