This is a discussion on Water debate within the Pacman Frogs forums, part of the Frogs & Toads category; As a lot of you know, I just switched my Pyxie to an all water setup. It's been working wonderfully ...
As a lot of you know, I just switched my Pyxie to an all water setup. It's been working wonderfully so far, and she has had a complete turn around in terms of appetite since switching from coco fiber. Not knocking the stuff, but for some reason it's was giving my girl some problems. I changed her to water and slowly but surely her appetite went through the roof! She would never eat night crawlers, but for some reason when I offer them in the water she gobbles them up. Not sure why this is, but it worked and I love how perky she is now. I plan on getting a bigger tank, with a small land zone, but almost all water. I feel this setup would work well with pacs too. I feel like they almost feel more secure in the water because they can move faster, and they can go under. There we're multiple times I caught my pac fully submerged when I approached his tank when I had the water/land setup to evade me lol. There are also a lot of benefits to water. Humidity for one is no longer and issue. Impaction is no longer an issue. Easier to monitor bowel movements. I think it may also make the frog more active, and encourages them to get off their fat *** for once haha. My pac was darting across the water sometimes it was hilarious. My pyxie actually chases her food now too which is fun to watch. She would never move when she was in the coco fiber for some reason and gave up. I don't know a whole lot about these frogs, but from what I've gathered they like to take shelter in small pools as well as dig into the forest floor. So who's to say that they wouldn't rather sit in a pool, then on the ground? I think offering land and water is key, but to me more water is the way to go. Obviously, this may not be the best for everyone's frog, but I do feel it's an underrated substrate type for these guys. It seems to be getting a little more common on here now, and I would like to hear everyone's opinion on this. This is not trying to say one setup is superior to the other, but to just shed some light on the matter. Let the debate begin!
Well like I mentioned before it's great you recovered your pixie converting to an all aquatic setup for her. To be considered though, pixies are mostly found in pools of water (semi-aquatic), whereas pacmans are typically found in the forest floor scattered among leaf litter or what have you. Generally from what I've seen - even though I don't own a pacman (yet) - is their ability to swim is incomparable to a bullfrog. Bullfrogs built with long webbed feet and body structure to stay a float with their nostrils and eyes staying above water. Also they can stay submerged for a considerable amount of time as I'm sure you are already aware of when you switched to an aquatic setup.
When you take a pacmans' physique compared to a bullfrog, then you see why bullfrogs do so well in aquatic setups. Look at the American cousin subset species, their pretty much only aquatic for the moist part on logs among pond banks, etc. I myself, have considered an aquatic setup for my pixie because I really want him to swim more since he's always found in his water bowl. If I had to choose though what would be best for your pacman, it would definitely be terrestrial land how they typically would be found in the wild (South America).
Pyxicephalus adspersus 'African Bullfrog' 1.0.0
I would at least give your baby some land as an option. They are burrow sleepers. Even if it just a small section. Perhaps give him an option. My pac loves to soak daily, so I understand their enjoyment of water. He even soaked for an hour last night . I would provide both . It is always best to provide their natural habitat for the best health. There is a reason why they instinctively live as they do .
What does your pac look like?
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The C. cranwelli and most of the frogs called Pacman Frogs are NOT aquatic frogs. If placed in a completely aquatic environment without access to dry land, they can & will drown. There is a reason those of us who breed them tell people to give them a soaking bowl/dish that holds enough water to reach the chin and no higher.
If you want to give him a shallow "pond" in his enclosure, that's great. But if they get in a spot where they cannot get to the surface or land easily, you risk drowning them. They enjoy a soak, but deeper waters are utilized only for mating and even then, shallow pools or the shallow edges of a pool is where they mate.
Good Luck and please do post some photos of your set-up.
