How To Setup A Pacman Frog Habitat? [Beginner’s Guide]

pacman frog habitat setup guide

When somebody decides to pet a Pacman frog, the very first concern becomes habitat setup. New owners or beginners often remain confused about the necessary things, proper measurements, steps of setting up, and so on. Hence, all beginner wants a beginner’s guide about how to set up a Pacman frog habitat.

Before buying a new Pacman frog, I’ve also wanted to make sure to set up the best habitat for my pet. Thus, I’ve conducted some researches and found some workable guidelines to set up a Pacman frog habitat.

In this article, I’ll describe how to do it and clear other confusions regarding habitat setup.

Thus, I urge you not to miss this article if you want to know the easiest ways to set up a Pacman frog habitat.

What Do I Need To Keep A Pacman Frog?

Are you worried about the shopping list for setting up a Pacman frog?

Do not worry. I’ve come out with a small list of necessary items that you need to keep a Pacman frog.

These are-

  1. 10 gallons or larger glass terrarium (depending on the numbers and age of the Pacman frogs)
  2. Substrate
  3. Hideouts
  4. A shallow water dish
  5. Lights
  6. Thermometer
  7. Thermostat
  8. Hygrometer
  9. Fogger / Misting system
  10. Screen lid
  11. Small stones (optional)
  12. Plants (optional)

Pacman Frog Setup Cost

When you start keeping a Pacman frog, you must expect to pay for several expenses. The setup cost will be considered as the initial one-time cost of owning a Pacman frog.

So, the total setup cost will be the sum of the costs of all accessories and items of a Pacman frog tank. By compiling the cost of the item, the entire Pacman frog setup cost will be around $165-$535.

I’ve made a small list of the approximate costs of the tank items from which you can calculate the entire setup cost. Let’s have a glance at this table.

Setup ItemsCost  
Terrarium$50-$200
Live plants$10-$20
Substrate$2-$15
Heater$20-$50
Lightings$15-$40
Thermometer$5-$10
Hygrometer$4-$10
Thermostat$20-$50
Water bowl$9-$30
Sprayer$10-$30
Décor$10-$50
Screen lid$10-$30
Total$165-$535

Pacman Frog Habitat Setups:  9 Easy Steps

Look at these steps and, you’ll get the detailed process of setting up a Pacman frog habitat. Let’s start.

Step 1: Choosing A Perfect Terrarium For Your Pacman Frog

Before buying a terrarium, you need to concern about the material type, accessibility, ease of maintenance, size, etc. So, you have to choose a perfect home for your Pacman frog wisely, considering several things.

Non-toxic Materials

There are mainly terrariums of two types of materials. People choose either plastic or glass terrariums. Some owners find plastic frog tanks very light, easy to handle, and cheap. On the contrary, a glass terrarium is also very natural-looking, attractive, helpful to check your pet.

No matter what type of materials of terrarium you prefer, keep in mind two things. Firstly, the materials of the terrarium should not be toxic to your pet frog. Secondly, the tank materials have to withstand humid conditions.

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Good Accessibility

The second feature you need to look for in your frog terrarium is good accessibility. Some terrarium has only top-access, whereas some terrarium has both top and front via swing-out doors.

Ease Of Maintenance

Along with good accessibility, you must ensure that the terrarium has such features of ease at maintenance too. If your Pacman frog terrarium isn’t suitable to maintain and clean easily, this can cause bacteria-caused diseases to your pet in the future.

How Much Space Does A Pacman Frog Need?

The perfect size of a terrarium depends on your frog type, its age, and the number of frogs you want to keep there. In the case of Pacman frogs, it’ll be better to leave them alone in a terrarium because these frogs are pretty aggressive and carnivores.

While selecting a terrarium for your Pacman frog, do not choose an enclosure smaller than 10 gallons. Pacman frogs require a minimum of 10-20 gallon space to move around freely, hide, catch the prey, and so on.

Again, female Pacman frogs get bigger than male Pacman frogs naturally. We know that female Pacman frogs can get up to 7 inches, where male Pacman frogs get up to 4 inches big in size.

So, it’s pretty normal that the female Pacman frogs need a bigger terrarium than the male frogs.

Pacman Frog Types   Terrarium Size
An adult male Pacman frog  12”x 12”x12”
An adult female Pacman frog  24”x18” x12”
Baby Pacman frog 5-10 gallon capacity    

Besides, Pacman frogs do not climb the wall and spend more time on the ground. So, choose such a terrarium that is horizontally longer than the vertical length.

