An Overview of Pet African Bullfrogs

Care Guide for African Bullfrogs

African bullfrog
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Pet frogs have always been popular among children but plenty of adult frog lovers like to have their own amphibious pets too. African bullfrogs are not your everyday White's Tree Frog or dwarf clawed frogs, but their care is quite similar. These are large, classic looking frogs that are native to Africa but found in homes across the world.

African Bullfrogs

  • Names: African bullfrog, Pixie frog, Pyxicephalus adspersus
  • Size: Males are larger than females and can grow to be over four pounds and ten inches long. Females typically weigh in around two pounds and don't get any larger than about six inches long.
  • Lifespan: Up to 35 years

African Bullfrog Housing

Pet frogs are simple to care for but you must make sure your habitat is set up correctly to begin with. Humidity is very important when caring for amphibians due to the nature of their skin. Bullfrogs require a damp tank and plenty of water for them to swim around in. The larger your frog, the larger your tank will be. You can use small, smooth rocks for the bottom of the tank, fill it about 1/3 of the way with water, and then use progressively larger stones to build up one side of the tank to create a beach. This will give them something they can easily climb onto and allow them some time outside of the water when they want to dry off.

A container of dirt can also be provided in the event your bullfrog wants to burrow.

In the wild, African bullfrogs burrow their entire bodies into the dirt and hibernate for up to two years to escape the dry season. In captivity though, we can control the temperature and humidity that our frogs live in, making it unnecessary for them to hibernate.

It is important to keep the water in your tank clean and to not use treated water.

Dechlorinizing solutions are available in the fish department of your pet store or you can leave tap water sit overnight to remove the chlorine from the water.

African Bullfrog Lighting

The amount of lighting your bullfrog requires will depend on what the room temperature is where he is living in your house. A room that doesn't drop below 75 degrees Fahrenheit should be appropriate for your bullfrog. If you find he isn't very active or isn't eating much, try increasing the temperature to create a warmer home.

Simple water heaters designed for fish tanks and heat lights made for reptiles can be utilized to create an ideal environment for your African bullfrog.

African Bullfrog Diet

These large frogs are quite the carnivores. One African bullfrog in a zoo even supposedly once ate 17 baby cobras. These guys will eat whatever is available to them but you should provide a healthy diet.

A healthy bullfrog diet consists of gut loaded crickets, mealworms, and other available insects, as well as small rodents (like mice and baby rats called fuzzies), and even other smaller amphibians. Stay away from meat that you buy in a grocery store like chicken and beef. This muscle meat does not provide all the same vitamins and nutrition the whole prey items offer.

African Bullfrog Health

Although these frogs live a very long time, they don't need much in the way of healthcare. If their environment is warm and damp enough you shouldn't have any skin issues. Bacterial and fungal infections of the skin and eyes are common though in pets who live in less than ideal conditions.

Intestinal parasites (like the ones reptiles get) can be an issue with pet bullfrogs as well. If your tank temperatures are warm enough and your frog still isn't eating well, try bringing your frog into an experienced exotics vet to rule out parasitism. A yearly fecal sample should also be checked to make sure your frog doesn't have an overgrowth of normal parasites.

African bullfrogs can be fun to watch in their tanks but aren't really for much handling due to their sensitive skin. Make sure you are able to commit to such a long term amphibian before taking to leap to frog ownership.