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Thread: Gray tree frog: frequency of changing paper towel substrate

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    Junior Member Kesha2's Avatar
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    Default Gray tree frog: frequency of changing paper towel substrate

    Hi friends of tree frogs,
    I am using seventh generation paper towels (no chlorine) for my gray's substrate. I was changing it every other day per every single care sheet I've seen, but with only one frog it seems unnecessary to me to do it that often now that he's past his quarantine period and his parasite tests have come back clean. While every single place says to change it at least every 48 hours, I haven't seen anywhere where it is explained why it must be that often. I wonder if the caresheets presume multiple frogs. I have recently begun changing it twice a week (every three or four days) rather than every other day so as to limit the stress of his cage getting cleaned as often and because it doesn't smell in there and he usually does his business in his water pond or otherwise not on the paper towels. Plus the towels do not stay wet. I mist in the morning but he isn't down there. I mist again in the evening before he comes down but the paper towels are dry again by morning. His tank has good air circulation with a screen top and the humidity is maintained between 70 and 80 percent. Am I harming my frog by changing it less often? Does anybody know the reason behind the recommendation to change it at least every 48 hrs, please?
    Thank you

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    100+ Post Member elly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gray tree frog: frequency of changing paper towel substrate

    I don't know why exactly 48 hrs is recommended, but I do know that moist paper towels grow bacteria very easily.

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    Junior Member Kesha2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gray tree frog: frequency of changing paper towel substrate

    OK I'm going to search around the tree frog forum and see what substrate is best for a gray and how thick to lay it etc. I'm thinking I might try something different. If you have a good recommendation please drop it here too. Thanks a bunch!

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    Default Re: Gray tree frog: frequency of changing paper towel substrate

    Best substrate by far is live substrate. Put an inch of gravel (ideally too large for the frog to swallow) or those fancy clay ball things on the bottom of the tank, cover it with a layer of paper towels or mesh, and cover that with about 2 inches of coconut fiber/soil mixture or some other soil- like concoction. Perhaps cover that with a layer of dead leaves or moss, the moss is likely to die sooner or later but will still look nicer than bare substrate. Make sure there are springtails in the enclosure- if you add any soil or moss that came from outdoors they'll appear on their own, but if you don't want anything unsterilized (the horror!) in your tank you can purchase springtail cultures. Isopods (either wild or purchased, the dwarf white ones are nice and won't get eaten by frogs) are also a good idea.
    The most important part is plants. Pothos is a good species due to its fast growth and tolerance of low light, but any plant will need some light in the form of a flourescent bulb or placing the vivarium where it will receive some sunlight. Once the roots have wound their way through the sunlight, you never really need to clean the cage apart from occasionally spot cleaning feces where it builds up on certain decorations and resting spots. Isn't that convienant?

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    Junior Member Kesha2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gray tree frog: frequency of changing paper towel substrate

    Wow, I must say I find all of that to be a bit daunting of an undertaking. I was hoping for more of something I could put down and clean out once a month or so and just use potted plants.

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    Default Re: Gray tree frog: frequency of changing paper towel substrate

    Quote Originally Posted by Kesha2 View Post
    Wow, I must say I find all of that to be a bit daunting of an undertaking. I was hoping for more of something I could put down and clean out once a month or so and just use potted plants.
    It's not as daunting as it sounds. It's basically dirt + plants + light = frog setup that needs practically no maintainence besides feeding and misting.

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    Junior Member Kesha2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gray tree frog: frequency of changing paper towel substrate

    I'll probably come around to bioactive eventually and I agree that must surely be what's best, but for now I want to make an improvement that's more of an intermediary step. After chatting over the weekend with another gray keeper, I think I'm going to switch to a reptile mat. She is doing bioactive but she said she the reptile mat was what she used before and you can change it less frequently than paper towels. When I'm ready to make the leap to do springtails and all that, I'll come back and let you know

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    Default Re: Gray tree frog: frequency of changing paper towel substrate

    I understand going with a simple thing for now. Reptile carpet can be a good solution, though especially rough ones or ones with loops that can catch a frog's foot can be a problem. Coconut husk changed once a month works too.

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