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Thread: Is the african bullfrog a good starter frog?

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    Wink Is the african bullfrog a good starter frog?

    Never owned a frog before but I would really like to soon. I was looking through the species list and the Pixie frog caught my eye, I love how fat it is. I now it's not the best frog to begin with, but I really like this specific species. Just looking for some experienced frog owners to help me out. Thanks!

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    Default Re: Is the african bullfrog a good starter frog?

    One of the primary considerations lies with how large this frog can get (with an appetite to match, at least while it's young and still growing), though there is a significant difference in sizes between the male and female (with the male being larger). It is difficult-to-next-to-impossible to tell if you've got a male or female, however, if you purchase it as a froglet, and if you're inexperienced with the species, until it reaches about 4 inches long. Too, there are two species commonly sold under the 'African/Pixie Bullfrog' name: P. adspersus, which is the true giant, and P. edulis, the dwarf African Bullfrog. They look very similar when young, so you'll want to read up on distinguishing features if the true giant is what you're interested in. I got my most recent true giant as a two-inch baby, and in 4 months' time, he's grown to six inches long and is the size of a small grapefruit. I mention this to demonstrate how quickly they - the males especially - grow when regularly fed. I've gone through 3 cages and twice as many water dishes in the 4 months I've had him...which is fine, as I'm enjoying watching him come into his own. Another consideration is that these frogs, aggressive feeders that they are, are capable of grabbing a finger during dinner time - which makes feeding with tongs a smart idea once they reach a good size. They have strong jaws and bony projections/"teeth" on their lower jaw that can inflict a painful and bloody bite if they accidentally grab you instead of the intended prey item(s). They aren't really aggressive personality-wise, however; they stay burrowed in their substrate or in their water dish most of the time. The aggressiveness is a feeding response. You should be fine as long as you exercise common sense, i.e. don't wiggle your fingers in front of your frog's face and simply remain vigilant. The book, Giant African Bullfrogs: Life History and Captive Husbandry, by Mailloux and de Vosjoli, is a worthwhile read if you're seriously considering one of these frogs and/or soon after you obtain one. Of course, there's also a lot of good information on this site as well. I'm very much in love with my own frog; he never ceases to amaze and entertain. Good luck to you should you decide to bring one home.

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    Default Re: Is the african bullfrog a good starter frog?

    Well... I will have to disagree on them being aggressive, some of them are picky eaters, shy and gentle souls.
    the book is great though!

    There are are lots of frogs to pick from, that would be considered good for beginners. The question is what do you want from ownership of one? Interact, watch them eat, do you like little and cute or big and fat. Big and fat usually don’t move much as they are older.

    In general “pixies” a not difficult to keep, but you will really need to keep up cleaning poops. They stink..... badly.... and they are big
    Save one animal and it doesn't change the world, but it surely changes the world for that one animal!

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    Default Re: Is the african bullfrog a good starter frog?

    Oh, I do agree with you, Lija, on the aggressiveness aspect. What I meant to suggest by that is that an enthusiastic feeding response can be perceived as aggression, when it's not, but that, at the same time, an enthusiastic feeder can also accidentally grab a finger that's too close, especially if prey is being offered by hand or is in the process of being released into the enclosure. My own giant is an enthusiastic feeder, but as you noted, is also a shy and gentle soul otherwise. He's in his burrow most of the time and observes the changing of his water dish and the stirring of his substrate with basic disinterest, lol. I can also handle him with no problems. When I first showed my animal care provider, who comes in to take care of our critters while we're away, how to feed Sprinkles (my male giant), he of course leaped quickly from his burrow, mouth open, when he saw food was being offered. It caught her off-guard, and I had to explain that his behavior was simply a result of his knowing it was dinner time...that his behavior otherwise is the opposite. He's a well-behaved lad, as most in captivity are, of course.

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    Default Re: Is the african bullfrog a good starter frog?

    I say go for it. Pixie frogs are super easy, as far as frogs go. Just remember they grow rapidly and will need a sizable enclosure and lots of food. All in all I would say they are a good beginner frog.

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    Default Re: Is the african bullfrog a good starter frog?

    Okay, thanks everyone! I was a bit skeptical at first because of the size, but it seems like it's easily manageable. I'm just gonna have to get a big enough enclosure, Afroherbkeeper did a pretty good video on making one.

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    Default Re: Is the african bullfrog a good starter frog?

    Good luck; they really aren't abundantly difficult to keep. I enjoy my male so much that I added a froglet - who is only about an inch and 3/4 long - to the menagerie the other day. I keep my frogs and salamander in my home office, which I'm in a lot; the froglet let out a couple little calls/honks around 1:00 a.m. and then again this afternoon, and if that's any indication, I'm dealing with male #2 (which is fine by me; I love big frogs). Males especially tend to put on size very rapidly - my first went from 2 to 6 inches long in a 3-4-month timespan - so if you get yours as a froglet, and initially house it in a small enclosure, be prepared to upgrade both the enclosure and water dish at least a couple of times, and within a fairly short period of time, especially if you follow the feeding advice/schedule in Mailloux and de Vosjoli's book.

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