FAQs About African Dwarf Frogs, Environmental Disease
FAQs on African Dwarf Frog Disease:
ADF Health/Disease 1,
ADF Health 2,
ADF Health 3,
ADF Health 4,
FAQs on African Dwarf Frog Disease by Category:
Bacterial, Fungal), Parasitic,
Keeping African Clawed Frogs and African
Dwarf Frogs by Neale Monks,
African Dwarf Frogs, Amphibians,
Related FAQs: Dwarf African Frogs
African Frogs 2, ADF
Identification, ADF Behavior,
Systems, ADF Feeding,
ADF Reproduction, & FAQs on:
Frogs Other Than African and Clawed,
African Clawed Frogs,
Warm (with a heater) as they're tropical; need a filter; IS cycled:
NO ammonia or nitrite tolerated, and a maximum of 20 ppm nitrate.
Size matters. Ten gallons is ideal; anything smaller can be trouble
keeping it optimized and stable.
My African clawed albino frog. Hlth; no data
My African clawed albino frog looks really veiny is that good or
<Mmm; can be an indication of stress... too much/little of something
necessary. Most often Xenopus show such when in a poor environment;
incompatible water quality. Is your system filtered? Have any idea what
the nitrogenous waste readings are? Any ammonia, nitrite present? More
than 20 ppm of Nitrate? Have you read on WWM re X. laevis care?
Re: Seeking ACF Medical Advice
Hello, the ammonia problems have been sorted and all frog behavior has been
normal for the last few weeks.
Unfortunately, today I noticed that the female has one bloated leg.
Behavior and appetite are normal and neither of the other two frogs show any
abnormalities. Do you have any suggestions?
<I would check water quality again, do a substantial water change, and see if
anything improved within a day or two. Epsom salt, at 1-3 teaspoons per 5
gallons/20 litres, can help with swelling. If no better after a few days, then
try antibiotics again.>
<Goofy looking animals, aren't they? Nice clean tank though.>
<Welcome and good luck! Neale.>
Inherited African Dwarf Frogs
A month and a half ago I inherited two ADF's from my 5yr old son's classroom.
His teacher bought one of those tiny cubed setups which after extensive research
I now see are incredibly inhumane. I had no idea what I was getting into prior
to agreeing to my son bringing them home at the beginning of summer. I have zero
experience with aquatics, have never owned
fish or frogs in my 32 yrs. The teacher indicated their setup from
http://www.wildcreations.com/shop, was very easy, minimal water changes
(once every few months), and feeding frog pellets (twice/week),
<No and no>
and that was it. These little guys (I believe one guy and one gal) were
relatively fine for the first month, though a few weeks ago I noticed their
bodies turning red (arms and legs),
yet disappeared a few days later. Yesterday, it was back and very bright in
color, so I started to research. Many, many hours and countless websites and
articles later I now know there is more to it and am doing my best to provide a
more humane existence and hopefully help them if they are ill.
I currently have them in a 1 gallon fishbowl
<Too hard to keep stable and optimized. Need a tank and filtration as covered
as my step father offered it to me in lieu of the cube after bringing them home.
I have been doing daily water changes as it gets extremely murky after their
feeds of frozen bloodworms every other day.
<Please; do the above reading, NOW>
I have never tested the water and did not know I had to until today when I read
about ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels. I also had no idea about "cycling"
until today. I have been completely removing the frogs from their bowl and doing
100% water changes so I can rinse the gravel, bamboo plant, little rocks and
house that consist of their habitat. I feel horrible that
I have been putting them through so much stress and trauma over and over
unwittingly. I again had no idea this causes the tank to have to cycle
all over again, likely spiking and lowering the pH level, etc- which is torture
to these frogs.
So, moving forward I would like to get them a proper living environment. I am on
a *very* fixed income as I am single, sole support mother who works 3 part time
jobs. I cannot simply pop over to a pet store and make hundred dollar purchases
without adequate planning and budgeting.
<I suggest Craig's List... gifting these animals to someone who has time, the
I will get them a proper tank with a filter and heater, but I would appreciate
some input on what is the best, most cost efficient set up (keeping in mind that
we live in a very small apartment and cannot house a 10 gallon tank). My son and
I bicycled to the pet store yesterday and saw a 2.65 g tank with a proper filter
What is your opinion on this?
<Better to make your own set up... can be done in any chemically inert
container. Perhaps you can look on Craig's List in turn for a used tank, gear>
From what I've read, most of the issues folks seem to have with smaller
aquariums and their aquatic life is inadequate filtering. The water temp is
currently at 74. Is this OK, until I can also purchase a heater?
In terms of the body redness, today it seems to be gone and the frogs do not
have other symptoms so I am unsure whether it is "red leg", an "opportunistic
bacterial infection", or stress related from the water changes and likely
<All of the above>
They seem quite depressed, yet have very good appetites, thankfully. Also, when
they first came home, the male would sing in the evenings. He no longer does
this but I am hopeful if there has not been too much internal damage, they might
resume healthy behaviors and even mate.
Please share any and all thoughts.
<The reading for now (and linked files above), then careful consideration of a
workable path. Bob Fenner>
Re: Inherited African Dwarf Frogs 8/16/15
Yes I have read the link (and about a hundred others on your website since
yesterday), hence my statement that I am looking to get them a filtered
The question that I had is if I do purchase a small tank (i.e.. 2.65 g), with
adequate filtration, will that be enough to give them a good quality of life
(with all of the other elements in place that keeping African dwarf frogs
Also you said, "all of the above"- do you believe they have a bacterial
infection, and red leg, despite not showing other symptoms as described when I
research these illnesses?
<Red leg symptomatically is linked.... to environmental issues, expressed BY
bacterial infection. They are interrelated is what I mean/t>
I am a bit confused by your catch all response.
<Clarity is pleasurable. Sorry for the confusion>
Craig's list is an excellent idea, thank you. Making my own set up is also an
<Ah yes; much of the gear used in "commercially made set ups" is inferior, and
not a good bargain>
Regarding having the time and means, taking care of dwarf frogs, from what I've
read is not extremely time consuming, nor expensive- one simply has to be
schooled on how to care for them and their needs. I am considering a "workable
path", which should be quite explicit.
<Correct; simply stating that it appears your time, attention is greatly in
Re: Inherited African Dwarf Frogs 8/16/15
Tonight my adf's were mating!
<Ah yes; you had mentioned the male "singing">
I had never watched it before so was quite fascinated. Although I've noticed two
things: My male's body looks very red all over (along with the very swollen and
protruding white glands under his forearms). Is the redness an evening thing, a
mating thing or my prior fear of some illness?
The female does not look red at all, although there is a pink patch under one of
her forearms that looks raw as though she rubbed it on something.
The second thing I noticed is during their attempted mating (which has happened
a total of three times tonight) the female's legs were crossed and her fins
moving slowly... they were at the bottom of the tank and I was unable to witness
her rise to the top as mating articles suggest. Each time she ended up spasming
quite hard and was able to throw the male off and
then quickly dart to the top herself for a breath of air. My main concern is
that if she is ill, perhaps she is unable to complete the ritual by swimming to
the top with him attached. But, what do I know. This is all quite new to me.
On another note, they absolutely love the earth worms my son caught for them and
I chopped up into small pieces.
I have fed them a few twice today and they swim right over to me when they see
me, mouths snapping open. I am confused as to their apparently otherwise healthy
behavior, if they do have an illness. If the pet store I attended last night had
tetracycline in stock, I likely would have begun administering it as per the
instructions. Luckily they did not. I am left quite unsure of how to proceed
with respects to treating our little ones for an illness, or hope that once
their habitat gets sorted out (water, pH, cleanliness, etc)
<Fix the environment first and foremost; no medications needed, advised>
everything will continue to go up for them health wise. Perhaps the apparent
redness was simply a stress reaction in their fragile bodies. Or, it is the
beginning stages of a fungal infection, as there seems to be very tiny white
spots on their bodies- although again, I have never studied dwarf frogs this
much and so intently, and scrutinized every single inch of their body so
thoroughly- it could be perfectly normal but I would not know. Frustrating
Any and all help clarifying would be greatly appreciated.
<I'd go on with your maintenance procedure, but changing only half at most of
the water at any time... for stored (for a week or more if you have the room,
containers); otherwise the plan for the better system. Bob Fenner>
Re: Inherited African Dwarf Frogs
How long does Amplexus usually last? Last night after my male (Hidey),
successfully mounted Oval (female) 3 times, he then proceeded to sing all
evening and late into the night and try to mount her (unsuccessfully) numerous
times. Right now, I just saw them mating again!
<Mmm; yes.... till... the "act is done", really>
Although still no egg laying at the top, simply him holding onto her and staying
quite still except for a few small swims and then throwing him off again. I just
checked and they are at it again. Is this normal behavior?
<Yes... am hoping with better care (system and nutrition), your frogs are mating
due to "times being good" (vs. bad; which can trigger as well). As with most all
dioecious species (the majority of life on the planet), the male (more motile
gametes) is "ready" to do their part, most all the time... a few days to answer
<And you, B>
Re: Inherited African Dwarf Frogs
Good morning Bob,
Yes you are quite right, my time and attention is in great demand but I
committed to providing a home for these little ones and I intend to.
Not to mention, we have grown quite fond of them. I also love the opportunity to
learn, and this has certainly opened my eyes to the intricacies of aquatic life.
<So very pleasurable>
Today, my little ones are swimming all about- do not seem depressed (hiding) as
they were earlier in the week. Thankfully the earth worms are proving to be a
success and do not muck up the water so I can leave them be for a few days! In
the 1g bowl they are currently in, how often should I change out the water and
how much of it at a time?
<Weekly... half if no filter, a quarter if so>
You mentioned not more than 50% and "for stored (for a week or more if you have
the room, containers);"- are you able to clarify a bit?
<Yes; more to change if water "becomes cloudy"; otherwise, the routine just
While at the pet store Friday I purchased a tap water conditioner (Nutrafin Aqua
plus) and a biological aquarium supplement (Nutrafin Cycle), both of which seem
to have improved the water quality at least for the short term.
The bottle recommends adding some each time I do a water change (but the
prescribed amount is for 10g tanks), would you recommend this also?
Shall I purchase a water tester kit (pH, ammonia, nitrates, etc)?
<If you can easily afford the ammonia, nitrite... yes>
Also, thank you kindly for getting back to me and helping to guide us through
this. In the very near future I will have a much better home for them (bigger
tank, filter, heater), but in the short term, I would like mitigate any harm as
much as possible.
<Certainly welcome. BobF>
Re: Inherited African Dwarf Frogs
I have to say, it is a real pleasure watching these two swim all around their
I understand now why they need more space than a tiny cube. I am now considering
trying to obtain a 5g tank if possible. They are mating constantly, swimming
most of the day and seem quite a bit different than the hiding pair I've had for
the last several weeks (we even named our male after the fact that he hid most
of the time- much more so than the female).
This weekend he has swam more than I've ever seen, and when still, struts his
body and opens his gullet in this comical way just before he makes his call. The
female tries desperately to get away from him it seems. At times she nudges him
with her nose, pushing her body just under his (it is so sweet to watch), and
other times virtually ignores him, swimming away as soon as he approaches.
I don't think they are suffering from a rampant bacterial infection but it
certainly has been a good wake up call to get to know these sweet little
amphibians (as well as opening my eyes to the awful shallowness of companies
that promote and sell tiny prisons-virtually death sentences like the cubed home
they came to me in). I am so glad that just as human bodies
begin to respond to environmental stress, similarly do frogs' (all creatures),
and it can be relatively easy to rectify if properly informed (which it seems
your site does well).
<We are in full agreement>
I appreciate the copious data the website provides and your personalized answers
to my queries.
<Y/our situation describes the very purpose we are about>
<Thank you for sharing. BobF>
Re: Inherited African Dwarf Frogs; sys., cycling
Since the last time we corresponded my ADF's mated, laid about 200 eggs
that turned into tadpoles, and about 50 have survived an entire month thus
I have purchased a ten gallon tank with all the riggings but need to cycle
it ASAP, as I we now have two more young ADF's. They (4) are very
overcrowded in their small fishbowl home. Is there a link to quick cycling
you can provide me.
as you will see, there are a few "roads to Rome" here. I would try a mix of
I also have aquarium bacteria that I purchased in the hopes it would speed
up the process- the back indicates, Instantly cycles new aquariums when
dosed as directed". Do you know if it works or is nothing more than a
<Some products are real, dependable.... others.... not so much. Look for
Dr. Tim's, read re other (real users) experiences on the Net>
<And you! Bob Fenner>
Omg my African dwarf
frog help 2/21/15Strange Swelling on Frog 12/9/13
So I have a 1.1 gallon tank with a mystery snail a male crown
tail Betta and an African dwarf frog his name is flippers.
<1.1 gallons is too small, too little water... his world is toxic, too
much pollution in too small a volume of water, killing him...>
He was all fine swimming around earlier but I just found him upside down
on the bottom of the tank so I scooped him put and put him in a tiny
container with new water and stuck it in the tank but not exposed to the
rest of the water just so he can get the heat from the light.
<Heat from a light? Hmm... how to explain... aquaria should be heated
with an aquarium heater. Many are sold, of different designs and to
different budgets. Angle-poise and other lamps with incandescent and
halogen bulbs may produce some heat (but LED essentially none and
fluorescents very little) but aren't strong enough to warm water evenly,
and certainly won't
do so at night when they're off (obviously). Using lamps for heating is
(a) dangerous because the lamp doesn't switch off if the water gets too
hot, resulting in very hot surface water compared to the too cold water
at the bottom; and (b) are inefficient, wasting you money because while
they produce some (unreliable) heat, some electricity is used to make
well, which you don't especially need. Do please understand what animals
need before buying them... giving pets names is nice, and I'm sure you
care for your pet animals in terms of affection, but animals honestly
don't give a rip about these niceties. Food, warmth, shelter and a safe
(non-toxic) living environment are what animals need and care about.>
The beta and snail are fine,
<For now. To be fair, Apple Snails are subtropical and do fine in
unheated tanks indoors. Bettas are tropical fish, and don't live long in
unheated tanks, unless you happen to live in Thailand or somewhere like
in fact my snail has grown a lot in the while I had him.
There's algae on my tank but I figured itd just a plant it wouldn't hurt
anything. The frog isn't skinny I see him eat the Betta pellets
and frog food.
<Not just dried/pellet foods though. I hope you add some live or frozen
(not freeze-dried) foods into the mix. Otherwise constipation, bloating
and more serious problems await you.>
What would cause him to go from alive and fine to dead with in like 8
hours. The tank is dirty with algae is that what killed him?
<The short (and blunt) answer is ignorance. The long (and kinder) answer
is that you got the environment wrong. I know, I know, "But he was just
fine for weeks/months and the guy in the fish store said that a 1-gallon
tank was all I needed." So let's start with the basics. The three
beasties you're keeping can be kept together with a bit of planning.
Some Bettas nip
at Apple Snails, but if yours doesn't, great. But while the Apple Snail
might be kept in 1-2 gallons (I have done so without problems), and some
people keep Bettas in this amount of water as well (but I would not),
the African Dwarf Frog is a much more sensitive animal and needs much
more space. Shall we say 4-5 gallons? Something along those lines
also need heat, lots of it. A steady 25 C/77 F, which is mostly easily
supplied by a traditional aquarium heater. You can buy alternatives,
such as under tank heating mats, but plain old aquarium heaters,
specifically, a 25 Watt one in your case, could be had for little money
and unlike the lamp, would last many years, would heat the water evenly,
and cost very little to run. Next up, you need a filter. Some folks
insist these aren't necessary for Bettas and frogs, but mostly those
people have dead Bettas
and dead frogs after as few weeks or months, so we can ignore their
For sure some people keep Bettas in jars, but they're breeders in heated
fish rooms who change 100% of the water every day. Not practical if
you're a casual hobbyist who just wants a pretty pet fish. Get a filter.
An air-powered sponge filter is all you need, and better than a small
internal canister filter. Don't get a hang-on-the-back filter because
these have an opening through which Bettas often jump and frogs almost
always escape, winding up as dried "carpet jerky" as we say in the
trade. ADFs and other aquatic amphibians should never, ever be kept in
open-topped tanks unless such tanks are only half filled. Seriously. The
risk of them jumping out is extremely high. So, we've covered aquarium
size, heating, what else...?
