Guest Author - Peyton Creadick
Please donít confuse us with the African Clawed Frogs (albino or otherwise). We are small, and they will eat us! We only grow 1.5-2.5 inches, so we are easy dinners for larger fish or frogs. Like most amphibians, we like live food such as blackworms, bloodworms, mosquito larvae, brine shrimp (not so much a favorite), daphnia; although we will also eat shrimp pellets, floating food sticks (if the water level is low enough), and algae discs.
We scavenge, as well. We've also been seen pulling the meat out of the shells of crushed pond snails on the walls and floor of this authorís aquarium. She says she bought the clown loach for snail control, but we like to help as long as she kills the snails first! Some people will tell you not to allow snails in our tanks, but if you keep us with live plants, you'll see how hard it is to avoid snails!
Did you know that there are actually TWO species of African Dwarf Frogs (ADF) (Hymenochirus boettgeri and Hymenochirus curtipes)? Itís very difficult to tell the difference between us, but our care is the same. Breeding is also the same. Males often start to chirp (call) before mating occurs, but if there is no female in the tank, we may chirp through the summer season. This author once had a low-water tank for around 10 ADFís, but we were all males and often floated on the plant leaves with our heads out of the water chirping all evening.
So you think you want an African Dwarf Frog? Maybe we should tell you a little more about ourselves. You know what we eat, but do you know how to care for us? Ideally, we should not be kept with fish, though small community fish will be fine with them. If you plan to breed us, you wonít want fish around. Frog eggs are a fish delicacy! We also like a higher PH (7.6-7.8), so make sure you pick fish who wonít mind the hard water. Last but not least, we live between 10 and 20 years, which is much longer than these small community fish, so choose wisely!
What else do we like? Well, we prefer lower water levels, but if we have terraces in the tank (driftwood, rocks, large leafed plants), we can adjust to high water levels. The important think to remember is that like all amphibians, we breathe through our skin, so water quality is important.
However, we are also air breathers, so we must be able to reach the surface! One benefit of surface breathing is that you donít need to buy us a filter, but if you donít, make sure you keep our tank clean.
So now that youíve been introduced to us, youíre on your own. We can be purchased at Petsmart, Petco, or your local independent pet store, as well as http://www.livequaria.com/. Happy frogging!