Frogs as pets

Pet Profile: Common Green Frog
The Green Frog makes a great pet. Living the good life, he spends his day swimming, resting, hiding and eating. Green Frogs are typically green and/or brown with black dots in the brown area. His skin is smooth and moist, and he has long, strong legs with large, webbed feet to carry his four-inch body.

Eating: Green Frog’s tastes are not complex—crickets, wax worms, fly larvae and earthworms. You can add to his diet other nutritious supplements such as dog food, fish food, fruit and vegetables.

Home: Start with a 10-gallon tank for your Green Frog, but if you have more frogs to keep him company, you’ll need a bigger tank. Your frog will thrive with more floor space than height. A tank that’s half water and half land is pure frog heaven, with plenty of soil and ground mass to burrow in, enough water to submerge in, and a nice gravel ramp for climbing out of the water.

Make sure your Green Frog’s water is filtered. Take a look at the selection of Tetrafauna ReptoFilter® products in our catalog to keep water clear and odor-free. Half of his water should be changed about twice weekly.

Light/heat: Green Frogs like about ten to fourteen hours of daylight, and they’ll be happy to accomplish this under a UVA/UVB fluorescent light. This artificial sunlight produces Vitamin D3. A note of caution: don’t make his habitat too bright, or he’ll just hide. His tank can be room temperature, but may be cooler at night (no lower than 60o F.)

Fun fact: A group of frogs is called an “army” of frogs.
Pet Profile: Oriental Fire Bellied Toad
With a bright green and black back and a “fire-orange” underbelly, this little, two-inch, semi-aquatic toad makes his toxic personality clear to his predators. When startled or frightened, a toxic milky substance will secrete from his legs or belly. He sports the expected toad “warts,” or tubercles on his back, and makes his intentions known to females with a croak that sounds like a bark.

Eating: This carnivorous critter devours live crickets, small moths and mealworms. Live is important, because he hunts visually and needs to see movement. To enhance this colorful toad’s vibrancy, he may enjoy an occasional snack of carrot shavings.

Home: The Oriental Fire Bellied Toad is most comfortable in a tank of at least 10 gallons, plus another four to five gallons for each extra toad. He needs low space more than vertical space. Since he likes to climb the sides, a mesh screen will keep him safe from escape and from other family pet “predators.”

Plants (live or fake) and rocks provide the hiding space your Fire Bellied Toad needs. Also, your toad needs a place to splash or swim, which can either be a dish sunk into the ground surface, or constructed as a semi-aquatic tank that’s 2/3 water and 1/3 land. Be aware that this option will encourage breeding, where the smaller water area will not.

Your toad’s water needs to be filtered. Take a look at the selection of Tetrafauna ReptoFilter® products in our catalog to keep water clear and odor-free.

Like many humans, Fire Bellied Toads prefer a summer temperature of about 78o F. During cooler months, it’s okay to cool down to about 72o F, but your toad will not be happy (or healthy) below 68o F. You can use either normal household light bulbs (incandescent), or fluorescent light bulbs to light and heat your toad’s home.

Fun fact: A juvenile toad is called…you guessed it… “a toadlet”!

Pet Profile: Marine Toad
Also called the “Cane Toad” (from his job as a pest-eater in sugarcane plantations), Marine Toad is a large fellow, measuring four to six inches, and not as pretty as some other toads. He has dry, warty spotted skin in shades varying from yellowish to gray to olive brown. He has poison glands, so you don’t want to eat him! Family pets should be kept clear, because his toxic skill will kill if ingested.

Eating: Your Marine Toad has a voracious appetite and will delight in foods living or dead, from the usual small rodents, reptiles and other amphibians and birds to plants, dog food and household trash. Don’t bother telling him not to gulp his food, because that’s exactly how he eats—swallowing it whole.

Home: A ten-gallon tank is good for one toad. These guys grow to be pretty large (up to about 4 pounds), so you may want only one Marine Toad. Because of his robust appetite for just about anything, he will ingest gravel, so it’s best to give him a bed of bark nuggets or smooth, large pebbles that he can’t swallow. He should have some plants to hide under, as well as a “cave,” or a plant pot turned on its side. Be sure to put the plants in pots of their own so that your toad doesn’t eat any soil, which could contain chemicals that are toxic to him. He also needs a water dish to climb into to keep his skin moist; he doesn’t drink the water, but absorbs it through his skin.

Your Marine Toad will be comfortable when it’s between 70o – 80o F. At the lower end of the spectrum, he won’t need as much to eat. You may want to try keeping one end of the tank cooler than the other so your toad can cool down if he feels too warm. Accomplish this by using a heat pad at one end, or directing a non-UVB light in one end. Since your Marine Toad thrives in a humid environment, you can mist his tank regularly with bottled spring water and put his water bowl on the warmer side of the terrarium.

Fun fact:
Marine Toad has the dubious honor of being one of the only known amphibians that eats dead stuff as well as plants. Most of the others rely on live prey.
Pet Profile: Egyptian Toad
His green spots make him unique; his size (about 3 to 4 inches) makes him an excellent pet for your terrarium. Egyptian Toad is a native of, yes, Egypt, and can be found all over Africa, anywhere it’s wet. Females are larger than males, and both sexes can live to be about 10 years old. Because their skin is sensitive to oils in human hands, and our hands can be sensitive to the toxins in their skin, it’s best to wear latex gloves when handling your Egyptian Toads.

Eating: The Egyptian Toad finds crickets, insects and worms a tasty way to round out his diet. Egyptian Toads like to hunt for their crickets, instead of waiting for their prey to wander over, like their lazier toad counterparts.

Home: The Egyptian Toad enjoys living with a roommate, and a 15 to 20 gallon tank should be large enough for two toads. Toads like to hide, so it’s important to give them adequate space to do so. A terracotta flower pot turned on its side makes a great place to hide and is easy to clean. Also, plants and stones, either real or fake, provide a nice alternative. He enjoys exploring, so it’s a nice idea to change around his layout every now and then so he doesn’t get bored. He will also need enough water to relax in—no deeper than he is when he’s sitting.

Light/heat: Room temperature is fine for Egyptian Toads during the day, with a one or two degree drop for after dark; they do not need UV lighting. If you have real plants, however, they’ll need light; a fluorescent UVB bulb works well because it provides for plant health without emitting heat that would be damaging to the toads. To help your toads feel at home, give them 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness.

Fun fact: The Egyptian Toad is one of the few amphibians who will willingly eat ants.
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