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FAQs About Amphibian Systems

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 Selection, Amphibian Feeding, Amphibian Disease, Amphibian Reproduction, Turtles

Dechlor vs. Axolotls        9/10/15
I had super strong and healthy axolotls, still pretty young but about 6 inches long. I changed their water the other day and added DeChlor (removes chlorine and chloramine)
<Mmm; no; not if this is the olde Weco (company) product or its formulation. It was at least just sodium thiosulfate (hyposulfite) and water. ONLY removes chlorine, NOT chloramine/s... the latter of which are what we have almost everywhere in the US>

as I normally do (don't know if this is necessary but the pet stores advised it).
<A good idea; a better one to treat or not and store new water for a week or more...>
I usually wait a while to put them back in the tank but totally forgot to do that and when I put them back, they looked like they were choking. I took them out and put them in the water I kept them on while I was changing the tank and they called down. I did the tank all over again because I didn't know if the DeChlor hadn't neutralized yet or maybe I added too much. Either way, it's been about three days...the ax babies are still eating but they are not swimming or playing like they
normally do. They are only crawling around on the bottom of the tank and it seems like they can't make themselves buoyant. I'm so sad and scared that I may have caused permanent damage. Any suggestions?
<At this point/time, only to wait and hope... "the damage is done"... Going forward, DO read on WWM re Dechloramination, and means to prepare water.
Oh! And do know that municipalities at times "pulse" much more sanitizer into potable water.... Dangerous. Again, storing water to be used allows for dissipation, neutralization.
Bob Fenner>

frog tank question; UG use, mod.        7/2/14
I have a ten gallon tank. About half will be earthy substrate, the other half will be water about 4-5 inches deep. They will be divided with a piece of acrylic. I was planning on using an undergravel filter to keep the water half clean in addition to doing occasional partial water changes, but am not sure about how to set this up with the divider in place.
Would it be possible to cut the filter plate so that it fits in just the half of the tank with the water? Or is this a bad idea? If so, do you have any other suggestions for setting this up? Thank you
<There is nothing wrong with cutting undergravel filter plates to size. However, water will always flow along the line of least resistance, so whatever you choose to do, you have to make sure the water HAS to flow through the gravel to get into the water pump, not around the edges of the filter plate. Consequently, for irregular sized aquaria, it is almost always easier to use a canister or air-powered sponge filter. Does depend on the types of frogs of course; Dwarf Frogs will likely be harmed by canisters, so air-powered is best for them. But bigger frogs like Xenopus are fine with moderate canisters. Cheers, Neale.>

uv lighting 9/3/10
Goot Marnin- Query/ do plant lights carry enough U. V. light spectrum for aqua plants and captive reptiles/amphibians?
<No. Note that not all reptiles need UV-B light, and I don't think any amphibians need it. Among reptiles, anything nocturnal will usually get by without UV-B light, though there's some evidence even nocturnal reptiles such as night geckos will bask occasionally, and that in the vivarium providing at least some UV-B can improve their health. With that said though, it's the day-active species that bask in the Sun that need UV-B -- i.e., tortoises, turtles, iguanas, anoles, monitors, boas, etc.>
I have called as many of the providers and manufacturers of grow light and plant lights that I could locate and receive the same answer from each.
"Well, it says right here.!" Hey, I can read the label and there is nothing written either way. They all are very nice folks to visit with, however they will not or can't give me a straight answer. .Reptile U.V.
bulbs in the local fish and reptile houses start around 60.00 dollars each, a wee bit pricey for a bulb that will run out of juice in a month or so.
<Should last 6-12 months depending on the brand.>
Plant bulbs run around five dollars each.
<Not here in England they don't.>
These bulbs also phase out after thirty or so days.
<Again, should last about 12 months.>
I realize we get what we pay for, however, I am rather frugal, (tight), and I am looking for that extra penny to put back for feed and such.
<Fool's economy. Lack of UV-B is one of the PRIME reasons reptiles get ill.>
Spending 60.00 versus 5.00 makes a big difference in the old pocket book.
On the other hand keeping my aqua beasties, aqua plants and reptiles happy is my main concern. Any help would be appreciated. Danke, Bob
<You really do need tubes designed for reptiles. What we call UV light is actually a range of wavelengths, and reptiles need a specific band of wavelengths, known as UV-B, as well as a certain intensity. Cigarette
lighters and furnaces both produce flames, but they're used for totally different things. Same here. You can get some excellent lights that combine heat with UV-B, and these are good value purchases.
Cheers, Neale.>  

White Fuzzy Mold on my Moss in my Terrarium, Amphib. sys.   3/22/10
I have a 50 gallon tank terrarium set-up that houses a 6 year old Oregon newt, a 3 year old Japanese Fire Bellied Newt, a year old Fire Bellied Toad and two 1 year African Clawed Frogs. Half the tank is aquatic, while the
other half is land. Over the years, the terrarium has turned into quite the sanctuary, with driftwood, gravel, lots of mosses, bamboo, air plants, ferns, and such. Many hiding spots and soft areas. All of the creatures get along great, each keeping to themselves. I feed them all baby crickets (I've tried the flightless fruitflies, but those just weren't enough substance) and sometimes pellets. Are there any other suggestions into what I should feed them?
<Earthworms! Few live foods are as nutritious or safe. If you have an "organic" garden (one where pesticides aren't used) then you can collect your own. Otherwise, earthworms are easily purchased from bait and fishing tackle shops. Do-it-yourself earthworm hatcheries, called "wormeries", are available as well, and are a great way to turn garden waste and green kitchen scraps into worms you can feed to your fishes. Plus, raising earthworms is a hobby in itself. There's a great book by Amy Stewart called "The Earth Moved" all about earthworms, what they do, and how to rear them.
Because earthworms are herbivores, they're easy to gut-load with things like Spirulina flake food, and that in turn makes them an easy way to get vitamins and minerals into any predatory fish, frog or reptile.>
I was thinking of maybe getting some earthworms.
My little fire bellied newt seems too slow to catch the crickets. My main concern and the reason I'm contacting you guys is because I've been having some white mold-like stuff starting to grow. At first, white stuff started showing up on my drift wood piece, growing right where the waterline usually is.
<Yes, this is mould, i.e., fungus.>
I tried scraping it off, and I noticed it had a mushroom like smell. It leads me to think that that might be some spores and not the beginning of mold.
<Hmm... fungi reproduce through spores, and the bits we call mushrooms are merely the reproductive organs (analogous to flowers on plants). At other times, most fungi are precisely what you describe, colourless, musty-smelling bunches of threads called hyphae. They will develop wherever there is organic matter that needs decaying, and warmth and humidity both increase the rates at which fungi grow.>
I also have moss that I picked from northern Wisconsin, and it's been growing REALLY well in the water. So much so that it's spreading to all my rocks and up the wall and over everything.
But the other day, I noticed that it's starting to get white fuzz on the tips of the moss, where it sticks out from the water. It definitely isn't the same stuff that's growing on the wood. This stuff is fuzzy and more three dimensional.
<Could well be a different type of fungus, perhaps a slime mould.>
I did a bunch of research to find out if this can be harmful for my animals, but nothing really told me anything.
<Now, the thing is that fungi aren't directly dangerous to animals, but their spores are. This is just as much an issue with humans as pet animals, and things like mildew on walls and fabrics, which can irritate the lungs when their spores are breathed in. At low levels these are harmless and there are likely mildew spores at a low level in all terrariums and vivariums. But at higher levels they can and do cause problems for amphibians, just as they can cause problems for humans.>
I'm just confused how living things can just start growing mold on them.
<Easily. Anything organic that doesn't have an active immune response (i.e., anything "dead") will eventually decay through the actions of fungi and bacteria. Fruit goes rotten, timber decays, and cheese goes mouldy. All normal and indeed essential, recycling nutrients back into the ecosystem.
But some things speed up this process, in particular warm, damp conditions.>
I could just fill water up past it, but I don't want it to mix in with the water.
<Actually, the mould does more harm in the air than in the water.
Underwater, the filter will remove most of the spores, and the spores won't be getting into the lungs.>
Any ideas?
<Yes. The prime thing is to get the air moving. When keeping amphibians you have to strike a balance between adequate moisture in the air for their skin to stay healthy, but not so humid that fungus spreads rapidly. In a straightforward vivarium with disposable substrate, air flow through the mesh slots in the hood is usually enough. But the more stuff you add, like moss and plants, the more you need to think about adding proper ventilation, like a hood with a built-in fan or by adding a vivarium mist fan. Essentially, if you have mould, you don't have enough ventilation, specifically, air flow.>
I change the filter every week and replacing with new water (not direct from faucet) that has some conditioner in it. I don't replace all the water. After a week, about half the water in the tank has evaporated. So I just fill it back up to where it should be.
<Do make sure the water isn't too warm. Most of these amphibians should be fine with room temperature water. Secondly, all that moisture is going somewhere, and if ventilation isn't adequate, that's going to massively increase the humidity. It's crucial to understand that increasing humidity by restricting ventilation isn't the way forward. Maximise ventilation, but increase humidity by spraying the moss daily (or as required) keeping an eye on the humidity gauge. You can buy automatic sprays as well. You're aiming for around 70-80% humidity.>
The tank has kind of become an ecosystem in itself, where I feel I can't really disturb too much. Part of me says nature will take its course and get rid of this mold, but it could just take over.
<The fungus will expand until all the organic matter is consumed.>
A lot of sites suggested more air flow, but I already have a screened lid (open), so air should be somewhat moving in there.
<Yes and no. You need at least two openings, and one of them should be the "in" and the other the "out". This may be passive, by having one opening higher than the other, or else powered through the use of a fan or heater to cause air to rise through one of the two openings.>
So my questions- is this white mold harmful?
<Potentially, yes, very.>
Is there anyway to get rid of mold, like adding a microorganism?
How can I get rid of the white mold?
Thanks for your time! -Megan
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>

