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Thread: A diurnal heating question

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    Default A diurnal heating question

    I've got my frog's temperature between 82 and 84 degrees with a thermostat connected to both low wattage mat heaters and a red heat bulb. It is a very gentle heat from both below and above, the swing between 82 and 84 degrees typically takes about 3 hours to cycle. I've verified the temperatures with a remote sensing thermometer.

    I've read that i'm supposed to lower the temperature at night.

    My questions:

    1) Any danger in not doing so? Does the frog suffer if I keep him warm?
    I can always reset the thermostat twice each day, but there's gonna be days I forget to do that.
    2) I assume that a heating/cooling cycle should coincide with the light cycle, correct?
    Using a red bulb for heat all the time and a blue/white bulb only during the day.

    The physiology of a frog is so alien. He never 'goes to sleep' in any way humans do, for example. I've seen him "shed his skin/slime" and eat it...twice. Wow. Didn't know he did that.

    Just got an ultrasonic mister for him. Very cool. Turns the 10 gallon terrarium into a Frog Bank.

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    Default Re: A diurnal heating question

    Hi, yes its good to have a drop in temps at night and yes it should coincide with light cycle. I see that Jason is looking at this thread and i will let him explain why to you because im fighting a serious flu and was just popping by. Thanks ahead of time Jason, i dont think i have been sick like this ever.

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    Default Re: A diurnal heating question

    Can become inactive or possibly stressed in some species. You answered the question on number 2. It's all to do with the day and night cycle. I'd turn off the heat lamp unless your room drops below 70F. Leaving the mat on at 75F provides a warm area for the frog to seek of it does become too cool. I'm not keen on using overhead heat for frogs at night because a nocturnal frog comes out at night when the heat is ambient and not direct, and when the humidity is higher. For this reason I would watch with the fogger. It can prevent humidity gradients or flucations. It should generally be lower in humidity during the day and then higher at night, but constant high humidity is not good for most frogs.

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    Default Re: A diurnal heating question

    My house temp drops down to 62F, so frog gets cold air at night, not much I can do about that.

    One thing I can do is to set the thermostat back a bit and maybe turn the top heating off at night. I've got a remote sense thermometer so i'll be able to spot check the frog to see if this'll work or not.

    I'll run the fogger only as needed. Pretty easy to cycle humidity with heat. I'm also aware that the hand sprayer contains minerals (mineral water) which is good for the water bowl and for spraying the frog directly. I'm still amazed how quickly a drop of water dropped onto a frog soaks right in.

    I guess all I have to do is think about this fellow's native environment and I can answer many of my own questions.
    Thanks!

    He's such a cute little guy. I put him in his 'feeding box' just now. He's patiently looking at me now, awaiting a cricket. But i'm waiting for the poo first. We'll see who wins.

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    Default Re: A diurnal heating question

    froggy won. i broke down and gave him a cricket. my little frog can beg effectively.

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    Default Re: A diurnal heating question

    Oh wow, I thought the struggle was only mine! Although, now I do keep frogs in a heated room.

    Yeah, that should do fine or if you dim the bulbs down to 74-75F. You could put the fogger on on a timer to come on at night, when you use the heat lamp, it might spread the heat around the tank and make it more gentle and ambient. Just use handheld sprayer the tank during the day, then allow it to dry out slightly but no lower than 50% humidity. You can place a piece of cork bark over part of the substrate and this will offer a higher humidity retreat and create a gradient or the frog can burrow deeper into the substrate. The frog will then become most active at night when temps are cooler and humidity is higher.

    Yep, recreating wild environments is the key! And you won't win, it's just to fun to watch them feed!

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    Default Re: A diurnal heating question

    I rigged the fogger to come on with the heat lamps last night. That seems to have worked well.

    During the day, a single 60W daylight lamp is on all the time, a single 60W heat lamp and a 13W of pads under the tank provide the thermostatic control at 84F. The top heating is very gentle and does not overheat the top surfaces up more than a few degrees.

    During the night, 160W of heat lamps and a fogger create a warm fog and keeps it at 75F.
    160W of heat lamps would normally fry all of the surfaces in this terrarium in a minute. But with the fogger? It heats the fog. No measurable hot spots. Amazing. Allows for rather short heating cycles.

    And if I don't use heating, I find my frog, within the course of 20 minutes, falls to 60 degrees. I figure that this lower-than-room temperature is caused by the evaporation of water.

    So, connecting the fogger with the heat lights for diffusion of heat was a genius suggestion.

    Now we'll see how well it dries out during the day.

    Froggy sure is happy. Last nights eating session consisted of the rest of my small crickets, 8 in all. He would have eaten more. Healthy little bugger.

    He never did poo though. Tonight I expect a double.

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    Default Re: A diurnal heating question

    well, that got it too wet in the evening, it did not evaporate much during the day.

    so more adjustment necessary.

    but shifting the temps between 75 and 85 worked well.

    i'm amazed how difficult it is to get temp, humidity and light just right in an artificial environment. fortunately my frog is very tolerant of my experiments.

    So I guess i'll alternate the days I use the mister to let it dry out more.

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    Default Re: A diurnal heating question

    Interesting! But unfortunate that it didn't dry out during the day.

    Since you're using so much wattage anyway, I think the best and easiest thing here is to put the frog in the smallest room of the house and use a small oil-filled radiatior and greenhouse thermostat to raise temps of the room to a more suitable level. If you even set it to 70F it would be good. 60F means at least an increase of 14F of heat is necessary at night alone and that's just so much. The maximum I would go is 10F for day. You'll find it much easier this way to maintain enviromental conditions.

