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Old 02-22-2005, 12:32 AM
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Default Info needed on Hymenochirus boettgeri (dwarf African frogs)

I went to the glass store on Saturday to have some tops made for some new tanks I've bought. At the store they had two dwarf African water frogs, which I originally thought were Xenopus laevus. I was discussing the purpose for the lids and how I owned darts. I've never had any frogs before my darts, and this morning the frogs at the glass store laid eggs. So they decided to call me. Like I said, I thought they were X. laevus, so I told them the scientific name and looked up some info on it. Turns out they're H. boettgeri instead, but I can't find as much info about them online. When I go to pick up the glass tomorrow, I'll let them know about the mistaken identity and give them some information on how to care for them. They had two of them in one of those tiny beta vases with the plants growing out the top. Can anyone point me to a web site that has info on the frogs, or give advice?
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Old 02-22-2005, 02:20 AM
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ADF's are very differnet than the albino species. They are extremely peaceful and grow to about ~1.5". Xenopus laevus can be identified by their color, but mainly by the front and back claws they have. They can grow to ~5" and are very aggressive when older. They have been known to eat smaller fish such as tetras and even African Dwarf Frogs. They should NOT be kept together.

In reference to the glass, both frogs are amazing escape artists. The glass lids are to keep them in, because if there is any reason that they want to get out, they will most likely succeed.

Here's a good site with lots of info:

http://allaboutfrogs.org/info/mypets/dwarfs.html


Luke

P.S. They are awesome pets, and are very fun to watch.
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0.0.1 D. tinctorius "Cobalt"
1.0.3 D. ventrimaculatus
1.0.1 D. pumilio "Cristobal"
1.0.1 D. pumilio "Rio Branco"

1.0.0 Pogona vitticeps
0.0.4 Hymenochirus boettgeri
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Old 02-22-2005, 02:37 PM
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Finally. Discussion on Pipidae.

Ah, my favorite frogs. All pipids are gifted in intelligence relative to other frogs and are VERY active creatures. There is no such thing as "shy" with a pipid. Don't be fooled by those "common baby albinos." If you ever get to see an adult pigmented female Xenopus, it is truly a magnificient animal, particularly when hunting. They will shred prey too large for their mouth with those claws like Velociraptor. Xenopus have this really loud, unusual call that is actually pretty pleasant (except late at night).

It won't take long before your pipid discovers who feeds them and will even come up and sit in your hand! (at least my xenopus did) Sadly, my old pair of Xenopus went to froggy heaven, and it is quiet without them. :cry: It is sad that pipids are sold to the careless and given very inadaquet care.

No. Do not follow the information from Frogland. Dorota is awesome, but much of the information is out of date.

The xenopus care sheet is REALLY bad. I even followed it and now I regret the whole thing.

The real issue here is the diet. Pipid owners are discovering that Bloodworms are pretty bad for frogs, especially if they're freeze dried. Feeding dwarfs exclusively on bloodworms will cause them to get BD, or bloating disease. It doesn't bother dwarfs like it does their bigger cousin, Xenopus laevis. I would still offer bloodworms, but make sure you vary your diet. Fruit flies might even be worth a try, but you've got a real challenge ahead on keeping the diet varied enough and finding a way to supplement.

A betta container will not be adaquet. I'd have at least a five gallon in order to keep temperatures stable and to provide more leniency with ammonia, nitrate, etc. Pipidae are very messy animals and you will need to change the water frequently. This is all very general. This is nothing close to being thorough, so check a few websites.

http://aquaticfrogs.tripod.com/

BTW: That 100 gallon Xenopus tank hopefully will be started pretty soon. I've ordered some water lilies and looking into a small halide fixture. Now I just got to wait until it warms up outside so I can take my rock wall and paint it with epoxy.
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Old 02-22-2005, 02:48 PM
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I didn't look at the Xenopus caresheet, so i apologize if it is out of date, the ADF sheet seems fine though. I will have to agree with freeze-dried foods though, they are quite bad for most animals in the long run. Every now and then is ok, but the can lead to compaction, intestinal blockage, and as RainFrog said, bloating disease.

African Dwarf Frogs do need at least 1gl/frog, and Xenopus i would say more like 3-5gl/frog. Betta enclosures are definitely not ok.

Luke

P.S. Keep us updated on the Xenopus tank, i can't wait to see it. What did you decide with the plants, ferts, and CO2?

