Some notes about aquababies.
I've been getting increasing amounts of mail regarding a product that is being sold called Aquababies.
Apparently, there's some controversy regarding this product, up to and including a boycott effort.
In any case, as some of the emails I've been getting are trending towards "flame-mail", which frankly I'm sick of responding to since
In any case, I no longer want to waste my time responding to these queries individually, especially since some of these folks are less than cordial.
- #1) I do not sell the product nor do I own the product
- #2) Until these flame mails started coming in, I didn't even have an opinion on the product
I would prefer to be spending my time adding interesting items to Frogland, like caresheets, sound-clips, pictures, and fun stuff. Politics really isn't my cup of tea nor is it the reason for why this site exists.
Anyways, here is my general answer to everything about Aquababies that you're gonna get from me.
- Yes, there does appear to be a link to Frogland on the Aquababies site...
It seems that the aquababies site webmaster felt folks should have access to useful info on the web, and they like my site and link to it.
Some folks apparently have a problem with this Aquababies product and think it's my problem that there's a link to my site on her page. They write to me to tell me that I should tell the aquababies site not to link to my site. Apparently, I should be in the business of preventing folks from getting to my site if I don't like the way they got here.
Why this should be offensive to anyone is completely beyond me..
What would you prefer; folks buy the frog, then they are banned from getting useful information about the frog? That simply doesn't add up in my mind. That's like telling someone not to use the library if they didn't already do their research. Give me a break...once folks have a frog, give them a chance to learn about them! By the way, this argument is not specific to the product in question. Many pet stores sell frogs in deplorable conditions and often the store employees know absolutely zero about the animals they sell also. Once again, that is exactly why I created this site.
- Yes, I list a link to their site in the commercial frogs section. I also list links to every other website where frog stuff that I know of is being sold on the web.
I also explicitly state at the top of that page that these are information only. The statement is there for a reason. Just because someone has a beef with a company, doesn't change the fact that their website exists.
My site is meant as an information center...not a political hotbed. I also post pictures of Frog tattoos but I am way too chicken (or sane?) to go through the pain of getting one myself. I am assuming folks coming to my site are getting information, and therefore will be better equipped to make their own decisions. I have absolutely no inclination to get myself embroiled in political battles over products. Folks are welcome to their own opinions, but that is not what this website was designed for.
Unless I put a little happy frog next to the image, don't take it as me saying anything about the site. It's just a link. (Links with a happy frog are either stuff I personally think is cool, have seen, or they may be blatent self promotion of stuff in Frogland!)
And finally, no, I will not remove a link to a site just because someone has a problem with it...unless it's something obvious like being of pornographic nature or something illegal.
- As for the product itself...
I personally have not bought one. I wanted to avoid having to talk about this issue altogether, but apparently folks wont leave it alone...(Am I expected to deal with every item and product on this planet that in any way concerns frogs? No really, guys...I do infact have other interests and political hot-buttons that I find much more important to me than whether or not a frog should be sold in a small cube. I simply don't pontificate on those issues within this site.)
Anyways, I went ahead and looked into the product just to get a better idea of what folks are all upset about.
Here are my thoughts on the most prevalent arguments over the product.
- Cube Size:
- I've been getting sporadic emails from both distributors looking for more research and the gal who owns the company itself and it sounds like all are continually are looking for ways to improve the frogs' living conditions. In my mind, this makes sense...a product that sells sick or dead frogs isn't much of a product.
From the interest of various distributors and breeders, it sounds like there are frogs that have been surviving just fine for at least 4 months in the cubes. I don't know how folks determine how big is big enough. It seems like this would give indication that potentially the environment can be ok...if cared for properly... Frogs are hardy little creatures, but if there were any obvious problems with the environment the frogs probably wouldn't last this long...
The main things to consider with frogs in general is that hopping frogs need room to hop, and many frogs need much more space. Overcrowding, mixing breeds, and unclean housing are leading causes of unhealthy pet environements. At one point, I am told, fish were sold within the same cube as the frog. This practice has been discontinued as it caused lots of problems...this is true for larger tanks too.
