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Thread: Prospective Red Eyed Tree Frog Owner - Where Do I Start?

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    Default Prospective Red Eyed Tree Frog Owner - Where Do I Start?

    So, i'm relatively new to owning anything other than dogs and small rodents. I have a Bearded Dragon who is a little over a year old, but that's the extent of my experience in that regard. I was introduced to Red Eyed Tree Frogs and i would really like to own one. I've done some basic research, i had a habitat all set up, and I brought one home early yesterday. I woke up this morning and he/she did not survive the night. I'm trying to figure out what went wrong.

    A little about my set up: i was told that a 20G long tank was fine, so that's what i used because i had one. I cleaned it with water, let it air dry, then set it up. I used coconut fiber substrate with some moss, set up a shallow water dish, added some fake plants. I set up lighting - a day basking bulb and a red night basking bulb. I added the frog. The temperature when i went to bed was just below 80 (thermometer closer to the bottom of the tank) and had been consistent since i set it up. Humidty was around 70. Everything was misted and moist. Frog was happy under the basking light. Next morning, he was gone.

    I don't know what i did wrong. Did i miss something? Can anyone think of anything? I'm hoping for some tips so that i can set up a habitat and eventually get another frog. Would a different tank be better? A lot of people like the 18x18x24 vivarium kits and that's what i see more commonly used, so i did order one just in case. Am i using the right lights? Should i ditch the basking lights and just use a low watt ceramic heat bulb on a thermostat? Do i need a UVB light? Wrong substrate? Any ideas?

    Also, where did everyone get their frogs? Mine did come from a pet store (i know, not a good idea and may be why it didn't survive, but i thought it would be better to see what i was getting and the frog i chose looked perfectly healthy and cared for properly so i went with it).

    Please no judgement - i'm trying to learn from any mistakes i may have made. I feel really bad.

    Thanks in advance!

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    100+ Post Member DanDrobates's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prospective Red Eyed Tree Frog Owner - Where Do I Start?

    Firstly don’t beat yourself up. Things often happen beyond our control. Your setup, temperatures and humidity all seem fine. A vertical enclosure is preferred but trust me a 20 long is not going to kill a treefrog. There are a few possibilities to consider here:
    1.The frog may have been in poor shape before you acquired it and the transfer from store to home was just too much stress for it.
    2. There may be something in your enclosure that killed it. Examples include untreated water (unlikely though)and chemical residues from cleaning products. Cage furniture that may have chemicals in it or on it is possible. I had artificial silk plants in an enclosure and lost two of three frogs within a few days of acquisition. I removed them and the third frog thrived.
    3. Some unknown cause that may never be known. Frogs are delicate and sometimes some unknown factor causes their sudden demise.

    Dont get discouraged. Odds are the frog probably had underlying health issues before entering your care given it only lasted a day. Did you examine the body? We’re there any signs of infection such as sores or reddening on the legs and belly? What conditions were present in the store you purchased it from? Was it wild caught or captive bred?

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    Default Re: Prospective Red Eyed Tree Frog Owner - Where Do I Start?

    Quote Originally Posted by DanDrobates View Post
    Firstly don’t beat yourself up. Things often happen beyond our control. Your setup, temperatures and humidity all seem fine. A vertical enclosure is preferred but trust me a 20 long is not going to kill a treefrog. There are a few possibilities to consider here:
    1.The frog may have been in poor shape before you acquired it and the transfer from store to home was just too much stress for it.
    2. There may be something in your enclosure that killed it. Examples include untreated water (unlikely though)and chemical residues from cleaning products. Cage furniture that may have chemicals in it or on it is possible. I had artificial silk plants in an enclosure and lost two of three frogs within a few days of acquisition. I removed them and the third frog thrived.
    3. Some unknown cause that may never be known. Frogs are delicate and sometimes some unknown factor causes their sudden demise.

    Dont get discouraged. Odds are the frog probably had underlying health issues before entering your care given it only lasted a day. Did you examine the body? We’re there any signs of infection such as sores or reddening on the legs and belly? What conditions were present in the store you purchased it from? Was it wild caught or captive bred?
    Thank you - i'm trying not to beat myself up, but it was a bummer. I also lost one of my other pets the same day, so it was a double whammy. You make some good points. Let's see...

    1) I considered that. It seemed healthy in the store and was as active as i guess a tree frog can be during the day. Good size/weight, no sign of illness. Is there any way to reduce stress when bringing one home? How do they survive shipping when you order them from online?

    2) I did use tap water to mist the cage, wet the bedding, and in the bowl, but so did the store. Would it be worth it to get some reptile water conditioner and use that, just in case? I don't use chemicals to clean the cages i have, i used an extremely diluted vinegar/water solution but the tank i used had been cleaned over a month ago after i moved my beardie out of it. It's been sitting in the garage since. I wiped it with a paper towel but that was about it. I never thought about the stuff i put in the cage - i rinsed it off and stuck it in. Fake plant and bowl. Same kind that was in it's habitat at the store, actually. How do i know that new stuff i add (like vines and plants and stuff) won't kill the next one?!? Now i'm paranoid, lol.

    3) Fair enough point. It's the same with any animal, i guess.

    I did look it over before i returned it to the store. There was no sign of trauma, no sign of infection, nothing that i could tell caused the death. It appeared healthy at the store. It was kept in good conditions there, as well, with the appropriate temp/humidity/substrate, misted regularly, fed daily, etc. I also know the people who work at the store and they take very good care of the animals (i know some stores don't.) The frog had been there for a couple of weeks before i brought it home. As far as i know they get all their animals from vendors (which i know isn't the best). Are there other options for obtaining frogs? I don't know of any specialty stores or sellers in my area, and i have to admit the 30 day guarantee came in handy (i got my money back).

    I'm going to start over with the new vivarium. I'll get it set up and monitor the heat/humidity without a frog in it for a few days to make sure there isn't a problem with the set up itself, i guess. Tips would be appreciated.

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