A Beginner’s Guide to Keeping Bushveld Rain Frogs as Pets

common rain frog bushveld A Beginner's Guide to Keeping Bushveld Rain Frogs as Pets

This site does not constitute pet medical advice, please consult a licensed veterinarian in your area for pet medical advice.

Are you looking for a combo of cuteness and low-maintenance trait in a single frog? Then, you should go for this widespread species of rain frog named the Bushveld rain frog. Since these rain frogs are rare, many beginners do not know about proper guidelines for keeping bushveld rain frogs.

In this article, I’ve penned down a detailed care guide for bushveld rain frogs. You’ll find housing set-up, a feeding guide, reproduction care, and other required information about keeping these rain frogs.

So, you must not miss this article if you want to keep a bushveld rain frog as a pet.

Overview of Bushveld Rain Frogs

Scientific nameBreviceps adspersus
Common nameCommon rain frog, Bushveld rain frog, etc.
Size1.5-2.4 inches
Terrarium size10-15 gallon
DietInsectivores
TemperamentDocile and skittish
Optimal humidity75-90%
Optimal temperature50-75 degrees Fahrenheit
Care levelIntermediate
Lifespan4-15 years

How To Set up A Habitat For Bushveld Rain Frogs?

To keep a bushveld rain frog in captivity, you should make a similar habitat to the wild with the required environmental conditions. If you do not ensure proper housing requirements, your bushveld rain frogs will not thrive in captivity.

So, let’s see the guideline for housing set-up for bushveld rain frogs.

Housing Set-up

The rule of thumb is to buy a 10-gallon tank for keeping a single bushveld rain frog. Although these frogs aren’t much playful, you should keep them in a large tank.

Since bushveld rain frogs can grow up to only 2.4 inches, beginners might think to buy smaller tanks. But, it’ll be a mistake. These rain frogs become active at night time.

Buying a giant terrarium of 10-15 gallons may provide bushveld rain frogs enough space to burrow themselves under the substrate.

You might know that there are several types of the tank depending on the types of frog species. Bushveld rain frogs are terrestrial. In addition, these frogs tend to stay underground.

So, you will need to keep a layer of substrate in the tank. For this reason, you should buy such a terrarium that has enough space both horizontally and vertically. If you look for a suggestion, you should check out the Aqueon 10-gallon tank.

Another pro of keeping bushveld rain frogs is no requirement for a tank lid. These cute frogs have short legs. Hence, these frogs can’t jump out of the tank. In consequence, you need not keep any tank lid for your bushveld rain frogs.

Substrate

Bushveld rain frogs are burrower frogs like Pacman frogs. Being fossorial frogs, these rain frogs burrow themselves underground in the wild. To mimic their wild environment in the enclosure, you should set up a layer of substrate for your pet frogs.

In the wild, bushveld rain frogs make tunnels around 150 mm deep under the soil. So, you should make a substrate of at least 10-15 inches. Buy high-quality substrate for your rain frogs.

The substrate should absorb the maximum humidity for your pet frogs. Hence, you must choose such substrate that absorbs water. For example- sphagnum moss, coconut fiber, bark bedding with soil, mixed soil with sand, soil blend topped with leaf litter, etc. Keep the bedding of substrate moistened for the frogs to readily make tunnels.

Some owners keep small vegetation over the substrate. You should ensure that your burrowed bushveld rain frogs do not face difficulties while digging themselves out of the surface.

Bushveld rain frogs tend to spend a large share of their time being burrowed. So, you should be concerned before buying substrates for your rain frogs. Make sure that the substrates do not have any chemicals or fertilizers.

If you look for substrate recommendations, you can check out these substrates. Such as ABG Mix, Zoo Med’s Eco Earth, etc.

Heat

In the wild, bushveld rain frogs live in sandy areas near coastal regions. These regions remain dry most of the time. Like the wild, you should keep the optimal temperature of the tank within 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit.

To keep the tank warm, you can use the following methods. You can use a heat lamp, heat mat, etc. The experts suggest using under tank heater (UTH). Keep the heater on the side of the tank. Otherwise, it’ll burn your frog burrowed under the substrate.

Keep a thermostat connected to the heat mat. When the temperature gets high, the thermostat will turn off the under-tank heater. You should place a thermometer to ensure keeping the temperature range within 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit. While placing the thermometer, you should remember to keep it on the opposite side of the heater.

Humidity

Bushveld rain frogs require a range of humidity to thrive in an enclosed tank. Like the wild, you should keep the humidity level within 75-90%.

The best way to increase the moisture is to spray fresh water in the tank. Make sure to use dechlorinated and safe water for your bushveld rain frogs. If you use absorbent substrates, the bedding of substrates will absorb the moisture.

Also, you can keep a shallow water bowl with clean water. Although bushveld rain frogs do not spend time in the water, this water will raise the humidity in the tank.

Don’t forget to keep a hygrometer. You can measure the humidity level with the hygrometer and take the required actions when the humidity level falls.

Lighting

If you notice the activity of bushveld rain frogs, you’ll notice them emerging out of the surface at night time. Due to their nocturnal trait, bushveld rain frogs remain active at night.

These frogs do not have any demand for special lighting. But, you should adjust some lighting to mimic the day and night cycle in the enclosure.

You can use fluorescent light for 12 hours a day. In the nighttime, you can keep night-specific bulbs for your pet rain frogs. This lighting will help your frogs hunt their prey and do other activities at night.

