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All About African Clawed Frogs

Breeding and Rearing Dwarf Clawed Frogs
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African DWARF Clawed Frogs
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Keeping Them Healthy
How to Tell the Boys from the Girls
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Breeding Clawed Frogs
Rearing the Tadpoles
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Endangered Clawed frog: Xenopus gilli
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The Contents of this page were kindly written exclusively for this Site by Torey.

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Mating:

People get very confused when trying to sex their frogs.
The main, and only way to tell them apart is this:  Males
have whitish bumps, or pimples, behind their forearms. 
Females do not.  If a female is gravid (full of eggs),
she will be extremely round, shockingly so.  This only
happens to older, fertile females.  When in a petshop
searching for males and females, just look for the dots. 
Young females will not yet have rounded forms.

Getting your frogs ready to mate is no big deal. 
All you need is a pair.  I have 2 females and 4 males
in a 5 gallon tank.   The water should be conditioned,
as always, with StressCoat or any other dechlorinator. 
You don't need a plant, but if you have plants then the
eggs might stick to them, making it easier to transfer
the eggs to another tank when they do mate.  I use a
single banana plant which floats and produces long,
lovely lily-pad like leaves.

Java moss is also good, but grows very very fast.  It
provides algae, which provides infusoria, which is
what the tads eat in the first week of life. 
This is good to have around to put into the
tank that you will transfer the eggs into.

Once the frogs are in breeding mode/mood the
male will start singing, mostly at night.  His
forearm bumps will become more pronounced. 
A male will then clasp the female (and many
times they will clasp another male.  Sometimes
male frogs make a crazy 'train' by clasping
others who clasp) and if she wants to, she will
begin swimming in circles until she deposits her eggs
on the surface of the water.  She will do this in
many increments,depositing approximately 20 or
more at a time.  NOTE: a female may not always
do this correctly.  Sometimes she may need practice,
as mine did, depositing eggs while in the wrong position,
leaving them unfertilized.  Unfertilized eggs come out
milky-white and will not hatch.  It is difficult at
first to determine which are fertilized and which
are not.  However, this is what you need to do
once you see the eggs:


1)   Remove eggs with a simple soup ladel and put
into dechlorinized (Stresscoat) water.  In about 24
hours you should see some or most of the eggs
changing shape, elongating into worm-like forms. 
If you look at these with a magnifying glass you
may see them move.  Once these hatch they will
fall to the bottom of the container, looking like
fallen 'commas'.  They will not yet move but
they are indeed alive!  Within a day you will
see them start to move and eventually rise to
the top.  You may not notice this but they
are upside down at this point, grazing the
surface of the water.

2) Once hatched (2 days approx) add Liquifry
for Infusoria (get an infusoria kit from a
biological supply store, but not necessary),
algae from another tank, or java moss. 
Keep tads warm by using a light.  Keeping them
under a lamp during the day is adequate. 

3) Feed drop of Liquifry daily until tads are about 4-5
days old and swimming upright, not upside down. 

4)  On day #4 you need to hatch brine shrimp to
feed the babies.  This takes 24 hours. 
Don't panic;  this is easy but you have to
do it correctly.  Buy a small container of brine
shrimp eggs from any petshop.  It's cheap and
lasts a long time.  You also need aquarium salt
and an air pump with and airline. The directions
for hatching the shrimp are on the packet.  The
shrimp last only 48 hours so you will have to
have a continuous supply It's very important
to note that you cannot feed adult brine shrimp,
just the tiniest newly-hatched. 

4) After about 4 days the tads will swim normally. 
Take the airation tube out of the brine-shrimp
hatching container and let the whole thing settle
for about 10 minutes.  The brown egg shells will
rise to the top while the shrimp will swim below. 
Use an eyedropper or suction out she shrimp from
the bottom of the container into a little cup. 
Feed the babies a few eyedroppers of the shrimps. 
You can see if how many you've captured by holding
the eyedropper under a light.  You will be adding
a bit of salty water to your tad water but this is ok. 

5)  You might lose many tads this is unavoidable, but
always change 1/2 water and put in fresh dechlorinated
water to keep it clean...very very important.  If some die,
then move the living tads and some of the water into any
kind of clean container while you dump the dead matter
and refresh the main tad container.  Then return the
babies to their main container.  While feeding the shrimp
the water can become dirty as it is unavoidable that some
of the eggshells go into the container along with the shrimp.

Once the tads begin feeding on the shrimp you will notice
their bellies becoming round and brown in color.  This is
a great sign.  If you don't notice this, then feed them
more brine shrimp.  You cannot really over-feed at this
point, but if you do, then be careful about water cleanliness. 
You may have to feed your tads more than once a day. 
You want to keep their bellies full like this all the time.

6)  In just a matter of days you will see them become
real tadpoles.  They will be visible clearly without the
use of a magnifying glass and you will be able to see
eyes.  When the guys become about half and inch
long you will be able to see legbuds developing by the
base of the tail.  Sometimes you might miss these buds
but all of a sudden there will be little legs protruding. 
Keep feeding shrimp throughout this stage.  Very soon
arms will emerge.  This is a very exciting stage. 

7) Once the arms are out and the legs are showing a
knee-joint, you might be able to graduat your tads to
real frog food.  Use blackworms because these worms
do not mess up the water.  Actually take just a couple
of live worms and put them in the palm of your hand. 
Use a butter knife to slice them (it's not gross and they
still wiggle) into very tiny pieces and introduce them to
the pollywog.  It's a thrill when they first eat these
critters!  When the frogs get bigger, which at this point
happens daily, you can give them single worms and see if
they consume them.  You may also use frozen bloodworms. 
Drop a single cube into a cup of warm water.  When it
dissolves, use a tweezer to get just a bit of it and throw
it into the tad container.  If they eat it, then you have
another alternative to the live food. 

At this stage the tail absorbs within days.  However,
you will be lucky to come out with only a single frog
from a batch of 50 eggs.  This is just nature's way. 
If your breeding frogs keep producing eggs, you may
include  only eggs that have been produce within the
same week in the same tank.  Otherwise, the size
difference will not work.  You may end up with a couple
of different containers for different groups of spawn.

Please feel free to send feedback.