Caring for Your New Suriname Toad
Aqualand's Info on Pipa pipa frogs
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Space Requirements: You’ll
need a 20H or 20L for one adult
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.
Hiding Places: Adults take up so much room they need no hiding places. Froglets probably need hiding places. Careful, froglets cannibalize each other.
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.
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.
If you hear strange clicking sounds coming from your
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