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I am very new to keeping amphibians. I bought 4 amazon milk frogs about 3 weeks ago and am now down to one. The breeder told me they were 2 months old when I bought them and he is about 1".

He is in a 10 gallon euro style vivarium and was on paper towels. Heating with a UTH and thermostat keeping the tank about 78oF. I was using a basking light as well which would keep the top half of the tank where there were some branches ~85oF, but the bottom was 78oF. there was some sphagnum moss as well to help with humidity which was always above 60% with misting 2-3x a day. water bowl is changed everyday. they have a UVB bulb as well.

they were fed 1/4" crickets every night. What I may have been doing wrong here was taking them out to feed in a separate container. It seemed like the crickets were hiding in the moss, so I would put them in a plastic tub with vents for an hour or so to eat. I wore a glove to move them and they mostly would hop onto my hand. Could this be too much handling? or not enough time to catch food?

I decided to put a layer of cypress mulch patted down with a layer of sphagnum moss also patted down in the tank instead of paper towels to help with humidity.

I really want to keep my last little guy alive, so any advice would be great. I have just read about chytrid fungus...how would I know if this is affecting my frog? he does seem a bit lethargic, but I am not sure how active they should be.

Also, at what point is the breeder no longer liable? I sent him a message when the first two died and he has not responded.
 

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Pictures of the frog and viv might help (upload to image-sharing site, then link here).

What symptoms/appearance did the frogs present before dying?

Did the frogs eat? How much?

Who was the 'breeder'?
 

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If your frogs overheated the breeder is not responsible.

If your thermometer was on the glass it wasnt presenting the actual temperature of Frog Location.

I am not saying this happened but that it sounds familiar with what you have provided so far, with the radiant heat and uth applications.
 

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The placement of thermostat probe is important in the temperature behavior of space. Often there is great disparity between the temperature dialed in, and what the gear is being 'directed' to do.


When in doubt its always best to err on the cooler side of a mistake. Especially if you have heating applied in more than one form in an enclosure.

A little too cool means a tucked in frog. But in some space dimension and set up, there really isnt a safe "Little too hot."

A temperature gun is better for animal care than any that you put someplace.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Pictures of the frog and viv might help (upload to image-sharing site, then link here).

What symptoms/appearance did the frogs present before dying?

Did the frogs eat? How much?

Who was the 'breeder'?
This is him/her today, not looking great. When I came in this morning he was sitting in the same spot where he was when I went to bed.



this was they day I got them:


One of them arrived in bad shape, but recovered. It seemed like he got trapped under the paper towel. After a few minutes he righted himself and appeared fine.

 

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If your frogs overheated the breeder is not responsible.

If your thermometer was on the glass it wasnt presenting the actual temperature of Frog Location.

I am not saying this happened but that it sounds familiar with what you have provided so far, with the radiant heat and uth applications.
thanks for the thoughts.

I used a heat gun to take measurements throughout the tank, on top of the heat pad, on branches and on the moss. temperatures were all in what I thought was the safe range.70- 85oF

the probe for the thermostat is directly on top of the mat just on the inside of the tank, under the paper towels. the heat lamp was off to one side so that there was a cool side that was low 70s they could get to.

before dying they were not moving around a lot, but seemed to be in normal crouched positions, I wasnt sure how normal this was since I have heard they are not very active. during the day they were tucked in, at night they would be sitting up more and looking around. usually they would be moving around the tank a little, at least changing positions.

Im not sure I saw them eat in the last few days. I would place them in a tub with crickets and leave them be for a while. I was concerned that they were not eating enough, but did see them at least lunge for crickets. 3-4 days ago I started putting the crickets in the enclosure.

today my remaining frog seems very lethargic, I induced him to move with a gentle tap, and he hopped over to the water bowl where he still is atm.

pics of setup. I dont have one of the whole set up before they started dying. I took out the branches (which were sterilized by boiling and in an oven). and as I mentioned in the first post I added the cypress mulch under sphagnum moss yesterday to help with humidity.


