17 Things You’ll Need To Keep A Pet Frog

No wonder keeping a frog as a pet is a commitment to keep your pet frog happy and healthy. For this reason, you need to make proper arrangements for keeping a frog sound in captivity. So, you should make a list of things that you will need to keep a pet frog.

I have researched a while to find out the essential staff for bringing up a pet frog. In this article, I have gathered up all information. If you plan to keep a pet frog, you should go through this article to get a basic idea of the required things.

Shopping List Of Required Supplies

Before bringing a pet frog, you should ensure that your frog will get everything from day one. So, you need to do some shopping for required supplies before bringing your precious pet frog home.

I have made a small list of things that you will need to keep a pet frog. If you notice any additional needs, you should add them to the shopping list.

So, the basic required supplies are-

  1. Tank of appropriate size
  2. Tank stand
  3. Décor items
  4. Substrate
  5. Heat lamp or heat mat
  6. Under tank heater
  7. Heat fixture
  8. UVB lightings or fluorescent bulbs
  9. Light fixture
  10. Water filter
  11. Thermometer and hygrometer
  12. Mister or sprayer
  13. Water dish
  14. Artificial or live plants
  15. Gloves
  16. Tank lid
  17. Food and supplements

What Do You Need To Have A Pet Frog?

To keep a frog as a pet, you have to replicate its natural habitation in captivity. Moreover, each species of frog has different demands and needs. But, their basic requirements are similar.

So, let’s take a look here at what you need to have a pet frog.

Enclosure

The very first thing that you should buy is an enclosure for your pet frog. There are several types of vivarium. But, you should select the perfect size and type of tank according to the species of your pet frog.

There are some depending factors for choosing the right tank. Such as-

  • Social nature of your pet frog
  • Size of your pet frog
  • Natural ecosystem of your pet frog

In case of determining accurate size, you should know whether your pet frog is social or not. Some frogs love to stay alone, whereas some frogs prefer to accompany.

Besides, some frogs are cannibalistic. Hence, you must keep those frogs alone in a tank.

The thumb rule of allotting space is to keep space of 10 gallons for each frog. So, the size of the tank depends on the number of frogs and their tank mates.

Further, you need to research the growth of your pet frog. No wonder bigger frogs require more space. Further, some frogs tend to become giant when these frogs grow up. Such as- an adult bullfrog requires a large tank of 75 gallons.

Although mentioning the tank size of all species of frogs is not possible, I have made a small list of certain frogs. It will give you an idea of selecting tanks of accurate sizes compared with the frog size.

Frog Name Frog Size Tank Size
African Dwarf Frog3 inches5-10 gallons (for two frogs), 20 gallons (for sharing the tank with fish)
African Clawed Frog2-5 inches10-20 gallon
Bull Frog9 inches20 gallons
Tree FrogUp to 5 inches12″×12″×18” (for 1-2 frogs)
Poison Dart Frog2.5 inches12″×12″×18” (for keeping 1-2 frogs)
Pacman frog8 inches10-20 gallon
Desert Rain Frog2.5 inches5-10 gallons
Amazon Milk Frogs2.5-4 inches20″×10″×24”
Vietnamese Mossy Frogs3.5 inches18″×18″×18” (for 1-2 frogs)

Moreover, there are several types of tanks according to their material types. Such as plastic tanks, glass tanks, wood tanks, fiberglass tanks, and so on. However, maximum pet lovers prefer a glass tank as it helps you notice your frog activity from outside.

Besides, you can choose between a closed terrarium and an open terrarium. But, you have to buy a tank lid for a closed terrarium as well.

5 Different Cherry Shrimp Types x
5 Different Cherry Shrimp Types

What Kind Of Tanks Do You Need For A Frog?

In the wild, each frog species thrives in a certain ecosystem. Hence, you have to replicate the same ecosystem in captivity.

Most importantly, you should do some homework before buying an enclosure for your pet frog.

Firstly, you have to do some research about the frog that you want to buy. Some frogs spend their entire life in water. Some frogs tend to spend their lives in both land and water. On the other hand, some frogs are climbers.

So, according to the type of your pet frog, you need to choose which type of enclosure you want. There are mainly four types of frog tanks based on their ecosystem.

