Tomato Frog Care Sheet

Tomato Frog

Tomato Frog, photo by Heather Paul

Info

  • Scientific Name: Dyscophus insularis
  • Lifespan: 6 – 8 years.
  • Handling: Like most frog species, tomato frogs should not be handled regularly. Try to keep handling to a minimum.
  • Size: 2.4 – 4 inches
  • Care: Easy
  • Community: Tomato Frogs may be housed together if they are the same size.
  • Lifestyle: Nocturnal, active at night.

Tank Size

Tomato Frog Tank Size

Tomato Frog Tank Size

You need to make sure you have the right size tank for your tomato frog. A tank too small can be very stressful for your frog. Use the guidelines below to help determine the best tank size for your frog:

  • 1 Frog: 10 gallon tank
  • 2 Frogs: 20 gallon tank
  • 3 Frogs: 30 gallon tank

For every tomato frog you get, add 10 gallons of tank space.

 

I highly recommend the 18x18x18 Exo-Terra Terrarium for this size frog.

 

Note: A screened lid is necessary on the tank enclosure to avoid escapes.

Tank Setup

In order to keep your tomato frog healthy and happy, you should try to set up the tank as best as possible to mimic their natural environment in the wild. Use the guidelines below to help determine which items to get.

Substrate

Tomato Frog Substrate

Tomato Frog Substrate

Tomato frogs will spend most of their days buried, so you will want to get a nice soft substrate for them to burrow in like Exo Terra plantation soil or Zoo Med eco earth. Once your substrate is in place, give it a nice spray down with clean water. It might be best to soak one side of the tank a bit more than the other so that you can give your tomato frog options for burrowing.

Plants

Tomato Frog Plants

Tomato Frog Plants

Foliage helps keep your tomato frog feeling secure and comfortable. You can add fake plants like the Exo Terra Boston fern or real plants like a Pothos. However, if you go with real plants, you’ll need to make sure that you have proper lighting for growing plants in a vivarium. You will also want to keep the live plants in a small pot because tomato frogs love to dig and will usually end up destroying the roots if they aren’t protected.

 

Don’t forget to clean out the waste weekly and to replace the substrate with fresh substrate once a month to avoid mold and other things from growing in the terrarium.

Lighting & Heating

Tomato Frog Lighting

Tomato Frog Lighting

While there is little data to show whether the use of a UVB bulb in a tomato frog’s enclosure is beneficial or not, it may not hurt to add a UVB bulb, as it may help aid the frog in processing calcium and other beneficial vitamins. If you are using live plants in the enclosure, you will definitely want to add a UVB bulb to help your plants thrive.

 

Depending on the type of fixture you get, you may decide to go with a fluorescent bulb like the 18 inch Zoo Med ReptiSun 5.0 or a mini compact fluorescent bulb like the 13 Watt Zoo Med ReptiSun 5.0.

 

Once you get a UVB bulb, you will then want to add a heat lamp to add additional heat if the ambient temperature is too cold (anything below 75°F). A bulb like the Exo Terra daytime heat lamp will be good. Choose the wattage based on the amount of degrees that you have to raise the tank’s temperature. The more degrees, the higher the wattage.

 

Night temperatures can reach as low as 65°F without needing a heat source. If temperatures drop below that, you may want to consider adding a night time heat lamp like a Zoo Med ceramic heat emitter.

 

Some sources may recommend getting a heat pad for underneath the tank, but it is not needed. Tomato frog’s will burrow themselves in the substrate to stay cool. If you put a heat pad under the tank, it will only warm up the substrate. This may cause your tomato frog to spend most of its days in the water bowl to stay cool.

Temperatures

Tomato Frog Temperature and Humidity Levels

Tomato Frog Temperature and Humidity Levels

When measuring temperatures, it’s best to use digital thermometers. Dial thermometers tend to give off inaccurate measurements.

 

For temperature and humidity readings, you can go with a 2-in-1 digital reader like the Exo Terra digital combination thermometer/hygrometer.

Day Time

Juvenile: 75°F ambient and 80°F warm side

Adult: 75°F ambient and 85°F warm side

Night Time

An ambient temperature of 65 – 75°F.

Humidity

Tomato Frog Humidity

Tomato Frog Humidity

Tomato frogs need humidity. The best way to calculate how much humidity you have in the tank is by using a hygrometer. Digital hygrometers work best. Humidity levels should be between 70 – 80%. You can reach these percentages by misting the frogs enclosure twice daily; once in the morning and once again in the afternoon. A water bowl in the enclosure also helps bring up the humidity. If the levels are still not being reached, just mist a few more times throughout the day. You can get a manual mister like the Exo Terra spray bottle or an automatic mister like the Exo Terra Monsoon RS400 Rainfall System. Be very careful not to over saturate the substrate with water. You do not want standing still water in the substrate. This will cause your substrate to rot.

Feeding & Diet

Tomato Frog Calcium

Tomato Frog Calcium

The primary diet of a tomato frog will consist mostly of live insects including: crickets, silkworms, hornworms, small roaches, night crawlers and other types of worms and insects.

 

Juveniles should be fed 5 – 7 times a week, while adults should be fed around 3 – 4 times a week (every other day). The amount to bed fed will vary depending on the size of your tomato frog. If you have more than 1 tomato frog in the enclosure, make sure that you see each one eating.

 

Never feed anything bigger than what they can handle. The rule of thumb is to make sure the feeder is smaller than the space between its eyes.

 

Their feedings must be dusted with supplements as follows:

If you don’t like touching the insects with your hands, you can get some feeding tongs.

Hydration

For hydration, your tomato frog will use a water bowl to absorb water and to hydrate itself. Water bowls should be cleaned out and refilled daily.

 

The depth of the water should be no higher than the height of your tomato frog’s mouth when resting.

Water that is safe to use:

  1. De-chlorinated water
  2. Tap water that has been left out for 24 hours uncovered, allowing the chlorine to evaporate
  3. Bottled water

Note: The information on this tomato frog’s care sheet is not a substitute for veterinary care.

Tomato Frog Care Questions?

If you have any other questions regarding the care of a tomato frog, please feel free to ask questions in the comments section below.

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