Jessica Ivory of IvoryReptiles
How could they drown if the water doesn't go above their nose? I mean Pacs and Pyxie's are different, but really have a very similar body structure. I understand they aren't like American Bullfrogs in terms of swimming talent, but they do seem to enjoy sitting in water. I had my Pac in a land/water setup, but changed it. Reason being because the filter I was using for the water section wasn't doing a good enough job for me. He was spending probably 75% of his time in the water, and I didn't want him getting sick from dirty water. I now have my pac on wet paper towels, and he's comfortable for now. I don't think a water setup for a baby is a great idea, but for sub-adults/adults I think it could be feasible. My pyxie has had no access to land for the last couple of weeks and is fine. I plan on adding some land for her, but not until I get a bigger tank. When my pac had access to a lot of water he used it all, and I found him swimming underwater across the tank on numerous occasions. I think we underestimate how much they actually like water. They often use the water dish to poo or pee in, and that renders it useless. I'm sure they don't like sitting in a pool of their own pee/poo, and don't stick around for too long once they do. I think the big question here is if given lots clean fresh water to soak in daily, what would the frog do? Sit in the water, or sit in hole it dug for itself? My pac seemed to come out to sit in his moss for periods, but almost always returned to the water. I would say he would stay in the water for a couple of days, and then emerge for one on average. So that alone kind of proved it to me that they really love a good thorough soak/swim. Isn't there someone on here that keeps them in water? I thought I remember seeing a picture of a room with a bunch of pacs in water setups. I could be wrong. But I found this picture of what looks to be a wild pac sitting in a....
How could you say that their body types aren't almost identical lol? They're fat belly's with a mouth, and arms/legs! Neither are meant to be as agile as the American Bullfrog(or other aquatics), but that doesn't mean they don't prefer water. Maybe not prefer, but definitely appreciate a good swim/soak. I mean they we're born there after all haha
In your original post, you didn't say the water available in your setup was only nose deep. As for the frogs using the water bowls to poop & pee in, you're right......and when they do, you change it and place fresh water in the bowl. We breed them, so we have quite a few to deal with at any given time. I am not arguing with you, just stating my own experiences. We keep most of ours in tubs on paper towels too.......we clean them every day, sometimes more that twice a day. I figure if you can't bother to provide a clean environment for them, then you shouldn't bother keeping them.......
You originally asked for opinions, I gave mine. If you really don't want opinions, why bother asking for them in the first place?
We have tried all kinds of different setups to see what they were most comfortable with, because in the end, the frogs are what matter, right? Our frogs are healthy & happy. I'm not here to prove anything or compete. Just to share information & experience & a love of these awesome critters.
Jessica Ivory of IvoryReptiles
I am asking for your opinions, and notice how I wrote "debate" in the title. This means I would like to argue lol. Friendly arguing of course. I'm not trying to prove this is a better method, but just possibly prove it is just as good as any other. I know it seems to be frowned upon to use water, and I'm personally puzzled by this that's all. I've always been good for asking "why" and that's simply all I'm doing here. No need to get bent out of shape over a debate over substrate.
1.) Sorry if I wasn't clear as to how much water. I would never put them in a tank of water filled to the top or anything of the sort lol
2.) Are the species that much different in terms of body make up? I'm still a big newb with the difference in species, and didn't know they look that much different or have a different body structure that would alter swimming from species to species. If so please fill me in :]
3.) I'm not saying there's anything wrong with using a water dish and doing what your doing. All I'm trying to get across in this post is that water as a main substrate might be suitable for them.
4.) I found this kind of funny in your post. "We have tried all kinds of different setups to see what they were most comfortable with, because in the end, the frogs are what matter, right?"- This is why I am making this post in the first place. My frog seemed to be quite at home in the water. Therefore I would like to offer a lot of it because he used it 2:1(water/land). This is what my frog seems to prefer and he's what matters. I'm comfortable keeping him in whatever he prefers simple as that.
Yeah, those are good comparison shots. However; will you agree that african bullfrogs are can stay afloat, swim longer, swim better, and subermerge longer than a pacman? If the water level is within reach of them being able to touch the bottom with the top portion of their body sticking out, then I can't see anything wrong with your setup you want to do with your pacman. Maybe you could fit some sponge material on one side of the tank for him or her to rest on or get out of the water if they desire.
Pyxicephalus adspersus 'African Bullfrog' 1.0.0
Honestly, I can't say that yet because I have yet to really see my pac in a water setup like my Pyxie. He had a nice amount of water, but I made sure to add lots of little things for him to grab on and stay above water. I did this because I wasn't to knowledgeable on their swimming ability in comparison to Pyxie's. But from what I observed my Pac seemed fine in the water. Stayed afloat just fine and never really used the things I had in there for him to prevent drowning. I can't say it was better or worse. As long as they can touch and keep there head above water it seems to be ok. I would like to find some kind of way to offer a nice docking zone, and a way to give the bottom some grip.
