Vietnamese Mossy Frog Care Guide For Beginners

Vietnamese mossy frogs, that look like a clump of moss, are easy to care for despite their fair unfamiliarity among frog lovers. On the other hand, many pet lovers love to keep unique frogs like Vietnamese mossy frogs, but they do not find any suitable care guide. Hence, I have researched a while to prepare a proper care sheet for keeping this unique frog for beginners.

Since Vietnamese mossy frogs are semi-aquatic frogs, they need a special housing setup and water management. But, these frogs are trouble-free. Moreover, they do not require special lightings, substrate, and so on.

I have summed up all necessary information about habitat setup, environmental conditions in captivity, feeding guide, breeding care, and so on. So, if you want to know the details, you should go through this article.

Vietnamese Mossy Frog Overview

Before going through this care guide, let’s check out a quick overview of the Vietnamese mossy frog. The following chart has some basic information about this unique-looking frog.

Scientific NameTheloderma corticale
Common NameVietnamese mossy frog
AppearanceHaving uneven skin with many tubercles, soft underbelly, sticky pads on their toes, and brownish-green in color.
Size3.5 inches
DietInsectivores
TemperamentExtremely shy but social
Care levelEasy-going
Lifespan10-20 years

How Do You Take Care Of A Vietnamese Mossy Frog?

If you want to keep Vietnamese mossy frogs as pets, you should fulfill all environmental conditions as wild. Thus, you should mimic their wild habitat in captivity. If you want to take the fullest care of Vietnamese mossy frogs, you should know a detailed care guide.

Let’s get started with the habitat setup of Vietnamese mossy frogs.

Vietnamese Mossy Frogs Habitat Setup

Before choosing a terrarium, you should keep in mind the frog type, frog size, frog numbers, and so on. Firstly, make sure that you have all the necessary equipment to set up a Vietnamese mossy frog tank.

You can choose a glass tank for your pet Vietnamese mossy frogs. Do not forget to check whether the tank has any cracks or not. Also, the tank stand should be solid.

You might have known that Vietnamese mossy frogs are semi-aquatic frogs. So, these frogs need both water and land in their habitat.

Hence, you should split the terrarium into two sections for making a dry part and a wet part. You should make sure that your pet Vietnamese mossy frogs can both swim and bask outside of the water in the tank.

Usually, Vietnamese frogs do great together in a small group of 2-4 frogs.

The thumb rule for allotting space is keeping space of 10 gallons for one mossy frog. Besides, the additional space for more frogs should be 5 gallons per frog.

So, the experienced owners recommend buying a 20-gallon tank for 2-4 Vietnamese mossy frogs. For your convenience, I added a small chart to get a better idea of tank size in terms of inches.

Number of mossy frogs Tank size in inches
1-2 Vietnamese mossy frogs18″×18″×18”
Three Vietnamese mossy frogs24″×18″×18″
Four Vietnamese mossy frogs36″×18″×18″

For suitable semi-aquatic tanks, you can check out Zoo Med Naturalistic Terrarium and Exo Terra Rainforest Habitat for your Vietnamese mossy frogs. However, you can choose a suitable frog tank from local stores.

Make sure that the tank is large enough to provide an aquatic space of at least 3 inches deep in water. On the other hand, the dry area of the tank should be large enough for your mossy frogs to pull themselves out of the water and rest comfortably.

Before putting in other accessories, you must clean the tank with freshwater. Do not use any soap or chemicals while cleaning the tank.

I recommend you to check out TetraFuana Viqaquarium for the habitat setup of your semi-aquatic mossy frog. These will provide the preassembled land and water zone with complete instructions for beginners and experienced owners.

Suitable Accessories In Vietnamese Mossy Frog Tank

To recreate the natural habitat, you can add suitable accessories to your mossy frog tank. So, you can keep living plants, soil, living fish, etc. But, you must keep in mind your frog’s needs first.

