As popular as dogs and cats are, many animal lovers prefer to house exciting exotics such as snakes, geckos, turtles, or frogs. Seeing as how some of these pets may need larger tanks than others, many animal enthusiasts wonder whether or not they can keep more than one in the same tank.
Now, it is common knowledge that most turtles require an enclosure of at least 50 gallons. It does seem like such a waste of space not to have another tank mate for your reptilian friend.
So, can frogs and turtles live together? You might see a lot of frogs and turtles sharing the same habitat in the wild, but keeping a frog and turtle in the same tank can spell doom for either or both of your pets. They have different needs, they may compete for space or food, and may even attempt to eat one another.
Let’s look into these two adorable animals to better understand why they can’t live and thrive together in the same enclosure.
Why Can’t Frogs And Turtles Live Together?
Naturally, there are several reasons why you shouldn’t ever house a frog and a turtle together. One species happens to be an amphibian, and the other is a reptile. Now, in a natural setting or the wild, such creatures do live in similar habitats. However, in the wild, these creatures have all the room in the world to hide, relax, mate, and bask in their own territories.
If you ever take a close look at amphibians and reptiles in the wild, you’ll notice that each species sticks to their living environment unless they are hunting or foraging for food.
Let’s talk about why this is the case.
1. Different Needs And Wants
Many creatures coexist in the same habitat, but the needs and wants of each animal species are different.
There are so many different species, but in general, frogs and turtles need different temperatures in the enclosure, different diets, and even different amounts of water in their tanks.
Turtles need surfaces above water such as ponds, sand, or platforms where they can dry themselves completely, while some frog species, like the African dwarf frog, require little to no land at all but ample room to swim about.
Turtles and frogs both need hiding spots in their tanks to feel safe and secure. But, if you try and house both these animals together, then it is likely that there will never be enough distance between the hiding spots where each creature can avoid each other’s company.
2. Predator Vs. Prey
When you look at the food chain, you’ll see that many species of turtles happily gorge on frogs or salamanders. Turtles and frogs are omnivores, which means that these creatures eat both plant and animal (or insect) based protein. Both of these animal species are opportunistic killers, which means that they will pretty much eat anything they can gobble down.
Turtles such as the common snapping turtle and the alligator snapping turtle both eat frogs in the wild. As mentioned earlier, if you look at the food chain of turtles and frogs, frogs are prey for most kinds of turtles. Aquatic turtles are faster in water, and your frog’s life may very well be in danger if you place a frog with a marine turtle.
If your pet frog is in any way smaller than your turtle, then you might witness the carnage of your poor pet frog. On the flip side, if your turtle is smaller than your frog, there is a strong probability that your frog will even try to eat your turtle. Larger frog species such as the Argentine horned frog or the African bullfrog are reasonably popular for eating turtles.
3. Competition And Stress
Even if you manage to acquire a frog and a turtle that are relatively the same in size, there may still be enough stress and competition in their enclosure to affect the well-being of either animal. You see, frogs and turtles eat the same kind of insects, such as slugs, mealworms, grasshoppers, and crickets.
So, every time it’s meal time for your pets, it’ll be like watching a game of gladiators where the winners take all. If a dominant is established, then the loser will suffer not just from stress but also from starvation.
4. Unsuitable Living Conditions
Some frogs can release toxins from their bodies that can harm your turtle. If the toxins released from your frog’s body are too potent, then there is a possibility that your turtle may die.
On the flip side, turtles create quite a mess in their tanks. You see, turtles eat live foliage, soil the water frequently, and leave a build-up of waste in the substrate at the bottom of their tank. Frogs don’t need as much water as turtles do, and the amount of filth that turtles manage to make in their tanks is entirely unsuitable for frogs.
Are There Any Frogs That Can Live With Turtles?
It is an unnecessary risk when trying to make a frog live in the same tank as a turtle. The only circumstances where a frog can live with a turtle is when you own a box turtle and house it with a gray tree frog or American green tree frogs.
Both these frog species release mild toxins that are barely noticeable. If the tank that you provide for both your pets is large enough with enough room to move around, then the chances of their survival exist.
Moreover, box turtles are land turtles that don’t swim as fast as aquatic turtles, giving your frog a chance to escape your reptilian pet if it gets the urge to munch on its tank mate. However, we still don’t recommend it. Both species will be far better off in enclosures they can have all to themselves.
What Should You Do If You Own A Frog And Turtle?
There’s no denying that being the pet parent of a turtle as well as a frog is a privilege. Both these creatures are pretty amazing as pets. And most turtles and frogs are pretty easy to care for and relatively low-maintenance.
However, there is a probability that one or either of your pets may suffer from harm if you house them together. This, of course, is a situation that most pet parents should avoid. Naturally, you wouldn’t want your frog or your turtle to experience any stress or face an injury either.
So, if you own a frog and a turtle, your only safe option to keep both your pets is to provide them with separate enclosures. You would need to ensure that you get an appropriately sized tank for either pet. Each habitat should be temperature and humidity controlled, hygienic, and offer ample hiding space.
Frogs need to have a 10-15 gallon tank or aquarium. It always depends on the species of frog you have, but generally, the temperature inside your frog’s tank must be between 77-82°F. You need to keep the humidity levels between 60-80%, and provide them with enough room to soak or swim, according to the specific species’ needs.
On the other hand, your turtle would need a tank of at least 50 gallons if your pet is between 6-8 inches in size. Turtles don’t just need more water than frogs; they need a more dry land area to bask, rest, and hide too. Furthermore, there should always be a pond with live vegetation and substrate at the bottom of the water area where your turtle can go and dig.
Not to mention, the turtle enclosure must also have hides and basking areas such as rocks or logs. Turtles need to have separate water bowls, away from their swimming pond, that contain clean drinking water. The water used in the swimming area needs to be spring water too. Tap water contains chloride and fluoride, which can be harmful to your pet.
Many pet parents try to provide their pets with the best homes they possibly can. But, there are times when you can cause your pet harm even with the best of intentions.
Turtles need plenty of space to roam around in their enclosures, and seeing so much room for just one pet seems like a waste of space to some animal lovers. However, it’s so important that you research or ask your local vet for some advice before you actually go out and buy another pet to add to the enclosure.
As for housing a frog and a turtle, it’s best if you keep these two creatures away from one another.
Most reptiles and even some amphibians thrive in captivity, but only when provided with enclosures that cater to their specific needs. So, if you want your turtle and frog to live long and happy lives, do not consider trying to get them to become friends or even tank mates.
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