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Thread: Updated African clawed frog care-sheet

  1. #1
    100+ Post Member Cliygh and Mia 2's Avatar
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    Post Updated African clawed frog care-sheet

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    An African clawed frog, wild type variety


    The African Clawed Frog is a Fairly large frog species, males ranging from 2-3 inches long, and females about 4-5 inches or larger. With proper care these frogs can live up to 15-20 years or more! These frogs are entirely aquatic, never leaving the water. It is because of this reason they have grown in popularity in the aquarium hobby, but these frogs eat anything they can fit in their mouths, sometimes things that can't! They Originate from Africa, and are native to wetlands, lakes, and ponds, typically fish free. Due to imports from the 1950's and onwards, color morphs have started to appear, such as albino, Golden albino, and Reticulated albino have appeared in the pet trade.(Also worth noting that people have injected these frogs with dyes and pigment, calling them neon or jelly bean frogs to make more money and flim-flam other people into thinking they have a rare species) They are members of the Xenopus family, and have special adaptations that identify them as Xenopus. Their front feet have "fingers" that they use instead of a tongue to nab their prey. (Again worth noting, these frogs don't have tongues or vocal sacks, the "bubble" that lets male frogs call, instead they use vocal cords to make this call They also have claws on their rear feet, hence the name. This care sheet is intended for anyone who wants to own this species, or already does, and wants to re-read information they already heard.

    Albino clawed frog, showing why you should not keep anything else but frogs in their aquarium

    An African clawed frog, looking very healthy

    Choosing a frog:
    Keep this in mind when choosing your frog. "Only the strong will survive." What I mean is, most pet-store frogs are not in perfect health once you buy them. This means that the frogs you see are most likely to die. When choosing your frog, make sure that A: it is a actual color morph, and B: it is healthy. The three primary color morphs are "Wild type," "Albinos," and the rarest color morph of them all, "Piebald." Captive bred frogs are typically healthier, and if it is an albino, you can almost be sure it is captive bred. Most color morphs actually seen are "Jelly bean frogs," "Rainbow frogs" And "Jewel frogs." These frogs should NOT BE BOUGHT!!! They are injected with toxic dyes and will die shortly there after, and most people thinking that they did something wrong, go back and pay the evil people who sell dyed frogs more and more money until they get tired of wanting frogs or pets altogether. Even though it may seem cool to have a uniquely colored frog, NEVER BUY A DYED FROG!!! It will be supporting more and more frogs being painfully injected with dyes. When selecting your frog, make sure that it is not too skinny, or too fat. Make sure that the body is shaped correctly, no broken bones, no deformities, no external injuries. Also make sure that it shows the correct behavior, and ask the seller to feed it, to see if it has a feeding reaction. If everything looks okay, you may proceed to buy it. Ask the seller if it is captive bred, and is healthy before buying though.


    For one frog, a ten gallon aquarium will be sufficient For swimming space, hiding, and feeding activities. Even though they don't look like they can climb, they can, and can walk a short distance without desiccating (Drying out) so before you get one, invest on a lid. If you decide to get more than one, add ten gallons for every frog added. For two frogs, a twenty gallon aquarium will be appropriate, for three a thirty gallon, four forty gallon, and so on. Before I go on to the basic set-up for these guys, I have to explain "The Cycle". The Cycle, is exactly what it sounds like. A cycle is where beneficial bacteria break down ammonia and nitrate levels in your tank. Ammonia is very unhealthy and can even kill animals that are forced to live in those conditions. The cycle is two types of bacteria, the first decomposes and destroys ammonia, but produces nitrates, which a second type of bacteria decomposes. This generally takes about a month to get everything perfect, so that gives you time to decide if you want an African Clawed Frog, or another species of animal, and how you want the set-up to look. What you need to do, is get something to start the cycle. Waste products produced by the frog, uneaten food that was for the frog, that kind of stuff. Get a water quality test kit and measure the ammonia levels daily. Once the ammonia levels die down and the nitrite levels rise, you know you did the previous step right. The nitrite levels should die down, and the tank should be cycled. When it comes time to clean out the tank, you aren't supposed to drain all the water out, probably do 20% to 30% water changes, to leave beneficial bacteria in the tank so you won't have to re-cycle the tank again. For a set-up, I personally suggest sand, or large river stones, so they don't get impaction,(impaction is where they swallow something literally to big to pass out of the intestines or stomach, resulting in veterinary care expenses, and possibly loosing the frog) A filter on a low setting, to clean some of the water, but not too strong of a current, because these frogs tend to thrive in still water, and not flowing water, so be careful of what type of filter you choose. Décor is important, these frogs need various hides to reduce stress, and to climb and rest upon. Driftwood, Corkbark, Mopani wood, plastic plants, live plants, and backgrounds will help to relieve stress. Water temperature should be around 68-74 degrees Fahrenheit. Any colder would be very harmful to the frogs, and any hotter would be bad as well.

    A great set-up, by a member here on Frog Forum


    These greedy little gluttons are great feeders, if you drop something in front of them, they will typically eat it, if not that is a bad sign. Foods for these frogs include Nightcrawlers, Red wigglers, California blackworms, Bloodworms, Clawed Frog Pellets, and CAPTIVE BRED! guppies. Generally fish are not a good feeder, because they are hard to digest, are high in fat and calories, and can carry over harmful parasites to the frog. How often you should feed your frog(s) is up to you, but I would feed twice a week, once on Monday, and once on Friday. If they are growing, feed them primarily pellets, and feed them daily until they stop steadily growing. Make sure that they have calcium for the frogs, otherwise, your frog could die from MBD(Metabolic Bone Disease), or get deformed, which will put it at a disability, and will ultimately die faster.

    Click here to view the original image of 508x341px.

    All these dyed frogs, as gloom as it sounds, will ultimately die soon, due to the toxic dyes


    These frogs, Xenopus Laevis are one of the coolest, and easiest to care frogs in the hobby today, probably ranking 3rd on the list, (second Bombina Orentalis, First Litoria Caerulea) and are one of the most alien-like, and specialized for a specific habitat you can ask for. That being said, that makes them very invasive, and illegal in some states.(Arizona, California, Oregon, Kentucky, Virginia, Nevada, Washington state, Hawaii, North Carolina, New Jersey, and Louisiana) Also these frogs are easy to breed, but I won't touch on that on this care sheet.

    Links and Cited sorces:

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Updated African clawed frog care-sheet

    One suggestion.

    If those aren't your photos you should add the source of the photo under each one to abide to Fair Use / copyright, etc.

  4. This member thanks Tzunu un for this post:

  5. #3
    Moderator Jenste's Avatar
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    Default Re: Updated African clawed frog care-sheet

    This is a good submission...we had one on here a while back by myself and Terry (tgamper) but it could use some updating.

    I would suggest omitting Bloodworms from their recommended diet - recently there have been more and more cases of bloat resulting from the overconsumption of Bloodworms.

    I agree with the photos however - please use your own, a forum member's with their permission and sourcing cited or put proper sourcing underneath each photo.
    72 Gallon Bow - ACF and GF tank.
    26 Gallon Bow - ACF tank.

    20 Gallon Long - ACF tank.

    "If there were an invisible cat in that chair, the chair would look empty. But the chair does look empty; therefore there is an invisible cat in it." C.S. Lewis, Four Loves, 1958

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