New Terrariums from Penn-Plax  8/25/09
Hey Bob and Crew,
Just thought I'd let all your loyal readers know about 3 new lines of terrariums that Penn-Plax is introducing under the Reptology name. Some very exciting products for all your readers that are also into reptiles
and amphibians, please check out the video -
<Nice units.... lots of good features. Neat video>
Thank you as always.
Paul Demas
Project Manager
Penn Plax, Inc
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Quick question about adding Plantation Soil for Fire Bellied Toads   6/10/09
I just changed over my fire bellied toads 20 gallon with new plantation soil
<Are you referring to the Exo Terra product:
and was curious if I should wait for it to dry before I add it to the aquarium.
<If so, no, not necessary>
I just put it all in and put a layer of fresh moss on the top but was thinking afterwards that it might cause mold if it is still somewhat moist.
<Mmm, no>
I thought that perhaps the light would just dry it out as long as I don't keep misting any water in there.
Any input would be greatly appreciated,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Firebelly toad housing questions 11/2/08 Hi guys! <Hello,> My son came home with a Firebelly toad that's perhaps 2-2.5" long. I have a 55 gal planted terrarium with 3 adult long tail grass lizards and 3 tree frogs. I know Firebelly toads are mildly toxic, but have read that tree frogs are immune to their toxin - is that correct? <It may be, but I wouldn't bank on it. What might not kill them immediately might have long term effects, making the tree frogs more prone to sickness for example. Toxic species should always be kept on their own, period.> Can you tell me if the lizards are in danger from the Firebelly? <Again, this may be true, but lizards and Firebelly toads require completely different habitats: one hot and dry, the other cool and wet, so no one would even think about keeping them together in the same enclosure. So it's a non-issue. Even if it wasn't, the risk of immediate or long term poisoning effects just aren't worth the risk.> One book I read states that firebellys only secrete their toxin when stressed, and if you house them properly and change the water frequently you can prevent toxic build-up in the water, thus making a safer environment for other critters. <It is correct that toads, including Bombina spp., actively secrete toxins when stressed. But that doesn't mean they're non-toxin when happy: their skins will always contain small amounts of toxin, and if nipped or buffeted at feeding time by other animals, poisons can be transferred to the aggressor. Equally any toxins that get into drinking water will be dangerous for animals that consume that water.> The tree frogs do swim occasionally, but the lizards only drink from the twice daily misting I do. <None of these animals should cohabiting.> They are together for now - the tank has a lot of plants with a peat/soil mix for substrate (pebbled drain area underneath) topped with sphagnum moss, a full-length UVB and heat lamp on the end opposite the water bowl. Humidity stays at 60-70%, air temps mid 70's, <Too warm for year around maintenance of Bombina spp.; a cool winter period is very helpful.> basking temps between 80-100 (depending on how high on the rocks they go). The lizards tend to stay in the vines at the top of the tank or on the basking rocks and the frogs in the vines or cork bark caves under the basking rocks. I need to know if this habitat is suitable for everyone to be housed together, and if the water area is large enough for the Firebelly - it's about a gallon in a large bowl that can be changed as often as needed (twice weekly so far.) with floating cork bark, overhanging vines and 2 'resting' rocks. Would live ghost shrimp or minnows added to the water make a good Firebelly meal? (so far have been feeding crickets) <Time to read some modern books I think. The use of minnows as food for reptiles is STRONGLY discouraged by expert reptile keepers. The problem is that minnows (and goldfish) contain thiaminase, and this chemical breaks down Vitamin B1, leading to problems with the nerves and bones. Given how tricky it is to keep reptiles healthy in the first place, anything that makes it even more difficult isn't something to volunteer for! The best diet for toads across the board are earthworms. Lizards tend to prefer insects of various kinds, and the toads and frogs should take these too. The idea is to offer a variety, not just one thing. So while small crickets are fine, don't use these all the time, and also add things like houseflies, small mealworms, etc.> Also, the lizards frequently lay eggs and a few have hatched before. They are only about 1" long (not counting the tail!). Would the Firebelly toad consider them a tasty snack? <Yes; toads are notoriously adaptable predators.> If the toad should not be kept in the terrarium is it possible to house him in a tank with fish, or would that poison the fish? <They have been kept with fish, but it isn't recommended. Fish and toads require quite distinct things, and most aquarium fish need a tank at least 20 gallons in size, which is far more than people set aside in a vivarium for toads. The rule when keeping reptiles and amphibians is simple, and ignored at your peril: one species, one tank.> Sorry for all the questions, but I've had a hard time finding trustworthy care info on these guys and you seem to be the most knowledgeable. <There are many excellent reptile books out there, would suggest buying or borrowing one of the more recent volumes some time soon. Web sites can be good, but often offer advice of variable quality. On the other hand, a lot of dedicated reptile stores (as opposed to generalized pet shops or fish shops that sell a few snakes and frogs) tend to be run by serious hobbyists, and those can be great places to spend some time talking. Many regions have reptile and amphibian clubs, and joining one of these can save you (and your animals!) a lot of hardship.> Thank you for your time! <You're welcome, Neale.>

