Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs About Anurans/Frogs: Foods/Feeding/Nutrition

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

Related FAQs: Frogs other Than African & Clawed 2,
FAQs on: General Frog Identification, General Frog Behavior, General Frog Compatibility, General Frog Selection, General Frog Systems,
General Frog Health, General Frog Reproduction,
FAQs on: Bullfrogs, Fire Belly Toads,
Leopard Frogs, Surinam Toads/Pipa, Tadpoles of all Sorts, Toads/Terrestrial Frogs, White/Tree Frogs, Amphibians 1, African Dwarf Frogs, African Clawed Frogs, Newts & Salamanders, Rubber Eels/CaeciliansTurtlesAmphibian Identification, Amphibian Behavior, Amphibian Compatibility, Amphibian Selection, Amphibian Systems, Amphibian Feeding, Amphibian Disease, Amphibian Reproduction,

Most likely the wrong forum, but am going to ask anyway. Rana sexing, beh., nutr., sys.  - 8/1/10
Hi again guys,
I have a frog that was captured from outside. The frog is a common green frog, *Rana clamitans*. From what I read male frogs have ears that are significantly bigger then their eyes, female frogs have ears the same side as their eyes; male frogs have yellowish under parts and throats, and girls frogs have creamy white throats. Now, when I first got my frog I was convinced it was a girl frog (the underside seems white, and the ear was just a little bigger, you could say it was the same size. BUT, my frog croaks, and the throat puffs out/extends with the croaks! Does a female frog croak?
<Not usually, no. Croaking is for males to attract a mate. Males also have a much larger ear drum, about twice the size of the eye, so it should be pretty obvious.>
I understand that there are 6 different calls that this species of frogs make, but do girls make croaking sounds? If I sent a picture of the actual frog, could someone here tell me if it is a male or female?
I really want to know. The one book that has an actual picture of a male and female has no caption with the picture to say WHICH is male or female, mores the pity. It's in a semi-aquatic aquarium/vivarium which is 20
gallons and has Zilla brand foam insert kit called "rain forest rapids" kit. Also, I read somewhere on the internet to only feed this kind of frog 3 times a week, what happens if a frog is over fed? My frog eats a LOT.
<Yes they do.>
Like, last night it ate: about 9 pill bugs, a slug, about 6 worms, a centipede, 2 spiders, and about 3 or 4 meal worms, a moth, and one unidentified insect. Also, most of the food I go out and catch outdoors, in this case, should I use the powder that contains multivitamins that is sprinkled on foods for lizard and amphibians to keep them from getting metabolic bone disease?
<Is well worth doing.>
Also, I am using just a daylight lamp from Exo Terra it says on the package it is good for all amphibians. It is very hard to find any information on frogs not generally found in the pet industry, I mean it is easy to find out what you
have, but not specific husbandry for the frog like you could if you had one common in pet stores. Could I have more than one of these frogs in this tank?
<Generally, Rana species are kept singly in small tanks. They tend to do only fairly well in captivity, and never really become tame. They're quite nervous and prone to bashing their noses on the glass as they jump about
when scared. You could certainly try keeping a pair in your tank, but you'd have to keep an eye on them, and the problem is that after spawning, should they do so, the male would likely harass the female. If the female goes off
her food, that's a good sign of trouble.>
P.S: I use a lot of Seachem products in my aquariums, one is called "Prime". It is a water conditioner, but I am wondering, could this be dangerous to a frog? I know frogs can absorb water through its skin and it cloaca, and this does have a harsh sulfur chemical smell.
<This product should be safe.>
I also use the Seachem's version of live bacteria called "Stability",
and a carbon replacement for planted aquariums called "Flourish Excel" and also Seachem's "Flourish Iron" Iron supplement for planted tanks, and the general plant supplement from Seachem caller "Flourish". Would these
products harm my frog?
<Shouldn't do so, no.>
I did use the live bacteria product-no ill effects yet. I have live plants in this tank in the water section- water sprite floating and java fern on the bottom. Could I use the water conditioner and the plant fertilizers?
<Should be able to, but if in doubt, consult with the manufacturer. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Most likely the wrong forum, but am going to ask anyway... where does this go?   8/4/10