Basically, that's it, beyond varying the diet. Dried foods are all well
and good, but just like humans eating processed foods all day, these
concentrated foods do tend to cause constipation and worse. So mix
things up a bit. Frozen bloodworms you keep in the freezer are
convenient and work nicely, though a very few people (surely less than 1
in 100) seem to have a
slight allergy to bloodworms. You don't need to actually touch the
worms, just hold the package over the tank, push out a block from
behind, then return the package to the freezer. Wash your hands
afterwards though. A safer alternative to bloodworms is brine shrimps.
Again, you can get these frozen (or for that matter live) and because of
the hypersaline places
they're grown, these are probably the safest food you're likely to
encounter, including human foods! Does this all make sense? Cheers,
Re: Omg my African dwarf frog help.... & Apple/mystery snail beh. f'
Also, not as important. I read that snails have breathing tubes. On my
snail there's two little things like he has a moustache
<Sensory tentacles, a mix of touch and taste receptors, used to find out
about his environment.>
but earlier it stuck this giant tube out of the water and did a heave
<Breathing. Apple Snails breathe air using a lung as well as having
gills to extract oxygen from the water. Typically, the warmer the water,
the more they breathe air. Sometimes it's a clue they're stressed, so if
your Apple Snail does this a lot more than usual, first check water
temperature (is it too warm, much over 25C/77F) and then check water
quality (an ammonia or nitrite test kit is used for this).>
Whats going on?
<Biology. Cheers, Neale.>
re: Omg my African dwarf frog help 2/21/15
Im in central Texas.
<Ah, so too cold most of the time for tropical fish, at least at night.
For most tropical fish, 25 C/77 F is the baseline, possibly a little
warmer for a few (Bettas, Angels, Discus and Gouramis for example, which
are good up to 30 C/86 F, a little cooler for a few (Danios, Corydoras,
Platies and Neons, all happier around 22 C/72 F).>
And the snail is a mystery snail.
<Mystery Snails and Apple Snails are the same thing, for all practical
purposes (there's some debate about which Pomacea species is which, but
they're all much of a muchness so far as maintenance goes. Apple Snails
seems to be the more popular name at the moment, and refers to their big
shell (which can get apple-sized after a few years, though very few last
long as a year in aquaria for a variety of reasons). Mystery Snails is a
much older name, said to be because the baby snails (which are quite
big, and hatch from eggs laid above the waterline) appeared in ponds
seemingly out of nowhere. I recommend breeding them when you get the
chance. It's a lot of fun, and the babies are rather cute (for baby
I've only had the frog for a month or so and no one nips at anyone, I
don't have room for a much bigger tank.
<Could I suggest not keeping fish or frogs then? The Betta and the snail
you'll get away with, assuming scrupulous care on your part. How to be
clear on this? The smaller the volume of water, the faster temperature
changes, and the quicker dissolved wastes (such as ammonia) cause
problems. Tropical fish really shouldn't be kept in tanks smaller than,
gallons, simply because keeping them in smaller tanks is either unfair
to them (e.g., you can't keep enough schooling fish for them to be
happy) or else causes physiological stress as conditions go bad. Could I
further suggest having a read here:
You do have some options for tanks upwards of 4-5 gallons, but they are
very specific beasties, in some cases with very specific needs.>
It has an under gravel filter and it stays in the bathroom, which is the
warmest room in the house.
<Good and good, but do see above re: temperature. Warm to you might not
be warm to a fish from Thailand. The ADF is perhaps less fussy, and okay
around 22 C/72 F, but no colder. Apple Snails are fine at room
temperature, even in the UK, let alone Texas. Measure maximum and
minimum water temperatures across the day and night using a thermometer,
midday and again just when you're getting up and before lights/heating
come on. If these fall outside the range required by the animals you're
keeping, well, get a heater!>
And I never turned the tank light off.
<Yikes! African Dwarf Frogs are largely nocturnal. That's when they do a
lot of their feeding. Also, light period (hours of light vs. hours of
darkness) are important for the well-being of animals generally (keeping
humans in bright light 24/7 is pretty close to torture, and at the
least, disorienting after a while). Constant lighting will also cause
It really does keep tank warm. And its waaaaay better then the
unfiltered beta bowl that the fish was in for a while.
<Ever have those discussions as a kid about which would be better, be
hanged or having your head cut off? Perhaps just us Brits with our
bloody mediaeval history! In any case, improving on a Betta (rhyming
with "better", not "beater") bowl is nice, but doesn't quite "get you
into the medals" as they'd say in sporting events. Truly, heating and
filtration are both going to make your aquatic livestock significantly
healthier in the long run.>
But uh thanks for the info....
<Aim to please. Or at least inform.>
Question: there is possibly a 2 to 5 gallon tank in my garage..... can I
use the under gravel filter in that even though it won't cover all of
<Nope. Water flows through the line of least resistance. So if you don't
evenly cover the filter, the water will mostly go through the exposed
part of the filter plate because that's "easier" than going through the
bed of gravel. Make sense? Since gravel costs virtually nothing, a buck
or two should be sufficient for enough to cover the undergravel filter
No need to go to an aquarium store to buy their expensive gravel. So
long as its lime-free, not sharp, and you don't mind rinsing it
thoroughly, then gravel from a garden centre will be just as good and a
<Most welcome. Neale.>
Re: Omg my
African draw frog help
I bought testing strips
GH : 60
<Low general hardness. Not suitable for fish from hard water environments such
as Guppies, Mollies, Rainbowfish, Rift Valley cichlids, etc.>
KH : 80
<Low carbonate hardness. Look out for pH drops between water changes. Also,
animals with calcareous shells, such as snails and shrimps, may have a hard
time. Snail shells may develop distinctive pitting where the shell
PH : 7.5
NO^2 : 0
NO^3 : 25
Waiting for the thermometer a bit longer.
What do those levels mean.
Could they have killed my frog.
<Not directly. But variations in pH could. Nonetheless, some other cause seems
worth considering/more likely. Improper diet/insufficient food, for example.>
I cannot afford a bigger tank for another few weeks. So no more froggies until
I did however buy air stones to put in the filter tube... the pet shop guy said
it might put a little more oxygen.
<Sort of. But how they work is misunderstood. Airstones produce bubbles. As the
bubbles rise they pull water upwards. This creates a current that circulates
water from wherever the bubbles start (ideally, the very bottom of the tank) up
to the top. Oxygen actually gets into the water across the surface. Hardly any
gets in via bubbles. But splashing at the top of the water increases the surface
area a bit, increasing oxygen uptake. So while bubbles help, for best results
you want to make sure the bubbles are rising all the way up from the bottom of
the water column, not halfway down the tank or just below the surface.>
Should I return them or will they help anything for now?
<Aeration is always helpful. It's noisy though, so I prefer not to use it in
tanks where I want quiet, e.g., a bedroom. Better to not stock the tank too
heavily and/or rely on gentle ruffling of the water surface from an electric
Also bought something called a internal filter ceramic ring. It says it helps
maintain water quality by converting harmful waste into harmless compounds. What
do you think? Try or return?
<Do you mean ceramic rings or "noodles", less than a half-inch in length and
that you to stuff a bunch of them into a canister filter? These are certainly
useful. But just dumped in an aquarium they won't do much. They need to be in
the flow of oxygenated water to work. But an "internal filter ceramic ring" as
such, I've never heard of.>
Can you please tell me what the water quality strips numbers mean, whats normal.
How to fix if too high or low. The package wasn't very helpful.
<NH3, NO2 are ammonia and nitrite respectively. They must always be zero.
Anything above zero quickly becomes toxic and dangerous, 0.5 mg/l NH3 is lethal,
and 1.0 mg/l NO2 lethal. NO3 is nitrate. Adequate filtration and not
overstocking or overfeeding keep these at zero. Keep this as low as practical,
certainly below 40 mg/l, and the lower the better. Basically, water changes keep
this down. GH and KH are types of hardness, or dissolved
mineral content. In general terms, low levels of both is good for things like
tetras and barbs from soft water habitats, and high levels for things like
livebearers and Central American cichlids from hard water habitats.
The pH is the acidity of the water. Most community fish are fine between 6 and
8, so long as its steady, though soft water fish may not be happy above 7.5 and
hard water quickly get sick below 7.0. There's more to the numbers, as you can
find out here:
For your Betta, you're aiming for zero NH3 and NO2, a low NO3, a pH steady
somewhere between 6 and 8, and the two hardness levels aren't too important so
long as they're not extreme (your current values are fine).>
Thanks a bunches
<Most welcome. Neale.>
Re: Omg my African draw frog help
I still don't understand why the frog died.
<See previous emails; his environment was wrong. Something, sooner or
later, would have killed him. Too much light, not enough heat, wrong diet,
harassment by other livestock... impossible to say for sure what went wrong
in this instance. ADFs are somewhat delicate and easily starved. While
widely sold, most have a short life expectancy once they get shipped out to the
retailers and passed onto the average hobbyist. They aren't community "fish" and
don't do well in community tanks.>
The first snail I had died too.
I took it to the pet store they said he wasn't dead but minutes later his flap
thing fell off.
<Been dead a while, then. The flap is called an operculum, by the way. Dead
snails stink, so it's pretty obvious when they've joined the choir invisible.
Pains me to say this, again, but Apple Snails aren't that easy to keep alongside
other animals. Oddly enough, the frog would actually be a pretty good companion.
But the Betta is a bit hit and miss. Even slight damage to the snail can lead to
rapid, fatal infections.>
But it makes me worry because that snail only stayed on the pink castle I have.
The fish doesn't touch it the new snail has been on it but he likes the walls.
The frog would sit in it. Is there a possibility there Could Be lead paint?
<Virtually no possibility unless you've been opening up cans of 50-year-old
paint and using it inside the fish tank. Seriously, lead hasn't been used in
paint for a very long time. The number of aquarium fish killed by lead paint
this century is probably zero. On the other hand, the number of fish (and frogs)
killed by misunderstanding their basic needs is surely in the millions.>
Especially because it's pink. Do you know of that's even regulated in the us.
<No idea. But assuming the US has similar standards to the UK, then lead paint
isn't currently sold.>
How would I even test for that?
<No need. Do also bear in mind that lead paint doesn't suddenly kill people. It
builds up in the body, over years even, causing incremental problems. I think
you're really grasping at straws here with the paint!>
Cause I have no idea why they both died. Cause if the water was fine then what
was it? Could it really seriously be the tank is too small.
<Yes. Most of the fish deaths among casual hobbyists largely come down to the
size of the tank, overstocking, or lack of adequate filtration. Really is that
simple. Kind of like obesity in people. There might be some for whom there are
genetic or whatever explanations beyond their control, but for the vast majority
of people obesity comes from eating too much and
doing too little exercise.>
They're getting a bigger one anyways.
<Then it's an academic discussion. Review the needs of African Dwarf Frogs
(nocturnal, fussy feeders, easily damaged) and plan accordingly. They're
actually cute and rather loverly pets, the males even croak a bit in the
evenings, but they aren't "easy" pets. Doubtless much written online, as well as
here at WWM.
Re: Omg my African dwarf frog help
Ok so im going to get a bigger tank in a week or two when I get some
I saw this awesome 8 gallon bowfront tank for 45 dollars with
everything: filter, heater, hood, lights.
You are not in the US are you?
They don't teach us the conversions in school for money, measurements,
temperature, anything. It seems like everywhere else knows
<Kinda-sort of. If you can use Google, you can do conversions. Type in,
for example, "10 US gallons in litres" and you'll get the litres! It's
If I were to just put the snail in there (keep the Betta in his own
lonely tank) how many African dwarf frogs could I put?
<Half a dozen, at least. Maybe more. Allow about a gallon each, plus a
couple gallons for the Betta. You can pretty much ignore the snail so
long as it doesn't die (dead snails pollute tanks very quickly).>
What about a 5 or a 10 gallon tank? I am not ready for the idea of snail
babies, but tadpoles...yes, but i want to research first. Besides the
males croaking how do I tell what gender the frogs are?
<Males tend to be smaller and more slender/less chunky. They also have
small pink spots near the armpit but these can be difficult to see,
especially in youngsters.>
How do I tell a snails gender? Do you think the pet store people could
accurately tell me a frog or a snails gender?
<Not a chance. But if you get 6-8 frogs, you're bound to get a few males
Are frogs and snails about equivalent when it comes to how many I could
put in a tank?
Do you have any good links on info of African dwarf frog breeding?
<Go online and type "breeding" and "Hymenochirus" into your search
engine of choice.>
Can my Betta stay in the 1 gallon tank and be ok?
<Possibly, but see above. I do honestly recommend a larger, heated,
filtered tank for Bettas, at least, if you want his and your life to be
I found out that if I turn on the heating lamp in the bathroom where the
fish tank is and cover the tank with a towel the temperature is fine.
And that the tank light does keep the tank warm enough during the day
without the heating lamp. Im still upset I don't have a straight forward
cause of death for the frog.
<Indeed. But the problem with environmental stress is that the immediate
cause of death doesn't tell you much about what went wrong. For example,
a drunk driver crashes into a tree, the tree falls down and kills him.
The cause of death was a tree hitting him, but that wasn't the reason he
Thanks for all your help,
<Most welcome. Neale.>
Hello WWM Crew,
My name is Amanda and I have three ADF's
(two female, one male).
They live in a medium-size terrarium jar
water and river rocks (I realise this is less than ideal, but I don't
have the space for another aquarium.
<Hmm... is far from ideal. Do read:
Follow the links for more.>
I inherited these frogs from a family friend). Tonight I noticed
that one of my frogs has a large, round swelling right above her rear.
It doesn't have any discoloration, it matches her skin. It also
looks like it has a hole in the center, almost like a frog-colored
pimple. I know for certain that it was not present two days ago,
so it had to just pop up yesterday.
Immediately when I noticed it tonight I removed her from the communal
jar and put her in a different glass vase.
<Since the problem is likely bacterial, moving from one jar to another
is unlikely to help.>
But I noticed when I was trying to pick her up out of the jar some clear
jelly with brown flecks came out of the swelling. Are those eggs?
I don't remember ever hearing that frogs develop swellings like this
when they are about to lay eggs, but I'm certainly no expert. Also, when
I had her in my hand, I gently pressed on the swelling to see if it was
sensitive, but she didn't flinch at all so I assume that it's not
What does this sound like to you?
<Nothing antibiotics and transferral to a heated, filtered aquarium 5+
gallons in size won't fix.>
<Most welcome, Neale.>
re: Strange Swelling on Frog 12/9/13
Thank you, as always, for responding so promptly.
I have to be honest and say there is no way I can get an aquarium set up
I do not have the space in my room (where I am, have to keep them) or
money currently. Is there any kind of healthy alternative for me?
<Do try contacting your local/city aquarium club... often they can
either help by rehoming aquatic animals or else by providing at low/no
cost suitable equipment. Many big cities have such clubs... do look
here, for example...
Quite a few US clubs there.>
I do intend on getting an aquarium for all three of my frogs to be in,
but like I said I can't do it right now.
<Unfortunately nature isn't forgiving in this regard. Short term,
ensuring adequate temperature (around 77 F/25 C) and regular (10-20%
daily) water changes will go some way to helping.>
re: Strange Swelling on Frog 12/11/13
I talked over the aquarium situation with my mom, and we have decided to
put up the money to get one. I have included the link for a site
we looked on that are at least the minimum gallon requirement. Are
any of those suitable? Also, you had said that I should use
antibiotics for my frog. I have Maracyn plus and 2 (sorry if I
spelled that wrong). Is there something else I should use?
Thanks so much!
<Maracyn would be fine. Use as instructed on the bottle. Can be used in
combination, but Maracyn Plus should be ideal. In any case, the link
sent seemed to present a variety of fish tanks. Any of the tanks upwards
of 5 gallons will do, with 7-10 gallons being absolutely perfect.
Lighting is not essential (the frogs are actually quite shy in bright
light) but if you want plants as well, you'd need lights. A lid of some
sort is important though because these frogs can/do escape from open
tanks (if your tank lacks a lid, get a piece of glass cut slightly
bigger that the top of the tank and it'll work just fine and cost a
couple dollars). Filtration is important as well, but can be very
simple, an air-powered sponge or undergravel filter being absolutely
ideal (on eBay you can get generic sponge filters for another couple
dollars, but of course you'll need a little air pump too). Avoid
electric internal filters if possible (these frogs are weak swimmers and
sometimes get sucked into very strong pumps) but if you must use one,
choose a gentle one and set it to a low setting so there's no risk.
