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Thread: Live plants with RETF

  1. #1
    wingnut2711
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    Default Live plants with RETF

    Hi All,

    Hope this is the right area of the forum to post this in

    I am getting some RETF in September but in the mean time I am doing copious amounts of research and gathering together all my equipment. I am building an Oak cabinet to put my Zoo-med terrarium in and was originally going to use artificial plants to decorate to keep things simple.


    However, after many hours of reading various sites/books it seems going with live plants is a sensible option to assist with humidity and from looking at people pics they look stunning too.

    I have decided to go for a not too imposing expanding foam background with some pots fitted in for planting and would also like to plant into the substrate if possible.

    My question is for anyone who has a planted terrarium is what plants would they recommend? I would rather spend my time ensuring the frogs are flourishing than worrying about the plants so would prefer those that are pretty 'bomb proof'. (if there is such a thing). I am thinking of some climbers for the pots, and some larger leaf plants for lower in the substrate.

    Without also trying to over complicate it I would like to use plants that the RETF would encounter in the wild to keep it as natural as I can (may be one step too far but who knows).

    Any advice on substrate and layering would also be much appreciated

    Any comments/advice would be appreciated.

    Thank you for reading.

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  3. #2
    100+ Post Member tinkgirl77's Avatar
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    Hello and welcome to ff! First off, congrats for doing research first! It's so much safer for your future kiddos to research ave prepare their homes ahead of time. I have a community retf tank that's been up & running for 2.5 years. I will say first off that live plants make a huge difference for maintaining the humidity levels. Tips I've learned : go tough & smooth. What I Mean is seek plants that are tough bc those retfs can get heavy & are quite clumsy. Mine really love the "african mask" aroid and the pothos I have. I also think in my next build I will include draecena or snake plant.
    As for smooth, look for plants with smooth, not sharp/pointy sides or ends. Retfs are so clumsy & goofy. Their skin is also super soft and easily damaged. So adjusting sharp edges will hopefully save them from injury.

    Bill & heather also have GREAT plant suggestions for retfs as who. Hopefully they will chime in soon. But hopefully that will help you for now. Best if luck to ya!

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    Moderator LilyPad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Live plants with RETF

    My male reds love the philodendron, they sleep hanging on the underside of the leaves. The girls prefer the bigger and hardier alocasia that I have. Both are very easy to grow! As for drainage layers, there is a good sticky to explain them in the vivarium section. - http://www.frogforum.net/vivarium-te...questions.html

    I agree with Lisa regarding the sharp edges, a bromeliad in my tank scratched a couple of my frogs and had to be removed.
    2.0.3 Hyla versicolor "Eastern Gray Tree Frogs"
    2.2.0 Agalychnis callidryas "Red Eyed Tree Frogs"

    0.0.3 Dendrobates auratus "Turquoise and Bronze"
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    Default Re: Live plants with RETF

    Yay for doing research ahead of time!!

    alocasia is always a great choice for Reds. They LOVE the big broad leaves on them. Pothos is also a very good (near impossible to kill) plant for any Tree frog. Snake Plants are great too, they are nearly bullet proof and can support multiple Red Eyes on a single leaf. My Reds loved sleeping on Snake Plants and Pothos.

    As for backgrounds. I have tried several attempts at background for Reds and from my experience they really prefer all glass. My reds hated climbing on cork or spray foam covered in a fiber. If you are wanting to plant high with something like a Pothos you can look into some of the Magnetic ledges with a flower pot built into it. I have used them for RETF in the past and they hold up very very well. If you do decide to go this route I recommend drilling several holes in the bottom of them for drainage to prevent the soil from swamping out.

    Here is my last Red Eye tank I did and they loved it in there. (It is a 40b Aquarium I converted to a vertical tank 18x17x36) It has 2 of the Magnetic ledges in there. I put a moss vine in, but the reds never really used it.

