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FAQs About Xenopus laevis, African Clawed Frogs, Compatibility

Related Articles: Keeping African Clawed Frogs and African Dwarf Frogs by Neale Monks, Amphibians, Turtles

Related FAQs: Xenopus in General, Xenopus Identification, Xenopus Behavior, Xenopus Selection, Xenopus Systems, Xenopus Feeding, Xenopus Disease, Xenopus Reproduction, & Amphibians 1, Amphibians 2, Frogs Other Than African and Clawed, African Dwarf Frogs, TurtlesAmphibian Identification, Amphibian Behavior, Amphibian Compatibility, Amphibian Selection, Amphibian Systems, Amphibian Feeding, Amphibian Disease, Amphibian Reproduction,

Nothing that will fit in their mouths or in turn harass them.

African Clawed Frog Questions; fdg., sys., comp.     8/10/12
Hey WWM. Thanks for all the great info! I am usually on here looking for information on my reef tank, but now I have some questions about my African Clawed Frog. I got him about 2 years ago from a grow-a-frog kit and he has always been quite amusing to me. After doing some research recently, I think I may be doing some things wrong. I keep him alone in a 5 gallon tank (his female partner jumped to her death from a tiny hole, which has now been covered) with just some plastic tank decorations and a basic foam filter. I would like to add a fine sand bed and perhaps some more life to the tank. Firstly though, I think I may need to change his feeding. Currently, he is only fed the grow-a-frog pellets, a little bit twice a day. From what I have read, he needs more diversity than this. I would love to get away without feeding him frozen food (if possible) and was wondering if I could get away with feeding him a variety of quality flakes and pellets (wondering if you could suggest any)?
<In my experience these Hymenochirus aren't keen on flake, though they may eat some now and again. Frog-specific pellets are readily accepted, so by all means stick with those as a staple. You can also provide tiny pieces of raw seafood and white fish fillet; slivers of raw shrimp for example is thoroughly enjoyed, and makes a nice treat now and again. There's no real need to provide anything on top of good quality pellets except to avoid problems with constipation. To that end, live, frozen or freeze-dried daphnia and brine shrimps are the two things to use.>
I am also looking to add some more life to this tank. It is my understanding that fish are a no-no?
<Well, additional Dwarf African Frogs and Red Cherry Shrimps are the two obvious additions for a tank this size. Red Cherry Shrimps are cheap, pretty, active by day, and breed readily. They make excellent scavengers and algae-eaters, and to some degree turn flake food into baby shrimps, which the frogs will eat.>
If not could you recommend some plants or inverts or something else that would go well with my frog? Also, my frog produces a lot of waste that generally ends up as a kind of detritus of frog waste and uneaten food at the bottom of the bare-bottom tank.
<Reduce feeding; increase filtration; clean the tank more often. These are really very clean animals.>
I just siphon it out, but if I added a sand-bed how would I clean this?
<The thing with sand is that faeces don't sink into it. That means the sand stays cleaner, and if you have good filtration, the faeces get sucked into the filter which you can clean more easily (hopefully). But if your filter "sucks" in a bad way, i.e., it doesn't suck the water hard enough, the faeces just sit there. This is why some people think sand is "dirtier" than gravel; it isn't, but it is less forgiving. A turkey baster is a great tool for quickly pipetting out detritus such as faeces without the whole chore of getting buckets and siphons out.>
Is there some kind of snail or other invert that would help clean this up?
<No. By definition, adding any other animals will make your aquarium dirtier. The whole idea of "cleaner fish" is a myth, perpetuated largely by the retailers who are selling these supposed "cleaning" fish and other animals. Hmm… keeping the aquarium clean is YOUR job, and if your aquarium is dirty, it's either overstocked, overfed, or under-filtered; quite likely a combination. Foam filters are only as good as the air pump powering them, and if you have a poky (i.e., small, cheap) air pump, the filter likely sucks up very little debris. Upgrade the air pump if you can, preferably getting a reasonably large model with an adjustable output (the Eheim ones feature these) so you can fine-tune the air flow up or down as needed.>
Well, that's all the questions I can think of for now. I may think of more later! Thanks for the help!
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: re: African Clawed Frog Questions
(Bob, you may need to edit my previous reply!)<You're fine here>     8/10/12
Thanks for the quick reply! So basically I have a few questions that were brought up by the answers to my previous questions! First of all, when you were talking about adding something to avoid constipation you mentioned brine shrimp.
I have some frozen Spirulina enriched brine that I feed my fish sometimes.
Could I use this with my African Clawed Frog?
Secondly, for the tank mates, I did not know that I could mix African Dwarf Frogs with my African Clawed Frog.
<Sorry, no, absolutely not. Misread your question. You're talking about Xenopus; I was talking about Hymenochirus. I tend to use the Latin names to avoid problems such as these -- their common names are so similar!>

