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Making a Home for a Leopard Frog

March 22nd, 2010

Leopard frogs are fairly active frogs, and they require an appropriate sized terrarium to allow for that activity. One pair of leopard frog requires a 20 gallon tank. Leopard frogs can live together and share a terrarium, but it’s important to remember to purchase frogs that are the same size. A larger frog may try to eat a smaller frog. A Leopard frogcover for your aquarium is also essential, because leopard frogs have powerful legs and can jump three feet in the air. Mesh lids are preferred, because they allow for ventilation and free air movement.

Leopard frogs are semi-aquatic animals, meaning they require both land and water in the terrarium you construct for them. This can be accomplished by dividing your tank in half: a half for water and a half for land. Dividing a tank can be done in several ways. Most pet shops sell aquarium dividers; however they can be expensive. It’s fairly simple to make one yourself. Visit a hardware store and have a piece of glass cut to be the width of your aquarium, and five to six inches in height. Using silicon aquarium sealant, secure the bottom, left and right sides of the piece of glass to the rest of your tank. Some sort of cover will need to be placed over the top edge of the glass to prevent your leopard frog from inuring himself. 

Rocks can be used to cover the edge (held in place with the aquarium sealant, or while you’re at the hardware store getting the glass, purchase a piece of foamy airline tubing that can be secured to the divider with the sealant. It’s also possible to create a mound of rocks with aquarium sealant that can act as your land. Use the aquarium sealant to hold the rocks to each other , not to the tank. You’ll need to remove the rock mound for cleaning purposes. Cork bark can also be wedged in the terrarium to act as the land portion. Something like a litter box can be purchased to hold water in the tank and surround with substrate. Make sure the tub you purchase is at least 5 inches in height, so that the water is deep enough.

However you divide your tank, you’ll need to make sure that you’re able to put 2-3 inched of substrate on the land side to allow for burrowing. Peat moss and dirt make the best substrate for leopard frogs, and sphagnum moss can be added as well. On the aquatic side, rocks and pebbles can be used to cover the bottom. Make sure that the pebbles you use are not small enough to be swallowed, because your leopard frog will attempt to eat about anything.

Maintaining water quality is absolutely essential to correctly house a leopard frog because they rely on water so much. They must have constant access to clean, chlorine-free water. You will need to purchase a water conditioner from a pet shop to remove harsh chemicals such as chlorine from your frog’s water. You will also need a small filter. Leopard frogs are fairly clean animals, but a filter will benefit them and reduce the amount of times you have to change the tanks water. The exception to this is if your leopard frog is still a tadpole. Never, ever use a filter with any kind of tadpoles. They can be sucked into the filter and die. While it’s important your leopard frog has access to water, it’s just as important to make sure they can easily get out of the water. Balancing branches between the land portion and water portion of your tank is a good way to create and entrance and exit. Cork bark place at an angle works as well.

While there isn’t any specific evidence to show that leopard frogs require full spectrum lighting, many herpetologists recommend it for all reptile and amphibian keepers just to be on the safe side. Your light should produce some amount of heat, but you shouldn’t allow your terrarium to reach over 80 degrees Fahrenheit. A temperature drop at night when you turn the light off is very similar to what would happen in their natural environment at night and is perfectly okay. Leopard frogs do fine with room temperature water, so no water heater is needed.

Now that the essentials are out of the way, you can add decorations to make your tank more visually appealing. Your leopard frog will not care the slightest bit about any plants, fake or real, you put in their tank. They’re not needed, but many leopard frog owners used them to make their tank prettier. Leopard frogs are frisky animals, and may eat/destroy live plants. Hollow logs and decorative stones make nice terrarium accents as well.