Oh, my Gosh! Seachem fooled me good to the tune of $41.00 American!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
<Could be worse. Those poor folks in Pakistan have just had their homes washed away in floods. Always good to have a sense of perspective.>
From now on I will ask someone here if what I am buying is a crock of poop before I chuck my bucks around at aquarium store.
<By all means do so.>
Seachem has a nice website, and explains why the products are so good.
<And they are. But you do need to understand what products do, and like all businesses, they tend to promise a little more than their products actually deliver. Coca Cola doesn't make me sexy, and eating Bran Flakes doesn't
imbue me with glowing sense of happiness.>
Last time I went to the aquarium store I purchased $120.00 dollars worth of products from Seachem (This was for 3 items!!!!!!!!) Now I feel like a fool.
<Please don't feel foolish. Two of the three products you bought are good ones, among the best in their niches. The one product I'm not wild about is Seachem Stability, and that's only because most of these "good bacteria"
products are unreliable and, once the aquarium is more than half mature, don't provide any benefits whatsoever. They don't do any harm, but these bacteria potions often don't do any good either.>
Thanks for helping me with my frog. It is getting bigger, and the ear is getting bigger so it must be a boy frog. But it was much smaller first and the ear was the same size as the eye so I was fooled there, too.
<If it makes you feel any better, frogs are pretty bad at telling their sexes at times. If you watch them in the wild you'll see every possible permutation of male and female frog you can imagine!>
<Have fun with your frogs! Cheers, Neale.>  

Thank you for your fabulous web site...and... (Bombina orientalis; diet, winter)  10/5/08
Dear Wet Web Media Crew,
While searching for information and advice about our relatively new fire belly toads I stumbled across your web site. It's fabulous; I've only read one page and I already know more than I ever thought it was possible to know about the different sorts of amphibians people keep as pets.
However, I didn't find an answer to the question I had Googled: Do captive Fire Belly toads slow down in the winter months?
<Oriental Fire Belly Toads (Bombina orientalis) are temperate zone animals, and should indeed be kept cold in winter. They need to "slow down" as you put it, otherwise they are less healthy overall, and will certainly live shorter lives. The recommended wintertime temperature is 10-15 degrees C, compared to around 20 degrees C in summer. While they don't actually hibernate, they will need less food (perhaps half as much, and with any uneaten food quickly removed).>
Since July we have had two such toads living in a luxurious 10 gallon aquarium that has a filter, plenty of plants for them to float with, a lovely deep section for them to swim in, a gentle slope for them to hang around on and a pebbly section for them to catch crickets on.
<Do offer a variety of foods: crickets by themselves are not "well balanced", although dusting with vitamins and gut-loading across a few days prior to use helps dramatically. Even so, single food diets are never a good idea, and at best the toad will get bored with them, and at worst you'll have a problem with vitamin and mineral imbalances over time.>
I've noticed that over the past week the darker colored of the two isn't particularly interested in eating. Both of the toads used to swim eagerly to the pebbles whenever they heard me banging the cricket tube onto the side of the aquarium to get their dinner out. Now neither comes over at all at first. If I encourage them to swim to the side the bright green one will eat a couple of crickets, but the darker one won't go after a cricket unless I really encourage him to do so. He even lets the crickets jump on his head and his back and he won't try to eat them. Both of the toads swim and float as much as before, their only change has been their interest in food.
<Do consider boredom and simple slowing down due to dropping temperature.>
If the problem were just the one little guy I would be a little more concerned, but because both of the toads are less interested in the crickets than they had been it seems as if they could just be slowing down for the winter. The temperature in our house and in their aquarium has remained the same so if they're noticing that it's getting closer to winter they must be noticing the change in the amount of sunlight.
<These toads do need strong sunlight or better still a basking light. Unlike most other amphibians, which tend to avoid direct light, these toads actively bask, much like reptiles. Whether they need this for good health (as do reptiles) I cannot say, but it is generally recommended that anyone keeping these toads plan around their needs and supply some sort of light.>
I'd appreciate any information you can give me about how Fire Belly toads spend the winter. Thank you.
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Thank you for your fabulous web site...and... (Bombina orientalis; diet, winter) 10/5/08