Did I understand you right when I heard this? Also, the Red Cherry Shrimp look really cool, but would my frog make quick meals of them?
<Xenopus, yes, will eat small shrimps.>
I was told they will eat practically anything they can fit in their mouth!
What would be a good amount of shrimp for this tank? Finally, are there any plants you could recommend for this tank? Thanks.
<Ah now, if you have Xenopus in 5 gallons, no wonder the tank is dirty!
These frogs need much more space than this, and a really beefy filter too, I'd recommend a medium-sized internal canister filter of some sort, something like a Fluval U3 for a 20-30 gallon aquarium. It's not that Xenopus can't be kept in 5-10 gallon tanks -- they clearly are in laboratory condition where the water is changed very frequently -- but in an aquarium we expect clearer, cleaner water and for our frogs to live much longer. As for tankmates, Xenopus need cooler water than most tropical fish, and being so predatory, they're not good tankmates for most invertebrates. Your best bets would be Apple Snails as they do well in slightly cool (~22 C/72 F) water. Xenopus tend to uproot plants, but epiphytes work well (i.e., Java fern and Anubias) while they absolutely adore floating plants such as Indian Fern where they will rest and bask under the lights. Plus, floating plants minimise jumping, which has to be good! Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Re: re: African Clawed Frog Questions (Bob, you may need to edit my previous reply!)    8/10/12

Ok, so I will start adding some Spirulina-enriched brine to its diet. I just wasn't sure because of the Spirulina. Does once or twice a week sound good? Also, how much should I be feeding this guy? The grow-a-frog recommend twice a day. Does this sound right?
Also contributing to a hard-to-keep-clean tank: I don't know if all African Clawed Frogs are like this, but mine is...not very intelligent…
<"Dumb as stumps" is about right. Or rather, they have very poor vision, and hunt by smell. My Hymenochirus seem to take mouthfuls of sand more often than food.>
When I feed him if the pellet is not directly over his head, he will not see it and won't eat it. It generally takes a couple times before I finally get a pellet to land directly over his head, and he never eats food off the bottom of the tank. I think this is definitely hurting the water quality.
<Hmm… overfeeding? If he doesn't eat the food in front of him, don't add more until that portion is gone. If it's still there 5, 10 minutes later -- remove it!>
Plus, my frog is only getting 1-2 pellets each time I feed. Does this sound normal?
<Yes. They don't need daily feeding.>
I think I remember reading something about them having terrible eye-sight?
So basically my only tank inhabitant option are apple snails? Ok, better than nothing!
<Quite so.>
You think they will be safe from the frog?
<Should be.>
How many would you recommend for my 5 gallon tank?
<None; this aquarium is too small. Xenopus may tolerate poor water quality, but the Apple Snail won't… will die, rot.>
Would I need to supplement feed them or would they eat the left-over food, etc? There is little to no algae in my tank, but plenty of detritus! I will also definitely look into the plants you recommended. I'm inexperienced in the field of freshwater plants but I have a reef tank so...how hard can it be?
<Not very.>
I don't think my light is very good...It is a Marineland fixture with 16 LEDs but I think each LED is like .1 or .2 watts. Is that enough to support any of the recommended plants?
<Possibly not, but Anubias definitely worth a shot.>
Are the floating plants ok if I have an acrylic top on the tank?
<Depends on the plants, but Indian Fern should be. Plants that need cool air above the water will be less good.>
I will also look into a canister filter. You think that would be better than the Tetra Whisper HOB filter I currently have?
<Hmm… doesn't much matter, but the point being that if you get, say, a 15-20 gallon tank for one Xenopus, get a "generous" filter for that tank, one rated at above that, 20-30 gallons say. Xenopus are proportionally more messy than fish -- not only do they make solid waste and urea, but also shed skin all the time.>
If I end up keeping all the equipment I currently have and not upgrading, what does my maintenance (I.e. water changing regimen) look like? Since I have a marine reef tank, I am definitely used to and ok with some maintenance. Am I looking at weekly water changes?
That's what I do with my fish tank so that would be fine. Also, I have no idea why it would affect any of the answers you have given me so far, but my frog is male, so he is smallerish... Thanks for all the help! I'm really just looking for the most affective ways to turn a tank with a frog and a plastic castle into some kind of ecosystem with other life, plants, etc. and ways to better the health of this amusing creature!
<Do read:
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Re: Re: re: African Clawed Frog Questions (Bob, you may need to edit my previous reply!)     8/11/12