Tadpole With Red Sores  2/26/07 Hello, about a week ago, I bought a bullfrog tadpole from a local  petshop. It wasn't kept in the most healthiest of looking tanks  (overcrowded with fish) and the other tadpole that was in the same tank  was dead. I couldn't see what killed it, though. But I figured I could  nurse it back to health if it were sick but I might be wrong. It  hasn't been eating (I boiled up some lettuce) and it doesn't move at  all. Today, though, I noticed it swimming around more. And then I  spotted a massive sore between it's tiny little legs, I don't know if  it was like this in the petstore or not. But what could I use to cure  it? And could it be redleg/can tadpoles get that? <Red Led is a bacterial infection that affects many aquatic amphibians. I think it is initially caused from rough or abrasive sand and gravels rubbing against the legs then they get infected by a bacteria. I would recommend that you do a 50% water change, vacuum th gravel and clean the filter. Treat with erythromycin as per directed for treating tropical fish. Boiled lettuce has almost no nutrition. Feed Spirulina pellets or flakes instead. Much better for your tadpole.> I've attached a picture, albeit a crummy one. I've never seen it float around like that before, either. I looked all over your website and couldn't find anything, and I've  looked all over the internet. I apologize if you're repeating yourself. Thank you for your help, < The photo was very helpful.-Chuck>
Re: sores on tadpoles, Tadpoles Didn't Make It-Sand Too Coarse?  2/28/07 Hello again! Thank you for all your help, I'll definitely use that information later.  Sadly, after sending my email in, I went and checked on my tadpole, but  it had died. And it was incredibly bloated. But what would you suggest  as a good substrate if gravel is too rough? -Nicole < Tadpoles are usually found over mud or very fine sand. Some sand sold for aquariums is very abrasive. This causes trauma for bottom dwelling fishes and tadpoles buy scratching their skin and leaving the vulnerable to disease.-Chuck>

Frog Legs for Dinner?  Hymenochirus beh., sys. 2/22/07 Thanks again, Pufferpunk.   <No problem> I'll return Jet this weekend so he can mix with his own kind.  Now I have a question about the frogs, Slim and Chance. They used to be so cute every evening, swimming and playing and crashing into things.  But lately they've become reclusive and sluggish.  I really don't think I feed them too much but they aren't as eager for their food anymore, which is those delicious Frog and Tadpole Bites.  I've given them frozen bloodworms a time or two, but not many at a time.  I shook them (gently) out of their hidey holes tonight so I could photograph them to show you how normal they look.  Do you think the light is too much for them? It's just your standard 150W bulb.   <Not if you plan on boiling them for dinner.  Sounds like an awful lot of light for that tank.  I would think a 60wt bulb would be enough to warm up a 5g tank.  What's the temp in there?> At one time I had some floating plants in there, and that diffused the light some.  But I took all the live plants out and replaced them with fake because the live ones were rotting and stinking up the water.  What do you think?  Am I just being a worrier (a general tendency of mine)? <Probably too hot for even the plants.  Check the temp--should be around 76-80.  ~PP>

No Frog Legs for Dinner, After All  2/26/07 Not to worry about the frogs becoming dinner; the light bulb is only 15 watts.  (I knew there was a 1 and a 5 in there.)  And the water temp is a cool 70 degrees.   <Whew, no cooked froggies then!  150 wts would pack quite a wallop.> Perhaps I could bump up the wattage on the bulb some to create more heat but that's probably been the temperature they've been living in since I purchased them last summer.   <Maybe a bit higher wattage would be best.  They need to be warm, so they can digest their food.> Same goes for Flash, the betta, who seems to be quite content at that temp.  Puff too.   <all your pets need to be kept at around 80 degrees.  Even the betta is a tropical fish.> I looked at some heaters the other day but I don't really know a lot about them and the store help is usually not around or they don't seem to know much either.   <3wts/gallon or 25wts, if that's the smallest you can find.> Actually, Slim and Chance are acting pretty normal right now, so maybe they were just off their feed for a while.  But thanks again for "being there" for me! <Sure!  ~PP>

Is a 30 Gal tank too deep for African Dwarf Frog?   2/14/07 Hi everyone, I LOVE your site and have learned much from reading the cache of questions in it. However even after searching, I still have one question in my mind about my African Dwarf Frogs. <Okay> I have a 30 Gallon standard Eclipse aquarium.  It has 16 Neons, 2 Otos, several live plants, and 3 African Dwarf Frogs.  I know that it's hard to keep all of these alive together but I have done it successfully in the past in a long 20 gallon tank for about 4 years.  I have an extra tank available just in case those darn Neons come down with fin rot; which to my memory they seem to do when the wind blows the wrong direction! <Mmm, not so much in warm/er, acidic water> However after reading many articles on the little froggies, I am wondering if this set up is not good for them.  A lot of people have smaller tanks for their frogs, and there seems to be an opinion  online that larger tanks will cause the frogs too much stress trying to swim up to the top for air. <Is a good question, consideration> So, will my frogs be ok in a tank this deep? <Yes, should be fine... some folks with more aggressive fishes might be a concern (hence am glad you list the other livestock) as the frogs go up/down for breaths> its a standard rectangular 30 Gallon eclipse tank. they seem to be happy, and swim up and down a lot. At times it seems they may be struggling against the current from the filter, but whenever they need air they bolt up to the top as if they were a bullet.  So i have the impression that they are happy and just playing in the water.  Though, I just want to make sure that they aren't struggling and waiting to the last moment to get their air as a result. I would hate to think they are drowning while I think they are enjoying themselves! They don't spend any time floating on top, and they actively crawl around the bottom and actively hunt for the brine shrimp I distribute on the bottom in front of them with a never used in the kitchen turkey baster. It seems to work well if I feed the other fish a little to distract them when I feed the froggies. In short:  My frogs SEEM happy. They do swim around a lot. At times they just sit, and once in a great while hide under the moss plant.  Will a tank that is about 15 inches high, with a mildly strong current from the bio filter be ok for them? Thanks for any information you provide. David <Think you're fine here. BobF>

Temperature for ADFs/Betta  1/30/07 <Hi Betty> Thanks so much for your prompt response!   <No problem.> I'm so glad I found your web site so I could finally get some much needed information.  I've read a lot of the letters on your site and I agree that pet stores don't give you much info on dwarf frogs.  They have books on all kinds of fish, but I've never seen a book only about dwarf frogs.  And that's a real shame since they make such nice pets. <But there are lots of websites:   http://allaboutfrogs.org/info/mypets/dwarfs.html http://www.theaquariumwiki.com/Dwarf_African_Frog http://home.earthlink.net/~ecotank/id22.html http://www.petplace.com/reptiles/choosing-an-african-dwarf-frog/page1.aspx http://www.hv3.7h.com/dwarffrogs.html http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/dwfaffrogfaqs.htm  > Don't worry, Pufferpunk -- I'm not going to put anything else in the frog tank.  I've learned my lesson.   <Glad to hear that!> And it's funny that you should say that the Neons are difficult fish to keep, because the pet store guy told me they are considered "beginner fish."  But I found out otherwise and I won't be getting any more of those.  I dearly love my frogs and my Betta, even though I still think he looks lonely.  But no more pals for him either. <Good> I do have one more question about water temperature.  I have a thermometer in the frog tank and it's reading about 68 degrees.  I haven't taken the temp in the Betta tank but I imagine it's the same, since they're in the same room.  Should I get an aquarium heater for the frogs and/or the Betta and if so, what temperature would you recommend? <Check the above sites for temps for your frogs.  Bettas are tropical fish which means 78-82 degrees.  It will probably be difficult to find a thermometer that will keep a bowl like that stable.  Maybe you could put a light over it or even better, give him the 5g & get a 10g for the frogs to have lots of swimming room.  You could put plants & other fun things in there for them to check out!  ~PP>

