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FAQs About Anurans/Frogs: Systems

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 Feeding,
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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/CaeciliansTurtlesAmphibian Identification, Amphibian Behavior, Amphibian Compatibility, Amphibian Selection, Amphibian Systems, Amphibian Feeding, Amphibian Disease, Amphibian Reproduction,

Most 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 female?
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 this tank?
<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 smell.
<This product should be safe.>
I also use the Seachem's version of live bacteria called "Stability",
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 plant fertilizers?
<Should be able to, but if in doubt, consult with the manufacturer. Cheers, Neale.>
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 American!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
<Could be worse. Those poor folks in Pakistan have just had their homes washed away in floods. Always good to have a sense of perspective.>
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 good.
<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 either.>
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 imagine!>
<Have fun with your frogs! Cheers, Neale.>  

Water, Toad tadpole sys.   7/21/10
To Whom It May Concern:
I have Western Toad tadpoles. I have read up on recommendations and I am changing their habitat. However, I have read conflicting information on the type of water I should use when cleaning the tank out. Some sites say
to used distilled water others recommend tap water that has been left out for 5-7 days, while others recommend bottled water. What is your recommendation?
<Distilled water should certainly not be used. As you probably realise, distilled water contains no minerals at all. That means it experiences rapid pH changes and can cause odd osmotic effects on animals kept in it. A few animals like Triops are adapted to living in rainwater pools which would be broadly similar, but most animals are not. Mineral water is safe but expensive. Tap water is good assuming it is not passed through a domestic water softener. If you have a domestic water softener, your kitchen tap is probably not connected to that softener because domestic water softeners add sodium that is not good for drinking. So use the kitchen tap to draw unsoftened water. Add a good water conditioner -- one that neutralises ammonia, Chloramine and copper as well as chlorine. This should ensure optimal water quality. Obviously you also need to filter the water in the aquarium, for which I'd recommend an air-powered box filter or sponge filter. Tadpoles are messy and 25% water changes per week will be essential. Doing complete water changes isn't necessary, and not a substitute for proper filtration. You will need 8-10 gallons of water for the tadpoles, and adult toads will require a vivarium not less than 20 gallons in size and preferably more. Toads are not aquatic, hence their warty skins, so once they've left the water they need a mostly dry land vivarium with just a small pool of water for bathing and drinking. Cheers, Neale.>

A couple of questions about fire bellied toads terrarium... 05/09/09
Hi, my name is Don. I just purchased 3 fire bellied toads. I have a 20 gallon terrarium set up with a water dish roughly 7 by 6 inches and about an inch and a half deep. I am going to be using tap water for the water dish so I purchased a bottle of Aqua plus tap water conditioner. On the bottle it directs to use a capful to cleanse 37.8L of water however I am only using it for a rather small amount of water. I was told by the person whom I spoke to before purchasing the toads to put approximately 5 or 10 drops in order to cleanse the water. I just want to make sure that this is a good amount and be certain that it will cleanse the water enough for the fire bellied toads and whether or not I should use more or less.
<Sounds about fine. The dish here is 18 by 15 by 4 cm = 1080 cm3, or slightly over a litre (1000 cm3). So you're going to need about 1/37.8 of each cap, which really isn't very much. You could find out how many drops it takes to fill the cap, and then divide that by 37.8 to get the precise amount required. But much better if that cap actually says how many millilitres it contains, let's say 20 ml for an example. All you'd need to is divide that by 37.8, to get roughly 0.5 ml per litre of tap water. Even if the cap doesn't quote it's capacity, you could work it out easily enough: one level US teaspoon is just under 5 millilitres (4.93, to be precise). So you'd fill the cap with teaspoons of water, and multiple the number of teaspoons needed by 5 to get its capacity in ml.>
Also, when decompressing Exoterra Forest Moss it says on the package to mix with tap water. I was curious if the water should be treated with the Aqua Plus before I mix it with the moss.
<Ideally, yes, but in reality, it won't make much difference.>
I was intending to do so myself however I accidentally added the tap water and put the moss in the terrarium before I realized that I had not conditioned the water first. Basically I want to know if, having this happen the one time, is it likely to cause any damage or sickness to the toads?
<If you under-dose water conditioner, you can set the toads up for problems via skin irritations, so there's an argument for taking the time to get it right, at least first time around. Once you've calculated how much you need, you can write it down, stick that note on the fridge, and just refer to it each time you do water changes.>
Thank you very much for your time,
<Cheers, Neale.>