1. Terrestrial Tank

If your pet frogs are terrestrial, you must buy a terrestrial enclosure for your pet. This type of tank has more horizontal space than vertical space. You can smoothly put substrate, plants, soil, etc in the bottom of the terrestrial tank.

Also, such terrestrial tanks are well-suited for burrowing frogs and the frogs that come from dry environments.

If you want such terrestrial tanks, I will recommend you Exo Terra Terrarium, Zilla Critter Cage, and Exo Terra Outback Terrarium.

2. Aquatic Tank

Like the name, an aquatic tank is compulsory for fully-aquatic frog species. Some frogs spend their entire life in the water. For example- African dwarf frogs, African clawed frogs, etc.

Such aquatic tanks are suitable for fulfilling the tank with freshwater, microfauna, etc. So, if your pet frog is fully-aquatic, there will be no options left except choosing an aquatic tank.

For your fully aquatic frogs, my recommendation will be Tetra Aquarium Tank Kit that includes various aquaria equipment with it.

3. Semi-aquatic Tank

A semi-aquatic tank consists of both land area and water area. Such a tank can give a perfect vibe to the rich ecosystems of the rainforests. In this type of tank, you can keep both terrestrial plants and aquatic plants.

If you are going to pet semi-aquatic frogs, you must bring a semi-aquatic tank. As the best habitat for your semi-aquatic pet frogs, my recommendation will be TetraFauna Viqaquarium.

Some semi-aquatic frogs are Vietnamese mossy frogs, Chinese fire-bellied frogs, etc. If you are curious about Vietnamese mossy frog care, you can check out this article.

4. Arboreal Tank

If your pet frogs are arboreal, you should buy an arboreal enclosure. Such tanks tend to have greater height vertically. Besides, arboreal tanks provide enough space for keeping branches, basking area, lighting, and heating shielding, etc.

In a word, arboreal tanks are designed, in such a way, that your arboreal pet frogs can happily climb on the branches inside the tanks. For example- you must bring an arboreal tank for amazon milk frogs.

If you want a perfect tank for arboreal frogs, my recommendation will be Repti Zoo Full Glass Reptile Terrarium.

Substrate

Substrate or tank bottom is an essential part of the habitation setup of a pet frog. When you replicate the natural environment, you should take care of the tank bottom too.

No wonder substrate serves several purposes. Firstly, substrate allows the expression of the natural behavior of a frog. Such as if your pet frog loves to burrow, you should keep a deep layer of substrates.

Also, some frogs lay eggs on the ground of the forest. In captivity, the proper substrate can provide this opportunity to your pet frogs.

Moreover, substrates usually retain moisture. In this way, substrates help keep the ideal humidity range in the tank. Not to mention, substrates promote healthy plant growth in captivity.

There are lots of substrate options for the tank of your pet frog.

Such as-

  • Coco husk
  • Coco peat
  • Coconut fiber
  • Cypress mulch
  • Peat moss
  • Sphagnum moss
  • Soil
  • Soil blends
  • Gravel
  • Leaf litter
  • For bark
  • Aspen bedding
  • Moist paper towel

Make sure that the layer of the substrate should be at least 2.5-3 inches in deep. If your pet frog is a burrower, you can make the substrate a bit deeper.

For example- Pacman frogs need a 4-6 inches deep substrate to burrow happily. Check Pacman frog habitat setup to know details of their substrate requirements.

In addition, some pet frogs, like poison dart frogs, prefer a drainage substrate. On the other side, maximum frogs feel comfortable in non-particulate substrates like coco husk, coco fiber, etc.

There are lots of substrate options from various brands and types. I recommend Terrarium Sphagnum Moss, Zilla Reptile Terrarium Bedding, Zoo Med ReptiSand, and ReptiChip Compressed Coconut Chip Substrate.

Is Perlite Bad For Frogs?

Not all substrates are suitable for your pet frogs. Such as gravel, sands, mixed substrate of small rocks, and so on. If any of their particles go into the stomach of your pet frog, you’ll be into a great mess.

Although perlite is chemically non-toxic for frogs, perlite is not suitable as a substrate. Such is because your pet frogs might end up swallowing the perlite particles. As perlites are indigestible, your pet frogs will get impacted.