Thank you so much for the information I have gotten so far! Basically what I have decided is that a tank upgrade is in store. Unfortunately right now I really don't have the room or funds for a very large tank. However, I have found one that would be an upgrade to the one I have now. It is a 7-gallon bookshelf tank so it is more space, but the best part is the dimensions. I know the African frogs like shallow tanks and this one is perfect! It is 24" long and only 9" tall.
<Still quite small. You already know these frogs are dirty, and can see why the size of the tank is important.>
It also comes with a very powerful filter. I am very excited. I am going to add a 2" sand bed and was wondering if there is anything in particular that I need to look for in a bag of sand that will be suitable for my African Clawed Frog?
<I would not add 2 inches of sand; add just enough to cover the glass. This will be much easier to clean (important!) and will ensure maximum water volume. Assuming your tank is about 24 x 9 x 9 inches (which is 1944 cubic inches or 7 gallons) then even a 2-inch sand bed will be 24 x 9 x 2 will be 432 cubic inches or just under 2 gallons. Out of a 7-gallon tank, that's a fair amount of wastage, I think you'll agree.>
I will be adding some driftwood, decorations, and live plants.
<If you get driftwood and attach the Anubias to that (Anubias is an epiphyte and hates being in pots or the substrate) you should be all set.>
Lastly, I was wondering if this upgrade would now warrant the addition of another ACF and/or an apple snail?
<Another 5-6 gallons, at least, for the frog, and about as much for the snail. Seriously, these frogs need around 20 gallons to be kept in twos or threes.>
If another ACF is ok does the gender and/or size and/or color matter?
Also, would it be okay to keep an ACF from my fish store with this ACF even though he was part of a kit and I think may be slightly different (as a tadpole his skin was transparent; are all ACFs like that?)?
<Xenopus laevis is the common species in the trade; it is available in some variations, including an albino form.>
I was hoping to perhaps get an albino or some other color. What are your thoughts? Regardless, I think this will be a cool tank!
<Do read where you were sent last time around, and digest that before spending your money. If money is limited, then spend it on a bigger aquarium not a second frog, and if space is limited, find a tall tank with a smaller footprint that would offer extra volume of water. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Re: Re: African Clawed Frog Questions (Bob, you may need to edit my previous reply!)    8/11/12

I have been to the article you directed me to and that definitely helped a lot. Two ACFs in a 7-gallon is just not going to work. Scratch that.
Also, the sandbed thing makes a lot of sense. My question is, with a small sandbed will this limit the types of plants I can put in my tank?
<Well, you can't add plants that have roots, but you wouldn't be growing those in a small tank with Xenopus anyway! Stick with epiphytes (Anubias, Java fern) and floating plants (Indian fern strongly recommended) and you'll have a nice range of greenery that should do well with the frogs.>
Also, I found a place online that sells large pieces of driftwood (15") with Anubias already attached to it (perfect!).
The driftwood is long enough that I can add other plants in the future.
<Anubias grows steadily. I've got lumps of the stuff sitting in the garden at the moment because I don't have anywhere else to put it!>
I want to try to add as many plants as possible to help with the water quality.
<Don't rely on this. Think about this scientifically. Plants remove ammonia and nitrate at a rate proportional to the rate at which they grow. So, if you have weak lighting (less than, say, 2 watts per gallon) plant growth will be very slow, and that in turn means they remove ammonia and nitrate very slowly. Not nearly fast enough to make much difference. About the best that can be said is that plants will bring in helpful bacteria and provide additional surfaces for bacteria to grow, but under weak lighting that's about it.>
I will definitely do floating plants as well. This is probably a dumb question, but with the floating plants I assume you just drop them in the aquarium and leave them there?
<Depends on the species. Mostly yes, this is what you do. But some varieties grow above the waterline and are notoriously sensitive to the hot, dry air inside the hood (Salvinia is the classic example, but also things like Pistia). These usually die after a few months, or at least, they never look nice because their leaves are either burned or rotting.
Indian Fern grows above and below the waterline, and so long as you trim away the above-the-waterline stuff, it can be easily grown indefinitely as a below-the-waterline floater. Amazon Frogbit is just as good, and also recommended. For these two excellent plants, yes, add them to the tank, and crop back every few weeks. Both can cover the aquarium in a few weeks under even modest lighting. Aim for about 50% open water, 50% floating plants, but feel free to crop back ruthlessly.>
I guess the real question for me is should I pay a lot more for a 10 gallon kit or will I be able to keep the 7 gallon adequately clean for one ACF?
<For a few dollars, I don't see any benefit to going with 7 gallons. Volume trumps everything else in keeping aquatic frogs, and money spent on the biggest tank you can afford is money well spent. A smaller tank is limiting and can't be upgraded or easily fixed if you find it still has problems.
Why go from 5 gallons to 7 gallons when you can straightaway double the volume with a 10 gallon tank! I don't know what prices are in your area, but a quick online search revealed Wal-Mart 10-gallon tanks go for about $12, which seems a steal.>
The funny thing is that the kit I bought this guy from actually expects the adult ACF to live in like a 1/2 gallon cube its entire life! Had I known more about these guys I would have just bought a big tank and a couple ACFs at my fish store!
<Unfortunately both Xenopus and even more so Hymenochirus spp suffer from being seen as "novelty" pets and are sold by retailers who have absolutely no business selling livestock at all. It's a shame really because both types of frog are very undemanding. But you do need some understanding of their non-negotiable needs from which to work from. There's a nice, readable book by Andrew Gray called "Keeping Amphibians" available through Amazon for precisely 1 cent plus postage. It's not a "deep science" book but it does cover all the basics and has quite a few pages about Xenopus.
If you haven't got this book, let me recommend it as money well spent.
Besides Xenopus, it covers other fun species like Pac Man Frogs and Axolotls that may appeal once you've mastered Xenopus. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Re: re: African Clawed Frog Questions (Bob, you may need to edit my previous reply!)    8/11/12

