This is only basic info about my breeding Horned frogs (Ceratophrys cranwelli)
how it works in my care and my personal experience only. Other breeders can do it different.
When I started frogs breeding in early 2008, I cared more species of frogs, including horned frogs, darts and toads. These horned frogs fascinated me from the very beginning. I reduced the collection of frogs during the time and bought a breeding pair of Horned frogs 10 years later in 2018. I bred these frogs for the first time in the summer of 2021.
Terrarium or plastic box with adequate ventilation for only one frog (30 x 40 x 30cm+) with natural peat and sand as substrate + shallow bowl with dechlorinated water. This type of substrate is changed every week or 2 as needed. Frogs are very susceptible to bacterial or fungal diseases, keep hygiene at all times. Many breeders use hygiene setups as sponge/foam as substrate. I use natural day light in the room.
I feed the frogs with larger tweezers. My frogs are fed mainly earthworms (Lumbricus terrestris), small defrosted rodents and Dubia roaches, trout or carp fillets and poultry hearts. The size of the bites depends on the size of the frog. I feed young froglets every other day. I stimulate them to eat by tickling the food on their jaws. I feed older frogs and adults once a week or once every 3 weeks, it always depends on type and size of the prey. I use reptile vitamines with D3 and calcium powder every other feeding.
small froglet with trout fillet
Heat mats controled by thermostat and timer sockets.
Temperatures in the warm season are about 25-28°C (22°C at night)
in the cold "hibernation" season are about 13-18°C
I try to adapt and imitate changing of the seasons as they have in their original landscape in the pampas Grand Chaco-Argentina.
Warm season: April - November
Cold season: December - March
I hibernate only healthy and strong frogs in plastic boxes with adequate ventilation on a layer of moist peat substrate. In the dark cellar where is
13°C for 4 months without food. I feed for the last time about a month before hibernation, because their metabolism will slow down. I check the frogs every week or so and change the substrate once after 2 months. After hibernation I gradually raise the temperature in few days and start feeding the frogs. This is was my first experice in 2021. The second experience with hibernation in 2022 was "mild hibernation". All was the same, only temperature was about 18°C for 4 months without food. it was working too.
About 2 months after the end of hibernation, I start preparing the rain chamber. It's a simple, big plastic box with a "fake" bottom, water pump and aquarium heater. Temperature of the dechlorinated water is about 28°C. After I place well fed couple (to prevent cross-attack) in the rain chamber male begins to very actively vocalize during the night and tries to catch female. I found hundred of eggs next day morning. If you do not find the eggs and pair is still in amplexus, try one more night. But then give the frogs a rest for a few weeks and try the rain chamber again.
Calling male in rain chamber
Care about tadpoles:
I use big plastic boxes with 70l of dechlored water for about 100 or less tadpoles. The temperature is still about 28°C. I feed them several times a day with an adequate amount of frozen bloodworms. And changing all water every day. It takes 3 weeks to metamorphosis in my conditions.
Care about froglets:
Small froglets kept separately, in plastic cups with only little water and a wet paper towels. from the beginning, I feed them daily or every other day, and along with feeding them, I change their water and paper towel. I use trout fillet dusted with calcium and frog vitamins as a staple food for little frogs. I use large tweezers to feed them.