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In Depth Information on Common Aquatic Clawed Frogs
African Clawed Frog Housing and Feeding
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Introduction to African Clawed Frogs
African Clawed Frog Housing and Feeding
African Clawed Frog sizes and lifespan
African Clawed Frog Sexing and Breeding
Raising ACF Tadpoles
My Tadpole Journal
ACF Color Variations
African Clawed Frog Disease and Injury
Species of Xenopus
Can I keep other aquatic life with my ACF?
African Clawed Frogs Today
Where To Buy ACF
African Clawed Frog Links
Introduction to African Dwarf Frogs
African Dwarf Frog Housing and Feeding
African Dwarf Frog size and lifespan
African Dwarf Frog Sexing and Breeding
Raising Dwarf Frog Tadpoles
Dwarf Frog Color Variations
African Dwarf Frog Disease and Injury
Species of the African Dwarf Frog
Can I keep other aquatic life with my ADF?
African Dwarf Frogs and Bettas
Where To Buy ADF
African Dwarf Frog Links
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Setting up a Natural tank for your aquatic frog
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Xenopus laevis

Feeding

Depending on size and age of African Clawed Frogs they can eat a wide variety of food. Froglets (up to one year) should be fed daily with a staple pellet being their main diet. Adults should be fed every 2-3 days.
 
TYPES OF FOOD
  • specially formulated pellet food : Reptomin, HBH Frog and Tadpole Bites, www.xenopus.com sells a special ACF formulated food in diffrent sizes, sinking/floating and tadpole powder.
  • Live guppies
  • Frozen food : blood/glass worms, brineshrimp, krill, silversides, beefheart, Marine Cousine, any type of carnivore diet
  • Freeze-dried food : krill, tubifex worms, gammarus, bloodworms
  • Other live foods : earthworms, night crawlers, crickets (remove females ovipositor)
  • Other pelleted foods : trout chow, cichild pellets (color enhancing pellets are said to enhance the coloration in reticulaed albino frogs) sinking brine shrimp pellets

FOOD NOT TO FEED

  • GOLDFISH or MINNOWS (rosey reds, tuffys, etc) contain an enzyme called thamanise which blocks the frogs ability to absorb vitamin B. They also have a seraded spine which can damage the frogs internal organs.
  • BEEF HEART is very fatty and if fed on a regular basis can clog their arteries and can cause heart failure (just like in people!). But this is a favorite treat and I use it to bring back the appetite of a sick frog.
  •  FLAKE FOOD lacks just about all essential nutrients your frog needs to survive. Flake food is for fish, not frogs.
  • SINKING PELLETS ON GRAVEL can be dangerous because your frog can ingest pieces of the gravel while foraging for food. I suggest putting a small plate on the bottom of the tank (bottoms for terra cotta pots are great, and come in many sizes) and placing all sinking food on it.
  • African Clawed Frogs need a calcium rich diet for proper bone growth, especially as fast growing froglets. Specially formulated pelleted foods contain the calcium that they need, so that is why froglets should be fed primarily on pellets to ensure they are getting the proper amounts of calcium and nutrients. Once adults, then a varied diet is the best diet.

Sometimes African Clawed Frogs can go through a "fasting" period, refusing to eat for a week or sometimes even a month! And then begin eating again as if nothing ever happened. You know your frogs, if they act sick or lethargic then something may be wrong, otherwise, they are just being a typical ACF.

During the winter months ACF's metabolism will slow down and they will eat less often and in less amounts. I STRONGLY suggest cutting feedings to only once a week for adult frogs during the winter months.

HOW TO FEED THEM

You can throw the food in the tank and in a matter of seconds they will sense or "smell" the food and start going into a frenzy looking for it. Remove any leftover or uneaten food, it will just foul up the water.

You can hand feed your frogs. This is a fun way to feed them and it makes them very tame. Just hold a piece of food in your finger tips and chase them around the tank until they take it. Eventually they will associate your hand with food and swim up too. Sometimes they will nip arms and fingers, but since they have no teeth, it doesn't hurt.

You can also use a turkey baster to feed your frogs. This method works really well with froglets. just suck up the food in the turkey baster and slowly squirt it out in front of the froglet. You can make a fun game out of it by having them chase the food around the tank.

WHAT I DO

I feed my guys a pelleted food mixture of Reptomin, Nutriafin Gammarus Pellets, OmegaOne Kelp Pellets and Krill Pellets. My frogs are surface feeders and as soon as I open the top of the tank they know it's feeding time. They also get a treat of live ghost shrimp or guppies about once a month.

albino froglets
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eating small worms

ACF feeding on floating pellets
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copyright Aqualand Petsplus LA PIC

ACF love to eat worms
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copyright Aqualand Petsplus LA PIC

Handfeeding an ACF a live fish
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copyright Aqualand Petsplus LA PIC

Handfeeding an ACF a nightcrawler
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copyright Aqualand Petsplus LA PIC

Xenopus laevis
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These frogs go to the same corner each time for feeding

Tank Care

Housing Requirements for African Clawed Frogs all depends on the number of frogs you have and how often you would maintain the tank. A good rule of thumb to follow is 10 GALLONS OF WATER PER FROG. This rule can be fudged in larger tanks due to the increased body of water. I would not keep more then one frog in a ten gallon tank and more then three in a 20 gallon tank. The ideal tank for up to three African Clawed Frogs is a 20 gallon LONG tank. Since these frogs spend most of their time on the bottom of the tank, long tanks are better since tall tanks dont offer them much room to move around.
 
