Caring for Your New Suriname Toad   

Aqualand's Info on Pipa pipa frogs

 
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Surinam Toad Factoids

Origin

Would you believe Suriname?

Maximum Size

6 to 8 inches plus legs and feet and nose

Housing

Bigger the better

Security

Blends into substrate

Substrate

Non-abrasive

Temperature

Prefers 70 to 80o

Attitude

Eager eater

Foods

Anything swallowable

Water

Needs clean water

 

 

LA
Suriname toads often come in quite large.

LA
The smaller Suriname toads we see these days are likely captive bred.

LA
Some will let you handle them (briefly).

Origins:  Suriname toads come from the country of Suriname and its neighbors – the countries at the top of Brasil.  These guys used to be common.  They disappeared for a while.  Now they’re back.  They appear to be tank bred.

LA
Suriname toads are flat as a pancake with legs.

LA
But if you feed them enough, they can really plump up.

 

Name:  Pipa pipas are really frogs that look like stepped on squished toads.  They’re totally aquatic but have a rough looking skin like toads.

LA
He's flashing us.

Bellies:  Their bellies look like they’ve had an autopsy by the CSI crew.  You didn’t get a repaired one.  They all look like that.

LA
Little beady eyes, pointy nose -- but he's still a champion eater.

In the Wild:  Suriname toads come from black water swamps with lots of decaying vegetation.  Their appearance lets them blend right into the crud on the bottom.  Their sensitive tiny “fingers” help them find food – even in the dark.  Their tiny beady eyes look near-sighted but work well enough to enable them to gulp goldfish.

LA
He likes his nightcrawlers -- breakfast of champions.

LA
Look for the tail at the right of his mouth.

LA
Here's another one eating a three-inch goldfish.  He is hand fed.

LA
Just a bit clumsy at times.

Foods in Captivity:  Goldfish, crayfish, nightcrawlers, krill, and silversides, all are eagerly accepted by Suriname toads.  Start new ones on goldfish and worms, then expand their menus.  They can swallow very large chunks.  They eat chunks of beef heart also.  Avoid most meats.  They really mess up your water.  Fish good.  Mammals not so good.

 

Water:  Suriname toads come from low pH black water back waters.  They adjust to our Des Moines 7.5 pH with 220 PPM hardness just fine.  If you never want to see them again, throw in a bunch of dead leaves to make them feel homey.  Want to compromise?  Add an Indian almond leaf.  Provide good filtration and change their water often.  They eat mass quantities -- garbage in, garbage out.

LA
NO.  In spite of the "autopsy look," he's not dead. 

Likes to Bail:  Suriname toads stand on their tippy toes and lean up against your aquarium glass – possibly to make air breathing easier, possibly looking for the exit sign.  Beware.  They will jump out.  Standing adults reach the top of a ten-gallon tank.  Keep them securely covered.  Put a rock on their lid.  They have very strong legs and will pop their tops.  They scoot across the floor fairly fast.

LA
The most often asked question about Suriname toads:  "Is he dead?"  

LA
"Is he dead?" 

Space Requirements:  You’ll need a 20H or 20L for one adult Suriname toad.  The smaller sub-adults can live in a 10.  The more room you give yours, the better.

LA
He can't "blend into" white..

Substrates:  Avoid scratchy sands or gravels.  Crushed granite (chicken grit) is probably the hardest on their tender bellies.  Put your Suriname toad over a contrasting color.  They’ll do their darndest to blend into natural colors.

LA
Little Suriname toads are cuter than the honkers.

Hiding Places:  Adults take up so much room they need no hiding places.  Froglets probably need hiding places.  Careful, froglets cannibalize each other.

LA
Male Suriname toad sticks eggs onto her back.

Breeding:  If you really want to breed Suriname toads, you need a three-foot deep garbage can plus a male and a female.  Make water changes with cooler water.  Rising cooler water apparently reminds them of those romantic evenings in Suriname when the spring rains came.  After a few piña coladas and walks in the rain, the male places the eggs on the female’s back where she incubates them exactly 12 to 20 weeks.

LA
Good-size mouth and hands to shove food into it.

Tank Mates:  Suriname toads consider all swallowable tank mates edible.  And you don’t want to mix large butt-kickers (like cichlids) with them.

Fights:  We’ve never had enough on hand at one time to see fights.

Plants:  Their powerful back legs will uproot most live plants.  Use plastic or floating plants.

LA
Weird little nose, Weird beady eyes, weird pointy nose, weird little "ears."

LA
Suriname toads are actually cute at this size.

LA
Little two-inchers are cute in a squished sort of way.

LA
They're back in 2012.

LA
Trying to burrow into the sand.

LA
Same guy.

Last Word:  If you hear strange clicking sounds coming from your Suriname toad tank at night, relax.  That’s just the males sweet talking the cute females.  LA.

© 2004, © 2005, © 2006, © 2012   LA Productions

3600 Sixth Avenue

Corner of Sixth & Euclid Avenues

Des Moines, IA 50313

515 283-0300

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