So I am thinking that getting all the parts separate might be less expensive than getting a kit for my tank upgrade.
<Often can be. The downside is you don't necessarily get the best selection of hardware for your money, and the brand may not be particularly good (not so reliable, or tied to proprietary filter modules for example). In my experience the cheap filters that come with kits only last 2-4 years, which is far less than a value brand like Eheim that may cost twice as much but will last 20 years if properly maintained. Fluval is a good middle market brand that's a bit cheaper than Eheim and adequately reliable. Same for Sera, Tetra and one or two others. But once you hit the cheap Chinese "no name" stuff, reliability plummets. So do bear in mind the balance between a rock-bottom prices and long-term value. the budget aquarium from Wal-Mart will probably be fine (at least here in the UK, you can't sell an aquarium without it meeting some basic standard of safety in terms of holding water without exploding) and repairing leaky glass tanks isn't that big of a deal. But I'd be a little more careful with heaters and filters because you don't want those to die on your -- they usually go bad when you're not looking, or at a time when replacing them isn't convenient. "A poor man can only afford the very best" is a piece of wisdom that often applies here -- don't get the cheapest, but get something you can trust to last for the next 10 years or longer.>
I am thinking of something like the Wal-Mart 10 gallon. I had a quick question about filtration: Is there anything I should or shouldn't have for filtration for ACFs?
<Some mechanical filtration to trap solid waste (faeces, shed skin) but mostly biological filtration (sponges, ceramic noodles).>
Trying to decide on an HOB filter and I'm seeing cartridges, filter floss, bio wheels, bioballs, ceramic rings, carbon, etc. Is there something that would really be good/bad for an ACF tank? Specifically I am concerned about chemical filtration.
<Don't be; you don't need either charcoal (carbon) or Zeolite. Both of these are expensive to use (they need replacing every 2-4 weeks to work as advertised) and serve little purpose in your sort of situation.>
What do you think? Thanks!
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Need some advise... Not mixing ADF/ACFs  3/2/10
Hi, I would like to add more frogs to my tank I currently have 2 African albino clawed frogs both males and wanted to add 2 African dwarf females, 1 African albino clawed female, and 1 African dwarf male; would that be a bad decision? Can I mix them so rapidly with out any conflict or any 1 frog feeling out of place or invaded?
<This is a REALLY BAD idea. For a start, Xenopus laevis requires cooler water (around 20 C) than Hymenochirus spp (around 25 C). Plus, Xenopus laevis is incredibly predatory, and will eat anything it can catch. Any Hymenochirus frogs you add to this aquarium will simply be eaten. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: African clawed frogs... fdg., and ADF comp.    3/1/10
I'm sorry, I was asking about my second tank. My first is housing 2 Xenopus whom live alone. They are in a filtered unheated 20L.
<This is a "long" 20 gallon tank, or 20 litres?>
You think I should stay away from the feeder guppies?
<Yes. Nobody expect people selling feeder guppies thinks this a good idea.
Any fish cheap enough to be a feeder will be maintained under pretty basic conditions. Since Xenopus don't need live fish, why risk it?>
As for this new second tank(20L), it will be filtered, heated (@78 degrees) and house 2 Hymenochirus. I thought
a nice small group of Danios up top and Corys on the bottom wouldn't be too aggressive towards them.
<Danios in a long 20 gallon tank should be okay, though I will state that Danios work best (are less likely to behave badly) in tanks at least 60 cm/24 inches long, and absolutely must be in groups of 6 or more.>
As for feeding the frogs, I will definitely hand feed with a turkey baster, so the faster fish won't steal everything. I was just trying to add a little color to the middle of the tank.
<I'd skip the Corydoras to be honest, unless you chose a very small "dwarf" species like Corydoras hastatus or Corydoras habrosus. The bigger Corydoras are simply too large and too competitive. Hymenochirus are terribly easy to starve, so I wouldn't risk it.>
Thanks Neale!
<Cheers, Neale.>

