Red Eyed Tree Frog Care Sheet for Beginners In 2022

Red Eyed Tree Frog Care Sheet

Welcome to the Red-Eyed Tree Frog care sheet section, this area is divided into several separate sub sections – the introduction (this page), the housing Red Eye Tree Frogs page, temperature, and humidity, feeding Red Eye Tree Frogs, and breeding Red Eye Tree Frogs sections.

Red-Eyed Tree Frog Care Sheet

Agalychnis callidryas is the Latin name for this species of frog. It is native to Central American (guatemala, el salvador, honduras, nicaragua, costa rica) where it inhabits the tropical rainforests living alongside Cattleya orchids and Poison Dart Frogs.

These frogs are always in great demand due to their somewhat bizarre appearance, bright green skin, vibrant red eyes and blue sides make it a real gem of a frog.

The other reason that they are becoming more popular is that they aren’t too difficult to look after.

Red Eye Tree Frog Care Sheet

Buying Red Eye Tree Frogs

If you are buying these amphibians via mail order then you should ask how they will be sent. As they come from tropical and subtropical regions they will need a minimum temperature of around 15°C (65°F) and a maximum of 24°C (75°F) whilst in transit,

they will also have to be packed in appropriate packaging such as damp sphagnum, soft damp foam, damp kitchen towel or another inert moist packing.

The outer package should have enough air holes to allow the frogs to breathe and should be waterproof – to prevent the absorption of the moisture from the moss etc.

If your chosen supplier can’t provide these safe packaging measures then you may be disappointed when you frogs arrive, they may be limp, dehydrated, weak, and may even be dead

In order to preserve the natural population you should buy captive-bred frogs whenever possible, no one wants a world without these fantastic creatures, and keeping them at home is too high a price to pay for their extinction –  always ask the supplier before making a purchase.

During the day Red Eye Tree frogs spend their time either hiding under leaves or stuck to the tank walls like a fridge magnet!

Immediate Aftercare

Once your tree frogs have arrived safely it is advisable (if you have a colony) to keep them separate from your existing frogs to make sure that they have no diseases or parasites.

You should keep your new frogs in a separate tank for about 2 weeks and monitor them closely if they are feeding well and are healthy then you can introduce them into your colony.

If you are just starting and these are your first frogs then you can place them straight in to their new home once they arrive. 

Housing Red Eye Tree Frogs

These frogs are territorial and will require quite a large tank or vivarium around 18 inches x 18 inches x 36 inches high with sliding doors, this will be large enough to maintain a small colony of around 3 to 4 red eye trees frogs adults or up to 7 juveniles.

If the tank is too small or you overcrowd it then they may become stressed by the invasion of other frogs in their territory.

Conversely, if it’s too large they may never meet each other and breeding will be affected.

These frogs like humidity but not as high as the Dendrobate frogs, here is our recomended setup for the tank.

The tank for tree frogs, unlike traditional tanks, needs to be taller than either the width or depth.

This is because tree frogs are normally arboreal and will spend much of their time living well off the floor on plants and branches.

Setting up the tank or vivarium for red-eye tree frogs

In this illustration the tank is an Easy Exotics tree frog tank, a tailor-made vivarium that has more height than width, sliding doors at the front, and vents at the top

  • The tank – see the opposite
  • Under tank heater and thermostat – preferable to overhead heating
  • Sphagnum moss or another substrate – for base
  • Water container – 1/4 of the tank floor x 3 inches deep
  • Some rocks for effect
  • Some bogwood or driftwood logs for effect and hiding places
  • Some smooth branches for climbing on
  • Some suitable broad-leaved plants either real or artificial


vivarium for red eye tree frogs The actual set up of the tank should be as simple as possible because it will need completely cleaning out and everything removed for washing every few weeks, this is because although tree frogs are small they excrete a lot of waste which needs to be removed regularly otherwise bacteria will quickly develop in the warm moist atmosphere.

