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Thread: Newbie Questions - Getting an ACF

  1. #1
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    Question Newbie Questions - Getting an ACF

    Hello All,

    I am new to this community although I have been searching around and reading posts for a few weeks. I have been keeping aquariums since I was a little kid but never ventured into the realm of aquatic frogs. My ladyfriend and I are huge animal lovers and I wanted to get her a unique pet that was not too demanding to add to our household with the holiday coming up on Feb 14. I've been doing a lot of reading on Xenopus frogs and I really think that one would make an entertaining, yet relatively easy to care for pet with my aquarium experience and both of our physical capabilities. We believe in treating our pets like members of the family and giving them the best care possible. Many of my initial questions have been answered by various articles and posts here but there is some conflicting or shallow information on some issues that I hope you wouldn't mind my asking about.

    Looking right now to get one frog. I have an old 20 gallon tank with glass lid and heater I can get running and conditioned over the next few weeks. I will space out my questions here and try to be concise. I'm sure there are a few you folks have heard plenty of times so please forgive me. If there is an answer in another thread if a link could be provided I would be appreciative.

    1. My local independent pet shop sells froglets around the size of a quarter of both Albino ACF and what seems to be a natural, wild, color. Is there any difference between the two other than aesthetic?

    2. Filter: I have a Whisper filter from a previous tank with adjustable flow that was marketed as "30-60 gallon". Given that the flow is adjustable would this be too powerful for a frog in a 20 gallon?

    3. Substrate: I have narrowed my ideas down to either river rock or sand with interspersed rocks to simulate a river bed. I have read conflicting opinions on sand as far as being bad for the filter. If I were to use said filter above would that be detrimental or should I put something over the intake so the sand doesn't get in?

    4. Natural rocks: - I live in an area with a lot of natural bodies of water where shale is plentiful. I have used this for previous fish tanks but I am curious if it is safe for frogs as sometimes it can have rough edges. Also this is a great area to get natural rock for substrate assuming it is a safe kind of rock (I've read something about testing with vinegar?)

    5. Sex - How old does the froglet need to be before we can visibly tell if it is male or female?

    6. Noise - I have narrowed down two places in our apartment to place a tank. Would it be better to place a frog in the parlor with a lot of traffic and our parrot (who can be noisy) or in the bedroom where we sleep and watch TV and tends to be more quiet. Also, how much noise do they tend to make at night (human sleeping hours) as far as splashing around is concerned? That would be the only concern with the bedroom placement.

    7. Last but not least - Are they social animals? If we have one frog in a 20 gallon will it be "lonely" or "depressed"?

    ----
    That's all. Hope that wasn't too exhausting or annoying.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Newbie Questions - Getting an ACF

    Quote Originally Posted by victrolatim View Post
    1. My local independent pet shop sells froglets around the size of a quarter of both Albino ACF and what seems to be a natural, wild, color. Is there any difference between the two other than aesthetic?
    No, they're both likely to be Xenopus laevis, which has several different colour forms.

    Quote Originally Posted by victrolatim View Post
    2. Filter: I have a Whisper filter from a previous tank with adjustable flow that was marketed as "30-60 gallon". Given that the flow is adjustable would this be too powerful for a frog in a 20 gallon?
    It's hard to say. The frogs have sensory organs that detect movement in the water so it's best to restrict water turbulence to a minimum to limit the risk of causing them distress. One way of achieving that is by connecting a spray bar that discharges water upwards against the back or side of the tank.



    Quote Originally Posted by victrolatim View Post
    3. Substrate: I have narrowed my ideas down to either river rock or sand with interspersed rocks to simulate a river bed. I have read conflicting opinions on sand as far as being bad for the filter. If I were to use said filter above would that be detrimental or should I put something over the intake so the sand doesn't get in?
    It's probably worth reading through these old threads where the topic was discussed in detail. Conflicting opinions on many husbandry aspects are quite common because there's very rarely only one right way to do things. What works for one person may not work for another.



    Quote Originally Posted by victrolatim View Post
    4. Natural rocks: - I live in an area with a lot of natural bodies of water where shale is plentiful. I have used this for previous fish tanks but I am curious if it is safe for frogs as sometimes it can have rough edges. Also this is a great area to get natural rock for substrate assuming it is a safe kind of rock (I've read something about testing with vinegar?)
    I doubt there's much risk of the frogs injuring themselves on rocks unless they're suddenly spooked and start panicking. The vinegar test you've read about probably refers to testing the calcium content of the rocks, which is important for some fish in terms of pH and water hardness. It's not relevant for the frogs.

    Quote Originally Posted by victrolatim View Post
    5. Sex - How old does the froglet need to be before we can visibly tell if it is male or female?
    Around 10 to 12 months usually.

    Quote Originally Posted by victrolatim View Post
    6. Noise - I have narrowed down two places in our apartment to place a tank. Would it be better to place a frog in the parlor with a lot of traffic and our parrot (who can be noisy) or in the bedroom where we sleep and watch TV and tends to be more quiet. Also, how much noise do they tend to make at night (human sleeping hours) as far as splashing around is concerned? That would be the only concern with the bedroom placement.
    It would be best to locate the tank in a low traffic area to minimise the risk of the frogs getting stressed. Be sure to provide them with shelters for refuge. The only noise likely to disturb you is if and when they start vocalising. They sound like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHOBFbgjMKI

    Quote Originally Posted by victrolatim View Post
    7. Last but not least - Are they social animals? If we have one frog in a 20 gallon will it be "lonely" or "depressed"?
    They do interact with each other but I wouldn't describe them as social animals or bestow them with anthropomorphic traits. A solitary frog will not suffer but you'll probably find it more interesting to have two, which your tank should accommodate comfortably.

    Finally, they do not need a heater if the tank's at room temperature.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Newbie Questions - Getting an ACF

    Thank you very much Geoff.

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