FAQs About Anurans/Frogs:
Related Articles: Keeping African Clawed Frogs and African
Dwarf Frogs by Neale Monks, Amphibians, Turtles,
Related FAQs: Frogs other Than African & Clawed 2,
FAQs on: General Frog
Identification, General Frog
Behavior, General Frog
Compatibility, General Frog
Selection, General Frog
Systems, General Frog
Feeding, General Frog
FAQs on: Bullfrogs,
Fire Belly Toads, Leopard Frogs, Surinam Toads/Pipa, Tadpoles of all Sorts, Toads/Terrestrial Frogs, White/Tree Frogs, Amphibians 1, African Dwarf Frogs, African Clawed Frogs, Newts & Salamanders, Rubber Eels/Caecilians, Turtles, Amphibian Identification, Amphibian Behavior, Amphibian Compatibility, Amphibian Selection, Amphibian Systems, Amphibian Feeding, Amphibian Disease, Amphibian Reproduction,
Bombina orientalis Eggs and Tadpoles
I've got two Fire-bellied Toads in a fifty five gallon planted
tank with only about five gallons total water space; it's very
deep, about ten inches; they seem to enjoy it. <Good to know.>
There's several points of egress so they won't get stuck or tired. The
water isn't planted yet; my LFS has a crummy selection.
<Do try plain vanilla pondweed, or better yet, floating Indian Fern
("water sprite") as these won't be uprooted and provide nice resting
places at the surface where the toads can bask, which I'm sure you've
seen them do.>
We tried a tank with more water when we got them but swiftly realized
they preferred to bask/hunt on the land; we redesigned the vivarium.
It's planted with moss, and ferns with limbs, hides and peat for
digging. Their diet is varied; they're active and vocal. We've had them
for over a year and never expected them to breed thought we had males
Now we have about 150 eggs which are already starting to hatch. I am
finding little detailed information for caring for them or what to do
with them if they do become toadlets. What is the activity level of
tadpoles immediately after hatching and then over the course of the
first few days?
<Not huge. Tadpoles tend to eat and sleep.>
I know they survive on the yolk for a time.
<Not that long, actually.>
Mine wiggle a bit then either sink or hang motionless and suspended at
the surface. Are they dead? Hungry? Cold perhaps?
<Don't worry so long as they look plump and they react if you gently
prod them and they move (a pencil or similar is ideal and less likely to
hurt them than a finger).
My water is at 70-72. Land right at 78.
Will adults eat the tadpoles/toadlets?
<For sure. Isolate a few in a floating breeding trap or similar, and let
the others take their chances. You can be overrun with toadlets
otherwise, and that may not be the way you want things to go.>
In my experience with these guys if it fits in their mouth and moves
they'll eat it. Should I move them, if so what are the safest steps to
do so? I'd prefer to relocate the adults (which I'm prepared for and
comfortable with doing if needed) and raise the toadlets in the large
mature habitat if possible (I'm sure I'm bugging.. Sorry! I'm awed by
these little fellas).
<By all means do so. Isolate the adults to temporary quarters, or move
as many tadpoles as you can to a 10, 20 gallon system with a filter and
possibly a heater to maintain a steady 20-22 C/68-72 F.>
I can only find info about feeding the tadpoles fish flake..... Is this
As for the toadlets, they say simply "feed them small insects"... What
constitutes a small insect in this case?
<Fruit flies are the ideal. You can get wingless varieties from reptile
stores, and obviously these are best because they're [a] easy to catch
and [b] won't escape into your home.>
Obviously something very tiny. As for the eggs that still need to
I see thrashing in some and that seems normal.
Some are developed equally but aren't AS active, again still seems
fairly normal in my mind. And some have never advanced beyond a white
dot in the middle of the egg. Am I right in assuming since I've seen no
development in these eggs that they aren't viable?
Should I remove them?
<By all means. Be ruthless. If you get 200 eggs, do you really want 200
toads? It may be better to concentrate on rearing, say, 20-30 tadpoles
that you can then sell as viable pet toads to your local store. Or maybe
just let nature take its course, and protect just 2-3 specimens that you
can add to your group of adults.>
However they ALL have what seems to be a film of dust over the eggs. It
appears to be particles of sand and peat that the toads have pulled with
them into the water. It hasn't stopped them from hatching. Should I
<White threads will be fungus, and these can spread and will kill viable
eggs. So that's bad. But plain vanilla silt is harmless. Still, gently
cleaning the eggs now and again, e.g., by using an air stone or even a
turkey baster to blow clean water (gently) past the eggs will be
To my way of thinking they would encounter this and more in the wild.
