The Grey Tree Frog - Beginners Care Guide
The grey tree frog is a small arboreal amphibian native to the USA and the South of Canada. One of the best features about it is that it can change colour to a certain degree depending on the environment. For example when threatened, the frog will slowly become lighter or darker which helps it blend in with the environment. They can't change the hue of their colour but they can range from almost black to nearly pure white, although typically they’re usually Grey. They live between 5 and 10 years with proper care and coming in at 2 inches in length this makes them relatively small for an American frog.
These frogs like to stay relatively cool so a glass terrarium as their enclosure will be ideal. This is because the glass is great at allowing heat to escape, ensuring that the enclosure stays cool enough. Other styles such as wooden vivariums are unsuitable because they are far too efficient at retaining heat.
When you're picking out a vivarium for your grey tree frog you should be looking for at least 300 mm in length and 450 mm in height. This will give them plenty of space to hop around in but it will also be high enough so that they can climb through the branches and leaves. The grey tree frog being arboreal means that they'll spend a lot of their time off the ground.
Your grey tree frog will require a constant temperature 75 degrees F which is best achieved by adding a heat mat on one side of the enclosure. The heat mat will be regulated by using a thermostat to make sure the temperature stays constant and acceptable.
As you are heating the glass on one side this also creates a small temperature gradient within the enclosure, allowing the frog to heat itself up or move away to cool down. If you've got a large enclosure and it's not able to get up to temperature with the heat mat alone then you may use a small basking bulb in the canopy as long as the temperatures do not exceed 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Grey tree frogs are found in jungle regions where they do have some natural cover but still receive a fair amount of UV light. Grey tree frogs require UVB in order to synthesise vitamin D3 inside the skin so your UVB source should also reflect this. In this kind of enclosure the UV lights are generally held in a canopy above the mesh ceiling. In this canopy you can either use a 5% to 6% UV tube or the equivalent compact light.
The UVB light helps synthesise vitamin D3 inside of the skin which helps the frogs to absorb calcium, which is crucial for bone structure and Growth. This is why many reptiles can suffer from metabolic bone disease when they aren’t provided with adequate UVB. We recommend that T5 tubes are replaced every 9 months and compact lamps are replaced every six months.
To increase the humidity inside the vivarium, grey tree frogs should be kept on a slightly moist substrate. Bare in mind that any loose substrate has the potential to be accidentally swallowed. We found this not to be a problem with coarse orchid bark. It's also really easy to clean and if the humidity is not high enough with just this substrate then we recommend adding a small amount of moss to the enclosure, make sure you dampen this daily.
Grey tree frogs do like to climb on top of things to survey their surroundings. Because of this, the vivarium should be decorated with various pieces of wood, such as thick sticks and branches, which will enable them to do this. They're enclosure can be decorated with artificial plants to make it look more natural or you can use live plants if you’re up to the challenge. You can also use wood ornaments that tend to look very effective when trying to mimic their natural habitat, and they also provide further places for the frogs to sit on. You're bound to have electrical wires and equipment, and trailing plants are very good at disguising these - they also provide a safe space for young amphibians.
Grey tree frogs are carnivorous, which means they have a diet consisting mainly of livefoods, the core of which should be high in protein and relatively easy to digest. You can use foods such as brown crickets, black crickets or locusts and occasionally to give variation you can offer other bugs such as mealworms, wax worms or calci worms.
To provide hydration you should mist your vivarium every morning with water from a spray bottle. A water bowl may also be introduced as a source of Freshwater and give your frogs a place to splash about if they want to.
Supplementation in the form of calcium, vitamins and minerals should be given to create an optimal nutritional diet for your grey tree frog. You can buy these mainly as powders and simply dust off their food before feeding them. If you’re giving them any live food make sure it's gut loaded with insect food. Basically this means that the live food is fed a nutrient rich diet before they’re fed to the Grey tree frog.