    1.1.0 - Oophaga Pumilio 'Blue Jeans' (2014 Nicaragua Import)
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    1.2.0 - D. Tinctorius 'Azureus'
    0.0.2 - D. Tinctorius 'Sipaliwini'
    0.0.2 - D. Tinctorius 'New River'
    0.0.4 - D. Tinctorius 'Leucomelas'
    0.0.4 - Terribilis 'Mint'
    1.1.0 - R. Ventrimaculatus 'French Guiana'

    Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/hashtagfrogs
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  9. #5
    wingnut2711
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    Default Re: Live plants with RETF

    Thank you for your replies and time Paul, Lisa and Amy, they are much appreciated.
    I have noted the suggested plants in my pad of research,bromeliad was on my list as a potential so thanks for the info regarding this, I can now cross it off as a no no. You just cannot beat info coming first hand from people.
    Really nice looking set up Paul, the moss vine looks great, just a shame they don't use it. Thank you also for your comment on the background, I will definitely take that on board. I am hoping to get my setup running for a couple of months before I get the frogs as practice for humidity and temperature levels whilst giving the plants a chance to mature.
    One thing else I am wondering, it has been recommended to spot clean daily,not a problem, but also to completely clean the bottom every 3 months or so. How does this disturbance affect the frogs and the plants that are planted direct in the substrate? I understand cleanliness is important but would hate to disturb the balance of the tank.

  10. #6
    Super Moderator flybyferns's Avatar
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    Default Re: Live plants with RETF

    Good morning,
    Wow..... you have a bus load of experienced help here !

    The bottoms of red eyed tree frog enclosures are kept in VERY, very different ways.
    YES! cleanliness is an important aspect of keeping these frogs.
    Sadly, many times they become ill from poorly maintained enclosures.

    I'm not sure how Lisa and Amy keep their enclosure bottoms.
    I use plain white paper towel and I bowl feed.
    This way the paper is changed every two or three days and dampened w/ de-chlor water.
    Their large glass feeding bowl, and soaking dishes are rinsed in HOT tap water and replaced.
    Using this 'paper towel' method has the added benefit of helping maintain the humidity as well.

    My tree frog's favorite plan is most definitely Dracaena. And so easy to clean !
    Dracaena fragratissima 'Massangeana' - Dragon Tree Corn Plant

    Some important links:

    http://www.frogforum.net/general-dis...uarantine.html

    http://www.frogforum.net/general-dis...eder-bowl.html

    Have fun
    Current Collection
    Dendrobates leucomelas - standard morph
    Dendrobates auratus “Costa Rican Green Black"
    Dendrobates auratus "Pena Blanca"
    Dendrobates tinctorius “New River”
    Dendrobates tinctorius "Green Sipaliwini"
    Dendrobates tinctorius “Powder Blue"
    Dendrobates tinctorius "French Guiana Dwarf Cobalt"

    Phyllobates terribilis “Mint”
    Phyllobates terribilis "Orange"
    Phyllobates bicolor "Uraba"

    Oophaga pumilio "Black Jeans"
    Oophaga pumilio "Isla Popa"
    Oophaga pumilio "Bastimentos"
    Oophaga pumilio “Mimbitimbi”
    Oophaga pumilio "Rio Colubre"
    Oophaga pumilio "Red Frog Beach”
    Oophaga pumilio "Rio Branco"
    Oophaga pumilio “Valle del Rey”
    Oophaga pumilio "BriBri"
    Oophaga pumilio "El Dorado"
    Oophaga pumilio "Cristobal"
    Oophaga pumilio "Rambala"

    Oophaga “Vicentei” (blue)

    Oophaga sylvatica "Paru"
    Oophaga sylvatica "Pata Blanca"
    Oophaga histrionica “Redhead”
    Oophaga histrionica "Blue"
    Oophaga lehmanni "Red"
    Oophaga histrionica "Tado"

    Ranitomeya variabilis "Southern"
    Ranitomeya imitator "Varadero"
    Ranitomeya sirensis "Lower Ucayali"
    Ranitomeya vanzolinii

    http://www.fernsfrogs.com
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  12. #7
    100+ Post Member jarteta97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Live plants with RETF

    Also, if you really still want a background, but also want to take in Paul's consideration on the fact that RETFs tend to dislike cork and foam, you could go with a cling on the outside. I know neherpetoculture.com has some nice ones. Ah, here it is:

    http://www.neherpetoculture.com/decorbackgroundsledges

    Just scroll down and you'll find it
    “Life is a journey, not a destination.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

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  14. #8

    Default Live plants with RETF

    Aglaonema species are excellent for retf's. (Had to beat heather to this one lol) and they are a plethora of cultivars to choose from. Asplenium sp (bird's nest) ferns are also good. However, they do grow rather large.