Last thing.. The eggs are covering the internal filter and clinging to
driftwood and such. I need to clean the filter and the tank, what's the
best method to do a water change without suckin' 'em up?
<Actually, wet hands can work just fine. They are tougher than they
Don't be afraid to damage a few: you'll have far more tadpoles that you
really need regardless!>
And how can I get them the heck off my filter? I'm worried it'll suck
'em up. I suppose you can figure most of my worries even if I managed to
forget something. They're hatching fast and it's wonderful. I want them
But the ones hanging suspended head up have me nervous. They simply
<Ah, if they don't move at all, then yes, likely dead. Either remove at
once, or else isolate into a net or breeding trap so you can wait a few
hours to see if anything changes.>
Oh! One frog shed his skin but didn't eat it... It's clinging to some
Worry or no?
Thank you thank you for any help you can give me. -Kay
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Bombina Orientalis Eggs and Tadpoles - 4/17/12
Thanks so much for the info! I've done a water change and removed the
leftover eggs and dead tadpoles. The ones hanging suspended were the
newest hatched and finally started swimming I've culled dead and dying
and ended up with about 150 tadpoles. We'll raise em and then keep or
sell what's left. There's no herp store here in town so I'm going to
attempt to breed
crickets and raise my toadlets on freshly hatched pinheads, will this be
suitable or should I think about trying to breed the little flightless
<Worth a try with the hatchling crickets, but wouldn't bank on it.
Vitamin dusting will be useful, as well as very regular meals; small
amounts, but 4+ times per day, ideally.>
One other thing has happened in he few days since I emailed you guys. A
friend of a friend purchased (I think they caught him in the wild,
myself but can't be certain) a Siren intermedia.
<The Lesser Siren; a fully-aquatic newt-like animal.>
Then became disgusted by it's slime coat and frills and so they brought
him to me which is good I suppose as they were attempting to house him
in an Red Eared Slider tank. :/
<Not compatible, for sure!>
Again.. Not much comprehensive care info online.. I think I've got the
diet down.. That seems to be one of only two things people agree on..
Diet and the fact that they are more active at night.
No one seems to know what water parameters they prefer.
<Is a very widespread species, from the Eastern US to Mexico, so likely
quite adaptable re: pH, hardness, temperature. Room temperature water,
around 18 C/64 F up to low-end tropical conditions, 24 C/75 F, would
seem about right, perhaps at the cooler end in winter for extra vigour.
Water chemistry anything, just not too hard and not too soft; 2-20
degrees dH, pH 6-8 probably fine. I'd go with something in the middle,
around 10-15 degrees dH, pH 7-7.5.>
And there are lots of differing views on how a captive habitat should be
arranged. So far I'm housing him in a shallow water tank about room
temp, so between 72-74. I'm much distressed by the fact that I've
acquired yet another creature simply because folks are dumb. Anything
you can tell me would be great.
<Very similar to the Axolotl in general care. As ever, wean off live
foods (certainly don't use feeder fish). So by all means start with
earthworms as good "settling in" foods, but get them onto small slivers
of tilapia fillet (cheap and Thiaminase-free) alongside occasional bits
of prawn and mussel.
Use worms, krill, etc. as treats. I find steel forceps essential tools
for keeping predators, allowing me to wiggle dead foods and thereby
elicit the hunting instinct.>
In the meantime I'll be reading as much as I can find and trying like
heck to make him happy. I am also considering letting it go.. But am not
sure if that's a good Idea since I can't be sure if he's captive bred
and therefore not really suitable for release.
<For sure. Once an animal has been taken inside and especially if mixed
with domestic livestock (such as turtles) there's too many risks to be
happy about releasing it. This is a VERY unusual beastie, and to be
honest, I'd be thrilled to have one!>
He's common in our area. Could this cause a problem for the wild
population, i.e. New diseases and parasites not found here?
<Precisely so. Your local Fish & Wildlife people should be able to help
decide if release is a good idea, or else, you could try a herpetology
club or wildlife visitor centre type thing, where this sort of animal
might be used for education, to show visitors local animals.>
I'd like to make his new tank comfy if I keep him.. Ideally what size
tank, somehow 20 gallons of deep water and a piece of PVC doesn't really
strike me as the best idea?