Here is a list of suitable tank accessories. You can add these to your Vietnamese mossy frog tank. These are-

  • Living plants like golden Pothos, Peace Lily, Philodendron, Bromeliads, etc.
  • Live moss, such as java moss, Riccia, etc.
  • Small and peaceful fish
  • Water filter
  • River stones
  • Wood branches
  • Floating food bowl
  • Cork barks, and other décors

Proper Substrate

Generally, frogs need substrate to hold the moisture for them. As Vietnamese mossy frogs are semi-aquatic frogs, these frogs spend a large time in the water. So, these frogs do not require substrate like other frogs.

As substrates, you can add medium-sized gravel, rocks, branches, cork bark, moss, etc. If you add live plants, you should mix soil with the substrate.

But, you must not use soggy soils. Besides, make sure not to have any sharp-edged objects in the substrate which may hurt your pet frogs.

Temperature

In the wild, Vietnamese mossy frogs live under caves and on the bank of streams. In short, these frogs tend to live in cold areas.

If your room temperature is around 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit, this temperature will be ideal for your Vietnamese mossy frogs. So, to ensure the fullest care, you should keep in mind not to let the temperature cross over 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not forget that these mossy frogs are habitants of cold areas.

Besides, high temperatures can kill your mossy frogs. Moreover, occasional temperature dropping should not be an issue as these frogs are used to surviving in cold realms.

Humidity

Since Vietnamese mossy frogs are semi-aquatic frogs, these frogs thrive in humid setups. The optimal humidity range for Vietnamese mossy frogs is between 60%-90%.

On the other hand, you must have kept a water area on one side of the tank. So, the water of this wet area contributes a lot in keeping the humidity high in the tank. However, this may not be enough to keep the humidity level high in your mossy frog’s tank.

To ensure the ideal range of humidity, you can do misting. Usually, the experienced owners suggest misting 2-3 times per week. Also, you have to mist the frog tank whenever the humidity level goes below the ideal range.

Keep in mind that your pet survives in cold and humid setups. If you want to take care of your pet frog properly, you can choose both automated misting and manual misting.

Do not forget to keep a hygrometer to ensure the humidity is in an ideal range. Besides, you should mist with dechlorinated water at room temperature.

Besides, you must keep in mind that humidity under 50% can be fatal to your mossy frogs. To keep your Vietnamese mossy frogs fit and healthy, you can keep the humidity level within 70%-100%.

If you are searching for an automated fogger, I will recommend checking Zoo Med Repti Fogger Terrarium Humidifier.

Lighting

Each pet has its lighting requirements. Some pets need basking light like bearded dragons. Also, some pets need UV lightings.

But, you need not take any hassle about lighting while keeping Vietnamese mossy frogs as pets.

Being nocturnal animals, Vietnamese mossy frogs do not require any special lightings. If you care about checking their night-time activity, you can adjust regular blue or red nightlight. Make sure that the lightings are not too bright.

That is because your pet mossy frogs may confuse the bright lightings with daytime lightings. It will hamper their regular cycle of day and night.

However, you should keep the frog tank in such a place where the tank can receive plenty of natural light. Besides, you must adjust the bulb outside of the tank. You should ensure that fixing the lightings will not put the risk of electrocuting your pet frog.

Water Quality

The required water quality for Vietnamese mossy frogs is a bit different than other frogs.

In the wild, Vietnamese mossy frogs live in such water areas with the presence of decaying soil, tree roots, several organic components, and so on. Further, the tree leaves fall into the water and get decomposed.

As a result, the Vietnamese mossy frogs thrive in tannin-rich water. Not to mention, these frogs are accustomed to this brown, tea-like, tannin-enriched water in the wild.

So, you have to keep such tannin-rich water in captivity so that the water has lower pH. The required pH of water is around 6 for Vietnamese mossy frogs.

Maintaining the perfect water quality is significant to ensure the best care in captivity. Hence, there are a few ways to recreate tannin-rich water.

