Frog Tank and Habitat: A Guide to the Best Tank Setup (2023)

There's nothing like the joy ofBuild your first frog tank, but it can begruesome.

A little information can sufficethe difference between aevent inhabitedmimiserable failure. Join us as we dive into the basics of creating your first frog habitat.

In this article


  • Frogs need day and night light cycles to thrive.
  • Not all species of frogs require a similar tank configuration. It varies depending on the frog's size, personality, and natural habitat.
  • Always wash the tank, decorations, and substrates to prevent entry of dirt or unwanted manufacturing residue.
  • Some frogs live on land, some spend their entire lives in water, others spend part of their lives on land and part in water.
  • Aquariums are for aquatic animals like the African dwarf frog.
  • Paludariums are for semi-aquatic creatures likeToads (opens in a new tab).
  • Animal houses are planted enclosures for land animals like dart frogs.
  • Terrariums are unplanted enclosures for ground-dwelling species such as the spadefoot toad.
  • Consider your frog's size, personality, and natural habitat before building a pet habitat.
  • When a frog's skin dries up, it can't breathe: water is an essential part of an amphibian's habitat.

Different types of toad shells

Expression5,000 known frog species.Their habitats range fromdeserts to mountain lakes.

Benatural diversitythinking about how we house our pet amphibians. let's take a lookfour different types of boxesand the creatures that inhabit them.

terrestrial terrariums

for frogs,A terrarium is an enclosure without plants.Some frogs kill living plants, and others come from deserts where plants do not grow easily. In these cases, a terrarium is ideal.

Some species that do well in terrariums are:

  • Sapos Pacman
  • rana toro africana
  • Swordfoot Toads

planted nurseries

Nurseries are planted terrariums designed to replicate the frog's natural habitat.ideal for climbing stylesor those who like to live in dense thickets.

Species that thrive in nurseries include:

  • poison dart frogs
  • bumblebee toads
  • red-eyed tree frogs

Semi-aquatic paludariums

With paludariums, the tank is half filled with water and the other half is used for a well-planted substrate..

You are theideal setup for semi-aquatic speciesor those inhabiting swampy areas. Examples include:

  • Aga toad
  • Toads
  • leopard frogs
  • Vietnamese moss frogs


We all know aquariums, but for fish. They do not originate from the mainland and are therefore only suitable for aquatic species.

Frog Tank and Habitat: A Guide to the Best Tank Setup (1)

Species that live in the water include:

  • Surinam Toads
  • African Dwarf Frogs
  • African clawed frogs

Choosing a frog tank

We have already discussed the different types of frog habitats. Below we will look at the factors that will help you decide what type of enclosure your frog needs.

Join us as we discuss the essential elements of each frog's habitat and how your frog affects the construction of your enclosure.

toad lifestyle

A frog's lifestyle affects tank setup.When planning your frog habitat, consider the following questions:

  • Is it arboreal (tree-dwelling)?
  • What and how does my frog eat?
  • Where does my frog live in the wild?
  • Living on the ground (terrestrial)?
  • Do you spend all your time in the water (water)?
  • Am I a trusting species or are you shy and nervous?
  • Is my frog an active species or does it spend most of its time resting?
  • Do you live in swampy areas and spend a lot of time swimming (semi-aquatic)?

tank orientation

Once you've answered these questions, you'll know what your frog needs.

Aquatic habitats must be horizontally oriented.Aquatic frogs extract oxygen from the water, but most also breathe air. In deep water, they struggle to maintain adequate oxygen levels.

(Video) How To Set Up A White's Tree Frog Enclosure

Frog Tank and Habitat: A Guide to the Best Tank Setup (2)

Habitats of tree frogs are necessarily vertical.atClimbing species require the height of a tall habitatto do justice to their active nature.

Most terrestrial and semi-aquatic frogs do well in horizontal habitats.. for small species,You can create layered habitatswhich contain horizontal planes at different heights.

Matching cabinet size

When setting up a home for your amphibian pet,Consider your frog's activity level. Energy species like frogs take up much more spaceThis pet rocks like fairy frogs.

