Caring for Your
Misc Frogs II
Misc Frogs III
Misc Frogs IV
Misc Frogs V
Pet World Visit
Origins: You can find these big eaters around the edges of most lakes, ponds, and pools. You can hear their booming croaks during any part of the day. Most other frogs sing at night. They get their “bull” name from their call and their large size. The larger tadpoles we sell turn into bullfrogs.
Container: Bullfrogs grow to eight inches – not counting their hefty legs (which, of course, taste like chicken. Just ask the Colonel.). Any container that holds water will work. A covered 20-gallon tank gives about the right amount of room. Shallow water will suffice. You’ll find it easier to filter deeper water. New filters on the market make it easier to filter shallow water.
Water: Bullfrogs need constant access to water or they will croak (for good). Frogs also absorb oxygen thru their moist skin. Frogs cannot tolerate dirty water – water with a lot of dissolved organics or dead food items floating in it. Change their water often and use a water conditioner that neutralizes chlorine. Filters make your job easier.
Décor: Bullfrogs ignore vegetation but real or fake plants make their habitat look better. Limit your frogscaping to avoid hiding your critter.
Temperature: Bullfrogs adjust to a wide variety of temps. Neither cool weather nor hot weather bothers them much. However, cool weather will slow them down. Too cool for too long will weaken them and possibly kill them. So will too hot.
Temperament: Bullfrogs jump (and emit a croak) when trying to escape but spend most of their time loafing at the water’s edge waiting for food to wander past. You cannot mix them in a terrarium with other critters. They will eat anything smaller than them that moves. Their huge mouth goes way back past their ears. Remember Jabba the Hutt?
Winters: Bullfrogs in the wild spend the coldest months buried in the mud. They do not hibernate in captivity. They just get fatter and lazier. That’s why we call them American bullfrogs.
Maximum Bullfrog Size: About eight inches for the females – a little smaller for the males. Unless they're the same age, how ya gonna know?
Foods: Bullfrogs eat moving foods – a wide variety of foods fill the bill. However, they cannot see unmoving food. Remember Jurassic park? "Just stay still and they can't see you." That was because they used frog DNA to activate the dinosaur eggs. But enough of this science stuff. Bullfrogs soon need larger food items than crickets. They quickly graduate to feeder goldfish, nightcrawlers, and even mice. If you dangle a worm in front of them they gulp it right from your fingers.
Supplements: An occasional dusting of their prey with powdered calcium and vitamins suffices. Don’t over-vitaminize your bullfrogs.
Lighting: Bullfrogs prefer full-spectrum light and appreciate a regular day and night schedule. You can catch wild ones easily at night. Their eyes show up very well in your flashlight beam. Wading unknown waters at night can present some interesting surprises. Real sucky mud is no fun in the dark. Scope out your hunting area in the daylight.
Baby Bullfrogs: Like all frogs, bullfrogs start their careers as tadpoles. Zip on over to tadpoles for a look at their life at this stage.
Limit Handling: Few amphibians enjoy handling. Your hands often remove part of their skin. Leave bullfrogs alone as much as possible. Wet your hands before handling. Wash your hands after handling them.
Last Word: Always wash
your hands thoroughly after handling any bullfrog, reptile, or amphibian.
Keep your fingers out of your nose and mouth. And do not rub your eyes. LA.
Star DeArmond, Louisiana, September 1, 2010
My husband and I adopted a bullfrog some months ago; he was on the side of the road near a canal during a hot, rainy night. He was about a handful in size when we picked him up and we kept him in a 5-gallon bucket while we gathered a tank for him. We live just outside of New Orleans, La.
