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FAQs About Anurans/Frogs: White's Tree Frogs

Related Articles: Keeping African Clawed Frogs and African Dwarf Frogs by Neale Monks, Amphibians, Turtles

Related FAQs: Frogs other Than African & Clawed 2,
FAQs on: General Frog Identification, General Frog Behavior, General Frog Compatibility, General Frog Selection, General Frog Systems, General Frog Feeding,
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Leopard Frogs, Surinam Toads/Pipa, Tadpoles of all Sorts, Toads/Terrestrial Frogs, Amphibians 1, African Dwarf Frogs, African Clawed Frogs, Newts & Salamanders, Rubber Eels/CaeciliansTurtlesAmphibian Identification, Amphibian Behavior, Amphibian Compatibility, Amphibian Selection, Amphibian Systems, Amphibian Feeding, Amphibian Disease, Amphibian Reproduction,

White's dumpy tree frog - seems to be starving   3/20/12
I have had two frogs for a little over a month. The first is a Chubby Frog
<Kaloula pulchra, a fairly hardy species adapted to somewhat dry environments.>
who is thriving, eating well, fairly active and gaining weight. The other is my sad little White's Dumpy Tree Frog.
<Litoria caerulea, much more demanding, especially with regard to warmth and humidity because it comes from rainforests.>
He is worrying us to death. He stopped eating several days ago and seems to have peeling skin. I am afraid that I had been spraying the tank with water from the tap so perhaps that is what the problem is.
<Use distilled, RO, or rainwater if at all possible.>
I have fixed that problem and will be more aware of that. This morning I cleaned the tank completely and added a large branch going up the side of the large tank so that he has a place to sit under a heat lamp. The man at the pet store thought it was not enough heat,
<Possible. Does need warm air around 25 C/77 F.>
not enough time under the UVB light or the spraying water.
<Also possible. Need medium humidity on the humidity meter in your vivarium (you do have one, I hopeā€¦ you can't keep frogs without one).>
All those things have been fixed and I am hoping tonight he eats at least one cricket. He hasn't eaten anything in days and is very emaciated. I read on your site that heat lamps are a bad idea, I am confused!!
<Warmth should be provided by an under tank heating mat. Heating mats won't dry the vivarium out too much if you regularly spray to moss or coir at the bottom, and the frogs will therefore be much happier. Heat lamps can work, but you MUST ensure the humidity is high, e.g., by regular spraying (multiple times per day) and the lamp needs to be one end of the vivarium, so the frog can easily climb to a cooler area.>
I now have a heat lamp and UVB lamp on them, fake ivy climbing up one side of the tank with the branch leaning into it, a hiding spot of a dug out log and a water bowl (which has always had bottled water in it). What is wrong with my little Mr. Pickles? Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated!!
<Many excellent books on keeping frogs. Do invest in one. "Keeping Amphibians" by Andrew Gray is cheap, easy to read, and covers all the basics.>
Thanks so much.
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.> 