Here are ground rules for some popular types:

  • Pyxie Toad"These big, territorial toads don't move much. You need 20 gallons for a frog and five gallons for each additional animal.
  • fire belly frog- You can fit two to three of these little critters in a 15 gallon run.
  • poison dart frogs- These small species need 5 to 10 gallons per frog. They are active but spend a lot of time in hiding.
  • White Frog— This large and active tree species requires 15 to 20 gallons for a frog and an additional ten gallons for each additional animal.
  • African clawed frogs—These aquatic animals require 10 gallons for a frog and an additional five gallons for each additional animal.

If you have a little-known species,Let's say you need 15 gallons for the first frog and another 10 gallons for each ray after that.


Your frog's temperament will affect how you arrange its habitat.

You can plant any terrestrial frog tank,GUT?Mistake.

Many species burrow under plantsand shoot them down.Others will attack any plantyou put it in your house

A frog's personality also has an impacthow manycan stay together andTheyou can keep them

You can't keep fish in a pond with African clawed frogs (they will eat them), but you can keep small, peaceful fish in a paludarium with cane frogs. Many frogs will eat anything that fits in their mouths, so consider the frog's temperament and mouth size before adding other animals.


Your frog's diet affects the way you create its habitat.. Examples include:

  • African clawed frogs eat lean meat, so their water gets dirty quickly and their aquariums need a strong filtration system.
  • Red-eyed tree frogs eat active invertebrates. They also refuse to feed off the ground, forcing them to place escape-proof food bowls on the sides of their enclosures.

Design your frog's enclosure to encourage its natural hunting technique. The habitat should make it easy for your frog to feed and clean its preferred prey.


When setting up a home for your new pet, there are a fewIntegrate essential elements. We will see.


The substrate is the soil under the frog's feet and gives it the shape of the habitat.

Frog Tank and Habitat: A Guide to the Best Tank Setup (3)

Some of the most popular substrates are:

  • Arena -Sand is ideal for terrariums. It does well with desert species that love to dig and looks great on the bottom of aquariums.

Expert tip:Buy amphibian and reptile bedding, as other types of bedding can contain salt. The salt dries out the frog's skin andcauses slow suffocation.

  • LECA —LECA is a kind of small clay ball used to grow plants. It is excellent as an aquarium substrate or as a base for other substrates in a paludarium.
  • slate -Slate is a type of stone. Some people like to use it in aquariums and paludariums. We do not recommend slate as it often has sharp edges.
  • Crowd -Bitter moss that grows in boggy soil. It's popular for frog tanks because it's mold resistant and frogs can burrow in it.

Buyer tip:Peat bogs are in decline fast, and governments will stop harvesting in the next five years. Coco peat can be a reliable and sustainably produced alternative.

  • Kokostorf— Similar to peat, but sustainably produced. It is made from coconut shells, a by-product of the coconut meat and milk industry.
  • Cascalhinhos -A small rock that works well in aquariums and paludariums. It's an excellent choice for habitats where you need to limit digging in certain areas. Use peat or coco peat in the digging area and gravel for the rest.

Expert tip:Do not use gravel near food bowls as amphibians can swallow it and die.

  • bark shreds -Bark chips are great for landscaping, but they come with a few downsides. Frogs can't dig in it, you can't submerge it, and plants can't grow in it, so combine it with another option.

hideouts and shelters

Each toad shell should have a notchwhere your pet can be protected from prying eyes. Even the most sociable of animals need time to themselves from time to time.

Some popular options are:

(Video) How to setup a bioactive terrarium for a Green or Gray Tree Frog. Self-Cleaning/Self-Maintaining.

  • floating wood— Driftwood is one of the most natural ways to retire. It is wood that has been drifted in a body of water and tempered by the weather. You can place it to create cave-like hiding places for your amphibian pet.
  • in fear -An economical and waterproof option for terrariums and aviaries. You can buy cork bark in sheets or in stems. Cork bark is a product sustainably made from harvested tree bark.
  • stone palaces— Some aquarists like to fantasize about their habitats. They use non-toxic, waterproof adhesives to join slate, limestone, or other rocks to make notches. These retreats are called stone palaces or stone hotels.
  • Clay flower vases— An affordable and versatile shelter option that works both on land and underwater. You can paint it with non-toxic paint or partially cover it with substrate to make a small den.

The above options are onlysomeof the many ideas available.