We kept Greedo in a 10-gallon tank for a while, but we got a discounted 40-gallon at a reptile/amphibian convention a few weeks after we adopted him. We didn't know what to do with him, as the pet stores around here had never heard of anyone keeping bullfrogs in anything other than outdoor ponds, and we had never before kept any sort of aquarium. He has a nice big piece of driftwood and some rocks on which to bask, but he likes to be in the water most of the time. It's been at least three months since we adopted Greedo and he has gone from being a mere handful to requiring both hands in order to handle. He is 6 and a half inches long, not including his massive hind legs. We're sure he's male because his "ears" are way bigger than his eyes, he croaks often, and sometimes his throat and belly turn yellow.
Here's the interesting part: Greedo won't eat goldish. He won't eat nightcrawlers or other worms, even if we held them in front of his big fat mouth. In the first week or so, we bought about 10 or 12 tiny feeder goldfish and most of them died; we only ever saw Greedo eat one, and my husband and I still quarrel about whether or not the fish was one of the dead ones. When all our first batch was dead, I didn't want Greedo not to have the option of eating fish, so we bought two more when we got our tank more stable with a nice filter. Greedo never hunted them, and never ate them. One died during a car trip (we went to stay with my dad-in-law in the country and brought the tank with us), but the other one is still alive. The frog just won't eat it.
Greedo does like crickets, but he likes anole lizards and house geckos better, we think. Greedo can eat up to five or six geckos/lizards a day, and we give them to him whenever we catch them. While he has eaten tree frogs, there has been a leopard frog in his tank for about a week now that Greedo hasn't yet tried to eat. (The leopard frog does hide, though. We thought Greedo ate it, but we discovered it later in a crevasse in the driftwood. It doesn't come out at all.) While we were packing and traveling home from my husband's dad's house, we ran out of crickets and so for the space of about two days, there was nothing in the tank for Greedo to eat but the leopard frog and the goldfish, but he once again left them alone. He must have been hungry, because he ate five geckos during the space of a couple hours after we gave them to him, but he did not touch the leopard frog or the goldfish.
Greedo is most active at night. He eats at night, when all the lights are off. And when the lights are on, he hides from them. Does it sound like we are doing anything wrong? I have never seen any reports of bullfrogs eating anole lizards or geckos, and by all accounts he should have eaten the goldfish. Do you think he will eventually catch and eat that leopard frog we've given him? Also, do you have an idea of how old our Greedo could be? Like I said before, he was about a handful when we got him about 3 months ago, and he's 6 and a half inches long now. Thanks,
A: Hmm, all the bullfrogs I have kept always ate goldfish. The difference is I always kept mine in very shallow water. Greedo probably can't catch them when they're swimming. I never found bullfrogs to be more active at night. Back when I used to gig them, they were like sitting ducks when the flashlight beam hit them. They're sight feeders so I'd expect them to be more active during the day, but I've never checked their nocternal activities in captivity. I never offered mine anoles or lizards because they're a bit pricey to serve as food. Mine always ate anything smaller than them that moved. Greedo will get that leopard frog if it moves. I'm adding your report to my bullfrog page. LA
Sherry Wechsler, PA, May 3, 2011
Just thought you might be interested in this. I have a bullfrog had him for 8 years. He lives outside in my pond got him as a tadpole. Every may he leaves for the whole summer I have no idea where he goes. He comes back just before fall to winter over in the pond.
He has been out of hibernation for about a month or so and I know he is about to leave.
He is used to me and does not jump or leave the pond surroundings when I clean it for the spring cleaning.
I have never fed him..The only time I ever had anything to do with him was when a bird actually fell in the pond while drinking and the frog scooped him up and drug him under. I grabbed the frog by his legs and shook him until he let the bird go. I just couldn't stand the thought of the bird drowning . The bird lived Frog unhappy.
Also when he was younger a small garter snake had him by his leg and I rescued him from that little fiasco. Frog lived snake unhappy.
I miss him when he is gone and I hope to see him again in the fall this year he is an old man now and as silly as it sounds I hope to have another year or two of watching him and having him around.
Long live Little Ahab.
A: Thanks for the info. I'm adding it to my bullfrog page. LA
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