In addition to or instead of the usual snails, many aquarists began to acquire in the company of fish much more exotic inhabitants of aquariums – decorative frogs. If you are sure that you will be able to provide them with optimal living conditions, you can join the now popular direction of aquarism and get a couple of frogs.
Aquarium Frogs – Species
The most common varieties of aquarium frogs are the smooth clawed and dwarf hymenochirus. Outwardly, they differ in size, color, behavior, features of the content. In pet stores, they are often kept in the same aquarium and when selling they do not delve into differences and do not focus on the species of a particular individual. Often this causes subsequent problems when they are kept together.
If the frog has slender and long legs with membranes between the fingers, the muzzle is pointed, and the color is gray, then you have a hymenochirus aquarium frog. She, becoming an adult, does not grow more than 4 cm. By nature and behavior, she is very calm, quiet and even slow. Not in a hurry, she crawls along the bottom for a long time, climbs rocks and other underwater objects, and sometimes freezes and remains motionless for a long time.
These features, on the one hand, are an advantage when kept together with fish: they do not cause problems, do not drive fish, do not damage plants and almost do not pollute the aquarium. On the other hand, such lethargic behavior often becomes the reason that they do not get food, especially if active and mobile fish live nearby. In a large aquarium, these aquarium frogs will be almost invisible, hiding on the bottom among snags, plants and stones.
Aquarium clawed frogs
The complete opposite of hymenochiruses is clawed frogs. They are very active, eating everything they can grab, tearing plants, moving stones and snags, digging in the ground. The color of wild clawed frogs is grayish or olive, with spots. They are thick and large. Between the fingers they do not have membranes, and the legs themselves are thick and not too long. If you need decorative frogs in the aquarium, look for spur albinos.
Albino clawed frog
These aquarium frogs, artificially bred for research, are very conspicuous in the aquarium. The albino frog for the aquarium has a pinkish or white color, it has large expressive eyes and a rounded muzzle. It has an interesting feature of hanging in the middle of the aquarium, which invariably attracts attention. The size of the clawed frog can reach 10-12 cm.
How long do frogs live in an aquarium?
Subject to all the most important conditions of detention, aquarium frogs live in captivity for an average of about 15 years. Hymenochiruses live less – about 5 years. If you want to achieve the longevity of your pets, you need to consider that all of them, regardless of species, are very sensitive to any changes in the environment and can experience great stress and even get sick from this, although in general they are unpretentious animals.
How many years frogs live in an aquarium also directly depends on what conditions were kept in the pet store. Often, wild clawed frogs are transferred from natural water bodies without observing the conditions of transportation and do not contribute to their adaptation in a new place. This can lead to various diseases, which will naturally shorten their lifespan.
Frogs in the aquarium – content
No matter how exotic aquarium ornamental frogs may seem, they are not too pretentious in terms of keeping conditions. For spurs, the volume of the aquarium is needed a little more than for hymenochiruses. If they are kept without fish, then a 20-30 liter aquarium half-filled will suffice. Be sure to provide a lid or net to cover to keep the frogs from escaping. From the equipment they need a compressor and a small internal filter. There is no need for additional lighting for them.
The water temperature at which the maintenance of our aquarium frogs will be comfortable should be at the level of + 22-25 ° С. As for the chemical composition of water, clawed frogs are completely unpretentious. And yet, before pouring into the aquarium, the water must be defended for 2-3 days. You need to change it once a week, replacing 20-25% of the volume. You can change the water less often, based on the degree of cloudiness. Plants for claws must be planted necessarily hard and only in pots, otherwise the frog will ruthlessly uproot them from the ground.
For one hymenochirus, 1-2 liters of water is enough. Its temperature should not be lower than +24°С. From the equipment must be present filter or compressor. At the same time, it should not be too powerful, so that there is always a corner with still (stagnant) water in the aquarium. For hymenochiruses at the bottom, it is imperative to build shelters so that these shy and quivering creatures can hide there. Unlike spurred ones, hymenochiruses like to protrude to the surface and bask under a lamp, so additional lighting must be equipped for them.
Frogs in an aquarium with fish – compatibility
A wild clawed frog in an aquarium with fish will certainly cause a lot of problems. She will bite them, and swallow those that are smaller. In addition, she will constantly raise turbidity, digging in the ground, spoil plants and rearrange the scenery. In addition, this frog likes stagnant marsh conditions, while fish prefer good currents and a constant supply of fresh water. The only positive thing from the cohabitation of a clawed frog with fish is the mucus it secretes, which is curative for many fish diseases.
Things are much easier with hymenochiruses. They are calm, therefore they get along well with the same quiet and non-predatory fish. Decorative frogs will not disturb the beauty of the aquarium and will not bother other inhabitants. The only problem is to make sure that they get their portion of food, because due to their slowness and fearfulness, they often do not keep up with more agile fish and remain hungry.
How to care for aquarium frogs?
If you initially provided all the necessary conditions regarding volume, water temperature and equipment, the frogs in the aquarium will feel great. You will have to change the water in time, plant the plants, feed them, turn on the backlight, if necessary. By the way, it is worth talking about feeding aquarium frogs in more detail.
What to feed aquarium frogs?
All types of aquarium frogs prefer live food. For larger claws, these will be earthworms and mealworms, large bloodworms, crickets, tadpoles, and fry. You can’t feed them with tubifex. You can give them with tweezers pieces of fish, meat (lean), liver, shrimp. The frequency of feeding is 2 times a week. Clawed frogs have a well-developed sense of smell, so they greedily rush to food immediately.
What hymenochirus aquarium frogs eat is determined by their small size. They are simply not able to swallow crickets and worms, so they need to be given small bloodworms, live daphnia, finely chopped meat and fish. At the same time, they need to literally slip food right under their noses. Alternatively, you can teach them to feed in the same place and at a certain signal. For example, they should understand tapping with tweezers as an invitation “to the table.”
How do aquarium frogs reproduce?
Aquarium ornamental and wild frogs breed by laying eggs. Clawed frogs in the wild breed in spring, but in aquariums they can do this up to 4 times a year. Wanting to mate, the male makes characteristic sounds, the female answers him. After, at night, for several hours, the female lays more than one hundred eggs, the male immediately fertilizes them all. Eggs hatch after 5-6 days. The tadpole feeds on the principle of water filtration: it swallows water through its mouth and releases it through the gills. Complete metamorphosis of a tadpole into a frog takes 2.5-3 months.
In Hymenochirus, the reproduction process is not too different. You can stimulate the beginning of it by raising the temperature of the water and increasing the level of illumination. The pair will describe circles, the female at this time will begin to lay eggs. Their number is 50-200 pieces. They hatch after a couple of days. They need to be fed with rotifers and ciliates. Metamorphosis will occur in about a month.
What does the spawn of aquarium frogs look like?
In order to preserve offspring, frogs, after fertilization of eggs, it is better to transplant them from it. In order not to confuse anything and understand exactly what is in front of us, you need to know what the caviar of ordinary and decorative aquarium frogs looks like:
- caviar of clawed frogs;
- caviar of hymenochirus.