Red Eyed Tree Frog Care Sheet
Red eyed tree frogs are a stunning small green frog with striking red eyes. With their beautiful blue and yellow side pattern and bright orange feet, they are an icon of rainforest. These frogs are a popular subject of adverting campaigns and company logos. Red eyed tree frogs have also become popular pets in recent years. We think these are great frogs and our red eyed tree frog care sheet outlines the main components to provide proper care for red eye tree frogs in captivity.
Where Does the Red Eyed Tree Frog Live
As with all amphibians in captivity, proper Red eyed tree frog care begins with understanding the frogs natural habitat. This means the first question that must be considered when setting up a red eyed tree frog habitat is “Where does the red eyed tree frog live in the wild?”
Red eyed tree frogs are arboreal frogs that live in the rainforest of Central America have a native range from Mexico to Columbia.
Adult Red eyed tree frogs get 2-3 inches in length and reach maturity in approximately 1-2 years.
In the wild, red eyed tree frogs are subject to seasonal weather variation including a wet season and a dry season. The natural daytime temperature for red eyed tree frogs ranges from the mid-70s to mid-80s with natural nighttime temperature drop into the low 70s.
Red eyed tree frog habitat
One of the main items needed for proper red eyed tree frog care is a suitable habitat. Since red eyed tree frogs are arboreal, vertical space is important in selecting a red eyed tree frog habitat.
Vertically oriented glass aquariums can be used to house red eyed tree frogs. 20 gallons is the minimum size that should be considered to house a small group of red eyed tree frogs. A secure screen top is necessary for keeping the frogs secure.
We prefer to use a terrarium specifically designed to maintain reptiles and amphibians in captivity. We recommend the 18x18x18″ Exoterra . This is a fantastic terrarium which is secure for red eyed tree frogs and has front opening doors and makes an attractive display piece. This will help you create your own little zoo enclosure in your house.
Substrate for a Red Eyed Tree Frog
Substrate is the material used to cover the floor of your reptile or amphibian enclosure. Substrate serves both an aesthetic purpose of helping the enclosure look more natural but also the practical purpose of helping maintain proper humidity. Being from the rainforest which naturally has an organic soil mix, there is a variety of great substrate choices for red eyed tree frog keepers.
Popular red eyed tree frog substrates include:
- Coconut husk fibers
- Commercial forest floor mix
- Sphagnum moss
- Organic soil
Please remember that if you choose to use a soil mix not specially designed for reptiles and amphibians it is crucial to ensure the mix has no fertilizers or chemicals added to the mixture.
We also prefer to add a layer of under draining to the soil to help keep the soil moist without being soggy. We prefer [clay ball] but large clean gravel also makes an excellent choice. Since we will be providing under tank heat, this drainage layer will also help us to keep up the humidity in the enclosure.
Red Eyed Tree Frog Habitat Decor
Being nocturnal and arboreal it is important to provide red eyed tree frogs with s variety places to hide during the day and places to climb and hunt at night.
There are several choices for hides with branches, hollow bamboo, and cork bark being excellent choices.
Both real and artificial plants make excellent and naturalistic habitat decor. When selecting plants, it’s best to mimic natural foliage by selecting large wide lead plants.
Red Eyed Tree Frog Temperature Requirements
Just like in the wild, red eyed tree frogs need to be kept around 78-82 degrees during the day and the low 70s at night. Since the room temperature of most houses is too cool to meet the daytime temperatures, supplemental heating is often necessary.
Red eyed tree frog temperature requirements can be met in a variety of ways with low watt heat lamps and under tank heaters being popular solutions. We prefer to use both of these in combination as each provides specific benefit.
We recommend the Exoterra under tank heater. Under tank heat provides a constant heat source that also helps to raise the humidity in the frog tank.
We recommend the Repti glow 2.0 for a heat lamp bulb. The heat lamp will help to add the additional heat for the daytime temps and will also help the frogs maintain a good light cycle. This bulb will also provide UVB light which is helpful maintaining red eyed tree frogs.
Maintaining Proper Humidity
Like in their natural environment, high humidity needs to be maintained in your red eyed tree frogs habitat. Humidity in the enclosure can be maintained by misting the enclosure several times per day.
Proper red eyed tree frog humidity be accomplished by frequent misting as well as the e use of an under tank heater below your drainage layer.
While not necessary, some keepers like to use an ultrasonic fogger to provide humidity. These foggers also provide a very attractive look in the terrarium.
Water for Your Frog
A large but shallow water dish is required for proper red eyed tree frog care. Tap water should be avoided because many municipal water supplies add chlorine and chlorine can be harmful to your frogs. We recommend distilled water like you would buy from the grocery store.
What Does a Red Eyed Tree Frog Eat
Red eyed tree frogs eat insects. In the wild, red eyed tree frogs will eat a variety of insects, consisting of anything they can catch and swallow.
In captivity, keepers often feed crickets exclusively. Because a cricket only diet lacks variety, it is important to gut load the crickets prior to feeding to the frogs to provide proper nutrition.
Basically the saying “You are what you eat” holds true here, so for proper red eyed tree frog care, the crickets need to be fed a healthy nourishing diet prior to being fed to your frogs.
While a red eyed tree frog can eat larger insects, it is a good rule of thumb to feed crickets that are as long as the space between the frogs eyes. This will prevent the frogs from being stressed or injured by too large of feeder crickets.
In general you should feed about one dozen crickets per frog every other day. Remember to monitor what your red eyed tree frogs are eating and adjust accordingly to avoid a bunch of extra feeder insects in the habitat.
Cleaning Your Red Eyed Tree Frog Habitat
Another important aspect of proper red eyed tree frog care is proper maintenance and cage cleaning. The glass sides of the habitat should be wiped down at least once a week. The water needs to be regularly replaced and the water dish disinfected. Substance should be replaced every 1-2 months. At this time artificial plants and cage decor should also be cleaned and disinfected.
Additional Red Eyed Tree Frog Care Notes
Like many small frogs, red eyed tree frogs are very fragile. As these frogs absorb through their skin they can be sensitive to salts and oils on their keepers hands, they also have delicate bodies which means that red eyed tree frogs should not be handled unless necessary for tank cleaning or maintenance.
In general frogs do not make good pets for keepers who wish to regularly handle their animals. If you are looking for a small reptile pet that can be regularly handled see our leopard gecko care sheet or our bearded dragon care guide.
When removing red eyed tree frogs from their enclosure for cleaning the best technique is to gently collect the frogs in a clean moistened cup, such as a deli container.
If for some reason when proving your red eyed tree frog with care you must touch or handle the frogs, this is best accomplished with a moistened food preparation glove on your hand.
Red Eyed Tree Frog Keeping Conclusion
Overall red eyed tree frogs make interesting and beautiful captive animals. These great little frogs allow you to enjoy a piece of the rainforest in your own home and they can be simple to keep once all the red eyed tree frogs care requirements are met.