Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Get to know your African Dwarf Frog

EDITORS NOTE: This article is a repost of one we published back in 2009. Since each Christmas we gain so many new EcoAquarium Owners, it's a good idea to repost this article since it covers a lot of ground concerning African Dwarf Frogs.

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.
Small in stature, big in personality...
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 so in an EcoAquarium. 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 & docile behaviour.

The size of the EcoAquarium 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. While they often are popular additions to standard freshwater aquariums, the depth of an aquarium can often make the trip to the surface for a breath of air a long & stressful trip. In nature, the African Dwarf Frog is accustomed to 4" to 6" inch water depths or less.


African Dwarf Frogs will molt, or 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.In fact don't be alarmed if you see one frog picking at the skin of another and eating it.
The EcoAquarium: A world onto itself
It's very easy to maintain a healthy EcoAquarium environment.  First & foremost, you should always use bottled spring water at room temperature for periodic water changes, as well as to clean anything you may put in your EcoAquarium since tap water & bottled drinking water often contains chlorine. Any chlorine introduced to a EcoAquarium can kill off the filtering bacteria in the gravel, as well as harm the Lucky Bamboo plant and your frogs. With Bottled Spring Water you can be sure you are using clean chlorine-free, mineral rich water, without having to treat it to de-chlorinating chemicals. We also 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. Consider your EcoAquarium as a separate bio-system onto itself. The less exposure to the world outside the better.

Your EcoAquarium 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 in place keeps frogs from getting out, or other uninvited guests (like the Cat) from getting inside.
A little feeding goes a LONG way...
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. Uneaten food can spoil and cause the water to become cloudy. It can effect water-quality making the need for water changes much more frequent. 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.
When it comes to information..
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.We also have a moderated page on Facebook, we try to answer any questions there as well, however, the best way to get a question answered is to give us a call at 843-448-8880 Mon-Fri, 9AM-6PM.

5 comments:

  1. Hello, do you feed the frogs all at once for the week or should it be spread out through the week?
    Thank you
    Janie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should feed two pellets per frog two times a wk so its more spread out.

      Delete
  2. SHould u only use the lucky bamboo plant or can you use any bamboo plant? My bamboo is getting brown and old, and i want to replace it

    ReplyDelete
  3. We commonly suggest 2 pellets per frog twice a week primarily to cut down overfeeding & overloading the EcoAquarium with uneaten food. While you may try to stick to a regimented feeding schedule, you'll soon realize that the frogs don't have clocks & calendars to tell them when it's time to eat. If they find food & they're hungry, they'll eat.
    We suggest feeding them and observe if they eat right away, or if they leave food uneaten. Their hunger will decide how much they will eat, so indulge them only if there's no uneaten food around. For the frogs, everything is feast or famine, what's more important is making sure they clean their plate, and not leave food to spoil and muck up the tank.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I need help ASAP! I recently purchased two African Dwarf Frogs for my Betta/Fresh-Water Snail aquarium. I feed them with freeze-dried blood worms and aquatic frog micro pellets. The problem is that EVERYTHING IS EATING THE FROG FOOD!!! All of my pets are well fed and taken care of, it's just that they are all a bunch of greedy pigs! Please respond with haste because I dont want them to starve 😰

    ReplyDelete

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