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How to Care for a Pacific Tree Frog

Three Parts:Making a Home for the Pacific Tree FrogFeeding the Pacific Tree FrogHandling the Pacific Tree Frog

Pacific tree frogs are a robust species of tree frog and are extremely common within their range. You can find them in gardens, forests, lakes, and meadows, in rural areas or even in the middle of a city, as long as there is a water source nearby for them to breed.

Part 1
Making a Home for the Pacific Tree Frog

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    Make a home for the frog in a small 10 gallon (for one frog) fish tank with a wire mesh style lid to go on top. You can buy both from the pet store. The wire top is important as proper ventilation is essential for healthy frogs. Pacific tree frogs will need a fresh water source, but do not need a humid environment. You can keep one frog in a ten gallon glass tank, but for more it should be 29 gallons or bigger.
    • Pacific tree frogs are master escape artists! Make sure that there are no gaps between the tank and the lid. Check the lid every time before you open it as your frog(s) can and will often be clinging to the top and escape!
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    Add substrate. For a substrate you can use moist sphagnum moss or organic potting soil with no synthetic additives or fertilizer. Black gold soil is a good brand of potting soil that will not harm your frogs.
    • A good 1:1:1 blend of coconut fibre ( or organic potting soil ), sphagnum moss, and medium orchard bark is a great ground cover that you can plant low light plants in and will drain well when lightly watered. You can also add chopped dead leaves from a pesticide free yard for extra soil nutrition. Worms will also thrive in this soil with adequate moisture and will create a healthy disposal system for your frog(s) "droppings". Make enough mix so that you can layer your tank with at least eight inches of soil mix. This will help retain moisture and provide a fertile ground for planting live plants.
    • Do not allow a frog to be in contact with chlorinated water; it is toxic to them.
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    Provide a place to hide. As for any type of tree frog, they will need numerous places to perch, climb and hide. It is highly recommended you use live plants, but fake plants will work as well.
    • There are many kinds of low light and medium light plants that can be placed in the frog habitat. Some examples are Chlorophytum comosum ( Spider Plant ), Chamaedorea elegans ( Parlor Palm ), and Ficus pumila ( Creeping Fig ). Check the external links for information on which plants are safe and their growing conditions.
    • You can use an aquarium "tube" fluorescent light 17 Watts or stronger as a light source for your plants. This will also provide light for your frogs as well without the risk of overheating the tank with natural sun.
    • Plants need to be pesticide and fertilizer free, frogs are highly sensitive to these and you should either purchase organically grown plants or re-pot your plants in organic soil and allow them to grow out for six weeks.
    • Add large stones, boil them first to sanitize, then let them cool. Frogs will perch on them in the morning and late night as they tend to be slightly warmer then the soil. Your frogs may also huddle under them for warmth if you have especially cold winters.
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    Provide adequate moisture to the environment. Mist the cage with a spray bottle a few times as needed if the soil becomes overly dry.
    • You may notice that your frogs will seem annoyed by dry substrate, as it will stick to their skin and they will have to brush it off. Do not be alarmed, add a little moisture to the topsoil to prevent sticking. Your frogs will learn how to walk on their new substrate comfortably after a few weeks. Make sure they have a large water source to soak and hide in if they wish.
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Part 2
Feeding the Pacific Tree Frog

This section is under-developed. Please help wikiHow by improving it with your frog-keeping expertise.

