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FAQs About Amphibian Selection

Related Articles: Amphibians, Turtles

Related FAQs: Amphibians 1, Amphibians 2, Frogs Other Than African and Clawed, African Dwarf Frogs, African Clawed Frogs, Newts & Salamanders, Rubber Eels/Caecilians, Amphibian Identification, Amphibian Behavior, Amphibian Compatibility, Amphibian Systems, Amphibian Feeding, Amphibian Disease, Amphibian Reproduction, Turtles


Semi aquatic animals...? 2 gal. bowl in a FW tank...  stkg... confusion/confused    9/2/2013
I have a 30 gallon tank, heavily planted, with a rainbow fish,
<"A" rainbowfish? Should really be in groups of 6+ specimens, if we're talking about Melanotaenia and other such species..>
small albino Pleco, and a botasia catfish (not sure if that's accurate, looks like a 3 inch bullhead, is full grown)
<Have absolutely no idea what a "botasia catfish" is, and Google offers up "basa catfish", which is another name for the Iridescent Catfish which definitely isn't full grown at three inches. Three feet... maybe!>
I have recently installed a slanted Betta bowl at the bottom of my tank, I have plants and an airline in it, creating an underwater air bubble. I have seen this be done before, and it allows you to house some semi aquatic animals that need land/air.
<Sounds nightmarish! Abnormal air pressure, minimal space to move around, oxygen concentration extremely dependent on efficiency of air pump... yikes!>
I would like to get something that would normally need land so I can keep it and not need another special tank for it. I figure I could get a  crabs, amphibians of some sort, or maybe a turtle. I would forward to hearing your impute.
<Would not do this. The theory sounds cool, I admit, like a science-fiction story with an underwater city or something. But then if you think about why those don't work in real life, even with modern engineering, you'll realise that trying to achieve with a cheap air pump and a glass bowl is a little optimistic. The space would be too small (a few gallons of volume at most, and land area of a square foot, tops) for most animals to be happy, so why bother? Plenty of fully aquatic fish choices for a tank this size and the livestock you already have. Obviously anything amphibious (in the sense of using both water and land) would move in and out of the bubble, and turtles are 100% incompatible with fish, so they're right out. Virtually all amphibians are bad choices, apart from African Dwarf Frogs, and your existing fish are too large for those. Crabs are almost always brackish water animals, so incompatible in that regard. Basically, virtually all of these "mix land animals with water animals" set-ups don't work, and the lifespan of the animals kept this way is invariably less than when kept properly.>
<Hope this helps! Cheers, Neale.>
RE: Semi aquatic animals    9/2/2013

I am well aware that this is not ideal, but I always see newts, frogs, and other various semi-aquatics in tanks with no land at all, rotting away in a pet store in fact, nearly all my pets have been adopted or were the rejects at a pet store. This design at least gives them something.
<Unfortunately, while your intention is good, the result is bad. By buying animals from pet stores who don't care for them properly, the pet store makes a sale and is encouraged to buy some more. Logically, the best approach is to leave badly cared for animals in the store; ideally, you'd pass on your concerns to your local government (who license pet stores one way or another) and you could also contact an animal welfare channel.
Writing to the store manage could be worthwhile, too. Regardless, if the animals languish in the pet store, the retailer won't buy any more.>
This also allows Bettas to live as they require close air, African clawed frogs require air access so deep tanks are not ideal (although I have heard that they go on land),
<Only exceptionally, likely when the ground is waterlogged following heavy rain. Ordinarily, if they crawl out of the water, something is extremely wrong with the aquarium. It is true they like basking within floating plants though, even with their heads poking out. Do bear in mind Xenopus spp get quite big, and are essentially incompatible with small fish.>
some crayfish species require oxygen, a bull frog tadpole could use that to grow up in (but be released or relocated when full grown),
<Releasing a bullfrog from an aquarium into the wild would be very wrong, likely illegal in your area. I'm assuming you're in the US, and you may think that bullfrogs are native so what's the harm. In fact bullfrogs are not found in every waterway in the US, so you could put them somewhere they don't belong, and there may be genetic variation from region to region, and the pet ones sold may carry distinct genes from the ones in your area, and releasing a pet bullfrog allows those non-local genes into your local gene pool. Finally, the big no-no, and likely the legal issue, is pet bullfrogs have been exposed to bacteria, viruses and parasites endemic in the pet industry, and releasing a bullfrog will allow those into your local waterways.>
I could perhaps use it to breed killifish, and most pet store newts have little land anyway, so this is not as foolish as you think.
<Trust me, it's a terrible idea.>
Not to mention that the Betta bowl is a two gallon one, note one of those light bulb sized things, the air line is not cheap at all and I did my best to make the land part cozy.
<Assuming you didn't pay tens of thousands on having an industrial engineer create something that ensures a steady air pressure and balances oxygen and CO2 concentrations properly, the set up you design is simply a bowl with an air pump connected to it. So my reference to "cheap" wasn't a concern about the quality of the products used, which I'm sure are excellent.>
And as for my rainbow fish, it was called a Madagascar rainbow fish yet looks NOTHING like one, I do not know the scientific name and still cannot find another that looks quite like it.
<By all means send a photo and I'll help.>
He was adopted, I've had him for years, and had a mate for him (but he killed her, always was a bit over aggressive) he does not like the company of other rainbow fish or gouramies and the catfish was at a pet store, they said he was full grown and that he is pretty shy.
<Again, a photo would help.>
Other than that most of my fish are still shrouded in mystery. All-in-all you may hate this idea, but who knows, this thing may be worth it after all.
<If you're looking for an expert fishkeeper like me to say, sure, sounds great, that isn't going to happen. You sound like a really sensible, ethical aquarist, and I'd urge you to stick to that path. All this Betta bowl idea does is take swimming space away from your aquarium while creating a sub-optimal habitat for animals that need more than 2-gallons space. Just don't see an up side here at all. Cheers, Neale.>

