How to add a frog to a fish tank

Overfeeding and water filtration are two things to keep an eye on

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How to add a frog to a fish tank

Beginning hobbyist fish keepers new to establishing an aquarium should read up on the mistakes of people who came before them and avoid some common pitfalls.

Starting Too Small

With the availability of mini-aquarium packages, it may be appealing to go small. However, for beginners, choosing a small aquarium is courting failure. When the water volume is small, key water parameters change very quickly and leave no room for error.

Even experienced aquarists are challenged by a small aquarium. Newcomers to the hobby should stay away from tanks under 20 gallons until you become experienced. The bigger the tank, the less impact a mistake will have on the fish.

Adding Fish Too Soon

New aquarium owners are eager to add fish, often the same day they set up the tank. Some are lucky but many will quickly lose some, or all, of their fish. The water in a new tank needs to stabilize. Gases are dissolved in the water as well as minerals, heavy metals, and chemicals added to local water treatment facilities. The water itself can harm the fish. Aquarium water needs to be treated with water conditioner to neutralize harmful materials and allowed to stand for a day or so to allow dissolved gases to escape and the pH to stabilize. You want to make sure the filtration system is working and the heater brings the water to the correct temperature, and the tank is not leaking for at least a day. Then, it will be safe to introduce a few fish to the aquarium.

Adding Too Many Fish at Once

You may feel eager to fill the tank with fish, but unfortunately adding too many fish all at once is another common mistake of new owners. Until the beneficial bacterial colonies have become fully established in the bio-filter, the aquarium cannot safely support a full load of fish. In the beginning, only add a couple of small hardy fish. Wait until both the ammonia and nitrite levels have risen and then fallen to zero before adding more fish. It usually take about 3-6 weeks for a new aquarium to go through the initial Nitrogen cycle, so fish should be added only a few per week during this time.

Overstocking the Aquarium

It is very common for new owners to overstock the aquarium. Although an experienced person may successfully keep a school of 20 small fish in a ten-gallon aquarium, it would be disastrous for a beginner to attempt it.

The net gallons of water should be the amount of water actually placed in the aquarium after the gravel and decorations are in it. You will want to use an 80 percent ratio of tank volume to actual water in the aquarium.

For example, a “10-gallon aquarium” may only hold 8 gallons of water after the decorations and gravel have been added. Using the one inch of fish length per gallon of water rule, 8 inches of fish is a maximum number to be safely kept. That could be 8 fish that grow to be one inch long when full-grown, or 4 fish that grow to be 2-inches long when full-grown. It is always wise to go under the maximum to rather than over. This is just a general rule and bigger aquariums with large filtration systems can often hold more fish than this, if the water quality is managed properly.

Keeping Incompatible Fish

New aquarium owners often choose fish that look appealing to them without knowing their environmental needs. Some fish may fight with one another or require widely different water conditions. Always research each species before choosing tank mates. Select peaceful fish that thrive in similar water conditions.

Overfeeding Your Fish

The number one mistake made by fish owners is overfeeding the fish. Fish are opportunistic and will seek food at all times. Just because they appear hungry does not mean they need to be fed all the time. Feed them no more than they completely consume in five minutes. if food is left over after five minutes, remove the food with a net and feed less food next time.

During startup, feed fish no more than once per day; during critical times when ammonia or nitrite levels are high, withhold feeding for a day or two to reduce the wastes being produced. Fish can easily go several days without food and not suffer ill effects. Once your aquarium has cycled and the ammonia and nitrite levels are zero, you can start feeding your fish twice daily.

Insufficient Filtration

The flow of water through the filter is what makes the water safe for your fish. An aquarium filter should pass all the water in the tank through it at least three times per hour. If it does not, it is too small. If in doubt about filter size, move to the next larger size. You cannot over-filter, but you can definitely under-filter, and the results can be harmful to your fish.

How to add a frog to a fish tank

Not Testing the Water

New owners do not magically have full knowledge of the nitrogen cycle nor do they know they need to test the water chemistry in their aquarium. As a result, they can fail to take steps to deal with harmful toxins that accumulate in the water quickly in a new aquarium.

