Last Updated on September 23, 2021 by cmoarz
Pacman frogs are some of the cutest most adorable frogs in my opinion. They make great pets for anyone looking to start having frogs. But before you go out and buy one, it’s important to know what the Pacman frogs require in their enclosure to be as close to their natural environment as possible.
So with that said, What do you need in a Pacman frog setup?
First, Some stats:
- Level of Difficulty: Beginner
- They can reach a length of up to 8 inches (20 cm).
- They should live in a 10 gallon tank minimum terrarium.
- The average Pacman frog lifespan is around 5 years.
- They are named for their comically large mouth, Much like the Pacman game from the ’80s, But their real name is Ceratophrys Ornata.
- They’re of the few frogs with teeth, and they look fascinating. But they don’t chew their food!
1. Tank size, Choosing the right size terrarium for your Pacman frogs
Pacman frogs are solitary creatures. They should live alone and not be placed with other frogs. The tank they live in needs to be in a humid environment in order to remain happy and healthy, with the damp substrate.
It goes without saying they need moisture to keep their fragile skin in good condition, but they are not aquatic frogs and are in fact terrestrial frogs. A small shallow water dish should be provided at all times for when they want to bathe and drink. Keep the water dish filled with clean fresh water at all times.
So as a humid environment is a given, This also means they need to live in a glass terrarium. The glass terrarium should be 10 gallon tank minimum and the glass terrarium should have some sort of screen lid on the top.
You can of course use other materials but glass is recommended. When your building out the substrate levels, Try to think how freshwater marshes or lowland forests would look. That’s the natural environment your going for your Pacman frog enclosure.
With that said, You can do whatever design you like. But remember the substrate levels are important to create the proper humidity for your Pacman frog enclosure. You should also consider space enough for live plants. We discuss live plants lower at #5!
The substrate you use for your Pacman frogs enclosure is important
When choosing a substrate, You want something that can retain water. The best moist and most common substrate in the case is going to be, at least for our recommendations, coconut fiber and bark bedding. You can also mix topsoil into coconut fiber for extra nutrients for your live plants. Give it a good dose of water to make it a moist substrate, But don’t overdo it!
You should fill your terrarium with at least 4 inches (10cms) of your damp substrate mixture so your frog can burrow and the plants have enough space to take root and take up nutrients.
You can also buy premade substrates such as eco earth. Eco Earth is a mixture of coconut fiber substrates that comes in a very handy brick form. I do however still recommend adding leaf litter and top soil to the mixture to create a more natural environment.
Remember, A healthy frog is a happy frog.
2. Adding heat to your Pacman frog enclosure
During the day, your Pacman frog’s terrarium should be between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (24 to 29 Celsius), while at night it should be between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 24 Celsius). If necessary, use a heat light or an under-tank heater to warm the habitat. Some heat mat can be adjusted for different times of days. So you should try and get one of those heat mat. A thermometer in the habitat will allow you to keep track of the temperature and keep a comfortable habitat for your frog.
If you are feeling fancy, Consider using a thermometer with probes that get places around the terrarium in different spots for a more accurate reading.
The humidity level of the habitat should be between 50% and 80%. Appropriate live plants in the terrarium will aid in maintaining a proper humidity level. A list of suitable plants may be found on websites dedicated to tropical frogs. I also add a few examples down below. Use a hygrometer (a device that measures moisture) to keep track of how moist the tank is.
Doing all these things will help keep your Pacman frog’s body temperature up to where it’s supposed to be. If the body temperature goes too low, Your frog will begin to hibernate. I can’t understate how important it is to have a heating pad under your glass enclosure. This will ensure the glass enclosure doesn’t get too cold and a heating pad is the most efficient and consistent way of doing this.
3. Lighting is important to Pacman frog care
Pacman frogs are nocturnal (more active at night) and do not require direct sunlight. However, they do need lighting that can be set to simulate daylight and darkness in their habitat. If the terrarium is in a dimly lit room, use a UVB Light bulb to illuminate it for 12 hours each day. A fluorescent bulb can also be used.
If you would like to continue watching your frog at night, Consider getting a nighttime blue light that will allow that to happen without disturbing its day and night schedule.
Speaking of, It’s easier to keep a proper day and night schedule by using a timer on your lights. I 100% recommend you pick one up.
4. Maintenance of your Pacman Frogs aquarium
Frogs aren’t low maintenance, But they aren’t very high maintenance either. While they do have a unique appearance, They certainly don’t have unique maintenance routines.
Much like any other amphibians, You will need to remove the substrate at least once a month for regular maintenance. This can be cut down significantly with adequate removal for frog droppings on a regular basis, and with the addition of a cleanup crew into the moist substrate.
For an amphibian terrarium, these include:
- Small earthworms
- Bean weevils
- Woodlice (rolly pollies, isopods)
These will deal with much waste and plant decay and excess food leftovers. This will decrease the amount of time you need to change out your substrate to many many months. Your frog will also have a constantly replenishing “snack” that happens to do well in the terrarium as well.
You should also spray the enclosure with dechlorinated water from time to time to keep the bedding damp and the humidity up. Replace the water bowl water frequently, 3 or 4 times a week.
5. Live plants and having a well-planted tank
Live plants in your terrarium do a lot of things for your frog. They help the substrate remain moist and retain humidity levels as well as give your frogs many hiding places.
They help keep the terrarium clean and encourage the cleanup crew to mate and increase in population.
They also help maintain the illusion of the Pacman frog’s natural environment, which in turn makes a happier frog.
There is a large variety of plants you can use. Here are some of the most popular species.
Popular species include:
Just remember that the light you use will dictate how your plants grow. Same with the temperature. Make sure the plants you choose have enough light and can handle the temperature you need to keep your frog safe. Most of the plants above should be fine.
6. Feeding and food schedule
The Pacman needs a diet consisting of various proteins and insects. You should give a food diet consisting of:
You should supplement their diet with Vitamin D and Calcium. you can do this in 2 ways, Either gut loading live insects before feeding them to your frog Or dusting them in calcium powder enhanced with vitamin D. Avoid foods with other chemicals in it.
Always allow access to clean water in your water bowl and a shallow dish if you want to keep them separated for a light swim.
Feed your frog every 2-3 days, usually in the evening. Don’t be alarmed if your Pacman frog just tends to sit there for long periods of time waiting for food. That’s the natural way these frogs feed. They sit around expecting the food to emerge from the darkness and take it when they can.
They may spend some time buried in the substrate as well, Don’t worry about it. It’s completely normal for their species. It’s only ever a bad sign if the temperature also drops. So always keep a watch for that.
Pacman frogs are a popular species of frog all around the world. At the end of the day, they need a nice heat mat to maintain heat and humidity levels. The frogs should be given plenty of clean freshwater, light, and food. You should have a minimum of a 10 gallon tank enclosure. A screen to help maintain humidity levels and a substrate that retains moisture and provides the cleanup crew with an abundance of nutrition.
Enjoy your Pacman frogs!