Home | Tag Archives: Amphibian Health

Tag Archives: Amphibian Health

Feed Subscription

The Best Filters for Axolotls, Clawed Frogs, Newts and Other Amphibians

BullfrogHello, Frank Indiviglio here. With their highly-permeable skins, amphibians absorb ammonia and other pollutants over a greater surface area than do fishes.  Surinam Toads, Axolotls, tadpoles and other aquatic amphibians are most at risk from poor water quality, but even terrestrial species such as toads and Fire Salamanders can quickly succumb to water-borne toxins while soaking in terrarium pools. Keeping their water clean, both visibly and chemically, can be quite a challenge. 

General Considerations

Natural History

Your pet’s natural history will determine the type of filter that should be used.  For example, newts and Dwarf Clawed Frogs will be stressed by fast currents, Hellbenders are extra-sensitive to water quality, many species are prone to bacterial attack in highly-oxygenated waters, and so on.  Please post below if you need help in selecting a filter. 

Types of Filtration

Biological filtration, wherein aerobic bacteria convert ammonia to less harmful compounds (nitrites and nitrates), is the most important of the three basic filtration processes. Ammonia enters the water via dead animals and plants, uneaten food and the occupants’ waste products. The organisms involved in the process, Nitrosomas and Nitrobacter bacteria, live on substrates that are bathed with oxygenated water (i.e. gravel, filter pads). Read More »

Spotted Salamanders Adapt to Salt and other Roadside Toxins

Spotted SalamanderHello, Frank Indiviglio here. Early spring is a favorite time for amphibian enthusiasts. Here in the northeastern USA, a spectacular event is unfolding, as Wood Frogs, Tiger and Spotted Salamanders, Spring Peepers and others head en masse for their breeding ponds. I’ve been visiting one pond, first shown to me by herpetologist John Behler, for nearly 30 years.  When luck is with me, I can see 3 amphibian species, along with fairy shrimp and other interesting creatures, in a single evening (please see article below). 

The small vernal (temporary) pools used by many amphibians are fragile habitats, and quickly spoiled by pollutants; that many are near roads worsens the situation.  With their highly-permeable skins, amphibians are especially sensitive to changes in water quality.  The recent finding that Spotted Salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) may be evolving defenses against roadside toxins is a rare light at the end of the rather dismal “amphibian conservation” tunnel. Read More »

Amphibian Medicine – Cold “Resurrects” Hellbender and Sick Frogs

HellbenderHello, Frank Indiviglio here. During my years with the Bronx Zoo, I have twice observed cold temperatures to revive salamanders (a Hellbender and a Greater Siren, please see photo) that seemed, by external appearances, to be quite dead.  A recent paper caused me to think back on these events, and to other examples of low temperatures being used to “treat” ailing Axolotls, Leopard Frogs and other amphibians …I would greatly appreciate your own observations and thoughts on this topic.

Cold Tolerant Amphibians

Many amphibians are well-adapted to surprisingly low temperatures.  On Long Island, NY, Eastern Tiger Salamanders may migrate to breeding ponds in February, and Spotted and Alpine Salamanders will cross snow for the same purpose.  Wood Frogs occur within the Arctic Circle, and I’ve found Gray Tree Frogs hibernating beneath a mere 2” of leaf litter in NYC.  Several Fire Salamanders under my care remained active at 38 F. Read More »

Attracting and Collecting Earthworms – a Simple Technique

Hello, Frank Indiviglio here.  Earthworms are one of the most nutritious food items available for amphibians, and for those reptiles, invertebrates and fishes that will take them.  Collecting them (in one piece!) can, however, be frustrating, and they are quite costly at bait stores.  One trick I stumbled upon years ago has greatly simplified the task of supplying my collection with earthworms – I hope you find it useful. Read More »

Frog Diets – Nutritious Foods for Popularly-Kept Frogs and Toads – Part 1

Albino BullfrogsHello, Frank Indiviglio here.  Many frogs and toads that are collected or purchased and kept as pets will greedily accept crickets and mealworms, the food items most easily obtained from pet stores.  Most thrive on this fare for a time, but eventually develop nutritional disorders and expire long before they have reached their potential life-span.  Following are some useful tips for those keeping American Bullfrogs, White’s Treefrogs, Budgett’s Frogs, most Toads and similar species.  Please see my other Amphibian Care Articles for information on feeding Poison Frogs, Mantellas, African Clawed Frogs, Horned Frogs and others requiring specialized diets, or write in with your questions. Read More »

Scroll To Top