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Frogs and Toads

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Captive Bred Schneider's Skinks

[Section Under Construction]

Citizens of the United States, be aware that it is illegal in states such as New York,
to remove most animal species from the wild and keep them as pets.
Doing so could result in a large fine or even jail time.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia (Frogs / Toads / Newts / Salamanders)
Order: Anura (Frogs and Toads)
Family #1: Ranidae (Ground Frogs)
Family #2: Hylidae (Tree Frogs)
Family #3: Bufonidae (Toads)

(Note that this information is generic. See care sheets for species specific care information)

Most amphibians, unlike reptiles, breathe through their skin. In the case of anurans (frogs and toads), all species breathe through their skin. With salamanders, it depends on the species; some have lungs and breathe air, and others breathe through their skin.

For a very simple rule, frogs have smooth skin and toads have bumpy or "warty" skin. In addition to this, generally frogs spend close to 75% of their life in or immediately near water. Toads on the other hand spend close to 75% of their life on the land, not near water.

People often hear the urban legend that if you touch a toad, that you will get warts. If you are a character on the Sci-Fi channel this may happen, but for the rest of us in reality, you have just as good of a chance getting warts from petting your dog as you do from a toad. If you have ever played the game "submarine", you will soon understand the origins of this urban legend.

Toads have little bumps on their skin called granular glands, commonly known as "warts". The ONLY thing these glands, or "warts" do is secrete a fowl smelling, fowl tasting liquid which is intended to keep predators from eating them. The secret is out, you will not get warts from toads. What you may get is your hand soaked full of urine if you pick them up; this is their other defense mechanism.

When handling any amphibian, ALWAYS moisten your hands first with water as to prevent the animal from drying out. To properly hold an anuran, gently grip their back legs. They may struggle a little, but thats only to get away, NOT because you are hurting them.

For most species of frogs and toads, a 10 gallon tank should be plenty, some though need up to a 20 gallon tank. For arboreal frogs (tree frogs), be sure the cage has some decent height to it. Provide tall branches (sterilize branches first in scalding hot water ONLY and leave soaking for at least a week prior to use) for the frogs to climb on. Make sure you have a lid for the cage to prevent escapes. For a substrate, I would suggest shredded coconut bark. This is because this substrate holds moisture the best and considering anurans breathe through their skin and dry out very easily, this helps keep them moist. Place an under-tank heat mat (cage size appropriate) on the hot end of the tank. Place both a thermometer and humidity gauge on the hot end of the cage.

Provide a water dish at least large enough for the frog or toad to comfortably fit his body in. Place this water dish in the cool end of the cage. Fill the water dish to a depth of about 2 inches. Provide ample cover for the frog or toad to hide in or under. This may be done with fake or even live plants. If using live plants, use ones sold in pet shops or from businesses specializing in amphibians.

Mist the cage daily. This is needed to maintain a high humidity level. Rinse the water dish well with hot water (do NOT use any soap!) and replenish daily. Spot clean the cage daily as well. Clean the inside walls of the cage again with ONLY hot water weekly and replace old substrate with fresh once a month.

On average, most anurans prefer somewhere between 72 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, and 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Temperatures though are species specific. There should be at LEAST 70 % humidity in the cage at all times, regardless the species.

Small anurans get fed baby (also known as "pin head") crickets and large anurans get fed large crickets. If you are ever unsure of which size to feed, ALWAYS go smaller to prevent the risk of choking. The length (left cheek to right cheek) of the anuran's mouth needs to be at LEAST 3/4 of an inch in order for them to handle a large cricket safely. Provide the anuran with 6 to 12 crickets once a week (more or less depending on size and species of the anuran). Dust the crickets with an amphibian vitamin supplement EVERY OTHER feeding.

Green Tree frog
Pac Man frog
Fire Belly Toad
White's Tree frog
Cuban Tree frog

Aquatic frogs such as the African clawed and Dwarf African clawed are fully aquatic and should remain in water.

A 20 gallon tank is the minimum size for the African Clawed frog due to their large size of up to 5 inches. The African Dwarf clawed frogs don't get nearly as large. Their max growth is about 2 to 3 inches. For the dwarf frog, you can use a 5 gallon tank. Fill the tank with about a 1 ft. depth of water. Gravel makes a good substrate. The rule of thumb is 1lb of gravel per gallon of water. Provide multiple hiding places for your frog to feel comfortable. With the dwarf frogs, it is best to have an under-tank filter to avoid having them sucked up into the filter.

If you do want a basic waterfall filter, you can rig it by placing some sort of mesh (plastic of metal) in front of the waterfall. To avoid having them get sucked up, you would have to cover the intake tube with something that still allows water to be taken up. What tends to work, as odd as it may sound, is a woman's stocking. You would attach the tube to the filter, then slip the stocking over the intake portion, rubber band it tight and trim off the excess. Use a thermometer to monitor the water temperature. Aquatic frogs need a florescent strip lamp on the top of of the tank lid (This lamp is your basic fish hood) and it needs to be on for about 12 hours per day.

Do a 25% water change once a week and replace the filter cartridge once a month as directed in the instructions. The best thing to do is to leave the frog in the tank when cleaning, and use a gravel vacuum to suck up the fecal matter and water. When doing water changes, always add a water conditioner (follow the instructions CAREFULLY), its also a good idea to add a water balancer; the one I use is called Easy Balance, which is made by Tetra (again, follow the directions CAREFULLY).

The water should be around 70 - 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature.

Feed your frog commercial frog pellets. Feed dwarf frogs about 5 or 6 pellets once a day, EVERY OTHER day. Feed the regular clawed frogs about 15 pellets once a day, EVERY OTHER day. With the regular clawed frogs, they are large enough to feed them small minnows. Feed them about 6 minnows or so once a week.

African clawed and African Dwarf frogs

Start Your Own Cricket Colony [Printable]


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