Hello again, Wet Web Media Crew,
Thank you so much, Neale, for this prompt and informative response to my fire belly toad questions. I'm so glad to know there are people out in cyberspace, such as yourself, who can help us novice pet owners with our minor issues. Of course, nothing takes the place of quality veterinarian care and we're lucky to have a practice very close to us which is recognized for its competence caring for small and exotic animals.
<Happy to help.>
My comments on your points, and a few additional questions, are as follows:
We try to feed the toads some mealworms when possible but mealworms are practically impossible to fine here in eastern Pennsylvania. Most of the pet stores claim there's a 'nationwide shortage' of mealworms, prompting my boys and me to wonder if we could make a fortune in mealworm farming. Superworms are available but they don't look like anything the toads or the juvenile leopard gecko would eat. (The gecko has her own habitat in her own
20 gallon aquarium; of course she doesn't live with the toads). The Superworms are so large so I think that even if the toads or gecko could bite one in half, once they're bitten and stop moving they'll also stop being food in the minds of the animals. We also tried some sort of red wiggly worms that came in a little container at the pet store. They were probably red wigglers but I don't remember now. The darker toad sometimes took a worm but the bright green one always ignored them.
<Do also try stuff from the garden, such as earthworms, assuming you don't spray the garden.>
I agree with your other posters who mentioned that feeding the toads is very time consuming, having to wait for the toads to eat the food before the crickets jump into the water or the mealworms or red worms burrow into the pebbles. Sometimes particularly determined crickets have leapt out of the aquarium while the lid is off because I'm rescuing a swimmer. Since the mealworms aren't very fast I put them into a little bowl but it took the toads many feedings before they would look into the bowl for food. At first they happily hopped into it and out of it but didn't seem to notice they were sitting on their potential dinner. Any crickets that the toads don't eat within what I consider to be a reasonable amount of time - 5 to 10 minutes - get flushed away. Do you think it's OK to either return these crickets to the cricket keeper or feed them to the gecko?
<Both are fine.>
I never have because I don't want to transfer any bacteria or other contaminants from the toads' most environment to the gecko or to the other crickets who will eventually get their turn to be a meal. If they can't become another food source, can I let them go outside?
<They'll die outdoors; the crickets and mealworms sold are from tropical countries and not likely to survive in the temperate zone.>
To alleviate the toads' boredom we rearrange their habitat every time we clean the aquarium. Of course, in a 10 gallon aquarium we don't have a lot of choices, but we've come up with three arrangements. Sometimes their 'land' area is on the side closest to the window, sometimes on the other, and sometimes on both sides with the swimming area in the middle. Sometimes all the plants are in the deep part making it seem (to us) jungle-like in the water, and sometimes only one or two plants are in the deep part (still giving the toads plenty of surface leaves to hang around on) but making the 'land' area a bit more lush and cricket stalking a little more difficult. To one of your posters you mentioned changing out only a portion of the toads' water when cleaning the tank. Please tell me if we've been a little too fastidious with our tank cleaning and if we could back off on our regime, at least every other time we change the water. We always transfer the toads and a little of their tank water to the container they came home in. Next we vacuum out as much of the water and junk as we can and replace it with regular tap water and water conditioner. Then we vacuum that water out, taking with it more floating junk. Next we replace that water with more tap water and water conditioner and dig deep into the pebbles and stir them all around. This creates eve more floating junk which we try to remove with the vacuum. Finally we arrange the pebbles and plants and filter the way we want them and refill the aquarium with tap water and water conditioner.
<This all sounds good; because amphibians are prone to skin infections when exposed to poor conditions, erring on the side of caution when it comes to cleanliness is no bad thing at all.>
Then the toads are allowed to return. As you can imagine, this is quite the process, especially since the aquarium is in a bedroom and there are a lot of trips to and from the bathroom with a bucket of water. Many of those trips are made by a 10 year old. Is there any way we can cut back on this, maybe doing it every other week, with just a water replacement
on the off week? Do we have to put water conditioner in all the water that goes in and comes right back out or is it only necessary for the water the toads eventually live in?
<Add conditioner on a _pro rata_ basis to any new water added to the aquarium. To be honest, with terrestrial amphibians, replacing 100% of the water is a good idea.>
Thank you all again for this wonderful site full of information about our pets and our ponds.
<No probs.>
Yours sincerely,
<Cheers, Neale.>

Leopard Frog, hlth.  1/26/08 To whom it may concern, My son has a Leopard frog, which he has had for about a year now. He has had it since it was a tadpole. His first grade class was giving some away. <Progressive. Good for them> Anyway, after about 6 months, he became kind of sluggish, and started to have difficulty catching the live crickets we feed him. I just figured it was due to the winter months and him just feeling like hibernating. <Could well be> Next, as time went on, on occasion, I noticed that when he tried to move, he would start twitching, and could not move, until the twitching stopped. He is still eating, but the condition seems to be getting worse, and he is getting weaker. My son is extremely distressed about his pet. Any ideas? We do turn on a light / heat lamp for him each day, for anywhere from 2-6 hours. Thanks, Brian <Mmm, could be simply "age"... and likely influences of captivity. Exposure to sanitizers in your source water, treatment... How is new water prepared, system water filtered, tested?... Perhaps a deficiency syndrome nutritionally... Do you supplement the food/s at all? Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/amphibdisfaqs.htm and the other Amphibian files linked above... to grant you insight, raise questions here. Bob Fenner>
Re: Leopard Frog  1/26/08
The frog is only about a year old, <Mmm, well, Rana pipiens is relatively long-lived for an amphibian (up to about nine years), but generally only a year or two in captivity... due to vagaries of water quality, nutrition...> and his little water "dish/pool" is filled with bottled water only. <... "Bottled water" may not be a good idea... what are the chemical qualities of this product?> His diet consists of live crickets, nothing else. <Need more...> His tank has the moist coconut medium in the bottom. Brian <Do take the time to read on the Net re this species husbandry... You read as a conscientious keeper, but am sensing the same issues hinted at as in our previous correspondence. BobF>
Re: Leopard Frog 1/31/08
Can you give some examples / manufacturers of calcium supplements and vitamin supplements for frogs? I found "JurassiCal" for a calcium supplement (says ok for amphibians), but I haven't found a vitamin supplement yet. Thanks, Brian <Ah, yes. Baby/children's liquid vitamins are fine here, as are commercial aquarium products like Selcon, MicroVit... BobF>

Feeding Firebelly Toads Bugs from The Garden  2/18/07 My name is Daniel and I have a Firebelly toad. I (accidentally, had a lot to do that week) didn't feed him in around 4-5 days. When I realized this at 9:30 p.m., my pet store had already closed. When I went to check on him and he didn't move, so I tried pouring water around him, still nothing. Finally, I slightly moved him, and his eyelids opened, and within the next  couple minutes he started moving. Thinking he was very hungry, I went outside to find bugs. I was able to  find a grub worm, and I gave it to him. I an sure there's nothing wrong with that, but I was just wondering is it bad for Firebelly toads to eat grub worms? Just wondering.  Thanks,- Daniel <Most insects are harmless and are actually very good food for your toad. You only need to worry if you have put out some poison that may have been ingested by the bug and carry the toxin to your toad. I have kept toads alive for years in Sothern Calif . just by catching my own bugs and a few worms now and then.-Chuck>

Feeding Aquatic/Terrestrial Frogs   1/28/07 A work related friend asked me a question concerning two frogs his young daughter bought from Wal-Mart or some place like that.  They will not eat, and of course Wal-Mart has no suggestions.  All she knows is that they are white with black polka dots.  I know little or nothing about frogs, except how to catch tadpoles with a jar:):) Any help would be appreciated. <Most frogs only eat like moving prey. Offer some like black worms and I am sure they will gobble them up. Get some from a fish store and rinse them very well. Get some tweezers or feeding tongs and place a small clump of worms in front of their mouth. If they are terrestrial frogs then they will go after live insects like crickets and mealworms.-Chuck>

Help!  My Lunch Is Stupid! - 04/04/2006 My fire belly frog is eating. <Uh, good!> i <Oh my.  PLEASE capitalize your "I"s.  For one, it shows some healthy self-respect in your writing, and for two, we really haven't the time to correct these....> bet your wondering why I'm writing. <Indeed I am.> the <Ack!  The beginnings of sentences too, please?> problem is his silly food! I get him crickets and they just dive right in the water and decide to go swimming! <Hey, I would too!  I love to be in the water.> And then I end up spending 20 minutes trying to save the dumb crickets but they just keep jumping to their death. <They really are NOT the brightest, are they? By the time its all said and done my poor frog eats 1 and the rest are dead! <A sad waste.  I can't tell you how many stupid gray/feeder crickets I've met.  I don't know how the species continues to live....> I recently bought him ghost shrimp but he my frog didn't even know they were there. They ended up living together and he wont eat them. <Neat!> I don't know what to do because at this rate I'm going to the pet store everyday! My poor frog eats the crickets that don't end up jumping to their death. I'm at my wits end and don't know what to do. I need an easier option on what to feed him. <A couple of options.  The best, and healthiest, is to keep the crickets in a separate container and only feed him a couple at a time.  In the separate container, you can feed them ("gut load" is one term for this) a high-quality fish food and give them a piece of fruit for water.  This will make them better for your frog to eat and keep them alive until feeding.  Optionally, you can give them something in the water at the surface that they can climb out on and not drown; a floating plant (real or fake) may do the trick.> PLEASE get to me quickly...... <As quickly as we could.> Thank you so much, - Needing a Resolution <All the best to you,  -Needing a Nap (Sabrina)>