African clawed frogs... Incomp., little tank of mis-mixed horrors! Reading...  -- 01/13/2010
first of all I would like to thank you for taking my questions...I recently bought a 2.5 gallon small plastic aquarium to house two 1 inch ACFs
<Are these Xenopus (regular African Clawed Frogs) or Hymenochirus (the dwarf variety)? In either case, 2.5 gallons isn't viable, so you'll need to upgrade accordingly. Do read here:
along w/ an apple snail....
<Not a fan of mixing Apple snails with, well, anything. They don't tend to live very long in mixed species tanks. A dead snail can create major water quality problems.>
of course after doing a ton of online research AFTER setting them up I come to realize never to listen to pet store employees again...
<That's what books are for... so you can inform yourself PRIOR to purchase.>
lol...I knew I eventually would need a much larger tank, but she forgot to mention the cycling process to me...ok, anyway this is where I am at...I have the 2 ACFs and snail in the 2.5 gallon without a filter...the ammonia and nitrate levels are very high...
so I have been doing maybe 30-40% water changes every 2 days...the frogs do not look stressed
at all but I'm concerned....I am also in the process of cycling a 20 gallon low, with a 30 gallon waterfall power filter...I added 6 one inch tiger barbs and 2 small green catfish...
<Do not mix fish with frogs. Rarely works well. Xenopus need relatively cool water, and WILL eat anything they can catch, while nippy animals, like Barbs, can, will, do serious damage to frogs. So just don't. Fish go in one
aquarium, frogs go in another. Simple. Like pet snakes and pet mice. By all means keep both, but not in the same enclosure.>
so, my question is ...since both tanks are going through the cycling process, would the frogs be better off in the larger filtered cycling tank or just let them stay put till their future home is ready?
<Let's say these are Xenopus for now. Assuming that's the case, yes, they could go through the cycling process in a 20 gallon tank PROVIDED you did daily water changes of 20-25% for the first 3-4 weeks, and 25% water
changes weekly thereafter. Not ideal, but viable. Do not overfeed! A couple times per week will be ample through the cycling process. Nudge up a little after 4-6 weeks, to about 3-4 meals per week.>
...I'm just nervous the small tank with the high levels could really do more harm....thanks...I appreciate any input....Alex
<Please, do try using capital letters and full stops in your writing next time. Really a bore to read this type of stream of consciousness stuff, and more importantly, isn't easy for Google search engines to study, or non-native English readers to follow, when visiting our web site. Since this site exists because folks visit, your help to you is contingent on you helping us. Cheers, Neale.>
Thank you
<You're welcome! Neale.>
Re: African clawed frogs...
Thanks Neale for the quick response. Yes, I have 2 albino Xenopus and have just added them to the 20 gallon set-up.
I will feed them sparingly and proceed with the necessary water changes.
<Very good.>
I will also check the ammonia/nitrate levels daily.
<Even better.>
You have been a great help, thanks again.
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>

-Blood Parrot and Clawed Frag Compatibility- 12/22/09
Hi....I was wondering if African clawed frogs and blood parrot cichlids could cohabitate?
<Well, if they are roughly the same size and in a reasonably sized aquarium--probably.>
I figured that due to its mouth shape, the blood parrot would be unable to harm the frog, and that the size of the blood parrot would keep the frog from eating it...or am I completely wrong?
<I wouldn't bank on that, but again, as long as one is not enormous and the other tiny, they'll probably be ok. Be sure to try to acquire a captive bred frog.>
Sara M.>

Weather Loach and Xenopus  12/21/2009
Dear crew,
<Hello again,>
thanks for the previous response, I scratched my previous ideas altogether.
I was wondering whether this new idea would be workable. My research seems to indicate such, assuming the loach is of adequate size, but I wanted another opinion. On this point, I was wondering how fast weather loaches
grow, and whether a 30 gallon tank is large enough for them to reach their full size potential.
<Xenopus and a Weather Loach should get along fine, assuming an equitable temperature around 18-20 degrees C, which would be warm enough for the Xenopus but not too warm for the Loach. Your only real problem here will be feeding: the Loach is a very fast fish and can hog food. If you're hand feeding your Xenopus, that's less of an issue, but if not, then you may need to be careful. Cheers, Neale.>
Weather Loach and Xenopus
<PS. Weather Loaches grow quite quickly, and will reach their full size in around 2-3 years. Cheers, Neale.>
<<Mmm, RMF is chiming in here to warn re keeping Misgurnis and ACF/Xenopus frogs together. There is a high probability that the frog/s will consume the Weatherfish. And if there's a bigger eater than Xenopus, I have yet to encounter it. BobF>>

