Star Wars Endor Themed Red Eyed Tree Frog Enclosure Build!
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… red eyed tree frogs ruled over a lush forest as far as the eye can see… At least that is what we are reminded by our trio of red-eyed tree frogs when they demand more bugs! We decided it was time to give these special little frogs an enclosure redesign, and decided to create an Endor-themed habitat for them. Keep reading to find out how we pulled it off!
Kasey, our animal care manager, sets out to create a Star Wars themed enclosure for our trio of red-eyed tree frogs. In order to accomplish this, she has to get creative about how to make the enclosure look like Endor. The enclosure we chose for our tree frogs is the 2x2x2 PVC panel enclosure, which is perfect for holding in lots of humidity for tropical species.
Kasey begins to work on making the decor for the enclosure. She decides to make tree stump planters, and to do so, she stacks squares of styrofoam layered with spray adhesive into a tower-like shape. Once she reaches the desired height for both planters, she allows the stacks to sit overnight and dry.
After curing for several hours, she begins to cut the towers into a tree-trunk shape using a utility knife, and makes a hole in the top, outfitted with a PVC tube where our plants will eventually go. The planters are placed in each back corner of the enclosure and covered in spray foam. Kasey uses the foam to create roots along the ground coming out from the tree. Once the foam has dried, she uses a box cutter to trim down the structures and create a more refined base. She adds a bit more spray foam to fill in any gaps and build up the tree structure. She again leaves the foam to cure overnight.
The next day she carves out the finer details of the tree planters, and covers the foam in silicone and coconut coir. She attaches two adorable coconut huts onto the trunk of each tree and creates a roof using wooden skewers trimmed to size and fastened in a cone shape to the top of the hut. Kasey makes a tiny rope bridge using bamboo sticks and twine. She hollows the bamboo using a drill and sands each piece down to ensure no sharp parts remain. She fastens the bridge between the trees using eyelet hooks and a bit of silicone. Green moss is added using silicone to accent around the tree trunks, and then two ferns are placed into the tree trunk planters.
The substrate shield is put into place, and then Kasey adds our substrate. She chooses EcoEarth since coconut coir has phenomenal moisture-retaining properties. A layer of cypress mulch is placed overtop of the coco coir, and finally a layer of sphagnum moss to aid in humidity retention. Using a plastic AT-AT statue, Kasey carves a hole into his side to plant a few spider plants, and then adds him, an X-wing, and a few fake plants into the enclosure as decor. The frog’s mushroom ledge and water dish are reused from their old setup.
Since red-eyed tree frogs are nocturnal, we unfortunately do not get the pleasure of seeing them active during office hours. Kasey wants to try to modify the enclosure to flip the frog’s day and night schedule so we can potentially see them during the day! To block out light, she cuts a piece of fiberglass window screen and attaches it over the top screen using VHB tape. On the front swinging door, she adds a red vinyl film to reduce the light that enters the enclosure. By adding elements to keep the enclosure dark during the day, and a UVB light inside of the enclosure on a timer that will turn on overnight, she is hoping that over the course of 6 weeks, she can trick the frog’s into thinking night is day and day is night. Hopefully we will be able to see these little ones enjoy their enclosure while we are at the office!
Kasey adds the tranquil trio into their celestial kingdom, and her mission is complete!
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