<May well be fine from his perspective. Hidey-holes plus floating plants
is often the ideal for most animals. They don't have the same aesthetic
sense we do, and often value practicality above all else. Alternatively,
you can use bogwood and smooth rocks to create the right sort of terrain
with a more natural look.>
My observation is that they aren't strong swimmers, preferring instead
to scoot along the bottom basically mouthing on just about anything.
<These animals live in ponds and ditches, so aren't real picky. But they
may well take some time to settle in. Earthworms are great foods to get
them fattened up, and once feeding, they should become more
They don't seem to see real well. And I'm reading about a life
span of something like 7-15 years.. Is this realistic..
<Yes, though temperature will be a factor, with the cooler end of the
range resulting in longer lifespan.>
I'm also seeing differing views on how big they'll actually become..
Thanks again for everything and sorry to be bugging about something new
so soon after asking about FBT's..
<No problems. Cheers, Neale.>
fire belly toads, repro.
We have three fire belly toads and have had them for maybe two months
When I fed them tonight I noticed a "large" clump of jelly
laying on the moss against the glass. I have no idea what it is and I
have never seen anything like it before. Can you help me?
<Could well be their eggs. Like other toads they lay eggs in a
jelly-like mass just below the waterline. The eggs hatch in a few days
depending on the temperature, and each day you should see some change
in the black embryo inside each egg.>
Also, I have a question about the layout of the tank. I have read
articles that say they don't need a lot of water because they
don't really swim, but a lot of other tanks I've seen online
have a large body of water for the frogs to swim in. What is the best
way to set up your tank? With large body of water of not?
<The answer depends on the size of your vivarium! Obviously in the
wild they jump into ponds, lakes and streams, so they can swim
perfectly well in bodies of water thousands of times larger than even a
very big vivarium.
But at the same time, wild toads will be crawling about on land for
much of the time as well. So, the key is a balance. If you have an
average-sized vivarium based around a 20-40 gallon aquarium, then
providing a water depth of 4-6 inches should be ample, and the rest of
the tank can be moss, coir, or whatever else you've used to create
a soft, damp land habitat.>
Thanks for your help.
something ate my tadpoles!!
A week ago I added 12 tadpoles to an established freshwater tank.
The already tank contained Malaysian trumpet snails.
The next morning it all my tadpoles were gone except 2 of them.
Any clues as to what happened to my tads???
<Hard to say, but a combination of starvation and cannibalism may
well be significant. Tadpoles need a fair amount of food, and folks
rearing them often don't provide enough of the right food, so
starvation is common. At a pinch, many tadpoles become cannibalistic,
or at least sufficiently opportunistic that they'll eat dead or
weakened siblings. Malaysian Livebearing Snails will of course consume
any dead material they find, though they do not consume healthy
tadpoles. Cheers, Neale.>
Fire bellied toads. 8/26/10
I have recently decided to try keeping fire bellied toads and I have
some questions regarding gender identification.
<Indeed; this is not easy to do.>
It seems there is quite a large quantity of conflicting information on
the proper method of sexing these amphibians. Some people seem to think
the bumps of the skin are greater in number in males, while fewer on
females "others say its the reverse" I've also been told
that there are black stripes on the females bodies and on males there
are small spots instead "again some say its the reverse" The
people at the LFS claim the Middle digits on the rear legs are longer
on females and the webbing between them is shorter.
<As with most frogs and toads, the males have stronger arms and
during the mating season develop horny pads on the inside of their
hands used to provide extra grip during amplexus. These are by far the
Females tend to be a bit more rounded than the males, especially during
the mating season.>
The Sounds also seem to be Significant factor as the males allegedly
make more noise.
<Males are the ONLY ones that croak.>
the sound the males make has been described as a barking sound. And
despite all of this I have read cases where the gender was
could I get some clarification regarding this? with all of this
conflicting info on the net I thought it prudent to ask the
likely the wrong forum, but am going to ask anyway. Rana sexing, beh.,
nutr., sys. - 8/1/10
Hi again guys,
I have a frog that was captured from outside. The frog is a common
green frog, *Rana clamitans*. From what I read male frogs have ears
that are significantly bigger then their eyes, female frogs have ears
the same side as their eyes; male frogs have yellowish under parts and
throats, and girls frogs have creamy white throats. Now, when I first
got my frog I was convinced it was a girl frog (the underside seems
white, and the ear was just a little bigger, you could say it was the
same size. BUT, my frog croaks, and the throat puffs out/extends with
the croaks! Does a female frog croak?