    As far as plants they would naturally encounter, the thing you need to keep in mind is that retf are true canopy frogs. They would normally encounter a lot of moss, ferns, and neoregalia sp bromeliads up in the canopy. Of course, I think someone already covered the issue with the broms, but that is not to say that there aren't some species that you can use that won't cause problems, you just need to shop around.


    Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world ~ Nelson Mandela
    1.0.0 Oophaga Pumilio 'Black Jeans'
    0.0.10 Phyllobates Vittatus
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    0.0.3 Epipedobates Anthonyi 'zarayunga'
    1.2.0 Phyllobates bicolor
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  16. #9

    Default Live plants with RETF

    Oh, about backgrounds, some of my favorite tree frog tanks don't even have backgrounds. They would be Lynn's tanks. Maybe we can entice her to share a pic of two of them so you can see an example of a well done retf tank


    Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world ~ Nelson Mandela
    1.0.0 Oophaga Pumilio 'Black Jeans'
    0.0.10 Phyllobates Vittatus
    0.0.3 Phyllobates Terribilis 'Mint'
    0.0.3 Dendrobates Tinctorius 'Patricia'
    0.0.5 Dendrobates Leucomelas
    0.0.2 Dendrobates Tinctorius 'Powder Blue'
    0.0.2 Ranitomeya Variabilis 'southern'
    0.0.3 Epipedobates Anthonyi 'zarayunga'
    1.2.0 Phyllobates bicolor
    0.0.3 Dendrobates tinctorius 'azureus'
    0.0.1 Avicularia Avicularia
    0.0.1 Gramastola porteri
    0.2.0 Canines
    1.0.0 Tabby/Maine Coon Mix
    2.1.0 Genetics Experiments
    0.1.0 Bed Bully

  17. #10
    Super Moderator Heatheranne's Avatar
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    Default Live plants with RETF

    Hello and welcome .

    You've got some great advice and recommendations already .

    Red eyed tree frogs live up in the "canopy" of the rainforest trees. They love to walk and leap amongst the leaf tops with those adorable sticky feet and long legs.

    Great tree frog plants are those that will hold their weight and that will thrive in the moist vivarium conditions.

    Some already listed and some extras include:

    Agalonema (Chinese evergreens)

    Alocasia

    Philodendron

    Potho

    They will appreciate minimal substrate on their feet. If planting a false bottom, adding some larger leaf litter over the substrate will help. ABG mix works great for the plants and Indian almond leaves are a nice large leaf litter choice.

    I do as Lynn does, and have my plants in pots and then use paper towel as flooring.

    You might also want to consider bowl feeding in which your crickets are added to a glass bowl of 1 1/2" or higher so no crickets are running around.

    You'll also want to consider a space above the tank for your plant light. You'll want a 6500K bulb to keep your plants happy and healthy. It will look so pretty in a lovely oak cabinet.

    (I'll look for some pics in a bit).
    https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10203589094112277&id=1363241107&set =a.1434844115446.2055312.1363241107&source=11&ref= bookmark

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  19. #11
    Moderator LilyPad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Live plants with RETF

    My frogs do not sleep on the flat part of the cork background, but they love the curved piece. In fact, one of my girls was sleeping on it this morning. They usually sleep on the plants though. They also regularly use the branches to hover over the food bowls and dive at the crickets. The moss vine does get mostly ignored, but they do love the big branch, at night I'll find all 4 of them hanging out on it.

    The floor of mine was a shallow, angled, water area...but I have drained most of that and the only water in there is in the deepest end of it, the food bowls sit on the other end during the night.

    2 bromeliads, the one on the top left was taken out, the one down lower is still there but only useful for decoration, none of them actually use it to sleep on.

    I can't wait to get a bigger tank though, I was supposed to get a 24x18x24 last fall, but it was "backordered" and then they ended up canceling it. So hopefully I get another one in the next few weeks so I can be ready for spring planting .

