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Thread: New frog stays buried

  1. #1
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    Question New frog stays buried

    About a week ago I bought a "second hand" albino pacman frog. This is my first frog. I haven't seen him since I first put him in the tank. He immediately buried himself and there's no evidence he has been out. His water dish is untouched and I see no sign of poop or of the substrate being disturbed. I gently removed the substrate where he's buried and touched him, he's still alive. I did not try to dig him out or handle him.

    Is it possible that the substrate is too deep? It's about three or four times his "height". Or maybe he's just adjusting to a new environment? Is it safe to dig him up and take him out to examine him?

    Here are the tank parameters:
    1. Size of enclosure - 10 gal aquarium
    2. # of inhabitants - specifically other frogs and size differences - none
    3. Humidity - 80-90%
    4. Temperature - 75
    5. Water - type - for both misting and soaking dish - fresh water, dechlorinated with Seachem Prime. No salt, but I do have marine salt
    6. Materials used for substrate - new coco fiber about 4-6 inches deep
    7. Enclosure set up i.e. plants (live or artificial), wood, bark and other materials. - one artificial silk vine, a terra cotta plant pot on its side and partially buried
    - How were things prepared prior to being put into the viv. - Coco fiber dry brick was soaked in salt free dechlorinated water. Fake vine was rinsed in plain tap water and allowed to dry. Both were new, never used in another terrarium
    8. Main food source - so far he has refused any food. I tried offering mealworms by digging out the substrate above him and putting them in front of him. He wasn't interested
    9. Vitamins and calcium? (how often) - not eating
    10. Lighting - a small pink tinted incandescent bulb in a 2 gal fishtank hood on top of his screen top, mainly to add a small amount of heat and establish a day/night cycle
    11. What is being used to maintain the temperature of the enclosure - UTH placed on the side of the tank
    12. When is the last time he/she ate - unknown, at least a week
    13. Have you found poop lately - no
    14. A pic would be helpful including frog and enclosure (any including cell phone pic is fine) (not until I know if it's a good idea to dig him up)
    15. Describe frog's symptoms and/or recent physical changes; to include it's ventral/belly area. - can't tell as I have not tried to dig him out or handle him yet
    16. How old is the frog - unknown
    17. How long have you owned him/her - a week
    18. Is the frog wild caught or captive bred - unknown
    19. Frog food- how often and if it is diverse, what other feeders are used as treats - not eating
    20. How often the frog is handled - never by me
    21. Is the enclosure kept in a high or low traffic area - low
    22. Describe enclosure maintenance (water changes, cleaning, etc) - not done yet

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: New frog stays buried

    Quick update: after reading a lot of similar posts about pacman frogs staying buried (seems like a noob question!), I noticed some people's frogs had red leg so I thought I'd better check my guy (who I've named Moe). I dug him up, he seems ok though he did NOT like being turned over! I don't think he has red leg, he does have translucent skin on his lower belly and inside legs. I put him in his water dish where he was happy to sit for a while. I moved his plant pot hide a bit (to give him more space) then put him inside it, with a bit of fake foliage covering most of the opening. I changed his water dish (more dechlorinated water) and misted his tank with dechlor water.

    Right now Moe seems happy in his hide. He hasn't tried to dig himself back under the substrate. Maybe his bowl soak helped. I'll see how he does and offer him a cricket or two tonight if he doesn't bury himself again.

  4. #3
    100+ Post Member Bynny Ribbit's Avatar
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    Default Re: New frog stays buried

    I would bump up the temperature a little more for daytime, It's been advised to have it low 80s during the day and mid 70s at night. Otherwise he may just be stressed from the new environment. I also wouldn't go above 80% humidity. Maybe adjust these things and give him a little more time if he otherwise appears healthy.

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    Default Re: New frog stays buried

    Quote Originally Posted by Bynny Ribbit View Post
    I would bump up the temperature a little more for daytime, It's been advised to have it low 80s during the day and mid 70s at night. Otherwise he may just be stressed from the new environment. I also wouldn't go above 80% humidity. Maybe adjust these things and give him a little more time if he otherwise appears healthy.
    Moe came out on his own yesterday, just his head but it's a start. He still likes to stay inside his partially buried plant pot. I put 4 crickets in his cage tonight. I checked half an hour later and they were gone. I looked under the fake foliage as well. He hasn't touched his water yet (no dirt in it) but the substrate is damp so I'm guessing he's getting his moisture through his skin. So I'm not too worried about him now, but I'll keep an eye on him.

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    100+ Post Member Bynny Ribbit's Avatar
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    Default Re: New frog stays buried

    That's good to hear! Mine also barely uses her water dish. like you mentioned, they likely stay hydrated through the soil moisture.

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    Member Frankie's Avatar
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    Default Re: New frog stays buried

    Most of the time they do sit in their burrow, As they are sit and wait predators, Ive also heard they are more nocturnal and will travel about some at night

    As others said Id probably bump up the humidity and heat in the tank!

    Good luck friend !

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    Default Re: New frog stays buried

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie View Post
    Most of the time they do sit in their burrow, As they are sit and wait predators, Ive also heard they are more nocturnal and will travel about some at night

    As others said Id probably bump up the humidity and heat in the tank!

    Good luck friend !
    I had one of those hygrometer/thermometer things, I found it floating in his water dish (stupid velcro). It was full of water so I threw it out and got another. This time I did the salt calibration before putting it in today. Now humidity is about 80% but the temp is only 72. The little incandescent bulb above his cage isn't doing the job for heating.

    I do have heat tape and I'm going to try attaching it to one end of his tank. I read that it's better to put the heat on the side instead of the bottom. I just curl it around like the heat element on a stove so it acts similarly to a heat pad.

    Moe is ensconced somewhere under the substrate. I noticed this morning that he'd been digging during the night but there was no sign that he'd been in his water dish. I found a cricket running around in his cage so he won't starve.

  9. #8
    Member Frankie's Avatar
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    Default Re: New frog stays buried

    Good job !

    If heat is slacking in a cold period you could invest in a around 8-30 dollar (USD I noticed you where in Toronto so there is a currency difference, so 10.41-39.02 Canadian Dollars) Ceramic heat em miter, Provides overhead heat which I have read Pac's love ) But as of now as long as you keep that heat up you should be going fairly well ! You can try moving about the lighting to get optimal heat output into the tank and provide that few extra ticks of heat. But between the pad and bulb I think you will be set with your new lil pal

    (Friendly tip, Try to mound some substrate into a little ramp around the edges of the dish, but not so much it falls into the tank and pollutes it so the frog can crawl in)
    [Link to a very good seller with a wide variety of options on CHE bulbs just in case :^)]
    https://www.joshsfrogs.com/heating/c.../show/all.html
    Best of luck dear friend !
    -Noah from NC

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