If you are a beginner and just starting with pacman frogs, I’ll recommend to get a starter kit to keep your costs checked. I’ll highly recommend the Zilla Terrarium Starter Kit. With this kit, you’ll get a 10 gallon glass tank, bulb, heat mat, humidity & temperature gauge as well as odor absorbing liner. A pretty good deal in my book!

Can A Pacman Frog Live In A 5 Gallon Tank?

The experienced Pacman frog owners gave mixed opinions about this question. So, it depends on their sex and age to keep Pacman frogs in a 5-gallon tank.

Some reptiles and frogs can live in a 5-gallon tank, for example- dart frogs.

An adult Pacman frog can’t live in a 5-gallon tank. But, if it is a baby Pacman frog, you can keep the baby frog in a 5-gallon tank. Moreover, a baby frog will get stressed if you let it live in a big space.

Otherwise, I’ll recommend buying a 10-20 gallon tank for your Pacman frog. When your baby Pacman frog reaches 3.5 inches, you have to shift it to a 10-gallon tank.

pacman frog habitat setup

Step 2: Adding Substrate Materials

Substrate or bedding is a significant component of a Pacman frog enclosure. You must be aware that the Pacman frog spends most of the time burrowing in the substrate.

So, you need to pick a good choice of substrate that gives your frog comfort and ease.

There are several options left for you for choosing a substrate, such as moss, coconut fiber, coconut husks, leaf litter, tree bark, etc.

Among these options, coconut fiber and moss are pretty safe for your pet if the frogs end up eating them sometimes. Because Pacman frogs sometimes eat substrate mistakenly along with their food.

Moreover, you must change the substrate once a month. Besides, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. They are-

  • Choose such a substrate that can absorb moisture much.
  • Check regularly if the substrate remains damp or not. But, make sure that it is not dripping wet.
  • You can add moss on the top of the substrate you choose. That’ll promote the humidity level keeping it moist.

My Recommended Substrates:

For a moss based bedding, I recommend Zilla Moss Bedding.

For a coconut fiber based bedding, My recommendation is Zoo Med Eco Earth Coconut Fiber.

How Deep Should Pacman Frog Substrate Be?

Pacman frogs are not the kind of frogs that remain active or play all the time. Rather, they tend to remain inactive. You’ll notice that your pet Pacman frog seems to love digging and burrowing the substrate all the time.

The researchers and experienced owners recommended making the substrate at least four to six inches (10-15 cm) thick for a Pacman frog habitat.

If the substrate isn’t thick enough, your frog will not feel comfortable to be buried himself in the substrate.

Step 3: Adding Plants, Branches, Logs, etc.

Now, it’s time to decorate the terrarium of your pet Pacman frog. You can leave some stones, logs, branches, plants, etc. Also, put a shallow water bowl.

All of these decorations will make the terrarium attractive to your frog. Moreover, these will give a natural vibe. But, don’t overcrowd it. Keep enough space for your Pacman frog to sit, catch prey, or play around.

Do Pacman Frogs Need Plants?

As a new owner, you might be a little bit confused regarding adding plants to the frog habitat.

It’ll be good if you add live plants to the Pacman frog habitat. Plants aid in increasing the humidity level in the enclosure. Moreover, plants will give your frog a little glimpse of the natural environment too.

Besides, make sure that the plants are not toxic or harmful for your Pacman frogs. You can choose aloe, photos, ficus, spider plants, etc. You can directly plant them in the substrate.

Step 4: Placing A Heat Lamp Or A Head Pad

To keep warm, adjust a heat lamp or a heating pad to the terrarium. In the case of a heating pad, place it under the terrarium.

A head pad is always paired up with a thermostat to control the heat. It’ll warm up the entire enclosure from beneath the terrarium.

Otherwise, you can place a heat lamp. A 25-watt bulb is enough for a terrarium of 10-gallon capacity.

Do Pacman Frogs Need Heat Mat?

You must have known that Pacman frogs need at least 68-85 degrees Fahrenheit to survive.

Pacman frogs need a heat mat as a source of heat in their captivity. When you recreate their natural atmosphere in their captivity, you must keep in mind the temperature too. For this, you have to place a heat mat.

This will keep the terrarium warm. As a result, your Pacman frog will be active and feel comfortable.