Re: More re: Weather Loach and Xenopus 12/21/2009
Thanks Bob for your comment here. I should perhaps have added "size permitting". Adult Weather Loaches are around 20 cm long, adult Xenopus up to 15 cm, so I can't really see these two being much of a threat to each
other at those size. But Bob is certainly right that any fish small enough to be eaten by the frog will be eaten by the frog. Perhaps erring on the side of caution is wise. As a rule, keep frogs in frog tanks, fish in fish tanks, and all will be well. Cheers, Neale.
"<<Mmm, RMF is chiming in here to warn re keeping Misgurnis and ACF/Xenopus frogs together. There is a high probability that the frog/s will consume the Weatherfish. And if there's a bigger eater than Xenopus, I have yet to
encounter it. BobF>>"
>Oh, and to tell a bit more... I kept Xenopus laevis years back when it was a good size part of research-lab animal interest in the U.S.. It is really quite an "eater-upper"... Like White's Tree Frog... really "trying" most anything moving it seems that might fit in its mouth. BobF<

ADF's and ACF's, sys., incomp. RMF's go  -- 12/08/09
hi, I've read a lot on your site but yet to find answer. I recently bought that Frog-o-sphere from Brookstone.
<What? http://www.brookstone.com/Frog-O-Sphere-frogs.html
I'd always enjoyed browsing their store, online, in circulars on airplanes... Till now! Unfiltered, unheated... Ridiculous and cruel>
I found out how awful that setup is for them. I bought a 3 gallon tank with filter and heater, my temp is about
82. originally there was 2 ADF's, one went missing. did the other one eat him?
<Assuredly not. Most likely it "got out" and perished on the floor>
I have gravel at the bottom is that bad??
<Mmm, no...>
also I have fake plants and a bamboo plant. I added and ACF to the tank,
<Yikes! The latter (Xenopus laevis) is NOT compatible... will eat ACFs. Needs to be moved out to its own system>
the local pet store didn't seem to think that was a problem but I'm not sure. The ADF is always hiding and rarely are they interactive. is this safe for the 2 different frogs to live?
<No. Please read here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

ADF's and ACF's. Neale's turn  -- 12/08/09
hi, I've read a lot on your site but yet to find answer. I recently bought that Frog-o-sphere from Brookstone. I found out how awful that setup is for them.
<Indeed. Almost everything at Brookstone is wildly overpriced for what it is, even though it's a great fun store to visit. I quickly Googled this product, and was amused that on the Brookstone site they actually have a letter regarding the hate mail they've obviously received, pointing out that they think it's a great product.
If a company has to defend a product *before you even buy the thing* that's a pretty good sign it's a terrible product. And it is a terrible product. I don't need the marketing department crossing their hearts and telling me otherwise. The golden rule here is never, ever buy a pet from a store that doesn't specialise in that particular kind of animal. When it comes to frogs, you can't go wrong buying a book first, and then buying the frog.
Failing that, e-mail us, and we'll do our best to tell you what you'll need to buy.>
I bought a 3 gallon tank with filter and heater, my temp is about 82.
<Still too small. I cannot stress to strongly how important it is to maximise water volume. A 5-gallon tank would be marginal, and to be honest, I'd recommend something around 8 gallons (I'm thinking of a 24" by 8" by 8" system here). That's the sort of tank you can decorate and rely on to provide good conditions. Frittering money away on piece of plastic garbage after another isn't the way to go.>
originally there was 2 ADF's, one went missing. did the other one eat him?
<Died and decayed, or maybe jumped out.>
I have gravel at the bottom is that bad??
<I'd recommend smooth silica sand which you can buy from the garden centre very inexpensively. Cheap, chemically inert, and frogs love it!>
also I have fake plants and a bamboo plant.
<"Lucky Bamboo" plants aren't really aquatic and don't belong here. Among other things, there's no guarantee they're grown in a frog-safe way, e.g., without the use of pesticides. Again, anything sold as a "gift" is usually garbage, because they're being sold to people who haven't a clue what they're buying (no disrespect meant here). Ideal plants for a frog habitat would be reliable, shade-tolerant epiphytes (plants attached to bogwood) such as Anubias and Java fern. A clump of floating Indian fern would also be useful, providing resting places near the surface for the frogs and inhibiting any "kamikaze" tendencies to jump out.>
I added and ACF to the tank, the local pet store didn't seem to think that was a problem but I'm not sure. The ADF is always hiding and rarely are they interactive. is this safe for the 2 different frogs to live?
<Do read here:
These are the basics. You're keeping one of the two Hymenochirus species.><<Yikes! Neale... the "other" species is Xenopus here! RMF>>
<Cheers, Neale.>

