Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Choosing a Frog

  1. #1
    clownonfire
    Guest

    Default Choosing a Frog

    Choosing a Frog

    by Eric Robillard

    What Frog is Right for You?

    One of the many questions we get on Frog Forum is “What type of frog should I get?” (and all of its variations). Queries like “Is a 5 gallon suitable for my new tree frog?” (no), “Will a Pac Man frog eat my baby?” (how big is your baby?), “If I lick a dart frog, will I hallucinate?” (don’t try it) and so forth. But seriously, asking yourself "what type of frog is right for me?", or even, "is a frog the right pet for me?", is an important step that will determine the well-being of your potential new friend, and/or the love/hate relationship between frog/human that might follow.

    Choosing a frog can be very similar to the process of choosing a dog. Think about it, before going forward to buying/adopting a dog, you’ll certainly have a predetermined list of what you like, and like less: big or small dog, active or passive, pure bred or mutt, good with kids, can it guard my house, how much exercise does it need, and so on. If you do not want to end up posting your recently acquired frog on Craigslist for sale, try and gather as much information as you can on what owning a frog entails, what are the requirements for a particular frog species, how to properly house a specific frog, and what that frog eats. With adequate preparation, you and your frog can look forward to a long happy cohabitation.

    Owning a frog can be quite rewarding, and as you will see on this forum, can become an obsession. But you should know that some frogs are nocturnal (rather disappointing for kids or people expecting a show), some are diurnal, some are aquatic, some need vertical habitats, some will eat crickets or fruit flies, some mice. And most, in my humble opinion, shouldn’t be handled. Frogs stress easily, and the less they’re handled, the happier they will be. So how is owning a frog rewarding if you can’t touch it? Well, for starters, creating the perfect setting for your new pet is in itself an exciting project: which plants to get, finding the perfect humidity rage, water to land ratio, etc. And once the frog settles in its new environment, explores his vivarium, starts croaking/chirping/buzzing (if it’s a male), you’ll know the frog’s happy. And a happy frog can live a long life in captivity… some more than 10 years!

    Bringing a little piece of the rainforest into your living room is just as rewarding as the frogs themselves.

    Here's a summary of great starter frogs, with a few surprises.

    Fire-Bellied Toads

    I am biased. I own a few. But what’s not to like? They are diurnal. They have beautiful bright colors. They are active and bold. They are easy to feed. And you can own a few in a smaller enclosure. These frogs will need lots of water in their habitat (2/3 water and 1/3 land is a good ratio). Their tank should be set up horizontally and provide cover with plants to make them feel secure. Fire-Bellied Toads are quite affordable. Their diet consists mostly of live crickets. They do well in groups and are not territorial.

    What you should know: All frogs secrete toxins, but as quoted in our article Fire-Bellied Toad Care: “The toxicity of these toads dictates that you should never handle a fire-bellied toad without washing your hands afterward. Unlike poison dart frogs who get their poisons from their food in the wild but are relatively harmless in captivity, fire-bellied toads manufacture their own toxins. Just wash your hands. Their skin secretions can cause severe discomfort if you were to touch your eyes accidentally after handling [one].” You must have a very secure locking lid with these frogs. They are great escape artists.

    They are comfortable at room temperatures and you don’t have to worry about humidity if they have a large water section in the tank. Avoid using gravel or certain types of substrate as they are voracious eaters and may swallow other things with their food. Males do make a soft barking sound.

    Tree Frogs

    A favorite amongst Frog Forum’s members, tree frogs are generally nocturnal, and are commonly available in pet shops. The most popular ones are the American Green Tree Frog, White’s Tree Frog, and the famous Red-Eyed Leaf Frog (sometimes called the Red-Eyed Tree Frog). Vertical habitats are ideal (think “tree”) as they like to climb, be as high as possible, and hide behind leaves. Tree frogs vary in price from very affordable (American Green Tree Frog and White’s for example) to more expensive depending on the species and where you are from. Their diet consists mostly of live crickets. They need to have a place at night where it will be completely dark for them or they will not have a normal active life style. A tank with a lot of branches and large leafed plants for hiding is ideal. They prefer climbing from branch to branch as opposed to walking on the ground.

    What you should know: I have to stress the following: Tree frogs are nocturnal, and they will be much less active during the day and will probably be sleeping on the leaves. There are many species of tree frogs and different species should not be housed together (it’s a general rule for all frogs). A toxic secretion from one species might prove fatal to another species. And even amongst tree frogs, their habitat requirements vary in humidity and ideal plant species (not to mention they might try to snack on each other). They do require all glass enclosures with a screen lid and it should be partially covered to maintain humidity. Stagnant air is not good for these frogs. Water bowls must be provided and water changed daily. Side mounted heat mats will probably be needed to keep them in the proper temperature range. A humidity gauge and daily misting will be required. Some male tree frogs can make loud croaking sounds especially if you have a group of them so check the specifics on your particular frog before you decide to keep them in your bedroom. Again this is not true with all of them.