When the tank is first set up, allow it to run for a day or two. Before adding the fish, test the pH, hardness, alkalinity, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels for a baseline record. During the startup cycle, it is important to test the ammonia and nitrite often (see nitrogen cycle for details). Once the tank is well established, test the water monthly to find unseen problems that may be brewing. If fish suddenly die, test the water to see if anything has changed.

Not Changing the Water

New owners are not always educated about aquarium maintenance, which includes changing part of the water on a regular basis. Wastes build up in the tank that can only be removed by vacuuming the gravel and removing some water and replacing it with fresh water. Normally a partial water change is made weekly in a new aquarium, and then once a month once the bio-filter has become established. Removing and replacing about 20% of the water is usually sufficient with each water change. Make more frequent water changes if the water quality test results are not at the correct levels for your fish. Always add dechlorinator or water conditioner to tap water before adding it into your aquarium.

Although your fish may not die if you fail at maintenance and regular water changes, they will be stressed by substandard water conditions. As a result, they will be more susceptible to disease and often will have a shorter lifespan than they should have.

Two frogs are in a tank. One frog turns to the other and says… “Do you know how to drive this thing?!”

Ok, silly jokes aside(!), if you’re going to keep frogs at home, you’re going to need a frog tank of some kind. After all, you can’t just have frogs hopping freely around your house!

But how do you set up a frog tank to ensure your pet frogs stay healthy and happy? Read on to find out…

What do frogs need to survive?

Let’s start by thinking about what frogs need from their tank in order to survive. What do you need to think about when creating a frog habitat? The main things are:

  • Humidity: This means the amount of water that is in the air.
  • Temperature: The inside of your frog tank may need to be hotter than the rest of your house.
  • Lighting: Wild frogs spend time out in the sunlight, whereas pet frogs generally don’t. You’ll therefore need to artificially provide the light they need.
  • Tank type and size: Like all animals, frogs need enough space to live happily.
  • Plants: Frogs enjoy having plants in their tank, as they provide places to hide.
  • Water: Very important to all amphibians, water lets your frog take a dip and adds to the humidity in the tank.

But how do you set up a frog tank that satisfies all the conditions needed for your frog to survive? And how do frog habitats vary by species?

How to set up a frog tank

We’ve listed the main things that frogs need from their tank to survive. Now let’s take a closer look at each of these important parts of a frog’s habitat.

Humidity in a frog tank

The humidity in a tank is essential to all species of frogs. Without the right humidity, your frog won’t shed properly, and this can lead to various severe health conditions as you can read here (why do frogs shed?). Humidity tends to impact amphibians, such as your frog, more severely.

If you don’t provide the proper humidity, your frog will just dry up. It doesn’t matter where your frog comes from. If it is a tropical rainforest or the harshest desert. Humidity is necessary to it’s well being.

What is the best humidity for frogs?

This depends on the species of your frog. If you want to hold frogs as pets, make sure that you provide the right conditions so that your frog can survive in a tank.

Frog tank temperature

We humans are what we call warm-blooded. Our body measures the local temperature, and we then shives or sweat appropriately to maintain a body temperature of about 37 degrees Celcius. This is not the case when we look at frogs.

Frogs are what we call cold-blooded. They don’t maintain the right temperature by shivering or sweating, but they maintain the temperature of the immediate environment. The right temperature is relative to the species of the frog.

How to provide the right temperature

You can provide the right temperature for your frog to make use of a heat lamp or an under-tank heater to warm the terrarium. To help you keep track of the temperature you can use a thermometer in the habitat.

Adding light to your frog tank

Do frogs need sunlight?

Light is of vital importance for keeping your frog healthy. In nature, frogs have evolved to use the sunlight to their advantage as a source of heat and UVB radiation. Both of these sources help with some metabolic processes. When your frog is in captivity, you need to mimic this kind of conditions so that your frog can live healthily. In a tank, lighting is primarily used for three things: heat, UVB radiation and as lighting for the vivarium.

For heat: As you now know, frogs are cold-blooded which means that they depend on their environment for their temperature. An area of elevated temperature in your vivarium gives the frog the opportunity to raise its body temperature.

For UVB Radiation: The sun is not only a source of heat, but it also gives an intense source of ultraviolet radiation. Exposing your frog to the UVB radiation, even for a short amount of time, provides the Vitamin D production it needs for proper calcium absorption in the intestines. When your frog is in a tank, UVB lighting is generally given by artificial means.

For the benefit of plants: Lighting in the vivarium usually is only necessary to keep the plants in the habitat happy.

Types of frog tank

Creating a proper tank environment requires a bit of thought. It entirely depends on the natural habitat of your frog. There are four standard tank setups for frog care that you can consider.

Terrestrial tanks

This type of container is best suited for a dry climate. It is a large tank with a substrate, a water bowl, plants, and branches for the frog.

Aquatic tanks

As the name already reveals, this tank is full of water and is mainly the same setup as you would have for fish. It primarily consists of a substrate of aquarium gravel and some plants as for decor.

Half & half tanks

This is probably the most common setup. This setup consists of half water and half land. You can do this several ways , but the easiest is to fill a tank with water and put in some giant rocks. You can also make or buy individual separators.

Arboreal tanks

This tank is almost specially made for Treefrogs. Most of the time they spend their time high in tree branches. This is why tree frogs are better off in a taller tank that suits their instincts. You can use a square of hexagon shape tank with lots of branches so that your tree frog can climb.

What size tank do frogs need?

The size of the tank depends on the species of the frog. Smaller frogs can live in smaller tanks but as the frog grows, so does the tank size. A general rule is that most species do well in a 20-gallon tank.

Water in a frog tank

Water is very important to frogs. At the very least, your frog tank will include a bowl of water, and some types – aquatic tanks and half & half tanks – have much more water of course.

When including water in your frog tank, it’s important that you look after the condition of the water. You’ll need to add a filter to break down waste or else the water will quickly become polluted.

Water filtration

Filtration plays a vital part in any aquatic or half/half tank. Water filters clean the water in mainly three ways: Mechanical, biological and chemical.

Mechanical filtration physically removes debris from the water

Biological filtration uses bacteria and something called beneficial strains to break down all the organic waste in the tank.

Chemical filtration binds impurities and organic residues chemically and then remove it from the system.

Regardless of which filtration system is in place, it is essential to maintain a high quality of water and change your tank water regularly.

Are Angelfish Okay to Mix With Goldfish?

Goldfish are cold water fish that generally shouldn’t be housed with most other aquatic animals. However, the African dwarf frog can make a good tank mate for your goldfish if your tank is large enough and you maintain the water properly.

Fish and Frogs

Frogs are amphibians, and most frog species spend significant portions of their time out of water. This makes them poor tank mates for goldfish because goldfish need fully aquatic enclosures. Most frogs also have vastly different temperature requirements from goldfish. Many frog species can grow significantly larger than goldfish and feed on goldfish as a primary nutritional source. Large frogs, frogs that require land and frogs that need high temperatures should not be housed with goldfish, eliminating most frog species as potential tank mates.

African Dwarf Frogs

African dwarf frogs are small, fully aquatic frogs that are docile and small enough to be housed with goldfish. They, like goldfish, require sensitive care and ample space, so avoid getting these frogs just because you want to alter the look of your tank. With proper care, however, African dwarf frogs can peacefully coexist with goldfish.

Tank Maintenance

African dwarf frogs prefer temperatures of 70 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit, while goldfish prefer temperatures of 65 to 75 degrees. To house the two animals together, you must keep the tank around 70 degrees. Both species require ample space. In small enclosures, they may fight, and the ammonia produced by each species can poison the other. Plan on at least 10 gallons of water per fish or frog, and set up a filter to remove excess waste. Drain 10 percent of the water each week, and change all of the water when it begins to get cloudy or smelly.

Avoiding Problems

If your fish or frogs get sick, remove them from the tank. Housing different species together poses some risks, as goldfish are more susceptible to disease from frogs and frogs are more susceptible to disease from goldfish. If you notice the animals chasing each other, they’re not playing. Separate them immediately or you may end up with injured goldfish or frogs.

Are Angelfish Okay to Mix With Goldfish?

Goldfish are cold water fish that generally shouldn’t be housed with most other aquatic animals. However, the African dwarf frog can make a good tank mate for your goldfish if your tank is large enough and you maintain the water properly.

Fish and Frogs

Frogs are amphibians, and most frog species spend significant portions of their time out of water. This makes them poor tank mates for goldfish because goldfish need fully aquatic enclosures. Most frogs also have vastly different temperature requirements from goldfish. Many frog species can grow significantly larger than goldfish and feed on goldfish as a primary nutritional source. Large frogs, frogs that require land and frogs that need high temperatures should not be housed with goldfish, eliminating most frog species as potential tank mates.

African Dwarf Frogs

African dwarf frogs are small, fully aquatic frogs that are docile and small enough to be housed with goldfish. They, like goldfish, require sensitive care and ample space, so avoid getting these frogs just because you want to alter the look of your tank. With proper care, however, African dwarf frogs can peacefully coexist with goldfish.

Tank Maintenance

African dwarf frogs prefer temperatures of 70 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit, while goldfish prefer temperatures of 65 to 75 degrees. To house the two animals together, you must keep the tank around 70 degrees. Both species require ample space. In small enclosures, they may fight, and the ammonia produced by each species can poison the other. Plan on at least 10 gallons of water per fish or frog, and set up a filter to remove excess waste. Drain 10 percent of the water each week, and change all of the water when it begins to get cloudy or smelly.

Avoiding Problems

If your fish or frogs get sick, remove them from the tank. Housing different species together poses some risks, as goldfish are more susceptible to disease from frogs and frogs are more susceptible to disease from goldfish. If you notice the animals chasing each other, they’re not playing. Separate them immediately or you may end up with injured goldfish or frogs.

weelilmatt

Hello everyone! I’m Matthew. I’m new to these forums and I am searching for some help.

I am now a junior in a small highschool and as the last school year ended I was given the privilege to keep my class’s leopard frog. So I currently have a leopard frog sitting in a cage with a good amount of water and some land. What I am hoping to do is introduce some fish. Whether this means having to get a bigger tank or whatever I would like to try to do it. Although I am having trouble finding information about frog and fish habitats. So if someone could inform me if this is possible or not that would be great.

Now that think about it, when the frogs were in my classroom (there were two frogs, I got one.) we had maybe 20 guppies in the tank so that is what has lead me to wanting to introduce fish.

Thanks in advance,
Matt

  • Moderator

HI Matt, Welcome to Fish Lore

Pretty cool, you get to take care of the frog.
I don’t know anything about leopard frogs, but if you answer the following questions, it would help those with the knowledge help you.

What size is the tank?
How much water is in it?
What are the water parameters (ammonia, nitrite and nitrates)?
Does is have a heater? Filter?

It might help if you could post a pic.

Red wag platy

  • Thread Starter

weelilmatt

Thanks for the help so far. I am actually about to drive the family to dinner but when I get back I can post that info and take a look at the site.

  • Thread Starter

weelilmatt

What size is the tank? a very small. 2.5g tank, that’s all I was given.. and it turns out the frog needs more than that.. so I may end up bringing him to the LPS
How much water is in it? its maybe.. 3/4 of the way full
What are the water parameters (ammonia, nitrite and nitrates)? no clue.
Does is have a heater? Filter? buying those tonight:]

So for now I’m guessing I need a decent tank up and running then I can figure out what I can do fish wise..

What can live in a 2.5g tank??

  • Moderator

Not much can live in that small of a tank.
A betta can live in a minimum of 2.5g, minus the frog, of course.
Or some cool shrimp.

In addition to the heater and filter, you’ll also need a test kit, the API master kit is highly recommended here. Avoid the strips, they’re not accurate.

You’ll also need to learn about the nitrogen cycle for adding anything to the tank.

Here’s some reading you should do before you begin:

I know it’s a lot of reading, but you’ll be happy you did.

  • Thread Starter

weelilmatt

Thanks Lucy!
I already read those:] but thanks

I got the the pet store today.. and I saw all the pretty fish! lol
anyways, long story short.. I couldnt JUST buy a heater, filter and test kit..