Invite a frog home for the holidays! Sys...    12/24/07 Hello, <Hiya right back!> I really hope you can help me out. <We'll try> A very generous friend of mine just gave me three red eared sliders, the aquarium, food, filters, all the trimmings. <A nice friend!> I've read a lot of information about these turtles on the internet, and I feel pretty comfortable caring for them. <I'll also give you a link below just for more reference> However, my ecology teacher begged me yesterday to take home her albino African clawed frog over winter break. She keeps her frog with two turtles at school, so I figured it would be okay to put Albie, as I began to call the frog, in with the turtles for the ten day break. I worry, however, that the bright heat lamps that the turtles need may hurt Albie's eyes, and that the rather noisy cascade type filter might be bothering his sensitive ears. Please supply me with peace of mind, and let me know if this living arrangement is okay for the frog and the turtles. <It's nice to hear that you care enough to worry. Here are my initial concerns for Ablie 1) She needs a tight fitting top to keep her from deciding to go exploring 2) Unlike a turtle, a frog should have a hiding place where it can get out of sight and feel secure (it's called 'visual privacy') and if you can accomplish this it takes the worry out of the bright light issue with the turtles. 3) Lastly, and this is the big issue - just because Albie is kept with two other turtles doesn't mean that YOUR three turtles would look at Albie and think "Hey Scabber!!!! Look! Cuisses de Grenouille!"> <But there is good news. First, Albie and her brethren (African Clawed Frogs) are pretty hardy as frogs go and unless stepped on, run over or eaten Albie will make it through these 10 days just fine and return to class with a story to tell!> I just can't take seeing Albie kept in the tiny carrying case my teacher supplied me with to bring him home for the entire duration of the break. <My suggestion is that you split the difference -- Let Albie spend time in the aquarium when you are there to be a referee but put her somewhere else when you're not. I've rigged many a temporary home for all kinds of reptiles and amphibians from a cardboard box with a water bowl sitting on top of an ordinary heating pad set on 'low heat'> Thank you for any help you can give me. and have a great holiday. :) <Thank you Amanda - may your wishes come true> < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm>  

Albino African clawed Frog   11/14/07 Friends, I have a 9" extended aacf and a baby aacf that is about 2" extended (6 mo. and 3 weeks). How long must I wait until I keep them together? They accidently got together in the same tank. Little dude was holding on to big dude's foot (affection or dear life, I do not know) Many thanks, <I'd grow on the little frog a bit more. It's only safe once it's too big to be swallowed. Only you can judge precisely when that'll be by looking at the bigger frog. But as a broad rule, predators tend not to take prey larger than 1/3 to 1/2 body size. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Albino African clawed Frog  11/16/07 Perfect answer! Somehow little frog jumped out of his part of the partition. Upon awakening, I walked by their aquarium just in time to see that little frog was swimming past Phrogg and they were together. In a blink, Phrogg grabbed him and shoved him in his mouth. I reached into the tank and grabbed him, causing him to choke up little frog. <A-ha! Caught in the act.> Thank you for now we will wait for the half size to come around. Best regards, Jim <Good luck, Neale.>

Albino African clawed frog I have searched for an answer and have not found one. Can you please help? I recently received an Albino African clawed frog. The owner's were moving and were not taking him. Anyhow, he is in a small 10 gallon tank with a pleco. My question is can I take him out and put him in my 75 gallon cichlid (mostly African) tank? The smallest fish would be my Mbuna. The largest would be my green terror. Thanks for your help. < Your newly acquired African frog would turn into a mobile banquet block for your cichlids. Even though your cichlids may not be able to eat it entirely they would be able to take chunks out of its flesh and eat the limbs that eventually would become infected. Not good for the frog. If the frog died then it would breakdown and pollute the tank which is not good for the fish.-Chuck>

Knives, Spines, Rope and Fire. OK to add Claws? Hi, thanks for the info that you've given me so far, but I've got another question. I've got my 130 gallon tank set-up with a 10" clown Knifefish, 12" spiny eel, 6" fire eel, and 12" ropefish. <No guppies or swordtails for you, huh?> I also own two African clawed frogs (about 4" long each) that are being kept at my mothers work. I'm wondering if I would be able to put the two frogs in the 130 gallon tank. In your opinion, do you think that the clown might decide to take a bite out of the soft, fleshy frogs, or would he leave them alone? Right now, the clown eats 3" long goldfish, but I'm trying to get him to accept frozen shrimp. <A bit risky, IMO. A Knife will eat anything he can fit in it's mouth. Even if he only tries, he may kill or injure the frog. Not a great mix. Risk would be reduced if the Knife was off live food first and kept well fed. The eels may even cause problems at night, but less likely.>     Also, one other question.  For my 130 gallon tank, would a Classic Eheim 2215 canister filter and a Fluval 404 canister filter be enough for the tank? I'm going to be adding more fish to the tank than I have now and prefer to have above average filtration. If the filtration isn't enough, what's a good filter that I could add to the other two? <Each are rated for around 100 gallons. You should be fine as is, but those are some pretty large fish in there, and growing. I'm a big fan of Marineland's Emperor 400 for bio filtration. Surely wouldn't hurt to add the bio wheels to help with ammonia processing.> Thanks for all of your help. <One last point, which I'm sure you knew was coming. Try very hard to get the Knife off live fish. Hard to do, I know. But unless you can QT the feeders, sooner or later you WILL (not "may") bring Ick or some other nasty into your system. Treating a 130 with these large fish will be a challenge to say the least. Don>