Whites tree frog/paludarium 10/07/11
Hey crew, normally I inquire about my fish...but today I have a question regarding something different!
I've had a Whites tree frog in its own aquarium,
30 gallon, an old eclipse style with the filter system compartments up top.
<Not really sure what you mean by this.>
He spends the day up top sleeping in the filter compartment, this isn't a problem right?
<Depends. Like all tree frogs, White's Tree Frog is primarily an above-the-water animal, and it depends upon warm, humid air to stay healthy. They're not difficult animals to keep, but water shouldn't be a major part of their world. In fact their home should be taller than it is wide, because what they need is stuff they can climb. Trees aren't an option, but bendable fake tree stems and such-like are widely sold and extremely useful when keep these arboreal animals. The substrate needn't be anything more fancy than coir or moss, whichever is easier for you to work with. Coir is cheap and environmentally friendly, so the best option if looks aren't important. You can afford to replace the top layer of coir every week, which'll help keep costs down. The only water will be a pool an inch or two deep where the frog can bathe. That's all they need so far as swimming water goes. Otherwise, concentrate on humidity. The air in the vivarium should be warm and damp, but ventilation within is essential, otherwise infections, particularly fungal infections, are common. Needless to say, because the water is so shallow, you don't put the heater in the water. Instead you use an under tank heating mat of the sort used for lizards and other terrestrial or amphibious animals.>
anyways, I've had this frog for about 9 years, and he is still kickin' but over the years his tank has gone from...decent to pitiful. The tank is clean and what not but over time he now has no bark, 3 water dishes since he loves taking baths, a couple of logs and that's about it, the tank looks very bare.
<Sounds it.>
I was looking at it today and decided it needed a change, so I'm going to build a paludarium of sorts.
I'm thinking of having the right side of the tank about 1 inch of water that slopes into maybe 6 inches of water.
<Don't need anything like so much.>
On the left side I'm going to have a heavily planted (fake) and logged portion on top of large rocks, probably granite(if this is ok) that I'm going to stack up to give the frog some dry land. Anyways, I was wondering what type of filter should be used in only 6 inches of water, and should I add a heater and keep it somewhere from 75-80 degrees?
<No, the heater goes under the tank to warm the air, not the water. Room temperature water is fine.>
Also I was wondering in this type of set up if the frog could go with any other type of creatures?
<Other frogs, perhaps.>
Guppies or Hatchetfish in the water, shrimp in the water,
<No, no and no. These will not be [a] happy in so little water and [b] likely to be eaten anyway.>
fire belly toad,
<Cool climate animals, and toxic, so not really viable.>
a newt,
<Not really, no.>
another frog,
<Generally no. But White's Tree Frog is very sociable with its own kind so that's an obvious choice.>
or my LFS also has a pygmy chameleon that is pretty neat looking, how about this guy?
<Chameleons are extremely difficult to keep. Most die very quickly in captivity.>
I'm not really knowledgeable in amphibians/reptiles, but willing to learn!
<Ah! Good!>
Any advice/criticism/compliments much appreciated! Also I have no light on the tank, is this a problem, I didn't think it necessary because the frog spends all day where the light wouldn't reach anyways. Should I switch to a mesh type top, and add a lamp, or if I go with another animal in the tank, should I then get a UV lamp?
<A UV-B lamp is always a plus. But you shouldn't use a heating lamp as these burn frogs. Heat should come from underneath. If you have the under tank heater, and you spray the coir daily, and have a pool of water as well, humidity should take care of itself.>
I'm pretty excited about this much needed upgrade, and I'm going to start, and hopefully have something that is a good, if not finished, product by the end of this weekend. Eventually I might look into live plants for the water and on land,
<Your easiest choice is the common Philodendron, which does amazingly well if given adequate lighting. The "aquatic palms" sold in aquarium shops will do well too (they normally die in aquaria!). Lucky Bamboo is a third option.>
and then I obviously would need a lamp.
<Quite so, and be sure to ensure there's ventilation through the hood otherwise it'll get too dry at the top of the tank. Here's the thing: frogs escape through vents, so you need to use mesh or something similar to let air in but keep frogs out.>
Sorry for rambling, Thanks so much for your help, and help in the past!
<Do look at Andrew Gray's splendid little "Keeping Amphibians" book. It's cheap, easy to read, and has lots of really useful information on designing vivaria as well as sections on all the popular frogs including White's.
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Whites tree frog/paludarium   10/9/11
Hey Neale, thanks for the help! Well, it's an eclipse tank, maybe a Google search can clear it up. Basically the filter is built into the hood. So it would normally have a pump that brings water up top, goes over a cartridge filter, and then comes back out. Completely built into the hood, any my frog spends all his days up there, where you can't see it unless you open up the lid, and he's right there. I was thinking of switching to a new mesh style lid, would this be beneficial?
<I wouldn't spend a bunch of money on this aquarium, to be honest. If it works as it is, then leave it alone, and concentrate on adding tall plants and/or more frogs. Do also look at the Exo Terra series of vivaria. They're nicely designed, inexpensive, and come in a range of sizes. I'd sooner save my money for a proper vivarium than spend money on trying to make a fish tank better suited to a frog. Even if the Exo Terra units aren't in your budget, at least you'll see what you're aiming for, and you may well be able to build or buy something similar. If you Google "making" or "DIY" with "vivarium" you'll see lots of folks make nice enclosures for frogs and reptiles for very little money, either from scratch or by customising stuff bought cheaply. Unlike a fish tank, a vivarium provides the height arboreal frogs need, as well as better ventilation and generally better ways to provide heating, humidity and UV-B lighting.>
Unfortunately before I saw your reply I went out and bought a small 30g canister filter, and another small water heater, only set at about 73, just for those cold winter nights. I also have one of those heating pads on the side on the dry portion. It isn't done yet but could I still do the paludarium for my own liking?
<Yes, of course.>
I was planning on having lots drift of wood that extended all the way to the top of the tank, and also comes out of the water and bridges to land, so plenty of tall places for him. I think the paludarium would not be a big deal for the frog, he will still have many more tall places and climbing places then before, although less ground coverage which he shouldn't mind.
I managed to keep him 9 years with out much "enrichment" and I love giving my fish many caves, rocks, live plants, different substrates to explore, so I felt that my frog also deserves the same treatment.
<Quite so. That he's nine years old implies you've been providing what a vet would call "adequate" care, i.e., everything it needs to stay alive. So you can certainly feel pleased with yourself for having done a good job.
But as you observe, there are extra little things you can add to make his life more interesting, and in turn, increase your opportunity to watch natural behaviours. This would mean plants (whether real or plastic) for climbing would be one, and companions of his own kind (ideally females, or at least aim equal numbers of males/females if you want a mixed sex group, females being bigger than males when mature). Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Whites tree frog/paludarium   10/9/11

