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.


  1. We had fun learning more about our new family members! After learning that they are both boys I gave my daughter the opportunity to change her frog's name but she decided to keep it. Our frogs are Ribbit and Rhianna. The singing is new to us- I think we might move them to the bedrooms to see if we can hear them!

  2. We have had our Aquarium now for a couple years and one of frogs has died. We would like to replace him and the Bamboo which accidentally turned over in the process of a move. SO, I had a couple questions before ordering. How long does the "Living Gravel" last? Is it OK to introduce a new frog? Can we get a bigger tank and have multiple frogs mixed with Beta fish? Ours came with a snail which was a nice added cleaning benefit. Where can I get another one? Well that does it for now. Thanks so much! We love this product!

  3. Hi Mark, Sorry to hear of your loss, you can call us at 843-448-8880 and order, or go to our website. As for your other questions...
    As long as the bacteria has ammonia to convert it will thrive, virtually indefinitely.

    You can introduce a new frog, but be aware of the age differences, a younger frog will be at a disadvantage. Feed generously but don't overfeed. You surviving frog can do fine without a tankmate BTW.

    You can always migrate your frog into a larger aquarium, but you will no longer have the ease of maintenence in a larger tank, and the bio-system that is sustained naturally in our EcoAquariums cannot be achieved in water volumes larger than a gallon or more without outside mechanical filtering and chemical water treatment.

    While keeping aquariums with mixed species is the norm, you always run the risk of introducing pathogens into the bio-culture that can be communicated to the entire aquarium stock by mixing species. We recommend maintaining single species aquariums for this reason.

    The enviromental needs of frogs verses fish are different. Most frogs can tolerate low oxygenated, high ammonia, high PH water conditions that fish cannot, simply due to how they breathe. While Frogs can live in an aquarium that is conditioned for fish, the opposite is not the case. If you do mix frogs & fish, always aim to accomodate the needs of fish over frogs.

    The snail's function was to keep algae at bay but we found that as long as you have little UV light, algae is not a problem. Both frog and Lucky Bamboo plant have low-light tolerance and thrive out of sunlight. We always advise keeping EcoAquariums out of direct sunlight or always in an indoor enviroment. If you have an aquarium with a UV tank light, you will get algae, so a algae eater like a snail would be a good choice. Freshwater Nerite snails can be bought at most pet stores, we've discontinued stocking them.

    We hope this answers some of your questions, remember we have a thriving discussion board of Q&A on our facebook page as well as a good library of info on our website. Also, we are always a phone call away at 843-448-8880 9-5PM Mon-Fri EST. Thanks!


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