Hence, you must avoid using perlite as the substrate for your pet frog’s tank.

Décor

When you keep a frog as a pet, you might want to make the frog tank perfect. So, to enhance the naturalistic look of the frog terrarium, you can add décor and other accessories. But, you have to make sure that the décor items are safe for your pet frog.

Some of the décor and accessories are- live plants or artificial plants, vines, branches, fake waterfalls, hideouts, moss, woods, ledges bromeliads, bark, water dishes, small and large rocks, critter carrier (for vet visit), etc.

For hideouts, I recommend the Zilla Reptile Habitat Décor Hideouts and Zoo Med Hubba Hut. Besides, I have received several positive reviews for Zoo Med Repti Rapid waterfalls that enhance the terrarium as décor.

Based on the nature of your pet frogs, you have to choose décor items carefully. For example- if your pet frogs are arboreal, these frogs will need more branches. I recommend you Exo Terra Jungle Vines that you can find in various shapes, sizes, lengths, and colors.

On the other hand, mossy frogs require moss. For aquatic frogs, you can choose several types of plants and rocks.

Plants

There are no other décor items that can give a more naturalistic vibe than plants in the frog tank. Besides, plants will provide hiding spaces and climbing opportunities for your pet frogs.

Sometimes, you might notice your frog drinking water droplets from the leaves of the plants. Not to mention, plants play a vital role in maintaining the ideal humidity level inside the tank.

However, you can keep both live and artificial plants. Although artificial plants do not help improve the humidity level, these plants are easy to clean. Moreover, artificial plants provide drinking surfaces, hiding spots, and so on.

I recommend checking out Exo Terra Artificial Plants to enhance the decoration of your frog terrarium.

Can I Put Live Plants In My Frog Tank?

Certainly, you can keep live plants in your frog tank. But, you should choose safe plants carefully.

There are several safe, live plants options for your frog tank. Such as orchids, ferns, pothos, tropical gingers, mosses, bromeliads, peperomias, cardinal flowers, etc.

Water Dish

You must provide clean, filtered, and safe water to your pet frogs. Hence, you will need a water dish or water bowl, especially for the terrestrial frog tank. So, you can check out Exo Terra Water Dish, and Fluker’s Water Reptile Corner to keep safe water for your frogs.

If you are using tap water, you should add Repti Safe into tap water before pouring it into the water dish.

Lighting

Some frogs are used to getting UVB light in their natural habitation. Besides, some frogs require basking light to process their food.

On the other hand, some frogs are nocturnal. So, you must fix accurate lightings in the tank to observe your frog’s activities at night-time.

In addition, lightings help your pet frogs maintain the cycle of 12 hours of daytime and 12 hours of night-time. For this, I recommend you to go for the Exo Terra Day And Night Lamp.

If your pet frog requires a basking area, you’ll need incandescent lighting or a halogen bulb. Also, T8 and T12 fluorescent bulbs are perfect options for achieving low heat in the tank.

There are several types of basking bulbs of various brands in the market. However, there is a special recommendation for basking light for semi-aquatic frogs.

For those semi-aquatic frogs, I recommend Exo Terra Swamp Glo Basking Bulbs. You can set this bulb over water.

Do Frogs Need UVB?

The requirement for UVB is not the same for all species of frogs. Some frogs remain under direct exposure to sunlight in the wild. So, these frogs must need a UVB light source in captivity.

On the other hand, nocturnal frogs and burrowers-frogs do not need much UVB lightings. But, UVB light is certainly good for the health of all species of frogs as it helps them absorb calcium.

Usually, maximum frogs can do well in the 2.0 power UVB light. After observing several positive reviews, I recommend two UVB lightings for your pet frogs. These are- Exo Terra SunRay Metal Halide Bulbs, Repti Glo 2.0 Compact Terrarium Lamp.

Heater

You might have known that frogs are ectothermic. As a result, the body heat of these animals depends on the heat of their surroundings.

The experts suggest keeping the heat of your pet frog terrarium between 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit in the daytime. On the other hand, you should keep the tank’s heat between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit at night time.

So, if the room temperature is suitable to keep your pet frog terrarium warm, you will not need any heat sources. But, if you live in a cold country, you must need a heater to keep your pet frog terrarium within the ideal temperature.

