Welcome to the Mantella Frog temperature and lighting section, this area is divided in to several separate sub sections – the introduction, the housing Mantella page, temperature and humidity (this page), feeding Mantella Frogs and breeding Mantella sections.
Mantella Frog Temperature and Lighting
Mantellas are day living (diurnal) frogs which means that you will need to provide some form of artificial lighting for them.
The full spectrum fluorescent lighting which comes fitted to most fish tank and vivarium hoods is ideal for this purpose.
The light source timer needs to mimic their natural requirements which, as they live closer to the equator will fluctuate far less between months than we experience in the UK.
For this reason you should as a general rule provide them with light for 11 hours between November and March and raise this to 14 hours during the rest of the year. Use a good UV tube.
Mantellas in the most are frogs which although live in what could be considered the ‘tropics’, don’t actually need tropical conditions.
Most of the commonly kept species are native to mountainous areas and are subject to cool breezes which fall from the mountains and keep the temperature around 21°C (70°F).
As a result Mantellas don’t require ‘tropical’ heating but will require a temperature of between 18°C (65°F) and 24°C (75° F), this varies between species. Some of the lower altitude frogs will require more heat as they live closer to and in the warmer forests.
All of the Mantellas would receive a natural drop in temperature at night, this should be mimicked in your tank by turning down the thermostat by around 8°C (12°F) to 13°C (22°F) – note – this is not turn down the thermostat TO these temperatures but BY these temperatures!
The best method to use for heating your tank is the under tank heating mat, these are very similar to the propagator heaters used by gardeners and offer very flexible and accurate temperature control.
It’s not such a good idea to use overhead heating as the heat given off is very dry and could dry up your frogs!
Cleanliness in a warm, moist tank
Cleanliness is next to godliness and your tank or vivarium is no different.
This will need emptying of contents once a week (more often if you have a large colony) and the rocks, logs etc will need thoroughly cleaning to remove the waste from the frogs.
The moss (which can be difficult to obtain) should either be replaced or it can be thoroughly rinsed through with clean water.
You will also need to clean the inside of the tank by wiping it with a clean cloth soaked in a non toxic anti bacterial liquid, remember that frogs skin is very, very thin and will absorb whatever it comes in contact with so it is important to use a non toxic cleaning agent such as Dettox.
The tank and any items which have been in contact with the Ark Klens should be thoroughly rinsed with clean water to remove any traces before re introducing the frogs.
The water in the dish should be replaced with fresh water at least twice a week as this too will become contaminated with the droppings of the Mantella.