Hang-on-the-back filters can work, but bear in mind my warning that if
the frogs can escape, they will, and having an open gap at the top of
the tank for an HOB filter may be asking for trouble! Hope this helps,
re: Strange Swelling on Frog 12/12/13
Thanks so much! We'll get them all fixed up!
<Real good. Have fun, Neale.>
Red Feet/Safe Plants... for...?
I have three African Dwarf frogs that I keep in
well-water only in a medium-sized terrarium jar.
<Very far from ideal.>
Typically I am very adamant about changing their water as soon as it
begins to appear cloudy, but this week I was stupid and lazy and didn't
until it was really icky.
<A good reason why an aquarium with a simple filter, even one as small
as 5 gallons, would be an improvement. These little frogs are not messy
animals, and an air-powered filter does an excellent job keeping the
When I change them, I put them in a small vase with clean water to allow
them to swim and rinse themselves off. Usually it's only for
several hours, but I noticed one of my frogs were shedding so I left
them in there until it was done--this took two days. Tonight I was
letting them move around in our kitchen sink--we rinse it and put a
little well-water in the bottom--when I noticed one of them had red
So I picked him up and was holding him on a paper towel and saw his feet
are bleeding! :( What does this mean, and is there anything I can
Right now he's in the little vase in some clean water with a handful of
the river rocks we keep in the big jar.
<There's something called "Red Leg" in frogs that's often a death
It's an opportunistic infection that usually comes about when the frogs
have been physically damaged and/or kept in dirty water. There's an
excellent summary here:
Early on the infection can be treated, but once established it's very
difficult to cure.>
Also, we have an abundance of spider plants at our house, and we were
wondering if we could use one of those with the frogs. Are they
<Spider Plants (assuming you mean Chlorophytum comosum) aren't good
choices for aquatic frog habitats because Spider Plants do best in
free-draining soil, so don't like their roots being somewhere damp all
the time. Only a few houseplants really thrive in vivaria, mostly those
that like humidity.
Classic choices are Syngonium and Philodendron, which can be potted
above the waterline but will happily grow down to the water and may even
put a few leaves below the waterline without complaint. "Lucky Bamboo"
can do well with its roots in the water and the leaves above, but it's
very demanding about light, but brightly lit spots in the house may get
too hot for your frogs, so approach with caution. In any case, do an
online search references "vivaria" with "plants" and you'll find dozens
All this said, because Hymenochirus spp. frogs are fully aquatic, and
prefer floating plants best of all, a clump of Floating Indian Fern is
probably the best bet.>
Re: Red Feet/Safe Plants 5/16/13
I noticed today that the redness that was encompassing his feet has gone
down to mostly be in the webbing of the feet. I've noticed names
of various medicines that have been used or recommended, but for my
situation which would you recommend?
<Try a combination of Maracyn 1 and Maracyn 2; use as directed on the
Also, my mom and currently live with my grandparents--they do not like
animals, so I'm lucky to have my frogs and hermit crabs--and so our
current situation does not allow an aquarium for them since I already
have two for my crabs. We are working on getting our own house,
and we've already decided to get the frogs a nice, large aquarium with a
filter when that happens. And thank you for your plant advice.
We actually have a lot of spider plants that are in jars of water and
have been for months now, so that's why we were wondering if they could
be used for the frogs, but I'll certainly look into getting one of the
plants you recommended! :)
<Do start reading, planning:
…and follow the links. Cheers, Neale.>
Looking for advice, ADF care 4/3/13
Thank you for all the wonderful, informative info you have on your site.
It is priceless! I am another victim of Pet Smart's uneducated
sales people. We came home with two African Dwarf Frogs 10 days
ago, and already one is dead. After poring over your website I
realize now that we did not have a big enough tank (2.5 is what they
told me to buy), we should have bought a heater (they said I didn't need
one) and furthermore we are over feeding and not giving them a diverse
<Do need all these>
I think the poor guy had that Red Leg disease. Thanks to WWM I am making
the hour trip to Pet Smart tomorrow to buy a bigger tank, a heater, sand
(instead of the gravel they sold me) and to get 2 new frogs.
<Wait on the livestock until this system is aged a few weeks... Cycled.>
They are taking back the dead frog and the guy that is still holding on,
but doesn't look too good. So now for my questions: how
should I safely transport the frogs back and forth to the store and to
<In a plastic bag, with some water, and just atmosphere, not pure
oxygen... sealed w/ a rubber band, in a light and thermally insulated
container (like a cooler) if possible, rather than just a paper bag>
It is a solid hour drive between the two. I am afraid that is one
reason why my frogs were not so healthy when I got them home.
Also, I thought you should know that Pet Smart printed out a whole
pamphlet for me on ADF that they publish. It says that the frogs
need temps between 68 and 78 degrees ( you say higher)
and to feed them pellets
two times a day (I believe you say every other day and to switch between
pellets and brine shrimp).
<Meaty foods of some sort/s>
There was additional information on their pamphlet that contradicts what
you say on your website.
Thanks so much for your help,
<... Please do review what we have posted/archived re Hymenochirus
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Looking for advice, ADFs, uncycled sys.
Thank you so much for your reply. Mi know how busy you guys must be.
Unfortunately, I got the email after I already went to PetSmart and
bought a bigger tank, a heater, and one new frog to replace the dead
one. There was one surviving frog from my original 2, so I kept
Anyway, bought all the new stuff, had my water tested and brought the
frogs home. My water tested perfect for everything that
you say they need. We have a well and not town water so
no chlorine. But I had both the conditioned tank water tested and
water straight from the tap. They were basically the same.
Bought guys home, set up tank, thermometer, filter, etc, did not
condition water and voila. 24 hours later one guy seemed
very lethargic. He hardly moved from this spot right against the
heater. I was worried he'd be burned, but the PetSmart folks said
the heater was safe.
I moved him a bit and he rested on a plant, but again, very lethargic.
This morning, 36 hours after bringing them home, both ADF are dead.
I am horrified and being that I am working so hard on this, I just don't
understand what I've done wrong. Let alone that my son is going to
The first frog that died last week definitely had Red Leg. I
didn't notice that on these guys.
<.... this system is still not cycled; is NOT ready for livestocking...
Read re on WWM and where you've been referred. B>
Why is my ADF keeping it's head above water? Is it dying? Please help
<Could be a number of reasons; some good, some bad. Need to know more
about this frog's aquarium. Start by reading here:
Is the tank big enough? (At least 5 gallons.) Does it have a heater and
filter? (Needs both.) Cheers, Neale.>
Re: ADF 8/10/12
Neal, Thank you for getting back to me so quickly. The frog is in a
5-1/2 gallon tank with another frog.
<Just about adequate in size.>
There is no filter and no heater.
<Ah, now, both of these are problems. These frogs need a biological
filter and a source of warmth. A simple air-powered sponge filter and a
small (15 watt) heater will be all your need. Budget $30 or so, but you
may well be able to get these for less with some careful shopping
online, Craig's List, etc.>
It was my understanding when I purchased them, that both were not
necessary for the frogs to survive.
<Not the case.>
The other frog is doing fine.
I'm just worried about this guy making it. I know they do peculiar
things sometimes, so I'm hoping the frog is just having a relaxing day.
Any help you can give me will be appreciated.
<Read the article; act accordingly, making up any shortcomings between
what they NEED and what you HAVE. Medicating frogs this small is often
pointless, so prevention is the key to healthcare.>
help I'm desperate ADF in trouble, pls
hi, pls Im really desperate
<No need; you can search, read on WWM...>
I had to dwarf frogs; one died after an horrific week when he
wasn't eating and was all bloated but I couldn't find anybody
to help me. The second frog now is in the hide and doesn't want to
I bought them from Wildcreations. They came in a half gallon
tank with a hole on top, gravel two bamboo plants and a bag of
<Unsuitable environment... need steady heat,
They were there for like 2 years until this one died. I used to
take them out one at a time to feed them (two pellets twice a week).
After the first one died an online vet told me to change her to a one
gallon tank with a filter, but she hated it and remained hidden all day
long, so she told me to change her back to see if without the filter
she would come out and she did, but now she is hiding again and
doesn't want to eat her pellets.
Pls someone help!! is she depressed because of the other frog? is she
in the right tank (I know I cant put her in a big tank because of the
current the filter produces), I know she is not sick bec a vet looked
at her and told me she looks life suffering from a maladaptive syndrome
but she doesn't look physically sick, does she need another frog??
(I rather don't suffer like this again)
I would pay pls could anyone call me, my kid is suffering a lot with
this and don't know what to do
<Please read Neale's article re Hymenochirus:
and the linked files above. Your ADF may "just be old". Bob
Re: pls help im desperate ADF in trouble, pls++ <Not
i got her bloodworms and she loved them thank you!
<... please check your grammar>
only one more question if i use sand i cant have an undergravel filter
<... read where you were referred. BobF>
(this one seems to be the least disturbing) what kind of filter
would you advise me on using that produces the smallest
movement/disturbance for a one gall tank and one frog. Is it possible
to use water worn cobbles, instead of sand , those are smooth and wont
hurt them thank you for answering / any help
Re: pls help im desperate ADF in trouble, pls++
you are less willing to answer than my frog to eat. Thank you for your
very gramatically correct and perfectly useless
ADF Male In Trouble
For over a week my 2-year old male has stayed as much out of the water
as possible, by climbing up on plants in his tank.
<Trouble... what re water quality, tankmates? Data?>
He draws up his hind legs into a crouching position and struggles to
push half his upper body out of the water. He can swim down, and seemed
normal while swimming, but today
I noticed he has a very slight roll from side to side when hanging
still in the water. Although he does not swim down to eat food in a
dish on the bottom of the tank, he quickly went after food I dropped on
the surface near him. He is not swollen. Is it possible that there is a
I have successfully raised more than 20 of his offspring, now about 8
months old, with excellent advice from Neale, but this ADF's
behavior is both new to me and alarming. Thanks for any help you may
<... please read here:
and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/hymenochirus.htm
and the linked files above... for input and to see the types of info.
we need to help you. Bob Fenner>
Re: ADF Male In Trouble 2/9/12
My male ADF is the sole occupant in a plastic tank 6.5" x
6.5" x 10"long,
<Too small... to be stable>
smooth gravel bottom. No filter, no heater.
<Need both... did you read where you were referred?>
He has been in this tank for 2 years. His mate was injured during
amplexus, and died about 6 months ago.
Only Poland Spring water used,
<... not advised.>
partial water change approx weekly, more thorough cleaning about once
monthly, no gravel removed. Sometimes green algae on tank walls, washed
off when I see it.
Diet of Zoo Med's or ReptoMin frog pellets, sometimes Omega One
freeze-dried shrimp I partially pulverize, as it is usually too large
Temperature 74-77F degrees
Tetra Easy Strips:
Ammonia, using API salicylate-based ammonia test kit
0.25 I have never tried live food, so could that raise
Thanks for any help,
<... no sense. IF you won't read... B>
Re: ADF Male In Trouble 2/9/12
The word 'IF' in caps...does that mean that you are allowing
for the possibility that I DID read the material on proper care?
Many times in the last few years. That I am able to provide no better
care than I do, and still don't want to throw in the towel on this
little animal. So his health and his life are not stable.. neither are
mine, but what did you imagine I would do with your response? Nobody is
rushing in to adopt him. Do I just let him suffer, if that is what he
is doing? Flush him down the toilet?
<None of these I hope/trust>
When he and his mate started dining on the many tiny eggs they
produced, I made the huge mistake of rescuing the eggs. Bleeding-heart
liberal? The net was filled with doom and gloom ahead, but what choice
did I have? I raised them in an unstable environment, and I have a
kitchen counter filled with unstable tanks, with some 20 grown frogs
singing at night, playing, jumping around and heading towards what will
likely be a too brief but jolly sex life.
I live without a dog or cat, for the first time in my life, because I
know I cannot provide them with proper care. I never bought the frogs,
they were a non-returnable gift in a tiny little plastic tomb, and I
did the best I could. That is what I am trying to do now. I can accept
that you don't wish to hazard a suggestion about trying to deal
with my frog's current ailment, knowing as you do that in the long
or short term he won't have a long life, but your arrogant response
was unkind. Better to not answer me than to presume to chastise me.
<I presume nothing; nor believe in circumstance alone. Cheers,
Platy, ADFs in uncycled setting
Hello WWM! Thanks so much for your help in the past...but I've got
another question! I have a 5 gallon tank at my work
which has been running for 2 months with a single platy (she had a
friend, a molly, but i moved her to another tank about 1 month ago),
and everything was fine. 7 days ago I added 2 African dwarf
frogs. But, I made the mistake of changing the filter AND
vacuuming the gravel on the same day, which I now know was a
no-no. Now my nitrate and nitrite levels are off the
chart! I have been doing a 25% water change every day
and adding NovAqua's Ammonia Detoxifier every day for the past 5
days, however there is still no change in the nitrate/nitrite
levels. I have also cut back on their feeding, although not
entirely. I fear I have just started the cycling again, and my
question is: should i still be changing the water? or should i just let
the water rest and get going again? I don't want to cause any
unnecessary stress for my fish/frogs...what is your suggestion?
thanks again, sooo much!-Alisha
<Move this life to a cycled setting, and read here:
and the linked files above. Bob
African Dwarf Frog Very Low Ph
I was gifted a Brookstone Frog-O-Sphere two years ago.
<Death-traps... am often surprised that this co. would be engaged in
I'm an animal lover, and I've done my best to care for these
frogs, quickly realizing that the habitat provided was not an ideal
environment. I can't even get into the barbaric way the live frogs
were delivered to me, as it puts me into a blind rage. We've since
upgraded to a 2.5 gallon tank, which has five living plants in good
condition, and I've been using "living" substrate. The
aquarium heater keeps the tank at about 83 degrees,
<Mmm, a bit warm. Please read Neale's review here:
and the linked files above. I'd re-set the temp. to 77 F
although the heater is a recent addition (since I've noticed that
my frogs don't seem "happy"). Their diet varies every
other day between pellets and crickets. The nitrates measured at about
10ppm and the nitrite is 0. The ph is very low -- about 4.
<Yeeikes! What is the cause here? Is there a bit of driftwood
The tank has recently been cleaned. When I clean the tank, I keep about
1/3 existing water and add room temperature spring water.
<Spring water? A commercial product... not likely useful...>
The frogs have perked up since I've raised the tank temp (it was
around between 69 and 71F), but they are still not back to their
"old selves". I thought they may be droopy because the
weather is getting colder (and thus their tank temp was dropping) but
there must be something more. I have read that frogs are not overly
sensitive to PH,
<Not so... this pH is dangerous in a few ways... the reason/s
it's so low need to be discovered and dealt w/. What is the pH of
the source water?
Does it have any measurable alkalinity?>
but 4 seems very, very low. Can I raise this without damaging or over-
stressing the frogs?
<Yes... slowly... Read here:
and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwh2oquality.htm
and Neale's related articles on Hard/Soft water linked
Thank you in advance for you help.
<Do write back after reading if you're unclear re what to do.
Re: African Dwarf Frog Very Low Ph 1/12/12
Thank you for your response. I am currently out of test strips, so I
need to buy more. According to their website, the spring water I've
been using has a PH of about 6.3, so lower to begin with.
<Too low... and alkalinity? Likely low as well... Did you read where
you were referred?>
I have also recently raised
the tank temperature, so this may have added to the PH problem??
Could those two factors alone account for it?
I don't have any driftwood in the tank. The only thing other than
the plants and substrate are two rocks that came with the original
<These should be fine... not chemically/physically dangerous>
Do you recommend a particular heater?
<... yes... again, did you read?>
The one recommended to me at the pet store I cannot manually set a
specific temperature. The ones I've seen online will not fit
properly in my tank.
<There are some smaller units... Hydor, ZooMed... are two
If I add a buffering solution to the water that I add to the tank, will
that slowly correct the PH problem or am I too far gone?
<... my friend, I/we can't help you IF you won't read... DO
NOT pour chemicals for this directly in the system. READ where
you've been referred.
If my tap water has an appropriate PH, will using this instead of the
spring water over time be enough to solve the problem?
I also saw in the pages you linked that I could use coral substrate,
but then when I looked at online retailers, it warned me that it's
a product for salt water aquariums only. My apologies in my confusion
as I am trying to dig back in my brain and remember some high school
Again, many thanks,
African Dwarf Tadpoles Dying - Large White Blisters
My first time trying to raise tadpoles, I didn't know enough, but
the test strips for nitrates, nitrites, etc. were OK.