Substrate can be anything you want.Keeping a bare bottom tank is probably the easiest way to keep the tank clean. Putting a dark black or brown cloth underneath of the tank can make the bottom look more natural for the frogs. You can also use aquarium sealent to glue rocks to the base of plastic plants to weight them down for bare bottom tanks. Aquarium gravel can also be used at a risk. ACF are known to ingest gravel and this can cause them to become impacted. I would use small enough gravel (pea sized) that could easily be passed or large river stones that can not be eaten. Aquarium sand is another option. Although you wont want your frogs to eat too much of it and it can get easily stirred up and clog the impellar in your filter.
 
Plants are always the great dilema in keeping ACF. They shred most live plants and plastic plants can tear the webbing on their feet. Plastic also lacks that tranquill feeling you get from live plants. Most species of anubias can be kept with ACF because they are a tough plant and the frogs can't easily tear into them. They are also a hardy plant (nicknamed "the plastic plant that grows") and anyone can keep one alive. Some species of anubias are also found in the same locations in the wild that the ACF are found, so it is a very natural plant to keep with them. I keep anubias barteri, anubias coffeolia and anubias nana in with my frogs. If you decide to use fake plants I would stick with silk plants, they wont tear the frog's delicate webbing or scrach them.
 
Hideing Areas are a must for African Clawed Frogs. They can be quite skittish and frighten easily. I suggest covering the back of the tank with a natural backdrop (plants, rocks, etc) and offering lots of places for them to get in/under and hide. Terra cotta pots laid on their side can offer a great place to hide and look beautiful in a natural tank. Piles of  driftwood, secure rocks and other decorations can make great hiding spots as well.
 
Filtration for African Clawed Frogs should be a must. These frogs are messy and produce a lot of waste! (Think goldfish times 10). BUT they are also sensitive to vibrations in the water. I would not use any type of undergravel filter or anything powered by an airstone. This would be like you living with a jack hammer going off 24-7! (very unpleasent). I personally think the best filter for these frogs is a Whisper. This filter has the least amount of "waterfall" affect of all the filters out there, so it keeps the water distuurbance at a minimum. I would also overfilter when it comes to the care of these frogs, it really helps with the water quality. For example, i use a Whisper powerfilter ment for a 70 gallon tank to filter my 40 gallon tank. Canister filters are another great option for filtration. You can get diffrent attachments for them such as spray bars and filter medias (peat,floss, ceramic, etc) but they can be quite costly.
 
Water Quality is important for these frogs since their skin is permeable. They are extremely hardy and forgiving aquatic pets and can be kept in any range of pH (mostly 6.5-7.5). They are a COOL WATER frog so keep their temperature between 70-75 F. They dont need a heater in their tanks as long as the temp. doesn't drop below 70. As long as water changes are done on a regular basis (depending on tank size and frog load) these frogs will be healthy.
 
Lighting can be either flourescent, incandesent or none at all. They do not mind any type. Just remember to turn off the lights for them at night.
 
Penn-Plax makes a product called the Deluxe Battery Opperated Gravel Vaccum. I strongly investing in this product as it really helps ease the pains of cleaning tanks with substrate. Use it everyday to clean the gravel of waste, food and other debris between water changes. It helps! Here is what penn-plax had to say about me mentioning their wonderful product on my website :
 
Thank you for the nice comments. Yes you can mention our product on your
website. I am personally aware of your website and have been on it when I
was investigating getting a frog for my daughter. Nice website.

Thanks again,

Betsey Freedman
Consumer Service operations  
Penn-Plax
 
WOW!  Penn-Plax is aware of my site, what a huge compliment and a special thanks to Penn-Plax for always producing high quality products that aid in the better care of my pets. I have been using the battery gravel vac. for a year now, even with a bare bottom tank, it reallys helps and is a product I wont be without. I hope you contact Penn-Plax to order one, find a dealer nearest you or inquire about them.

Penn-Plax

African Clawed Frog tank (20 gallon long setup)
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This is Amy's tank, home to Kermit, Piggy and Ernie

African Clawed Frog Tank (55 gallons)
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This is April's Tank which is home to her frogs

African Clawed Frog Tank (30 gallon)
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This is Red's tank home to her frogs

My old xenopus laevis tank
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Large river stones being used as substrate

Cathy's Frog Tank (29 gallon)
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Home to xenopus froglets

As you have noticed in the tanks above that these frogs need the tank filled up all the way! They are 100% aquatic frogs and live only submerged in water. When setting up a tank for Xenopus fill the tank all they way up with water  (not half full, not two-thirds full). BUT do keep in mind these frogs are amazing escape artists. Make sure all openings in the back of the tank are blocked off. I have found that keeping the water level 2-3 inches below the surface level prevents these frogs from escaping. I have lost 3 ACF's to esacpes and I was devestated every time. Since I have droped my water level I have not lost one frog.

20 gallon setup
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Natural tank with live plants

30 gallon setup
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IDICACF (C) 2006