You can alsoBuy purpose-made furs and wrapsin pet stores or online. Some stores offer free standard shipping or free same-day delivery.


If you have African Dwarf Frogs, Swordfoot Frogs or Dart Frogs,All amphibians need water.

Not all frogs swim well., and some will live their whole lives (in the wild) knowing nothing but wet ground.

Research your specific speciesbefore adding a water source.

For desert species, misting them with a spray bottle every few days is usually sufficient.

you can also buy oneautomatic fogging systemand plan to spray it every three to four days. These systems areideal for tropical forest speciesthat require constant humidity.

incorporatesmall waterfalls or shallow watersit is frequentideal for frogs who like to bathe every now and then.

Paludariums are better suited for semi-aquatic species. These frogs spend much of their time in the water and need dry land to survive.


Accessories can have a significant impact on your frog's habitat.Living or artificial plants offer hiding places.and climbing areas for your pets.

Incorporating things like cork bark, peat moss, and vines will help beautify the habitat and serve the frogs well.

OthersHelpful accessories include ledges (on which frogs can climb and sit), food bowls, and water bowls. Even waterfalls add moisture to the habitat.

AlwaysChoosing accessories that serve a useful purpose.

Turn on

Most frogs are naturally nocturnal.and they don't need a light source to survive. The keyword is 'survive.'

Your pet can survive without lighting, howeverIf you want them to thrive, they need a light that mimics day and night cycles.

You needbright lighting that mimics the time of daymianother light you can use to watch your frogs at night(without disturbing them).

In the past, you had to install two different lamps for this.

Today you can install something like this Exo Terra Day and Night LEDaccessory. Provides the spectrum of light you need without the need for multiple systems.

LED lights also generate minimal heat., so they don't fry your beloved pet.


Warming is an integral part of many habitats.Species from cooler climates do well at room temperature.Conditions; others come from tropical and desert regions.

(Video) Setting up my frog tank!

Frogs and toads in warmer climates need extra heating. All frogs need a certain body temperature to digest their food.

Expert tip:Always build a box around the aquarium heater for aquatic amphibians. You can use non-toxic plastic mesh or buy custom sheeting.

Frogs have sensitive skin and perceive temperature differently. For your health and protection,must not come into direct contact with heating devices.

Underfloor heating options includeThermal mats under the tank and thermal cable. You can use most aquarium heaters to modify the water temperature for aquatic life.

Never use undertank heating on burrowing species, since they will dig to get closer to the heat, and finallyto cook yourselfVivo.

When using an under basin heater for your pets, only heat half the basin at a time.This technique gives the animals a temperature gradient to help them find the "sweet spot".

The same restrictions apply to heating cables, which should always be used outside the habitat.

Install a thermometer/hygrometerThis allows you to monitor conditions and change heat as needed.

Avoid heat lamps and radiant heaters.for frogs, as amphibians don't get hot.

Setting up your frog tank

Setting up your first frog tank can be a little intimidating. we builtStep by step guideHelp him.

Step 1 - Wash EVERYTHING

Before configurationmake sure everything is clean.You don't want to risk introducing manufacturing waste into the habitat that could affect your frog.

Wash the tank withwarm soapy water.rinse well,Make sure there is no soap residue and let it dry. Also wash plants and plastic decorations.

Wash your substratein a fine sieve. Also, carefully wash the roots and leaves of live plants to prevent the introduction of stowaways.

Step 2 - Add your substrate

After everything is clean, you can start realizing your design.

Add substrate, and shape the tank the way you want it. If you use different types of substrates,Define which region contains each substrate type.

in a paludarium,Use a coarser substrate such as B. Gravel, under the softer substrate option. This trick is also useful for garden centers.

The drainage layer allows moisture to return to the aquatic part of the tank. It also helps hold the surface substrate in place.

Step 3 - Install non-electronic accessories

Next,install your plants(Read more about itHere) and any non-electronic accessories.

For each dry soil frog tank, decide exactly where you want pelts, food bowls, and other accessories.

For aquariums, plant your plants in both the substrate and underwater hiding place of your choice.

(Video) PALUDARIUM TUTORIAL | Step by step

If you are planting a nursery, now is the time to set up your bottom andAttach mosses and bromeliadsyou have desired

Step 4 - Just add water

It's time to add water.Only use reverse osmosis (RO) water or bottled water from a safe, natural source.