<Not usually, no. Croaking is for males to attract a mate. Males
also have a much larger ear drum, about twice the size of the eye, so
it should be pretty obvious.>
I understand that there are 6 different calls that this species of
frogs make, but do girls make croaking sounds? If I sent a picture of
the actual frog, could someone here tell me if it is a male or
I really want to know. The one book that has an actual picture of a
male and female has no caption with the picture to say WHICH is male or
female, mores the pity. It's in a semi-aquatic aquarium/vivarium
which is 20
gallons and has Zilla brand foam insert kit called "rain forest
rapids" kit. Also, I read somewhere on the internet to only feed
this kind of frog 3 times a week, what happens if a frog is over fed?
My frog eats a LOT.
<Yes they do.>
Like, last night it ate: about 9 pill bugs, a slug, about 6 worms, a
centipede, 2 spiders, and about 3 or 4 meal worms, a moth, and one
unidentified insect. Also, most of the food I go out and catch
outdoors, in this case, should I use the powder that contains
multivitamins that is sprinkled on foods for lizard and amphibians to
keep them from getting metabolic bone disease?
<Is well worth doing.>
Also, I am using just a daylight lamp from Exo Terra it says on the
package it is good for all amphibians. It is very hard to find any
information on frogs not generally found in the pet industry, I mean it
is easy to find out what you
have, but not specific husbandry for the frog like you could if you had
one common in pet stores. Could I have more than one of these frogs in
<Generally, Rana species are kept singly in small tanks. They tend
to do only fairly well in captivity, and never really become tame.
They're quite nervous and prone to bashing their noses on the glass
as they jump about
when scared. You could certainly try keeping a pair in your tank, but
you'd have to keep an eye on them, and the problem is that after
spawning, should they do so, the male would likely harass the female.
If the female goes off
her food, that's a good sign of trouble.>
P.S: I use a lot of Seachem products in my aquariums, one is called
"Prime". It is a water conditioner, but I am wondering, could
this be dangerous to a frog? I know frogs can absorb water through its
skin and it cloaca, and this does have a harsh sulfur chemical
<This product should be safe.>
I also use the Seachem's version of live bacteria called
and a carbon replacement for planted aquariums called "Flourish
Excel" and also Seachem's "Flourish Iron" Iron
supplement for planted tanks, and the general plant supplement from
Seachem caller "Flourish". Would these
products harm my frog?
<Shouldn't do so, no.>
I did use the live bacteria product-no ill effects yet. I have live
plants in this tank in the water section- water sprite floating and
java fern on the bottom. Could I use the water conditioner and the
<Should be able to, but if in doubt, consult with the manufacturer.
Re: Most likely the wrong forum, but am going to ask anyway... where
does this go? 8/4/10
Oh, my Gosh! Seachem fooled me good to the tune of $41.00
<Could be worse. Those poor folks in Pakistan have just had their
homes washed away in floods. Always good to have a sense of
From now on I will ask someone here if what I am buying is a crock of
poop before I chuck my bucks around at aquarium store.
<By all means do so.>
Seachem has a nice website, and explains why the products are so
<And they are. But you do need to understand what products do, and
like all businesses, they tend to promise a little more than their
products actually deliver. Coca Cola doesn't make me sexy, and
eating Bran Flakes doesn't
imbue me with glowing sense of happiness.>
Last time I went to the aquarium store I purchased $120.00 dollars
worth of products from Seachem (This was for 3 items!!!!!!!!) Now I
feel like a fool.
<Please don't feel foolish. Two of the three products you bought
are good ones, among the best in their niches. The one product I'm
not wild about is Seachem Stability, and that's only because most
of these "good bacteria"
products are unreliable and, once the aquarium is more than half
mature, don't provide any benefits whatsoever. They don't do
any harm, but these bacteria potions often don't do any good
Thanks for helping me with my frog. It is getting
bigger, and the ear is getting bigger so it must be a boy frog. But it
was much smaller first and the ear was the same size as the eye so I
was fooled there, too.
