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Bioactivity and Red Eyed Tree Frogs

Bioactivity and Red Eyed Tree Frogs

Bioactivity and Red Eye Tree Frogs

From the desk of the Dude

Known as the poster child of the rainforest, the red eye tree frog is indigenous to Central America. What is very unique about these tree frogs is their beautiful color with their bulging red eyes, brilliant green, blue sides, and orange feet. Truly, a gem of the rainforest and a sight to appreciate in a planted bioactive vivarium.  One interesting fact about these frogs are the color differences found from the different locales of the Red Eye Tree Frog.  Overall, these frogs are endemic to most of Central America but, display different traits with each different locale that makes each and every frog unique. For example - if you take a look at a Costa Rica locale red eye, one may notice their green is a lighter, denser green with a lighter blue hue on the sides, but their feet are an intense orange.

With the Panamanian/Nicaraguan locales, you will notice these frogs have more of a blueish color to their overall green appearance. Their blue on the sides will be much more distinct with the orange on the feet being a lighter hue, when compared to the Costa Rica locale.

(picture coming soon)

I would like to thank Mike Novy of Rainforest Junky's for the great picture of this beautiful frog. 


Another interesting fact about these frogs, is that every single male has a different call to our ears, but all emit a unique frequency that all red eye females can pick up to find a male for breeding.  I am unsure as to why they evolved in this way, but I assume it is to lessen predation. Most predators may learn to pick up exactly what their favorite snack sounds like. Cool stuff!

One common misconception with these amphibians is that they need a very wet, humid environment. Ideally, these tree frogs enjoy a well ventilated vivarium that was a screen covered 50-60% of the way and an ambient humidity between 40%-60% throughout the day. Their temperatures should be maintained at 68 - 78 degrees F and access to clean water is a must for this species. Dense, thick vegetation is recommended with plenty of places to hide and climb. Live plants such as Golden Pathos, Philodendron, Ficus, and other broad leaved plants should be utilized.

When young, these frogs can be kept in a ten gallon tank with no problems. However, once they reach about the size of a half-dollar it is recommended to keep them in least a 20 gallon high. Add 5 gallons more per additional frog. The more space you give them, the more active your frogs will be. The Dude’s one red eye tree frog enclosure is 36” x 18” x 48” and only houses a trio. Every inch of that vivarium is utilized by these frogs.  When setting up their vivarium it is recommended to use the Dude’s Terra Flora substrate with your clean up crew established for your bio activity. .  The Terra Flora is designed to hold the perfect amount of water, while letting any excess pass through into the Hydrogrow drainage layer. This not only prevents the substrate from becoming water clogged (which can cause fungal and bacterial infections in your amphibians), but also prevents the growth of anaerobic bacteria and provides the necessary air pockets for proper root development in your plants. It allows your beneficial microfauna to flourish and do their job. After initial setup, it will take a few weeks for your microfauna to build up a large, sustainable population which will keep your tank lasting for the life of the frog. As your biodegradeables break down, it will be recommended to add more every few months.

In a natural, planted vivarium you will see many of the unique behavior niches that make these amphibians so unique and come right to life before your eyes. For example, when there is a female present the males will go to the tallest point of the vivarium, find a leaf that they like the most, and perch their fat little bodies right on top of the leaf. From there they will start calling voraciously and shake the leaf vigorously. This is to show any other males in the area that this his is my area and no one else’s. In the Dude’s experience, Red Eyes breed directly in the tank with no external stimuli except good husbandry. I will find many eggs suspended over the water on a large leaf that they used.  There are so many things that these unique, nocturnal frogs do in a living ecosystem that makes them one of the best candidates for natural, bioactive vivariums. I hope this article inspires you to create an amazing habitat for your red eye tree frog.

Complete tankless BioActive terrarium kits -

Terra Flora BioActive kit -

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  • Josh Halter


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What a shame ----  you do not have permission to view this page : D