Step 5: Attaching Thermometer, Hygrometer, Thermostat, etc.

In step 5, you should attach a terrarium thermometer, a terrarium hygrometer, and a thermostat to the outside of the Pacman frog terrarium. Besides, you’ve to be careful about their placement.

You need to place these measuring instruments in such a place where their measurement won’t be affected much. For example- keep these instruments away from the heat lamp or water dish, etc.

Are you want to make sure that the terrarium has perfect humidity, temperature, and heat? Then, check these instruments regularly.

Let’s check out the ideal temperature and humidity for Pacman frogs from the below-mentioned chart.

  Ideal Temperature    75-85 degrees Fahrenheit (At Day) 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit (At Night)  
  Ideal Humidity    60%-80%

With this Exo Terra Combometer, you can measure both temperature and humidity in digital screen. It also comes with a remote sensor as well as programmable memory setting feature!

Step 6: Adding Light

Lighting is important to mimic 12 hours a day and 12 hours a night, in the Pacman frog habitat. LED or fluorescent bulbs can be perfect options.

Although many people do not recommend UVB light, UVB light does not cause any direct harm either. So, you can attach a UVB fluorescent bulb with setting its timer on for 12 hours.

Then, you don’t have to bother to switch off the light in the nighttime too. But, UVB light can be harmful to Albino Pacman frogs.

However, if you purchase a low voltage energy-saving light, it’ll go fine too.

Step 7: Misting The Habitat

Now, you’re close to finishing the entire setup. Before introducing your Pacman frog to its new habitat, you must mist the entire terrarium. Otherwise, your pet won’t feel welcomed in a dry habitat.

You can use a spray bottle or fogger to mist the terrarium. You need to mist over every component of the terrarium for at least 5-10 minutes. Also, you should mist twice a day.

Moreover, you can simply add fresh, clean water to a container near the heat source. This will promote the humidity level in the terrarium as the water gets evaporated slowly.

Can You Over Mist A Pacman Frog Directly?

People often ask if it is okay to mist over a Pacman frog directly. The answer is a big No.

You must not directly mist your Pacman frog. That’ll make them stressed and panicked. As the spray bottle usually has a lot of pressure while spraying the water, this can be harmful to your Pacman frog.

Besides, your pet may get injured by that pressure. Also, the experienced Pacman frog owners strictly forbade the beginners to do such silly things to mist your pet directly.

Step 8: Introducing Your Pacman Frog To Its New Habitat

After completing all steps, you can now introduce your Pacman frog to its habitat. Gently put your frog in the terrarium.  The Pacman frog may feel stressed at first. Hence, you need to give it some time to become comfortable with its new home.

Some frogs need only one or two hours, whereas some Pacman frogs take up to one week to settle in the terrarium.

Step 9: Adding A Screen Lid

The last step of setting up habitat is adding a screen lid. The reptile enclosure doesn’t always come with a lid. For your pet’s safety, you need to buy and add a screen lid over the top of the terrarium. Make sure that the lid gets fitted. Also, cover half of the lid with a plastic wrap so that the humidity doesn’t get too low.

Again, some terrariums have features of front doors. After introducing your Pacman frog to the habitat, you should lock the doors too.

pacman-frog-substrate

What Kind Of Habitat Does A Pacman Frog Need?

In the wild, Pacman frogs live in humid areas like rainforests or dense forests. Generally, these frogs tend to burrow themselves under damp leaves or soil.

So, you must arrange such kind of habitat which contains damp bedding with enough moisture in the air. The tank condition has to be humid and warm. You need to keep the humidity range within 50%-80%.

If the humidity gets low, your Pacman frog will not be able to thrive comfortably. On the other hand, excessive moisture can cause skin infections in your pet frog. In addition, you should keep the tank within 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit to create a warm environment.

Can Pacman Frog Live In A Small Tank?

Pacman frogs are one of the most inactive frogs. If you have a pet Pacman frog, you’ll barely notice it move. These frogs tend to burrow themselves all day long.

Hence, Pacman frogs do not require much room to thrive comfortably. So, you can keep your Pacman frog in a small tank due to its inactivity, although this frog can grow up to 8 inches long. Hence, you must not forget to provide minimum floor space for your Pacman frog.

How Much Floor Space Does A Pacman Frog Need?

Because of being bulky frogs, Pacman frogs are supposed to require wide space. But, there is no need for a huge floor area for Pacman frogs as these frogs tend to sit or be burrowed in a place all day long.