These are-

  • Firstly, you should bring dechlorinated water as this water is safe for all animals.
  • You need to add some natural leaves. These can be Indian almond tree leaves, oak leaves, magnolia leaves, etc.
  • Besides, you can add other leaves or tree roots. But, make sure that those roots or leaves will not contribute toxins to water.
  • Otherwise, you can buy blackwater extract from any online stores or pet supply stores.
  • Besides, some special compounds can emulate tannin-rich water. You can buy those compounds to recreate perfect tannin-rich water as the natural habitation of mossy frogs.

Otherwise, if you use tap water, you should let the water sit for 24 hours. Then, the water will get dechlorinated and compatible with your mossy frog. Besides, you can use bottled water.

Do Vietnamese Mossy Frogs Need Water Filter?

As Vietnamese mossy frogs are semi-aquatic, they spend a great time in the water area. Hence, you should ensure the water quality in captivity.

The experienced owners suggest changing two-third of the water every two weeks. If there is no emergency, you should not aim for the full water change.

Due to leftover foods and wastages, the water of the mossy frog tank becomes dirty soon. Thus, you should remove the wastages and ammonia by changing at least 50% of the water every month. For this reason, Vietnamese mossy frogs need a water filter.

As Vietnamese mossy frogs tend to get stressed soon, these frogs prefer such water with a gentle current. Many owners recommend using sponge filters.

Tank Mates: Are Vietnamese Mossy Frogs Social?

Some pets like to stay alone, whereas some pets prefer to accompany. Although Vietnamese mossy frogs are extremely shy creatures, these frogs prefer staying in large groups of their species.

Vietnamese mossy frogs are social frogs. Besides, these frogs are not cannibalistic. So, you can keep multiple mossy frogs together in the same tank.

Usually, other frogs or fish can not thrive in tannin-rich water.  So, the experienced owners do not recommend keeping different frogs or fish in the same tank of Vietnamese mossy frogs.

Also, these mossy frogs are not used to living with fish in their natural habitation.

However, you can keep some specific fish as tank mates of your pet mossy frogs. But, these fish have to be peaceful, small, and low maintenance. Most importantly, those fish should be capable of thriving in tannin-rich water.

There are several options of tank mates for Vietnamese mossy frogs. Such as tetras, cichlids, zebra danio, catfish, white cloud mountain minnow, etc.

If your chosen fish have the same care guide as mossy frogs, you can keep them as their tank mates. Besides, you must remain concerned about the fish size.

Diet: What Do Vietnamese Mossy Frogs Eat?

As Vietnamese mossy frogs are insectivores, these frogs thrive on varieties of insects in the wild. So, you must recreate the same diet in captivity too. Generally, these frogs tend to prey on larger insects in the wild like cockroaches, crickets, etc.

In captivity, you can offer several types of insects to your Vietnamese mossy frogs. Such as crickets, locusts, grasshoppers, waxworms, mealworms, bloodworms, blackworms, caterpillars, brine shrimps, larvae, slugs, fruit flies, roaches, etc.

Since these frogs are not picky eaters, you need not worry about choosing insects for your mossy frogs. If your pet frogs can handle cockroaches, you can try feeding cockroaches.

Make sure that your pet frogs do not get choked due to eating oversized insects. The size of the insects should be appropriate compared with the age and size of your mossy frog. It is better to choose the insect size of the space between the two eyes of your Vietnamese mossy frog.

Let’s look at the following chart to get an idea about this. As crickets are the main staple foods of mossy frogs, I have compared their size in comparison with mossy frogs.

Vietnamese Mossy Frogs According To Age Proper size of crickets
Juvenile mossy frogs1/8-1/4 inch crickets
Adult mossy frogsFullsized crickets

However, you might have known that Vietnamese mossy frogs are nocturnal. As a result, these frogs remain active at night. To maintain their regular activities, you should feed your mossy frogs at night-time. 

Can Vietnamese Mossy Frogs Eat Mealworms?

Because of not being peaky eaters, Vietnamese mossy frogs do not deny eating mealworms. Mealworms can be excellent protein-filled, and fatty food for your mossy frogs.

Vietnamese mossy frogs can eat mealworms. But, you can not offer mealworms as staple foods. You can feed mealworms to your mossy frogs as an occasional treat.

