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Thread: The building of a Vivarium for Whites Tree Frogs

  1. #1
    Frogsong
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    Default The building of a Vivarium for Whites Tree Frogs

    Hi everyone,

    I'm new here. I've never owned a frog before unless you count all the frog home decor I've collected and the glass froggy beads I make myself.

    I am now getting excited about getting my first live pet frogs and have decided on the White's Tree Frog.

    I already have a 55 gallon aquarium that I will be using to house them in.
    I've been reading a lot about how to set it up, what to plant, etc.

    One thing that I definitely want to incorporate into it is a natural looking miniature stream with a small waterfall and pond, possibly with a little fish or two in the pond. I already have the pump for one. It's a small underwater pump that is used for building tabletop fountains.
    Now all I need is the know how.

    I've read about the use of the expanding foam and have decided against that.
    I was wondering if a fiberglass cast would work, in which I would follow the suggestion I saw on another thread and cover it with silicone and fine sand to make it look natural.
    Are there any plans online that I can look at to get other ideas?

    Meanwhile I've ordered a few books to help me out. Whether they will have plans for what I'm wanting to do or not, I don't know. If you can think of any other books that you think are indispensable, please let me know. I tried to select those that interested me and had good feedback ratings on Amazon. Here is a list of the books I've ordered so far.

    1. The Guide to Owning White's Tree Frog, by John Coborn.

    2. Care and Breeding of Popular Tree Frogs: A Practical Manual for the Serious Hobbyist, by Philippe de Vosjoli.

    3. Whites and White-Lipped Tree Frogs: Facts & Advice on Care and Breeding (Reptile Keeper's Guide)
    by Richard and Patricia Bartlett.

    4. Firefly Encyclopedia of the Vivarium: Keeping Amphibians, Reptiles, and Insects, Spiders and other Invertebrates in Terraria, Aquaterraria, and Aquari, by David Alderton.

    Other than these books, are there any must haves that I should consider?

    Thanks,

    Deb

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  3. #2

    Default Re: The building of a Vivarium for Whites Tree Frogs

    Hey Deb,

    Devin Edmonds site has some good info on building waterfalls and dripwalls so I would start by looking there (http://amphibiancare.com). I would be careful which pump you use, there are certain ones that are more tolerant of handling debris so make sure the model you have is adequate for use in a vivarium. You could try adding fish but whites will try and eat pretty much anything that moves so they may not live very long.

    No idea about the fiberglass...but whites aren't very picky about terrarium design so if you decide against doing a background I doubt it will have much of an impact on the frogs.

    You can find pretty much all the information you need to keep the frogs online, but the books will certainly help.

  4. #3
    100+ Post Member Tom Highum's Avatar
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    Default Re: The building of a Vivarium for Whites Tree Frogs

    I would also recommend proposing your idea over on vivarium forums. There are some good people over there but its nothing like this forum. Also I don't believe white's will eat fish (ask Kurt)

  5. #4
    Kurt
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    Default Re: The building of a Vivarium for Whites Tree Frogs

    They don't. I guess if it were flopping around on the floor they might try to eat it, but they as a rule don't chase after things below the water's surface.

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    Contributor SludgeMunkey's Avatar
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    Default Re: The building of a Vivarium for Whites Tree Frogs

    Fiberglass will be fine as long as you allow a minimum one month cure time. Also, make sure it is properly reinforced with an integral frame work. If you do not, it will warp under its own weight over time in the presence of water and warm temperatures. To be a suitable long term construction, you will need a minimum thickness of at least .25 inches.

    Personally, I find fiberglass based constructions suitable only for extremely large enclosures due to both cost involved and the instability of the medium in humid environments.

    If you do take a gander at vivaria forums, be very careful with the advice you get there. Very few of the builds pictured there are built with amphibians in mind. Even scarier, many of the builds that are built for amphibians are made with unsuitable materials or are improper habitats for the health of the animal. It is a great place for ideas, but the quality of information there is pretty touch and go. (I myself no longer go there anymore for that reason.) We have many skilled vivarists here (and over at caudata.org) that probably know more about vivaria for amphibians than anywhere else on the web. Dendroboard is another forum you should check out. while those folks have dart frogs in mind, they have some expert vivarists there too.
    Watching FrogTV because it is better when someone else has to maintain the enclosure!

  7. #6

    Default Re: The building of a Vivarium for Whites Tree Frogs

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt View Post
    They don't. I guess if it were flopping around on the floor they might try to eat it, but they as a rule don't chase after things below the water's surface.
    I can't speak for all individuals of the species, but mine do exhibit "fishing" behavior.

  8. #7
    Frogsong
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    Default Re: The building of a Vivarium for Whites Tree Frogs

    Okay, I really don't want to wait a month or longer to get my frogs so I want to use things that don't take so long to cure before they are frog safe.

    Can anyone tell me how long silicone takes to cure before it is frog safe?

    I found 2 reptile/amphibian pet shops in my area that I am going to visit this weekend and hopefully get my frogs.

    Are there any lists I can read on safe and non safe plants.
    And safe and non safe wood, etc.?

    I live in the foothills and we have a lot of oak trees, so I have no shortage of limbs and old bark. But are oak limbs safe for the frogs? The tree frogs that live in this area seem to be okay with them.

    I also have rocks with native moss on them. Can I use that moss?

  9. #8
    Frogsong
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    Default Re: The building of a Vivarium for Whites Tree Frogs

    Quote Originally Posted by birdsflybackwards View Post
    I can't speak for all individuals of the species, but mine do exhibit "fishing" behavior.
    Okay, I've decided against adding fish.

  10. #9

    Default Re: The building of a Vivarium for Whites Tree Frogs

    I think the major issue with adding things that you get from outside is the possibility of bringing "germs" into your tank, especially when it comes to captive bred frogs. I usually recommend against it with my customers.

    But, others may have differing opinions or know of a way to clean the bark.

  11. #10
    Contributor SludgeMunkey's Avatar
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    Default Re: The building of a Vivarium for Whites Tree Frogs

    One week cure time for aquarium rated silicone to cure pet safe @ 68F, 50%+ humidity. longer if it is cooler or drier, shorter if it is warmer and more humid.
    Minimum three days, regardless of temp and humidity.
    Watching FrogTV because it is better when someone else has to maintain the enclosure!

  12. #11
    Kurt
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    Default Re: The building of a Vivarium for Whites Tree Frogs

    Wood can be made "germ" free by baking in the oven for an hour at 150-200 F. Let it cool to room temperture before using. I think hardwoods like oak and maple are fine to use.

  13. #12
    Frogsong
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    Default Re: The building of a Vivarium for Whites Tree Frogs

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt View Post
    Wood can be made "germ" free by baking in the oven for an hour at 150-200 F. Let it cool to room temperture before using. I think hardwoods like oak and maple are fine to use.
    Thank you Kurt, I was wondering about that. I know you should do that with pre-packaged potting soil to prevent infesting your plants with nasties, so I wondered if it would work on pieces of wood and bark as well.

  14. #13
    Kurt
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    Default Re: The building of a Vivarium for Whites Tree Frogs

    It does.

  15. #14
    Contributor SludgeMunkey's Avatar
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    Default Re: The building of a Vivarium for Whites Tree Frogs

    More on amphibian friendly wood for vivaria here.
    Watching FrogTV because it is better when someone else has to maintain the enclosure!

  16. #15
    100+ Post Member Tom Highum's Avatar
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    Default Re: The building of a Vivarium for Whites Tree Frogs

    I love that article.

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