They also have a habit of leaving their droppings in the water dish and on the glass so if you want the tank to look good then it will need cleaning regularly.

Left: Here’s the tank we are using for this project

Below: Note the two mesh ventilation grills at the top of the tank

If you are intending to create an ecosystem in the tank which includes all living plants and mosses then with the care you can leave the tank longer between cleaning as a well-planted tank can sustain itself for some considerable time.

You’ll still have to clean the glass though!

The first thing to consider before setting up the tank in its final position. As the tank will be heavy when fully set up it should be placed in position before adding rocks, moss, logs, etc.

The second thing to consider is where you will be putting it in relation to windows. You should not set up the tank in an area that gets direct sunlight otherwise the tank will almost certainly overheat and the frogs will probably die.

Finally, the third thing is to make sure you have sufficient electricity sockets near the tank for lights, heaters, and other electrical components of the set up.

tank vents

Typically the base of the tank should be covered in 3 inches of vermiculite or pebbles with 10% activated charcoal pieces in it,topped with fresh moss around 2 inches deep, rocks, logs and leaves for effect and hiding places should be positioned on the surface. This is the basic set up.

red tree frog tank
For a more permanent tank the same vermiculite or pebble mix should be topped with 2 – 3 inches of a mixture of orchid bark, sphagnum moss and sphagnum moss peat which can be planted up (with the plants in their pots) with living broad leaf plants and the surface should be decorated with logs, rocks etc.

With correct care and planting this tank set up can last up to 3 months or more.

Left: The bottom of the tank is 4 inches deep for substrate and heating etc

In either case, there should be a water area that covers around 1/4 of the floor space and is 2 – 3 inches deep with a bank of pebbles for easy escape, the easiest way to accomplish this is to use a water dish/rock pool which has a removable insert. The water in this dish will double as drinking water and bathing water so it should be changed on a daily basis.

The final alternative is a substrate of just smooth pebbles. The tank base should be covered in a layer of 3 inches of small (1 inch diameter) smooth pebbles and some tall smooth branches should be added for the frogs to climb on and a water dish.

This set up is the easiest to clean and although it looks good it will never match the looks of a well-planted jungle tank.

The finished tank can look spectacular and will be a focal point in your living space.

The heating for all the setups is up to you but you can use either under tank heat mats, cables or an aquarium heater in a hiden water tank – overhead heating is not recommended – see heating.

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 regularly and the rocks, logs, etc will need thorough cleaning to remove the waste from the frogs.

The moss should either be replaced or it can be thoroughly rinsed through with clean water if it is still alive.

It must be replaced completely every three to four weeks at least otherwise it will harbour bacteria and health problems can occur.

If you are using living plants in your tank or vivarium then these too will need to be wiped down to remove the droppings. Good plants include Phalaenopsis orchids, bromeliads and ferns.

You will also need to clean the inside of the tank by wiping it with a clean cloth soaked in a diluted 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 Dettox 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 once a day as this will become contaminated with the droppings of the frogs.

Feeding Red Eye Tree Frogs

Red Eye Tree Frog Feeding Requirements

Adult tree eat nothing but insects in one shape or another, under natural conditions they would have hundreds of varieties of tiny insects to choose from but in captivity they are limited to what you decide to feed them.

You should give as wide a variety of different insects as possible which will include the various minerals and essential oils that a single insect species would not offer.

brown cricket juv
The variety of insects should include: small crickets, flightless fruit flies, curly wing flies, blackfly, greenfly, small moths, ant larvae, small wax worms and small mealworms. Whatever type of food you decide to feed them you should dust it with a vitamin and mineral powder before feeding them to your frogs.

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

When feeding your frog it is better to give 3 to 4 small feedings rather than just one a day, this will encourage them to move around their home in search of food and meet other frogs along the way – interaction between the frogs is important to their well being.

This interaction will also help with breeding tree frogs – if they don’t meet a potential mate how are they going to breed

We’ve come to an end of our red eyed tree frog care sheet for beginners. Do share and comment if this is helpful to you!

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