African Frog Care

Discussion in 'Amphibians' started by frogbreeder, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. frogbreederWell Known MemberMember

    The other day I came across this article on Yahoo Voices about ADF/ACF care and maintenance, which I thought others might find useful. While I don’t agree with everything stated in this article, in particular some of the suggestions regarding feeding and the treatment of disease, I thought much of the advice that it contains is excellent. I especially found the information about aquarium design, water changes, and filtration (or lack thereof) very helpful. This article clearly explains the rationale behind the need to cycle a frog tank manually, by performing extremely large water changes on a regular basis, as opposed to relying on a filter to establish a biological cycle - a subject that frequently gets overlooked, because these frogs are usually sold with fish, and often get treated as such, simply as a matter of convenience. - frogbreeder

  2. CichlidnutFishlore VIPMember

    Thanks for sharing. There was some good stuff in there. I think they like freeze dried foods a little too much though.
  3. AlexAlexWell Known MemberMember

    So I don't need any Filters on my ADF tank?
  4. frogbreederWell Known MemberMember

    Yes, I'd definitely suggest feeding frozen or live foods over freeze-dried ones. And, I'd definitely recommend that freeze-dried foods be pre-soaked beforehand, if they are to be used. I'm not so sure about using Pima-Fix or Mela-Fix with ADFs, either. Usually these meds aren't considered safe for ADFs, even at half-strength. But, overall, I thought the explanation about tank set-up and water changes very good.

    Admittedly, I do use some filtration in my larger tanks, howbeit minimal. I usually use a small, fully-submergible filter that is extremely under-rated for the size of tank used and modify it to minimize its flow-rate. But, this is simply to remove any suspended particles from the water, rather than to create a biological cycle. I still perform very large water changes on a weekly basis, and occassionally (once evey 4-6 weeks or so), I carefully move the frogs to a separate container or tank, so I can clean their tank thoroughly and do a complete water change, so that toxins do not build up over time. As you know, these frogs are so much happier and behave more normally, when they are kept in a tank with minimal or no filtration. - frogbreeder

    AlexAlex, filtration is neither required, nor recommended for ADFs. Most of us on this forum who keep ADFs in tanks with a filter have modified the filter to reduce its flow-rate. ADFs prefer still, shallow water.
  5. AlexAlexWell Known MemberMember

    I have a regular filter and did not know that if you have filtration that it has to be underrated or very minimal. Thanks for that information.

    I've been feeding mine Tilapia. Is that safe for them?
  6. AlexAlexWell Known MemberMember

    I have an AC 20 on it but used a water bottle (empty) to make the filter flow much less 'disturbing', so to speak.

    On the water, it's only about 8" deep. The frogs are around 4 months old, so I didn't want it as deep as the 10 Gallon is (around 12 inches, I think).

    I just checked and one of my frogs have died from bloat, I think. I reckon leaving a piece of food in the tank for a few hours wasn't the best thing to do. Ugh.
  7. frogbreederWell Known MemberMember

    AlexAlex, I'm really sorry about your frog. It may not have to do with the food. What type of substrate do you have? Is there any chance that your frog had ingested pieces of gravel, which can frequently cause bloat?

    Yes, tilapia is safe, but I wouldn't recommend using it as a staple diet for ADFs. ADFs do best when they are fed a variety of foods. Although bloodworms are frequently recommended as a staple diet for ADFs, they are not suitable, for many different reasons. If you do wish to use frozen bloodworms, I'd suggest using only Hikari brand, and even then only sparingly. The care guide posted here is excellent and contains many other suggestions for feeding ADFs:
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2012
  8. AlexAlexWell Known MemberMember

    I have Black Sand as the substrate. I was advised not to use gravel as sometimes food gets lost and it can choke the frogs, etc.

    Thanks, frogbreeder. I appreciate your time.
  9. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    The article seems to emphasize cycling the water, which isn't how it works. IMO the author is a little shaky on the cycle.

    90% weekly changes for frogs (with cycled water) - 25% water change for fish once a month is standard? Eh, not so much...
    I suppose a filter isn't necessary if you are going to maintain such a rigorous water change schedule.

    Spirilina (spirulina) is an algae, not a bacteria supplement. The bacteria is nitrosospira and nitrospira. Those are what's in the bottle, among other strains, and what grows in the tank naturally.

    They can't be kept in tanks with fish and a filter? Eh, I think there are plenty of tanks that demonstrate otherwise. It's one thing to say that they shouldn't be, if that's how you feel. But to say CANNOT... That's clearly not the case because they can. And do. The frogs have mental breakdowns if kept with a filter? Eh, I'd like to know how that's determined...

    Interesting - I didn't see any mention of bare bottom/sand/gravel. I'm on a phone so maybe I missed it.
  10. AlexAlexWell Known MemberMember

    Jaysee, there wasn't anything mentioned about the substrates.
  11. frogbreederWell Known MemberMember

    I think the author understands how the "cycle" works, but is a little shaky on protocols typically used for fish (personally I wouldn't recommend using spirulina to start cycling a fish-tank, but some people do). The point he is making, however, is that you need to "cycle" the water manually to remove any toxins, if a filter isn't used. Yes, 90% weekly water changes, using fresh, dechlorinated water, and the occassional 100% change, is recommended for ADFs.

    ADFs can be kept with fish, in certain instances, but a species-only aquarium is usually recommend, for many, many different reasons. Certainly, some people, like Cichlidnut, are able to keep ADFs and fish together quite successfully, with a little extra effort. But, I think you need to be really careful. ADFs have different care requirements than most fish. ADFs do prefer still, shallow water and can become extremely stressed when kept in a deep tank with regular filtration and strong currents, because the currents can make it difficult for them to surface to breath and rest at the surface. I'm not so sure about the author's explanation about the presence of lateral lines though. Fish, as well as ADFs, have an extensive network of lateral-line nerve endings running along either the side of their bodies, with which they can detect vibrations in the water. But, fish would be freaked out by currents too, if his rationale were correct. And, we all know they aren't. In fact, some fish, like loaches for example, love a current.

    Yes, there's no mention in the article about the use of substrates. Using either smooth, silica sand or a bare-bottomed aquarium is usually recommended for ADFs, because they can accidentally swallow regular gravel while feeding, and this can cause blockages and bloating, and even death. - frogbreeder
  12. AlexAlexWell Known MemberMember

    I took the filter off of my ADF tank, so the water should be quite still now. It is below my Mbuna tank which runs 2 AC 110's and an AC 50, so it isn't perfectly still but near it.

    The other 3 frogs seem to be okay so far. The one that died was only about half the size of the other 3, so I'm not sure what happened. It did look somewhat bloated, though.
  13. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    There is no cycling water, and performing water changes to maintain water quality is not a cycle.

    Spirulina is only used for cycling if you are doing a fishless cycle with fish food...
  14. CichlidnutFishlore VIPMember

  15. AlexAlexWell Known MemberMember

    I really rather use a filter, but like some others have told me, they use one that is underrated. I don't have one in storage so I'll just buy one this weekend.
  16. CichlidnutFishlore VIPMember

    Look in to sponge filters. Simple, easy and effective.
  17. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    That's really all you need
  18. AmazonPassionModeratorModerator Member

    since we are on the topic of frog care...what is the minimum size tank for one ADF?
  19. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    I didn't see that in the article either. I would say 5 gallons for one, maybe 2, and 10 for more. A 20 long would be good for a bigger group.

    I recently saw a write up for them that said 1 gallon per frog. That seems like way to much to me.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2012
  20. CichlidnutFishlore VIPMember

    I agree, 5 gallons for 1.