Thanks so much Neale, I was watching him tonight and I realised it just wasn't working, It became too moist in there for the frog to climb up the glass and get up to his safety spot in the lid.
<Oh dear!>
I removed all the water and put it back together as his old tank was, with a few more of these fake hanging type plants. Tomorrow I'm going to go get some of the moss I saw at the petstore and almost bought it before I saw your reply, but now definitely going to take back what I bought and use the moss.
<Moss is great. It helps with humidity. Can be expensive to replace unless you get the stuff growing. Java Moss, sold for fish tanks, can do rather well in vivaria. Alternatively, coir is cheap and can be purchased in blocks in its dry form. These soak up masses of water so each block makes tons of the stuff. It's cheap, and can be replaced weekly, which ensures good hygiene in the tank.>
If it ain't broke don't fix it, I guess. I'll buy some plants, and plan on going collecting for more driftwood/branches, (I'd use the same process to cure it as in a fish tank, which I assume makes it just as safe). Plus the moss I hope this will make it much more interesting for it. I'll probably hold off on another frog, because I do not know the sex of the one I have, and don't want two males or something.
<Two males might get on; three would be best, because then the bully couldn't cause serious problems.>
Either way thanks for all your help with this topic.
<Glad to help.>
<Cheers, Neale.>

Sick whites tree frog   8/7/11
This evening while checking on my son's two Whites Tree Frogs I noticed one of them to be extremely bloated with a small lesion on top of his head.
After some research I have concluded the most likely cause is Dropsy. (The frog was taken to the vet and was humanly euthanized) I am worried about his other frog. I am aware now of the mistakes we were making that caused the illness in the first frog and are taking precautions to make sure those same mistakes are not repeated. I understand it is not contagious and I have re-sanitized the entire tank. The frog we have left is very thin despite eating a few wax worms a week (hand fed) along with some crickets (hunted) and she seems to have clouding over the tops of her eyes. Is this related to the bacteria or is this something else? So I need to be worried that she is thin?
<Hello Joy. Frogs are extremely sensitive, and while these Tree Frogs are not especially difficult to keep, they're not easy pets for children or teenagers. Apart from the fact that handling them stresses them, it can also damage their skin because our skin is so much dryer than that of the frogs. Plus, the keeper of the frogs needs to ensure humidity is quite high and that may involve daily misting. Diet is always a problem with reptiles and amphibians, and while they may eat all sorts of bugs and worms, these do need to be dusted with vitamins or gut-loaded before usage. UV-B lighting is needed to synthesise vitamin D. Without both the right food and UV-B, nutritional shortcomings are likely. There are some lamps that provide both heat and UV-B, but these are likely to dry out frogs and I don't recommend them. Instead, use an under-tank heater because these are tropical frogs and won't live long at room temperature, even in the continental United States or Southern Europe. Again, lack of heat will reduce the immune system and make dietary imbalances more likely, which can lead to wasting and failure to thrive. I'd give the vet a call in this instance. Injections of vitamins can be very effective with reptiles and amphibians, and at the same time the vet can give the frog a once-over to see if she's thin because of disease or lack of food. Better safe than sorry. When it comes to amphibians, I would always recommend Axolotls and African Clawed Frogs as generally much easier for teenagers to look after, though I don't really rate any of these difficult pets as suitable for younger children, unless of course their parents are happy to be involved on an at-least weekly basis. Cheers, Neale.>

