Sunday, December 20, 2009

Get to know your frog...

This holiday season, someone somewhere is getting a gift of an EcoAquarium(TM). If you have received one, you may now be searching out more information about your desktop eco-system and it's web-footed inhabitant. Here's some info about our star of the show...Hymenochirus Curtipes, the African Dwarf Frog.

African Dwarf Frogs (ADF) are originally native to the rain forest swamps & wetlands of West Africa, but due to man's development of the land in the region, it's natural habitat has virtually all been erased.

Today, ours, and all African dwarf frogs sold in pet stores, are farm-raised under controlled conditions.

African dwarf frog, (ADF) natural habitat is shallow pools & puddles of low oxygen, stagnant water. The cold-blooded amphibian is fully aquatic but have lungs instead of gills, perfect for life in still shallow water with little or no dissolved oxygen. The African dwarf frog sense of smell exceeds it's vision. The frog evolved into a creature suited for turbid, muddy water of a shallow pool or swamp, where it would inhabit a sandy muddy bottom seeking food. In an aquarium, African dwarf frogs do not require much light and prefer close confined spaces free of predators.

An African dwarf frogs lifespan in captivity is on average 2 to 3 years but has been known to exceed 8 to 10 years. In nature, its greatest concern was to avoid being eaten, but not in an EcoAquarium(TM). With no threat of predators, and cared for properly, a African Dwarf Frog can flourish much longer than they would in the wild. The African dwarf frog has been a popular species of frog for aquariums due to it's minimal needs.

The size of the EcoAquarium(TM) is a perfect fit. The depth of the water closely mimics the African dwarf frogs natural habitat. You will see them often swim to the top for a breath of air and the small size of the aquariums gives them a easy, short trip to the surface.

As a general rule, our EcoAquarium Frogs are all male. By keeping things like a men's club, the complications of breeding, and competition is eliminated.(just like real-life) Without females around, male dwarf frogs co-exist happily with it's mates. Place a EcoAquarium next to a TV with a football game on & your frogs would be in frog heaven.

The frogs will shed their skin on occasion, making them appear “mossy” during the process. This is normal. The discarded skin will become part of the ecosystem food chain and does not need to be removed.

It is very easy to maintain a healthy EcoAqrarium(TM) environment. First & foremost, we always suggest using bottled spring water at room temperature for perodic water changes, as well as to clean anything you may put in your EcoAquarium(TM). We recommend avoiding putting your fingers in the water since doing so can introduce chemicals and pathogens that can affect the bio-system. It's wise to wash hands with bottled spring water before and after doing any maintenance to your tank.
Your EcoAquarium(TM) does not need direct sunlight. African Dwarf Frogs evolved in dark muddy water, and loves its nightlife. Also, the lucky bamboo plant in the aquarium is an aquatic undergrowth plant that thrives in full shade. Keeping everything away from direct sunlight also helps maintain a stable water temperature.

Remember, your African dwarf frog is fully aquatic and spends it's entire life in water. Keeping the lid of your EcoAquarium(TM) in place keeps frogs from getting out, or other uninvited guests (like the Cat) from getting inside.

African dwarf frogs are not big eaters. Our recommended weekly feeding is four pellets of our frog food per frog, per week. Of any problems associated with care & upkeep, over-feeding is the biggest culprit. Best rule of thumb... a little bit goes a long way. By the way, other 4-legged family members may LOVE the taste & smell of frog food too, so keep your frog food in a safe place away from prying paws.

African dwarf frogs have personalities. You may notice they anticipate feeding times, or develop a routine of hanging out in a particular place in its home at a particularly time each day. All African dwarf frogs like to do a "Zen" pose, where they stand motionless... and you may hear them sing at night. They'll grow on you.

You can find more information online about Mr. Hymenochirus Curtipes, especially on our website. Feel free to study up, and always remember we're happy to answer questions and offer advice. Give us a call if you wish, our frog experts are always ready to leap (pardon the pun) to your aid.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

Can a frog win a horserace?

Everyone loves contest upset, and from the votes we've been getting, it looks like we have a frog in a horserace.

We're running neck & neck. (If frogs had necks) Despite that, we're confident we're going to "LEAPFROG" over the competition down the homestretch. But to do that, everyone needs to spread the can vote more than once! And if you register when you vote, you can win, along with us! Each vote gives you a chance to win ALL THE TOYS in the category of your choice!

Don't wait, VOTE NOW! Tell your friends! And early & OFTEN!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Terracotta Condo

Janice D. sent us some photos of a little addition to her Jewel EcoAquarium, a little "Home Improvement" project that was really neat! We loved it so much we made a little movie of the photos for all to see.

She wrote..."I purchased the pot at a Michaels
Craft store and soaked it in spring water for a day and a half and also
changed the spring water twice to make sure there was no dye etc. before
placing it in the frogs tank. They seem to love going in there and the
littlest frog slept in it last night!!

What a great idea! Thanks Janice for the photos, and we hope Sable, Able & Mable enjoy the new digs!

BTW! If you have tips, ideas or stories to share, drop us a line. We'd love to hear from you. Drop us a line anytime.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A whole world on your desk...

Ecosystem: the complex of a community of organisms and its environment functioning as an ecological unit.- Webster’s Dictionary.

Because it is able to conveniently fit on a table or desk, you may find it difficult to believe that there is much to the Wild Creations EcoAquarium™, but inside each is a world unto itself. More than just gravel, plant, and frogs, its balanced ecosystem habitat offers a bit of nature and science at your fingertips.

Years of study and research are behind each ecosystem habitat, and each aquarium component serves a very specific and vital role. For beginners, you may think the plant inside each aquarium is just bamboo … but think again. It’s actually “Lucky Bamboo”, or Dracaena Sanderiana. This hardy plant, like the African dwarf frogs swimming around it, is from the rainforests of West Africa. It thrives on very wet and low light conditions, which is why it works so well in each aquarium. Next, the brown gravel, or Living Gravel™, which you will find at the bottom of each aquarium, serves as a natural, biological filter, converting toxins in the water to valuable nutrients utilized by other components of the habit. Lastly, the ecosystem wouldn’t be complete without the frogs, which contribute to the ecosystem much the way we do to ours.

How does a frog thrive in this ecosystem? For African dwarf frogs, shallow puddles and streams of water are their home. This is why the comfortable habitat of the EcoAquarium makes such a great home for them. These tiny frogs, much like us, enjoy the quiet luxuries of a safe, predator- and hazard-free home, with all the amenities of their own natural habitat.

How does the ecosystem work without a pump or aquarium filter? Well, quite simply because there IS a filter inside every EcoAquarium. As mentioned before, the brown Living Gravel is literally a biological filter, home to MILLIONS of beneficial anaerobic bacteria, eating waste and providing food for the other components of the aquarium.

The beauty of the cycle of life, often reflected as an ecosystem, is that it can be as all-encompassing as the world itself or as big as a space that can sit on a tabletop.
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