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Old 06-12-2016, 04:09 PM
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Default RETF Set UP

I have a goodly number of Red Eyed Tree Frogs, both normal color and Xanthics. I had a bit of a learning curve about a year ago and lost a couple because I tried to keep them in a naturalistic vivarium(s). The problem always seemed to be that these fairly large frogs pee and crap with abandon. Try as I might, the build up of ammonia smells came rapidly and required a lot of cleaning. I wasn't terribly happy with substrate either, not that I had any true cases of impaction, but I did suspect that one frog was lost because of it.
I keep strolling around, looking at threads and vids for RETF habitats, but it didn't seem to be all that helpful. There's tons of sites that recommend coconut husk or ABG substrate with plants planted into it. There are also far to many threads where people are asking for help because their frogs are "croaking". I don't think all of it is vitamin/mineral related. I think these poster frogs just need immaculate cleanliness of both environment and air.
So, talking with a breeder friend of mine, I switched to a pretty much bare bottom tank, with plants that I can rotate in and out, and I settled on containers of water with heaters in them for warmth and humidity.
I remove "poops" every morning, Replace the paper toweling (which absorbs pee nicely) every other day- as well as wipe down the entire tank when I change the towels. This is a little time consuming but is the only way I have found to keep the tanks absolutely clean and fresh smelling. Replace the water in their dishes DAILY, that;s important because they really like to "Hot tub". The frogs are thriving with this technique.
So this is how I do it. Please add to this thread on how you keep your colonies of RETF's and we could have a better resource on options than what is currently available. Here's a baby Red eyed for your pleasure:

How Do You Do It?
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Last edited by Ravage; 06-12-2016 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 06-12-2016, 07:58 PM
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Default Re: RETF Set UP

These frogs spend most of their lives up in the canopy so forest floor substrate would not be their natural habitat anyway
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Old 06-13-2016, 03:08 AM
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Default Re: RETF Set UP

Interesting thread, subscribed

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Old 07-10-2017, 05:58 PM
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Default Re: RETF Set UP

I am new to this board and with vivariums, but this is what I am doing, based on Josh's Frogs... My 5 RETF's are in an Exo Terra 24x18x24 tank (soon to be 36x18x36 for more climbing space). I've set it up as a natural vivarium with false bottom, barrier, ABG, sphag moss and leaf litter. Real plants. Springtails and Isopods for waste management.

I have two 13 watt Exo Terra full spectrum daylight bulbs on a 12 hour timer, and use red LED bulbs for night watching. Top screen partially covered with plexi to adjust humidity. Exo Terra Solo Monsoon set for 2 second burst once an hour. Room temp keeps the tank on average in mid 70's - few degrees higher during day, few lower at night. Humidity averages 80%.

They eat dusted banded crickets. I watch them hunt every night and see each of them eat at least 3-4, 1/4" crickets (they are only 2 months old with a body about 1.5 inches).

I've read they use the water bowl as a toilet but so far there is no evidence of that. I do change it daily though. I do see their poop on the glass and on the leaves, which I remove.

This set up is what was recommended by Josh's Frogs and other breeders, and sites online. I know others do this differently with success. I wish there wasn't so much conflicting info on all this. Hope this helps.

Last edited by DKSmall; 07-10-2017 at 06:04 PM.
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Old 07-11-2017, 01:36 AM
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That should read, Humidity is 60%, not 80%. Also, distilled water in monsoon but spring water in water bowl.
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Old 07-11-2017, 03:20 PM
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Default Re: RETF Set UP

Your setup sounds good, DKSmall. A nice blast from the past to see those set ups. I am building a large RETF terrarium this summer, and will still not use the ABG/leaf litter/false bottom setup. But I am going to use a false bottom, just no substrate. I still like the ability to keep the habitat clean. I got a misting system at a garage sale unbelievably cheap ($3) so I'm going for a self misting setup that is already a rain chamber in one.
Other folks have no problems with your setup, so I wouldn't worry about it. Differing methods are useful, especially when people have problems, it gives multiple possible solutions.
Post a Pic of your tank please.
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Old 07-18-2017, 01:56 AM
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Maybe the reason I don't have a waste problem is because I am using isopods and springtails.
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Old 07-19-2017, 05:36 AM
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Default Re: RETF Set UP

I have found that simple setup has worked for me too - no soil and some potted plants. Which goes against some of my usual comfort of fully planted and soil dart frog setups
I did notice in the past that humidity was way too high with my other setups over the years. I have corrected it with a 80mm internal fan blowing into a corner (to not stress them out) as well as 2x 40mm fans over my vent, one blowing in and one blowing out, as I later found out that a 1" vent with noseeum isnt a large enough vent for an 18x18x24 with 3" of water in the bottom.

I need to post an updated video as my tanks look more grown in and some plants added, but check my following vid of what my setup is.

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Old 11-14-2017, 09:00 PM
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Default Re: RETF Set UP

I just finished a New Terrarium for the RETF's. Pretty much the same idea, but a bit more sophisticated. The tank is 36" X 24" X 13" custom built. The floor is two layers of eggcrate with mesh over it, supported by an eggcrate base and 16 glass supports around the edges. There is 4" of water with a 25W heater, which is proving to be ample. An airstone keeps the water moving and some Java Moss eats the Nitrates. Gone is the second tank within the tank for warmth and humidity.
There is very good ventilation with over 30% of the top screened (metal screen because- crickets) Under the sliding front is a slotted vent, not quite a Sherman vent- no screen, just layers of glass separated by 1.5 mm per layer. It stays at a good 70% humidity with great ventilation. It could be easily converted into a rain chamber with a pump and spray bar. But it's really just a spacious, clean RETF set up.
Included: a shot of a confused, but hopefully happy frog on move in day.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg RETFtank001.jpg (96.7 KB, 54 views)
File Type: jpg RETFletMeOut.jpg (84.8 KB, 32 views)
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Old 11-14-2017, 09:12 PM
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Default Re: RETF Set UP

Here it is during the testing phase, perhaps it is easier to see detail without the plants and with fewer reflections. Also included is a close up of the vent, which is somewhat clear in the Droid phone photo.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg RETFtank002.jpg (91.8 KB, 34 views)
File Type: jpg vent.jpg (90.2 KB, 34 views)
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