Newts... as pets  -- 10/9/07 Hi , My Name is Amy , and I am thinking about buying a newt , and I have a question about them. Can Marbled Salamanders or Newts be kept as a pet. Thanks Amy <Greetings Amy! Any animal can be kept as a pet, provided you can give it living conditions and a diet similar to what it needs in the wild. In the case of Ambystoma opacum, the Marbled Salamander, this means a fairly cool vivarium with lots of moss and coconut fibre for burrowing into. They belong to a group known as "mole salamanders" which should give you a good clue as to what they do most of time -- stay underground! They are shy, rather reclusive, and spend long periods of time doing nothing at all. They dip into shallow water to moisten themselves, and only enter ponds for breeding purpose. They like a vivarium that is like a forest -- lots of mosses and ferns for them to climb about it! So plan on something with a good lighting system so these plants will grow. A species for advanced amphibian keepers, really. Cheers, Neale>

African Clawed Frog Advice ... sel., comp.    5/2/06 I was cruising around your site, and was intrigued by your mentioning of the African clawed frog.  I kept an ACF for around 6 years.  I found it interesting that your site did not clearly state one thing: an adult ACF will unhesitatingly consume any fish 1 inch in length or less!  I often fed mine feeder guppies from PetCo.  I would pass this along to anyone thinking of keeping guppies, tetras, etc. with an ACF. Finally, for anyone looking for an ACF, I recommend "Grow-a-frog."  That's where mine came from, and they sell great food and other supplies.-Robert < Thanks for the advice and we will post it on the site.-Chuck>

Looking For Aquatic Herps  - 2/21/2006 I'm interested in acquiring axolotls for a home aquarium as pets and hopefully breeders.  However; while I have found plenty of information about them and their care; I have had no luck in finding out how to actually obtain one as a pet.  I've only managed to find biological labs which will only sell to researchers.  Could you tell me where to find a dealer/breeder for axolotls, or perhaps a classified/auction site where they are likely to be available from private hobbyists?  Any information would be much appreciated. < Kingsnake.com is like eBay for snakes, lizards frogs, turtles and salamanders. You will find someone there to sell you one.-Chuck> Snails, hermit crabs, and frogs, Oh my. Can you recommend a type of frog, something easy to maintain and care for? <In my personal experience, whether it is fish, reptiles, or amphibians, the key is to research the animal before the purchase, set up an environment to suit its needs and do not cut corners, because it will always come back and bite you in the you know what.  The only frog that I have kept is a "Whites" tree frog, also known as the "Dumpy" tree frog.  Adorable creatures and not terribly hard to care for (heat, light, humidity, clean water, and food).  However, I am not sure what type of frog would mix well with snails, I have never researched the captive requirements of snails.  I would start with a search on google.com for frogs, and a trip to the local pet store to see what they have to offer.  Find one that you like, if its needs and the snails needs are similar (and the frog cannot fit the snail in its mouth) then you may have a match.  Best of luck in your search my friend, let us know how it turns out, we are happy to offer help where we can.  -Gage>

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