    2.0.3 Hyla versicolor "Eastern Gray Tree Frogs"
    2.2.0 Agalychnis callidryas "Red Eyed Tree Frogs"

    0.0.3 Dendrobates auratus "Turquoise and Bronze"
    0.0.1 Anaxyrus fowleri "Fowler's Toad"



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  21. #12

    Default Live plants with RETF

    Pretty tank


    Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world ~ Nelson Mandela
    1.0.0 Oophaga Pumilio 'Black Jeans'
    0.0.10 Phyllobates Vittatus
    0.0.3 Phyllobates Terribilis 'Mint'
    0.0.3 Dendrobates Tinctorius 'Patricia'
    0.0.5 Dendrobates Leucomelas
    0.0.2 Dendrobates Tinctorius 'Powder Blue'
    0.0.2 Ranitomeya Variabilis 'southern'
    0.0.3 Epipedobates Anthonyi 'zarayunga'
    1.2.0 Phyllobates bicolor
    0.0.3 Dendrobates tinctorius 'azureus'
    0.0.1 Avicularia Avicularia
    0.0.1 Gramastola porteri
    0.2.0 Canines
    1.0.0 Tabby/Maine Coon Mix
    2.1.0 Genetics Experiments
    0.1.0 Bed Bully

  22. #13
    100+ Post Member tinkgirl77's Avatar
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    Default Live plants with RETF

    Quote Originally Posted by LilyPad View Post
    My frogs do not sleep on the flat part of the cork background, but they love the curved piece. In fact, one of my girls was sleeping on it this morning. They usually sleep on the plants though. They also regularly use the branches to hover over the food bowls and dive at the crickets. The moss vine does get mostly ignored, but they do love the big branch, at night I'll find all 4 of them hanging out on it.

    The floor of mine was a shallow, angled, water area...but I have drained most of that and the only water in there is in the deepest end of it, the food bowls sit on the other end during the night.

    2 bromeliads, the one on the top left was taken out, the one down lower is still there but only useful for decoration, none of them actually use it to sleep on.

    I can't wait to get a bigger tank though, I was supposed to get a 24x18x24 last fall, but it was "backordered" and then they ended up canceling it. So hopefully I get another one in the next few weeks so I can be ready for spring planting .

    Love this tank amy!

    1.2.2 Agalychnis calidryas - Felix Felicis, Wall-E,Eva, Mike & Sull
    0.0.2 Canis lupus familiaris (Italian greyhounds) - Zaffira & Aurora
    1.0.0 My own personal prince charming (husband edition): Beau



  23. #14
    Moderator LilyPad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Live plants with RETF

    Thanks! The philo is pretty overgrown and needs a trim right now. Really though, they just need an upgrade. Been watching CL for some bigger tanks but not finding any, so I will have to spend a bit of money to get it. I can't wait to see Lynn's tank!
    2.0.3 Hyla versicolor "Eastern Gray Tree Frogs"
    2.2.0 Agalychnis callidryas "Red Eyed Tree Frogs"

    0.0.3 Dendrobates auratus "Turquoise and Bronze"
    0.0.1 Anaxyrus fowleri "Fowler's Toad"



  24. #15
    wingnut2711
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    Default Re: Live plants with RETF

    Thank you all for your recommendations and experience. I have a long list of bits to further research now, i'm sure I will still make some mistakes but with your help I can at least minimize them. The tank in the pic looks amazing Amy, exactly the sort of thing I am trying to achieve. Interesting to read about the bowl feeding method too, which makes perfect sense. So much content and detail in the post so far I am going to have to re-read to make sure I have it all, your time is appreciated. It's going to be around July before my set up is ready and I won't be getting the frogs until Late August , Early September but I will post some pics at points when it is coming along.

  25. #16
    Super Moderator Heatheranne's Avatar
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    Default Live plants with RETF

    That's the perfect way to do it .

    Happy to help.

    Please ask away if you have more questions.
    https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10203589094112277&id=1363241107&set =a.1434844115446.2055312.1363241107&source=11&ref= bookmark

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