Food For Tadpoles  5/31/06 Can you tell me how long it takes for a tadpole to become a frog and what I would feed the little fellows?  I tried fish food...they all died but one.  How about Hermit Crab food?  Any other tips?  I think this would be a great learning experience for my little girl. PS...thanks for your advice on the Hermits and Turtles....all are alive and well! God Bless You! <Tadpoles eat algae. The higher the water temp. the quicker they transform. Feed them Spirulina flakes and keep them at room temperature and they should transform into little frogs/toads in 4 to 6 weeks. Frog tadpoles are green, toad tadpoles are black, at least around here in CA.-Chuck>

Feeding Frogs Hi! I have brought inside a tame 3-inch (northern leopard?) frog who has been living in our outdoor  prefab pond this summer, because the pond is only 15 inches deep and could freeze to the bottom.  (Our attached garage is too warm for hibernation.)  He and his "little brother," about the size of my thumb, are probably from the pet store tadpoles I added in the spring but I'm not sure. I got 500 earthworms through the mail to tide us through the winter (but that's another story...). <That's a lot of worms, my fish are envious.> Although the frogs  readily take worms from my fingers, I'd like to devise a self-feeding system.  Can you advise me of a good way of dispensing earthworms? <Boy, I wish I knew, I know with feeding blood worms to aquarium fish they make a small mesh cone that the worms will wriggle out of for the fish to munch, but I am not sure about earth worms, I guess I have not spent enough time with them.  Something similar would be sure to drop a bunch of dirt into your tank, and whose to say that they will even wriggle out?> Presently the frogs are in an aquarium with water 6.5 inches deep above 1.5 inches of pebbles, with 3 large rocks protruding above the water.   When I place a worm in a dish on the rocks, it usually slithers out of the dish, across the rock and into the water and pebbles before either frog makes a move! <I have the same problem with my sand fish skinks and wax worms.> I'm considering converting one end of the tank to "land" but am uncertain what substrate to use in it-- gravel would be the tidiest, but damp sphagnum moss more apt to keep the worm escapees out of the water.  But the most important question is, won't the worms simply continue to elude the frogs as they leave the dish and bury themselves in the substrate? <I'd go with gravel with moss on top.  The frogs will probably get the worms, but it would not surprise me in the slightest if some escape, dig, die, and foul your water.> I know frogs are commonly raised in captivity as lab animals and am sure someone has come up with a better idea than hand-feeding.  How do they do it??  Thanks for your suggestions! <I am afraid I do not know of any automated ways to feed them.  I am sure if any of our daily readers have a plan they will let us know and we will post on the daily FAQS (Anybody?).  You can also mix some crickets into their diet if you have a local supply, they do not dig, and it is easy to remove the un eaten ones.  Best of Luck, Gage> Peg

Toad, frog questions Hi, I'm raising wild bull frogs in a fish tank. I would like to know if this will harm them in the winter and also what foods do they eat?. < Bull frogs are carnivorous and will eat just about anything they can get into their mouths including other frogs. You Firebelly toads are probably poisonous to the bull frog if he tries and eat them. Your frog will be fine in your aquarium but may require a hibernation or cool down period if you want them to breed in the spring.> I've been feeding them crickets, mealworms and also regular worms. Is this ok for all of them? < It all sounds good.>   I'm also raising a water frog in the same tank and 2 Firebelly toads. Do they all eat the same things as a Firebelly toad and will the Firebelly toads cause them harm? <They should all eat all the same things if they can  fit it into their mouths.-Chuck>                         Thank You,                         Gail

FAT TOAD - Time to Start Using Capitalization! Hi. I know I'm concerned with Jeff most of the time, but there are a lot of questions I have. Well, as much as I hate to admit it, Jeff is kind of fat. How do I safely slim him down? < The key is to make him work harder for less food. Just like we are told to eat less and exercise. Feed the tank smaller crickets a few times a day instead of dumping in a whole mess all at once. Toss in a couple small crickets before school and a couple when you get home from school. Any that make it through the day will come out a night when Jeff is out and about.-Chuck> <It is at this point that I will admonish you for continually sending in emails without using any capitalization whatsoever.  While we are happy to answer your questions, we are not happy to retype your queries. Marina>

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: