Flying Frogs Care Sheet – Newbies & Pro’s

Flying Frogs Care Sheet

Welcome to the Flying Frogs care sheet & keeping guide, see also the Breeding Flying Frogs section.

Flying Frogs Care Sheet

These large frogs are native to all of tropical Asia including Philippines, Indonesia etc. They are quite large for a tree frog with the females being around 3.5 – 4 inches long, almost twice the size of the males.

Despite their common name these frogs are not very good at gliding from tree to tree as the webbing between the toes is not sufficient to generate the lift of some of the other flying frogs.

Another common name for them is the White Bearded Tree Frog.

Do not use colour as a way to identify this frog, they readily change colour from almost white through dark green/black and seems to be dependant on temperature, mood, humidity and background.

Housing Flying Frogs

As mentioned in the introduction this frog covers a large area of Asia but generally they find a similar environment, this is the edges of ponds and slow moving water they are often found in paddy fields as this is an ideal place for them.

In captivity you need to invest in an aquarium of at least 24 inches long together with a heating systems and some artificial plants. A 24 inch tank will happily hold 6 – 8 adult reed frogs.

This information and the equipment suggested is a basic set up for these frogs, if you are wanting to go deeper in to their keeping and would like to try and breed them you may need a more complex set up (depending on species) mainly including a larger permanent water area which is planted with real plants and in some species aquatic plants for egg depositing areas.

This tank contains 1 female and 2 male flying frogs together with 3 pairs of red eye tree frogs and a couple of small lizards all living happily together and each has their own favorite spot in the tank.

READ MORE: American Green Tree Frog Care Sheet

Heating Requirements

Reed frogs are resilient creatures but they will not withstand long periods of cold weather, in your tank you will need some form of heating to raise the temperature to around 24C – 26C during the day and 20C – 22C at night.

An under tank heat mat covering 1/3 of the tank will suffice but as they will be lots of substrate above it you may need to use overhead heating in the form of a low (40w) spot lamp, preferably a full spectrum one – this is the same female frog basking under the spot light.

If using a ceramic heat emitter or heat mat make sure you use a thermostat control to keep the temperature even.

Substrate

The substrate for these frogs needs to be moisture retentive but not sodden, they need moisture to prevent their delicate skins from drying out but too much water or too high a humidity level will cause problems for them and can lead to rapid fungal and bacterial outbreaks.

If in doubt, keep them in drier conditions.

If a waterfall is used then the substrate can be drier.

  • Pebble Substrate

The bottom 2 inches of the tank should be covered with orchid bark to which 10% activated charcoal can be added.

This base layer can be topped with a further 2 inches of fresh sphagnum moss to give it the ‘jungly’ feel.

An alternative would be to use washed smooth pebbles but this doesn’t look quite as pleasing but has the advantage of being durable and re usable.

Humidity

Humidity control is taken care of by the heater combined with the large water bowl which will give off moisture as the water evaporates.

As it warms up it will in turn heat the substrate which will release its moisture in to the air. Aim to keep the relative humidity at around 40% – 60%

Watering

A dish of water should always be available to the frogs, this should be at least 4 inches in diameter and 3 inches deep.

It is a good idea to create a ramp of some sort leading out of the water, this is not for the frogs but for the crickets you will be feeding them – they ALWAYS fall in the water!

The easiest way to accomplish this is to simply trail a small artificial plant in to the water dish. The water MUST be changed on a daily basis as the frogs sometimes defecate in the water.

Plants overhanging water bowl

  • Exo Terra Medium Waterfall

One of the excellent new waterfalls from Exo Terra is used in the finished tank above, this has the benefit of providing moving water which stimulates the frogs more. You will not need the water dish if using a waterfall.

At night when they first appear they can often be seen sitting under one of the streams of water with the water running down their backs, males do a lot of calling from this ‘meeting place’

READ MORE: Red Eyed Tree Frog Care Sheet

Feeding

Tree Frogs are carnivores and will need a supply of fresh insects of a suitable size. The basis for your frogs diet will probably be crickets as these are readily available, inexpensive and nutritious.

Small to Medium sized crickets are the best size to select for large juveniles and adult reed frogs.

You can purchase live food from our other site Global Live Food (UK only)

Crickets alone though will not be sufficient and other food insects like waxworms, mealworms (heads removed), small locusts and earth worms should all be offered.

Whatever food you do use it should be dusted with a good quality multivitamin supplement to add other trace elements and calcium which may be lacking in the insects alone.

  • Vitamin Supplement

The frogs will spend most of the daytime stuck under the artificial plant leaves and tank walls near the top or tucked in to one of the corners of the lid.

These frogs do occasionally like to bask in the sun for a while so if you added a piece of bog wood or the tall cork you can aim a spot light at this for basking purposes – see finished tank image above.

Cleaning
These frogs will often defecate on the walls of the tank so it will become dirty quite quickly depending on how many frogs you have in the tank.

It is advisable to clean the tank every 2 to 3 weeks and remove the moss and gravel for cleaning. If the moss is clean it can be re used and the gravel should be washed before replacing it.

Any droppings on the tank should be removed and the tank itself thoroughly cleaned to prevent mould from growing on it.

During the cleaning process the frogs should be kept in a plastic container with a secure fitting ventilated lid. Put some wetted kitchen paper in the container with them to keep them moist.

Breeding Flying Frogs

In common with most frogs it is the male that does the singing, in these frogs this is usually quite a deep clack, clack clack in quick succession but they can make a variety of calls particularly when two or more males are singing together.

The female is also much larger then the male and usually has a more distinct bony and humped hip area called a sacral hump.

 

Breeding begins when the males start singing in the evening, this is actually an advertisement for the male as the call is to attract females.

