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Frog as a pet: keeping and care in the terrarium

They are already common in the garden pond, but with bright colors and fascinating courtship behavior, frogs are also conquering the terrarium in the living room.

  • © dpa
    Poison dart frogs should be kept in pairs or in groups - here two yellow-banded poison dart frogs (Dendrobates leucomelas).
  • © dpa
    Poison dart frogs, here a Azureus poison dart frog (Dendrobates tinctorius), are diurnal insectivores. They are often kept in home terrariums.
  • © dpa
    Tree frogs like this European tree frog (Hyla arborea) are well suited for beginners.
They shine blue-red, neon yellow and poison green: the brightly colored tiny creatures from frog breeder Max Peters are his pride and joy. In his apartment in Darmstadt, he bequeathed his bulging-eyed roommates a room in which the terrariums are stacked. "I find the bright colors and their social behavior fascinating," says Peters. Frogs display a wide range of courtship behavior. And the transformation of the tadpole into a frog is one of the most impressive processes in nature, adds Axel Kwet. He is Vice President of the German Society for Herpetology and Terrarium Science (DGHT).

Which frogs can be kept in the terrarium?

The frequently kept frog species are very different: "They range from the nocturnal and large prey-eating horned horn frogs buried in the ground to the filigree, diurnal, tiny insect-eating poison dart frogs," explains Robert Kirmair, veterinarian for reptiles and member of the Veterinary Association for Animal Welfare (TVT).

Which frog species is suitable for beginners?

There are numerous species of frogs that can be kept in terrariums, says Kwet. Many are suitable for beginners. The African clawed frog is very easy to keep. "It has made a worldwide career as an easy-to-breed laboratory animal and even eats dry food," says Kwet. He also considers tree frogs to be good beginner animals: "The red-eyed tree frogs are beautiful with a wonderfully green top and deep red eyes." However, they would only sit around during the day and only become active at night.

Can you keep poison dart frogs in the terrarium?

"The choice depends on various factors: space, climate, day or night activity and background noise." In the past few years, poison dart frogs in particular have proven to be interesting pets - both for professionals and for newcomers to the terrarium. You don't have to be put off by their name: poison dart frogs lose their toxicity when kept in a terrarium or do not even develop it, explains Kweet.

How should the terrarium be set up?

The frog home must be furnished in a species-appropriate manner. “You need hiding places, water, UVA and UVB lighting, a heating mat, ventilation and irrigation system,” explains Peters. As a rule, frogs eat live food. "Poison dart frogs have to be fed daily," says Peters. It is best for the little Quakers to have a varied meal. Peters spoils them with pea and wheat aphids, springtails, fruit flies and tropical woodlice.

What does it cost to keep frogs?

Just because the animals are tiny doesn't necessarily mean they are cheap to keep. "The greatest costs arise when purchasing the terrarium, the technology, the equipment and the animals," says Kwet. In addition, there is constant feed and electricity.

Single animal or whole group?

There is no cross-species recommendation on keeping. Poison dart frogs are kept in pairs and groups. “They can be reproduced quickly if kept appropriately,” says Peters. Then it is important to be prepared for larger numbers of tadpoles. "They need special care so that strong young frogs can venture ashore," says Kwet.

Is keeping frogs in the terrarium appropriate to the species?

The animal welfare organization Vier Pfoten is critical of the keeping of frogs in terrariums. "From an animal welfare point of view, domesticated species should be used," recommends wildlife expert Thomas Pietsch. Alternatively, garden owners could create a pond. "If this is populated by native frog species, the animals can be observed there."
Kwet, on the other hand, understands responsible keeping of exotic species as an important part of species protection. “In fact, most exotic animals are easier to keep and more species-appropriate than most mammals,” he says. The biologist even considers frogs to be good pets to get children excited about nature.

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Source: dpa

| Updated: August 16, 2018

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