<Do need the numbers here. You're aiming for 0 nitrite. Nitrate
not critical, but less than 50 mg/l. Water chemistry not critical
either, but shouldn't be extreme; 5-20 degrees dH, pH 6-8.>
I finally tested for ammonia, and the level was off the chart.
<And why your frogs are sick. If you have zero nitrite and nitrate
but high ammonia, that means biological filtration isn't happening
in your aquarium.
The waste from the frogs is simply accumulating in the water. In
theory, biological filters take between 4-6 weeks to mature. Ideally,
you add an ammonia source (like daily pinches of flake food) to start
up the process and wait for 4 weeks before you add livestock. But if
you add fish or frogs from day 1, you need to do daily water changes,
20% or so, for at least the first three weeks to keep ammonia below 0.5
mg/l; any higher than that, and livestock will quickly sicken and
I've changed the water every day, and got the level down, but not
zero. I also had too many tads in the tank, and have rectified
<How big is the aquarium?>
The tads have a white blister on the underside. Is it a burn from
<Could well be. Or more specifically, stress, which leads to
bacterial infection, which ends up with the dead white skin you can
They have difficulty staying right-side up and die just about when the
tail has disappeared.
<Yes; bacterial infections work this way.>
It's devastating, because my ignorance is responsible.
I put 2 tads in clean, ammonia -free dishes, one to a dish, and
although they eat, and have lived for about a week, they do not seem to
Whenever they are upside down, I turn them over. Hopeless. I put
MicroLift treated water in the aquarium with the remaining tads once,
and will continue, but the problem remains so far. What, if anything,
should I do?
The pet store clerk told me that the tads can't take any
<Do read here:
Do also read here:
You can medicate with antibiotics for secondary infections; see
But in your case, do suspect environment is the primary issue here, and
if you fix that, remaining healthy frogs should stay in good shape.
Re: African Dwarf Tadpoles Dying - Large White Blisters
Nitrate 0, nitrite slightly lower than 3, GH 25, KH little less than
40, PH 6.2, chlorine 0, ammonia .5, one hour after feeding and before
water change since yesterday
<I'm assuming the general and carbonate hardness measurements
are in mg/l rather than degrees dH or degrees KH. Water is a bit soft
and acidic; for best results, you want medium hard, around neutral
water chemistry. Don't dramatically change things all in one fell
swoop, but do read here:
The Rift Valley salt mix, used at about 25-50% the recommended dosage
will go a long way towards improving water chemistry.>
<As stated before, this isn't good. Up to 0.5 mg/l will be
tolerate for a few weeks while cycling the tank, but even levels above
0 are toxic.>
Aquaria are four separate plastic containers, each about 1 gallon,
nothing on bottom, 4-5 tads in each now
<Rather small; would sooner have one tank, filtered with a sponge,
than lots of small tanks I was keeping clean through water
Read your links, the best and most concise information I've found.
I raised an African clawed frog who lived and sang nightly for about 5
years, and died of bloat, and I wish I'd known more then. Many
thanks for your advice and rapid reply,
<Glad to help, and wishing you good luck. Cheers,
African Dwarf Frogs questions! Hlth., sys.
I came upon your site when researching ADFs online. My boys each
received 2 from Brookstone (I know...Yikes) in December 2009. They
lived in their tiny tanks eating their pellets and seemed to be doing
fine. On Thursday, my son accidentally knocked over his dresser and
sent the tank flying. We managed to get the two frogs and put them into
his brother's tank. (I know you are cringing right now, based on
how obscenely small those tanks are-- I had no idea until recently.)
That evening we went to a local pet store and got a new tank. It's
a Betta tank with a filter and light. We got new gravel, a cave like
stone for hiding, a Nerite snail, and drops to treat the tap water.
<Do make sure these "drops" treat for Chloramine (not just
chlorine)... important and apropos to your situation below>
I put the frogs in the new tank and that night they were more active
than ever. They seemed to have calmed down since then. I have been
feeding them more based on what I have read about the 2 pellet regime
being a starvation diet. This morning (Sunday) the snail was floating
at the top of the tank. This evening we noticed one of the frogs had
died. He was on his back at the bottom of the tank, unmoving. When I
removed him from the tank he remained completely still. I thought they
would float to the top when they died. My son was devastated and thinks
one of the other frogs was eating his food. I decided to change the
water and put the 3 frogs in a bowl. They each moved when I transferred
them but were pretty still in the bowl.
<Mmm... the sanitizer, Chloramine...>
I put a few pellets in to see if they would eat and they didn't.
When I changed the water I used the drops and made sure the temp was
between 75-85 degrees. What do you think is wrong?
<See above... this and the fact that this system is not likely
Here they were "fine" in the awful Brookstone tank, and I
move them to a better environment and they seem to be failing. Please
let me know if you have any advice before the next three die!!
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/FrogsArtNeale.htm
And use the search tool (on the left border) to look up re cycling,
Dechloramination... Oh, and do write back if you have further
questions. Bob Fenner>
HELP!! caring for "classroom" DAF's -
need new environment ASAP!! 1/3/11
I have taken home two DAF's from my son's classroom that have
been housed in a small 6x6 acrylic tank for almost 3 months!! I would
like to change them out to a bigger 3-5 gallon tank ASAP but need to
know how to best (and most cheaply) do it as no one else will, and I
have limited resources. I have filled two plastic jugs with tap water
and let them sit out for 2 days - do I need to add a dechlorinator?
test the water? at what rate should I water change? I am hoping they
survive - they are obviously not very active since the tank is so small
but I do not want to jeopardize their health any further by doing the
wrong thing!! Also, the classroom gets cold at times and I am very
surprised they have lived this long - please advise!!! I appreciate any
<Hello Kim. I assume you're talking about Dwarf African Frogs.
Like you, I'm surprised these animals have survived so long. But
like the Russian guy who lived to be 150 drinking nothing by vodka and
eating nothing by pig fat, just because the surprising happens,
doesn't make it something that works reliably or will continue to
work even in this case. So please start by reading here:
At minimum, you need a 5 gallon tank with a small filter (an
air-powered sponge filter is ideal) and a small heater (25-50 W is
likely to be ample).
If you home doesn't get colder than 22 C/72 F, you might not even
need a heater. But these are tropical animals and their lifespan in
cooler conditions will be far reduced, and watching them die from
stress-related diseases such as Red Leg will break your heart. Their
lack of activity is surely down to them being so cold. Water
needn't be sat aside for a day or two, but you should add water
conditioner -- which does more than remove chlorine. Change 10-25% a
week, depending on how dirty the tank gets. If you can't provide
them with everything they need, do call a local aquarium club (most big
cities have one) or perhaps an aquarium shop to see if you can find
these little chaps a new home. Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: HELP!! caring for "classroom" DAF's - need
new environment ASAP!! 1/3/11
Neale - Thanks for the advice - Unfortunately the frogs are not mine to
give away but I am hoping if I return them in the right env. with the
right advice I can get them moving in the right direction - if not, I
recommend they do as you suggested!
<By all means have the school e-mail us if they need help. We
volunteer here specifically to help people keep their aquatic pets
better, and while we might get a bit snappy when people are willfully
ignorant or just plain callous, we're mostly nice guys and gals
happy to help. Good luck with what you're trying to do here.
ADFs disease unidentified 11/17/10
Hi - university student here keeping 2 ADFs in 0.75 gallon tank live
plants no heater. Don't know exact numbers for nitrates etc. but I
do dechlorify the water and feed them frog pellets. No filter... I
change the water weekly. No roommates for the frogs, just the two of
them. I know, I know, those are not ideal conditions... I've had
them since the start of the semester (beginning of Sept) and one just
died today. Promptly removed the corpse and changed water fully. I got
a new pal for the still-living frog so he wouldn't be lonely. After
finishing the new home examined the corpse.
Kinda pale, beige-grey film all over - same type of film as was
floating perpetually on top of the water. Belly was disturbingly soft
and you could see green inside as well as very dark in the pelvic
region under the skin. He hadn't been eating too well for 2-3 days
prior. Then again they don't seem to notice the pellets that well.
I've been trying to introduce fish flakes with the highest protein
content I could find. What the heck could this be?? Haven't found
anything matching these symptoms. Is my second frog in danger, and is
my brand-new frog in danger? Anything I can do to prevent this?? Or
should I give up on ADFs at university despite my love of frogs (also
have had them since elementary school... figured being at school
would be a bit harder but still doable... maybe not). Thanks for any
and all answers you can provide
<Hello Hallie. Your tank is too small and almost certainly too cold.
Water changes don't remove the necessity of a biological filter. Because you're exposing these frogs to lethal conditions,
they're weakening through a combination of stress, poisoning,
compromised immune system and inadequate digestion of their food. All
your frogs will die before long. Do read the following from top to
bottom, and then go out and buy the 6+ gallon aquarium, heater, and
air-powered filter as stated.
There's nothing mysterious about what's happening to your
frogs; what you're seeing is absolutely predictable and typical of
Hymenochirus maintained in small, unheated, unfiltered conditions. Hope
Re: Tadpole nursery... re pH, Alk... hardness...
Good afternoon/evening Neale,
<Hello again Diana,>
I have been having lovely luck with my tank since we last traded
e-mails, my two adult frogs are doing great and my one surviving
tadpole has blossomed into a full fledged frog named Spike.
Performing my weekly water changes and feeding frozen brine
shrimp or blood worms every other day. However, two days ago two
of my cherry shrimp kicked the bucket leaving me with one female
cherry, one male, and four
Tested my water today before my usual Sunday water change and the
ammonia was off the charts high (somewhere between 4.0 and 8.0)
and the Ph was off the charts low (between 6.0 and 6.4).
My usual Ph out of the tap is around 7.6. Nitrates are 0 temp is
around 75-78 as the weather has been warm.
All frogs are accounted for but my shrimp go missing on a regular
basis, hiding among the plants.
They usually reappear at some point so I never worry much.
<Me neither. I often find gaggles of them hidden inside
filters or behind ornaments.>
That being said, I have only been able to account for 3 small
Amanos and 1 female cherry over the last few days which means the
big amano and the little boy cherry are missing. I have a feeling
that they may have died as well and are hidden among the plants.
If this is the case could it cause the ammonia spike?
<Possibly, but a single dead shrimp shouldn't overly tax a
biological filter, so I'd be open minded on this. Do the
usual things first. Check the filter is working properly. That
the air pump is bubbling nicely, and that there's nothing
blocking any air pipes. Use a pencil or chopstick to root around
the plants a little, and see that there isn't a dead fish or
lump of uneaten food sitting there. Plant roots keep gravel
clean, but any gravel more than an inch or two from the plants
should be gently raked down to a depth of about half an inch.
Take out the filter sponge or ceramic noodles and gently rinse
them in a bucket of aquarium water -- or, lukewarm water no
hotter than the aquarium but not much colder either.>
And, what could cause the Ph to crash?
<Check the carbonate hardness. If it is very low, less than 3
degrees KH, you might want to add some of the Rift Valley salt
mix at 0.25 to 0.5 the usual dose for Rift Valley cichlids. If
you have Platies, Frogs and Shrimps, they all like high carbonate
hardness so this is a low-risk, low-cost strategy. Do also
All aquaria experience pH drops between water changes; what
limits those pH drops is the buffering capacity of the water,
normally carbonate hardness, but you can also use commercial pH
buffers. For Platies, Frogs and Shrimps, the aim is a pH around
My tank is pretty heavily planted with Java Fern, moss wrapped
bog wood and grass; the plants are very full and bushy making it
virtually impossible to see what is going on underneath it
Should I pull everything apart to find everyone or should I
closely monitor the tanks chemistry, up the frequency of water
changes and let nature take its course with anything that has
<Oh, I wouldn't uproot anything, but a stick of some sort
can be used to stir the leaves a bit.>
I have included a picture of my tank to help you envision my
I did a 50% water change and ammonia is showing 0 and Ph is
<Is rather low for frogs, Platies and shrimps.>
Thanks for your constant support,
Re: Tadpole nursery///
Good Morning Neale,
<It's about quarter to seven PM here -- but thanks
OY!!! KH is 1 degree!
two small Amanos dead this morning. I am down to 1 cherry, 1
amano, three frogs and a gaggle of snails. Ammonia is back to
0.25 Ph is down to 6.4.
Filter operating properly, rinsed ceramic media yesterday, will
rinse sponge today.
<Right, now, when water is this soft and this acidic, your
biological filter is going to work less and less reliably. At
about pH 6 biological filtration usually stops
So, it is clear that I need to raise the Ph and increase KH.
I see your recipe for the rift valley salt mix but I also happen
to have a bottle of Nutrafin African Cichlid Conditioner - can I
Each dose provides 20mg/L (ppm) as CaCO, or by 1 percent of GH.
Guessing I should raise the hardness and Ph slowly over a few
days...what is the best way to do this?
<General hardness and carbonate hardness are different. Think
of them as the way both "volts" and "amps"
are about electricity, but different aspects. General hardness
has little/no impact on buffering. Carbonate hardness is what you
Dosing instructions on the bottle are 5mL per 10 US gal, my tank
is 5 gal so I should use 1/4 of the half dose (I'm not sure I
can even get my head around computing that!)?
<Here's an idea. Go buy a 5 gallon bucket with a lid. Make
up some dechlorinated tap water, and then add the amount of Rift
Valley cichlid salt mix -- or at least the sodium bicarbonate --
needed to raise the carbonate hardness to 3-4 degrees dH. You can
then use that water for water changes across the next few weeks.
As/when you need more, you can make some more up. Does that make
And, how do I maintain this stability during water changes?
<Do 25% water change today and then daily for the next 3-4
days. That should level things off.>
If I change 50% of the water on a weekly basis would I simply add
a 1/2 dose of the salt mix to the replacement tank water?
<Yes, but once settled down I'd only be doing 25% changes
weekly unless the tank got really messy.>
Thanks Neale. Once again I am finding myself in an unenviable
<The sudden pH drop and resultant death of fish is actually
This is why "old hands" like me tend to focus on
carbonate hardness rather than general hardness.>
Re: Tadpole nursery... Hey, look at me!
Thank you. Yes, your big bucket of rift valley salt mix makes
perfect sense. I'll whip up the recipe this evening and begin
treating immediately and continue over the next few days. Thank
<My pleasure. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Tadpole nursery... now reading in Nova Scotia... Good
I just re-read the salt solution recipe and I want to clarify
that I am understanding you correctly. My tank has only snails,
ADFs and shrimp - no fish.
If I prepare this solution in a 5 gallon bucket should I mix it
at 50% (1/2 teaspoon soda and aquarium salt, 1/2 tablespoon
Epsom) and than add that after a 25% water change? And, will my
frogs tolerate the salt?
<Yes, this will be fine for the frogs. It's really a
trivially small amount of salt.>
Clearly Chemistry is not my strongest subject!
Re: Tadpole nursery... Monty Python future skit
Okay thanks! Off to buy a bucket and some Marine salt.
<Cool. At a pinch, non-iodised (e.g., Kosher) sea salt will do
Re: Tadpole nursery... no, really
Good to know! Thanks.
<Most welcome. Cheers, Neale.>
Platy, Molly and Frog in 1.5 gallons; ooh, surprise,
they're dying! 6/1/10
I'm really quite new to this owning frogs and fish business.
<Indeed. Do read.
Do a degree, most problems come with keeping the wrong fish in the
wrong-sized aquarium in the wrong set of environmental
I have two African Dwarf Frogs, a Sunburst Wag Platy, and a Dalmatian
<Mollies are not really compatible with these other animals. While
Dwarf Frogs and Platies should get along fine provided the water
isn't too warm, Mollies need much warmer water and typically need
slightly saline conditions.
If you have hard water and keep the aquarium water very clean -- by
which I mean 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and less than 20 mg/l nitrate -- the
Molly may be okay. But it's difficult to predict.>
I've only had them for a couple weeks but the very next day after I
clean the tank (1.5 gallon)
<Far too small; these animals WILL die in there. The frogs may be
viable in 5 gallons, the Platies need at least 15 gallons, and the
Mollies 20 gallons+. It's not just about swimming space, though
that's important; it's also about social behaviour and their
sensitivity to changes in water quality and water chemistry. Very small
containers of water expose livestock to constant changes in conditions,
and inevitably this leads to death. Me telling you anything else is a
total waste of time unless you upgrade this aquarium to at least 20
it gets cloudy and this white, cloudy, cotton like weird stuff forms at
the bottom of my tank.
