Pacman Frog Caresheet and bioactive terrarium guide
Care and bioactive setup for a Pacman frog
Scientific name: Ceratophrys ornata
Conservation status: Least concern
Life span: 10 to 15 years in optimal conditions
Size: babies sold around an inch to 2 inches.
Adult size: Males 2½ to 4 inches, Females 4-7 inches
Temperature: Low 65 degrees High 85 degrees. Room temperature is recommended for this species. Pacman frogs are diurnal (out during the day).
Humidity: Should range between 40%-75% throughout the day. Substrate should remain dry on the top and moist in the middle and bottom layers.
Pacman frogs are a fun species from South America, named for their big wide mouth paired with a voracious appetite. Captive bred specimens are easy to come by in a large variety of color morphs. These frogs have more simple husbandry requirements which makes them a good beginner amphibian for young children. It is not recommended to ever hold this species without gloves. Being a fossorial frog, pacmans spend most of their time sedentary, waiting for food to come across their path. Ambushing their prey, they like to swallow their food whole. Your frogs substrate should not have large chunks or material or large fibers of Sphagnum moss present to avoid impaction, furthermore a good quality, well draining/aerating substrate is necessary for this species as they are susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections. They are a solitary species and cannot be kept with other animals.
- 20 gallon long glass enclosure for larger juveniles and adults - Exo Terra 18” x 12” x 12" glass terrarium for any young small pacman frogs.
- Plug-in lamp dimmer
- Heating pad for the smaller enclosure if you live in a cold climate. If you are using a heat bulb or heat mat a thermostat must be used.
- Plant lights
- Zilla 24/7 Digital Timer Power Center power strip timer
- Arcadia Shade Dweller UVB
- Exo Terra 2qt Mister sprayer
- Bio Dude Digital Thermometer / Hygrometer
- Bioactive kit - Terra Firma is recommended for fossorial species
- Clean up crew -Tropical pack
- Plant pack. Plants such as Philodendrons, Pothos, Diffenbachia, Aglonomena are great candidates for these bulky, destructive frogs.
- Water bowls / food bowls
- Vitamins. If UVB is provided, ensure to provide calcium without D3. If UVB is not provided a calcium with D3 is required twice weekly + multivitamin once weekly.
Enclosure size - Pacman frogs being a very lazy, ground dwelling ambush predator, they do not require much space to thrive and live a long life, however they do require enough space to bury themselves completely while having access to their necessary heat gradients. If you cannot see the frog, it is a happy frog. Young pacman frogs will thrive in a 10 gallon or 18 x 12 x 12 enclosure.
Substrate - the Dudes Terra firma is perfect for this species as they require high humidity and if kept properly, will not stagnate and cause enclosure biome issues. They also need a deep substrate to dig in as they will bury themselves completely since this is how they hide and hunt. The use of extra sphagnum moss mixed in the soil will give the extra humidity without having to spray or mist the enclosure and potentially get stagnant water trying to get the humidity where it needs to be. It is very important to use a substrate that does not have tons of tiny pieces in it (such as ABG mix) that can cause potential impaction issues. Inexperienced users should also steer away from using long fibered sphagnum moss with this species to avoid accidental ingestion. If you decide to use a drainage layer, it is essential that the frog cannot burrow into the drainage layer.
Clean up crew - needs to be a tropical pack to handle the humidity requirements the pacman needs, with resilient species like dwarf whites, powder blue or orange isopods included, The Dudes Whites Tree frog pack is perfect. Earth worms also make a great addition as a clean up crew.
Decor - As stated above pacman frogs are a ground dwelling species that loves to bury themselves, they will need sturdy plants like that can withstand their exploring, due to their rather round robust size as adults. The plants listed above are great choices. Using cork bark flats are great options as flat hides for extra security.
Temperatures - They are simple, best with a range of 65-85 degrees at all times. If your home sits on the cooler side getting below 65, heating can be supplemented with a lower wattage heating pad or bulb on a thermostat to obtain the temperatures needed.
Lighting - For plants the bio dude glow and grow has the perfect sizing and light range for the enclosures from juvenile to adult sizing, using a 6 inch LED for the smaller frogs and the 16 inch to 22 inch LED depending on the size of the enclosure you use for the adults. These frogs will also benefit from UVB, although they may not need it. The Arcadia Shade Dweller is recommended (this is a very low ferguson rating bulb so it is not very oppressive).
Humidity - These South American frogs need a lot of humidity as they are a tropical species and spend lots of time buried in the damp substrate. Misting the plants with the use of a larger flat water bowl that the frog can get in will help with humidity retention. Providing fresh water daily is very important as they will readily soak and defecate in a clean water source.
Food - These predators will eat anything available as long that the prey fits in the frogs mouth. It's important the clean up crew is small enough the frog pays no mind to them. Feeder items such as worms, roaches, crickets, and the occasional pinkie mouse can be offered. Due to their voracious garbage can-like eating habits, if you are wanting to hand feed them, it is best to feed them with tongs, which also help with enrichment.
Handling - As pacman frogs are seemingly always ready to eat, putting your hand near them may result in a bite and they do have teeth that help them catch prey. This is where associating with them through feeding comes in handy. If you must handle them, the use of NON POWDERED GLOVES is necessary to help keep your frog safe from anything that may be lingering on your hands.
The dudes' bioactive kits are done via tank size and base floor footprint size. If you need a custom tank kit, have questions about wholesale or bulk orders, Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and the Dude can get you a custom kit together.
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- Josh Halter