 

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Yeah the guy on the paper towel is liooking not so good.

I dont use tanks that way, without ascendent evaporation and air exchange. I know people do but because I dont I must step away from the car.

I hope your little frog gets better. I really do!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Could you elaborate on what you mean by without ascendent evaporation and air exchange? I placed foil over the vent ontop to try to better maintain humidity. now that there is moss in there I probably dont need it. but there is a 2 in wide screen on the top for ventillation and a vent in the front below the door.

the guy on the paper towel was from when he first arrived, sorry for the confusion, but I thought it might be helpful to show that image.
 

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Heat and moisture rise naturally and I just like working within these laws.

Its not really the time and place for me to go on about my keeping philosophies.

But what i would do is open up the air exchange.
 

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I agree with KMC, they probably cooked. An undertank heater, large dome light fixture, and the upper vent mostly blocked off with foil probably created a mini-convection oven. The enclosure is too small and too bare to offer much in the way of a thermal gradient, or escape points from the constant heat. I'm guessing you referred to Josh's frogs for your care advice on these?
 

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The enclosure is too small and too bare to offer much in the way of a thermal gradient, or escape points from the constant heat.
Though I don't keep tree frogs, I agree with everything said so far, especially this. Not only does an animal need to be able to find a proper temp, but they need to find a spot that offers their preferred temp, humidity, surface moisture, degree of cover/security, and proximity to cagemates (edit to add: and respite from a level of UVB that is likely much higher than they would be exposed to in the wild) -- this all in the same spot, multiplied by number of animals in the enclosure, with a couple extra spots.

The reason I asked for the name of the 'breeder' (reseller, more than likely) is that some online vendors reliably ship mishandled animals that cannot be expected to do well in any conditions. In the event that the buyer's husbandry turns out to be sufficient, sometimes the source of the animals is to blame.

I'm really sorry for what happened.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I was referencing the Josh's frogs care sheet as well as several others I found online plus what the breeder was telling me. I found the breeder on a FB group,
he seemed small time but my dealing made me think he was legit.

what are the ideal temps for milk frogs?

I was spot checking with the temp gun, and there were spots that were 70oF. with the lamp on, there were def spots that we in the low 80s but they would need to climb...am I not using the temp gun properly? the lamp was only on during the day and I turned it off after the first one died. the next two died a few days later.

the tank was able to dryout some with the paper towels, so that gave me the impression that there was enough air flow
 

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I agree with KMC, they probably cooked. An undertank heater, large dome light fixture, and the upper vent mostly blocked off with foil probably created a mini-convection oven. The enclosure is too small and too bare to offer much in the way of a thermal gradient, or escape points from the constant heat. I'm guessing you referred to Josh's frogs for your care advice on these?
the vent was blocked off after the three died.
 

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It is increasingly forgotten that online is an imperfect format for diagnostics.

Your guys could have been ill, or went through too much in shipping, or some esoteric influence under the radar has happened. The close succession mortality factor clues to a mechanical manner of death. That is what a curator and keepers would examine first, if it were 3 monkeys, snakes, or seals that died so close together in the same enclosure.

But what I do know in what I can see is, its July now, and where I live, it gets pretty cold for cali in the winter, heck its even cold today.

But even if it was December I would not have all that heat gear going on over and below in the dimension and format of the env that im seeing.

Again Im really sorry. I would mitigate the lighting, its pretty bright. I would also put a sterilized smooth stone in the water dish so that a weakened frog can control his degree of immersion ergonomically. I call it a Courtesy Stone.
 

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FWIW and to complete the thread:

After considering the comments made about my setup, especially that the light was too bright ( I was confused because the light in the pic is a UVB light, and then it dawned on me) I was using the wrong, and way too strong of a UVB bulb. I had it for another animal, and just put it on for the milk frogs without completely thinking/understanding. So, you all were right, I roasted them:( and I feel absolutely horrible. This has been a humbling experience.

thanks to all who commented.
 

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Are you referring to the silver lamp? Because that lamp is sitting on glass, and ultraviolet cant pass through glass.

If that is what you are referring to, its either a 25 or 13 watt incandescant adapted lamp. Which isnt the best lamp but in over 20 years Ive never had UVB lamp kill a frog.

And I am speaking of 100s of frogs, of many taxa over a couple of decades using uvb inclusive lamps more extensively, in a way that could be described as routine, than most keepers do Because of their Expense.

However I have known many scientists and exotics veterinarins that co sign the use of 290-319 nm in their own personal collections and practice.

If you are thinking you "Fried" your frogs with UVB inclusuve lighting, you are mistaken.
 

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FWIW and to complete the thread:

After considering the comments made about my setup, especially that the light was too bright ( I was confused because the light in the pic is a UVB light, and then it dawned on me) I was using the wrong, and way too strong of a UVB bulb. I had it for another animal, and just put it on for the milk frogs without completely thinking/understanding. So, you all were right, I roasted them:( and I feel absolutely horrible. This has been a humbling experience.

thanks to all who commented.
Thanks for closing the loop. It may not be much consolation, but others will read your thread and hopefully learn something about things to avoid when keeping these little fellas. I hope you try again at some point. If you ever try dart frogs, I know there are lots of people on this board who will be happy to help you out and it won't go the same way next time.

Mark
 

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If additional warmth is needed in a small environment for amphibians, and a compatible ambient of room temp is not possible, uth is better applied on the Wall (or 2 applied per cornered walls) of a glass container than the floor. A warm floor isnt the astute strategy for amphibians, and many reptiles also, though easy to say per vendor.

Providing some insulative dynamic buffers out warmth in a safe and optionally saught way.

I dont know what happened with your frogs, but Air exchange is important. More important than restricting it for humidy. I came to this after 30+ years of intense herpetoculture involvement. I would like to be believed. Didnt keep many records. But, I know what Ive seen.

My mortality/heal rates have been historically exemplary, according to quite excellent sources. I have no bone in the fight other than the animals well being. But I am an internet Tarzan. Dont know how to project my experiences into a posh projection. Apparently my life's work is no match for the colorful extensions of will that dominates the current scene.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Are you referring to the silver lamp? Because that lamp is sitting on glass, and ultraviolet cant pass through glass.

If that is what you are referring to, its either a 25 or 13 watt incandescant adapted lamp. Which isnt the best lamp but in over 20 years Ive never had UVB lamp kill a frog.

And I am speaking of 100s of frogs, of many taxa over a couple of decades using uvb inclusive lamps more extensively, in a way that could be described as routine, than most keepers do Because of their Expense.

However I have known many scientists and exotics veterinarins that co sign the use of 290-319 nm in their own personal collections and practice.

If you are thinking you "Fried" your frogs with UVB inclusuve lighting, you are mistaken.
the silver lamp is over window screen that is covering a 2" gap in the glass that runs the width of the tank. so, yes some will be blocked by the glass, but most is not. The bulb is a zoo med 13W 10.0 UVB.

UVB is what causes skin burns, why couldnt is cause damage to an amphibian with very thin skin? a quick google search confirmed that UVB can kill amphibians.

edit: I am not saying UVB is bad, just that I was using the wrong bulb for amphibians.
 

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Thanks for closing the loop. It may not be much consolation, but others will read your thread and hopefully learn something about things to avoid when keeping these little fellas. I hope you try again at some point. If you ever try dart frogs, I know there are lots of people on this board who will be happy to help you out and it won't go the same way next time.

Mark
So, to be clear, a compact fluorescent uvb lamp emits no more heat than an ordinary flourescant.

Just now, I measured a 10.0 zoomed compact florescent contact-to basking -surface-temp at 81 F at a measured 4' distance from a provided basking surface. Which is why I had to add additional incandescant support per dimmable bulb for the paricular subject measured , just now.

Man, I dont want to put it like this, but I have decades of using uvb lamps with no neg results, and I swear, if I saw negs, I wouldnt use them.

I may not be good at much in this life, but Im good at lookin at what I love.
 
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