Red-eared sliders and American bullfrogs living together? (LONG THREAD)

Wayfarin

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Hello, folks!

Some of you may already be acquainted with our turtle, as I've already introduced her on another thread.
We currently own a female red-eared slider named Teresa or "Terry" who's a little over 12 years old. We've had her for that long, and we suspect she could live many more years if she's cared for well.

Teresa crawling through leaves.jpg And I hope she does.

She's a cherished pet that we had opportunities to give up on multiple occasions, but we never did. (This species is commonly dumped in waterways as an unwanted pet, where it either dies or becomes invasive.)
However, she's currently living in an undersized indoor tub, and I had thought about possibly moving her into a much larger outdoor enclosure.
We have the space for an enclosure at least 10' l x 5' w x 18" d in both our front and backyard.
I don't know how many gallons it would hold, but definitely over 200.

The drive to the nearest Petco is over an hour, be we still manage to go almost monthly to pick up pet supplies, including feeder minnows.
We noticed many mosquitofish in the tank of feeder goldfish. After talking with one of the workers, she said that they sometimes get unexpected animals in with the feeder shipments, including tadpoles. After looking this up, I found out that bullfrog tadpoles are often accidentally shipped to Petco and PetSmart stores. (I was actually aware that this happens, but I was surprised at how often this occurs.)

I would love to "save" one of the tadpoles from possibly being involved in a video titled "giant oscar eats bullfrog tadpole" or something similar.
However, if there's one thing I know about bullfrogs, it's the fact that like red-eared sliders, they are much harder to care for when fully grown and are often similarly dumped in waterways where they do not belong.

However, it had occurred to me that the outdoor enclosure that we had thought about moving "Terry" into would be an ideal location to relocate the frog when it inevitably outgrows its indoor setup.
It would have to be a pretty secure enclosure to contain a bullfrog, with a heavy mesh lid that it cannot open. The lid would also keep out raccoons.
However, the lid would not protect the frog from Teresa.

Bullfrogs grow up to 6" long when mature, and Teresa is not a very large turtle (she's about 8" in shell length), but I do not underestimate RES turtles.
However, I imagine that it would be easier to keep Teresa from eating the frog in an outdoor enclosure than in an indoor aquarium.
Since bullfrogs are nocturnal, the frog might be able to come out at night and avoid Teresa during the day if I provide it with a land retreat.

Even if this does work, I would probably not name the frog. I would be quite displeased if Teresa murders "Ferdinand" or "Fergus," or another family member. I've never before lost a family member to a another one's hunger.

Does anyone have any suggestions concerning this idea? Any input, especially from experience, would be much appreciated.
Thanks in advance! God bless!
 

ZEROPILOT

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I have three fish ponds. One is 1,400 gallons and two are 1,750 gallons.
Each spring these ponds get infested with Bullfrogs and Cane Toads (the poisonous kind) They lay eggs. The tadpoles develop. (Most don't) and then they hop out and are gone.
No fish have ever been harmed.
But you have a much smaller pond. I'd worry about the amount of waste created for your filter system. And I'd worry mostly about your turtle eating your pet tadpole.
 

Wayfarin

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I have three fish ponds. One is 1,400 gallons and two are 1,750 gallons.
Each spring these ponds get infested with Bullfrogs and Cane Toads (the poisonous kind) They lay eggs. The tadpoles develop. (Most don't) and then they hop out and are gone.
No fish have ever been harmed.
But you have a much smaller pond. I'd worry about the amount of waste created for your filter system. And I'd worry mostly about your turtle eating your pet tadpole.
Would a single red-eared slider and a single bullfrog really overload a 500-gallon pond?
Also, I would never let Teresa near the tadpole. I would only introduce the frog to the pond once it outgrows its indoor setup, so the frog would be something close to 5-6" when we relocate it to the pond.
Do you think the turtle would still try to eat the frog once it grows that large? I have never given Teresa large feeders before, so I don't know how she would react to a giant frog.
 

