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Thread: Help! Strange ACF breeding behavior?

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    Exclamation Help! Strange ACF breeding behavior?

    I have two african clawed frogs, a male and a female. The female is albino and the male is normal. They're both around 2 years of age with the male being older. They're housed in a ten gallon tank together.

    My female laid eggs for the first time in September. She did it on her own, with no help from the male. The male never amplexed and never fertilized the eggs. I assumed that this was normal, and that maybe they'd breed successfully in a few months. (Note: I am not trying to breed them, they are just pets.) Two weeks later the same thing happened- the female laid eggs for seemingly no reason and the male ignored it. This happened again around two weeks later. And finally, it happened again today. Only this time the frogs are in separate, smaller tanks because the usual one is being cleaned.

    I'm starting to get concerned. It doesn't seem healthy for the female to be laying eggs in a continuous cycle like this. Is it because she's albino? Is there something I can do to stop it? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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    100+ Post Member celticstarb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help! Strange ACF breeding behavior?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2fatfrogs View Post
    I have two african clawed frogs, a male and a female. The female is albino and the male is normal. They're both around 2 years of age with the male being older. They're housed in a ten gallon tank together.

    My female laid eggs for the first time in September. She did it on her own, with no help from the male. The male never amplexed and never fertilized the eggs. I assumed that this was normal, and that maybe they'd breed successfully in a few months. (Note: I am not trying to breed them, they are just pets.) Two weeks later the same thing happened- the female laid eggs for seemingly no reason and the male ignored it. This happened again around two weeks later. And finally, it happened again today. Only this time the frogs are in separate, smaller tanks because the usual one is being cleaned.

    I'm starting to get concerned. It doesn't seem healthy for the female to be laying eggs in a continuous cycle like this. Is it because she's albino? Is there something I can do to stop it? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
    This isn't uncommon. Females often lay eggs without any help from the male. Sometimes they lay several "batches" that are in fact the same batch of eggs, but for some reason she held some. It is more common in young females, but can happen any time after they mature. Is there any temperature fluctuations in their tank? Temperature fluctuations more than 3 to 5 degrees can cause the female to go into breeding mode. And, since winter is setting in, it's not uncommon to get temp fluctuations.

    Normally there is no cause for alarm, but on very few occasions, it could indicate an infection or cancer. Keep an eye on her to make sure there is not any other symptoms.

    It may stop if you make the conditions appropriate for them to breed. You can always dispose of the eggs if you don't want tads.

    Also, since egg laying can be hard on a female, you will need to offer her more fatty foods such as nightcrawlers.

    Can you give us some more info, just to make sure there isn't anything else happening.
    How big is your tank?
    What kind of filtration do you use?
    Do you test water parameters?
    If you do test, what are the current parameters?
    Do you use any substrate, and if so what substrate do you use?
    What temp is you tank?
    Do you use either a heater or chiller?
    What do you feed them?
    Is the male calling?
    How do the eggs look? Are they firm or squishy when laid?

    Sorry for all the questions, but it will help us figure out what's going on with her. But, keep in mind that there is no substitution for veterinarian exams. If it continues, I suggest you take her to a good herp vet.

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    Default Re: Help! Strange ACF breeding behavior?

    Thanks for the reply.

    Quote Originally Posted by celticstarb View Post
    Sometimes they lay several "batches" that are in fact the same batch of eggs, but for some reason she held some. It is more common in young females, but can happen any time after they mature.
    I wasn't aware of this. She's laid at least a few hundred eggs each time, but that was all one batch? It seems like a lot for one batch to me, not that I would know though.

    There has been a little bit of temperature fluctation due to my house's heat going on and off, but that's only been for the month of November. I'll keep an eye on the temp more.

    Quote Originally Posted by celticstarb View Post
    Also, since egg laying can be hard on a female, you will need to offer her more fatty foods such as nightcrawlers
    Should I chop the nightcrawlers up or just feed them whole?