<If it makes you feel any better, frogs are pretty bad at telling
their sexes at times. If you watch them in the wild you'll see
every possible permutation of male and female frog you can
<Have fun with your frogs! Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Fire bellied toads questions :D 5/14/09
Thank you very much for your response to my questions, as for the my
second question, if they toads were to lay eggs in the small water dish
I have put in the terrarium I would definitely transplant them into
another terrarium with more suitable living conditions.
<Happy to help. Cheers, Neale
Question About Firebelly Toads... spoogie
11/12/07 Crew, We have 2 Firebelly toads. We do not know the sex of
either. Every once in a while we get a clump of clear
"jelly-like" substance usually in the water. Obviously this
comes from the toads but we don't know if its an egg sack or just
some sort of secretion. Looking closely we cannot see any small dots
inside the clump. Do you know what these clumps are ? Pierce, Joy and
Eden <Greetings. What you're describing does sound a lot like
toad-spawn. Each egg is about 1 cm in diameter, but the developing
embryos are (at least to start with) very small, maybe one-tenth that.
So they're easy to overlook. The eggs are normally deposited on
plants close to the surface of the water. If cared for well (i.e.,
given a coldish sort of winter and then a moderately warm summer)
Bombina orientalis breeds quite freely in captivity. The tadpoles will
swim out of view for a the first couple of days; just like fish fry,
there's a period of time where amphibian tadpoles consumer the
remains of their yolk sac before actively foraging for food. Rearing
isn't difficult, but it probably goes without saying that the
parents will eat the tadpoles given half a chance. If you want to rear
them, you'll probably need to move them to another tank (or at the
very least a covered breeding trap of some sort). Cheers,
Frog Spawn Hello again, Thank you Don for your help a little
while ago, you majorly calmed me down, and everything is AWESOME. I had
acquired fish from a friend and a tank on Christmas. refer to
"Suddenly Stocked Tank", WWM FAQs.) Well everything is going
great, have done 6 water changes since I got the fish. All my levels
are looking great (I think those established bio-wheels really helped).
I got some ghost shrimp today, just to clean a little. Well my question
is, I have noticed clear sacks with yellow dots in them in the bottom
of one of my plants, kind of weaved through it. Quite a lot of it
probably 50-80 little yellow dots(1mm) all in a single sack. And than
there's like yellow brownish flecks and pieces of what look like
clear egg sack all over my plant leaves. My plants are fake. Well I
don't know who laid them, could it have been my Plecos? My Plecos
are almost a year old and 1 is 9" and the other 6", one is
obviously smaller, are they male and female? Or one is it that the one
is more aggressive and gets all the food (which routinely happens, I
put algae wafers in his\her little spot so he\she can eat)? How do you
tell the difference? Is that what their egg looks like and where they
lay them? I also have a 4" Gourami, 1" orange tetra, 1"
clown loach, a frog (who seems to be in the eggs a lot), 6" black
ghost knife (he's my buddy now, I got him frozen bloodworms and
feed them to him on the end of a skewer). I don't think anything
else could have laid them. I plan on getting 2 fire green tetras in a
week, I finally found a place that will BUY my Plecos. I'm quite
happy, after I have been trying to give them away. What should I do
with the eggs? I'm not really too concerned about propagating, but
something small in my tank might serve as a nice snack for my black
ghost knife. Or the frog. Or anything. What do you think? Again thank
you for all your help in my beginning worries. And the rest of the WWM
staff for the amazing website you guys keep up. James <First thought
was snail eggs. Very common. They are laid in a jelly like mass. But on
re-reading the part about "weaving though" the plant leaves I
now think they may be frog eggs. I never kept frogs, but do recall that
some species lay long strings of eggs in a protective jelly. Snail eggs
would be in a single round clump. Either way I would remove them. If
they're frog eggs they will be infertile without a male and will
decay. If they're snail eggs you're looking at a population
explosion. Your Gourami and tetra would both lay single eggs, not in a
mass. I don't think Clown Loaches have ever been breed in captivity
and would need to be much larger. (BTW, will grow slow, but can hit
8" to a foot. Be aware) Plecos are cave breeders. They would spawn
in a protected area that the male would be defending. So that leaves
the frog and snails. To sex your Plecs look at the trailing edges of
the fins and gill covers. Mature males will have frilly tassels
decorating these areas. Also, when viewed from above the male will
appear thinner and more tapered than the female. The larger fish may be
getting mature enough to sex. At 6" the smaller is still to young.
And another BTW, they may eat the ghost shrimp.