The female may not be receptive but the male may chase her around the tank until she is receptive, this ritual can go on for 2 days.

Flying Frogs Care Sheet

Eventually the female will be caught by the male he will cling on to her for days, this is known as amplexus.

flying frogs mating This shot was taken at night using infra red and the pair spawned the same night.

 

The Asian Flying frog is what’s known as a foam nest frog as it creates a large foam mass filled with eggs mixed in rather than the more traditional type of frog spawn which is like a clear jelly ball with a central nucleus.

The male is much smaller and has more defined and regular pattern on the skin and spotted inner thighs

Here is the history of a typical batch of eggs

foam nest of flying frog The foam is produced by the female at the time of fertilization by the male and she uses her back legs to whip up the liquid in to something like blamonge. The whole mass will them form a thin skin around it.

Breeding Flying Frogs

In order to be successful at breeding these large frogs you will usually need to get at least 2 males to each female, this will cause the males to compete with their calls to attract the female.

The frogs will (depending on species) either deposit their egg mass on leaves above the water, on a branch or even on the floor.

You should remove them after the egg mass has formed a skin otherwise it will stick to you when you remove it.

You will need to draw some fresh water and put it in a large tank with an air stone to help oxygenate the water. This photo shows the eggs embedded in the foam.

Hatching Frog Spawn

Flying frogs eggs and tadpoles need to be kept at the same temperature as the adults, your rearing tank will need some form of heating to raise the water temperature to around 24C – 26C during the day and 20C – 22C at night, use an under tank heater for this.

hatching The whole egg mass should be placed in to a tank of well oxygenated and prepared (see below) water around 7 inches deep, the egg mass will float on the surface.

After 24 – 72 hours the egg mass will begin to dissolve and tiny white tadpoles will start to emerge.

Between 100 and 400 or more tadpoles will emerge from the egg mass but you can expect to loose quite a few over the coming weeks.

To start with the tadpoles will be pretty inactive and will be feeding on the yolk from the egg.

Over the next week they will begin to darken. After around 7 days from when they start hatching you can remove what is left of the egg mass as all the living ones will have wriggled out from it.

Now is the time to do the fist water change as the original water will be contaminated by the dissolved foam, change all of the water at this time.

READ MORE: Tropical Tree Frog Care

Prepared Water

The quality of water used will affect your success rate to some extent. Water drawn from the kitchen tap is fine but it must be allowed to stand for at least 24 hours before use to get rid of chlorine which can kill the eggs and tadpoles.

Use an air stone as illustrated here to increase the available oxygen in the water. You MUST NOT use this whilst the newly hatched tadpoles are in the water as the vibration can kill them very quickly.

Water Changes

You can change the water in the tank to keep it oxygenated or place plenty of living aquarium plants in to do the job.

Follow the same method as above to initially charge the water with oxygen before replacing 1/3 of the water volume every 3 days or so.

Failure to either change the water or make sure that there are plenty of plants will mean the tiny tadpoles can die due to lack of oxygen.

Substrate

The bottom of the egg tank should not have any substrate or pebbles in it to start with as the tiny hatchlings can get trapped under seemingly tiny particles.

hatchlings The young grow quickly and within 7 – 10 days they will have grown enough to introduce some aquarium sand in to the tank and some living plants. Make sure the sand is very well washed to remove any dust from it before putting it in to the tank.

Feeding Tadpoles

The tadpoles are generally omnivorous and will eat the micro algae that grow on the walls of the tank and the plant leaves to start with, they should also be fed on a good quality fish food flake from now on, give them one pinch per day.

At the time of adding the sand it is best to remove all the tadpoles and put them in a small holding tank, this will allow you to thoroughly clean the tank out before adding the substrate.

Add the sand to the tank to a depth of around 1 inch then add the water to a depth of at least 7 inches, you should add several aquatic plants to help oxygenate the water.

Test the temperature and if it is the same as the holding tank you can gently pour the tadpoles back in.

As the tadpoles grow you can if you want change the sand for aquarium gravel but it is purely a matter of choice.

large tadies

Once the tadpoles grow to around 3/4 inch you should supplement the fish food flakes with bloodworm which can be purchased in small frozen cubes, just drop one cube (approx 15 ml) in the tank every other day to start with.

First Legs

rear legs After around 5 – 7 weeks the first signs of metamorphosis should show with the rear legs, the tadpoles will now be around 1.5 inches long!. This is the first indication that something rather special is about to occur.

You should begin getting ready another tank to hold the new baby frogs!

The rear legs always develop first followed (usually within a week or so) by the front pair.

You should lower the water level now to be no more then 4 inches deep and place some floating live plants in the tank, this will allow the froglets their first taste of land life.

You should keep a close watch on them here as they can easily drown.

The second tank should have 2 inches of damp sphagnum moss in the bottom together with a scooped out depression in the centre. Fill the tank with water to allow the depression to at least partially fill with water.

This new tank should include some smooth twiggy branches for perching.

Keep this nursery tank permanently wet put not floating. As the last of the froglets becomes around 2 weeks old you should allow the tank to dry out a bit.

Place a large water dish in the tank and assemble some twiggy branches near to it. The frogs will begin using the branches almost immediately as they hunt fruit flies.

Froglets grow rapidly and food size needs to be increased as they go. Start on fruit flies and small crickets and work up to standard sized black crickets by 4 months.

The froglets here are 4 months from leaving the water, most are perfectly normal and have different patterns.

This tadpole is from the same batch as the froglet, but this one has not changed. Instead, this tadpole is now around 3 times the size of a ‘normal’ tadpole and has still has a tadpole mouth.

It is eating fish food and blood worms.

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