Dwarf Frog - Hymenochirus boettgeri
Email leilani @ leilanimassage.com
Our Bird Pages
All the aquatic family:
Tank Set up
Gives a new meaning to wanting to be in the middle !
Do you see the white bumps in the armpit area of the two males? Can you find the otto cat in the background?
Skin shedding: This looks really strange at first like the frog is having a full body hiccup or seizure but it's perfectly normal. They will some times eat the skin after shedding as well. New shedding behavior observed 9-11-03.
Floating: They will float in very odd looking positions not moving, don't be alarmed. It's just a normal thing for them to do just like hiding under plants or tank objects like a pagoda or bridge.
Mating aka snuggling: The male claps the female just above her back legs. She does all the swimming for both of them for a day or so. At night they invert still attached and push their abdomens out of the water and lay a few eggs at a time. They can lay eggs upwards of 50-100 a night. Our males are noticeably smaller than the females. The females also have a slightly longer tail whereas the males have developed a bump/gland in their underarm area. These characteristics are apparent in some of our photos. The males are not always too picky about who they grasp and often have odd coupling positions that aren't very effective for mating. I used to worry about the smaller males being drowned by the larger males grasping them so roughly and not letting go. But the little males always managed fine and eventually got away. We occasionally get to see a conga line of frogs all attached in a group snuggle. For video of active egg laying click here
Fighting: Some ADF owners have noticed what they think is fighting which I thought was mismatched mating. I have noticed stomping with singing and definitely what looks like big time wrestling competing for terrority. To learn more check out the bulletin board.
Singing: The male sits at the bottom perfectly still looking and emits this whistly clicky sound and sometimes stomps his back feet. After singing for a day or more, we usually notice more snuggling.
Social: My local pet store and others have said that these little guys [African Dwarf Frogs] are not social. In our observation, they interact quite a bit with each other and choosing on pile on top of each other rather than having individual space. Maybe it's just our interpretation of their behavior.
Life Span: They can live more than 10 years. Be prepared to make a commitment to these critters.
Hunting: Our frogs will hunt worms at the bottom of the tank or live feeder fish by hanging out really still then snapping at a passing by fish. Then suddenly they gulp down the worm or fish. They will eat anything that fits in their mouths. It's rather amazing to watch.
Jumping: Just because these little critters live your tank does not mean they can't jump. Be very careful when transporting them or cleaning their tanks. I recommend placing your hand over the net if you're moving them in a traditional net and if in a tank always have a top on it!!!!!!!!!!!!! Twice I've forgotten this while cleaning their tanks and had an ADF leap out of the net and up a foot or so it seemed. One can imagine this could be fatal, you could lose them, they could jump somewhere unsafe, other pets could grab them, etc.... This also can not be good for them since they must be in the water all the time to breathe & survive. Read about a harrowing rescue from a garbage disposal here.
Our diverse aquatic family requires regular cleaning at least a 1/3 water change once a week.
We have two ways we clean our tanks. We use siphon $3-5 dollars for small tanks. And vacuum clean the gravel with it as it siphons water a third of the tank water out. We do this without removing anyone from the tank. We add more prepared water to the tank.
If needed, we do a more extensive clean to our tanks (as done weekly with betta tank). We remove all the decorations and the critters to a small holding tank with their tank water. If there are fish in the frog tank, we'll sometimes separate the frogs from fish so to not make hunting too easy. We must be very careful in moving the frogs because they will jump to their doom if uncovered even in the net during the moving process. To learn how NOT to clean a tank click here
We wipe down the sides of the tank with a tank scrubber less $5 at the pet store. We then use a siphon [also purchased at a pet store for small tanks $3] to clean the gravel and take quite a bit of water. We leave some water at the bottom. Live plants will do better if undisturbed so leave them planted and siphon around them. We add fresh room temperature treated tap water replace all the decorations and critters. Be sure to clean & replace filters as directed.
*Side note, if there are live worms in the bottom of the tank, we just stir the bottom to loosen debris and siphon a bit above the gravel as to not suck out all our worms. Our filters come with instructions on when to replace them.
Click on the image of the ADF to go to allaboutfrogs.org and learn about all different kinds of frogs. Reproduced with permission.
A place we visit regularly is the bulletin board on http://www.pipidae.net/ . It's a great way to chat with other ADF owners and learn more about them. You can ask specific questions & get input.
David Cecere's web site about feeding and caring for ADF and their tadpoles at http://www.pipidae.net/
More frog links:
*Alternatively some amateur tadpole growers use LiquiFry and brine shrimp versus David Cecere's suggested use of infusoria and daphnia. LiquiFry for egglayers also feeds both brine shrimp and encourages natural infusoria.
Blue Spruce Biological Supply offers a variety of interesting science supplies including daphnia, infusoria, microscopes, magnifying glasses, and containers. They ship quickly.
LFS Live Food Kits has some interesting kits including daphnia, brine shrimp, tubifex worms, and infusoria. Their brine shrimp egg price beats my local pet store by leaps. http://www.lfscultures.com/kits.html
To learn more about live food for fish & frogs check out: http://faq.thekrib.com/live-food.html
To learn more about pet shrimp and a great forum http://www.petshrimp.com/
To contact us: http://www.leilanimassage.com