The folks involved with distributing/shipping aquababies have been actively looking for any indications that the frogs "need a bigger box," including writing to all sorts of folks even though many of these distributors have way more experience in caring for the animals than me... By this I mean signs of frog stress like burrowing into rocks, change of color or size or any unusual frog activities. In the meantime, even within the aquababies literature, it gets recommended that to house more than one frog you should transfer them to a larger tank.
Does anyone have any actual evidence that it's too small? (By evidence I do not mean "how would YOU feel if you were a fish and were stuck in a small cube" ---I spend 50 hours a week in a small cube.)
By the way, I know that they (meaning the folks selling these things) are still very interested in this issue. If you have any useful information, (as in non flame mail -folks that use flame mail tend to discredit themselves...it gives the impression that folks think using expletives and insults are a good replacement for a valid argument) then I know they are open to discussion since they send out queries for new contacts all the time.
In the meantime, regarding the African Dwarf frogs anyways, I really don't know what to think...I have not seen any evidence that would indicate to me that this is a "torture chamber", however, I would like to see if a frog can live in such an environment for several years. In the meantime, folks that are concerned can always transfer them to larger housing.
Personally, I think several frogs are more fun than one...since there's always somebody to watch doing something in the tank...but for this, the frogs need more room to swim about. Plus, with a couple of frogs, you are more likely to see the funny looking "snuggle dance" that pairs of frogs do on warm days. In any case, folks that want to have more than one frog are even told by the company to switch to a larger tank...
One of the arguments I keep hearing about is that the tank has no filtration system. Personally, I think that's probably a bogus argument. I've had my frogs for 7 years in a gallon and a half tank with no filter. In fact, introducing a filter caused significant frog stress (i.e. they were burying themselves into the gravel because it made a lot of raucous.) and I've even heard stories of frogs getting sucked into filtration systems.
Not that filters in themselves are a bad thing, I just don't believe that they are strictly necessary. Not having a filter simply means the water gets cloudy more often so it means extra work for the owner...i.e. more water changes. Which, in turn, means you have to be careful with how you do the water changes, since this is often where the pH disasters can occur.
As with any pet, general maintenance is key. Even with the very best, most advanced and fancy aquarium setups, screw-ups and pH accidents can happen. I've heard from many expert breeders, much more experienced than I, and many of them have had experiences with losing frogs. The cube owners are certainly not alone in this experience.
Another argument I hear a lot is that the company is only interested in money.
Beyond my initial "duh" response....I should add that the continued inquiries regarding transport of frog containers, frog fungal diseas control, and whether to stop shipping during the cold winter, also indicates that they are genuinely interested in shipping live and healthy frogs. Who knows what each person's individual motivation is? Not me anyways. But, even a Scrooge knows a dead frog doesn't make for good advertising.
I think you'd be hard pressed to find a company that can stick around very long that isn't interested in what happens with money...but I'm not sure there's any news here.
- Impulse Buys
- If I had to pick something as my main gripe about Aquababies, the only thing I can think of is that I've seen these cubes at Walgreens at the check-out counter and this, to me, means that it's sold as an impulse buy. Frankly, I feel owning a pet should have had more thought going into it than buying a candy bar, since many accidents happen for folks who weren't thinking much about the commitment they make to buy a live animal when buying one at a pharmacy/grocery store. There's something to be said for going to a pet store, where getting there requires at least a little thought that you may leave with a live animal.
On the other hand, I think folks should think about buying that candy bar first too...so perhaps this is a general gripe about impulse buys.
On the other hand, as long as people are stupid about how they spend their money, companies will be out there ready to sell you dumb stuff. If anything, I would urge folks to simply spend a few brain cells before shelling out money.
So, there it is...if you were expecting me to get on a soap-box, you'll be dissapointed.
Please read all the stuff there is to read on it, and make your own decisions..
P.S. I also don't do homework for the kids either...so please don't feel you aren't getting equal treatment.
Here are the Links:
Back to Meet my Frogs : African Dwarf Frogs
Back to Frogland