Whites Tree Frog   7/27/11
Wet Web Media -
My Whites Tree Frog had what I believe was a case of Cloudy Eye, but after a few days of his cage being mistakenly flooded, the Cloudy Eye seems to have cleared up, but both his eyes are more bloodshot. I've read that moisture can help clear up Cloudy Eye - are the bloodshot eyes an aftereffect? Or is it possible that my Whites Tree Frog got some kind of illness from the water?
Thank you!
<Hello Rebecca. Amphibian eyes are extremely sensitive, and a bloodshot appearance can mean all sorts of things, from dry or dusty air through to bacterial infection. Obviously toxins in the air, such as bug sprays and paint fumes, can cause a reaction too. So while there isn't anything specific you need to do here, you should review conditions generally. Make sure humidity in the vivarium is high -- at least 50% humidity -- so misting is very important if you don't have an automatic vivarium humidifier. Do also check the air is clean, that the water pool in the tank is clean and chlorine, Chloramine, ammonia and copper free, and that the vivarium generally is free from things like mould and other fungi that can cause reactions in frogs. Cheers, Neale.>

Cloudy Eye in Whites Tree Frogs    4/26/11
To Whom it May Concern,
Lately I have noticed the my White's Dumpy Tree has a clouding in one of his eyes. It is opaque, kind of bluish almost. I noticed it about 2 months ago. I was wondering what the possible causes were and whether to take my frog to the vet. If not, what kind of treatment should I do?
Thank you!
<Hello Rebecca. Cloudy eyes typically mean one of two things: physical damage (usually from handling, which should be avoided as far as humanly possible) and secondary infections. Infections can follow on from damage, or from poor diet, or from overly-bright light, or from insufficient humidity, or from excessive heat or cold. Without details on these issues it's hard to say what's going on. Visiting a vet is an extremely good idea, and some of these problems are more easily treated with antibiotics and/or vitamin injections than they are identified. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Cloudy Eye in Whites Tree Frogs   4/28/11

Thank you!
<Most welcome! Neale.>

Dumpy Tree Frog Peeling   12/21/06 To whom it may concern. I'm beginning to freak out! My 7 month old white dumpy tree frog seems  to be peeling! I took him out of the tank take a closer look and it seems that he is a bit bloated and has a bump (or just a new bump) under his mouth. It also looks like he has "left-overs" around his mouth, as if its peeling there too, but its a much darker color (looks blackish, kind of like if something had been burnt). I don't know what to do, I've searched the web but can't seem to find my specific answer questioned. Please help! I appreciate anything. Sincerely, Nina Morato < Assuming that everything else is normal and as it should be, it sounds like your frog has been poisoned. As you place live insects in your terrarium not all of them get eaten. The ones that live may be eating some of the terrarium plants which may be harmful. When they get eaten by the frog they carry the poisons from the plant. The "leftovers " may be the result of your frog trying to vomit the poisonous item out. Go to Kingsnake.com and look for a reference to a vet in your area. I would say for now get him into a very clean and very damp container so he does not dry out. Used cool distilled water to spray him often so his skin does not dry out and get infected if he survives.-Chuck>

White's tree frogs. Noisy?  - 11/11/06 Do you know how loud they croak, would love to own one but will have to share bedroom with Viv <My friend Steve is visiting and kept Litoria species... says they don't make much in the way of croaking noise... just a bit sometimes at night... They're not real vocal at all> So the fact they croak might be a problem Many thanks Celia <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Frog with cloudy eyes   2/8/06 HI WWM Crew: I have had my White's tree frog for 8 years (he was full grown when I got him, so he is probably 9 or so years old). <This is a good long time for this species> I have always kept him in a 20 gal. tall tank with sphagnum moss and a water dish and some live plant, and fed him crickets.  Last month I traveled for the month and put him in a smaller container with moss and a plant which died.    I didn't notice at first, but he was sitting in the plant pot and when I picked him up his eyes were clouded over and so he couldn't eat.  I bought some Fluker's Repta-Rinse, but it wasn't working and he wasn't eating (or pooping) for about a month Finally, I took him to the vet and he gave me saline and atropozine (sp?) drops to treat corneal edema.  His eyes were getting better and he finally ate and pooped and I thought we were good...for 1 week, and now the clouds are back and he won't eat cause he is blind...again. Do you guys have any suggestions?  I feel terrible and would really like him to get better. Thanks, BEA <... Not much to do here... "old age"... accumulation of genetic anomalies, lack of ready fit with environment...: http://www.google.com/custom?q=Frog+with+cloudy+eyes&sitesearch=wetwebmedia.com Bob Fenner>