Moreover, if you overfeed mealworms, your pet frog will get obese. To ensure the best care, you should avoid mealworms to feed regularly. No wonder these mealworms can be a good treat.

How Often Do Vietnamese Mossy Frogs Eat?

You can feed your Vietnamese mossy frogs at least three times a week. If you feed your mossy frog daily, you can offer 2-3 crickets each night. Otherwise, you can offer 4-6 crickets every other day.

However, many experienced owners recommend letting your frog eat as much as it can in one meal.

Since these frogs are habitants of cold realms, their metabolism rate is slower than other frogs. Hence, your mossy frogs can consume only 6-10 insects per week.

On another note, you can offer insects to your mossy frogs keeping in a plastic bowl. If you leave the crickets or insects in the water, those insects may die. No wonder Vietnamese mossy frogs prefer living insects.

Supplementation

No matter how much you try, you can not fully replicate the wild feeding environment in captivity. Hence, you should fulfill the nutritional lacking by supplementing their foods.

Before providing the insects, you should gut load the insects with vitamin and mineral supplements. The experienced owners suggest dusting crickets with low-vitamin D3 and calcium supplements every time.

Handling: Can You Handle Vietnamese Mossy Frogs?

If you want a pet to cuddle with, you should not bring a Vietnamese mossy frog. That is because these mossy frogs do not like to be handled, at all.

To ensure the best care, you should avoid handling your pet Vietnamese mossy frogs. Because of having porous skin, they can automatically absorb chemicals, soap, oils, salts, etc.

These are detrimental to their health. For this reason, you should avoid touching or holding your Vietnamese mossy frogs.

If you have any emergency to pick up your mossy frog, you must clean your hands before holding the frog. Not to mention, you should wash your hands, afterward putting back your pet frog.

Reproduction Care Guide For Vietnamese Mossy Frogs

The usual living conditions and reproduction conditions are almost the same for Vietnamese mossy frogs. But, there is a small difference in environmental conditions during mating and breeding time.

  • In the wild, Vietnamese mossy frogs start showing courtship behaviors when the temperature drops down a little. So, you can lower the temperature in the mossy frog tank during the reproduction period. It will encourage mating and spawning.  
  • During the breeding period, you should change the feeding schedule to a small degree. Start feeding a large amount of food daily for a week. Then, you should stop offering any food for next week. It will spark off a significant impact on breeding.
  • Vietnamese mossy frogs do not require a special rain chamber for breeding like rain frogs. But, you should increase the humidity level in the tank.
  • To increase the possibility of successful mating, you should keep a 1:4 ratio of the number of male and female mossy frogs.

After successful breeding, you will get Vietnamese mossy frogs eggs. You’ll find the fertilized eggs in cracks or holes of the hideouts. To get healthy tadpoles, you should take special care of the fertilized eggs.

Vietnamese Mossy Frog Eggs And Tadpoles Care

The researchers and experienced owners suggest mainly two methods to rear the mossy frog tadpoles.

Firstly, you can remove the mossy frog eggs in a small dish with a little amount of water. Make sure to retain the perfect water quality. Those eggs will absorb as much water as they can. Soon, you will get tadpoles from those eggs.

Secondly, you can keep the mossy frog eggs with the parent frogs. When the eggs turn into tadpoles, you can separate them into small groups.

In both cases, you must ensure to keep the tannin level high in the water. For this, you can add extra almond leaves, oak leaves, bogwoods, etc.

No wonder this tannin-rich water contains anti-microbial properties. It will protect the tadpoles from any infections.

Do not forget to check the temperature of the water regularly. You must keep the temperature level in the mid to upper 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

You can start feeding tadpole foods like crushed crickets, algae, dried spirulina, and so on. It will take around one year to develop tadpoles into adult mossy frogs.

Final Words

Vietnamese mossy frogs are one of the rarest frogs in the world. You can keep this frog accompany for a long time providing all basic needs. I hope this article helped you get a complete care guide for these Vietnamese mossy frogs.

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.

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