<Fungus and bacteria consuming organic waste, essentially doing the
same thing as mould on bad cheese.>
I have no idea what this is and it spreads really fast.
<Because the aquarium is too small, overstocked, and
Within two days the water in my tank is so bad I can't see through
to the other side and I think the nastiness of this mystery substance
killed my other Sunburst Wag Platy, though I'm not too sure.
<You are wrong. Rather, the death of the Platy and the appearance of
the white mould in the aquarium are both symptoms of the same problem:
this 'aquarium' is far too small.>
I change the filter often.
<Meaning? Do you understand that filter media needs to be cleaned,
not replaced, and that it takes 6 weeks for cycling to take place
before the filter can effectively remove ammonia? Furthermore, in a
tank this small, no amount of filtration will save the fish.>
I've tried using a product called Clear Fast by Nutrafin which says
it is supposed to make a difference in the water within 3 hours.
I've never seen a change for the better.
<Indeed not; you've replace lack of knowledge with blind faith
in marketing. The Capitalist Way perhaps, but not particularly
Also upon reading the question/answers I've seen some people say
they only feed their fish every other day.
<Depends on the fish. Frogs need not be fed every singly day, but
Platies certainly should receive a small meal of algae-based flake food
once or twice per day. Problem is, in a tank much smaller than 15
gallons, any amount of feeding Platies properly will overload the
Am I not supposed to feed mine every day? I feed my frogs little foggy
bites from HBH (though they don't often eat that, they do eat the
fish flakes). Is that bad?
<Least of your problems.>
Thanks for your time,
<You need to do some serious reading. You ARE killing these animals
through ignorance of their basic requirements. Hope this helps.
ADF hlth., env. 2/15/10
We have an African Dwarf frog (after doing reading, I am not sure if it
is claw or not because its front feet are white, kind of like mitten,
turned backwards, and look kind of atrophied, and moving around in the
of the 10 gal tank.. I don't see any signs on the angel fish or
<If the toes have fallen off, as sounds the case here, the problem
is likely bacterial infection, essentially gangrene. You often see
similar things on catfish where their whiskers are eroded away. It used
to be said sharp gravel was the cause, but while that may exacerbate
the situation, the direct cause does seem to be dirty gravel, and the
bacteria therein. In tanks with poor water flow at the bottom of the
tank bacteria can spread from decaying organic matter onto fish or
frogs resting on the bottom, and catfish whiskers and frog toes do seem
particularly vulnerable. So, if you have some Corydoras in there, do
look at their whiskers. On healthy Corydoras, the whiskers are very
long, around 1 cm/about half an inch in the larger species. Corydoras
that have suffered from "whisker rot" have
short, stubby whiskers that only extend a couple of mm from the
History: We have had him for about 8-10 yrs and he has lived in the
same aquarium with catfish, tetras, Plecostomus, shrimp, and other
I fed him bloodworms.
<Bloodworms are fine, but shouldn't be the only food items
offered. At the very least, offer a variety of suitable small
wet-frozen foods, or augment with commercial frog pellets.>
A few months ago my husband replaced some died-off fish with an angel
fish he always wanted. He feeds the tank TetraColor tropical flakes and
TetraColor tropical granules. Since the frog looked fed all the time (I
had fed him only when he looked skinny and until he was full and that
worked for the 6-8 yrs), I no longer feed him.
A few days ago, I cleaned the tank by stirring up the gravel and taking
out much of the dirty water. I checked the pH and it was okay. Today we
put him in a separate tank with medicine for Ick. Is that a good
Questions: Are the flakes and granules foods above the correct foods
for the frog? Will they do him any harm?
<I recommend offering a variety of foods, rather than just one
Pellet and flake foods are good in terms of energy and vitamins, but
they lack fibre, and do tend to cause constipation if used all the
time. So just as with our own diet, offering pet animals a variety is
the best approach.>
Do the water conditioners do the same job as the pH up and pH down?
<No. There's no reason casual fishkeepers should be using pH up
or pH down products at all, and the fact you don't know the
difference sets of all kinds of alarm bells! I'm not being mean by
saying this, but rather stating a very important rule: if you don't
understand water chemistry, then you shouldn't be changing it.
Frogs do best in neutral to slightly basic, moderately hard water. In
other words, between pH 7 and 8, and around 10 degrees dH. Avoid soft
water and acidic water. If you have hard water coming out of your taps,
as is certainly very commonly the case here in England, then all you
need is dechlorinator to make that water perfect for frogs. Don't
use softened water, distilled water, or pH down products
What do we do to clean up the what appears to be a fungus, is that
correct, on his feet?
<Use an amphibian-safe anti-fungal medication such as Mardel MarOxy
if you suspect Fungus (which looks like white cotton threads). But do
be aware of Red Leg, a very dangerous bacterial infection. If you use
carbon, remove from the filter while treating. Read here:
My guess is the substrate is dirty and your aquarium has poor water
flow along the bottom.>
The other tank inhabitants appear to be fine.
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>
African Dwarf Frog, lonely? 4/8/09
I am hoping you will be able to help with all of your combined
<Do our best.>
I've had a little African dwarf frog for about two weeks and
he's become lethargic the past four days or so.
<Hymenochirus spp. are quite sensitive animals, and rather more
difficult to maintain than the subtropical Xenopus many of us will have
seen at school or in labs.>
He lives alone in a one gallon tank and I am wondering if he is lonely.
Is that a possibility?
<Not lonely, no. But could be suffering from lack of swimming space,
poor water quality, inadequate water temperature, or any of the myriad
other problems that occur when trying to keep frogs (or fish) in what
basically jam jars. Minimum sensible tank size for this species is 5
He seems in good condition physically, no wounds or sores. And he has
shed his skin once already.
He's been fed HBH pellets, as he didn't do so well with frozen
and dried bloodworms which did not sink and he was unable to find.
His appetite isn't great, he eats about two pellets every day. Some
of the information I've read seems to think that is normal, so I am
not too worried about that.
<It is true that they aren't "big" eaters. That said,
pellets aren't the best staple, and you'll have best results
using (wet) frozen bloodworms, thawed out before use. Feed enough for
the frog to be gently rounded but
not swollen after eating. Freeze-dried food is as good as useless
frankly, being both massively overpriced and also prone to causing
constipation. No idea why anyone buys the stuff.>
The water temperature is around 70-72 and I've treated the water
(which I let sit out over-night) with dechlorinator which also includes
some protection for the skin.
<Too cold. These are tropical frogs, and should be maintained around
25 C/77 F. A heater is mandatory, unless of course you happen to live
in equatorial Africa!>
I've also provided him with plenty of hiding spaces and he's
not too far away from the surface to reach the air.
So my concern is that he hasn't been swimming around much or active
like he was for the first week.
<Most of these dwarf frogs quickly die because people buy them
without supplying the right environmental conditions.>
I did change 25% of the water (and cleaned the rocks since there was
excess food from me trying to figure out how much he would be
He just seems uncomfortable and a little unhappy. He does not respond
like he used to, and he doesn't seem to be afraid of being scooped
up by the net like he was initially.
Any ideas or thoughts?
<Use a bigger, heated tank. Make sure it is filtered. Do 25% water
changes weekly. Use (wet) frozen and live foods every other day.
Provided you do all these things, he should recover quickly. If not,
doomed. Hope this clears things up, Neale.>
Re: African Dwarf Frog, lonely? 4/9/09
Thank you very much, Neale.
<You're welcome, Erin.>
The thawed, frozen bloodworms are hard for him to find since they
don't sink, even when I put them in with a turkey baster. Any other
Something live maybe?
<Live bloodworms will certainly be eaten. But frozen bloodworms
should sink (the ones I use usually do) but do try stirring briskly to
remove any air bubbles trapped in their bodies. If that doesn't
help, switch to a
different brand. Most people find frozen bloodworms work well, so
I'm surprised you've had this problem.>
I had read in a number of places that one gallon was plenty for ADFs
and that they were one of the few aquatic animals that would be happy
in a small tank.
<A lot of people underestimate the amount of space fish, frogs and
turtles require, and you'll see many, many messages here about
problems people have had ultimately caused by this critical error.
One-gallon tanks are difficult to heat and filter properly, and the
small volume of water will be very susceptible to sudden pH and
temperature changes. These can stress livestock severely, potentially
kill them. A five-gallon tank is a good minimum size for these frogs,
and would certainly allow you the potential to keep, say, three
specimens without worrying too much about water quality issues.>
It makes me very sad to think that I've caused him harm by keeping
him in a home that is too small. Most of the "experts" I
spoke with said the home I gave him should be perfect.
<Were the experts selling you anything? Advice from pet stores can
often be somewhat biased in terms of making a sale. As always, advice
collected online from web pages and forums should be viewed with a
I will take one of the plants out and give him more space to swim while
I work on upgrading his habitat.
Re: African Dwarf Frog, lonely? 4/9/09
No, they weren't trying to sell me anything, the bowl with all the
stuff to go inside was a gift from my little cousins, so I felt
obligated to use it.
<Ah, I see. A thoughtful gift, but as is often pointed out, pets
aren't the best presents because of the responsibility and expense
often associated with them.>
So, I researched what could live in it comfortably... talk about
<Perhaps... but I hope you'll see an upgrade to the environment
as an investment, and in the long term will derive pleasure from these
I sincerely thank you for all of the advice, and I'm sure
"Sunny", the ADF, feels the same way. You've been a great
<Happy to help. Good luck, Neale.>
African Frogs Died 11/01/06 Hi, I had three African Dwarf
Frogs, they just died. They were fine last night and when I returned
from work today they were are all the bottom of the tank covered in
some sort of grey mold. < This is a fungus that feeds on dead
tissue.> I checked the pH of the water and it was neutral. About a
month ago, I introduced a fourth frog and two weeks ago, I noticed it
was missing. I still haven't found the fourth frog. I was just
curious if you had any idea as to what this could be or why they may
have died. Thanks, Clio < The fourth frog probably jumped out on is
dried up on the floor somewhere. The others probably died from poor
water quality. Frogs don't really care about pH, but the are
sensitive to poor water quality such as water with high nitrogenous
waste. Check the ammonia, nitrites and especially the
Filter blues, ADF... Sys., hlth.
6/13/07 Hi <Ave.> I bought an ADF a couple of weeks ago from
the local PetSmart and named him Lego. <OK.> I set up the tank,
researched what he needed, took out the filter the tank came with since
it produced a tank wide strong current, bought some frog and tadpole
bites, and put in plants and a pot for him to hide in. <You bought
the frog before researching the pet? Not good.> Everything seemed to
be going good except I wasn't sure he was eating the bites. <No
surprise there. These animals really aren't wild about dried foods.
Sure, they'll eat them eventually, but not with much enthusiasm,
and in the case of small animals like African Dwarf Frogs the damage
through starvation may well be done by then. Almost without exception,
new reptiles and amphibians (and oddball fish) do best given live or
"wet" frozen foods first. Once eating, wean them onto dry
alternatives.> After looking it up online, I went to the petstore
and bought freeze dried bloodworms. <Never yet met an animal that
ate freeze dried anything. I'm told some people have good luck with
them, but honestly, in 20+ years of fishkeeping they've always been
a waste of money in my experience.> They floated which I read that
ADF's don't go to the surface for food and sure enough he
didn't eat a single one. <Quelle surprise.> The pet store
didn't have frozen any type of food, so I went back to the bites.
One day I did catch him eating some and after that the bites I put in
would disappear so I didn't worry to much about it. <Well, OK,
that's promising I suppose.> After seeing on various websites
that a whisper filter would be the best for him, I went back to the
store yesterday and picked one up. I installed the pump and added some
water to the tank that I already had prepared a while ago so that the
water level was high enough for the pump. When I first came home from
the store, Lego was laying on a leaf at the surface but he had done
this before so I didn't think twice about it. However, after
putting in the pump he started going up for air over and over again.
<This usually means the water quality has plummeted. Tell me, did
you mature the filter in any way before adding the frog? Are you
measuring the nitrite or ammonia levels? How much and how often are you
performing water changes? What about temperature? These are tropical
animals, and need a heated tank. If it's too cold, they're
digestive enzymes won't work, and they'll starve to death
however much they eat.> Then he would swim around and start all
over. Sometimes he managed to stay floating at the surface with no
support. <A dying frog...> Worried, when he kept this up the rest
of the evening, I turned off the filter and went to bed. When I woke up
this morning the poor thing had died in the night. <Again, quelle
surprise.> Did the new filter kill my frog? <No.> He did seem
kind of skinny so did he starve to death? <In part, yes. But also
you almost certainly dumped too much food in hoping to tempt him, but
most wasn't eaten, rotted, raised the ammonia, and poisoned the
frog.> Should I have gotten him a buddy for the tank? <Definitely
not. All you would have had is two dead frogs instead of one.> (the
tank is a little less then 3 gallons since I live in a dorm during the
school year) <Three gallons!!!! That's a bucket, not an
aquarium. To quote someone on a forum I visit, don't put animals in
this, cut some flowers and put them in it instead. Much prettier, and
they'll last longer.> please help! <I'm trying to help.
But please understand this: looking after animals isn't easy, and
you absolutely have to "do it by the numbers" if you're
coming to this new. Go buy or borrow a book about keeping these frogs.
There are lots of them around. Sit, read, learn. Once you're up to
speed on the theory, reflect on what you might have done wrong. Having
pets while you're at college is great fun. I did, and in the end
that experience is how I ended up an aquarium writer. But sometimes
time, money, and space just aren't going to accommodate an animal
in your life. So think carefully before gambling on another
animal's life. I would love to have another frog but don't want
to kill that one as well <Provided you read and learn about these
animals, certainly, there's no real difficulty in keeping them as
pets. And they are fun and fascinating animals. But yes, you'll end
up killing it if you try and "make it up as you go along".
Advice from most chain pet stores is either useless or downright
dangerous, so take anything the sales clerk says with a pinch (bucket)
of salt. Good books are priceless here. So please please please do some
some reading first.> Jessica <Good luck, Neale>
ADF... hlth. 9/23/07 I had two
African Dwarf Frogs in a tank with a Pleco and two Danios. About
two weeks ago one of the ADFs developed a white chalk-like ring
on its body near to where its right front leg connects
<Don't see this in your pic> (the Pleco has had similar
white chalky spots on its snout since I inherited it about six
months ago). Within a few days, it died. Soon after, I noticed
that the other ADF has developed a very red bump between its
right eye and snout. Its behavior is still normal. No trauma that
I'm aware of. Any idea what it could be? <Mmm, something
environmental perhaps... Your system, water look very clean...
perhaps too much so> How should I treat it? <What water
quality tests do you have data for? What are your nitrate
readings?> (It's a little hard to see, but I've
attached a picture that shows the red bump.) Any suggestions on
the Pleco? Thanks for your help. <What sort of filtration is
employed here? Foods, feeding? You have read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/dwfafdis.htm and the
linked files above? Bob Fenner>
Re: ADF Health -- 09/23/07 Bob,
<Jules> Thanks so much for answering. Here is information
on my water quality: Nitrate: 40 <Way too high... needs to be
reduced by at least half> Nitrite: .5 <Deadly toxic...
needs to be zip, zero, nada> Hardness: 300 Chlorine: 0 KH: 300
pH: 8.4 Ammonia: 0 Temp: 82 I have had the two ADFs with one
Pleco and two Danios in a five-gallon tank with a filter pump
with bio-wheel and an aerator. I inherited the tank with the
Pleco and Danios, and I obviously didn't do my research
(don't yell). I just recently found out that the Pleco needs
a much bigger tank, so I'm in the process of rehoming him.
Meanwhile, I removed the surviving ADF and put him back in his
original 2-gallon non-filtered bowl until I can figure out
what's going on with him. I feed the ADF HBH Frog and Tadpole
bites (I know you don't like these, but he's really
always eaten them with no problems) -- about four to six pellets
once a day. He's now had the red spot on his head for a few
days, and today I noticed that it had a little white cottony
piece sticking up from it. I thought "fungus," but when
he moved, the white part came off. I've never seen a fungus,
so I'm not sure that's really what it was. I have
Maracyn2 and Maroxy on hand if I need to use either of those. I
did read all the information I could find, but I can't seem
to find anything like the round red spot that he has. Is it
possible that he received an injury from the Pleco? I've
never seen it be aggressive, and I also didn't see the ADF
sustain an injury, but the red spot does resemble an open sore at
this point. I've attached another picture (he has a piece of
food balanced on his head, so ignore that). I'd love to hear
any advice you have. Thanks!!! <Need to fix this
environment... pronto. See WWM re NO3, NO2... BobF>
Sick African Dwarf Frog - 10/07/2007 Hello Crew, I
have a sick African dwarf frog. I'm desperately looking online for
his illness but none of the other websites have as much information.