If you are building a paludarium or aquarium,Place a flat coaster or container on the substrate. Pour water into the reservoir, gently overflowing, to fill the water areas of the tank.

This tip will prevent the substrate (and its carefully placed accessories) from being washed out.

For a terrarium or pajarera,Fill the water bowl or waterfallYou've made your choice Once you've chosen a spray system, direct all nozzles to efficiently water plants and frogs.

Step 5 - Setting Up the Electronics

Once the water is in, it's time to hook up the electronics.

For an aquariumPut your filter on it so it doesn't suck in your pets. Also, make sure you position it carefully enough so the toad doesn't get insideconstantly swimming against the tide.

Then set up the heating. In an aquarium, check that the heater is working andhas a protective film around it.

For a terrestrial or semi-aquatic enclosure,Adjust the heating so that one side of the habitat is a few degrees warmer than the other.

A temperature gradient helps the frog find the temperature at which it is most comfortable..

Also set up your thermometer and hygrometer.

Finally, install your lighting system. Most systems are easy to install and come with detailed instructions. Some guys click a huge clip.

Step 6 - Monitor Conditions

Once everything is in place,Allow 24 hours to monitor conditions.

make sure thatTemperatures are constant, filters work and fog systems workas expected.

Step 7 - Add some happy funnels

If everything works as it should, move your pets to their new homes.Give them a few hours to adjust.before you feed them for the first time.

If something is wrong, the frogs behave differently, so keep a close eye on them.

Frog Tank and Habitat: A Guide to the Best Tank Setup (4)

Step 8 - Keep 'em alive, keep 'em clean

Your frog's house needs regular cleaning..Use a plastic spoonClean up frog droppings daily. You also have to keep the glass clean, which can be daunting.

We recommend using aAquarium cleaning magnet.It has a sponge that you put in the tank and a magnet that is on the outside.

By moving the magnet, you can clean the inside of the tank without reaching and scaring your pets.

We hope you enjoyed this article on setting up a frog tank.

(Video) Pacman Frog Terrarium Setup

If you are generally interested in creating habitats for animals, you can use oursDIY reptile enclosure projects..

If you have other pets that you would like to create a happy home for, check out our articlesIdeas for decorating your lizard habitator theBest Turtle Tank Ideasout there.

If you have any questions that we missed, please leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you.


How do you set up a frog habitat? ›

Frogs naturally prefer cooler, moist places. This can be achieved by the careful placement and partial burying of terracotta pots or ceramic pipes. Provide thick leaf litter with rocks and logs to hide in, and digging spots for burrowing frogs.

What do frogs need in their tank? ›

Substrate for Frogs

For a more natural looking enclosure, top soil, coconut husk, damp peat moss, or sphagnum moss can be used to provide a substrate. Gravel and rocks should be avoided as they can be easily ingested by certain frog species.

How big should my frog tank be? ›

Most frogs can be kept in a 10– or 20-gallon terrarium. The configuration and size of the enclosure will depend on the number of frogs as well as their behavior and habits. For example, tree frog habitat should be relatively tall to allow for structure or live plants.

How often should you mist a frog tank? ›

Mist a few times daily or when you notice the humidity drops below 80%, mist until your vivarium is consistently maintaining a humidity level over 80%. Once your humidity is within the parameters for your dart frogs, you will want to keep a regular misting schedule.

Can I put fake plants in my frog tank? ›

For those of you that do not have a green thumb, artificial plants may be the easy-to-keep choice you're after to spice up your pet reptile or amphibian's enclosure. Artificial terrarium plants can be used in virtually any setup.

Do frogs like running water? ›

They prefer still water and generally don't use streams and rivers as the eggs can wash away. They may use canals or pockets at the sides of slow-flowing streams. Common Frogs tend to use smaller, shallower ponds and lay their spawn in the edges where they will get plenty of light and warmth.

What should a frog habitat look like? ›

Habitat: Frogs thrive in a large number of environments from tropical forests to frozen tundras to deserts. Their skin requires freshwater, so most frogs live in aquatic and swampy habitats.