Mormyrid/s, and some species of frog   2/23/06 One very quick question that I can't seem to find an answer for anywhere. I have a 25 gallon tank with have 1 Elephant Nose and 4 Albino Frogs in it. I know Elephant nose do better in groups of @ least 3 so very soon <Stop! Not in this sized tank... too small for even just one> I plan on buying at least a couple more. But anyway, my question is, are these 2 species ok being together? <The frogs and Mormyrid should mix fine> They don't seem to bother each other. My fish stays hid and my frogs just do their own things. I occasionally feed my Elephant Nose dried baby shrimp "recommended by the pet shop owner" and my frogs eat it too. Also, the pet shop owner just said it would make the frogs grow. Anyway Anyway Anyway, getting off the subject...are they okay together?   Thanks!   Morgan <Keep your eyes on all... the frogs can be messy... I take it these are African... Dwarfs, not Xenopus. Bob Fenner>

African Clawed Frog Advice ... sel., comp.    5/2/06 I was cruising around your site, and was intrigued by your mentioning of the African clawed frog.  I kept an ACF for around 6 years.  I found it interesting that your site did not clearly state one thing: an adult ACF will unhesitatingly consume any fish 1 inch in length or less!  I often fed mine feeder guppies from PetCo.  I would pass this along to anyone thinking of keeping guppies, tetras, etc. with an ACF. Finally, for anyone looking for an ACF, I recommend "Grow-a-frog."  That's where mine came from, and they sell great food and other supplies.-Robert < Thanks for the advice and we will post it on the site.-Chuck>

Cohabitation with African Clawed Frogs   5/21/06 Hello, <Hi there> I recently purchased an African Clawed Frog.  I'm having trouble finding information on what types of fish can safely cohabitate with this type of frog.  He is currently housed in a ten gallon tank.  I'd like to add a couple of fish (aside from the guppies) but don't want the frog to eat them.  I also want to ensure that the fish we purchase don't harm the frog.  Any suggestions?  Also, I read that this type of frog is social so I was thinking of adding another.  Is a ten gallon tank too small for two frogs (some sites are telling me 5 gallons per frog and some are saying 10)? Thanks in advance, Tara <Mmm, well... Xenopus will eat most anything fish-wise small enough to fit in their mouths... and a ten gallon tank is too small for anything of sufficient size, speed, smarts to avoid predation... You're pretty much set with a choice between the frog or something/s else. Bob Fenner> African Clawed Frog ... comp.    5/2/06 Hello Crew, <Hello Matthew!>   I'm new to the interesting life called African Clawed Frogs. <Cute but dim, aren't they? I have a pair myself.>   As such I have a question regarding the webbing on its back feet.  It appears it is either shedding its webbing or it has been "eaten" by one of my other fish.  Am I looking at infection or poor water condition? <It is hard to say without knowing what tankmates are in with it. It is not recommended to keep African Clawed Frogs with fish. If the fish don't nibble at the frog, as the frog gets larger, it will damage the fish. Infection is often a sign of poor water quality, so do try to keep the water pristine to allow the frog to heal.> Will this webbing regenerate itself? <If the frog is not harassed and the water quality is good, then yes... frogs do have a remarkable ability to heal/regrow.>   Hope to hear from you soon <Do separate this frog... and make sure it has no "escape routes" (an inch-wide crack in the canopy is enough to lose these renowned escapologists). Best regards, John.>      Sincerely   Matthew

African clawed frog and fire-belly toad... not together     6/23/06 Hi I would like to combine two African clawed frogs with some fire-belly toads. Is that possible? <... Mmm, not really. Xenopus are entirely aquatic, the Bombina "semi-aquatic"... Please see here re the care of the latter: http://www.wnyherp.org/care-sheets/amphibians/fire-belly-toad.php > Are both compatible and if yes, which would be the required tank size? thanks Cristian <A minimum of ten gallons for both/either. Bob Fenner>

Xenopus laevis comp.    02/17/07 Hi... as I have said before my albino African clawed frog is housed in a 60ltr aquarium with 4 goldfish (varying in size and variation). I am thinking of   adding an algae eater into the setup. Is this wise or is it not compatible with  the frog? <The Xenopus will eat or try to eat all. BobF>

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