    When I kept my frog in a room at 65F and it was just too much of a struggle. Rooms in the 60sF can be good for salamanders and some temperate frogs, but tropical lowlands should generally be kept in warm rooms about 70-75F. Unless a frog is kept in a very large tank, the rule is to only use low-wattage 25-60W bulbs for heat, although I would use 60W for 20-gallons+

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    Default Re: A diurnal heating question

    In a room that is above 70F, the insects will feed more and in turn pass more safe and natural nutrition from fruit and veg to the frog. If you then decided to get another pacman in future, a different colour for a variety, it won't be so hard to set up another tank. You'll only need a 40-60W bulb for during the day and then a small heat mat at night.

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    Default Re: A diurnal heating question

    If I just pay attention and mist every other day, it looks like the humidity swing is what it should be.

    The thermostat makes it easy, all I have to do is to remember to set it each night and each morning.

    The 100W light is out of the equation. It's just too severe. 60W works fine.

    Froggy seems to be happy in its routine. Came out yesterday, shed, then hunted and ate more crickets than ever. Then the poo.

    I heat my cricket pen with a small bulb. Crickets love 86F.

    Funny, this frog doesn't like to hide under things. I've given it the opportunity and it totally avoids any sort of enclosed area. It just buries itself to whatever degree it wants.

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    Default Re: A diurnal heating question

    Hopefully all goes well with some more experiments!

    Never really found them to use a hiding spot either, it can be good though just in case and for a thermal/humidity retreat.

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    Default Re: A diurnal heating question

    How can i make or start threads???????????????????????

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    Default Re: A diurnal heating question

    How do you make threads?????????????????????????????

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    Default Re: A diurnal heating question

    Well, I feel the need to get a timed set-back thermostat.

    I'm recording my frog's food intake. He has eaten every day since I got him, but recently, a drop off.

    I'm manually setting back the temperature at night to 75F, but I appear to be giving him longer nights than he likes. It's winter where I live, so the house is cold and the nights are long.

    The frog was eating more when he was at a solid 85F, and eating seems to have dropped off with 'shorter days'.

    So I figure I need to consistently make the "night time temperature" last only 9 hours, with daytime heating at 15 hours. Rather than the way it is now, with only 9 or so hours of heat.

    I've ordered a second thermostat, one that has a timer. It will control the top heating with a daytime 15 hour set point of 86F. At night, top heating will turn off, or at least be set back to 73F so that no heat comes from above at night. My other thermostat will continue to control the bottom pads and it will be set to 75F so that the bottom of the tank never goes under that. This seems to be very close to the natural environment.

    Current Pic:

    I've added moss on top of the cocoa substrate. A determined frog can get through and bury itself, but it also tends to be satisfied to dig into the moss only a little bit. Much cleaner frog.

    Those 'sacks' at his side make it very difficult to tell how fat the frog is. I've seen the frog get 'irritated' once and it blew up to enormous proportions. When digging in and resting, he's plump, as shown in the photo above. When swallowing prey or actively moving around, he expels all of the air and looks 'thin' in comparison.
    It's interesting to watch the shedding behavior. It blows up its sides real fat and then does a twirling motion with the back leg to remove the slime.

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    Default Re: A diurnal heating question

    It's recommended that temps are 84F at the most, the older literature advised 86F but this was changed. It sounds like a good idea keeping the warmest temps longer, since it is a juvenile, feeding a lot and growing. He may be more tolerant of the drop when he's older. I would use another type of moss. I have used, by what it looks, the same type and it ended me having to place the frog in warm water and use tweezers to remove it from the anus. Sphagnum moss packs down better and isn't as easily eaten, but feed by tongs just incase.Try feedin more and see what happens, sometimes it can be air or water which makes it a nightmare to measure the size accurately.

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    Default Re: A diurnal heating question

    i don't mix food with that moss. It is 'zoo-med terrarium moss' which is sphagnum moss. When it's eating time, the moss isn't around. i clear out the moss, remove much of the cocoa, and I cut the bottom out of a pint container, so i've got a little ring I can set around him that assures a cricket will blunder into the death zone quickly...and cannot escape into a corner of the enclosure.

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    Default Re: A diurnal heating question

    I'm 100% sure that's not sphagnum, zoomed do sphagnum moss under its own name and it's a beige in colour. Sphagnum holds humidity much better than the green moss as well, nothing is better for that - just hate how expensive it can be. Keep in mind when the frog sheds it can get that green moss in its mouth whilst eating its shed. Ofcourse, a very tiny risk here but from my experience, definitely not worth the consequences.

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    Default Re: A diurnal heating question

    Hi, I noticed in your last post today that you said that the top is 73f and the matts are set at 75f and that this is close to there natural environment. They bury to cool off during the day and to absorb moisture from the earth (soil) and to stay away from daytime predators, so being warmer underneath isn't very natural. This is why they come out at night when the temps drop in the wild. And during the day outside even though the sun is beating down at the ground you would be surprised at the actual difference in temperature from the surface of the ground to even an inch down. We had a heat wave here this summer and I took my infrared thermometer outside to conduct an experiment that I actually posted on here, and there was like 15 to 20 degree difference. So not saying to take your matts off the bottom if this is the only way to get his temps right and keep him healthy, just if your really trying to mimic his natural environment he shouldn't have heat comeing from underneath him. Again I'm not saying to remove your matts because I understand some people just don't have another choice.

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    Default Re: A diurnal heating question

    I think in all fairness, horned frogs should really have no heat lamp or heat mat and be kept in rooms heated to their needs because they don't bask, they're nocturnal and come active during thunderstorms. In a heated room they would just burrow to thermoregulate. Since this is not possible for everyone, I think whatever way works best for the keeper is what they should stick to, as I see pros and cons with all heat sources. Just so important that there's always one area that is unheated so the frog can choose to escape the heat source when it wants to.

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