White's tree frog   2/8/06 We recently acquired a whites tree frog, after a couple of days we  noticed one of his toes looks broken or bent backwards. What , if anything can be  done to fix or at least prevent further injury. Its possible we got him that way but we still like him. >> There is not much you can do, and he will likely be ok so long as there is no infection on the toe. Make sure to watch for places where he can break his toes. Screen covers are the worst for these types of frogs if the mesh is too large. Oliver

Melafix on Frogs  9/8/05 I actually want to compliment you guys on http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/amphibfaqs.htm that article. I'm glad to see that SOMEWHERE on the net someone is able to use Melafix on frogs with success. I currently have a Whites Tree Frog that has some open sores ( they're healing with rinsing, but I want to keep them clean) and I was wondering , Melafix being a Natural substance , would it help me out with the problem. I see that people have used it with success from this link, and I really want to thank you! - Alicia < If you use this product as a bacterial inhibiter then I think it will work OK. If you try to use it as an antibiotic alone then I think you will be disappointed. Good housekeeping and sanitation goes along way in curing diseases. I think a combination of all of these is the key to a full recovery. If the frog shows signs of distress then I would discontinue to use it.-Chuck>

Mixing Amphibians Can fire belly toads live with baby whites tree frogs if they are about the same size? What about adding green tree frogs to the mixture? <I would not mix any of these, they all have different environmental requirements.  If you want entertainment go with the fire bellies, if you want an adorable frog that is not as active, go with the Whites Tree frog.  I like tree frogs as well, but they are really jumpy, open the lid to clean them an BOING! all over the room.  Ok, it is not that bad, but they are really fast.  Do some research on all 3 and go with the one you like best.  -Gage>

Mixing it UP in My Cauldron - Herp Question Hi there! I was wondering if it was ok to mix Australian white tree frogs with Firebelly toads because I might get some once I get the $$. And one more thing: one of my Firebelly toads ( Jeff ) seems to like to go scuba diving occasionally. He goes underwater in the deepest, most secluded part of the tank, looking kind of dead ( which he isn't because he swam to the surface after a while). he has done this three times already. Is this normal and why does he do it? < White tree frogs are very arboreal and are usually found at the upper levels of the terrarium. Fire belly toads are very aquatic and usually don't do too much climbing. If the tree frogs try and eat the toads then there could be problems because the toads are somewhat toxic and I am not sure of the effect on the frogs. To be safe it would probably be better to keep them separate. You fire belly toads usually can swim all over an aquarium but they really need a place to get out of the water.-Chuck>

Frog's Not Hopping Hello, I've just been on you're very useful website and I know I'm probably clutching at straws here but I was wondering if you can help...   My Whites Tree Frog 'Bud' has been sick for some time now. He is eating willingly, with a little help from me holding his food. He lost a lot of weight, and it was at the point that I feared he would not make it. Hence the first trip to the vets...    Yet 6 months later he is still here, has gained a lot of weight, and is now as I would describe of 'average weight'. But it does not end here. He seems to be having difficulty controlling his limbs. He struggles to move around the tank freely, and when picked up he goes into a (excuse the description!) 'Starfish' position, legs splayed and toes curled. (If a photo would help I could forward one) He also seems to dry out a little, even though the humidity is high and I spray the tank thoroughly daily.   I have spoken to the vets and they cannot explain it. They assure me that if it was anything contagious/wrong with the habitat/a deficiency, my other frog 'Weiser' would almost definitely have shown symptoms by now. After the first trip to the vets I considered isolating him, but took into account what the vet had said and decided not to. I feel they would both get unduly stressed as they are a breeding pair.   They both live in a large 2ft square, 1/4 water, 3/4 land tank. In the water side they have a large waterfall & pump (to aid humidity). All water used in the tank is treated with 'Exo Terra, Aquatize for amphibians'. In the land side the substrate is large orchid bark chippings, covered in live moss. The tank is always kept clean. I also use pebbles, artificial plants, and corkscrew vines for decoration. The lighting is partly natural and partly artificial, I also have a heat mat at the rear of the tank and the temperature is correct. I treat the live food once a week with 'Nutrabol' vitamin supplement, and vary the diet with crickets & mealworms. (any other information needed I am happy to forward).  I have searched the net, read books, and asked vets; but cannot find anything sounding like the symptoms he displays. I am not overly worried as he does not appear to be suffering, and is happily eating. I would just like him to get back to being his old lively self! If you cant help then not to worry, I just thought I'd try! Many Thanks < Go to Allaboutfrogs.org/info/species/whites.html. There is lots of good info about frog problems. Especially check out the frog doctor. There are a number of things discussed that could be helpful.-Chuck>

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