I ended up buying a 5.5g tank with some new plants and the whole shabang! (sp?) anywhoo, the frog will stay by itself in its own cage and later on the fish will enjoy a lovely tank to themselves. Although I have a couple questions:]

-How many fish can I put in the tank?
I was thinking some Neon Tetras and maybe something else but I am unsure what I can fit in there safely

-Are “Feeder” guppies ok to put in during cycling?

  • Moderator

You really shouldn’t cycle with fish, it exposes them to deadly ammonia and nitrites, you’d have to change at least 50% of your water daily, hard on you, harder on the fish.
If you read through the site, you’d see how many fish are lost during cycling.
But, of course, the choice is yours.

Unfortunately, with only 5.5g’s your choices are very limited.

The loose rule of thumb for small fish is 1″ of adult fish per gallon of water. This doesn’t apply to larger fish or fish with bigger bio loads.
An example of how this rule wouldn’t work, is you wouldn’t put a fish that will grow 5″ in a 5 gallon tank.

Neons can get up to 1.5″ and are very sensitive to water conditions.
In a 5.5, you could put no more than 3, but they’re schooling fish and do better with at least 5 or 6, which would over stock your tank.
Although I have 2, and they’re doing very well without a school.

Guppies can get up to 2″, so you would be limited to 2 of the same sex so they don’t reproduce.

A couple of African Dwarf Frogs or a betta would do well in a 5.5.

Sorry I couldn’t give you better information. Perhaps someone else will come along and be able to advise you further on what might do well in your tank.

  • Oct 27, 2020
  • #1
  • jeweljelly

    New Member

    I’ve been thinking about getting a frogfish. I have chosen the Fluval Sea Evo Saltwater Fish Tank Aquarium Kit but I’m not sure how I can decorate it.

    Please help me by giving me links to coral, rocks etc that will be suitable for my fish!

    • Oct 27, 2020
  • #2
  • JaaxReef

    Well-Known Member

    I’ve been thinking about getting a frogfish. I have chosen the Fluval Sea Evo Saltwater Fish Tank Aquarium Kit but I’m not sure how I can decorate it.

    Please help me by giving me links to coral, rocks etc that will be suitable for my fish!

    Since they don’t really swim too well, I would keep your rock scape lower and add shelf ledges that the fish can kind of “step” up.

    The nano shelf rock kit from Marco would be a great choice.

    • Oct 27, 2020
  • #3
  • lion king

    2500 Club Member

    What size tank are we talking and which species are you interested in.

    As far as corals go lps corals do well as many will enjoy the nutrients. The do swim by using their jet packs and some like being high up to scout the tank for prey. Some like hanging in a cave so provide at least one suitable size cave and overhangs. Not too much flow but fine for lps and not too high light but fine for lps. Colors to match the color of the angler if you want him to keep his color, they will imprint the color scheme of the tank to blend in for camo.

    Tap some of my threads for feeding and nutritional tips, if your 1st order of business is to “train your angler” to dead food, don’t expect to keep him that long.

    African Clawed Frogs are a type of aquatic frog that can be kept as pets. In order to keep your frogs happy and healthy, it is vital their tank is set up correctly. Follow this blog to find out how.

    How long do they live?

    African Clawed Frogs live on average 5 – 15 years, but in captivity, they have been recorded to live as long as 30 years.

    • How to add a frog to a fish tank

    What size?

    The size of your tank will depend on how many frogs you wish to keep. As these frogs are fully aquatic meaning they spend all their time in the water, a glass tank, such as a fish tank is ideal as it needs to be watertight. As a rule of thumb, a 10-gallon tank is a good size for one frog.

    How many?

    African Clawed Frogs can be kept with other African Clawed Frogs, so long as they are the same size. Anything smaller risks being eaten by the bigger frog. Be careful not to overcrowd your tank, and don’t be tempted to keep other species, such as axolotls or fish in with them, or they could end up as lunch.

    • How to add a frog to a fish tank

    Water quality

    Your frogs need to be kept in dechlorinated water, as the chlorine in water can hurt them. You can either leave the water to stand for 24 hours, allowing the chlorine to evaporate, or add a water treatment to remove it. A quarter of the tank water should be removed on a weekly basis and replaced with clean, treated water.