Cleaning a Frog Tank  1/16/07 Hello, My name is Keli and my husband and I just got two African Dwarf Frogs (Buddy and Tiny). <Hi Keli, Pufferpunk here>   I had a few questions concerning their well-being.  The first question is about Buddy. Buddy seems to spend most of his time resting in one place at the bottom of the tank, while occasionally swimming around and then sitting for along time again.  Is this normal?  I wouldn't be too concerned about it, other than the fact that Tiny is always active and moving around.   <Sounds normal.> The second question I had was concerning how to clean their tank.  Should I just set a bowl of water out for a while and let it get stale and then just transfer them into the bowl of water while I clean out their tank and then dump them and the water back in the tank?   <I would scoop out some of the old water to store the frogs in, while you clean their tank.  Make sure the water temp is the same & dechlorinate the fresh water, before netting the frogs back into the tank.  ~PP>

Problem with Snails Taking Over  1/6/07 Hello.....help!   <Hi Ginger, Pufferpunk here to try!> I am exhausted from hours of seemingly endless research and am now turning to you. Here's the deal:   20g. tank, 7 ADF's <African Dwarf Frogs... RMF> , 1 male Betta and a golden mystery snail.  I had a live plant in with them and apparently there were snail eggs.  Now, my tank is becoming infested with baby snails.   <No surprise there.  Always inspect live plants for snails & rinse well, to remove any eggs.> I've talked to all the pet and aquarium stores and no one has any solid suggestions or even entertainable ideas.  I can't use chemicals such as "Had-A-Snail", etc. because these cannot be used with the frogs.  Can't get a loach because of the Betta.  There has to be a way to be free of these snails once and for all! In the meantime....I continue netting and picking them out.  Thank you in advance for any assistance you can offer. <You've got it--this is pretty much all you can do.  Inspect the glass/decor/filter daily, for eggs & remove promptly, along with the adults. Otherwise, take everything out, replace filter material, clean with hot water & OxyClean & recycle with Bio-Spira. ~PP> Sincerely, with Wrinkled and Cramped Fingers, Ginger <<RMF would remove the Betta and Frogs... use copper or a Loach or two for a while...>>

Re: ADF's & Snail Issue. Snails & Frogs  1/7/07 Thanks so much for responding!    ("Pufferpunk"???  ROFL)    <Hey now... :P> After reading your response, I went back to your web site to see what snail eggs look like, as I'm clueless to what I'm to look for.  I saw my letter and your response posted with the end comment that if it were you, you'd remove the Betta and frogs and "use copper or a Loach or two for a while".   <I wrote that???  I said to clean out with OxyClean & hot water.  maybe another Crewmember added comments?  Ah, I see it now, that comment was by the great, Bob Fenner--he knows all!> <<Heeeeee! Am adding this to my resume! RMF>> Arg, I'm so concerned about stressing these dudes out.  When I moved them into the bigger 20g. tank, the frogs acted like they were being killed.  Although dramatic in that ADF kind of way, it was hard for me to watch their stress.   <Did you dechlorinate the water?  You'd think they'd love a bigger tank.> Now that I've finally got the temperature, pH and all the other intricate details balanced for these guys, the thought of temporarily moving them in order to "cure" their current home seems overwhelming.  So, I must follow-up to ask...do/will the invading snails ultimately cause harm or damage to the ADF's or the Betta?  Or their home?   <Nope> Or are they just perpetual nuisances?   <Yup> If I were to get the loaches to "clean up", what do I do with the loaches afterwards?  Lastly, if I moved them out and did the copper treatment, how long should I wait to return everyone back into their home?  (concerned about the fragility of the ADF's skin) <I do not suggest copper myself personally but if Bob does...   See if your LFS will let you "borrow" some loaches, if that is the course you wish to go.> For such little fellows, ADF's sure require a lot of attention and care in order to make their tiny lives happy! <But they're so cute & well worth it!> Thank you again for assisting with your response, it is greatly appreciated.    <No problem.  ~PP> Still Pickin'.... Ginger

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

Rope Fish Tank Size  9/15/06 Hello, <Hi Ren, Pufferpunk here> Just wondering, I have a rope fish (around 4 inches long, male) with two African clawed frogs (pretty small themselves at the moment, maybe 1 and a half inches) in a 20 gallon tank. I know the tank is gonna be small in the long run but they seem to be doing fine for the time being. I was just wondering, what size tank should I save up for? <Since these are social animals, they are best displayed in multiple numbers together. I would keep at least two to a tank. That being said, I'd save for at least a 40 gallon tank.  I'd keep the frogs in the 20g.  They get large (around the size of your fist) & will eat anything they can fit into their huge mouths!  ~PP> Thanks a lot, Ren. (P.S. He has dens/caves too)

"A Tale of Two Tanks" or "The Three Little Frogs"  8/25/06 I hope this finds you well.  I'm having a very strange problem that I can't seem to solve by research or common sense, so I'm turning to you for expert advice!  My son is delighted with his 3 African Dwarf Frogs who live by themselves in a 5 gallon tank with a Whisper filter, no direct sunlight, no gravel or sand, no live plants (artificial plants and decorations only). <Mmm, would be better... happier, healthier with some gravel, plants...>   I've been able to manage to keep ammonia, nitrates and nitrites at zero - or get them back to zero when there have been spikes- and the temp at a nice steady 78.  pH levels test around 7.2.  They eat a pinch of Hikari frozen bloodworms purchased at our LFS every 3 days or so and seem to be happy and thriving.  The problem is a smelly, slimy, grayish white sludge that keeps emerging on the water's surface despite everything I've tried so far (the water itself has always remained clear when looking through the walls of the tank).  In addition to being disgusting, it's a safety concern since the frogs are surface brea thers.  The first time it appeared, the tank was only 1 month old.  My attempts have included 1. skimming the sludge, doing water changes, cutting back on the amount of worms being fed, and filter cartridge changes every week, 2. putting the frogs into a holding tank while scrubbing and sanitizing the entire tank and its contents, then waiting for the tank to cycle again, 3. repeating step 2 when the sludge returned, but this time trying it without adding bio-Spira (just trying to account for all possibilities), 4. when the slime returned, putting the frogs into an entirely new tank, an Eclipse 2.5 gallon with bio-wheel we had on hand, which was allowed to cycle as well and had completely different plants and decorations, just in case.  This worked OK for a while but the temp was too hard to control in the smaller tank (ran too hot) and the water was hard to keep clean because the bioload was too high and I had to change the filter cartridge frequently as it kept getting clogged wi th brown gunk.  After two months, I thought it was time to put them back in their 5 gallon again. This time I completely replaced the filter with a new Whisper filter, just in case anything could have survived in the nooks and crannies in the old one.  I just reintroduced the frogs to their 5 gallon tank 4 days ago, fed them 2 days ago, and noted yesterday that the water's surface was again gunking up and starting to smell!  I skimmed off the slime, changed the filter cartridge (it looked fine - but just in case) and did a 50% water change.  Ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites all read zero.  This morning, the water looked OK but I detected a bit of the smell.  I'm planning to go out and purchase a new package of frozen blood worms, since that's about the only thing I haven't replaced so far. Thanks for any thought you might have! Dianne <Some sort of "bio-film"... bacterial and likely protozoal population growth... these can be (am thinking of you doing push-ups ala Duvall, saying "You talkin' to me?") very persistent... I would try the "biological control route"... add a few sprigs of some hardy "floating grass/plant"... e.g. Anacharis, Myriophyllum... may take a few weeks to months... but should shift the population to "something else". Bob Fenner>