Décor and Accessories

These bushveld rain frogs spend a large share of the day burrowing themselves underground. Keeping décor items doesn’t help them much in their activity. But, you can keep these décor items for the aesthetics of the terrarium.

To create a naturalistic environment, you can keep some rocks, logs, branches, vines, etc. In addition, you should add some real plants to your bushveld rain frog tank. These plants will raise the humidity of the terrarium.

Diet For Bushveld Rain Frogs

Keeping bushveld rain frogs as pets is suitable for beginners due to their simple diet. These frogs are insectivores. They hunt the insects found on dung.

Bushveld rain frogs emerge out of the soil at night time and start hunting. So, you should release insects in the terrarium of your rain frogs during the night. Keep in mind that these frogs do not eat dead insects that are not moving.

In captivity, you can feed your bushveld rain frogs varieties of insects. Such as crickets, flies, beetles, beetle-larvae, slugs, fruitflies, earthworms, waxworms, mealworms, etc.

These insects are the main sources of protein for your pet rain frogs. You should be concerned about the size of insects before feeding your bushveld rain frogs. The size of the insects should be smaller than the space of two eyes of rain frogs. If the size of the insects is too large, it may cause impaction in your rain frogs.

In the wild, bushveld rain frogs do not eat so frequently in their harsh environment. So, feeding 2-3 times per week is appropriate for your pet frogs in captivity.

Supplementation

To keep your bushveld rain frogs healthy, you must ensure a nutritious diet. The insects may not fulfill the requirements of all nutrition. For this reason, you should provide supplementation of calcium, multivitamins, etc.

You can gut load the insects 24 hours before feeding your pet frogs. Otherwise, you can dust or sprinkle the supplements over the insects with these supplements.

The frogs can not absorb only calcium supplements. You should give the supplements of vitamin D3 with calcium powder. If you want a recommendation for a calcium supplement you can pick Repashy Calcium Plus. For multivitamin supplementation, I recommend Repashy Supervite and Repashy Vitamin A Plus.

Water

Bushveld rain frogs do not soak themselves in the water like other frogs. In the wild, these frogs stay burrowed under sand and absorb the moisture from the sand. So, there is no point in keeping a water bowl for letting them soak in the water bowl.

Generally, the water of the water bowl helps raise the humidity level in the bushveld rain frog terrarium. But, you should choose water wisely to mist the tank.

While selecting water for your frogs, you should ensure that there are no impurities or harmful chemicals in the water. Some owners use distilled water to mist the frog tank. But, this water doesn’t contain any minerals or calcium.

For this reason, the experts suggest not using distilled water to mist the tank. Use non-chlorinated water for your bushveld rain frogs.

Handling: Can You Handle Bushveld Rain Frogs?

The experts suggest avoiding handling all types of frogs since these amphibians have porous skins. Moreover, it’s risky to handle poisonous frogs like dart frogs. Click here to know more about how deadly are dart frogs.

But, bushveld rain frogs do not secrete poisons like poison dart frogs. Touching bushveld rain frogs can be safe if you take safety precautions. Make sure not to touch these rain frogs without any emergencies.

You might know that bushveld rain frogs have a skittish temperament. If you make them frightened, these frogs will puff their body. Also, they’ll make squeaky noises because of being threatened. So, you must handle these frogs gently.

Tank Mates For Bushveld Rain Frogs

Many frog owners like to keep several pets together. Before keeping tank mates, you should consider the temperament of your frog.

These bushveld rain frogs are docile. But, they do not have much popularity as social frogs. On the other hand, you can’t consider them territorial too.

So, you should keep bushveld rain frogs alone in a tank. If you want to add tank mates for these rain frogs, you can keep a group of bushveld rain frogs together.

You can add different frog species with bushveld rain frogs if you set up a paludarium. In a bioactive tank, different animals can live together. You can take a look at this write-up to find out the 11 best frogs for keeping in a paludarium.

Reproduction Care For Bushveld Rain Frogs

For any beginners, ensuring good breeding care is a difficult job to do. In the case of keeping bushveld rain frogs, their reproduction care is comparatively easier than others. Generally, you will need to provide fresh water sources in case of the breeding phase of other frogs.

But, bushveld rain frogs tend to lay their eggs in mud or temporary pools. They don’t need open water sources to lay eggs.

In the wild, bushveld rain frogs start breeding during rainfalls. So, you can create a mating-friendly environment by raising the moisture in the tank.

After laying eggs, these bushveld rain frogs burrow the substrate to make a nest of their eggs. Make sure that your pet frogs can readily keep the eggs underground.

Cleaning and Maintenance

The most beneficial thing about keeping bushveld rain frogs as pets is their low-maintenance trait. Proper cleaning and maintenance can help your pet frogs thrive longer in captivity.

  • Mist the bushveld rain frogs terrarium twice a day. You should keep the humidity level high for these rain frogs.
  • Keep the hygrometer, thermometer, and heater in check. If you notice any irregularities in temperature or humidity, you should fix them as soon as possible.  
  • To maintain the day and night cycle, you should keep an automatic timer.
  • You should change the substrate once a month.
  • Make sure that the substrate doesn’t remain water dripping wet.

Before You Go

In this article, you have got a detailed idea about keeping bushveld rain frogs as pets. If you want to keep another species of rain frog, you can go for desert rain frogs. Check out the following article to know about the pros and cons of keeping desert rain frogs.

Are Desert Rain Frogs Good Pets For Beginners?

About Muntaseer Rahman

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