The experts recommend keeping a minimum of one square foot area per one adult Pacman frog. You should keep around 18″ x 18″ floor space for a Pacman frog. It is the minimum tank size for a Pacman frog.

It means that you have to keep around 450-600 mm floor in both length and width area of the tank. If the terrarium is sized 10-15 gallons, it will be adequate for your pet Pacman frog. Also, the Pacman frog tank must be around 300 mm in height.

Is A 20-gallon Tank Good For A Pacman Frog?

As mentioned before, you need not provide much space for your pet Pacman frog. An adult Pacman frog can comfortably thrive in a 10-15 gallon tank. So, a 20-gallon tank will be a huge tank for your Pacman frog that is not essential at all.

Can You Keep A Pacman Frog In Aquarium?

Since aquariums are only meant for fish and aquatic creatures, you might be confused about keeping a Pacman frog in an aquarium. But, you can also use an aquarium as a frog tank by stuffing all essential tank accessories.

Besides, you must keep in mind that Pacman frogs are strictly terrestrial frogs. These frogs can’t swim at all. So, you must not add water to the aquarium if you want to keep your Pacman frog there. Depending on the number and age of frogs, you should choose an aquarium of the appropriate size.

How Often Should I Clean My Pacman Frog Tank?

Only setting up a tank doesn’t mean that your work is done. To keep your Pacman frog healthy, regular cleanliness of the terrarium is a must.

  • You should clean your Pacman frog terrarium once a month.
  • Also, you should make sure that the substrate remains damp. Do not forget to change the substrate regularly.
  • The water becomes dirty very often, and so you need to change it up every time.
  • Regularly monitor the temperature and humidity with a thermometer and hygrometer. If any of it increases or reduces than ideal measurement, take the necessary steps.
  • Take good care of the live plants of the tank.
  • In case your pet dugs up the root of any plants, bury the roots of the plants again.
  • If you notice any eaten foods, remove them with a tong or tweezers.

How To Set Up A Pacman Frog Habitat?

What Is A Bioactive Pacman Frog Tank?

The bioactive tank has been pretty popular among pet keepers. Instead of going after the conventional tank setup, you can set up a bioactive tank for your Pacman frog.

A bioactive Pacman frog tank is a self-sustaining, miniature ecosystem that is a perfect housing for Pacman frogs, including live plants, microfauna, etc.

It is also a low-maintenance tank, as the tank janitors keep the tank clean naturally. After all, the microfauna of the tank eats the wastes which help keep the tank clean.

How Do You Make A Bioactive Pacman Frog Tank?

If you want to make a bioactive Pacman frog tank, you should collect the essential things together at first. Let’s see what you’ll need to make a bioactive Pacman frog tank.

According to the experienced owners, you’ll require the following things for this setup. These are-

  1. Tank of the right size
  2. Substrate
  3. Microflora
  4. Live plants
  5. Microfauna
  6. Plant light
  7. Heating pad or heat mat
  8. Sprayer
  9. Water bowl
  10. Invertebrates
  11. Decomposing organisms
  12. Temperature and humidity monitoring equipment
  13. Branches, hideouts, and other décors

Now, you should go through the steps one by one. The following steps will help you arrange the bioactive Pacman frog tank smoothly. So, let’s get enlightened about the procedures of this miniature ecosystem.

Select Right Tank

Generally, Pacman frogs do not demand much space. But, a bioactive tank should be bigger than a sterile enclosure. Although Pacman frogs remain idle, you need extra space for setting up other micro flora and micro fauna.

So, a 15-20 gallon tank can be perfect for a bioactive Pacman frog tank. Also, you can choose either a glass tank or plastic tank according to your convenience.

Add Deep Substrate

The central attention of a Pacman frog tank is adding substrate. When you keep a burrower frog as a pet, you must add a deep substrate. There are lots of substrate options like soil, coconut husk, sphagnum moss, coconut fiber, leaf litter, mixtures, etc. Male sure that the substrate should be around 3-4 inches deep.

Add Plants

While setting up a bioactive tank, live plants are must inclusions in such enclosure. Some good suggestions for keeping live plants in a bioactive frog tank are Ficus pumila, Bromeliad, Ficus benjami, Cryptantus, etc.

These live plants will help keep the ideal humidity range in the enclosure. Also, the plants act as coverage for several inhabitants of the tank. However, a bioactive tank is incomplete without any live plants.

