The Pacman Frog Care Guide
Updated: May 3, 2020
Just like humans, the amphibians and reptiles we keep today all evolved from one common amphibian ancestor a few hundred million years ago. If it wasn't for that split from the main ancestor then we wouldn’t have the cool little pets we can keep today! Thank you, nature! Here’s our picks for 4 of the awesome amphibians you can keep as a pet!
The pacman frog obviously gets its name from the 80s gaming legend, Pacman because it's round with a huge mouth. These guys are great for beginner frog owners despite them being one of very few types of frogs that have teeth! This is because they're fairly docile creatures. They grow to about 8 inches long at adulthood and can live for up to 5 years.
These chunky guys should be kept alone in their own space, which should be a terrarium that’s at least 10 gallons. It also needs a screened lid. Set up the terrarium bottom with 2 to 4 inches of either coconut fiber or bark bedding and he’ll enjoy burrowing in it. Make sure to clean up after his droppings frequently and change out the whole bedding monthly. Keep the terrarium stocked with appropriate live plants and some store bought branches so he can hide. He also needs a shallow bowl of water that’s large enough for him to sit in.
For heat, use an under tank heat pad or a heat light with a capable thermometer inside to keep track of temperatures. Speaking of which, you’re aiming for between 75F and 85F during the day, and between 65F and 75F at night. Tank humidity should be between 50% and 80%, the live plants will help regulate this. You can use a hygrometer to keep track of the moisture in your tank.
Pacman frogs are nocturnal so they’re more active at night. They don’t require sunlight but they need a form of lighting that will mimic day and night in their habitat, if you’ve got a dim room then equip them with a fluorescent bulb and keep it on for 12 hours a day. At night, you can opt for a night specific bulb to keep an eye on your pet with minimum disturbance.
These chunky guys will eat pretty much anything that moves within their striking distance. Feed your pacman frog every 2 to 3 days a tasty diet of crickets, silkworms and occasionally mealworms or wax worms. On the topic of food, pacman frogs need Vitamin D and Calcium, to make sure they’re getting this then go for crickets that are gut-loaded. This means they’re fed a commercially available, nutrient dense diet. When your frog eats them they’ll get the nutrients from them too. For the calcium, dust the insects twice a week with supplemental calcium to help bone growth.
Only feed them an amount they can eat overnight, if you find insects in the terrarium in the morning then feed them less next time.
Bacterial and fungal infections of the skin and eyes are among the most common ailments of amphibians, and the Pacman frog is no exception. Any redness, swelling or pus is a sign of an infection. Although less common in frogs than in other reptiles and amphibians, a Pacman frog kept in an enclosure without enough humidity may develop a respiratory infection. This is marked by wheezing, drooling and lethargy. Pacman frogs also are susceptible to parasitic infections.
If your tank temperatures are warm enough to rule out them cutting down on food due to sluggishness but your frog still isn't eating well, bring your frog to 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. Also be on the lookout for ammonia poisoning. This potentially fatal condition occurs when waste in an animal's enclosure is not properly cleaned. All of these conditions can be treated by a veterinarian if detected early enough.
Choosing Your Pacman Frog When deciding on a Pacman frog as a pet, you should look for an active, alert animal that has clear eyes and whose skin looks free of blemishes. If you are able to watch it eat before deciding, that's ideal; rarely will a Pacman frog refuse food unless it's ill. If the Pacman frog you're interested in seems lethargic or is having trouble breathing, or if its abdomen seems bloated, these may be signs of illness.
The best bet for acquiring a Pacman frog is via a reputable breeder, who can give you a complete health history on your potential pet. Captive-bred Pacman frogs are the better option because they're less likely to be exposed to parasites and other ailments that wild-caught frogs may have.
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