My kids say I killed their pet frogs

If you remember from my previous posts, I wrote about our pet tadpole turned frog. Kids named him Ribbit. He didn’t do much except eat and poop, so we had to transfer him to a small filtered tank. It was torturous to keep up with the frequent water changes and all the commotion it created; wet floor, dripping water, too much cleaning up after kids who love to make big messes.

Ribbit adjusted well to his new tank with three new snails: Gooper, Sticky, and Sticko. But the kids were worried that he was lonely. So I ordered a new frog from the same company we got Ribbit as a tadpole.

Our new frog named Rocket

A small white box arrived a few days later; inside it, a skinny pale frog swam around a clear plastic bag. His fast swimming determined his new name: Rocket.

When we put Rocket in the tank, we checked constantly to make sure Ribbit wouldn’t eat his new friend; African Clawed Frog can be aggressive towards each other if there is a big size comparison. Thankfully they were cohabiting peacefully. Rocket must’ve been aware of his smaller stature, because he rarely interfered with Ribbit’s eating.

Deliriously happy
Small, skinny, translucent. Getting Rocket acclimated to the tank’s temperature. The light makes him look like an alien here.

One day Ellis told me that they were best friends now: Ribbit gave piggy-back rides to Rocket.

Ok, so all things were going smoothly.

Rocket exploring his new home

But last week we had a fiasco. It might have been a combination of factors, but the kids are convinced that I killed both frogs from a bad water change.

Thursday night our two amphibians swam erratically and seemed restless. I thought maybe they were excited with the new water change: I couldn’t have been more wrong. The next morning I found Ribbit floating heads up near the filter and Rocket sitting motionless at the bottom of the tank.

I debated a long time deciding if I should add this picture, but I wanted to show how their body swelled. They got bloated in the water. I apologize if this picture upsets you.

Kids still tear up when they are reminded of their pet frogs. Elliot tells me that even though they died, we will always remember them as good frogs to us. Then, he asks me in an exasperated tone why I killed their frogs: couldn’t I have been more careful?; why didn’t I wait longer with the water conditioner?

It’s a difficult life experience to process. The next day we went to PetSmart and got a couple of neon tetra fish named The Speedy Bros. And our neighbor gifted us a tiny snail from her tank: so tiny it doesn’t look real but it zooms all over the tank. It was named Mini-go.