    Ornate Horned Frogs (Pac Man Frogs)

    Large, boldly coloured, unreserved; Ornates are usually diurnal frogs. For a frog of its size, they need relatively smaller enclosures (a 10 gallon would be more than sufficient for one). Keep the tank warm and make provide enough substrate for burrowing. Ornates are voracious eaters with diets consisting of crickets and an occasional mouse pinks for adult frogs.

    What you should know: Ornates can stay buried and immobile for a long period of time. You will likely need to feed them live or frozen animals (i.e. mice). Do not house 2 Ornates together as it will most certainly result in a fatality. They have a strong bite, so keep your fingers away. They eat a lot of food. They will require additional heating to maintain the proper temperature. They will also require misting to maintain the humidity. A water bowl must be provided for soaking and the water should be changed daily. Avoid any deep water situations where they could drown. Do not house with any other frogs… they must be isolated even from others of their own kind. Make sure to use the proper substrate to avoid any impaction issues as they eat. Some males can make loud croaking sounds so be aware if you are keeping them in your bedroom.

    African Clawed Frog

    Otherworldly and lively aquatic frogs, they are extremely hardy, and can live for a very long time in captivity. Their habitat should be strictly aquatic, with lots of caves to hide in. Their diet consists of reptile sticks, bloodworms, waxworms, and feeder fish (guppies, brine shrimps).

    What you should know: African Clawed Frogs are frequently mislabelled as African Dwarf Frogs in pet shops. Because they are strictly aquatic, water maintenance will be very important (you will need a proper aquarium set-up). Have a secure lid. They can and may escape.

    Dart Frogs

    Though I can practically hear some seasoned enthusiasts cringe at this one, yes, some dart frogs could make a great beginner frog. Beside the fact that they have beautiful colors and markings, they are diurnal, and are some of the boldest and most active frogs available. Very high humidity will need to be kept in their enclosures, with lots of plants. Bromeliads are favorites (but you should not limit yourself to these). They will mostly feed on fruit flies and pinhead crickets. Dendrobates tinctorius "Azureus" and Dendrobates auratus are good beginner dart frogs. Many are territorial so please make sure before you get your frogs that this will not be an issue. Some species can only be housed in pairs while others like the Dendrobates auratus and Dendrobates leucomelas (Bumble Bee Dart Frog) do well in groups. It is important to verify before you get the frogs.

    What you should know: It is imperative to keep an extremely high humid environment for these frogs. Even though you may buy fruit flies cultures, it will be easier to culture your own. And fruit flies WILL escape. Again, do not mix different dart frogs species. Oh, some can be quite pricy, and so can building their enclosures (plants, equipment, etc). These guys are for the very dedicated beginner only. They will do fine in room temperatures. The enclosure will need to be all glass with the top completely covered to keep in humidity. Air circulation is not as important with these frogs but high humidity is key. Hand misting or a misting device or fogging device may be required to maintain humidity. Be careful not to overheat them with intense lighting in their enclosures. Accurate temperature and humidity gauges are vital. Avoid any deep water situations where they could drown. Prior setup of the tank is suggested to ensure that the owner can keep the proper humidity range that is needed consistently. Also start fruit fly cultures 10 days out.

    So there you go! By no means is this list all inclusive. These are just some of the frogs you could be interested in owning, and some that require basic setups.

    In general, keep in mind that:

    1. Mixing species is a big no-no. It will be fatal to your frogs.
    2. As much as possible, do not handle your frogs. If you do, wash your hands before and after handling them.
    3. Even amongst the same species, try and avoid mixing different sizes of frogs in the same enclosure… Yes, one might become a meal.
    4. Frogs can turn into a passion verging on (or totally jumping feet first into) obsession. I kid you not, and don’t say I didn’t warn you.
    5. If you have questions, do not hesitate: ask us! We’re passionate about frogs, and if we can’t answer first hand, we will find someone who can.


  2. # ADS
    Circuit advertisement
     

  3. #2
    clownonfire
    Guest

    Default Re: Choosing a Frog

    I'd like to mention that Cheri did have a part in this article. Cheri, thank you for sharing your thoughts, adding a few tips, and making sure it was to Frog Forum's standards.

    Eric

  4. #3
    clownonfire
    Guest

    Default Re: Choosing a Frog

    Addendum

    This is somewhat related to the article. It's a copy of the Too Many Frogs Dying thread some of you have read:

    For the past month or so, I've been reading too many posts about frogs dying. And often enough, the death is not because of the animal, because the animal came in sick, or bad genes or, or, or... Often enough, the death is a consequence of poor husbandry: wrong environment for a frog species, too humid, not humid enough, not enough plants, a horizontal tank for a tree frog, feeding large crickets to thumbnail frogs... And we need to do something about this...