ZEROPILOT

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Would a single red-eared slider and a single bullfrog really overload a 500-gallon pond?
Also, I would never let Teresa near the tadpole. I would only introduce the frog to the pond once it outgrows its indoor setup, so the frog would be something close to 5-6" when we relocate it to the pond.
Do you think the turtle would still try to eat the frog once it grows that large? I have never given Teresa large feeders before, so I don't know how she would react to a giant frog.
I can't say for sure.
I only know that plenty of RES share ponds with plenty of Bullfrogs.
 

ZEROPILOT

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I would think the RES would attack the frog. Those turtles are known to be aggressive.
I can see the turtle trying to make a tadpole or small froglet it's lunch. But probably not a fully grown Bullfrog. They're quite large and very alert.
 

TammyJ

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I can see the turtle trying to make a tadpole or small froglet it's lunch. But probably not a fully grown Bullfrog. They're quite large and very alert.
My RES Bonnie would lie in wait in her pool for an unsuspecting pigeon to come on by and dip his beak in for a drink. And yes, what followed wasn't pretty.
 

Wayfarin

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I can't say for sure.
I only know that plenty of RES share ponds with plenty of Bullfrogs.
You mean artificial ponds or natural ponds? Because there's definitely a difference.
Animals coexisting in an artificial pond would imply that they coexist somewhat safely.
Animals coexisting in a natural pond could just mean that they had never encountered one another.
 

ZEROPILOT

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You mean artificial ponds or natural ponds? Because there's definitely a difference.
Animals coexisting in an artificial pond would imply that they coexist somewhat safely.
Animals coexisting in a natural pond could just mean that they had never encountered one another.
Throughout at least the south eastern United States. Probably more areas.
But in much larger bodies of water that a 500 gallon fish pond.
 

Wayfarin

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My RES Bonnie would lie in wait in her pool for an unsuspecting pigeon to come on by and dip his beak in for a drink. And yes, what followed wasn't pretty.
Your red-eared slider killed pigeons?
How large was your turtle? I know that red-eared sliders can grow larger than ours. Ours is only 8" in shell length and she is fully mature (sliders generally stop growing at around 8 years of age).

We get pigeons at our bird feeders and they are really large. For Teresa to kill one, she would have to take on a bird that is almost twice her size.

Regardless, I'm pretty sure this snapping turtle could take down a pigeon, but it doesn't seem to be able to overcome this large American bullfrog.


The frog did not even appear injured.
I'm not sure if our tadpole would grow as large as that frog, but if anyone knows how I could prevent stunting its growth, then I'd be glad to hear about it.
 

Wayfarin

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Throughout at least the south eastern United States. Probably more areas.
But in much larger bodies of water that a 500 gallon fish pond.
Well, yeah, I know that they can exist in the same habitats, but I'm not sure if that would mean that they can coexist peacefully.
Trust me, I would love to build a much larger outdoor enclosure than 10' l x 5' w x 18" d, but our front yard would not even have the space for one.
 

ZEROPILOT

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Well, yeah, I know that they can exist in the same habitats, but I'm not sure if that would mean that they can coexist peacefully.
Trust me, I would love to build a much larger outdoor enclosure than 10' l x 5' w x 18" d, but our front yard would not even have the space for one.
If or not they'd be able to co exist peacefully in a pond is just a guess. (From me)
But I would expect issues.
I just don't have the first hand experience to say for sure.
 

Tom

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Formula for figuring out gallons: Length (in inches) x width x height divided by 231 = gallons.
120 x 60 x 18 = 129,600. 129,600 / 231 = 561. Figure a little less since it won't be filled all the way to the rim.

RES are carnivorous. They take bites out of 30 inch koi fish, and I've seen them eat 18 inch armor plated plecos. It would just be a question of time until it gets to the frog.
 