    The tank is 10 gallons with a large pebble substrate. I use carbon filtration for a few hours a day, and do full water changes every week. I de-chlorinate the water, but I don't test it. I didn't think it was necessary but I'll look into getting a kit.
    I don't heat or chill the water. It's usually around 70 degrees F.
    I feed the frogs Reptomin, with freeze-dried krill and bloodworms occasionally. I've also given them minnows a few times.
    The male does call, but it's usually a few days after the female's laid her eggs, which seems strange. I have seen him grab on to her thighs several times but not recently.
    The eggs are squishy on the outside, but the middle part seems kind of firm. Not sure if that's unusual.

    I understand that a herp vet is the best choice, but the closest one to me is 50 miles away and I can't afford to make a trip like that unless it's really serious. Thanks for your help :)

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    100+ Post Member celticstarb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help! Strange ACF breeding behavior?

    They will eat the night crawlers whole. In fact they love them whole and living.

    70 degrees is perfect for them, so your temps are good.

    Just a few hints. I would consider upgrading to a 20 long or 29 gallon aquarium. 10 gallons is the absolute minimum for a single frog. Unfortunately pet shops either don't understand this or just don't care. Also a filter running 24 hours all day will help avoid issues such as disease and ammonia poisoning. But you've been doing well keeping them for 2 years.

    Their eggs should be firm except for the clear jelly surrounding them. This can mean they are either old eggs or undeveloped eggs. I have heard that some frogs reabsorb their eggs but leave hard eggs blocking the way for future eggs. Unfortunately only an x-ray or sonogram can tell if that is the issue.

    Try lowering the water level for a few days, then fill it again. When you fill it, place a small heater in it and raise the temp to 78 for 3 days. This should entice them to breed and empty her of eggs. Be sure to slowly lower their temp back to 72 or less after the 3 days. Throw the eggs away if you don't want to raise tads.

    Other than that, I am at a loss for anything that may be causing this. I hope the little information I can offer helps.

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    Default Re: Help! Strange ACF breeding behavior?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2fatfrogs View Post
    I have two african clawed frogs, a male and a female. The female is albino and the male is normal. They're both around 2 years of age with the male being older. They're housed in a ten gallon tank together.

    My female laid eggs for the first time in September. She did it on her own, with no help from the male. The male never amplexed and never fertilized the eggs. I assumed that this was normal, and that maybe they'd breed successfully in a few months. (Note: I am not trying to breed them, they are just pets.) Two weeks later the same thing happened- the female laid eggs for seemingly no reason and the male ignored it. This happened again around two weeks later. And finally, it happened again today. Only this time the frogs are in separate, smaller tanks because the usual one is being cleaned.

    I'm starting to get concerned. It doesn't seem healthy for the female to be laying eggs in a continuous cycle like this. Is it because she's albino? Is there something I can do to stop it? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
    In my opinion there's no evidence of a significant health problem with your frog. She appears to be spontaneously expelling eggs as a result of being well nourished. The apparent frequency at which she does it seems a little unusual but I would feel more reassured that she's in good health by being able to do that rather than be concerned that there's a significant health problem.

    A sick frog would show symptoms of weakness and loss of appetite and not be capable of frequent egg production so, in your position, I would not be worried. (My opinion's based on 26 years of keeping Xenopus.)

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    Default Re: Help! Strange ACF breeding behavior?

    I forgot to add an update, so here's one for anyone that might be interested.
    My frog expelled eggs once again after this thread was made, but that was the last time. She's been her normal self since then. I guess all those eggs really were just one batch, and for some reason she didn't produce them all at once.

    The male still shows no interest in breeding, which I'm perfectly happy with. All those eggs are pain to clean up.

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    Default Re: Help! Strange ACF breeding behavior?

    I'm glad to hear she is doing well!

    Yeah, eggs can be a bit messy. They stick to everything. I let my females consume most of the eggs if it is an unplanned or unfertilized breeding. This helps the female get back some of the nutrients she used by producing eggs.

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