Here are some pics of my ADF's:



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2.0.5 D. leucomelas
1.1.1 D. azureus
0.0.1 D. tinctorius "Cobalt"
1.0.3 D. ventrimaculatus
1.0.1 D. pumilio "Cristobal"
1.0.1 D. pumilio "Rio Branco"

1.0.0 Pogona vitticeps
0.0.4 Hymenochirus boettgeri
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Old 02-22-2005, 03:03 PM
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Whoa, Luke. 3-5 gal per Xenopus? :shock: Yup, that is part of the out of date information. Even that website I recommended about dwarfs still believes that. Hey, Rachel is awesome, and runs a Xenopus adoption center. (Yes, for a frog, they are somewhat personal)

The reason why so many follow it is because many labs, which use them for experimentation, do this. But even commercial suppliers keep their Xenopus in much larger holding tanks. Do not confuse density with tank size. While you could probably get away with 5-7 xenopus in a 100 gallon, each individual frog would need at least 40 gallons of space. It is comparable if a classroom can hold about 30 people, but imagine how cramped it would be if you were kept in a cell 5 x 5 feet because there was only one person there. It would apply to darts too. I couldn't keep my tinc in a 10 gallon unless I wanted him to try to dash through the lights, which he still tries to do in his 20 high.

The old belief that Xenopus like warm water is FAR from the truth. While they will not get muscle spasms, Xenopus need cooler temps than mantellas, or they will get bacterial infections. That is how I lost all mine, plus I kept them at a density of 5 gall per frog. Even http://www.xenopus.com a commercial xenopus breeder says never let the temp go above 75 degrees. I had some of the worst nitrate problems ever.
Pipids seem to be SUPER hardy when they are young, but once they grow up and become cramped, too warm, etc., that is usually when red leg, bloating disease, all set in.

From experience, in the end, if you've kept darts, you're ready for pipidae. I have found it to be ironic that pipids are more sensitive and actually harder to keep in the long run.

This is comparable to the green iguana. Easy to feed, tame when young, readily available and cheap......until they mature. It's worth it to buy a much more expensive ball python.

I'm just working hard to spread the warning to other newbie Pipid owners. I definitely have a true passion for the animals, and I sure wish Xenopus gilli, the beautiful striped clawed frog, had more awareness of their predicament as they have made it to the Red list.

If you need any help, feel free to ask. I will say, I have not had the pleasure yet to work with dwarfs, but have kept Xenopus for a very long time and they are much harder to keep.
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Old 02-22-2005, 03:30 PM
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Well i have had no experience with Xenopus, but it looks like ADF's are much easier to keep. So if someone were deciding on an aquatic frog, it looks like the dwarf frogs are best to start with. I meant 3-5gl as the minimum, but i didn't know 40gl/frog was ideal...that seems a bit much. I mean fish need a lot less then that, and they are much more dependent on the water quality than amphibians. Is this due to behavior, health, or water conditions?

Luke
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1.0.1 D. pumilio "Cristobal"
1.0.1 D. pumilio "Rio Branco"

1.0.0 Pogona vitticeps
0.0.4 Hymenochirus boettgeri
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Old 02-22-2005, 05:15 PM
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I stress the larger tanks due to behavior and water quality.

People often forget (I even do myself) that density is different than area required. Basically, you can sum it up like this. Some people keep tincs at a density of 5 gallons per frog. Should a single tinc be housed in a 5 gallon? Not the most ideal, considering their activity level.

What would it be like if you housed 4 terribilis in a vertical cage? Same gallon, but wouldn't more floor area be better?

Basically, you live in an apartment with a single bedroom. Just because you are alone, does that mean the size of the room should be cut in half?

Clawed frogs can swim all night, and if they don't get enough space, they repeatedly run into walls. So, its probably more practical to keep a group of frogs than just a single animal in a large enclosure.

To answer your question on lighting, I'm thinking about a halide pendant, 250watt. Just one to start out with, enough to keep the lilies healthy...if I figure out from gardenweb.com the appropriate artificial light.

If 250 watt is too little, I'll just forget the lily idea to save my tank from overheating. I don't have time right now to try and make a DIY chiller from a humidifier.

It won't look as nice as a canopy hood, but it would certainly keep the heat down.

Luke, those dwarfs look great! Are they yours? Do you have any other pics of your planted tank? I posted a follow up with my post in the lounge, asking if anybody had some nice pics.
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Old 02-22-2005, 06:11 PM
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I'll try to get some more pics of it, but i'm fighting off some brush and hair algae...so it doesn't look so hot. The frogs were my mine yes, unfortunately i built a DIY light strip for them and the wood I used was soaked in some nasty stuff. When water condensed on it, it dripped into the tank, and after a while the frogs tried to escape the poison so they all jumped out of the tank (which was sealed with a glass lid, if they want to get out, they will) and i found them the next day dried up in different places of the room. Poor guys

Luke
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0.0.1 D. tinctorius "Cobalt"
1.0.3 D. ventrimaculatus
1.0.1 D. pumilio "Cristobal"
1.0.1 D. pumilio "Rio Branco"

1.0.0 Pogona vitticeps
0.0.4 Hymenochirus boettgeri
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Old 02-23-2005, 01:16 AM
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Well, I printed out the page that was linked and gave it to them when I picked up the lids today. They had already done some checking online after I talked to them yesterday. One of the receptionist's friends has a 20 gallon hex that she's no longer using, so they're going to bring it in and transfer the frogs. Looks like things are looking up for the dwarf African water frogs.
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