Wayfarin

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Formula for figuring out gallons: Length (in inches) x width x height divided by 231 = gallons.
120 x 60 x 18 = 129,600. 129,600 / 231 = 561. Figure a little less since it won't be filled all the way to the rim.

RES are carnivorous. They take bites out of 30 inch koi fish, and I've seen them eat 18 inch armor plated plecos. It would just be a question of time until it gets to the frog.
RES are 75% herbivorous. But the other 25% is pretty aggressive.

Koi and plecos cannot escape onto land, though. Red-eared sliders can obviously also crawl onto land, but they do not seem to bother other animals out of the water.

https://d2gg9evh47fn9z.cloudfront.net/1600px_COLOURBOX20112270.jpg


I do not doubt that red-eared sliders have the ability to kill adult bullfrogs, but the main difficulty would be catching one in the first place. A red-eared slider can easily catch and kill a small frog. A large bullfrog is way too difficult for a red-eared slider to grasp. I'm pretty sure that the bullfrog in the above video would have already escaped from the snapping turtle 24 seconds into the video in a natural setting.

Also, I suspect the turtle killed the pleco in an aquarium? I have no doubt that a red-eared slider would kill a bullfrog in a 75-gallon tank. The anxiety and boredom of being confined with another animal, not the turtle's carnivory, would ultimately lead to the frog's demise.
A pond is an entire ecosystem with plants, algae, insects, crustaceans, mollusks, and small fish for the turtle to feed on. A turtle is unlikely to get bored in such an environment.

However, I suppose that after spending years in the pond it could get boring, and after several years, the bullfrog might eventually die for that reason.
 
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Tom

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RES are 75% herbivorous. But the other 25% is pretty aggressive.

Koi and plecos cannot escape onto land, though. Red-eared sliders can obviously also crawl onto land, but they do not seem to bother other animals out of the water.

https://d2gg9evh47fn9z.cloudfront.net/1600px_COLOURBOX20112270.jpg


I do not doubt that red-eared sliders have the ability to kill adult bullfrogs, but the main difficulty would be catching one in the first place. A red-eared slider can easily catch and kill a small frog. A large bullfrog is way too difficult for a red-eared slider to grasp. I'm pretty sure that the bullfrog in the above video would have already escaped from the snapping turtle 24 seconds into the video in a natural setting.

Also, I suspect the turtle killed the pleco in an aquarium? I have no doubt that a red-eared slider would kill a bullfrog in a 75-gallon tank. The anxiety and boredom of being confined with another animal, not the turtle's carnivory, would ultimately lead to the frog's demise.
A pond is an entire ecosystem with plants, algae, insects, crustaceans, mollusks, and small fish for the turtle to feed on. A turtle is unlikely to get bored in such an environment.

However, I suppose that after spending years in the pond it could get boring, and after several years, the bullfrog might eventually die for that reason.
Koi are in large ponds and so was the pleco. Plenty of room to escape.

When it happens, you can think back to when we warned you.
 
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TammyJ

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My RES's were definitely very carnivorous. And Bonnie was exactly like a crocodile in her feeding behavior. Maybe all of mine were imported by the pet shop from one particular area where the more carnivorous ones evolved.
 

Wayfarin

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Koi are in large ponds and so was the pleco. Plenty of room to escape.

When it happens, you can think back to when we warned you.
Even in a large pond, where is a 30" koi supposed to escape from a red-eared slider?
It requires more than space to allow a vulnerable animal to escape. They need an actual safety refuge.

As you can see from this video, a frog living in the same enclosure as a turtle doesn't have to share the same space.


If we created a barrier between the frog and turtle, the frog would have little space to roam at night when the turtle sleeps.

But even if the frog is unable to escape from the turtle one day, I would probably be content knowing that it lived a pretty good life. Maybe not the same quantity of life as a bullfrog in an aquarium, but a more quality life.
I would definitely not name any animal that coexists with Teresa.
 
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