<Hmm... general advice: before worrying about what a disease is,
think about the causative factors. Nine times out of ten, it's
water quality. So whip out your Nitrite test kit, and see what the
water quality is like. There should be zero nitrite. If not, if
there's even a trace of nitrite, that means water quality is
inadequate, and the basic cause of illness is the immune system of the
frog being compromised by the environment. Frogs (and amphibians in
general) are extremely sensitive to pollution, both in captivity and
the wild. This is why they're often considered "early
warning" species for signs of damage to wild habitats. It almost
goes without saying that the last few decades have seen a catastrophic
decline in amphibian diversity and abundance, thanks to Man's
stupidity. But that same holds for your vivarium: if the frogs are
sick, then it's likely the aquarium conditions that need
fixing.> I have 2 African dwarf frogs in a 2 gallon octagonal tank.
<Tank too small. Two gallons is smaller than a bucket. Ten gallons
would be nearer the mark for this species.> I have had these frogs
for about a month and a half. I recently cleaned out the whole tank
(About a week and a half ago) because I read that you had to clean the
tank frequently online. <Nope. You need to change the water
frequently, yes, but cleaning the tank is usually redundant in a
properly maintained aquarium. Your basic maintenance schedule is this:
every weekend, take out 50% of the water, and replace with new,
dechlorinated water. If you live in an area where Chloramine is used in
the water supply, treat the water with a dechlorinator that removes
Chloramine as well. Most, but not all, do anyway. Finally, never, ever
use "softened" water from a domestic water softener.>
(Oops!) I took out a under-gravel air rock also because I also read
that those can lead to diseases. <What are you reading? Obviously
web sites. Please please please buy a book. Books are edited for
factual accuracy. Anyone can throw together a web site saying anything
they want. I could create one saying Dwarf Frogs like to live in molten
lava, should be fed marshmallows, and breed by shedding their toes,
which become new froglets. If I tried to write that for a book
publisher, I'd lose my contract and the editor would find someone
else to write the book. Most of us here at WWM write for books and
magazines, so you can have confidence that what we say is sound. But
for the most part, treat stuff published online "cum grano
salis", as the Romans would say.> I did so and the little
froggies where very happy! Within two days, both of the frogs got
cloudy eyes. <What a surprise. You removed the sole source of
biological filtration, the Undergravel filter. So after a couple days
the ammonia had built up to toxic levels. Ergo, the frogs got sick.>
I read online though, that this is because of skin shedding. I think
they both shed their skin because there was some loose film around the
tank. And both of the frogs' didn't have cloudy eyes anymore.
For about 5 days though one of the frogs has been staying at the top of
the tank. I just thought he was lazy frog that liked to hang out.
<Not "hanging out". These frogs are benthic animals that
like to stay close to the sand, preferably hidden among plants or leaf
litter. When they rise to the surface, it's a sure sign they
aren't happy.> He hasn't been eating from what I can see for
these 5 days. <Dying animals tend to lose interest in food.> Then
today when I looked at my frog, he was struggling to get to the surface
and his legs and feet didn't look right. I panicked and got him out
into a holding container immediately so my other frog wouldn't get
sick. Here are his symptoms: Floating at the top of the tank. Not
eating. Listless. His arms and legs seem to have muscle degeneration.
Both of his feet are curled. He has a sore at the back of his head that
is reddish pink. What does he have?? <What these frogs have is a
keeper who didn't research them beforehand. Pets are 100% dependent
on you for survival, and that means any mistakes you make causes them
suffering. So, you need to go buy a book on African Dwarf Frogs. There
are many, many books on pet amphibians out there. In the meantime, buy
a proper aquarium and install a proper filtration system. The tank you
have is too small for a decent undergravel filter to work. An
undergravel filter needs a depth of about 5-8 cm gravel to work. A
two-gallon tank will be a real squeeze with that much gravel! Anyway,
once they are transferred to an aquarium that has a chance of keeping
them alive, you can then treat using an anti-fungal/anti-Finrot remedy
used for tropical fish. That might help cure the symptoms, though
frankly I suspect you have the dreaded "Red Leg" already in
which case the frog will die.> And is it treatable? <Don't
bank on it, and certainly not without you providing them better living
quarters.> Is my other ADF going to get it? <Long term, no, not
unless you change how you keep these poor animals that totally depend
on you.> Thanks so much, Sarah <Please understand that loving
your pets isn't enough if you don't spend the time and money on
their needs. Often, this means buying/borrowing a good book on the
subject before even getting the animals. Once you're up to speed in
terms of theory, practice becomes so much easier. These are basically
hardy, easy to keep animals, so once you fix things, you should be able
to keep this species without problems. Good luck, Neale>
African Dwarf Frog acting strangely/manic... and
non-heated, non-cycled Betta... systems 12/2/07 I
purchased an African Dwarf Frog along with a male Betta about two weeks
ago. <Mmm, these don't always get along> These are my first
aquatic pets I have had the pleasure of having, and I'm already
quite attached! I have done a lot of research but I am still
learning... Well today, I decided to do some water changes for the
first time, having been a little over a week since the frog and Betta
were settled in. I originally was planning to have them in the same
tank, but after I placed them together my Betta started to get
aggressive, and then I learned that 1 gallon is too small to keep two
creatures together in. <Yes> So, for a while I had Robyn (my ADF)
in my 1 gallon tank and Reno (Betta fish) in a "Betta
planter" that I bought. I felt bad for Reno because he didn't
have much water to swim around in (probably less than 1/2 gallon), so
this weekend I bought him a 1 gallon tank also. I did a 25% water
change for Robyn's tank, and introduced my Betta to his new tank.
<Mmm, both these animals are tropical... need steady, high
temperature> I am concerned because ever since the water change,
Robyn has been swimming up and down like crazy, and keeps pressing her
nose up against the side of the tank, it seems like she wants to
escape. <Maybe> Is there something wrong with the water?
<Could be> I made sure to buy it at Petco and it's called
"Beta Water", but it says it's suitable for frogs as well
and has a neutral pH, etc. <... am not so sure. What are the
ingredients? I would change a good deal of this water out for just dechloraminated tap> Reno, on the other hand, is going crazy in his
tank as well, and I think it's because the plastic creates a mirror
effect and he can see himself and thinks it's another fish.
<Likely so> Will seeing this constantly stress him out too much,
or is it just normal for him to swim around that much in a new tank?
<Likely will be okay in time... a few days> What about Robyn?
Before I did the partial water change she just liked to hang out in the
little cave I got her, and poke her head out occasionally. I am really
concerned, I don't want them to die :( Also, as a note: The 1
gallon tanks I bought both come with an undergravel filter and an air
stone that has a little plastic tube around it (I guess to minimize
current?)? I have heard a ton of conflicting information on whether or
not this air pump is safe/good to use in my tank with my Betta or my
ADF. <Are fine... but... what re cycling?> I would really like to
use them because I like how they look and I think they will keep the
water cleaner, but I don't want to endanger my frog or make my
Betta unhappy.? Any suggestions? Please help, and thank you! -Valerie
<Yes... for you to read... Which you were directed to do before
writing... Start here for Bettas:
http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm and the linked
files above, particularly on Nitrogen Cycling... Bob Fenner>
Re: African Dwarf Frog acting strangely/manic, Betta
bubblenests 12/5/07 Dear Bob, <Valerie> Thank you so much for
the prompt reply, sorry I couldn't get back sooner! (Final Exams).?
I have read a lot of the articles on your site, but I wasn't able
to find the specific link on nitrogen cycling... and I am still sort of
confused on what tank 'cycling' involves exactly, though I
understand the general idea.? <Yes... and I've seen your
response further on, where you state you have read re> Reno the
Betta seems much more like his normal self these past two days,
although he started spitting his food back out when I gave it to him,
then re- swallowing. It stayed down for a couple more minutes before he
spit all of the pellets back out. I watched a while and he eventually
ate them and kept them down. Not sure what that's about... I bought
some frozen bloodworms today, am going to try varying his diet with
those, but I am confused as to how to serve them and the portion
amount? <Just a few at a setting, defrosted... held near the surface
to get his attention> My ADF freaked me out a lot yesterday because
I saw transparent, filmy stuff clinging to her underside, but after
looking it up online it seems she was just shedding her skin.
<Likely so> In a few more minutes it was off completely so I
didn't worry anymore about it. She's learned to come to her
food plate to eat, and is now eating consistently. Her weird behavior
also seems to have subsided, but her tank looks cloudy... I am going to
do another 25% water change today, even though I just did one on
Saturday. If I turn on the air stones now (all of the sudden) will it
alarm/stress my animals? <Should be fine to do so> Should I
perhaps move them to a separate tank, turn them on, and then
reintroduce them? <Mmm, I'd leave all in place> I want to get
my undergravel filter system working, as I feel this will help with the
tank changes. I am leaving their lights on about 12 hours a day, in
order to keep the water warm enough, but I am going to get a
thermometer tomorrow so I can see what the temp actually is... I am
afraid it is dropping too much at night even though I keep my apartment
around 75 degrees F. Now the problem... today I just got home from
school and I see my ADF is missing his right foot entirely!?!? He still
has his leg, with a stump. <Happens... perhaps the Betta...> I
have no idea how this happened... he seems to be swimming alright
without it but I am so worried it will get infected. <Possibly>
It doesn't look like there's anything on it right now but what
are the procedures I need to take in order to get him to grow it back?
(I heard they can do that..)? <Mmm, a possibility, but not
likely> Also, what might of caused this to happen? I am afraid his
little plastic coral reef may of caused him to catch his foot and tear
it.. but the thing said it was approved for aquariums and when I felt
around the edges prior to buying none of them seemed excessively sharp.
<What other life is present?> Please let me know ASAP what
treatment I should apply for Robyn, as many of the different FAQ's
prescribe different things and I am unsure where to start. Thank you!
-Valerie <No specific treatment is suggested... as your system is
not established... this will very likely cause more trouble than
fix...> P.S.? What does a Betta "bubblenest" look like?
<Like a floating mass of small bubbles...> I Googled it without
much success on an actual picture. His tank has a large accumulation of
bubbles all concentrated on one area on the side of the tank, I was
wondering if this was a bubblenest, or an indicator of some type of
water quality problem. it looks crystal clear the moment... I will try
purchasing some of those test stripes for nitrogen, ammonia, etc..
anyway if you could provide a picture or a verbal description of what a
bubblenest looks like, that would be great, thanks! <Do try to set
some time aside to visit a local library and check to see if they have
books on Bettas... these will have photos... Bob Fenner>
Deceased frog. 2/14/08 Dear Bob, <Neale
here today!> About a year ago I decided I wanted a fish, so I went
and bought two Jack Dempseys. The employee at the big box pet store
told me they would be fine in a ten gallon tank. <Nope; and indeed
getting two JDs to share any sized tank is pushing your luck unless
they're a mated pair.> Needless to say, I hadn't done my
research and neither had he. After doing my own research and learning
more about them they're now in a 55 gallon tank with a few other
fish and seem to be doing fine, but my boyfriend and I wanted a
peaceful community tank as well. <Doesn't everyone!> I did
some research on that and found that (hopefully this is all correct) an
ADF would be fine with some small Corys and a peaceful Gourami or two.
<Actually, no; I don't believe that frogs of any kind make
particularly good additions to aquaria. They are best kept alone, or
possibly in tanks with ultra-peaceful species that can be guaranteed to
ignore them (say, Hatchetfish or Kuhli loaches). Otherwise, frogs are
too easily damaged, too sensitive to poor water quality, too easily
killed by fish medications, and too difficult to feed properly. While
some people manage to mix frogs and fish fine, the majority
don't.> We set up a 30 gallon tank (about a foot deep) and had
it running for a few days before we went down to the specialty fish
store that we now shop at. We bought one ADF, three small panda Corys,
and a honey dwarf Gourami. We brought them all home and put them in
together yesterday. The frog was extremely active. He swam around a lot
and seemed to be enjoying himself. They seemed fine when we went to bed
last night, but when we woke up this morning (gasp) my new frog friend
was dead! <Not really surprised. Almost certainly killed by water
quality problems. Running a tank for a few days EMPTY does nothing at
all to cycle it. Maturing a tank depends on the bacteria getting
established in the filter, and that requires a source of ammonia for
the bacteria to "eat". An empty tank is just a big bucket of
water, and there's nothing biological going on in there. You then
add a bunch of fish, they produce ammonia, and the ammonia
stresses/kills the livestock. Do read the WWM articles re: starting a
new aquarium.> The water has a strange cloudy quality to it. The
fish are still alive, but the frog was done for in less than 24 hours
and I'm really not sure what happened. We tested the PH again and
it was fine. <The pH is irrelevant, and most inexperienced aquarists
have no idea what it actually means. For a new tank, you need *at
minimum* a NITRITE test kit. This gives you a measurement of how the
second stage of the two-stage biological filtration process is doing.
Under normal circumstances a tropical tank takes 6 weeks to complete
the cycling process. That's six weeks from when the first ammonia
source is added -- whether a few hardy fish (like Danios) or an
inorganic source (ammonia from a bottle). The pH is about the acidity
of the aquarium, and there is no such reading as "fine". A
low pH (i.e., 6 to 7) is good for Angelfish and tetras but bad for
livebearers and Goldfish; conversely, a high pH (i.e., 7.5 to 8) is
essential for livebearers and Goldfish, but not appreciated by soft
water tetras and dwarf cichlids. Please do read the WWM articles re:
water chemistry to understand this topic.> The temp is at 78. The
light was on for about 4 hours yesterday. Any ideas? <Lots, but
mostly you need to sit down, read, and understand how an aquarium
works. In particular focus on water quality and water chemistry.
Getting these wrong surely account for 99.99999999% of aquarium fish
(and frog!) deaths.> Thanks in advance, Shelley <Cheers,
African Dwarf Frogs - Twitching, lethargic
3/2/08 Hi guys, <Hello,> Thanks to your wonderful site my
husband and I have had 2-3 aquariums up and running for several years
with no problems at all in at least a year. We have 2 adult African
Dwarf Frogs that had lots of little froglets a few months ago. We
couldn't possibly keep them all (21 total) but were waiting for
them to grow up to be strong healthy frogs before selling them to our
local Ma and Pa fish store. They were in a tank that's way too
small to support all of them (5 gallons, but lots of the frogs are
still very small), but we did frequent water changes and kept a very
close eye on all water parameters. The tank was completely cycled,
we'd never see any ammonia or nitrites, and the water changes took
care of nitrates fast. We're moving and things have been hectic,
the tank went a few days without a partial water change and my husband
tested the water - Ammonia had spiked off the chart! The
frogs were all
on the bottom, lethargic, and a few of them were lying on their backs
and twitching. We immediately did a 50% water change and retested.
Ammonia was still WAY too high, so we waited a few hours and then did
another 75% change. Still too high, so we moved some fish around,
completely cleaned our 20 gallon tank and moved them into it last
night. <Doesn't sound promising. A good rule during times of
chaos is to STOP feeding livestock. Anyway, if you see an ammonia spike
in an otherwise stable aquarium, do check for overfeeding and/or dead
livestock. It may be that one frog died, decayed, and that was what
overwhelmed the existing filter.> This morning I checked on them and
5 out of 21 are on their backs twitching, the rest are very lethargic,
and a few of them have their legs twisted around their other leg.
It's not looking good... Water parameters are fine in this brand
new tank. We've added some gravel from our very old cycled tank to
assist the cycle in this new one and will be picking up some BioSpira
when the pet store opens later today. <Hmm... gravel (unless part of
an undergravel filter) doesn't do all that much to speed up
cycling, so don't rely on it. Much better to divide the media in
the existing filter into two, put one portion in the new filter, and
then let things recover. A mature filter can easily tolerate a 50% loss
of media without any serious water quality problems.> Our frogs are
our babies, we feel terrible that we let this happen to them. We were
planning on giving some of the babies to the LFS today but are
terrified that they'll just put them down since they look so bad.
