Suggestions for moving 20+ year old African Clawed Frog to new tank

KartRCR125

I've recently become a new caretaker of my fiance's 20+ year old African Clawed Frog, Tippy, that we have taken responsibility of. Tippy came from a Grow-a-Frog kit that my fiance did when she was little. The unfortunate part is that Tippy has spent his (assuming based on nightly croaking) entire life in about 1 gallon tank, without a filter, that has been getting regular full water changes every few weeks. He has a single rock as substrate, and gets fed ReptoMin floating food sticks daily.

Upon taking ownership of Tippy I did some research to quickly find out he's been living in a much too small tank and is deserving of some territory to swim in. In a bit of an impulse I bought a 10 Gallon tank, filled it 3/4 way up, got a few rocks, a shelter, and treated it for chlorination. I have not moved Tippy to his new habitat because I've been doing more reading and am now concerned about whether or not I need to cycle the tank and take more precautions to ensure his continued survival in moving from a 1 gal tank to a 10 gallon tank. I'm hoping to see him thrive and enjoy his new space, so I'd greatly appreciate any helpful tips on what I should do to ensure a smooth transition.

I've already ordered a testing kit and some basics for water changing. I'm now in need of specifically knowing what I should to prepare the tank before transfer.

Should I do a fishless cycle? Is it necessary?
Should I be concerned about switching over water in his far too small tank? (The refill of water is now city water instead of from a suburb where he resided for his life so far)
Should I add a filter? Heater? (he's never had either of this in his small tank for entire life so far)

Thanks in advance!
 

Dom90

Yes you should do a fishless cycle, its more humane for the frog. A filter and heater is necessary as well. What test kit did you order?
 

KartRCR125

Yes you should do a fishless cycle, its more humane for the frog. A filter and heater is necessary as well. What test kit did you order?

I ordered a "API Freshwater Master Test Kit". I will get a heater and a filter. Since he's never had a filter, should I be concerned about vibrations from it? I was planning on getting a whisper waterfall style filter.

Do you have any tips for the fishless cycle? I feel bad for him living in a small tank now. I've read it can take weeks or months. Am I better of doing it slowly or using something to accelerate and get him out of his tiny tank more quickly?
 

KartRCR125

First off,
https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfishforum/threads/ammonia-instructions-for-a-fishless-cycle.19627/

but since you're only adding one specimen, only dose ammonia to 1 ppm.

He will get used to the filter eventually. The filter you are referring to is called a "Hang on Back" or Power filter. Get something that is about 80-100 GPH. Who knows, maybe you can add other ADFs later. They like friends!

Is that the best filtering option? I planned on keeping the tank filled 3/4 to prevent space for jumping and not have the water be too deep. With the hang on back style it looks like the waterfall would be pretty steep.

I'm working on filling up an Amazon cart for all the things I need for cycling... This should be an interesting experiment!
 

KartRCR125

Well, its either buying a HOB or a canister. A canister filter will run you at least $70 though. How about an AquaClear 10 or 20? You can customize the filter media to how you want. Also grab a bottle of Seachem Stability to cycle the tank faster.

Thanks, I like the versatility and design of the AquaClear 20. It looks like it comes with a variety of media. Is there a ideal combination you would suggest for ACF? Cycling period?

I've added the Seachem to my cart as well. For Ammonia it was suggested as "pure ammonia", but I couldn't figure out exactly what that meant when finding products. I added a bottle of "DrTims Aquatics Ammonium chloride" to my cart which appears to be favorable for cycling.
 

Dom90

Lol don't waste your money buying that stuff. Just go to your local Ace Hardware store and grab a bottle of "Janitorial Strength pure ammonia".

For $6, you get a gallon at Ace
 

butterfly48

From my own research it seems that water vibrations are a concern for African Clawed frogs however they are messy and need a very high filter rate. To reduce the vibrations the Whisper filters are pretty good as they don't have an exaggerated waterfall effect and you should also get a filter rated for a much larger tank, you can purchase spray bars or make your own water break using rocks if you feel your frog is upset by the water flow. I would also recommend once he is in the tank only turning the filter on for a little while at a time until you're confident it's not stressing him out, in which case you can then leave it on all the time. It is recommended that you fill the tank all the way up since they are 100% aquatic animals. If you're worried about them jumping out you can always tape any holes in the aquarium hood. I have an african dwarf frog and I have never had any problems with him jumping out. I think it just depends on the individual.
Here is a site that's very informative -

Hope this helps! Good luck!
 

KartRCR125

Lol don't waste your money buying that stuff. Just go to your local Ace Hardware store and grab a bottle of "Janitorial Strength pure ammonia".

For $6, you get a gallon at Ace

To be honest, with my severely limited amount of storage space, I'd pay for a smaller bottle as long as I know I have the right stuff!

Is there any reason not to buy it as it wouldn't be the right product to add? I'm imagining I don't need very much for the this process if its just a few drops/day.
 

Dom90

With 10 gallons, you would only need like 0.5mL of pure ammonia a day.
 

KartRCR125

Thanks for the info. I'm going to get a HOB filter and I'll be sure to not run it consistently at first when I move him over to the tank so its less of a shock. I'm not sure what I'll do yet for a water break, but I'll find something that works to reduce the strength of the waterfall. I don't really want to let the water get too close to the top because he has been prone to jumping.
 

