So I spoke to someone at the pet store to see if I could figure out why all my frogs keep dying1 and the leading theory is water temperature. Since frogs are cold blooded creatures, they can’t create their own body heat and if the water temperature gets too cold, their metabolism slows down, they can’t heal as well, etc. Which seems to fit with the pattern I’d been seeing – when I first got the frogs, they’d be all peppy and active, but over time they would seem to get lethargic and then start dropping off. Also, my initial fraggle, who all lasted quite some time, were purchased in the summer, when my apartment is always hot, and the deaths tended to occur in the winter, when the temperature in the apartment drops significantly at night.
So, with this as my working hypothesis, I purchased an aquarium heater, which is essentially a bar that is suction cupped to the inside of the tank, with a bit sticking up out of the water where the cord for it is. It’s set to keep the tank at a minimum of 26 degrees C – if it gets hotter than that, it shuts off (and it’s OK for the temperature to be warmer than that, as the frogs like the heat). I also got them some live plants as a place to hide and to help maintain water quality.
As well, with the last fraggle, I had come up with a better solution to my frogs escaping problem than the ghetto-looking saran wrap “solution” I’d been using previously. Instead of this:
I now have a new frog tank lid that’s actually built for this tank (which I hadn’t noticed at the pet store previously):
So I bought a new fraggle of 5 frogs, which I brought home from the Yaletown pet store on the Skytrain:
Sadly, one frog died after only a couple of days. When I first got the frogs home, I noticed this one guy who wouldn’t stop sitting on top of the heater:
I told him that he was going to dry out if he kept doing that (as he was entirely out of the water when he was sitting on top of the heater and these aquatic frogs cannot be out of the water for more than ~20 minutes without drying to death), but he didn’t listen to me. I was hoping he’d have the good sense to jump back in the water when he was feeling dehydrated, but I don’t think he did, as when I came home from work I found him floating dead next to the heater. Poor little guy wasn’t even around long enough to get a name! 🙁
The other four frogs, however, are thriving2. I’ve decided to name them:
- Copernicus the Third
- Tyrion Froggister3
The only one I can differentiate so far is Raspberry, as she’s the palest one4. I’m sure once I get to know them better, I’ll be able to tell them apart.
And now, some froggy cuteness!
Looking at you:
- Like the frogs that came before them, my last fraggle of frogs all met their premature ends without me being able to figure out wtf. [↩]
- Knock on wood. [↩]
- Props to Cath for coming with this name, after Tyrion Lannister… because it’s a dwarf frog! [↩]
- Named in homage to Apricot, who was also the lighest coloured frog of her fraggle. [↩]