While keeping a heating mat and under-tank heater, you should keep in mind a few things. You should check out beforehand their price range, size, wattage, etc. Also, make sure that your wrong setup of heating sources should not burn your pet frogs.

I recommend you Zilla Heat Mat and Zoo Med ReptiTherm UTH. These are the best heat sources when it comes to heating your pet’s terrarium.

Do Frogs Need A Heat Lamp?

Before answering this question, the first thing to consider is to check the room temperature where the frog terrarium is placed.

When the room temperature can not keep the ideal temperature in the terrarium, you must adjust a heating source. Hence, your pet frogs might need a heat lamp as the appropriate heating element.

In addition, you can use heat lamps as both heaters and light sources for your pet frogs in captivity.

However, several experienced owners recommend the Zoo Med Clamp Lamp for your pet frogs.

Fogger Or Mister

Most of the species of frogs are accustomed to thriving in humid areas. Especially, the frogs belonging to the rainforest need proper humidity in captivity too.

To keep your pet frogs healthy and happy, you must keep the humidity level between 65%-90%. Hence, you will need a fogger or mister to keep a pet frog.

There are several types of a humidifier with different durability, price, and ease of use. For the betterment of your pet frog’s health, I recommend Repti Zoo Reptile Fogger and Exo Terra Ultrasonic Fogger to increase the humidity levels up inside the terrarium.

Make sure to use only distilled water in the mister or fogger.

Thermometer And Hygrometer

When it is about keeping pet frogs, you must monitor the temperature and humidity of the frog terrarium regularly. Therefore, a thermometer and hygrometer are two must-to-have devices to have when you keep pet frogs.

If you want a combo meter, you can buy Zoo Med Thermometer Humidity Gauge. Many experts have ensured that you will have an accurate reading of both temperature and humidity by this single device.

Moreover, there is the popularity of the Exo Terras Thermometer. But, you can only mount this thermometer on Exo Terra terrariums.

In addition, I recommend Repti Zoo Reptile Terrarium Hygrometer for getting accurate humidity reading in the terrarium of your pet frogs.

Water Filter

Not all species of frogs require a water filter in captivity. When you keep aquatic and semi-aquatic frogs as pets, it becomes a challenge to maintain the water quality.

There are a few things to regulate. Such as water hardness, minerals, pH level, presence of heavy metals, etc.

Since aquatic and semi-aquatic frogs absorb oxygen from water, it is crucial to provide fresh and safe water. Moreover, these frogs excrete wastages which contribute ammonia to the water. The same blame goes for leftover foods.

Hence, you must do partial water change regularly. For this, you will need a water filter. Otherwise, you have to take the hassle by changing water manually.

If you search for a good water filter, I will suggest Tetra Repto Filter and Zilla Aquatic Reptile Filter.

Food

After completing the habitation setup, the rest concerning factors are diet and maintenance. No wonder you must provide nutritious food and proper supplements to keep your pet frogs fit and healthy.

Usually, the diet is almost the same for all species of frogs. You can provide crickets, fruit flies, Dubia roaches, several types of worms, locusts, grasshoppers, etc.

However, you can buy live reptile or frog foods from any online or local store.

In addition, there are several recommendations about frog foods of several brands. You can take a look at TetraFuana ReptiMin Food for Frogs and Zoo Med Aquatic Frog And Tadpole Food.

Supplements

Since you can not fully replicate the diet as wild, some essential nutrients must be missing. Also, the frog body can not produce vitamin D and vitamin A on its own. Hence, you should dust or gut-load the insects with proper supplementation.

The experts suggest providing a daily dose of 330 IU vitamin D3 per day to your pet frogs. For supplementation, I recommend you Repashy Vitamin A Plus, Fluker’s Calcium Reptile Supplement with vitamin D3.

Final Words

This article is a basic guideline for frog lovers who are going to keep frogs as pets. I hope this article helped you get a proper idea of what you will need to keep a pet frog.

Muntaseer Rahman

I have been keeping shrimps as a pet for many years now. I’ve fallen in love with these cute pets from the moment I saw them. That’s why I am writing articles to share my shrimp keeping knowledge with you.

Recent Posts