Re: "A Tale of Two Tanks" or "The Three Little Frogs"  8/25/06 Thanks for your reply, Bob! < Bob is away for a few, RichardB with you. > I will try adding the plants, but wanted to double check something with you.  Since ADF's are surface breathers, is there any danger to adding a floating plant? < Not if you prune them accordingly. > Or will a few sprigs not multiply very quickly? < That depends on the species of plant you choose, the lighting, and the quantity of nutrients avaliable for the plants to consume. Duckweed would invariably take over the world, where wisteria or hornwort would be less aggressive. Whatever plant you decide upon, try to keep at least half of the surface available at all times. The idea of the floating plants is great, and you may find the frogs hanging out in it! > < Happy planting! RichardB > Thanks, Dianne African Clawed Frogs  5/23/06 Hi, <Hi Anthony, Pufferpunk here.> Two quick questions: *   At what temperature should the albino: Xenopus laevis  (African Clawed Frog) be kept? <68-75(F) degrees is good.> *   Would it be ok to keep three Albino frogs (6") and three  common Plecos (6", 5", and 3") in a 36 gallon tank, with gravel, rocks  and a decent sized filter? <Your subject line said dwarf frogs but yours are definitely not dwarves!  I wouldn't keep an adult ACF in anything less than 15g each.  A 55g would be nice for 3. They really like to swim. They have huge appetites & foul the water quickly.  I would do 90% weekly water changes on them.  Plecos are big poop machines & the common one grows to 18", certainly too large for even a 55g.  Here's a great site for your frogs:http://members.aol.com/sirchin/afc.htm  Good luck with them!  ~PP> Thanks for your help! Anthony

Dwarf African frogs Might Escape  4/27/06 Hello.  Sadly, my son's 2 year-old Betta fish just died. He would like to get two African dwarf frogs and use the same tank, which is a 3 gallon Marineland Eclipse with bio wheel.  I have completely sanitized the tank and am in the process of cycling it in preparation for the frogs.  I discovered, however, that the filtration system won't function without the water coming up to within an inch of the top rim (and anyway, if the water were lower, the "waterfall' effect would disturb the frogs too much).  My concern is that ADFs jump.  This tank has a nice tight lid, but will the frogs be able to escape up into the lid if the water is that high?  I don't want them to fry themselves on the light if it's on.  My other alternative is purchasing a different filtration system, but is there one that is similar to the bio wheel idea?   Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer. < Get some clear plastic wrap and stretch it over the top openings by the filter. Add a few floating plants and the frogs should be happy and not try and get out.-Chuck> Dianne            

Undesired FW snails with amphibians    4/10/06 I have some firebelly frogs and have noticed that's some really small snails just appeared. this is the second time this has happened to me with different aquariums. I find this extremely odd any info you can give me about these snails and how they manage to appear from thin air would be greatly appreciated <Likely "came in" with some live plant, food material... Can be removed... killed in a few ways, but I want to emphasize the need to remove the frogs if using toxins. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwsnails.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Newts... env. dis.  - 04/05/2006 I have 3 fire belly newts in my cage. I have had them for about 3 weeks. I noticed that after two days the water gets really scummy and slimy. Also yesterday I was cleaning the cage and noticed that one of the newts' hand was missing like it was burned off. Also another one of my newts has what looks like burned skin, it is white and on the tip of the nose, tail and body. What is going on? Do they fight or is it bacteria and what should I do.                 Jaleesa <Mmm, reads like you may have environmental/water quality issues... You need filtration here... as the declined state of your habitat is allowing disease to mal-affect your amphibians. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/amphibians.htm the linked files above re Systems, Feeding... Bob Fenner>

Java Moss, amphib. sys.   3/23/06 I have been an aquarium enthusiast for nearly 40 years--both fresh and saltwater.  I can honestly say that I've probably learned more in the past six months from your website than I did in the previous 39.5 years. I have recently converted a 45 gallon freshwater tank to live plants.  I've upgrades my lighting to  96 watts.  My question concerns Java moss.  I would like to create the effect of it growing up the back wall of the aquarium, sort of like a garden trellis.  Are there materials you would suggest that would not effect water quality.  I have read that corkboard could be used, although it seems to me that it would crumble. >> Corkboard will work fine, as will Styrofoam. My suggestion is to first place the background in an empty aquarium with a half inch of water and a weak spray bar, cover it and add strong light, Java moss will grow rapidly under these conditions (nearly all Poison Arrow Frog keepers use it), as they are much more similar to the way the moss grows in nature. When you have good growth on the flat background try moving it to your tank. Submerged the moss grows more slowly.   Good Luck, Oliver

Frog May Not Be A Prince  - 03/09/2006 Hey, First off I would like to thank you for your time and website.  I learned how to take care of my problem with Planaria/copepod/white worm or whatever with ease. I have a 55 gallon tank filled about 1 inch from the black top on the outside.  It contains a gar, 2 cichlids (yellow with black lines on top), 2 cichlids (grey with neon blue stripes/spots), 1 fiddler crab, 1 other crab, 3 algae eaters, and a paco. However, I had one question regarding a tadpole we purchased from PetCo.  It is now in it's final stage of becoming a frog or toad (it was about 2-3 inches long as a tadpole).  It's tail is almost gone and has grown all it's legs.  As a tadpole I watched it feed on algae wafers and such.  But now I see it just floating at the top ready to transform fully. I have 2 questions...how do I feed it now and what? And do I have to get a new tank for the frog?? < Tadpoles are algae eaters. Adult frogs eat insects and whatever else will fit in their mouth. More than likely you now have a young bullfrog that is waiting for some insects to fall in the water to eat. They get big and you probably need to get another tank if intend on keeping him. Read up on bullfrogs and see if you really want to spend the time and effort to keep one. They can be very expensive to feed.-Chuck>

High nitrate and cloudiness... amphibian system   2/9/06 Hello I desperately need your help. <Really?> I have a 60 gallon tank with about 20 gallons in it. It has been running for 6 years. The past few months I have had cloudy water and nitrate levels over 160. <... yikes> I have done several water and filter media changes and lots of vacuuming and even taken some rocks out of my tank. I added plants and even tried leaving it alone for a while.  All I have in my tank is one fire bellied newt. pond stone. very little gravel. some plants. and two glass fixtures and two rocks that gave always been in there. no matter what I do the water does not clear up and the nitrates do not go down. I have a Fluval 2 plus underwater filter. I have tried all different kinds of media for this and  nothing helps. <... unusual...> I feed my newt live blackworms/bloodworms. I was curious if I should add an air bubble thing. Or maybe different plants or some sort of gravel under the pond stone. <Does need a filter of some sort...> Or take everything out. Please help! I have been all over your web-site and tried some of your suggestions but nothing seems to work. I have checked the water and other than the nitrates its all right. the tap water I use has a ph of 7.6 but the tank is 7.2      they treat the water with chlorine and chloramine. I use Amquel. Some cycle. and some metal remover. please let me know what I should take out or add. Also whether I should restrict sunlight or my tank light or expose it too more. please help. I know you guys don't specialize in newt tanks but all the other sites have been no help. And your site is the best. Thank you very much  Jason <... First, I would check your checker... your test kit may be off... Next, I would start changing more of the water more frequently... at least a quarter every week, while vacuuming the bottom. Do please give specifics re the media tried... And lastly, if it is just the newts you have, are concerned with, I would not be overly concerned with nitrate per se. Bob Fenner>

Frog Tank With High Ammonia   1/31/06 Hi, I am hoping that you can shed some light on what is going on in our tank.   We have had this 10 gallon tank set up with 2 baby albino ACFs (African Clawed Frogs) for over a month and it was cycled before we added frogs. They are still very small frogs and we plan on a bigger tank once they grow a little.  Anyway, something disrupted the biological filtration system.  I am not sure exactly what happened.  We raised the temp slightly (approx 2 degrees F) which I know will effect it slightly.  The only other thing I can think of is that one of the frogs was extremely constipated and was extremely compacted with food.  She finally passed it about three days ago.  Two days ago when I tested for ammonia with a newly purchased test kit because I had been using strips and have learned they aren't all that accurate.  The ammonia was around 1.0 ppm.  I immediately prepared some tap water for a 50% water change.  Within six hours of the water change the ammonia was back up to the same levels.  I tested the tap water and another smaller tank (that I have been using drinking water in -instead of tap) to make sure the test kit was working and both came back zero.  I did another 50% water change yesterday and the same thing happened.  I tried using some Ammo-Lock out of desperation and tested again after an hour.  It made absolutely no difference in the ammonia reading.  Perhaps that batch of Ammo-Lock is bad or outdated.  But, I still don't get why the ammonia level is rising so fast after a water change.  We are using a whisper filter that goes up to 20 gallons.  Also the other readings are pH 7.2, Nitrate 0ppm, Nitrite 0ppm, GH about 75 ppm, KH about 120 ppm.  Water prep is letting the tap water sit overnight or for several hours and adding 2 drops pH down per gallon (tap water is off the chart alkaline for my pH testing kit before adding the pH down and very hard) and Aquasafe per directions. Any suggestions?  Probably the Ammo-Lock wasn't the best idea since we need it to recycle but I was desperate.  Should I continue doing a 50% water change everyday.  It doesn't seem to be helping much.  I would be interested to see if the level would get above 1.0ppm if I let it go but I won't put the little froggies at risk. Thank you so much!!  Christi < Go to Marineland.com and go to Dr Tim's Library. Read the article titled "The First 30 Days." The will give you some background on cycling terms so you can determine if your tank is indeed truly cycled. If not add Bio-Spira from Marineland to get the tank cycled now.-Chuck>

Tree Frog Care   1/26/06 Hi  I have a tree frog, my children found him outside and I was told after some pet store calls he is either a NYS tree frog or a frog that escaped.  Anyway we kept him and he has been doing well.  Tonight I was watering and feeding him and he has a popped blister, saggy skin thing hanging from his neck, he also hasn't eaten and keeps opening his mouth.  I don't know what to do.  I have an over head lamp so I know he didn't burn himself, anything other than that and I'm clueless... Thanks so much for any help you can offer! < Your frog is being kept too warm. His mouth is open trying to let the evaporation cool him down. Sounds like a native frog. They will only eat moving objects. Try small crickets , mealworms and earthworms.-Chuck>

Science, frogs, and ORP Dear Dr. Fenner, <Anthony Calfo here for WWM while our friend Bob is away on a Red Sea trip... a charmed life he leads!> I am a molecular biologist working in Boston. I saw your article on-line and was hoping you could help me with a bit of advice. I study frog embryogenesis, and for this purpose, keep a facility of 300 frogs (Xenopus laevis, the African clawed frog). These frogs lay eggs which my lab experiments on. Anyways, for about a year and a half we have had excellent luck with our facility, but now we're having a problem and I wonder if you have any advice for me, since I'm not the kind of biologist that knows much about water and husbandry issues, unfortunately. Briefly, what I have is this. City water (horrible, and full of chloramine and other nasty stuff) goes into a facility on the roof of my institute which puts it through a sand pre-filter, then over a carbon bed, and then through reverse osmosis. It then comes down to my facility (through pipes of questionable quality) and is cleaned again by a smaller point-of-use water polisher (de-ionized etc.). It is fed into a large plastic holding tank, where we add the right amount of artificial sea-salt, adjust the pH, and take measurements. From this holding tank, about half of the water is taken each day to perform a 10% exchange of the water in the actual tanks where the frogs live. They live in a flow-through system of about 20 tanks, plus a number of filters (including a bio-filter for the urea, carbon filters, a UV bulb to kill bacteria, etc.). The parameters in the tank (and thus in the system as a whole) are supposed to be: pH = 6.7 to 7.0, salt = 1800 microS. When everything was going fine, our ORP was always about 240-290. Recently we experienced a crash - a few frogs which succumbed to opportunistic infections which the vet said was due to stress. At the same time, we noticed the pH being consistently low in the holding tank,  <hmm... and 6.7 is low enough with regard for the dynamics of culturing this amphibian and most any aquatic organism (higher levels of dissolved organics, weakly buffered purified water that you are using, natural inclination for pH to fall, etc)> so we had the small water purifier system checked out and found out that the company which is supposed to service it had screwed up and it was in horrible shape. They've since supposedly replaced everything and fixed it, but we still have a problem: the ORP will not go above 200. <interesting...> They claim that the ORP is meaningless <wow... I would strongly disagree as it pertains to aquarium husbandry/aquariology. ORP is significant and quite indicative of overall trends in water quality. Although we may not need to target any one specific set point, a consistently low range is indicative of a flaw in the system as you suspect> and I don't know enough to argue with them, but I do know one thing: when things were going well, it was consistently higher, and the change makes me concerned that something is still wrong.  <agreed... as a measure of ReDox potential, these low ORP readings are indicative of so-called "lower" water quality... at least as they relate to live aquatics and sensitivity to oxidative/reductive potentials. However, the solution to this problem may be as simple as better aeration. Do experiment. Other common solutions to raise ORP may harm the frogs unfortunately (iodine and potassium permanganate primarily). Else it may be a compositional flaw with the source water> Most importantly, this problem is as measured in the *holding tank* - so it is isolated from all the complexities of the frog habitat. The only thing which goes into the holding tank is: supposedly pure (17 MegOhm) water from the purifier, and the salt which we've been using all along. We had the water tested, and they didn't find anything unusual. So, here's the million dollar question: do you have any idea what could be responsible for the low ORP in water which just came out of the purifier? What sort of problem with the water cleaners, salt, etc. could be responsible for this change? Thank you very much in advance for any help you can give me. <do consider if any aspect of aeration or aspiration of source water through this filter may have been tempered with the cleaning/changes in purification. It really could be that simple. But if 6-12 hours of vigorous aeration does not markedly improve ORP, lets look harder at the water composition. At that point, try perhaps filtering the water through a chemically absorptive media like Poly Bio Marine's "Poly Filter pad". The product changes colors to reveal concentrations of conspicuous impurities. After some passes... lets test the sample again to see if that moves the ORP.> Sincerely, Mike Levin <best regards, Anthony>

Science, Frogs, and ORP Hi Anthony, Thanks for getting back to me. <Steven Pro in this morning with the follow-up.> >> wow... I would strongly disagree as it pertains to aquarium husbandry/aquariology. ORP is significant and quite indicative of overall trends in water quality. Although we may not need to target any one specific set point, a consistently low range is indicative of a flaw in the system as you suspect. <That's kind of what I figured... >> do consider if any aspect of aeration or aspiration of source water through this filter may have been tempered with the cleaning/changes in purification. It really could be that simple. But if 6-12 hours of vigorous aeration does not markedly improve ORP, lets look harder at the water composition. At that point, try perhaps filtering the water through a chemically absorptive media like Poly Bio Marine's  "Poly Filter pad". The product changes colors to reveal concentrations of conspicuous impurities. After some passes... lets test the sample again to see if that moves the ORP.<< interesting - I'll try it. Can extra aeration hurt anything (like the frogs, for example)? <No, will be fine if not beneficial. But in particular, test a sample of your processed water for ORP. Then aerate it for 6-12 hours in a separate vessel (no frogs or anything). Then retest for a change.> Cheers, Mike <Good luck, Steven Pro>

Bugs 'n' a frog I noticed these really weird white insect things in my African clawed frog's bowl. <The regular, enormous clawed frog, or the dwarf frog?> They're almost as small as pieces of dust, are sort of oval shaped, and only stay on the sides of the bowl. When I looked at it really close, they were coating the whole walls of the bowl, so it looked like white dust! <These sound perhaps like water fleas (Daphnia).> I decided to clean its bowl out right away. I even put this water purification stuff in there for amphibians and fish, <Dechlorinator?> but they still came back in about 2 weeks. And there were still a whole bunch of them. what should I do? <Chances are, these little critters are mostly harmless, and are probably feeding on leftover food for your frog.  Please try very hard not to overfeed, or you'll likely never be rid of these critters.  As you reduce feeding, they'll probably die out and go away.  Also do keep on top of keeping your frog's home clean.  Please look over this information: http://www.pipidae.net/david/Page2.htm#genus .>

African Clawed Frog- 10/27/03 Hello to some very helpful folks! <Hi there, Pufferpunk here> I have been reading a lot of your postings and FAQ's to learn as much as possible about my newly acquired singing/smiling African clawed frog. <they are forever smiling, aren't' they!> I got him from a friend that got him as a "grow-a-frog" in 1996 for her kids. <He's 8 years old?  He must be pretty large!> He has lived most of his life in a big fish bowl with gravel. I now have him in a 10 gallon tank. <I think at least a 20g would be better.  They really like to swim.  Make sure you have a top on there tightly, w/no escape holes.> Just about everything I have read on the net and your forum says to be very careful what you put in the tank. <I'm pretty sure that means tankmates.  These frogs will eat anything they can fit in their mouth.  I thought I was safe keeping mine w/Cory catfish.  I figured they'd never eat them.  I came home to find one stuck in my frog's mouth w/the spiky fins pointing in a direction that wouldn't let me remove the fish without killing either the fish or the frog.  The frog got a thick white milky film over it's entire body.  It died the next day ={>  I would love to have a hiding place and some pretty bigger rocks or tunnels for him to enjoy. Maybe a plant or two. <Expect any plants to get uprooted.  You could float a few.  They love caves.> Heating or boiling beach rocks seems to be no-no!   <I see absolutely no problem with that.> What about glass objects? <Bad idea.  Nothing sharp that could cut the frog.> Also, in one area of your site, it says to feed him 2-3x per week. He has always been fed every day and has only eaten frog pellets. Those things are so small... how many at a time? <Mine love crickets, krill (frozen or freeze-dried) & worms.  Even my young ones eat every 2-3 days>   There also seems to be some debate about filters. What do you think? <Mine live in the water section of a river tank.  I think a good HOB filter, probably the same kind you use for the turtles would work.> I have only had him a week, but he now comes up to the top of the water and seems to be smelling me. My hands are clean, is this ok that I touch his head? (<It's probably ok to touch them a little.  You could certainly hand feed them!  As w/any aquatic creatures, make sure you wash your hands w/antibacterial soap after touching them, to prevent from getting salmonella.> I know their skin is very sensitive to chemicals and such.  As you can see, I have plenty of questions about this little fella.  I also have 4 assorted turtles----my life has gone aquatic! <I have 8 assorted box turtles that live in an outdoor habitat in the summer & a big kiddie pool in the winter.  A softshell, African sideneck & Asian leaf turtle in a 55g river tank.  I also have another 55g river tank w/assorted frogs & a dwarf African bullfrog living w/the aquatic turtles.> Thank you so much for ANY info you can give me! Joan <Your very welcome--Pufferpunk>

Clawed Frogs Hi again!   <Ello.> I wrote to you a couple of weeks ago with questions about my newly acquired African clawed frog. I have more questions now that he and I have bonded a little!  My questions pertain to his senses... mostly his sight and sense of smell.  I drop pellets in (one at a time) and if they don't land on his body, he doesn't seem to see them and I don't think he knows that they are there. <This has been my experience as well, and unfortunately I am no expert on these frogs so cannot say for sure.> What is his vision like?  I am guessing it isn't too great. <My guess as well, if I ever do set up a tank for these little fellas again, it will be species only, the fish seem to out compete them for food.> Should I have an over tank light?  I guess it doesn't need to be UVA/UVB since I don't think it could penetrate through the water. <A full spectrum florescent would be good.  I am not sure on your tank setup, but a Vitalite might be a good idea> He loves worms and when I drop one in and he feels it on him, he tackles it and rolls all over like he is going after an alligator!!  And to watch those little alien fingers shove it in his mouth is so delightful! <Everybody loves worms, I might have to try one myself some day.> I wish there were more books about these guys...instead of just a page or two in a book about amphibians! Thank you for your insight!  All your information has been helpful! <I'd be willing to bet if you searched enough online (starting with google.com or some such search engine) you could find a site, for forum, or maybe even a club (or you could start one) related to these frogs, they are pretty popular and the information out there on them is not as vast as other aquariums species.  You should definitely document your experiences to share with others.> Joan and the still unnamed little frog guy <I vote for Frogger.  Best of luck with your new buddy -Gage>

