Clown Frogs, or clown tree frogs are found in Central America, Brazil and Colombia. They are very common pet amphibians, and their care is very similar to the red-eyed tree frog. In the wild they live in very humid environments, and are very hardy frogs to own.
Clown frogs can come in many different color combinations and mixtures. Many are red and yellow or black. Since they are tree frogs, they are very good at climbing. An adult clown frog is only 3-5cm in length. With the proper care a clown frog can live up to 5 years old.
Clown tree frogs have very delicate skin, and should not be handled like a corn snake or leopard gecko. When you reach for them, they will hop away from you. If you must hold them for any reason, rinse your hand well before and after because the clown frog can absorb the oils on your hand.
These frogs are insectivores, which means they eat a solid diet of insects. They will get all the nutrition they need from a staple of crickets. You cannot avoid crickets, so if you are squeamish around them, this frog is not for you. In the wild they will also eat grasshoppers, moths, and anything that they can fit into their mouths. Before you feed any insect to your frog, gut load them. The crickets should feed on carrots or cricket food and water that can be found at most pet stores. Give the crickets 24 hours to feed before giving them to a clown tree frog. What the crickets eat, is what the tree frog will eat.
Clown frogs need to be fed every three or four days about 15 crickets of an appropriate size. Crickets should be no longer than the width of your tree frog’s head.
The clown tree frog does not require large spaces to live. A 10-gallon tank will house one or two frogs comfortably, and every frog you add in, add 5 gallons to the enclosure size. Ventilation is important so make sure the enclosure has a screen top. Clown frogs can live in groups, but may breed if males and females are housed together.
Height is an important factor for this species because they love to climb. Vertical space is much more important that horizontal space.
Bed-a-beast and non-fertilized potting soil works well as a substrate. They are both attractive and hold in humidity. Your substrate should be about 2-3 inches deep. Other substrates that work include reptile bark, paper towel, and peat moss. Mix peat moss, soil, and bed-a-beast together and it will have a stunning effect.
Sand and gravel are not good because they are the worst to swallow, and do not hold humidity well. Being from rainforests, clown frogs need humidity.
The most important type of shelter for this species is foliage. Since they will spend much of their time off of the ground, provide fake or live branches, vines and plants. A couple hides on the ground may be used, and make sure that there are multiple places to hide throughout the enclosure.
These frogs need no extra heat source as long as your house stays above 70F during the daytime. They also do not require any additional UVA/UVB lighting.
Being from tropical areas in the world, the clown frog will need its enclosure sprayed down once daily and will require a water bowl big enough for them to stand and soak in.
Replace simple substrates when soiled, and loose substrates every 2-3 months. Spot clean daily, and keep the water bowl full and clean.
Most keepers who attempt to breed clown tree frogs are very unsuccessful. If you want to breed this species, first get a group of 5-6 clown frogs. Include multiple males and females, and make sure they are all fully born. To simulate the breeding season, cool off the enclosure and create a rain chamber, where water is constantly misting the enclosure.
Females will lay unfertilized eggs when they are ready, and the males will fertilize the eggs. Eggs will be laid in the water attached to floating branches and leaves, so provide enough lay sites for multiple sets of eggs. Once the eggs are fertilized, place them in a half of an inch of water with the same leaves or branches they were attached to.
Tadpoles should be fed finely crushed fish food until they can walk on land. They can be kept together as long as they all get enough to eat or else you may end up dealing with cannibalism. Keep them in 2-3 inches of water, and make sure that the tank is big enough so they are not swimming on top of each other. If so, add more water.
A clown frog’s metamorphosis will be complete in a little over a month to two months. Once they can walk, feed crickets no longer than the width of their head. Once they are completely transformed, treat them as you would adult clown tree frogs.
The clown tree frog is a great visual amphibian to keep and own. They are exciting little frogs that are great for the first time owner or the experienced reptile specialist. Remember, do your research before buying any pet so that it can live happily and healthily.
I originally ordered a big eye tree frog. Later I found out they were out of stock, so I asked to be notified when they got them back in stock. They actually did notify me which was great. Most reptile suppliers say they will, but don't. I placed my order on a Friday and got my critters early Tuesday. They all arived alive and beautiful! They are great with communication amd customer service. Even though I was ordering from 3000 miles away I felt as though i was face to face and in their store!
Caryn - November 30, 2014
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