Aquatic Frog... Sys.. No salt pls.   11/07/07 Hi WWM Crew, Can you tell me if aquarium salt is good to use for an Aquatic Frog besides Stress Coat conditioner? Thanks ahead of time for your help. Jean <Hello Jean. No, frogs neither need salt nor appreciate it. Aquatic frogs want neutral, moderately hard water. Stress Coat is neither here nor there as far as Aquatic Frogs go, but dechlorinator and good water quality are essential. Cheers, Neale.>

Filtration For Tadpoles  10/06/06 Hi WWM, I am much relieved to have found your website. However I have not found much information relating to the types of filters to be used with frogs and tadpoles. I will be breeding and raising Xenopus as well as breeding wild caught Rana pipens (via in vitro fertilization) and housing these tadpoles. I have done this with well water and no filtration, just regular water changes and aeration, and all tadpoles did very well.  I no longer have access to well water. My understanding is that RO water is not good for them (they need the minerals etc naturally occurring in well water) although that is what is now available. I have consulted with a local lab which houses quite a few more frogs than I will, and they have tap water coming through their US filter carbon tanks (large compressed gas-tank size cylinders), a biological filter and a cation exchanger. I would like to copy this setup in a bench top format. I have been looking at petstore-variety filters such as the EHEIM Prof. II. I would like to use it to prepare the city tap water for the aquarium, then to use that water to put in my tadpoles' tanks. I am not sure yet whether I will invest in a unit to filter each tank continuously, as the tadpoles seem to do fine without that. Is the Professionel II the best model for my needs? < Using this filter to filter city tap water is a waste of money unless it is used solely to remove Chloramine or chlorine. You would be better off with a commercial drinking water system with a carbon cartridge. There are chlorine test kits available to check the system. Once you determine how much water you need then you can add or subtract cartridges based on the water quality required.> Also I have read that carbon block is better than crushed carbon. Do any of these bench top filters use that? <The quality of the carbon is the critical factor here. Not all carbon is alike. Go to Marineland.com and visit Dr. Tim's Library. he has done lots of research on carbon and I think you will find this very helpful.> All I can find reference to is "carbon filter pad". I want to make sure that these filters are ok to use; especially since I do not know the differences between keeping fish and amphibians, and every single filter available is marketed for fish. Also, what does a unit such as the Professional II leave in the water that an RO unit does not? < An R/O unit removes everything and leaves only pure water. The Eheim Pro II just recirculates the water until you place something in there to remove something out of the water. Check your tap water and determine what you want to remove. If you want to remove chlorine/Chloramine then add carbon. It will remove organics and a few other things that are mentioned in Dr. Tim's articles. If you want to remove other ions then add resins to remove what ever you want. Generally fish filtration is usually more critical than for amphibians. It just depends on the species and what they require.-Chuck.> Thank you so much for any help! Deanne

What the heck are "they?"  They can live inside and out of the water! Day of the FW Triffids!   2/14/06 Hello, I have a 25 gallon freshwater aquarium that has been set up for about 5 months now.  For 3 and a half months the tank has had only two frogs living in it.  Then just 2 days ago I was feeding them and noticed that the water seemed pretty "cruddy" and was inspecting the tank and the frogs as they ate, when I noticed hundreds (probably thousands) of tiny tiny tiny round "bugs", maybe parasites floating around in the tank!  They seemed like they could not swim on their own, but moved around the tank with the filters current.  When they would touch the glass, an object or the bottom gravel- they would continue to crawl. (though they are too small to see legs etc.)  These things are smaller than the head of a pin!  The frogs had about 3 each on there backs, but seemed fine.  Panicked anyway I ran to the i-net to get some answers.  To no avail- I am still puzzled what this might be.  I have had other freshwater aquariums in the past and had some parasite clear left over and dropped 2 into the tank and let sit over night. <Toxic to your frogs...> It seemed to me there was no change this morning <The crud thankfully absorbed much...> in the amount of these things. So I decided do a complete tear down of the tank and bleach it. I removed all but 3 inches if water and poured straight bleach into the tank to sanitize. I let sit for 2 hours and then took everything into the bathroom to further bleach and clean. After the clean up- to my complete amazement quite a few of these things were actually crawling on the outside of the glass!  After using Bleach and scalding hot water!  I am in complete hysterics when it comes to anything that is or looks like it is a foreign bug or especially a parasite. I need to know what this is...HELP!  Also, can they affect humans?  Any answers would be helpful. Thank You. <... very likely not harmful... either to your frogs (or they'd be gone) or you. Some sort of crustacean... would go with good maintenance (regular water changes, gravel vacuuming) and addition of other livestock. No worries. Bob Fenner>

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