What makes a good frog habitat? ›

Frog Habitat Survival

Frogs must have water, food, shelter and a place to reproduce in order to survive. As we said earlier, frogs can only live near or in freshwater sources. This is where they drink water, keep their skin moist and lay eggs to reproduce. They also live in habitats with lots of insects to eat.

Do frogs need a water dish? ›

It is essential that you provide your Frog with a large water bowl. The bowl should be large enough that the Frog can soak its entire body in but not so big that it might have a difficult time getting in or out of the bowl.

What do frogs need to be happy? ›

Increasing Frog Happiness

Keep your frog in a safe environment. Regulate the temperature in their terrarium correctly so they can have enough heat and cold to stimulate their natural hormonal processes. Feed your frog a balanced diet according to their species-specific dietary needs.

How often do you change frog water? ›

Change water frequently. A very broad rule of thumb is to change 25-50% of the water every 1-2 weeks. This may vary quite a bit, and be lessened if heavy filtration or live plants are present. Water bowls should have smooth sides and be easy to clean and disinfect with Reptisan at least once a week.

How deep should frog water be? ›

A frog pond should be at least 60cm deep, in a shaded area and have shallow edges for the tadpoles.

Do frogs need the sun? ›

They don't require sunlight, but they do need lighting that mimics a day and night cycle in their habitat. If they're in a dim room, light the terrarium for 12 hours daily with a fluorescent bulb. At night, switch to a night-specific bulb so you can watch your frog with minimum disturbance.

Can I use tap water for my frog tank? ›

In most cases, amphibians can live perfectly well in dechlorinated tap water. However, there are several situations in which you may want to use bottled spring water instead: You have a reason to think that your tap water is not suitable.

Do you need wet hands to hold a frog? ›

Their skin is soft and porous which means both air and water can be easily absorbed. When handling your frogs, always have wet hands. Thoroughly wash your hands and rinse twice, then re-wet your hands before touching your frogs or their enclosure.

Can you use with Windex in frog tank? ›

Never use Windex or similar types of cleaners.

What is the best bedding for frogs? ›

Quite commonly gravel, coco peat, sand or moist paper towel are used. The substrate chosen should depend on species, personal preference and ease of cleaning. It is vitally important that frogs are unable to ingest the substrate provided, as this can result in serious health issues.

How do I make my frog tank not smell? ›

Humidity should be maintained at the level that is appropriate for the reptile or amphibian in the terrarium. Humidity is fine; standing water is not. Keeping the plants healthy in your tank is also an excellent way to keep odors and bacteria under control.

Is sand good for frogs? ›

Sand or Gravel

When it comes to raising an ADF, sand, and gravel are both considered appropriate tank substrates. Many owners fear that the frog may end up swallowing sand or gravel when scavenging for its food.

Do frogs like being held? ›

Frogs are also not fond of being picked up or held. They make excellent pets for kids who want to care for a pet, not cuddle with one.

Do frogs like cold water? ›

For conservationists working on captive breeding programs, getting each species' water temperature and quality right can be one of the biggest challenges. Water frogs love cold water. Forget a warm bubble bath. For most water frogs, an icy mountain stream is a relaxing dip.

How do I make my frog comfortable? ›

For the most part, frogs and toads just need water, shelter, and lots of insects to live comfortably. For the water source, make sure you use something that the frogs can easily hop into and out of. The getting into is usually pretty easy, it's the getting out of part that is often hard.

What are the three basic things that a frog needs to survive? ›

They have gills that help them to breathe in the water. Their skin, when kept moist can take in oxygen dissolved in water. They have lungs that help them to breathe when they are on land. They have air sacs that help them store air.

What plants do frogs like? ›

Some good choices: swamp milkweed, joe-pye weed, cardinal flower, black-eyed Susans and ferns. “Even placing a clay pot on its side provides shade and shelter,” says Farinato. Leaving a section of your lawn near the pond and cover plants unmowed also helps because it provides additional shelter and food for the frogs.

What is frog favorite food? ›

Adult frogs eat insects that they catch with their long, sticky tongue, and other invertebrates such as snails, slugs and worms.

What does salt do to frogs? ›

Assistant Professor of Biology Steven Brady researches the effects of the road salt on wood frogs and finds that it causes them to become bloated, which hinders their ability to mate, escape from predators, and safely cross roads.

