What pet stores don’t tell you: Amphibian edition


Photo provided by joshsfrogs.com

Female pacman frogs can get up to five inches in length, with males being slightly smaller.

Betty Huang, Assistant editor-in-chief

Just like reptiles, amphibians also require extensive research before purchase or adoption. With the proper care, they make just as great of pets.

A steady income is also required for these animals, and any animal for the matter of fact. It takes money to buy the proper food and housing materials for your pet(s), and there are occasions where you have to pay a large sum for vet visits. If you do not have the means to take care of your pet, or have the means for an emergency vet visit, please do not purchase or adopt. Invest and save for a future best friend.

Pacman Frogs:
Pacman frogs are essentially large mouths; they eat anything and everything. Pacman frogs are also mostly observational animals rather than animals that like to be handled. This is because frogs breathe through their skin. Avoiding contact with your pet frog is prefered because you don’t want it to breathe the natural oils on your skin. Handling these creatures short term is acceptable.

Baby pacman frogs need a ten gallon tank. Adult pacman frogs need a 20 gallon tank. You can choose to put a hide in their tank, but they feel the most safe when they bury themselves in the substrate. Loose coconut fibers, such as Eco Earth, is great for pacman frogs. A variety of artificial plants can also spruce up your enclosure and give your pacman frog more places to hide.

These frogs need a humidity of 60-70 percent, so misting your enclosure twice a day is vital. Use a hydrometer to keep a constant measurement on your enclosure’s humidity. Temperatures should range from 80-85 degrees fahrenheit. Temperatures can safely drop down to 70 degrees during the night for these frogs, but should never go any lower. To keep temperatures regulated, you can provide your pacman frog with a heat lamp or under tank heating pad. Use a thermostat to keep temperatures regulated and don’t forget to pop a thermometer into your tank as well.

Pacman frogs eat a variety of insects and small rodents. You can feed them crickets, mealworms, hornworms, or dubia roaches, just to name a few. Large pacman frogs may even eat (dead) feeder mice. Make sure feeder insects are of appropriate size: smaller than the space between your frog’s eyes. Also make sure that it’s water bowl is filled and cleaned daily. The tap water provided for your frog should be treated with water conditioner (using bottled water works, too).

Do not house more than one pacman frog in one enclosure. If you have multiple in the same enclosure you may end up with one since they tend to each each other.

Green Tree Frogs:
These frogs are moderately sized and can live up to five years; they’re a great novice frog. Green tree frogs need a tank a minimum of ten gallons. Since these frogs spend most of their lives in trees, hence their name, an enclosure with more height than width is best. Decorate your enclosure with some artificial plants for your frog to climb on. Line the bottom of the enclosure with a safe substrate, such as coconut fibers. You may also cover the coconut fibers with moss (safe moss can be found in pet stores).

Green tree frogs should be kept in 75 degree fahrenheit temperature. You can achieve this by sticking a heat pad on the side of your enclosure. Hook the heating pad up to a thermostat to keep temperatures regulated. Temperatures should not exceed 80 degrees. These frogs also enjoy high humidity, so make sure you mist your enclosure twice a day with treated (or bottled) water.

Clean and fill your frog’s water bowl daily. They should also be fed a variety of insects, mainly crickets and sometimes even roaches. Dust the crickets with calcium powder before giving to your frog for consumption. Providing a reptile multivitamin supplement, such as vitamin D3 (which can sometimes be included in calcium supplements), is beneficial as your frog will not get the proper nutrients by itself inside.

Just like pacman frogs, green tree frogs breathe through their skin. Therefore, handling these creatures long term is not ideal. Handling for long periods of time may also stress your frog and cause various issues.

Be aware that green tree frogs are very vocal, especially at night since they’re nocturnal animals. Males are much more vocal than females, whom are virtually silent with the occasional croak. If you don’t mind the noise, male green tree frogs are the way to go; if not, females may be the best choice.