We'll keep them for as long as we feel that we can do some good to
help them. <Good. Sometimes time helps. Additional aeration plus
regular water changes will also help.> To further compound the
problems, we MUST move their tank to our new place today which is sure
to traumatize them. Is there anything that we can do to help them other
than make sure that this new tank cycles fast, being vigilant to water
quality issues? <Transporting the frogs, providing they are parceled
out into spacious containers, a few per container, shouldn't really
cause major problems. Keeping them warm and dark during transit will
help, as will being quick. But compared to ammonia spikes, simply being
moved about for a couple hours is neither here nor there.> Thank you
so much, you guys are great. Heather <Hope this helps,
Floating ADF, what treatment options? Poor
environment, no reading 3/17/08 Crew, I bought 2
African Dwarf Frogs a week ago. I have them in an unheated/unfiltered,
but treated, 1 gallon tank. <Umm, this is the trouble... Need heated
(they're tropical), filtered environment... of larger (more stable)
size> Initially I also had 3 Ghost Shrimp, but those died within 24
hours (I think due to the stress of extensive travel and adjustment,
and probably due to the cramped quarters of having 5 animals in a
fairly small bowl). Their deaths, I don't believe is related to
this problem. As soon as the shrimp died they were removed from the
tank and they water was changed and re-treated. After about 5 days of
having the frogs they started to act a bit strange. They started to
just float at the top of the bowl without any movement. They have also
stopped eating (they have been on a strict frozen brine shrimp diet in
the store and in my home). According to my research on this site and on
others, it appears that they do not have red leg, fin rot, extreme
bloating, or a fungus related infection. One site I research mentioned
that there is a bacterial infection that can afflict these frogs. The
symptoms, floating at the surface and not eating. This site did not
give any treatment options. I know there are certain types of salts and
medicines that could possibly be used to help, but I didn't want to
use anything that would not treat this problem. What treatments would
you recommend? I really don't want to lose these critters, but I
fear that they may be a casualty of my novice status. Please send me
any advice you have that might remedy this problem. Thank you. Dan
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/hymenochirus.htm
The linked files on the page. Bob Fenner>
ADF floating and now with red
feet... new water, hlth. -- 03/18/08 First, Thank you
for being a superior source of information. I have read about the
ADF and diseases and found one that seems to match what is going
on, but I need to know what to do next . . . My daughter (11 1/2
years old) has had her hex 5 tank for 2 1/2 years and has done a
pretty good job of keeping it clean and the 3 fish & 1 ADF
frog cared for. Over this time she has lost three fish and one
frog, but all has been well for about 10 months. Until now . . .
Paige did a water and filter change last month <Mmm, I'd
do smaller, more frequent change-outs... 10-20% a week... with
treated, pre-stored water> and the water again last week. On
Friday I noticed that there seemed to be gunk floating in the
tank (like shedding skin and algae from scraping- this is not
normal for her tank) Then Sat. her ADF was floating at the top of
the tank (also not normal and not a Zen pose). I took him out,
took a sample of the water to the pet store and did a 1/2
exchange of the water. <Careful here... It is dangerous to
change too much of a system too soon with amphibians... whatever
is in their water, gets into their bodies... almost immediately.
Hence the statement above> When I helped with the water
exchange I found that the filter had not been pushed all the way
down and wasn't filtering properly. It's working now and
the pet store said that the water was "fine".
<Fine...> We put the ADF in a 1/2 gallon bowl with a mix of
old and new water until the Sunday afternoon (if he died, I
didn't want to leave him in the tank with the other fish
while we were gone a few hours). We put the frog back in the
tank, but this morning his hands and feet looked red. <More
evidence of "new water poisoning"> This afternoon
his legs are red and he is floating at the bottom of the tank
up-side-down, <Bad...> but when we tap him with the net he
moves around. I found a reference to "red leg" that
stated that red leg or foot is due to water quality - and lack
there of. But I didn't see what to do about it. Our situation
seems fatal. What do you suggest we do next? The pet suggested
that we use Melafix. <No... worthless... See WWM re> What
do you think? Thank you for your help! Joanie and Paige
<Really, only time, patience... I do hope your daughter's
Hymenochirus recovers... Do please read here re water changes:
http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwh2ochgs.htm and the linked
files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: ADF floating and now with
red feet Bob, <Joanie, Paige> Thank you for your speedy
reply. I feel very badly that I could have made the situation
worse by putting too much new water into their environment.
<Is a very common situation... Nowadays, our tap/source water
is not very "consistent"... and much of the treatment
(e.g. sanitizer addition) is quite toxic to aquatic life> It
looks like you were giving me another link about the Melafix or
another med. but it didn't show up on the email. Would you
resend the link and/or give me more insight on the medication
issue for this situation? <Do just peruse WWM through the term
and our search tool here:
reading the cached views... highlighted...> By the way, the
little frog is still at the bottom, but is moving occasionally on
his own. Thanks again, Joanie and Paige <Am hoping for the
best... Cheers, BobF>
African dwarf frog, hlth., no data or reading ahead of
writing 8/20/08 Hi- last fall my frog lost her
front leg, <?!> it kind of curled up on her and then it was gone,
leaving a pinkish stump. <More to this...> She adapted well to
the loss of the leg, but now the other front leg has done the same
thing. We were hoping maybe it would grow back but neither have. We
would just like to know if you have ever seen this before and what
causes this. Thank you, Becca BTW she is 3 years old. <... Legs are
not "just lost"... something missing... in the system,
maintenance, water quality, nutrition, aggressive tankmates... You give
no data re these... Read:
http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/dwfafdis.htm and the linked files
above. Bob Fenner>
Re: African dwarf frog, killing
8/21/08 hello- I wasn't sure how detailed you wanted me to get.
Okay, the frogs live in a glass vase with a lid on it that holds a
plant, <... dismal... Totally inappropriate> the water used is
regular tap water that is aerated for at least 24 hours before we
replace 50% of the water once a week. They are fed frozen blood worms.
<Ditto> Now, before you start thinking why are they living in a
vase without filtration, heat lamps etc., I would like you to know that
these frogs are 3 years old, they mate constantly and have laid eggs
several times. <Animals, plants for that matter will attempt to
reproduce in extremis... conditions that spell their doom... something
about "survival of the species"> We have watched the
eggs evolve to tadpole stage and have actually had 2 fully mature. The
other frog is fine. So I don't think anything is wrong with the way
we are raising our frogs, in fact I think we got it right, and they are
actually quite spoiled, for frogs. Is there anything I can put in the
water to help her? Will the legs grow back? Or do I need to start
looking for a new frog? Thank you in advance for any information you
provide me. <Please read where you were referred to... RMF>
ADF Sick 11/10/08 Two weeks ago we set up a 5
gallon tank with a mini heater that stays at 78 degrees with a Tetra
Micro Filter with Biobag cartridge. We started with 3 fancy tailed
guppies and one ADF. The water levels were normal and the water was
crystal clear. On Thursday we added another ADF and a mini algae eater
(not sure what type but is not supposed to grow bigger than 1 1/2
inches). <You shouldn't mix fish with frogs. This "mini
algae eater" is almost certainly an Otocinclus catfish. These fish
CANNOT be kept in tanks as small as this. For a start, they are
SCHOOLING fish, and keeping a single catfish of this type is just plain
cruel. Next up, they're difficult to keep. They mostly only eat
green algae, and after that, algae wafers. In small tanks they almost
always starve to death. Thirdly, they're "cool" tropical
fish from llanos of South America; water temperature should be around
the 22-24 degrees C mark (that's 72-75 F). In other words, your
tank is way too hot for them, and heat exhaustion is just around the
corner. Finally, Otocinclus can be "parasitic" when hungry
attacking other fish, scraping at the skin. They possibly only do this
when half-starved, but even so, they're a silly risk to take with
an animal with very delicate skin, like a frog. I have seen these
catfish behave in this way, so this isn't rumour-mongering. A 5
gallon tank is a marginal environment for Hymenochirus frogs, and
UTTERLY inadequate for Guppies. I know you don't want me to say
this, but everything about this tank is wrong, and indicates to me that
you did no research at all before buying these animals. Please read a
book or visit this web site before buying animals -- you have the
choice to buy or not buy a fish; the poor fish (or frog) has no choice
at all, and that means it can't escape a probable death in a poorly
set up aquarium.> Yesterday we noticed the tank was getting cloudy
as we were getting ready to leave (I'm assuming it is from the
algae eaters food tablet he didn't eat). This morning I got up and
noticed one of the frogs has a white filmy coating and is staying at
the top of the tank. I checked the water levels - ph 7.2, ammonia
between 2 & 4, nitrates between 0 & 5, nitrite .25. <The
tank is insanely dangerous to animals of all types. The ammonia level
is beyond lethal, and I'm staggered anything is still alive. Let me
be CRYSTAL CLEAR about something: unless you're an expert
fishkeeper you shouldn't look at any tank below 20 gallons, and
even the frogs shouldn't be kept in anything below 10 gallons.>
I immediately did a partial water change of approximately 40% and added
1/2 tsp Tetra Aqua Safe. I have been reading through the site and
trying to figure out the best way to take care of him. <Buy a bigger
tank. Install an adequate filtration system. Try not to overfeed your
livestock.> I went back up to check to see if the water change
helped and found him floating on his back. <Doomed...> I moved
him to a quarantine tank and a few minutes later he started to swim
around and is now floating at the top of the tank right side up. Is
there anything I can do to save him? <He'll be okay and likely
recover if conditions improve. But be under no illusions: ammonia and
nitrite levels should be ZERO all the time. If you're not getting
that, you're doing something wrong. The Guppies and the Otocinclus
have absolutely no business being in a tank this small. A 5 gallon tank
is a bucket. It offers no margin for error, and male Guppies in
particular are aggressive and will turn on one another in such small
spaces. The Otocinclus will be dead soon anyway, simply because you
simply don't have an environment where this very difficult to
maintain catfish can survive.> What do I need to do to treat the
regular tank to ensure the other fish and frog do not get sick too?
Also how soon should I do another water change? Thanks for your help,
Diane <Do please read over the articles on stocking and setting up
new tanks. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlivestk.htm Also
review water quality. Buy yourself (your animals) an adequate habitat.
Their ticket out of there is death, unless you do something to change
that. Good luck, Neale.>
Re: ADF Sick (Hymenochirus sp.; 5 gallon tank; doom and
gloom; quelle surprise) 11/10/08 Thanks for all of the
information, apparently I should not have listened to the people at
PetSmart. <Do always remember: Pet shops exist to sell stuff. While
many retailers are well intentioned and even experts in a particular
field, many junior staff members have no particular experience or
knowledge. They're just doing a job. So while you certainly should
talk with your retailer, it is always important to read a good book
prior to purchasing an animal.> I will see if they will take the
catfish back, I had questioned them specifically to see if these would
all be ok together and they assured me I would not have any problems.
<Otocinclus (if that is what you have; check) are widely sold to the
wrong people for the wrong tanks. Easily 90% of these catfish die
within months of purchase, and likely the majority within a few weeks.
Many die in the aquarium shop even before they are sold.> I had also
looked on Frog World and read that you need 1 gallon of water per frog
so I thought a 5 gallon would be perfect for our daughters room.
<You're confusing two issues. One is how much space per frog.
Certainly a gallon or two is adequate. But then there's the
question of how small a tank can you reliably maintain. The answer to
that is that anything below 10 gallons is difficult to heat and filter
properly. Very small tanks are prone to wild temperature changes and
poor water quality. It's to do with dilution of toxins, volume to
surface area ratio, thermal stability of water, and various other well
understood issues in fish/frog-keeping. In other words, the correct
answer to the question of choosing a tank for Hymenochirus frogs would
be "One gallon per frog, with a minimum tank size of 10
gallons". Since the price difference between a 10 gallon tank and
anything smaller will be trivial (especially compared to the
maintenance of the frogs in the long term) there isn't any
practical reason to try keeping a smaller tank.> The site also said
guppies etc would be ok tank mates with the frogs. <The problem with
mixing frogs and fish is that frogs have extremely delicate skins. They
breathe through their skins. Anything that causes damage to the skin
can quickly lead to death. Fish are liable to peck at anything
tasty-looking, and that can include small frogs. Moreover fish are much
faster swimmers than frogs, making it difficult to ensure the frogs get
enough to eat. On the flip side, frogs should be fed extremely
sparingly (typically every other day) and this isn't viable where
fish are being kept. So you have either overfed frogs or underfed fish.
Finally, frogs are extremely sensitive to poor water quality, perhaps
more so than hardy fish. If you have an overstocked/overfed aquarium
because it contains some fish as well as the frogs, you're making
your hobby harder by increasing the risk of things like Red Leg.> I
did do some research, apparently not enough or in the right places...
We do have a ten gallon tank that is empty- would the guppies be ok if
I moved them into there & left the frog in the 5 gallon until I can
find another setup? <Under the circumstances, this would be the best
solution. I'm not wild about Guppies in 10-gallon tanks because
they tend to become aggressive, and the females especially generally
get harassed by the males. But people certainly have kept a few Guppies
in tanks this size and got away with it! Likewise, provided the
5-gallon tank was clean and properly heated, you should be successful
with one or two frogs in there. It isn't the system I'd
recommend, but at a pinch, and if you were extremely careful with water
quality and temperature issues, you could just about get away with it.
The advantages of 10-gallon tank shine through when things can't be
managed: e.g., when you're on vacation or don't have the time
to do water changes religiously. That's why I say for the average
aquarist or frog-keeper, their hobby will be much more fun and easy
with a slightly larger aquarium than they might expect.> I want to
do everything I can to keep them healthy. <That's the aim!>
Thanks <Hope this helps, Neale.>
Unexplained male dwarf frog deaths
11/30/08 Hi, I have been keeping African Dwarf Frogs for more
than two years now. I first got a pair that turned out to be male and
female. I named them Slim and Chance because I thought those were the
odds of my being able to keep them alive. Anyway, they seemed to thrive
under my care and even mated. The tadpoles hatched, and long story
short, I kept two of the froglets and later bought another frog to make
five frogs altogether. I had them in a five-gallon aquarium, so when
they seemed to be doing so well, I bought them a ten-gallon tank and
they acted happy to have a bigger home. Then a few days later, the only
male frog (Slim) started making mating calls, or at least that's
what I thought. And I was happy because I thought that meant they would
breed again. Then later in the day Slim was suspended nose down in the
middle of the tank, and when I touched him, I realized he was dead.
Rigor mortis and all. Well, that was devastating for me since the
females seemed fine, and I thought he was too until I found him dead.
So a few days later I went to the pet store and bought another male
frog. Of course he was much smaller than the females, but I figured he
would grow. I had him about a week when just today he started with the
mating calls, and I was so happy, thinking finally this would work out.
Now this evening I found him dead. And still the females are fine. Can
someone please tell me what is going on??? Why are the males dying and
yet the females are OK? My water quality is fine. Now I'm afraid to
try to purchase another male because I can't keep watching them die
like this without knowing why. Please help me! Betty <Hello Betty.
It's impossible to answer this question without some data about the
tank, diet, temperature, etc. But let's review. Hymenochirus spp.
frogs are tropical, and in an unheated or room temperature tank will
die. Next up, they need excellent water quality. All amphibians are
extremely sensitive to ammonia and nitrite, so you absolutely must
provide good filtration. "Water quality is fine" doesn't
help me much here: what I'm talking about is zero ammonia and zero
nitrite. Finally, you need stable water chemistry. Precise values
don't matter, provided you avoid the usual mistakes of using water
from a domestic water softener (too much sodium) or water that is so
soft the pH drops rapidly over time. I'd recommend moderately hard,
neutral water. The diet should be varied; like it or not, "frog
pellet" foods aren't a useful staple, and should be augmented
with things like frozen or live bloodworms. Overfeeding is a very
common problem too, and most frog keepers finding feeding every OTHER
day works best. Males, being smaller, are much more sensitive to
problems than females, and this explains the differences you're
observing. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: unexplained male dwarf frog deaths
11/30/08 Thanks for your response, Neale. I rechecked the
water, and both ammonia and nitrite levels were zero. The pH level is
6.4. The tank was unheated, so that could have been a factor. Their
five-gallon tank was always unheated and they did fine in that for more
than two years, but moving them to a ten-gallon unheated tank could
have been a problem. They get frog and tadpole bites as well as frozen
bloodworms to eat, and I feed them daily, so perhaps I was giving them
too much food. I've now added a heater and I'm going to try
feeding them every other day. I would like to look for another male
frog but it isn't always easy to distinguish the males when
they're so young at the pet store. I hope I now have the tank
conditioned for success. It's so heartbreaking to lose one of these
guys. Betty <Hello Betty. The pH is quite acidic, and that tends to
go along with soft water, so do check your hardness, in particular the
carbonate hardness (KH) as that's the thing that stabilises pH. All
aquaria become acidic with time, but the rate varies depending on the
carbonate hardness, which is specifically the ability of water to
resist pH change. It's a really easy problem to slide into, because
we don't always appreciate how suddenly pH can change. While your
frogs will be fine between pH 6-8, they won't like sudden changes.