Thought this was a cool shot. Found it on google. Ornate Horned Frog located at a zoo (forgot which one lol).
Either you have or have not had your Pac in water. First you say you haven't done it yet and then go on to say that when you had it in water it was fine.
And since you don't have the experience & I do......maybe the asked for advice is something you could at least listen to. Pyxies are able to swim......watch your Pac carefully in the water....it struggles....it isn't graceful like most amphibians who are comfortable in a water environment are. I am just wondering why you would bother to place the frog in a situation that might be harmful to it. In the end, it's your animal and no one can tell you how to keep it.
Like I stated before, I was just trying to help since you have stated more than once that you haven't much experience.
Last edited by IvoryReptiles; November 8th, 2011 at 04:20 PM. Reason: mis-spelling
Jessica Ivory of IvoryReptiles
Ill jump in here to say this. Pacmans or frogs of the family Ceratophrys are terrestrial. They spend 90% of their entire life on land burrowed in the forest floor. If they were anywhere near aquatic or semi-aquatic they would live and spend most of their lives in water which they do not. Their behavior and life-style is very simiar to that of toads which only go to water to breed as do Pacmans. They need substrate to burrow in thus is their natural habitat and behavior. To feel secure they need this. They do not sleep in their water dish. They like to soak but do not like to be in water all the time. I have 2 Cranwellis and neither use their water dishes almost at. All. Grif's is quite wide and could almost fit 2 of her in it and she is quite large. There is a reason why Pyxies are aptly named African (BULL FROGS). They are Semi Aquatic and spend 60/40 land and water so it doesn't affect them as much.
Just because you found random photos of a pyxie in grass and an ornate pacman in water does NOT justify nor prove that an all water setup for a Ceratophrys frog is the way to go. They don't live that way and so it is not and ideal setup for one to live in.
Yes they do have similar shape/have teeth/burrow/and puff up with air but are in no means actually similar. They have a completely different habitat and lifestyle. Just because one frog was in the water a lot doesn't mean another will like it. Also your frog swimming with its head under the water was probably due to its feet slipping on the bottom of the tank and it leaning forward because of it not being able to gain traction. I've seen my do this. They are horrible swimmers. Plus if they were meant to be in water their nostrils would close shut like aquatic and semi-aquatic frogs do. Their do not.
"Honestly, I can't say that yet because I have yet to really see my pac in a water setup like my Pyxie." - Key part you missed was that I compared it to my Pyxie's setup which is all water at the moment.
"There we're multiple times I caught my pac fully submerged when I approached his tank when I had the water/land setup to evade me lol." - I stated that I kept him in a land/water setup where my pyxie is all shallow water.
I was just saying that I haven't experimented keeping him in a complete water setup yet, and don't know if they are as comfortable as the Pyxie's in the water.
I am listening, but that doesn't mean that you could be missing something. Once again, I in no way am arguing with the current methods of keeping these animals. But you're just dismissing what I am asking, and saying your methods are the end all solution to keeping them. And I 100% agree that how you, and most people on here keep them is fine. All I'm simply doing is asking for proof, and/or opinions on the matter that water is as bad your making it seem. My Pyxie is far from graceful but does that mean she isn't equipped for the water? Absolutely not. And when I put my Ornate in the water, I see no struggling at all. I do see a fat frog with small legs doing its best to be a "frog" lol, but it still holds its own. And hold on here. How is putting a "frog" in a shallow pool of water harmful? There not being put in a fish tank of water, but just something for them to sit in. I'm not seeing how this is harmful. Once again, your opinion is much appreciated. Sorry for the mix up.
To answer your question about whether the two species are really that physically different: Yes.
