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What Is the Ideal Temperature for a Pacman Frog? Vet Approved Facts & Care Tips

Chris Dinesen Rogers

By Chris Dinesen Rogers

a pacman frog climbing up a log

Vet approved

Dr. Karyn Kanowski Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Karyn Kanowski

BVSc MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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You can’t help but smile when you see a Pacman Frog. Its name couldn’t be more appropriate. You may also see it called the Argentinian Horned Frog, which provides valuable clues about the temperature and habitat this amphibian prefers. With a native habitat of rainforest and tropical swamplands, these adorable amphibians like it warm and wet. They need day/night cycling of temperatures, with ideal day temperatures ranging from 75–85℉. At night, your tank should cool to 70–75℉, with basking zone temperatures of 84-88℉.

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The Pacman Frog in the Wild

The Pacman Frog lives in the wetlands and grasslands of its native Argentina, where the water could be permanent, seasonal, or ephemeral. The takeaway from this information is that humidity plays a significant role in its health, along with temperature. That’s not unusual for amphibians with their porous skin. Consequently, they are highly sensitive to pollution.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), it is nearly threatened in the wild1. Several threats exist, including habitat encroachment, agriculture, and the timber industry. The ensuing pollution contaminates the waters in which they live, further complicating the situation. Sadly, the pet trade is another factor, although the frogs are easy to breed in captivity.

This amphibian is largely sedentary, nocturnal, and opportunistic. It burrows into the soil or leaf litter (duff), lying in wait for any appealing prey to pass by. It is a non-fussy carnivore with a voracious appetite.

Ceratophrys Canwelli or Pacman frog swimming in water
Image Credit: Patchara T, Shutterstock

The Pacman Frog in Captivity

The correct setup will go a long way toward ensuring the conditions stay stable and clean. We mentioned that the Pacman Frog burrows in the duff. You can replicate those conditions in your tank with coconut fiber or sphagnum moss. The useful feature of these materials is they will retain some water to maintain optimal humidity.

You should keep your frog in at least a 15-gallon tank to give it room to roam. An under-tank heater will keep the temperature in the desirable range for day and night. A glass aquarium will hold the heat better while being easier to clean. Remember that daily misting is essential for your pet. We also suggest adding some cover and plants in the tank so that your frog has places to hide. but don’t go overboard. Because of the high humidity levels, you may find you have to replace your plants regularly.

It’s vital to remember that the Pacman Frog’s preferred habitat and humidity create the perfect storm for bacteria development. Therefore, regular cleaning is imperative to keep your pet healthy. We recommend a weekly schedule. You should also replace any substrate with fresh materials. Don’t forget to wash the hiding places and water bowl as part of your routine.

Essential equipment for keeping any amphibian is a reliable thermometer and hygrometer for monitoring temperature and humidity. In addition to a temperature range of 70–75℉, your Pacman Frog habitat needs to be kept at a relative humidity of 60-80%.

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Final Thoughts

The Pacman Frog is an interesting pet that gives you the opportunity to create a mini rainforest in your home. Luckily, this amphibian is relatively hardy and not a picky eater. Maintaining the correct subtropical conditions during the day and night will provide an ideal home for your South American pet. Regular cleaning will ensure the environment stays healthy.

Featured Image Credit: Patchara T, Shutterstock

Chris Dinesen Rogers

Authored by

Chris is an experienced pet writer specializing in science topics, with a particular passion for health and the environment. She has been a writer for over 15 years and lives with her husband and three cats in Michigan. Beyond writing about cats and dogs, Chris loves to learn about wine. She has WSET 1 and 2 certifications and is currently pursuing her Certified Wine Specialist Award (CSW).

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