Regular water changes are a great way to avoid pH disasters. As for
temperature, these are tropical frogs, and there's really no
getting around that. In summer you might be fine, but in winter things
can get too cold for the frogs. I'd not let them get colder than 18
C (about 68 F). It sounds as if you're doing everything right, so
fingers crossed! Cheers, Neale.>
Re: unexplained male dwarf
frog deaths Thanks, Neale, for all your advice. I just
purchased another male so I'm hoping to get it right this time.
Betty <Good luck! Neale.>
Multiple ADF Troubles 12/10/08 First of
all, your site has been very helpful in finding information on these
frogs, and I appreciate it. Keep up the good work! I have gone through
a number of problems in the past few days, and I had been finding
answers on your site but it seems to be a combination of things and I
don't trust my own judgment anymore... First of all, I'm a
college student, which has run me into multiple troubles with the
frogs, but I've been doing what I can. I had two ADFs, one male and
one female. I got them in the end of July this year, so they're
still pretty young. I got them with a 4 gallon tank or so, not exactly
sure on the size. I also have an air filter that uses Bio-Bags, I'm
not sure of the name of the type of filter or anything though. It uses
an air pump to move water up from the bottom and bubble it to the
surface and through a gravel-like filter piece (the bio-bag) and pours
it back out on the surface...And I feed them HBH Frog+Tadpole bites.
The female seemed to eat a lot more than the male, and got a lot
larger. I was having concerns about her eating his food and such, and
tried to make sure I saw him eat every time just to be sure. Everything
seemed fine until around thanksgiving or so. I had to take them home
with me for the week or so, and when I do I have to take about 30% of
their water out. I did this when I left on Tuesday, and filled it when
I got home (about an hour or two later). I use API tap water
conditioner (dechlorinator). Everything seemed fine, and I took them
back on Sunday, again having to empty 30% of the tank again. Looking
back now this may have caused some stress on the tank and the two
frogs... This past Saturday (my first Saturday since returning to
school with them) they both looked OK and I didn't really notice
anything. The water was getting a little dirty since I hadn't
really done a full clean of all the poop/food on the bottom for a
while. Late Saturday night I saw the male frog floating at the top,
sideways, up against the filter near the spout. I panicked when I found
him like this and didn't know what to do. I don't have a net
here, so I grabbed a clean spoon and grabbed him with it and pulled him
back to another corner. He was moving around a little bit, but was not
NEARLY as lively. He was very lazy and seemed out of it. I noticed on
his back that he had what looked to me like pieces of food or
something, which I now realize was the cottony fungus you've told
other people about. I freaked out and took him out thinking there was
something wrong with the water, and put him in a separate small
container entirely with new water. (After reading through your site, I
now realize this was probably terrible for him). I took out about 60%
of the tank water, hoping to help get rid of whatever made him sick. At
this point I jumped online, found your site and looked for answers. It
seemed to me that taking him out was a bad idea, so I put him back. I
didn't want to mess with the ecosystem in the tank anymore so I
only put about 10% new water back in. At this point the filter
wouldn't run because of the way it works (needs about 80% of the
tank full or it just gurgles). I figured it was better than shocking
him more with clean water, so I left it this way. He started going
through phases where he wouldn't move at all, and I thought he was
dead. He'd then move a tiny bit a while later so I didn't give
up hope. I read your suggestions of Pimafix and Melafix. The next day I
got my hands on some as soon as I could (about 10 hours after I
discovered him this way) and decided I'd try it. After spending the
night, he looked as though he was already dead, but I figured I'd
try anyway. I added a little bit more water, and added the doses of
Pimafix + Melafix. I came back a few hours later and he was in exactly
the same position, but the infection looked much better. I had also
noticed the night before that the water was starting to get cold
(68ish) as the weather outside was starting to freeze, so I had
purchased a heater as well. I left them both like this, trying to feed
the other one, though she seemed very shy/afraid and wouldn't come
out, so I'm not sure if she ate. The glimpses I caught of her, she
seemed to be getting skinnier. I came back later that day and found the
males infection almost entirely gone, but he was starting to grow that
grey hairy fungus, so I considered him dead. I hoped for the best and
left him for the night. In the morning I was sure he was dead, so I
flushed him. That Sunday I finished filling the tank, installed the
mini heater, applied another dose of pima/Mela fix to hopefully
protect/help the female. I installed a new bio bag into the filter
(I'm unsure now as to whether this was a good idea, but I had read
that you should remove carbon when you're giving the medicines so I
had left it out before). Still, the female looked more or less ok, but
she still was not lively and would not come out of hiding inside the
castles in the tank very often. I was worried, but I kept feeding as
normal, hoping she'd be ok. Tuesday I came back to my room for the
day, and didn't see her anywhere. Not even 5 minutes later I heard
rocks kicking around so I ran over and found her with her back stuck in
the suction of the input of the filter. I quickly pulled the air tube
off the pump and she dropped. She played dead for a while, or was in
shock, either way it scared me, especially after losing the other frog
so recently. She eventually moved, but I noticed she looked different.
After looking at her for a while, I've noticed her toes and fingers
both curl in (almost bird talon looking). She used to have very open
fins, but now they're all curled in. I've read this is a
nutrient deficiency (thanks, again, to your site ;P) so I'm
concerned about her. I haven't changed her food so I imagine she
just isn't eating. I haven't really been able to tell if she
eats or not since I never see her. Tonight I managed to land a couple
pellets on her head and she would eat them, but other than that she
doesn't seem to be eating anything. I tried to pull her out with a
spoon/cup so I could put her in a different container for a while and
watch her and see if I could get her to eat, but she kept hiding and I
don't want to stress her out. After continuously examining her,
I've also noticed that her armpit area seems to be redder.
She's always had a slight pink spot there (I think that's
normal for a female?) but it seems a little darker than usual, and she
has a spot on her leg that is darker as well. She seems to be losing
weight too... In addition to her skinny-ness, she seems almost weaker.
On multiple occasions recently I've seen her appear to be
struggling to get to the surface of the tank to "breathe".
I'm partly concerned she's going to "drown", though I
think they can breathe through their skin? I'm not sure, I still
have always seen them dart to the top of the water and seem to take a
breath. I then proceeded to do a nitrite test, and it tested between
.5-1 ppm. I know this isn't normal, but there's a small mix of
poop/food and other stuff floating around the bottom, especially since
I didn't have the filter running for a few days. I also starting
using a new filter, and have replaced a lot of water. I know nitrites
should balance themselves back to 0, but I don't know if this is
extreme. All of those things I did could be affecting it so I don't
know what to do. Should I change all the water? 50%? or just wait it
out and see if it comes back down? Also, should I continue doing
pima/Melafix in hopes to help keep the female alive? Or is this not
going to change anything? Is there anything else I can do to help her?
I feel terrible about the death of the first frog, I've been very
upset about it for the past few days, and I really don't want to
lose this one too. If this one doesn't die, would I have any
problems introducing a new ADF to the tank? Might it bother her? Is
there any reason why I should or shouldn't? Please tell me anything
I can do to help. Again, I apologize for any redundancy in the material
you guys have already posted, but I'm very unsure of what's
wrong, and it seems to be a mix of problems. I don't know exactly
how to "diagnose" the problem, not to mention how to approach
it. After the few mistakes I've made, I really don't trust my
judgment and don't want to mess something else up. Thanks in
advance for your help, I hope to hear back soon, -Dylan <Hi Dylan.
The short answers are these: Firstly, what you're dealing with is
some sort of opportunistic bacterial infection. Very common among
amphibians not kept correctly. Poor water quality (implied by the
non-zero nitrite level) and low temperature (should be around the 25
C/77 F mark) were likely the triggering factors. Next up, treatment.
Frogs respond positively to antibiotics and antibacterial medications
used carefully. However, Melafix and Pimafix are both rubbish, and
instead you should be using something like Maracyn (in the US) or eSHa
2000 (in the EU). Treatment with these tea-tree oil products is rarely
effective once the infection becomes established; at best, their like
antiseptics you'd use to keep a wound clean, but once the wound is
infected, you'd turn to penicillin or whatever. Just so with fish
and frogs. While I'm doubtful of a positive outcome, what I would
recommend is optimising water quality in the tank (zero ammonia and
nitrite) by ensuring the biological filter is working properly.
Don't waste time with nonsense like carbon. Ammonia remover
(Zeolite) might be beneficial if you don't have time to establish a
good filter, but bear in mind Zeolite needs replacing every few weeks,
so it isn't particularly cheap to use (though it can be recharged
using salt water). Also keep the frogs warm, and then apply the right
medication. Once you're done with these issues, get back in touch
and we can discuss the care and maintenance of Hymenochirus frogs in
more depth. They're not especially difficult to keep, but they do
need a reasonably big tank (I'd recommend not less than 8 US
gallons, to be honest) and a proper filtration system and heater.
Miniature aquaria -- though popular with students -- really aren't
stable or easy to maintain. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Multiple ADF Troubles 12/10/08 Hello
again, I think that the cold was probably part of it, but I had never
seen problems with nitrites before this. I'm assuming the filter
was preventing that before, and I hadn't changed that one in a
while, which led me to the conclusion of changing it. I have never
tested so soon after replacing the filter, and I had left the filter
off for a while, and I'm wondering if that's what is leading to
the high nitrites. Is it probable that now the filter has been replaced
and running, that the nitrites will drop again? <You should never,
ever switch off a filter for more than, say, half an hour. After a
while the bacteria die from oxygen deprivation, and you end up with a
"dead" filter that needs to re-matured all over again.> As
for the treatment, I'm not sure I can get my hands on Maracyn for
multiple reasons. I also don't believe her to be infected, she
isn't showing any signs like the other frog. She is slightly
reddish on one of her legs, which is worrying me about red leg, but is
this something Maracyn would fix anyway? <Erythromycin (in Maracyn)
will indeed fix Red Leg.> I thought it was more of a disease than an
infection...I could try getting Maracyn when I go home in a week and a
half, but until then I don't think it's an option. Until then,
should I continue with Pima/Melafix? or is it not going to do anything
or be harmful? <Pimafix/Melafix will have no effect either way. Will
not cure Red-leg or other opportunistic bacterial infections, but
won't make them worse either. The frog will simply die at whatever
rate it's going to.> I also just realised that in addition to
Pima and Melafix, I have some fish "Stress Coat" (by Aquarium
Pharmaceuticals) that says it removes chlorine, neutralizes chloramines
(neither of which I'm worried about), removes heavy metals, and
replaces the slime coating on fish. It's recommended to be used
when "fish are damaged by injury or disease". Is this worth a
shot? <Not worth a shot, no. Just a fancy water conditioner. Would
be akin to treating gangrene with a bar of soap.> You mentioned
"optimising water quality in the tank". Should I change MORE
water? How much of the tank? All of it? Half? It seemed best to leave
it alone from what I read online. <Optimising water quality means
using the right filter for the right sized tank, with the livestock
receiving only the right amount of food. Water changes are part of the
equation to be sure, but at the usual rate of, say, 25% weekly, or
every couple of days if you detect nitrite/ammonia levels not equal to
zero.> I also can't get my hands on other filters at the moment,
but that may, again, be possible to look into in a couple weeks.
Suggestions on what kinds? Zeolite seems to expensive... <Zeolite
isn't expensive.> I am making sure the remaining frog is
warm...The heater seems to make it a little warmer than seems
comfortable, so I turn it off at times... How warm is too warm?
<Anything within the range 23-26 degrees C would be safe; anything
below or above, unsafe.> Thanks again for the help, Hope to hear
back soon, Dylan <Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Multiple ADF Troubles 12/10/08 Hello, I
went out and got some Maracyn, and reading through the directions, it
says that it can raise nitrites and ammonia levels. My nitrite levels
were concerning me already, I'm unsure of what to do. <Well, you
don't have much choice: treat with frog, and hope ammonia settles
down, which it will if you use Zeolite in the short term.> My main
concerns about the remaining frog are these: She may catch or have
caught the infection the other frog had Her toes/fingers are curling
One of her legs is reddish, in addition to a reddish patch near one arm
She seems skinnier I'm not sure if she's eating enough. <I
doubt she'll "catch" anything, but she certainly could
succumb (is succumbing) to the same environment-induced syndrome.>
I'm going to keep up with 25% water changes every 2 days like you
recommended to help with the nitrite levels. <Do remember not to do
water changes if the medication says not to. Some medications need to
be left in the tank for X number of days before the water is changed.
Read the instructions! I haven't used Maracyn myself (not sold in
the UK) so you'll have to figure this out yourself.> My main
question is, would giving her Maracyn do more harm than good by raising
the nitrites? Should I concentrate on trying to drop the nitrites or
treating her with Maracyn? I can't really tell which is
riskier/unhealthier for her. <No choice really; she'll die
quickly if she isn't treated.> It also says that filters that
are less than 6 days old should be removed. I know you said not to
leave it off for more than half an hour. Should I take it out, put in
the Maracyn and put the filter back in a half hour later or what?
<Leave the filter running. Your filter is surely more than 6 days
old? If it is that new, use Zeolite, which is safe to use with
medications (widely used in "hospital tanks").> Sorry to
keep asking you questions, I'm just really concerned about her and
unsure of what to do. Thanks again, -Dylan <Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Multiple ADF Troubles 12/14/08 Hey,
<Hi,> Thought I'd give you an update on how things are going,
and what I'm doing. Let me know if you have any suggestions... The
remaining female ADF is doing about the same. I tried the Maracyn, and
noticed they have another formula (Maracyn Two) for things like
internal infections. The one I got is mostly for external infections
like the male frog had. <The difference between Maracyn and Maracyn
2 is nothing to do with "external" vs. "internal"
infections. They each treat different classes of bacteria, the first
gram-positive bacteria, the other gram-negative. In situations where
Maracyn has no effect, Maracyn 2 may work, and vice versa.> Her
fingers and toes are still curled in...I've managed to get her to
eat by dropping food near her. I noticed if it falls by her she'll
snap at it and eat it, but she doesn't seem to be looking around
for food. Not that ADFs really do much anyway... I try to feed her
about 6-10 pellets a day this way, and leave a few around. They're
small pellets. I can usually tell when she's done because
she'll start spitting them back out and go and hide somewhere. She
usually perks up and starts waiting for food when I take the lid off
and such... <Well, that's all positive. So long as they're
feeding, you can have some hope.> I'm a little concerned of
whether she'll start looking for food again, but I'm going to
wait until she looks healthier. This curling may be a deficiency from
the food itself, should I consider something else? Can I look for some
sort of nutrient powder or something? <Variety is the key.
Bloodworms, live daphnia, mosquito larvae, etc. The more foods you
offer, the less chance of dietary problems.> Anyway, I have small
rocks in the bottom of the tank and I'm kind of concerned this
might make it harder for her to eat. If I chose to take out the rocks
would having an empty tank like that be ok? <She'll be fine,
provided you put some black paper or something under the glass so it
isn't horribly bright and reflective.> I'm going to pick up
some Maracyn two tomorrow and try that as well. It says it's for
internal infections (signified by lack of eating and red streaks). Her
red patches and streaks on her legs are coming and going, looking worse
during certain parts of the day. I feel like it's better to be safe
than sorry and I don't think it can hurt, can it? <It's
fine. They're both safe medications used correctly.> She also
seems to have grown a couple of small white patches on her back and
knees, very small though. I think this is the same fungus that killed
the other frog, but I'm hoping the Maracyn will pull through and
help her kill it. It doesn't seem to be getting much worse...
<Does sound like fungus. Maracyn may help, but proper fungal remedy
will be better.> Let me know what you think and if you have any
suggestions, Thanks AGAIN for all your help =D -Dylan <Good luck,