Pacman frogs have much lower muscle mass, shorter hind legs, and are in general not as hardy as Pyxies. Remember, in the wild, African Bullfrog males will actually chase and attack large animals to keep them from disturbing their eggs, and even sometimes have to go overland a pretty good distance to find suitable mating pools. The muscles that make this possible are what make them better swimmers than pacmans. Pacmans in the wild spend the majority of their time in moist burrows, and never have to travel very far even to get to mating pools since they live in rainforests. There is nothing to say that the pac in the photo you posted was 1) in the wild and 2) there for some reason other than breeding. As for the zoo picture... Well, zoos often display animals in aesthetically pleasing setups during visiting hours. If they gave the pac a coco-fiber setup no one would ever see much but the eyes! Also, the fact that there are so many small rocks in with a large healthy pac makes me think that it is probably removed to a different setup for feeding and after zoo hours. They can do this by having a sliding door at the back of the viewing setup so that the animal only has to move a short distance to get to its night-time, stress-free enclosure and doesn't stress it out like actually changing locations would. Not saying that that's for sure what they're doing there, but it seems likely...
My pac soaks in his water far less now that I've cling-wrapped part of his enclosure top to keep humidity in. If you had a pac that was spending all its time soaking and almost none burrowing, I would wonder if the ambient humidity might have been a bit too low for it.
My pacman spent days in the water when given the option, so he obviously slept in it. And he was diving to swim to the other side of the tank he was never really reaching or slipping. He also had the gravel to grab onto so he definitely wasn't slipping.
Also, all you guys seem to have some kind of scientific evidence that they are always found on the ground? I can't seem to find any kind of field study on them at all. So are most of you basing your idea for this on just hear say, and no actual study on their environment. I want to read something that was from a study, not a caresheet. And the study should be of a wide range of locations, not just one locale. I just find the same caresheets and other small little articles which could be way off/outdated for all we know. All say they are a terrestrial frog, often found in SHALLOW POOLS OF WATER. Or terrestrial frog found close to water etc. I can't find a straight answer. This also goes for Pyxie's. Almost everything I read says nothing about them being aquatic either just terrestrial, but they are totally fine with it.
Now, if they do everything like toads then why aren't they called toads? Is it because there maybe an aquatic background to them?
So you guys are telling me no one on here keeps them in a shallow water type setup? I could have sworn I remember someone having a room full of water setups for pacs...I wish I can remember argh!
Your argument is good, and I can see that the Pyxie's might be better swimmers because of it. But my guy definitely didn't have a humidity issue I can assure you that. I used basically all water/gravel/moss. I used the gravel and moss to create a ramp for him to get out. The tank was soaked all the time lol. I think he just really liked the water, simple lol.
I mean, my Pyxie isn't really swimming haha! She's walking but the water makes her light so she can kind of swim/run through the water haha. I don't think they are good swimmers either, but just like to be in the water. So in theory there not swimming just sitting in water lol
IvoryReptiles is 100% right. u cant let pacman frog be housed in a full water setup it will drowned.
like mark said bullfrogs are a totally diffrent frog. its like night and day. u cant compare them.
dsmalex97 do ur home work before getting a pacman.
They are like toads because they're terrestrial and they aren called toads because they are a frog. Frogs and toads are different. They are both similar because they both are Anurans. Which is a classification of frogs and toads. I have a couple books that mention Horned Frogs and their habitat as well as behavior. If you want a study you'll have to find a Herpetological site.
Pacman Care Sheet
Description: The Pacman species of frog has a very large mouth much like the video game character.
Lifespan: 5 to 7 years
Average Size: 8 inches
Origin: South America
Do not feed your Pacman frog by hand because it will bite anything that it thinks is food. Crickets make great food for Pacman frogs but they can even eat food as large as pinky mice or fresh fish. Calcium and multivitamin supplements should be dusted on the food of your Pacman frog about once a week. Pacman frogs love to eat so be careful not to put too much food in their habitat or they will eat it all even if they do not need that much. This can lead to your Pacman frog quickly becoming overweight.
Humidity: You should mist your Pacman frogs habitat once or twice per day to obtain a fairly high level of humidity.
Lighting: Between 8 to 10 hours of fluorescent light should be provided to all Pacman frogs. If you give it light for much more than this on a daily basis it will have trouble eating which can obviously be very dangerous to its health.
Physical Design: As with most frogs the Pacman frog is likely to escape if it does not have a secure lid placed on its enclosure. An aquarium tank will suffice but it should not have a solid lid that does not allow air circulation.
Size: A 10 to 15 gallon tank should be sufficient for an adult Pacman frog. Any smaller than this and the frog will not have enough room to move around and may feel stressed.
Temperature: A temperature range of between 75 degrees F to 85 degrees F is appropriate for Pacman frogs.
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