Green Tree Frog – nutrition and water
Water is essential to all amphibians and must be provided at all times. However untreated tap water should never be used as it can prove harmful to amphibians due to the chemicals it often contains including chlorine, fluoride and copper.
The two common ways to provide safe clean water that is free of harmful chemicals for a captive Green tree frog are discussed below. However, regardless of which of the two systems that is used, it should be ensured that the frog is provided with access to a water body containing clean, conditioned/filtered water at all times. It is advised that if you are keeping frogs that you invest in a relatively inexpensive counter top water filter that can be purchased from a hardware store to remove any potentially harmful chemical compounds from the water.
When purchasing a “counter top” water filter it is essential that it does not filter the water through reverse osmosis as this water can be too pure and can cause the death of the amphibian.
Water can be provided in a bowl or container such as a plastic food container, plastic plant saucer or similar that is large enough for the frog to submerge in and contains still water. This method does not require an aquarium filter and can therefore be easier to set up and makes changing the water easy as you can just remove it from the enclosure and tip it out. However, if water is provided in this way, it should be emptied and changed daily. Otherwise pollutants such as urine and faeces can cause the water quality to decrease. As the frogs are likely to swim, hydrate, urinate and defecate in the water, it’s essential that it is changed daily. Even if the water does look clean, it should still be changed as it could contain an amount of invisible pollutants such urine.
A water body that is cycled through an aquarium filter should be treated the same as keeping a fish in an aquarium with regular testing of water quality such as pH, ammonia, nitrate and nitrite levels (a good quality water testing kit from a Aquarium store should be used for this). Water changes need to be also performed regularly with a general rule of a 10% water change completed on a weekly basis. The easiest way to do this is to use a siphon to empty the desired amount of water out of the enclosure and then topping it up with water that has passed through a counter-top water filter. There are numerous types of aquarium filters suitable for this purpose available in aquarium shops including canister filters. When purchasing a filter, it should be ensured it is of an appropriate size to the amount of water it is filtering. A good guide to this would be the filter cycling the water through the filter 4 to 6 times per hour. This system is harder to set up but may be more aesthetically pleasing for the humans viewing the frog but doesn’t really have a greater benefit to the frog over the first method discussed.
Green tree frogs’ diet consists of a variety of invertebrates. In the wild, Green tree frogs are commonly found near outdoor lights where they catch insects that are attracted to the light.
The most commercially available insects that are suitable for feeding Green tree frogs include crickets and wood roaches. These can be purchased from most reptile and pet stores.
A recommended diet for Green tree frogs is:
- Young frogs: 2-3 crickets/wood roaches fed daily
- Adult frogs: 2-3 crickets/wood roaches fed 2-3 times per week.
The insects offered should be of appropriate size for the frog. For example, a large adult cricket or wood roach would be too large for a young Green tree frog to eat but an adult frog would not have any issues eating something of this size.
Insects should be dusted with a calcium and multivitamin supplement powder to ensure that frogs’ calcium and vitamin needs are being met. An appropriate calcium and multivitamin supplement powder can be purchased from most pet and reptile shops. When feeding, the insects should be offered from forceps to ensure that the frogs are eating all of the insects that are offered. If they are just scattered in the enclosure, some of the insects may hide before the frog gets a chance to eat them. This is also important if housing multiple frogs in one enclosure to avoid one or two individual frogs eating all the insects and leaving the others to miss out.
Some literature may indicate that you can feed vertebrate animals such as mice to Green tree frogs but this is not recommended and should be discouraged as high protein foods such as these can lead to health issues such as obesity and high cholesterol levels.