Dom90

You can fold a sponge in front of some HOBs where the water flows down to slow the rate down I think,
 

BDpups

The filter will need to be run 24/7 to make sure the nitrifying bacteria does not die off. And if you are not going to keep the tank filled to the top, a HOB filter is not what you want. I would get an internal filter, or a canister.
 

KartRCR125

The filter will need to be run 24/7 to make sure the nitrifying bacteria does not die off. And if you are not going to keep the tank filled to the top, a HOB filter is not what you want. I would get an internal filter, or a canister.
To keep vibrations down I think I'd avoid an internal filter. Would a external canister filter be overkill for a 10 Gallon tank? In doing some high level research it sounds like a lot of them are rated for much bigger tanks. If I find one with a variable speed I would consider it.
 

BDpups

To keep vibrations down I think I'd avoid an internal filter. Would a external canister filter be overkill for a 10 Gallon tank? In doing some high level research it sounds like a lot of them are rated for much bigger tanks. If I find one with a variable speed I would consider it.
I have found if you have too much flow with a canister, that drilling the holes out to be bigger on the spray bar works to reduce the current in the tank.

Here is a minI canister that should work with no modifications though.
 

Dom90

It is true, canister filters are generally for bigger tanks, but doesn't mean you can't get one. The only HOB filter with an adjustable flow rate that I know of is the AquaClears.
 

KartRCR125

It is true, canister filters are generally for bigger tanks, but doesn't mean you can't get one. The only HOB filter with an adjustable flow rate that I know of is the AquaClears.

I've done some more research and think I'll probably get a canister filter after all. I think I'd like not having a waterfall sounds all the time anyways. I was checking out some of the smallest Eheim and Fluval canisters, but most of them sounds like they would in excess of what I should have running a 10 Gal tank with about 8 gallons in it. I found this one that I might settle for unless there's a great reason to get a Eheim of Fluval, the .
 

Dom90

Well with canisters, you only need 5x GPH. I am running a Fluval406, rated at 383, on my 75g. Fluval and Eheim are like the Mercedes and BMW of filters.


 

BDpups

I think the Zoo Med is worth a shot. I linked this one earlier, but the place I linked did not have it in stock.

And if you go for a Eheim, That's the one I would get.

I know Fluval makes quality filters as well. I've never owned one though so would be hesitant in recommending one.

And I agree with you. I would rather not have to hear the sound of a waterfall all the time. I think a small canister is the way to go in your case. Good luck
 

Dom90

I have 2 Fluvals, the 406 and 206, highly recommended. You can hardly hear it. If you're going with Fluval, I recommend the 106.


 

marijo

hello

Do you have an adf or acf, adf have webbed arms and feet, acf are bigger and only have webbed feet ?
 

KartRCR125

hello

Do you have an adf or acf, adf have webbed arms and feet, acf are bigger and only have webbed feet ?

ACF, the arms are not webbed. He's approximately 5.5" long when stretched out.
 

marijo

ok, I wasn't sure what kind of frog you had(I have adfs), so you need good filtration, acf are messy, I would have recommend Tetra whisper or Aquaclear filter but if you don't want to fill your tank to the top, your frog may not like the waterfall. I would take the time to cycle your tank and has you moved and water is not the same, I would only change part of the water in the one gallon tank, just to let your frog get used to the new water. If you have not read it already, here's the link for acf care sheet

https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfishforum/threads/care-sheet-for-african-clawed-frogs.82321/

By the way, I find that amazing that your acf is more than 20 years old, it's quite old for an acf!
 

KartRCR125

Thanks for the tips and care sheet. I am planning on cycling the new tank. I've gone into the depths of researching how to do it and think I will have to do a fishless cycle since I don't have anything to seed the tank with and it could be risk to my ACF to move him over quickly. I've got a few updates to my setup and plan and have all my items showing up today:
- Tank setup: 10 Gal, Zoo Med Nano Canister w/Spraybar, Eheim 75W therm/heater (Accidentally got stronger than need, wondering if this will be an issue?), Thermometer,
- Cycle & Water Supplies: Air pump, tubing + stones (don't plan on keeping in once cycled), Seachem Prime, Seachem Stability, Ammonia
- Testing: API Freshwater Master.

I've already tested my tap water, decholorinated still 24 hour still water, and current 1-gallon tank. I've only had the test kit for a day, but did a 50% water change in ACF's current 1-gallon tank last night and have levels down as of this morning. (Ammonia 2ppm, NO2 ~3ppm, NO3 30ppm). It appears his current tank that has a single rock as substrate has a cycle of itself going, so I'm thinking I will keep monitoring and doing water changes until his new tank is ready.

Open questions I'm figuring out:
- Should I attempt to do anything speed up or seed the cycle process in new tank? Is there anyway I can get bacteria from his current tank into the new tank (only have 1 rock in there now)?
- Should I consider any certain filter media for ACF vs. what comes OBO in my canister (mech. sponge, bio ceramic media, carbon)?
- What should I kick-off the cycle with? I have ammonia, should I use the Seachem Stability right away?
- How long should I wait until moving the ACF to the new tank?

TLDR - I've done a lot of research, bought a lot of stuff, and am still learning but want to do it right!
 

Dom90

Bacteria will adhere to any surface, so yes move that rock into the new tank! After using Prime, wait 30 minutes for it to kick in and eliminate chlorine. Add the correct amount of ammonia for 2 ppm. Then add the Stability.

I think bacteria stick to ceramic media better.
 

Lucy

We have separated this thread since the title did not reflect the questions being asked.
The cycling questions should get more attention this way.
If someone can help, here's the link:
 

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