Put Décor Items

To fulfill the naturalistic vibe, you need to add varieties of décor items to your Pacman frog bioactive tank. Some safe options are Malaysian driftwood, cork flats, cork show grade, cork stumps, cork gallon bags, bamboo poles, manzanita branches, jungle vines, etc.

Not to mention, the décors will act as both hideouts and living places for the inhabitants of the bioactive tank. Moreover, some of these tend to break down into foods for the microfauna.

Add a water bowl to keep some water. Although you must mist the enclosure regularly, keeping water in a water bowl adds extra moisture to the air.

Add A Drainage Layer

One of the most important tasks of a bioactive tank setup is adding a drainage layer. A drainage layer removes the excess water. As a result, there will be no stagnant water and no growth of harmful bacteria.

In addition, a drainage layer helps retain the moisture level in the enclosure by keeping the substrate healthy. To separate the soil and drainage layer, you can put a screen on top of the drainage layer.

Adjust All Devices

There must be several essential devices that you need to adjust with your bioactive Pacman frog tank. To keep the tank warm, you should fit a good heat mat or heating pad. You must ensure to keep the enclosure warm at 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Make sure to fit the device and its cables in such a way that these will not risk the lives of any tank inhabitants. Besides, you must adjust the temperature and humidity monitoring devices safely. To ensure the well-growth of plants, you can also fit lighting.

Introducing Tank Janitors

You can address the small invertebrates as tank janitors, or tank clean-up crew. These micro faunas will save time in maintenance as they remove the tank wastes. Some of them are super worms, mealworms, isopods, little bugs, springtails, etc.

Also, these tank janitors consume wood, leaf litter, shed, feces, mosses, decaying materials, dead plants, etc. Moreover, they turn these wastes into easy-to-process forms for the plants and decomposers. Because of outbreaking the molds, there will not be any growth of harmful bacteria.

Instead of introducing wild micro faunas, you should choose the captive clean-up crews. Otherwise, you can breed these tank janitors for the safety of your Pacman frog.

Add Decomposers

The decomposers play a significant role in a bioactive tank. As decomposers, you can add fungi. On the other hand, bacteria will naturally grow in the tank. But, make sure that it is not harmful to the living of the bioactive tank, including the Pacman frog. These decomposers break down the wastes into nutritious compounds.

Introducing Your Pacman Frog

After completing the entire setup, you should keep the bioactive enclosure running for 3-4 days. Then, you can introduce your pet Pacman frog in this bioactive tank. The handling and feeding guide of your Pacman frog will remain as same as usual time.

Pacman Frog Enclosure Ideas

Do Pacman Frogs Need A Pond?

Before answering this question, we should know about the natural habitat of Pacman frogs. Pacman frogs usually live in dense rainforests of South America. So, the place remains pretty damp, being a perfect place for such terrestrial amphibians.

Pacman frogs do not need a pond at all. Pacman frogs can’t even swim in the water. Moreover, they do not catch any such preys which live in ponds.

So, they aren’t dependent on ponds by any means. Hence, they don’t need ponds.

Can I Use A Fish Tank For My Pacman Frog?

The answer to this question is a bit complex and tricky. This question brings other questions of keeping frog along with fish, leaving the frog in freshwater, etc.

If the fish tank size is perfect, then you can use it as your Pacman frog enclosure. But, you should not even imagine leaving your Pacman frog in the freshwater fish tank along with fish. Your Pacman frog will simply die.

Keep in mind that Pacman frogs hail from such a place of damp environment. As the Pacman frogs can’t swim, you must not put them in the water of the fish tank.

Can Anything Else Live With A Pacman Frog?

It’ll be better if don’t add any other animal with a Pacman frog in a terrarium.

Being ferocious eaters, Pacman frogs eat everything that fits in their mouths. Even, they also eat up their species sometimes. These frogs don’t like to socialize at all.

Thus, nothing else can live with a Pacman frog. You should keep just one Pacman frog in a terrarium alone.

Final Words

The biggest responsibility for your pet Pacman frog should be setting up a good terrarium. After completing the entire setup, all you need to do is doing proper maintenance. Then, the home is ready and comfy for your pet.

Muntaseer Rahman

I have been keeping shrimps as a pet for many years now. I’ve fallen in love with these cute pets from the moment I saw them. That’s why I am writing articles to share my shrimp keeping knowledge with you.

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