Captive Care Guide to The Asian Floating Frog

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Asian Floating Frog
Thanks to Getty Images

Occidozyga sp.

General Information

There are many common, or vernacular, names for this frog. It may be called the Asian floating frog, floating frog, spotted frog, spotted floating frog, Asian spotted frog, or rice paddy frog—all names given to frogs of the genus Occidozyga. There are at least 12 species in this genus, but Occidozyga lima is believed to be the most common species in the pet trade.

These frogs make excellent pets for keepers of any age. They are entertaining to observe and relatively easy to care for. The frogs exhibit a variety of colors and patterns—varying shades of browns and greens arranged with white spots or stripes. Individual frogs can usually be identified by their unique markings. Active day and night, floating frogs spend their time swimming underneath and at the surface of the water, floating at the surface, interacting with other frogs in the enclosure, and occasionally hopping on land. They are relatively low-maintenance animals. Adequate habitat requirements are not particularly difficult to meet and maintain. The frogs are hardy, and will eat a variety of foods. With substantial time and effort invested in husbandry, floating frogs make rewarding pets.

Southeast Asia: Southern China and Northeast India to Java.



In the wild, floating frogs inhabit a tropical environment and are found in riparian areas along streams, rivers, lakes, and rice paddies.
They live among thick vegetation and generally shallow water.

A ten gallon tank is suitable for 1-5 frogs. As a general rule, provide about 16 square inches per frog

Water should be 3-6 inches deep.

Provide plentiful hiding places such plants (artificial or live), rocks, cage furniture, etc. The frogs will sometimes hide but will often be visible if they are comfortable.
Environment should be mostly water (90% or more), but the remainder can be land.
Gravel makes a perfect aquatic substrate, but bare glass, while not aesthetically pleasing, will not generally bother the frogs. On land, gravel, dirt, moss, or mulch is suitable. Keep in mind that whatever substrate is on land will tend to be dragged into the water by the frogs.

Water Quality and Filtration

·Provide clean, conditioned water of a neutral pH (roughly 7). Conditioned water is free (or at least reduced) of harmful chemicals such as chlorine an ammonia. Water conditioners are easily available at pet stores for only a few dollars. Most tap water is close enough to pH 7, especially once conditioned. But if you know your area to have particularly acidic, basic, or hard (mineral-filled) water, then consider providing purified bottled water to your frogs.
·A filter is recommended, but not absolutely necessary with frequent water changes (water should be changed when it begins to appear strongly discolored or cloudy).
·Make certain that the filter does not produce a strong current. In the wild, floating frogs live mostly in still water environments so they are not particularly strong swimmers.
·Change filter and water as necessary (even with a filter, the tank will require occasional water changes).
·At optimum temperature, water levels will quickly decrease due to evaporation, so refills, though not necessarily complete water changes, should be frequent.

Water temperature 70-80 degrees.
Air temperature 70-80 degrees.
Temperatures above or below this range will make floating frogs become sluggish and stressed. Temperatures too far out of this range will quickly kill the frogs. Use water and air thermometers to monitor temperatures.


·High. If temperatures are warm enough, humidity should naturally be maintained at a suitable level.

12/12 day/night cycle
The frogs do not require UV light, but UV for live plants in the enclosure will not hurt the frogs and may even slightly benefit them.
A lamp of appropriate wattage is the best way to warm the habitat. Water heaters, cage heaters, etc. can be used.


·Floating frogs can be fed live or pre-killed food such as crickets, chopped mealworms, chopped earthworms, krill, bloodworms, small fish, and other small invertebrates. Like all frogs, their predatory response is triggered by movement, so pre-killed prey is most effectively offered using tongs to simulate movement. Tong feeding also works very well for live prey to assure that all frogs receive enough food. Floating frogs are by no means picky eaters. They may not hesitate to attack prey such as adult crickets that are dangerously large, so make sure that all food items can be easily captured and swallowed by the frogs.
·Feed once a day to once every 2-3 days

·Floating frogs can be kept with other small aquatic animals such as guppies and snails, but any cagemates are potential food for the frogs, so don’t expect them to make friends with any expensive fancy guppies. Newts and other species of frogs can also be kept with floating frogs, but all inhabitants must be of similar size to prevent predation, and make sure appropriate habitat requirements are met for all animals in the enclosure. Avoid any aggressive cagemates. Floating frogs can stress easily, so if any bullying occurs between any animals, regardless of species, immediately separate them to stop the problem.

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