How to Care for Frogs

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Caring for frogs entails providing a habitat, offering regular food and knowing how to interact with your pet. For each of these aspects, the same advice goes: Mimic the frog's natural environment as closely as possible.

Creating a Habitat

Things You'll Need

  • 20-gallon or larger fish tank
  • Plexiglass divider
  • Aquarium sealant
  • Aquarium gravel
  • Substrate such as soil or sand
  • Distilled water
  • Low-power aquarium water filter
  • Hollowed out half log
  • Plants and decorations
  • Water bottle with misting attachment
  • Aquarium heater

Step 1: Choose a Tank and Habitat Style

Choose an aquarium for your frogs. Larger frogs require significantly more space than smaller frogs. Many species require both land for basking and water for swimming. Some frogs are aquatic and others are used to arid conditions. Consult a herpetologist -- a reptile scientist -- for advice for your particular specie. A 20-gallon tank is suitable for most species.

Step 2: Choose a Location

Place the aquarium on a steady surface that can bear the weight of a full tank in a room where it is unlikely to be disturbed by other pets. Consider also that frogs are nocturnal. Their croaking and splashing may impact your ability to sleep if placed in a bedroom.

Step 2: Prepare the Divider

Many species who require both land and water need an environment of half land, half water. Cut a piece of plexiglass to the width of the tank and a height equal to the height of your frog plus 1 inch. Sand the top of the plexiglass until it isn't sharp, as your frogs will climb over this from water onto land and vice versa. Secure this to the bottom middle of the aquarium with nontoxic aquarium sealant and let cure, creating two equal-sized tank halves.

Step 3: Add Substrate

Place just enough aquarium gravel on both sides of the divider to cover the glass bottom. Use gravel that isn't small enough for your frog to swallow by accident. On one side of the divider, add substrate such as soil or sand until it reaches the height of the divider.

Step 4: Add Water

Fill the other side of the divider with distilled, nonchlorinated water to the level of the divider. If your frogs are from a tropical environment where the water they live in is warmer than ambient temperature, use a small aquarium water heater. Add a low-power aquarium filter to the water as well to keep it clean.

Step 5: Place Hideaways and Plants

Frogs need places to hide and sleep in their enclosure. Use a hollowed-out half log on the dry side of your aquarium or head to a pet store, which usually sells commercial reptile hides. Place plants and other decorations relevant to your frog's natural habitat as well for your frog to climb on and explore. Tree frogs are arboreal and need tall plants to climb on, for example. A stick placed into the water and leaning against the plexiglass will give your frogs access to land and water by climbing on it.

Step 6: Maintaining the Enclosure

Make sure that the temperature and humidity of the frog's enclosure stays near that of her natural habitat. Use a water bottle with a misting attachment to keep the dry side humid and place a small clip-on terrarium heater on the tank, if necessary. Replace the substrate on the land side of the tank periodically.

Foods and Feeding

While tadpoles may be omnivores best fed with commercial frog food, adult frogs are carnivores. For most frogs, that means insects, though some large frogs also feed on creatures such as mice and fish. Typical fare for semi-aquatic or land species includes:

  • Crickets
  • Earthworms
  • Mealworms
  • Various other insects found around the home
  • Small mice as a rare treat for large frogs

To feed your frog, first dust the insects with reptile diet powder, which supplies calcium and vitamin D3, then place a sampling of your chosen food into the frog's enclosure at night. Remove uneaten morsels in the morning. If using insects that you catch at home, be sure that they couldn't have come into contact with pesticides or poisons.

Tip

  • Choose crickets and insects not wider than your frog's mouth to prevent choking.

Feed aquatic frogs by placing a small terra-cotta dish on the bottom of the aquarium then loading up a turkey baster with their food and squirting it onto the plate under water. Aquatic frogs will eat:

  • Livebearer fry, such as guppy fry
  • Frozen brine shrimp, bloodworms, glass worms, krill, baby shrimp or beef heart
  • Worms chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • Commercially available frog pellets

Interacting with Your Frog

Frogs absorb chemicals through their skin. It's also how they drink. For this reason, do not handle your frogs more than necessary. They may absorb anything you have on your hands by accident. Watch your frogs from outside of their enclosures and both you and your pet will be happy.

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