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Old 04-21-2017, 12:41 AM
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Default RETF lighting and heating

I have been doing research like crazy on red eyes and basically have almost everything figured out like the enclosure and plants and all of that stuff, but lighting and heating has been a major issue. I would like LED's but that really does not help with heating. Also the whole UVB debate is an issue as LED's do not give off any. However I am a major frog guy and have kept a few types of frogs in the past especially Pacific tree frogs and personally I really don't thing nocturnal creatures benefit from it. Some people do.
I am either going with the exo terra 24" x 18" x 24" or the 24" x 18" 36". Probably the taller one so I know that affects what lighting I need also. As for plants it will be the usual things like pothos for sure, maybe a snake plant or broms. I am just so confused on what I should get for lighting and heat. I have an extra ultratherm uth that I could use on the back for some heat if needed. Would something like a Beamswork evo quad or jungle dawn's work with a ceramic heat emitter work or should I go with the exo terra hood and like day glow bulbs?
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Old 04-22-2017, 12:23 AM
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Default Re: RETF lighting and heating

The most I have in one viv is 4 in an 18X18X24 (2 others, different strain, different exoterra 12X12X18). I will be upping them to a bigger enclosure soon, but TALL is the trick. If they can climb they will.
I keep them on unbleached paper towel and have the plants potted for easy removal. I use a 1 gallon glass container of water with aquatic plants in it and an aquarium heater (behind a plastic cage-like cover). this gives moist heat. I have dual spectrum appropriate fluorescents over it and another viv. I haven't seen a lack of UV problems in years (but the daylight/plant spectrum florescents do give off a tiny bit of UV). I have bird perches in all treefrog tanks for "fun-time". Not very naturalistic, but practical.
I use glass bowls of spring water that can be removed, replaced, and sanitized. They will use the available water as a potty; replace it nearly every day.
Hopefully someone else will chime in, because I have had ZERO luck with a naturalistic terrarium for RETF's. Let me repeat: zero. I can't subject these incredibly cool frogs to an environment that that pleases me but doesn't serve them any more.
Red Eyed Tree Frogs are pigs, simply put. They shed every day, they pee in their water and crap in copious amounts. You need to keep their enclosure Clean. Clean clean clean. I strip and clean every surface weekly. A set up that facilitates this is desirable.
But when you get up for a snack in the middle of the night, peek in on your RETF's, your heart will swell. They are truly the spirits of the jungle and worth every pain you have to invest in them.
My first frog and favorite (but I still like my Darts: which I can see in the day).
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Old 04-22-2017, 12:36 AM
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Default Re: RETF lighting and heating

Oh, and skip the ceramic emitters, that's a dry heat.
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Old 04-22-2017, 04:20 AM
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Default Re: RETF lighting and heating

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Originally Posted by Ravage View Post
T
Hopefully someone else will chime in, because I have had ZERO luck with a naturalistic terrarium for RETF's. Let me repeat: zero. I can't subject these incredibly cool frogs to an environment that that pleases me but doesn't serve .
How much ventilation were you including in the more naturalistic setups? I've kept them a lot of ways and basically the easier you can get access to the glass the easier it is to keep it clean as the frogs will leave slime/skin on the glass in their favorite roosting spots.

You shouldn't have to strip everything down that frequently as it can be beneficial if a biofilm forms as that helps to deal with ammonia from the wastes.

Also spring water isn't necessary, you could use dechlorinated tap water or even RO water. water discussion..

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Old 04-22-2017, 11:37 PM
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Default Re: RETF lighting and heating

I use about 4X as much ventilation for RETF's as I do for Darts, and pretty much the same whan I had naturalistic vivs. So, pretty well ventilated, but able to hold some humidity for 24 hours if I don't get to spray.
I use spring water, because I have access to real springwater. This spring flows out at 9000' elevation and runs from the mountians (13,000' +) and through granite. So it's essentially pure water except for the few minerals it picks up along the way. It's free except for gas and labor- I use it in all vivs and aquariums (except for mist which is R.O. so the glass stays clean).
I'm glad you posted, because I did say I wish someone would chime in who kept them in successfully in naturalistic vis. Because I just haven't. 3 years ago I had about 30, and the population density was high, so naturalistic vivs ended up with frogs sitting in the dirt. This is absolutely what you don't want to see tree frogs doing. I only lost 3, sold the rest, but I was seeing unhappy frogs. Going to the "lab" setup was kind of like what I've done with Discus when they weren't happy: bare bottom tanks. And the frogs have responded.
Due to the waste products from these frogs, I would think you'd need a rather robust nutrient cycling system- in tip top shape. So I would then think a very large surface area per frog.Large enclosure, few frogs.
As for biofilm- that's on the plants, as are the frogs and their indiscretions.
I did mention that I am working on a much larger enclosure for them, I just want them to have room and fun, if you watch them at night they are very active and like to cruise, they like to leap around, and yes, swing.
I have attached a pic of my larger set-up. I don't want to highjack your thread, ptbmaniac, but there's good things to consider here, and I'll pipe down now.
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File Type: jpg RETFTank.jpg (90.3 KB, 16 views)
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Old Yesterday, 07:20 AM
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I am just going to go with the Beamswork evo quad for lighting. It seems like people like them and I have seen a few people that use them on a 36" tall viv with no issues.
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Old Yesterday, 06:27 PM
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Default Re: RETF lighting and heating

I'm going to edit this a little but the answers may also help the OP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravage View Post
I use about 4X as much ventilation for RETF's as I do for Darts, and pretty much the same whan I had naturalistic vivs. So, pretty well ventilated, but able to hold some humidity for 24 hours if I don't get to spray.
Does the floor of the aquarium dry out totally if you don't spray it within 24 hours? With respect to ventilation, the exchange with the room is the factor and 4 times a dart frog cage really does't help me visualize the ventilation well. Can you show a picture or two of the amount of uncovered screening?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravage View Post
I use spring water, because I have access to real springwater. This spring flows out at 9000' elevation and runs from the mountians (13,000' +) and through granite. So it's essentially pure water except for the few minerals it picks up along the way. It's free except for gas and labor- I use it in all vivs and aquariums (except for mist which is R.O. so the glass stays clean).
If your comfortable with it, that's fine but I was noting that it isn't necessary but just as a FWIW spring water can be contaminated as well due to things getting into the aquifer at another location or if it is due to an underground spring powered by snowmelt via contamination in the snow.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravage View Post
I'm glad you posted, because I did say I wish someone would chime in who kept them in successfully in naturalistic vis. Because I just haven't. 3 years ago I had about 30, and the population density was high, so naturalistic vivs ended up with frogs sitting in the dirt.
Sitting on the ground shouldn't be an indication of a problem with population density as many treefrogs outside of the breeding season (or being conditioned to call) they aren't territorial and they should have even been willing to sleep on another frog (not saying that density is acceptable but it is known to occur). It is much more likely that there was some other issue at play in that case were these wild caught frogs or cb? What was actually in the substrate? Normally if I would see this behavior I would think about something that is interfering with the osmotics of the frogs if they were sitting flat on the dirt or having an abnormal raised posture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravage View Post
Going to the "lab" setup was kind of like what I've done with Discus when they weren't happy: bare bottom tanks. And the frogs have responded.
Its fine to go this route some institutions do it with rare frogs that they don't want to treat for some kinds of parasites. If you totally clean out the system daily then you can prevent reinfection and age the parasites out of the frogs over time. Of course there are some down sides as they don't normally show their normal range of natural behaviors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravage View Post
Due to the waste products from these frogs, I would think you'd need a rather robust nutrient cycling system- in tip top shape. So I would then think a very large surface area per frog.Large enclosure, few frogs.
Aerobic soil substrates have an enormous advantage over aerobic aquatic denitrification systems to the point that it is more than an order of magnitude greater ( Walstad's Ecology of the Planted Aquarium has a good explanation for the lay person) so the actual space needed for this to happen is greatly reduced in those systems. It is only when the substrate stays too saturated that it becomes an issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravage View Post
As for biofilm- that's on the plants, as are the frogs and their indiscretions.
If the leaves dry out then you don't have an effective biofilm as it requires remaining damp for it to maximize the efficiency of the conversions of the waste products. As with fish it is the nitrogenous waste products that are of the immediate concern and those are going to be soluble and flush off the leaves to the floor of the enclosure. A stable biofilm there can then deal with the nitrogenous wastes but if your scrubbing it off weekly then it really doesn't have time to become established and remain established. On rare occasions with really high nutrient inputs this can result in some issues with pathogens that are opportunistic and then you need to strip and clean everything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravage View Post
I did mention that I am working on a much larger enclosure for them, I just want them to have room and fun, if you watch them at night they are very active and like to cruise, they like to leap around, and yes, swing.
When I was working as an amphibian keeper at a zoo, I loved working late as I got to see all of the nocturnal frogs doing their thing and all of the calling was so cool. At one point I had Pipa parva, hourglass treefrogs, red eyes, Atelopus zeteki and a couple of others all calling at the same time.

This article may help a little as people are finally beginning to look at the importance of plants and how it effects not only the frogs but their microbial communities see https://www.researchgate.net/profile...436a000000.pdf
Michaels, C. J., R. E. Antwis, and R. F. Preziosi. "Impact of Plant Cover on Fitness and Behavioural Traits of Captive Red-Eyed Tree Frogs (Agalychnis." (2014).

For one of the more permanent enclosures I worked with contained red eyes and emerald treeboas over a large water area containing Pipa parva. The plants in the enclosure were pretty much Scindapsis and a large Myrmecodia. The frogs would rest on the glass or on the Scindapsis but preferred the glass. I did breed them multiple times in this setup (as well as the P. parva) but preferred to move them off exhibit to an aquarium containing a huge Spathophyllum that took up most of the tank for the few days it took to get eggs.

I've also kept them for years in a setup where there was a drip plate over a gravel bed that drained to a sump with a "rain shower" occurring daily (this was back around 1990) to flush the wastes into the sump for filtration.

So you can see there were some pretty large variations in housing but even with the drip plate, there was a lot of air movement through the setups and in both this allowed the upper surfaces to pretty much dry off before anything could wet them again.

some comments

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Old Yesterday, 06:30 PM
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Default Re: RETF lighting and heating

Quote:
Originally Posted by ptbmaniac View Post
I am just going to go with the Beamswork evo quad for lighting. It seems like people like them and I have seen a few people that use them on a 36" tall viv with no issues.
The Beamsworks do put out enough light for even fairly tall enclosures but as you noted there currently aren't any leds that produce UVB for D3 metabolism on the market for herps. There are leds that you can purchase individually and wire up yourself but they are enormously expensive (as an example see https://www.thorlabs.com/thorproduct...number=LED285W) so its going to be awhile before they come down enough to be useful for the frogs.

If your setup allows it I would still suggest adding UVB to the frogs as it allows behavorial control of their D3 status above what they would normally be able to achieve using an oral supplement by itself.

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