Can a frog go a day without food? ›

Adult frogs can survive for extended periods (3–4 weeks) without feeding if their quarters are clean, but long-term survival requires feeding the equivalent of 10–12 full-grown crickets two to three times a week.

What do you clean frog enclosures with? ›

The best way to clean the enclosure is with clean hot water, and if you want to use a cleaning product stick to dish soap and elbow grease. Once cleaned off, you can sanitize your décor and terrarium with 10% bleach solution, then rinse with hot water and allow to dry.

Can you over mist a frog? ›

Problems like rot and bacterial growth can arise if you over-mist, whereas under-misting can be very dangerous to the inhabitants, sometimes even resulting in death.

Do frogs like to be dry? ›

Frogs can also breathe through their skin. They need to keep their skin moist to be able to breathe through their skin, so if their skin dries out they are not able to absorb oxygen.

Does spraying water increase humidity? ›

Moisten the air with a spray bottle.

Fill a spray bottle and walk around your home, misting water into the air. You can also lightly spray bedding and furniture that won't get damaged by water. The water sprayed into the air will evaporate quickly, thus increasing your home humidity levels.

How do frogs flirt? ›

Male (at left in illustration) and female (right) Hylodes japi torrent frogs communicate through flirtatious calls, peeps and squeaks as well as varying body movement and postures.

What treats do frogs like? ›

Earthworms and Redworms are readily available at bait and tackle shops. Mealworms and Superworms are often found in pet stores, which makes them readily available. These should always be gut loaded prior to feeding to any frog to provide complete nutrition.

Do frogs like to be touched? ›

Frogs don't like being handled and their skin is semi-permeable. This means they can absorb harmful chemicals from your skin.

What do you put in the bottom of a frog cage? ›

So first, fill the bottom of the enclosure with 1.5 – 2 inches of hydroballs or use a custom cut piece of Matala filter. On top of that, add a substrate barrier; a mesh screen. It should allow water to flow through but keeps your substrate above the first layer.

How wet should frog substrate be? ›

The substrate should be misted as necessary to prevent drying out; it should be damp but never soaking wet. If it does dry out, the frog might enter into a state of hibernation, or brumation. Their outer skin will thicken to prevent dehydration, their movement will stop and they will appear dead.

How often should I change my frogs substrate? ›

Substrate should be 4-6 inches deep and should be spot cleaned daily, sifted through once weekly, and completely changed every other week.

What does coffee grounds do to frogs? ›

Used coffee grounds provide beneficial nitrates to soil and plants but make the ground uncomfortably acidic for frogs' tender feet. The coffee grounds can make the soil acidic, so check that plants near the area where you spread them can tolerate some acid. Too many frogs in the yard?

How can you tell if a frog is dehydrated? ›

A dehydrated amphibian will have sunken eyes in the sockets, color changes, dry to tacky skin and a thick slime coat. Activity will decrease, as well as feeding.

How often do you feed frogs? ›

Young frogs can be fed once a day and most days of the week. Adult frogs only need to be fed every 2-3 days and only a small amount of food each time. Overfeeding can be detrimental to your frog's health. It is also important to provide a vivarium with enough space for your frog to move around in to encourage exercise.


1. A Bioactive Build for Your Pac-Man Frog
(Josh's Frogs)
2. How To Set Up A Whites Tree Frog Enclosure
(Life With Lou)
3. Setup CRAB Tank Aquaterrauium l Paludarium l stepbystep l STARTING GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS
4. DO NOT GET A PET FROG, They Suck! Three Reason's Why!
(Wickens Wicked Reptiles)
5. Setting Up A Bioactive Paludarium For A Cane Toad?
(Matthew Otis)
6. How To Make A Red Eyed Tree Frog Custom Enclosure Build On Any Budget 2022
(Wickens Wicked Reptiles)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Aracelis Kilback

Last Updated: 03/04/2023

Views: 6406

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (44 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Aracelis Kilback

Birthday: 1994-11-22

Address: Apt. 895 30151 Green Plain, Lake Mariela, RI 98141

Phone: +5992291857476

Job: Legal Officer

Hobby: LARPing, role-playing games, Slacklining, Reading, Inline skating, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Dance

Introduction: My name is Aracelis Kilback, I am a nice, gentle, agreeable, joyous, attractive, combative, gifted person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.