    A pump should also be used, but choose a quiet, gentle pressured one as loud noises and fast water will stress your frogs. You can put plants in front of the pump to slow the stream of water. I like the Fluval pumps as they have settings on them to change the flow of water. Just make sure you get the correct sized pump for your tank.

    What about furnishings?

    The tank bottom can be left bare if you so choose, or fine sand can be used if you prefer (I use this). Avoid gravel or stones as frogs can ingest these. Large rocks can be used, but it is hard to clean underneath them and food can get trapped under them, making the water murky.

    African Clawed Frogs are nocturnal like to hide, so they should be given places to retreat to. A terracotta flower pot on its side makes a good hide, or you can use ones marketed for fish, just make sure its smooth as any sharp edges or bumps can hurt your frogs. Aquarium lights should be avoided as these frogs have delicate eyes and lights can hurt them. Position the tank in a dark area of the home, away from direct sunlight.

    How to add a frog to a fish tank

    These frogs will eat anything they can fit in their mouths, so make sure the food item you give is appropriate for the size of your frog. Nightcrawlers are a good staple, as are bloodworms. You can feed reptomin pellets too which go down well. Careful not to overfeed and remove any uneaten food.

    Sing, sing, sing

    If you are lucky enough to have a male frog, once he has matured he may croak a song to the ladies. My males tend to sing at night and a few days later, the female will have laid eggs. The eggs are small, white dots and unless removed, the parents will eat them. Unless you want to raise babies, just leave the eggs in with the parents and let nature take its course.

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    How to add a frog to a fish tank

    Water Conditions

    Temperature: 76-80F, with 78F being the best

    pH: The pH would be best around 7 but an African Dwarf Frog can adjust to your pH as a fish would if you acclimate the frog to the tank.

    Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate: Before adding any frogs to your tank, it should be cycled. The ammonia and nitrites should always be at 0, and nitrates should always be below 40, although below 20 is even better. It is the same for fish.

    Salt: You should never use salt with a frog in the tank. If you ever have fish that need treated with salt for any reason, remove the frog until all of the salt has been removed from the tank with water changes. From what I understand, salt can kill them at high enough concentrations.

    Feeding

    African Dwarf Frogs will not compete for food. If there are multiple frogs on the tank (or fish that steal food), whoever gets to the food first will eat it, and the others won’t fight for it. You could easily have one frog eating everything while the others starve. A good solution for this is to hand feed them. I explained hand feeding as well as some other tips in my blog on African Dwarf Frogs.

    Instead of hand feeding them (since it can be difficult to keep track of who ate and who didn’t), you could also place food in a dish and train the frog to eat from it by showing him where the food is every day.

    Tank Size

    No less than 10 gallons. They like to dart around at times and need room to do so. At the same time, they shouldn’t be in a tank taller than 20 inches because they need to be able to swim to the surface easily for air.

    It’s usually recommended that you have 3 gallons per frog. A 10 gallon would work nicely for 3, or 4 – if it’s going to be an ADF only tank.

    If the tank is tall, make sure you have tall plants the African Dwarf Frogs can rest on at different levels in the tank if they need to rest while trying to swim to the surface.

    Filtration

    Sponge filters are great for African Dwarf Frogs. Not only do they prevent the frog(s) from being sucked in, but they also don’t disturb the water too much. Too much movement in the water makes it hard for them to see and disorients them. They don’t have the best eye sight.

    With any filter you get, you can modify it to slow the water flow or the intake. You can cover the intake with a sponge, and use plants or something similar in front of the flow of water to slow it down.

    Additionally.

    Make sure you don’t accidentally buy African Clawed Frogs. They get much larger than African Dwarf Frogs. If you look closely, the front feet on an ADF are webbed; the front feet on an ACF are not. Make sure the frogs you get have 4 webbed feet.

    How to add a frog to a fish tank

    African Clawed Frog courtesy of LHG Creative Photography

    Additional information can be found in my other blog here: Tips and Tricks for Caring for African Dwarf Frogs

    Here is another good blog: African Dwarf Frogs