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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone, I’m a newcomer on this group and wanted to get some opinions on my frog’s behavior. She is ~ 2.5 year old female red eyed tree frog with 2 other male companions in an aquarium 3 ft. by 18 in x 18 in at the base. Recently she has been waking up 2-4 times throughout the day and changing position and location in the terrarium. The humidity and temp are consistently in the 70s. I never noticed her doing this until a week ago and also she usually lays totally flat against the leaf or glass wall, but has been holding her back foot in an odd way while she sleeps (see pic below). I’m not sure if something’s wrong or bothering her.
I guess I should also mention this behavior started after moving her from a smaller tank to a bigger one. Any comments about others experience’s would be helpful. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
1. What species ? How long have you had the frog(s) and where did you acquire them ?
I own 3 Red-eyed tree frogs for the past 2 years. The female Kiwi and male Tangerine were acquired from PetCo in Feb. and August 2020. The third male Kumquat was bought from a specialty reptile/amphibian store in June 2020.

2. What are your temperatures (day and night - highs and lows) and how do you measure those temperatures? Does the vivarium have any supplemental heating, and if so, what type?
Day temps = 75 - 80' F
Night temps = 70 - 74' F
Determined by Zoomed thermometer
2 heating pads on different terrarium walls that only operate in Winter months.

3. What lighting is on the enclosure (brand, type, wattage) and does the lighting add heat to the vivarium?
Lighting = Double dome fixture with full spectrum LED grow light (very minimal heat) and 5.0 Reptisun 13 Watt tropical UVB bulb (Zoomed)

4. What is the Humidity like (percentage or guesstimate)? What type of water are you using? What is your misting procedure (automated or hand mister, how long and how often)?
Humidity fluctuates between 50 - 80%, but is on average 65% during the day and closer to 80% at night.
I mist the cage with reverse osmosis water with lightly added minerals to achieve "slightly hard" water rating (product = Replenish) and I confirm water quality and hardness with API test strips.

5. Describe your tank/enclosure and its lid or top, and give details about the ventilation (how many vents, where are they positioned, how large are they).
They are currently in a ZooMed glass tank with a wire mesh top:
36" x 18" x 18" with moss substrate, silk plants, a bamboo climbing stick, large shallow water bowl, and cork rounds.

6. What kind of food are you providing, how much and are you dusting it? What superfine powdered supplements (brand and exact product name) are you using and are they fresh (i.e. how long has the container been open, and how is it stored)?
The frogs eat crickets exclusively. I have offered other insects such as mealworms or waxworms, but they won't touch them. I do not regularly dust the crickets since I saw they start cleaning the powder off them the moment I put them in the tank and rubbing it off on the moss etc. but I do gut load them with both Fluker's high calcium cricket diet and apples, carrots, and dark leafy greens from my garden.

7. Any other animals in the enclosure currently or recently? Tankmates / other frogs ?
See question 1. Yes, 3 total red-eyed tree frogs.

8. Any type of behavior you would consider 'odd' ?
I only see odd behavior with Kiwi, the 2.5 year old female.
It started ~ 5 days ago after I put it a fresh batch of 10 crickets.
  • She has been waking and moving position in the tank 2-4 times per day
  • Her left leg seems to be bothering her as she is not tucking it under her body like she normally would while sleeping and continues to kick out her leg at intervals throughout the day.
-I wondered if it has something to do with shedding behavior and issues? What do you think?

9. Have you handled or touched the frogs recently ? Any cleansers, paint, perfumes, bug sprays etc near the tank ?
I handled them ~ 6 days ago when I transferred them to a smaller holding tank while I cleaned the primary enclosure.
I always use a fresh pair of nitrile gloves that have been misted with their water when handling them. I gnetly nudge their side till they wake up and offer my hand as a perch. Once they climb on, I cover with both hands gently to transfer to avoid jumping onto the ground.
Cleaning procedure = I sanitize surfaces with 70% alcohol wipes exclusively and let evaporate, and then finish with multiple distilled water rinses.

10. Take pictures of EVERYTHING -- the frogs, the enclosure, the vents. Take numerous pics of everything - that will be of great help.
I will upload some more photos
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
1. What species ? How long have you had the frog(s) and where did you acquire them ?
I own 3 Red-eyed tree frogs for the past 2 years. The female Kiwi and male Tangerine were acquired from PetCo in Feb. and August 2020. The third male Kumquat was bought from a specialty reptile/amphibian store in June 2020.

2. What are your temperatures (day and night - highs and lows) and how do you measure those temperatures? Does the vivarium have any supplemental heating, and if so, what type?
Day temps = 75 - 80' F
Night temps = 70 - 74' F
Determined by Zoomed thermometer
2 heating pads on different terrarium walls that only operate in Winter months.

3. What lighting is on the enclosure (brand, type, wattage) and does the lighting add heat to the vivarium?
Lighting = Double dome fixture with full spectrum LED grow light (very minimal heat) and 5.0 Reptisun 13 Watt tropical UVB bulb (Zoomed)

4. What is the Humidity like (percentage or guesstimate)? What type of water are you using? What is your misting procedure (automated or hand mister, how long and how often)?
Humidity fluctuates between 50 - 80%, but is on average 65% during the day and closer to 80% at night.
I mist the cage with reverse osmosis water with lightly added minerals to achieve "slightly hard" water rating (product = Replenish) and I confirm water quality and hardness with API test strips.

5. Describe your tank/enclosure and its lid or top, and give details about the ventilation (how many vents, where are they positioned, how large are they).
They are currently in a ZooMed glass tank with a wire mesh top:
36" x 18" x 18" with moss substrate, silk plants, a bamboo climbing stick, large shallow water bowl, and cork rounds.

6. What kind of food are you providing, how much and are you dusting it? What superfine powdered supplements (brand and exact product name) are you using and are they fresh (i.e. how long has the container been open, and how is it stored)?
The frogs eat crickets exclusively. I have offered other insects such as mealworms or waxworms, but they won't touch them. I do not regularly dust the crickets since I saw they start cleaning the powder off them the moment I put them in the tank and rubbing it off on the moss etc. but I do gut load them with both Fluker's high calcium cricket diet and apples, carrots, and dark leafy greens from my garden.

7. Any other animals in the enclosure currently or recently? Tankmates / other frogs ?
See question 1. Yes, 3 total red-eyed tree frogs.

8. Any type of behavior you would consider 'odd' ?
I only see odd behavior with Kiwi, the 2.5 year old female.
It started ~ 5 days ago after I put it a fresh batch of 10 crickets.
  • She has been waking and moving position in the tank 2-4 times per day
  • Her left leg seems to be bothering her as she is not tucking it under her body like she normally would while sleeping and continues to kick out her leg at intervals throughout the day.
-I wondered if it has something to do with shedding behavior and issues? What do you think?

9. Have you handled or touched the frogs recently ? Any cleansers, paint, perfumes, bug sprays etc near the tank ?
I handled them ~ 6 days ago when I transferred them to a smaller holding tank while I cleaned the primary enclosure.
I always use a fresh pair of nitrile gloves that have been misted with their water when handling them. I gnetly nudge their side till they wake up and offer my hand as a perch. Once they climb on, I cover with both hands gently to transfer to avoid jumping onto the ground.
Cleaning procedure = I sanitize surfaces with 70% alcohol wipes exclusively and let evaporate, and then finish with multiple distilled water rinses.

10. Take pictures of EVERYTHING -- the frogs, the enclosure, the vents. Take numerous pics of everything - that will be of great help.
I will upload some more photos
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So a few things... you bought them from Petco so you were likely already dealing with frogs of suboptimal health. UVB should never be used with any nocturnal treefrog as it can easily damage their skin and they don't need or utilize it.

Insects MUST be dusted with an appropate supplement powder, Please read this great break down of the different supplement brands available > supplementation-reasons-and-recommendations. I and almost every member here use Repashy C+

Fake plants foul quickly and do not have the same beneficial properties as live plants, while this is likely not the cause I would replace them with live plants.

My best guess is that your frog is suffering from neurological or muscular problems from improper supplementation as well as possibly some issues from using UVB incorrectly.

The best course of action would be too go and order/buy some Repashy C+ and use it, also remove the UVB and add some live plants.
Aw, ok! Thank you so much for the recommendations. I bought Repashy C+ yesterday and am getting fresh crickets today. I’ll look into some live plants too. Do you have a recommendation for species and supplier? Ie. Could I get some from a local garden store, or should I buy from specialty reptile company? As for the UVB, I have read mixed messages about the need for it and Vit. D levels. Would supplementation with Repashy C+ be adequate levels of this nutrient?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
How often are you wiping the glass and the fake plants down? These guys shed regularly and the glass and other surfaces they cling to can become fouled by the remnants. Wipe them down with clean water daily and check for improvement. The behavior may just be an anomaly but you should start dusting your feeders regularly as well. Feed at night when the frogs are active and more likely to eat the crickets before they groom it off.
I wipe down the glass 1x per week and remove the feces as needed. 👍 :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You might believe that, even firmly ;), but there enough counterexamples to make that general belief unjustified.

Interestingly, Agalychnis callidryas may not be one of those counterexamples, and there seems to be evidence that high levels of UVB (which are exceedingly easy to provide inadvertently where UVB output is not metered) is actually a health risk (increses fungal load) for the species.

"Here we used two methods of UV provision (“background UV” and “background UV with UV boost”) and two calcium gut-loading diets (5% and 10%) to assess the effects on a range of fitness measures in the red-eyed tree frog (Agalychnis callidryas). We found no effects of either UV treatment or calcium diet on growth, body condition or cutaneous bacterial communities of frogs, although subsequent to the UV boost, frogs had a significantly greater fungal load in comparison to frogs that were not UV-boosted. There were negligible differences in the breeding success of females according to UV exposure. Provision of the UV boost was not demonstrated to provide any real advantages for A. callidryas in terms of growth or breeding success. In addition, there were no benefits of a 10% calcium diet over a 5% calcium diet (in conjunction with regular dusting)."

Antwis, RE, Preziosi, RF and Fidgett, AL, 2014. "The effect of different UV and calcium provisioning on health and fitness traits of red-eyed tree frogs (Agalychnis callidryas." Journal of Zoo and Aquarium Research.




Most recommendations of this sort don't take into account the species in question ("all herps need UVB", which is patent hogwash, not only because there simply isn't data for most species we keep), and don't take into account the very real risks of potential harm whether physical or behavioral, and also underestimate the care and precision with which UVB needs to be offered to be safe. The considerations are quite complicated, and I personally like to use the most simple methods that provide the best care for the animal most reliably -- that entails no UVB for species that can be kept very healthy without it.
I agree with the points made, but these were RETF specific care sheets I consulted in the past, so it gets confusing to hear conflicting messages. I appreciate the advice and especially did not think it could be harmful, so thanks for pointing this out. 👍
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You can get plants from the big chain stores "Orange store" or "Blue store" but it is recommended to wait before using them because of pesticides and they have a higher risk of caring pests the Viv grown plants. There are many places online that sell plants that have not had pesticides used on them. "search vivarium plants" also to avoid pests follow plant processing procedures (Trust me it's worth it) > NEHERP - Vivarium Plant Processing Procedure this is a link about how to sterilize plants, also you can buy pesticide free plants here.

Tree frogs should have large smooth leafed without many hairs or spines. If you are new to plant care I recommend Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) as it is near un-killable and cheap.

I firmly believe that an animal that does not bask regularly, is nocturnal and rests on the undersides of leaves during the day do not gain any benefit from UVB. Just like us frogs can get "sunburn" the one treefrog I can think of that does rest in the sun are Waxy Monkey Treefrogs which produce special "sunscreen" and even then I only no of one person keeping his with UVB.


Read this > Supplementation -- reasons and recommendations it goes over what Vit. D is and why most supplements are not beneficial to frogs.

Repashy C+ used every feeding is all that is needed for treefrogs, Vit. A might be rotated in with breeding frogs but other wise should not be supplemented separately. Repashy C+ is a complete supplement package that contains all the Vitamins' needed.
Ok, thanks! I appreciate the various excellent resources.
I previously used a dwarf banana tree, which the frogs loved, but it outgrew the enclosure within a year so I replaced it with silk plants for the time bring. One issue I had in the past was with mushrooms sprouting in the tank every so often & I did not know if it came from the bark, coconut fiber or banana tree soil. I was concerned the fungus may negatively impact the frog health and I was hesitant to put new plants in this time when I re-constructed the habitat. I’ll read through the vivarium plant procedure to see if it addresses this. Thanks again. :]
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Fungi are ubiquitous. With an a positive air pressure clean room a person might exclude them, otherwise they'll be wherever they want to be. They're not in themselves harmful (although they might sometimes -- not usually -- signal that conditions in the viv are a bit wet or fouled, I suppose). They're just trying to be the decomposers that they are.

We have a nice recent thread in which we can appreciate them. Feel free to contribute photos. :)
True. They are everywhere-- especially in a rainforest! So I am sure the frog's are well adapted to living alongside them. Thanks for the reassurance

I have one last question:
In what time frame should I see improvement with my frog's health and issues on the new diet?
Hopefully there will be a noticeable, steady increase each week, but I am wondering more for the sake of considering a vet visit?
Ie. If she doesn't improve or gets worse in 1 month, then go see a vet."
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
@IShouldGetSomeSleep (or other tree frog keepers who are watching this thread) might have some tree frog specific advice on this.

Me, I'd get them on a decent supplement routine and monitor, like you mentioned. Any downward progression at all, I'd think about a vet visit if I had access to a good one (I do). Might be good to reach out to one and see what the lead time is on an appointment. You can search for a qualified exotics vet here; not all qualified exotics vets are ARAV members, but a well intentioned dog and cat vet can easily do more harm than good.

A year with no supplements (basically no dusting, and both the Flukers and fresh vegetables have been shown not to work as gutloads -- check the supplements link for a reference) is sufficient time to kill frogs, so anything could happen at this point. Sounds like things aren't too bad yet, though. :)
Thanks for the advice! Yes, I hope it is not too late either. I was encouraged that she ate a few fully dusted crickets (Repashy C+) last night and seemed to sleep better today with less leg twitches or moving around the cage. When observing her, she has good control and motor skills so I think this new regimen will give her a great shot at total recovery. I'll keep you all posted as the weeks go. :]
 
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