    A moderator on this board asked me when realizing that there were many White's and Red Eyed tree frogs dying lately: Are tree frogs really a good frog for beginners? Well, my answer is NO. The same as a dart frog would not be a good frog for a beginner: UNLESS you, the beginner will take the proper care of your frog. YOU, the beginner, will need to do some research before you get a frog, or make fast adjustments if you already have a frog and realize the requirements for your frog are not met.

    Would YOU keep a dog inside 4 days in a row without taking it to the park? Feed your cat a broccoli? No, you wouldn't. Yes, a frog looks cute at the pet shop and looks like it would make a lovely pet. But frogs have very specific requirements. They will be hardy only if you meet them. I am completely aware that when you see a tree frog at the pet shop in a very small enclosure without any branches you will end up thinking that is what such a frog needs. It's not. If you are on this board, and ask questions before you get a frog or because something seems wrong with your frogs, please, take our help openly. We want to help, but foremost, we do not want the frog to die. If we say your frog needs a vet, don't answer: I don't have XX$ to spend, what else can be done.... Nothing else can be done. Your frog will die.

    Frog Forum is a board for all spectrum of frog enthusiasts. It's a great place for general information. And I think this is why many of you are here. We are friendly, but many of us here are experts, and we want your frogs to be healthy.

    I cannot continue to read these posts and stay silent. Ask questions, inquire, and then DO WHAT'S BEST FOR YOUR FROG. If you were on Dendroboard, moderators and members wouldn't hesitate to tell you YOU ARE KILLING YOUR FROG.

    So I'm sorry to say: You are killing your frog. Let us help you save it. Please.

    If you think a frog is not for you at this point, it's ok. There's nothing wrong with that. Give your frog away to someone who will take care of it the way it needs to be cared for.

    Eric

  5. #4
    Moderator DonLisk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Nationality
    [United States]
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,337
    Blog Entries
    9
    Picture Albums: Member Photo Albums

    Default Re: Choosing a Frog

    I definitely agree that some Darts could make great beginner frogs.

    I'd like to add:
    Whites:
    • Eat agressively and if they miss the target, eat what landed in their mouth. So, Sphagnum Moss, Husk or bark type substrates, and pebbles, as a top layer is a hazard waiting to happen.
    • Require strong leafed plants since they will trample everything... suggestions: Snake plants, Bromeliads, and Pothos.


    Red Eyes:
    • Not fond of most night lighting, stay off the substrate if there is enough off ground travel area provided, and should be provided a tank or viv with greater height than width.
    • Are also delicate movers so many plants will surfice such as air plants, some ferns, and bamboo would be good choices along with snake plants, bromeliads, and pothos.


    And finally, is you find yourself with a new frog and no prior education and existing/ready home, don't just wait to provide them the proper environment, you bought them so provide for them.
    If your afraid to post to a thread, sent a moderator a message, they will help or find someone to help.

    Don
    1.0.0 Red Eyed Leaf/ Frog - Agalychnis callidryas
    1.1.1 Bumblebee Dart Frog - Dendrobates leucomelas
    1.1.0 Dendrobates truncatus - Yellow Striped
    1.1.1 Dendrobates tinctorius Bakhuis Mountain
    1.1.0 - Dendrobates tinctorius - Powder Blue
    1.1.0 - Ranitomeya vanzolinii

  6. #5
    live4god4
    Guest

    Smile Re: Choosing a Frog

    Would you include the White's Tree Frog in with the Tree frog portion of your article? I know that they like dryer areas versus the vietnamese blue tree frog. These are my two choices for my next acquirement. And yes I am doing my research before I purchase either of them. No I do not have any plans of purchasing both, it will be one or the other. I am just trying to decide which one would be the best choice for me and them.

  7. #6
    100+ Post Member Kisa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Nationality
    [United States]
    Location
    Southern California
    Age
    32
    Posts
    991
    Blog Entries
    4
    Picture Albums: Member Photo Albums

    Default Re: Choosing a Frog

    This is a great article Eric. Thanks for all the gooey yummy info for new members!
    0.0.2 Litoria caerulea
    --------------------------------------
    "The gallows are no place for the stubborn//Just you and your lover as a dark souvenir" - Bad Books, Pytor

  8. #7
    Moderator DonLisk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Nationality
    [United States]
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,337
    Blog Entries
    9
    Picture Albums: Member Photo Albums

    Default Re: Choosing a Frog

    Just wanting to BUMP this article since its a good read for those new to frogs.
    1.0.0 Red Eyed Leaf/ Frog - Agalychnis callidryas
    1.1.1 Bumblebee Dart Frog - Dendrobates leucomelas
    1.1.0 Dendrobates truncatus - Yellow Striped
    1.1.1 Dendrobates tinctorius Bakhuis Mountain
    1.1.0 - Dendrobates tinctorius - Powder Blue
    1.1.0 - Ranitomeya vanzolinii

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •