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FAQs About African Dwarf Frogs, Infectious 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: Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional, Social, Trauma, Parasitic, Treatments,

Related Articles: Keeping African Clawed Frogs and African Dwarf Frogs by Neale Monks, African Dwarf Frogs, Amphibians, Turtles

Related FAQs: Dwarf African Frogs 1, Dwarf African Frogs 2, ADF Identification, ADF Behavior, ADF Compatibility, ADF Selection, ADF Systems, ADF Feeding, ADF Reproduction, & FAQs on: Amphibians 1, Amphibians 2, Frogs Other Than African and Clawed, African Clawed Frogs, TurtlesAmphibian Identification, Amphibian Behavior, Amphibian Compatibility, Amphibian Selection, Amphibian Systems, Amphibian Feeding, Amphibian Disease, Amphibian Reproduction,

find an amphibian-safe antibacterial or antibiotic. Your local reptile pet store will be able to help here. Fish-grade medications may be safe, but often aren't. Once bacterial infections get established, these little frogs die very quickly.

Regarding Zen the ADF with fungus      3/2/20
To whomever it may concern.
<That'd be me.>
Zen as previous emails had a three small lumps however since the last email, Zens back foot became clammed together so I took him to the vet but my vet said it could be cysts which may burst and become infected. Zen at
the moment is still swimming and eating and sits happily on the plastic plant near to the top of the water but he's not escaping or jumping out frantically. His sore foot was looking okay up to Thursday, Thursday I did a 50% water change, Friday morning I woke up and he had fluffy white fungus on his foot. I treated him with eSHa 2000, I have 1 more day to go, but to me it's not going away.
Please could you help.
Yours sincerely
<First, let me direct you to some reading, here:
You're likely dealing with what is called Red Leg, an Aeromonas infection, that can be difficult to treat in frogs without antibiotics. eSHa 2000 can help, but make sure to remove carbon from the filter, if used. But eSHa
2000 is inferior to real antibiotics, with Tetracycline-type medications being recommend. KanaPlex is another good choice. Fungal infections usually appear after a bacterial infection has started rather than alone.
Distinguishing them can be hard, but the fluffy white cotton wool threads of fungus look distinct from the dead white-grey tissue we see around bacterial sores. Hope this helps, Neale.>

Re: Regarding Zen the ADF with fungus      3/2/20
Thank you, he did have a fungal infection a few weeks ago, which eSHa help to cure, I think it may be another vet visit as it's got a bit worse.
Hopefully the vet will be able to describe antibiotics.
<I certainly hope so, too. Do ask her/him about Red Leg, and see if she/he thinks this may be relevant here.>
Yours sincerely
<Good luck, Neale.>
Re: Regarding Zen the ADF with fungus      3/2/20

Hi Neale,
What can I do to help Zen in the mean time as he's got a vets appointment on Wednesday at 4pm UK time.
Yours sincerely
<Short term, not much. Doing a generous (25-50%) water change using a good quality water conditioner will certainly help. Using a little salt, 1-2g per litre, can help. I will also point you at a useful article, here:
Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Regarding Zen the ADF with fungus      3/14/20
Dear Neale,
I would like to thank you for your help with Zen, I took him to the vets who was able to take the dead skin off his foot. I was so happy, poor Zen didn't like it when he was put on the table for a few minutes for this procedure but he was okay.
<Actually quite impressed your vet could handle this sort of thing!
However the spot on his back erupted with fungus since Sunday and I had ordered Maracyn 2 as my vet suggested as it was Bacterial. It's going to take 3 weeks, unfortunately Zen died this evening, he was a fighter but nature took its course.
<Certainly sounds like it. Sorry about this outcome.>
I was going to call the vet tonight to ask to put Zen to sleep because I didn't want him to suffer any more. At least I know he's not in pain and I did everything I felt I could.
I was hoping he was going to hold out until the antibiotics was here.
However I do have Rupert, I feel a bit sorry for him as he has no other frog to talk to.
<My advice would be, as per fish, to wait at least two weeks, and ideally a month, before adding any more livestock. A singleton frog will be fine. In the meanwhile, observe the remaining frog to make sure he's healthy. Also gives you time to run a course of the antibiotics on a prophylactic basis, to ensure Rupert is sound, before adding anything that might "catch" whatever the problem was. Does that sound reasonable?>
Once again thank you for your help.
Yours sincerely
<Welcome. Do not be disheartened: these frogs are basically hardy, provided they're not harassed or damaged, and also assuming they get plenty to eat. As with most if not all reptile and amphibian pets, prevention of disease is orders of magnitude easier than curing them once sick. Neale.>

ADF Hlth.           9/7/19
Howdy! I have an adf that has lost 3 of his toes. It’s a little bit red where the toes came off. Should I be concerned?
<Yes; will direct you to some reading:
The section on Red Leg is relevant here.>
Will it kill him,
<Yes, can do.>
or will it get infected?
<Highly likely.>
Any help is MUCH appreciated.
<Some further reading, here:
ADFs combine poorly with fish, and do need an aquarium with a heater and filter. As with all amphibians, they're a lot easier to keep healthy than to medicate, so aim for prevention rather than cure.>
Thank you so much!!
<Good luck! Neale.>
Re: ADF Hlth.           9/7/19

Ok. Thanks for letting me know. The toes coming off is not from an infection.
<Perhaps. But if that's the case, you need to ask why. In any case, there's a risk of infection, and you should act accordingly.>
He got his foot stuck under a rock in the tank and when he jerked, they broke off.
<That really doesn't sound likely at all. Think about how small (and weak) these frogs are. To break off its toes, it would have to force the rock up, wedge its toes in the gap, let the rock go, pull its leg, and lose its toes in the process. That doesn't sound likely at all, does it? Think about the human equivalent: if I was to lose my toes under a rock, they'd need to get wedged in their first, which would demand the rock be lifted up first, and then rolled onto my foot. Simply kicking the rock would result in a stubbed toe, perhaps, but in no way could the toes become wedged under the rock.
Now, a rock could roll on top of the frog, but again, assuming you decorated the tank properly, with rocks securely placed on gravel and sand, that shouldn't happen. Usually what happens when frogs lose their toes is either physical damage caused by fish biting them, or else some sort of ongoing infection caused by poor water quality or diet. That's what you need to be thinking about. Not 'accidents' that really aren't at all probable.>
With that kill him?
<See above and previous message about Red Leg. Cheers, Neale.>

African dwarf frog help!       9/6/19
Hello, i got 3 adf about 2 weeks ago. They finally started eating!!!
They seemed to like the frozen bloodworms!
<They do. But they will need more variety, so be sure to add other items:
tiny pieces of white fish fillet or prawns, frozen krill, live or frozen daphnia, mosquito larvae, etc.>
However, today I realized that my youngest frog lost 4 of his toes on one of his back feet. Its a little red where they fell off. Will it get infected? Will it kill him?
<Very hard to say, but it is a bad thing. Frogs are prone to something called "Red Leg" if their environment is not ideal. It's essentially the same thing as Finrot, and can be treated with much the same antibiotics. But like Finrot, it's evidence of physical damage (e.g., sharp sand or gravel; rough handling; nipping by fish) or else, and perhaps more commonly, non-zero ammonia and nitrite levels. Let me direct you to some reading:
While Xenopus are the larger African Clawed Frogs, their healthcare is identical to the dwarf Hymenochirus species you're keeping.>
And if not, is there anything I can do to help him be less uncomfortable?
<See above.>
Thanks for you help!
<Most welcome. Neale.>

African Dwarf Frog        2/10/19
Hey Wet Web Media,
My little African dwarf frog is having some problems. I got him some fungal infection meds but I am not sure what is going on and I need some help for my frog! It started off like the first picture and today it got really bad.
Anything you know would be great help!
Thank you!
<Looks like he's got a mouth infection -- pretty bad one too, not even sure I can see the lower jaw properly. In any case, you really need to be using a combination anti-Fungal, anti-bacterial medicine; something like Kanaplex or eSHa 2000 would be my pick. Observe the frog carefully for signs of distress, but these medications should be safe. It's a good idea to increase oxygenation of the water while using any medicine, and as always, ensure water quality is good: 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and a steady pH around 7-7.5. Your blue gravel is way too rough for frogs, and may be what's caused the problem here. A soft, lime-free sand (such as smooth silica sand) is the ideal. Coarse gravel causes abrasions, and it doesn't take much for these to become infected. Since they stick their heads into the sand when feeding, a damaged mouth or belly would be exactly the place such wounds would be seen. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: African Dwarf Frog       2/10/19
Thank you for the quick response. I will defiantly get new gravel.
<Sand better. Much, much better. Even fine pea gravel runs the risk of being eaten.>
As I was examining him later today it looks like some how he has pulled his jaw off :( will it grow back?
<Not a chance. Death is certain. Do read here:
Because frogs aren't fish, Clove Oil isn't reliable. Oddly enough, a good sized blob of regular 20% benzocaine gel works best, rubbed onto the underside, and then the frog is returned to the water. It will pass out almost at once, and be dead within minutes. There's a scientific paper on this here:
What is he kept with? Let me direct you to some more reading, here:
African Dwarf Frogs are essentially best kept alone or with extremely docile tankmates that feed from the surface, such as Endler's Guppies or Hatchetfish.>
Also what’s oxygenizing water?
<Adding an airstone for bubbles. Or adjusting the flow of water from the filter so that there's more splashing and/or ripples.>
Thank you again for the help.
<Most welcome. Neale.>

African Dwarf Frog     12/29/18
I have 4 ADF in a very well maintained tank. Three of the four are perfectly fine. One started with a little red bump on its nose, and it now looks much worse. I’ve searched and searched, but have failed to figure out what it could be and to help the little thing. She hasn’t lost weight, but I don’t see her eat when I feed them. She isn’t acting any different in regards to her activity level.
<This would be appear to be some type of bacterial infection. Medicating as per Finrot, using (reliable) anti-Finrot medications or (ideally) antibiotics, should do the trick. Maracyn 2 is a good choice. Do let me direct you to some reading about Red-Leg as this disease is often called:
Avoid non-treatments such as salt, Melafix, aloe Vera, and other supposed cure-alls that won't do anything helpful. Do also try and establish the cause of injury. Frogs rarely damage one another, but they can be damaged by rough substrates (they love to dig) and by aggressive tankmates (such as fish). Cheers, Neale.>

African Dwarf Frog? Bacterial and/or fungal leg infection? Injury?      7/25/18
Good evening,
my daughter has 9 ADF. One died a few weeks ago (bloated?).
Attached some photos from another sick frog leg - lies on back… then not moving just below surface… Toes on left leg red, rest of upper and lower leg covered in white stuff (skin? fungus? bacteria?). I would be grateful for advice, please (am a pediatrician with zero training in frogs)
Kind regards from Minneapolis,
<Hello Stefan. African Dwarf Frogs, Hymenochirus spp., are relatively easy to keep, but they do have some non-negotiable requirements. Miss these, and they can become sick very quickly. So let me first direct you to some reading:
To some degree they're really rather tough, and like most fish and amphibians, they exhibit a remarkable resilience against bacterial infections given they're basically swimming about in an aqueous solution of decomposing organic materials, nitrogenous compounds, and ambient populations of opportunistic bacteria such as Pseudomonas and Aeromonas! But once their defences are breached, bacterial infections can turn nasty. The most notorious is something called Red Leg, likely an Aeromonas infection. A suitable antibiotic is the best approach here. If you look at the webpage below, aimed at scientific researchers rather than hobbyists, you'll find out a fair deal about this infection and how to treat it: http://www.xenopus.com/disease.htm
Tetracycline is commonly recommended, but there's a bit of debate over whether this is as good as Trimethoprim for this particular infection. However you treat the Red Leg, do try and figure out why it happened at all. It rarely comes out of nowhere, and it's more likely physical damage (e.g., by rough gravel, careless handling, or even nippy fish) started the process, and an overall lack of cleanliness in the take fostered the development of the disease even further. A monotonous diet lacking in appropriate minerals and vitamins may also be a factor. Hope this helps, Neale.>

Re: African Dwarf Frog? Bacterial and/or fungal leg infection? Injury?    7/26/18
Thank you so very much for your prompt response. Have a great day, Stefan
<Most welcome and good luck! Neale.>

African Dwarf Frog shedding or diseased?      9/27/17
This morning, I noticed my ADF (I've had him for 8 months) covered in a semi-transparent film. It's barely 1/16th of an inch thick and seems to cover his whole body. It's very difficult to see unless I'm very close to the tank.
<Quite normal for sheets of skin to be shed periodically, sometimes in alarming amounts. Generally safe to ignore, so long as the frog is otherwise normal, and there's no evidence of fungus (such as threads) or bacterial infection (such as red-white patches).>
I can't figure out if this could be a fungal infection or if it's a normal pre-shedding thing. The forums are all over on this. Do you have any diagnosing suggestions?
<See above.>
How long should I wait before attempting treatment? Do you have any suggestions on treatment options?
<Sit and wait for now! If the skin doesn't come away cleanly over the next couple weeks, then certainly think about what might be done, and anti-fungal or anti-bacterial as the case may be. But a happy, hungry frog is probably a healthy frog.>
He lives in a 5.5 gallon tank, fully cycled, with 1/2 tank water changes weekly (using RO DI water). His appetite is really good, I just can't figure out what to do about this weird film.
Thank you very much.
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: African Dwarf Frog shedding or diseased?        9/28/17
Thank you so much for replying to me so quickly. You have no idea how much I appreciate this.
<Most welcome.>
I was hoping you'd say it was normal shedding - I just never saw it look like that before (then again, I have to be practically nose-pressed-to-the-glass to see this transparent film all around his body). If it does turn out to be serious, which meds do you recommend? I'd like to have them on-hand just in case.
<In all honesty, have a quick read here...
They give examples of the most common diseases, and describe some suitable products easily obtained (in the US) by aquarists. Elsewhere, when it comes to anti-bacterial medications, you either get them through a vet, who'll
choose the right one for you, or else switch to an alternative type of medication, like eSHa 2000.>
I do have another question, if that's alright with you.
I just finished dealing with chytrid fungus with my other ADF. (both frogs were never in the same tank/room as each other, chytrid frog is at home and filmy-frog is at work.). I always use fresh gloves when touching anything
frog-related and am pretty confident that the fungus has not spread from the sick frog to my other one (I've had the chytrid frog for about 2.5 months now).
I bought this one at PetSmart as a companion for my first and didn't realize until too late that he very likely had the fungus - judging from the tattered skin shreds all over his body.
I've been extremely careful in my treatment (gloved hands, new container after every round of lamsil baths) and (fingers crossed) I think I've finally beaten it (after 3 rounds of treatment - it's been exhausting).
It's been about 3 weeks with no further tattered shedding and he finally has a really good appetite.
<A really good sign with amphibians generally.>
I'd like to know how long should I keep him in isolation prior to him being considered "safe" to live with another frog? Do I have to worry about the fungus still transferring over to the new frog when I bring the two together?
<Chytrid fungus is a serious threat, and I'd be super-conservative here.
I'd be waiting at least 6 weeks before combining the two frogs. Since frogs don't get lonely, there's no overwhelming reason to combine them anyways, and you may decide to keep your formerly Batrachochytrium-infected frog in
its own tank indefinitely, or at least for a good few months yet.>
I plan to buy one of those test-kits for the chytrid fungus just to make sure he still doesn't have it but I think the fungus might still be in the water?
<Indeed possible, which is why I'd sterilise, as far as possible, anything exposed to the Batrachochytrium fungus. Chuck out anything difficult to clean but easily replaced (sand, bogwood, plants) and thoroughly clean with hot soapy water anything that can be properly cleaned (rocks, gravel, ornaments). You can't do much about filter media without killing the bacteria, but you might decide whether deep cleaning the filter and replacing the media with mature media from another tank is the way to go. It's what I'd do, anyway. Obviously change all the water, scrub the glass, heater, etc. Fungal spores will tend to lurk in crevices, which is why soft and porous things, like sponges, wood and plants, are especially bad. The ideal situation is to move your "cured" Chytrid frog into an entirely new aquarium that you know is Batrachochytrium-free, and take if from there. In this situation, the only way Batrachochytrium would carry across would be on the frog (which we hope is clear) and any minute drops of water on the frog (hopefully a very small risk). Moving healthy frogs into a system that once had Batrachochytrium fungus in it is more risky because of all the places the Batrachochytrium fungus might still lurk, unless we thoroughly
cleaned the system so well it was practically sterile. It's a toughie!
There are aquarium products out there for sterilising aquaria, but you'd need somewhere to house the frogs during the process, and of course some mature filter media you can take from a clean tank afterwards, to jump start the filter once the sterilised tank is reassembled.>
He lives in a cycled 2.5 gallon tank with a little plant, 3 gallon filter and several hidey-holes. Once a week I conduct 1/2 tank water changes.
<All sounds great. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: African Dwarf Frog shedding or diseased?        9/28/17

