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FAQs About Xenopus laevis, African Clawed Frogs, Selection

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 Compatibility, 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,


tutti frutti frogs... Tattooed ACFs    4/5/11
I have heard about dyed or tattooed African water frogs, called tootie frooti / tutti frutti frogs - my questions are:
What species of frog is this?
<Xenopus laevis...>
How do these frogs become dyed/tattooed?
<I know naught... but am aghast... Negative toward this practice>
Do some of the frogs die during the process?
<I imagine so>
Is the coloring permanent or does it eventually fade?
<Would fade>
Does the coloring process and the color impact the frogs health long term?
<Again, I don't know>
Are there any articles or publishings on this? - I have not been able to find any on my own.
<I see bits by searching with the common name: tutti frutti frogs via search tools.
PLEASE, do NOT buy these poor animals. Bob Fenner>

Xenopus stocking density - 11/2/10
How many African clawed frogs can I have in a 72 gallon bow? The dimensions are - 48" long, 22" high, 18" wide. I have a Fluval 405 (100 gallon / 400 liter) canister filter. I know that it is usually recommended 10 gallons for one frog, 20 gallon standard/high for two frogs but a 20 gallon long is suitable for three frogs. How can I calculate how large of an ACF colony I can have in my 72 gallon tank with the filtration I have? Right now I have eight frogs and am interested in adopting a few more from a co-worker of mine...however I want to make sure my tank will do fine with the bioload and the frogs would not be over crowded. This tank is ONLY going to hold African Clawed Frogs and is decorated with numerous silk plants and hiding areas for their use. I also do weekly water changes of approximately 15 - 20 gallons. I have large quantities of floating water wisteria (the only live plant the seem not to mind!). Thank you for your input!
<Hello Jenna. Calculating how many fish or frogs you can place in an aquarium of a certain size is actually quite difficult to do. The rules like "one inch per gallon" or "one inch per 10 square inches of surface area" all point in the right general direction, but for a variety of reasons it's impossible to be 100% accurate. For example, Xenopus laevis frogs are properly kept in unheated tanks, so the water is relatively cool. On the one hand water at 18 C contains more oxygen that water at 25 C, so that's a plus; but on the other hand filter bacteria at 18 C will be processing waste much more slowly than filter bacteria at 25 C, so that's a minus. As you say, a pair can be housed well in a 20 gallon tank just fine. By the way, the difference between "tall" and "long" 20 gallon tanks is that "long" tanks have more surface area for oxygen to get in and carbon dioxide to get out, so unless you must have a "tall" tank because you're keeping Angelfish or want tall plants, a "long" 20 gallon tank is ALWAYS better value. Holds more fish, or alternatively, holds the same number of fish but in better conditions with less risk of trouble. Anyway, I'd allow 20 gallons for the first two, and then another 5-10 gallons for each extra Xenopus. So a 70 gallon tank would hold something like seven to twelve specimens depending on their size, filtration, etc. If water quality remained good, i.e., 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite, you might add two or three more but I wouldn't recommend very high densities because diseases like Red Leg become more common when Xenopus are densely stocked. Xenopus laevis should be maintained at 18-20 C for optimal health; the much less often traded Xenopus tropicalis needs warmer conditions, around 25 C. Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Xenopus stocking density
Thank you for your response! I forgot to mention I have a Top Fin Air 4000 dual output aerator that I use - - an airline placed at each end of the tank. Of the 8 frogs I have now - 7 are X. laevis and 1 is X. borealis. The temperature is kept a stable 71-73*F. I was planning on 11 frogs stocked and leaving the extra room in case any offspring morph "deformed"....I have had 3 successful breedings over the past year and all offspring have morphed healthily and none have passed since being rehomed. I used to have three adults in a 30 gallon with a spare 20 gallon used as a breeding tank, and after the successful breedings I upgraded to a 72 gallon to increase my colony size with some rarer colored frogs. Over all I now have 2 natural/marbled, 1 male 1 female, 3 albino, 2 female 1 male, 2 reticulated albinos, 1 male 1 female (both offspring from different breedings and kept for their unusual pattern), and the X. borealis female. I have an X. borealis male who I will be ordering along with a pair of piebald X. laevis. I just wanted to make sure my new additions would fit comfortably! Thank you so much WWM crew!!
<Sounds like you have a fun system there! Supposedly, Xenopus borealis males croak louder than other kinds, so they should be fun additions. Glad we could help. Cheers, Neale.>

African Clawed Frogs mating  3/14/08 Hi, <Hello there> First off, thank you for your site!! I found it searching for my question and have gleaned a wealth of information. <Ah, good> I purchased 2 Albino ACFs from Wal-Mart a couple months ago as froglettes. I bought 2 because I've read that they are social creatures. Turns out that I have a male and a female. I've been reading quite a bit about their mating behaviors but still have the following concerns. First, I only want 2 frogs and do not have the time or equipment to raise a bunch of tadpoles... <Mmm, I'd be trading one in for another of the opposite sex...> and if I did what would I do with them all once they were grown? <Mmm, either destroy (Xenopus are incredibly invasive...) or selling to/through local to national outlets> Second, I'm a bit squeamish about letting them mate and then letting them eat their own eggs (I know, it's nature, but it just really creeps me out). I've read through searches that they mate 4 times a year mostly during the spring. The mating rituals have begun on our tank. The male has black nuptial pads, is calling during the evening/night and is grasping the female around the waist (and the even stranger thing, he undulates on top of her... umm... like mammals do... I didn't think amphibians did that). <Mmm, yes> They are not doing the flips at the top of the water yet and the female doesn't seem very interested and actually swims away from the male often when he's calling and gets near her. I'm not completely sure what series the events go in for mating, but she's not all fat with eggs as other sites have shown. So I'm not even sure she's ready to mate. <Maybe not> So my question is, do I separate them and if so, when and for how long? <Really... indefinitely> Is there any way to make mating not so attractive (I read about water temp for priming mating)? <Not practically> Also, I noticed that her cloaca is red, is that part of the mating or is there something wrong with her? <Mmm, no, not likely... hormonal, physical...> I know I sound pretty clueless, but I haven't found too much info on ACF mating out there. Thanks in advance for your help. Stephanie <Trade either the female or male and get/keep two of the same sex... 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>

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