Aquatic Frogs, offer of assistance WWM Crew, <Chris> I saw an e-mail on the Daily FAQ page recently looking for African Clawed Frog info, in which it was suggested to web search for the species given the lack of printed material on them. If it will help, I'd like to offer the assistance of Aquamaniacs on this topic. Among other topics, our forums have an Aquatic Frogs forum for questions/discussion of African Clawed Frogs and African Dwarf Frogs (I think I once saw an axolotl thread in the archives, but primarily the species dealt with are ACFs and ADFs). Additionally, a aquatic frogs article/care sheet is currently in the works (I believe it's in front of the editor at this time) to offer recommendations for new owners as to tank conditions, food, etc. Wet Web Media's been in the Aquamaniacs' links page for longer than I've been with the forum, and I'm frequently referring folks to this site for info. I found WWM before Aquamaniacs and appreciate all the good advice you've given me in response to my questions in the past, as well as your excellent archives and friendly responses to questions. If you'd like to post the links, Aquamaniacs is located at http://www.aquamaniacs.net/  and its forums are located at http://pub36.ezboard.com/baquariumbbs . <Outstanding. Thank you for coming forward. Will share and post your listing on the FAQs re> If you wish, I'll send you an update to let you know when the aquatic frogs article/care sheet is up incase you'd like to refer future new frog owners to it. <Please do so> As noted in that e-mail I referred to earlier, there's unfortunately a lack of information available on these species, dwarf frogs more than clawed ones, and more and more stores seem to be selling them without providing any information, or providing incorrect information (Wal-Mart, as of this summer, has started selling them in the same little cups they sell bettas in around here, for example). I hope this is of some help to you and to those looking for info on their frogs. Sincerely,     Chris Sandusky (DonQuixote, moderator of Aquamaniacs' Aquatic Frogs forum) <Again, thank you for your efforts. Bob Fenner>

Re: Aquatic Frogs, offer of assistance Mr. Fenner, <Mr. Sandusky> Looks like I got to send you the update rather rapidly :) The article/care sheet has just been posted at: http://www.aquamaniacs.net/aquaticfrogs.html <Ah, will update our links> And although their names didn't get mentioned when the article got posted, I'd like to note my thanks to Aquamaniacs' mrclint and fishmommy for their reviewing, editing, and posting of the article, and thanks to LeslieLu for photos (which were credited in the article itself). <Duly noted> Hope this is able to help out new owners of these two species. My personal experience has just been with dwarf frogs (and admittedly I'm fairly new to them myself, I purchased my first pair this summer), but I tried to find as much relevant info on both species as I could and collect it in one location for this article, erring on the side of caution when possible <You are wise here> (for example, I know a few sites suggest 1.5 gallons is enough for one or two ADFs, but I'd really prefer the additional stability, and added swimming space of 2-2.5 g each if possible). Some topics aren't covered, such as breeding, as I figured those beyond the scope of what's intended as a beginner article / general care sheet. Sincerely, Chris Sandusky <Thank you, Bob Fenner>

Black Lighted Frogs Okay thanks. I thought it would be something like that. He does scuba dive near the filter ( it just so happens the filter is near the heater too ). But I have yet another question for you. One night, I turned all the lights out in my room and I put a 15 watt tube black light above the firebelly toad's tank to simulate night. I came back perhaps 1-2 hours later, turned the light back on, and looked in the tank. Jeff was scuba diving, Fred was on the log, and Bob and Joe were some other place. To my surprise, their skins were brownish-black ( even Jeff's, and he was underwater ) instead of green! After a while their skins turned green again. I think it was the ultraviolet light in the black light that did this, but is it safe to do it again ( and will their skin turn green again every time )? < Black lights do some amazing things to some animals. Never heard of any ill affects from black lights. Humans are exposed to them all the time but we are not frogs. Try using a ZooMed nightlight reptile bulb instead just to play it safe.-Chuck> 

Can a tadpole frog live with tropical freshwater fish?  07/02/05 Today, my sons came home with a tadpole frog they found.   I agreed they can keep it and watch it grow, but it needs somewhere safe to live where our cats won't bother it.  Our choices are: (1) he can join a 10-gal freshwater aquarium with a tiger barb, a Plecostomus, and a couple of plants.   Can the tadpole live in the aquarium with the fish? <Mmm, maybe... but I'd just keep this amphibian in a large jar of its own... with a sprig of truly aquatic plant and sponge filter if you can> The temp is around 78 degrees, which I think is OK according to my internet reading.  I'm more worried if the barb will bother the tadpole or vice versa. <Me too> The tadpole is much bigger than the barb. (2) he can join a 20 gal aquarium with two red-ear slider turtles, but they are much bigger than the tadpole, and I would be afraid they would eat him. <I also> Do either of these situations sound like they might work for the tadpole? <Not really... but if you were really short of space, another possibility is to float a plastic jar with holes in it, or a colander in the turtle tank (if it lacks much in the way of nitrogenous waste like ammonia...)> I don't want my sons' learning experience to be that animals eat each other, and I really don't feel like buying more aquariums.  Besides the 2 mentioned, we have another 3 tanks that are full of gerbils.   We have a plastic "planet frog" that worked for a tadpole in the past, until the cats found they could push the darn thing around and they broke the plastic lid. Thanks for your help! <I'd go with a one gallon jar... and change the water out from the tropical tank... every day or two... big enough that the cats shouldn't be able to knock it about. Bob Fenner>

Re: can a tadpole frog live with tropical freshwater fish? 7/4/05 Thanks so much for your reply.  The tadpole is currently in it's own glass bowl with a lid so the cats can't get him & I think the boys have decided they will return him to the lake. <Ah, good> If we keep him longer, I'm wondering about your suggestion to change the water out from the tropical tank every day or two.  Does this mean the tadpole's water should come from the tropical tank?   Thanks! <Yes... this water is far more safe for use than treated tapwater. Bob Fenner>

Rubber eel community tank 7/23/05 Hello.  I am soon to inherit a 55-gal freshwater live-plant tank that has been *very* well maintained.  The owner doesn't have time to maintain it and is giving it to me - replete with all the accoutrements.  I plan to keep the tank a live-plant tank, but I also wanted to have fish and form a community tank with the main participant being rubber eels. <Mmm, this amphibian is not that easy to keep...>   Because rubber eels are bottom-dwellers, I wanted another semi-active fish for the midsection of the tank, as well as a couple of good algae eaters (Siamese algae eaters?). <Mmm, no... too "mean"... would look elsewhere> Are rubber eels capable of living in a community environment? <Most folks keep them by themselves, but they can be kept with very docile fishes> If so, what sorts of fish would make a complimentary community? <Please read through the freshwater subweb on WWM re> If not, what advice can you provide regarding the support of rubber eels? <Mmm, try putting the terms: The Rubber Eel, Typhlonectes natans in your search tools. Bob Fenner> Any help/input you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Elisa "George" Berg Frogs hopping mad about ammonia 7/30/05 I currently have a twenty-nine gallon tank with three African clawed frogs. I keep about twenty-five gallons so they don't jump out. <Good idea>   My problem is my ammonia is through the roof. <Toxic...> I switched to a canister filter about a month ago.  It is keeping the water remarkably clear.  I have in the media baskets the foam filters, pre filter (inert ceramic rings,) a carbon bag, an ammonia remover bag, and the media growing rings.  I had been doing one third water changes every week, now I am doing two thirds.  I am also switching the media every two weeks. <Shouldn't switch...> Two of the four sponges, carbon, and ammonia.  I am staggering these out, so I don't disturb the beneficial bacteria.  I expected an ammonia spike with the initial set up (the tank is about six weeks old,) but it seems I can't stabilize the tank.  When I had a hang on the tank filter, my ammonia was close to nil. <Should have left the hang-on on during this transition to the canister... or used both even better>   Granted the water was nasty (ACF's are pretty gross little beasts,) but I didn't have this problem at the time.  I have no live plants in the tank and I have about twenty-five pounds of sand.  I am currently using ammo-lock to make sure my frogs aren't harmed.  I have also monitored their eating habits and they are eating what I feed them.  There is very little food left after they eat.  The frogs don't seem to be suffering any ill effects at all.  The ghost shrimp that I put in (as a snack and to help clean are literality jumping out of the tank when I put them in. Any suggestions for me? <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

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