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    Feed the frog a diet of small insects. Feed a regular diet of wingless fruit flies.
    • Pacific tree frog tadpoles need a high protein diet, such as guppy food or dried tubifex worms (commercial tadpole food is no good; they will get gas so badly, they explode). Tadpoles can also eat live bloodworms as a treat.
    • Once your tadpoles begin to grow their back legs you may notice that they stop eating entirely. Do not be alarmed, they will not eat until they morph into young froglets and their entire tail ( which has fats and nutrients for the transition ) is absorbed.
    • Never give young frogs full size crickets. They can choke or be otherwise injured. For the first 3 months of growth, you should feed them flightless fruit flys and "pinhead" crickets. Make sure you feed them generously every three days as they will need the nutrition to grow. Dust the crickets in calcium powder for added nutrition.
    • Once your frogs reach 3/4 to full size. ( Anywhere from 3/4 to 1.5 inches for the biggest ) you can start feeding them "small" size crickets. Additionally, an occasional treat of waxworms, wax moths, and small mealworms is OK for your frogs.
    • Depending on the personality of your frogs, you may be able to hand feed them waxworms and mealworms. Grip the worm by the head gently and allow it to wriggle in front of your frog to entice it to strike. Be patient, your frogs may stare for quite some time, then suddenly strike. Don't be startled if they miss a few times and try to eat your fingers, they don't always have the best aim.
    • Adult Pacific Tree Frogs can and will eat insects as big or bigger than themselves. Although they are able to it is recommended you not feed them excessively large insects. Rather, feed them one or two medium size insects or just let them self feed on crickets.
    • If you leave crickets in the enclosure, put a few pieces of vegetables with the bugs in your frog's cage. Without just a few stalks of celery, carrots, there is a risk the insects will eat your frog alive, as they need food too.[citation needed]
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    Provide a water source at least 4 inches deep. It is recommended that there be at least 45% water source taking up the tank for your frogs to soak, swim, and hide. You can add a quiet trickling water fountain to circulate the water ( which delays the need to change it ). Adding aquatic or semi-aquatic plants is also a great way to suck excessive nitrogen ( from frog waste ) from the water and provide hiding places for your frogs. If you add plants and a water circulator you can get away with simply adding clean water weekly. Do not use tap water. Use distilled water or tap that has been purified with aquarium water conditioner. If you just have standing water in the tank, make sure you change it out weekly or the water will go stagnant.

Part 3
Handling the Pacific Tree Frog

This section is under-developed. Please help wikiHow by improving it with your frog-keeping expertise.

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    Pacific tree frogs can deal with some handling , but be gentle or they may pee on you. Handle gently and let them crawl on your fingers, but be careful when out in the open and they can quickly jump off your hands on to the floor and disappear quickly. Frogs are easily injured. If you need to handle a frog, make sure your hands are clean. The skin of a Pacific Tree Frog is highly absorbent, and the salt, or other substances on your skin is irritating to it.
    • Make sure your hands are clean and well-rinsed.
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    Open the frog tank with care. Make sure the frog is not on the wall near the lid or door, or he may climb the glass and jump out.


  • The name 'Tree Frog' doesn't necessarily refer only to frogs living in trees, but also refers to aquatic frogs. Many tree frogs can swim, but prefer to perch on moist areas. This is why they are commonly found around ponds or swamps. Make sure the water in the dish is de-chlorinated (use a water de-chlorinator). Chlorine in tap water can kill some frogs and must be left to evaporate. A small water dish is standard, as these frogs like to bathe and soak in water (they can breathe and drink through their skin!).
  • For further reading, look for care sheets about green tree frogs. Their care should be similar, and the care sheets will be more abundant as green tree frogs are commonly sold as pets, while pacific tree frogs are not typically sold in stores as it is usually illegal (at least in CA) to sell native animals as pets.


  • If you decide you want to raise tadpole Pacific Tree Frogs, you need to commit to keeping them for the rest of their life. Pacific Tree frogs raised from babies will not learn necessary survival skills from living in captivity. Additionally, Pacific Tree Frogs are known carriers of Chytrid Fungus, a fatal disease that is harmless to them but fatal to many species of native frogs they co-exist with. Releasing them into the wild from captivity upsets the natural balance of the species in that area. Pacific Tree Frogs can reproduce quickly and force out the fungus they carry could kill off a naturally occurring species where you release them.
  • If you are a light sleeper or share a room, you may not want to keep Pacific Tree Frogs in your room. If your frogs are happy they will croak periodically during the day and night. Although a fascinating thing to hear, it can become a concern when trying to sleep through the night. Keep them in a separate room if this concerns you.
  • The Pacific Tree Frog's skin may hold salmonella, so try to hold it with bare skin as little as possible. Always wash your hands with soap and scrub well after handling any amphibian.

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