Frogs and turtles are popular pets, but since they are amphibians their requirements differ from that of the common aquarium inhabitants. Some turtles and frogs spend most of their time in water, while others a mostly land dwellers. Always investigate the natural habitat and living conditions for your frog or turtle before your bring it home. It is also important to remember that many species will grow quite large and might outgrow their first home.
Most turtles can be comfortably housed in a 25 or 50 gallon turtle aquarium. A turtle aquarium must contain water as well as dry land. (Keep in mind that tortoises are land creatures that should not be kept in a turtle aquarium.) Arrange the substrate in a sloping manner or pile up stones in order to make it possible for the turtle to stand on solid ground with its body fully submerged in water and its head above the surface. The water dept must be deeper than the length of your turtle, which means that you might have to adjust the water dept as the turtle grows. Compared to fish, turtles require plenty of strong light and the turtle aquarium should therefore be equipped with a fluorescent light. Turtles are cold blooded and need a good heater in the turtle aquarium to stay warm.
The African Dwarf Frog, the Oriental Firebellied Toad and White's Tree Frog are three suitable beginner species if you are interested in keeping a frog. The African Dwarf Frog (Hymenochirus boettgeri) lives its entire life under water, but must surface once in a while to breath oxygen from the air. African Dwarf Frogs can be kept in the same aquarium as fish, as long as the aquarium is large enough and the fish compatible with frogs. African Dwarf Frogs are active and fun to watch. If a pet shop offers you a docile Africa Dwarf Frog, it might very well be extremely stressed or ill.
The Oriental Firebellied Toad is another option for beginners. Just like the African Dwarf Frog, the Oriental Firebellied Toad is active and energetic. If you keep it on a strict cricket diet it will require vitamin supplements to ensure optimal health. It will do fine in room temperature as long as you avoid the extremes and keep it out of draft.
White's Tree Frog is also easy to keep for beginners, but it is less active than African Dwarf Frog and Oriental Firebellied Toad. This species need a humid environment and should be kept in a damp tank. Since tree frog live in trees, the tank where you keep your White\'s Tree Frog should be a so called Arboreal Tank. Your frog will need at least one tree branch to climb on; preferably one with several smaller braches. Live plants are also recommended since they will help to keep the environment humid. Placing a bowl of water at the bottom of the tank is not enough; your frog will not go for a swim when it begins to suffer from dehydration. Frequently spraying the tank with water is therefore necessary and sturdy live plants are advisable.
Frog & Turtle Articles
African Dwarf Frog - A basic article about African Dwarf Frogs
Axolotl, Water dog, Mexican Salamander - a guide to keeping and breeding this species in aquarium.
Claw Frog - A basic article about Claw Frogs
Red-eared sliders - A basic article about Red-eared slider turtles
Turtle aquarium - A guide on how to setup a suitable turtle aquarium