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Everything you want to know about the EcoAquarium® & African Dwarf Frogs

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Someone somewhere may have received a gift of an EcoAquarium®. If you've received one, you are obviously searching for more information about your desktop eco-system, and it's web-footed inhabitant. So we're happy to oblige with giving you the low down about the amazing EcoAquarium, & the star of the show...Hymenochirus Curtipes, the African Dwarf Frog.

Small in stature, big in personality...

African Dwarf Frogs (ADF) are originally native to tropical rainforests of West Africa, particularly the Congo, but due to man's development of the land in the region, it's natural habitat has virtually all been erased.

Today, ours, and all African Dwarf Frogs sold in pet stores, are farm-raised under controlled conditions.

The African Dwarf Frog, (ADF) natural habitat is shallow pools & puddles of low oxygen, stagnant water. The cold-blooded amphibian is fully aquatic, but have lungs instead of gills, perfect for life in still shallow water with little or no dissolved oxygen. It's primary need for water is to keep it's skin moist. The African Dwarf Frog sense of smell exceeds it's vision. The frog evolved into a creature suited for turbid, muddy water of a shallow pool or swamp, where it would inhabit a sandy muddy bottom seeking food. In an aquarium, African Dwarf Frogs do not require much light and prefer close confined spaces free of predators.

Lifespan in captivity is on average 2 to 3 years, but it's been known to exceed 8 to 10 years. In nature, its greatest concern was to avoid being eaten, but not so in an EcoAquarium®. With no threat of predators, and cared for properly, a African Dwarf Frog can flourish much longer than they would in the wild. The African Dwarf Frog has been a popular species of frog for aquariums due to it's minimal needs & docile behaviour.

The size of the EcoAquarium® is a perfect fit. The depth of the water closely mimics the African dwarf frogs natural habitat. You will see them often swim to the top for a breath of air and the small size of the aquariums gives them a easy, short trip to the surface. While they're popular additions to standard freshwater aquariums, the depth of an aquarium can often make the trip to the surface for a breath of air a long & stressful trip. In nature, the African Dwarf Frog is accustomed to 4" to 6" inch water depths or less.

African Dwarf Frogs will molt, or shed their skin on occasion, making them appear “mossy” during the process. This is normal. The discarded skin will become part of the ecosystem food chain and does not need to be removed.In fact don't be alarmed if you see one frog picking at the skin of another and eating it.

The EcoAquarium®: A world onto itself

It's very easy to maintain a healthy EcoAquarium® environment. First & foremost, always use bottled spring water at room temperature for periodic water changes, as well as for cleaning  anything you may put in your EcoAquarium, since tap water & bottled drinking water often contains chlorine.

Chlorine in a EcoAquarium® can kill the filter bacteria in the gravel, harm the Lucky Bamboo plant and the frogs. Using Bottled Spring Water, you are using clean chlorine-free, mineral rich water, without having to treat it with chemicals. Avoid also putting your fingers in the water, since doing so can introduce chemicals and pathogens into the bio-system. It's wise to wash hands with bottled spring water before and after doing any maintenance to your tank. Consider your EcoAquarium as a separate bio-system onto itself. The less exposure to the outside world the better.

Your EcoAquarium® does not need direct sunlight. African Dwarf Frogs evolved in dark muddy water, and loves its nightlife. Also, the lucky bamboo plant in the aquarium is an aquatic undergrowth plant that thrives in full shade. Keeping everything away from direct sunlight also helps maintain a stable water temperature.

Remember, your African dwarf frog is fully aquatic, and spends it's entire life in water. Keeping the lid in place keeps frogs from getting out, or other uninvited guests (like the Cat) from getting inside.

A little feeding goes a LONG way...African dwarf frogs are not big eaters. Our recommended weekly feeding is four pellets of our frog food per frog, per week. Of any problems associated with care & upkeep, over-feeding is the biggest culprit. Uneaten food can spoil and cause the water to become cloudy. It can effect water-quality making the need for water changes much more frequent. Best rule of thumb... a little bit goes a long way. By the way, other 4-legged family members LOVE the taste & smell of frog food too, so keep your frog food in a safe place away from prying paws.

African dwarf frogs have personalities. You may notice they anticipate feeding times, or develop a routine of hanging out in a particular place in its home at a particularly time each day. All African dwarf frogs like to do a "Zen" pose, where they stand motionless... and you may hear them sing at night. They'll grow on you.

When it comes to information..

You can find more information online about Mr. Hymenochirus Curtipes, especially on our website. Feel free to study up, and always remember we're happy to answer questions and offer advice. Give us a call if you wish, our frog experts are always ready to leap (pardon the pun) to your aid.We also have a moderated page on Facebook, we try to answer any questions there as well, however, the best way to get a question answered is to give us a call at: 

843-386-6564 Mon-Fri, 9AM-6PM.