Wow. Your responses are above and beyond. Thank you so much. There is so much information and nothing is consistent on the internet.
<You're assuming I'm right, of course...!>
The website you sent...the film looks kind of like how it does on the fungus frog, only more transparent and there's an even coat of it all across my frog. That leads me to think that somehow my little guy managed to catch a different fungus. Should I wait for the chytrid test kit or start treating him with Methylene blue? (I tried to find Mardel Maroxy but it wasn't available online).
<Regular, generic fungus is easily cured with clean water, good food, and aquarium anti-fungus medicine (remembering to remove carbon from the filter, if used). So you could use this, prophylactically even, to eliminate the possibility of regular fungus. As/when the chytrid test kit turns up, you can of course use it.>
Also, I know this is kind of silly to ask, but if I do a whole tank treatment should I still sterilize everything or could the medicine treat the tank as it is helping my frog?
<Hard to know. In theory the medicine should eliminate the fungus from both frog and aquarium, but it's hard to say. Hospital tanks tend to be clean and empty of decorations so that the medicine can get everywhere. Display
tanks have more sand, plants, etc., so while the medicine might work through the frog, you can't be sure about the decor. A conservative approach is justified here. By all means hope the tank is chytrid-free, but keep a close eye, and don't assume it's chytrid-free, at least not until you've had a good few months of success.>
I ask because right now I don't have any extra media. When I got the chytrid frog, I didn't know at the time how serious the disease was so I wasn't as careful as I should be when handling my other tanks. At this point, it's safe to assume that all tanks at home are infected.
<A wise assumption.>
I've seen some websites that talk about beating chytrid with heat and salt.
Do you know how true that is?
<There has been some research into the use of salt, with some positive outcomes. But it seems unlikely salt concentrations strong enough to kill the fungus are safe for a freshwater frog across the long term. Definitely
need some further evidence before I'd recommend this approach. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: African Dwarf Frog shedding or diseased?        9/28/17
Once again, thank you.
One last question and I'll be out of your hair. Do you know what happened to the Mardel Maroxy or the Maracyn Brand? I remember ordering it from Amazon about a year ago for my fish tanks but I can't seem to find that
brand anymore.
<Hmm... just looked and found both on Amazon.com. So not really sure what to say here! To be fair, neither would be my first choice for treating bacterial infections in frogs. Tetracycline-based antibiotics perhaps a bit better. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: African Dwarf Frog shedding or diseased?       9/29/17

Oh. My bad. I originally clicked a couple of discontinued links. Anyway, thank you once again. You are a lifesaver.
<The candy or the inflatable jacket? Cheers, Neale.>

Re: African Dwarf Frog shedding or diseased?      9/30/17
Hi again,
Your website is incredibly helpful when it comes to my questions and general information. Thank you for that.
<Most welcome.>
In the last couple of days, the fuzzy outline went from barely there to very visible. I tried capturing it on camera but my phone had a difficult time focusing on him (blurry outline from the fuzz). He's in a bare-bottom tank right now (for ease of treatment) and as you can see, there's a lot of reflections.
<Indeed, but not a problem. This frog is looking healthy from what I can see. A little extra weight might be nice, but if he's eating well, then I think he'll be okay. There's no obvious damage to the skin that I can see, and if there are loose 'sheets', that may be normal shedding.>
I'm starting with Maracyn 2 for bacteria infection (internal/external according to the box), along with a Methylene blue dip once a day...because whatever it is, it's getting aggressive. From there, I plan to go with a Maroxy treatment for general fungal infections and possibly I'll add Methylene blue to the tank if nothing else seems to work.
<Don't overdo the medication! Medicate when you identify the problem, rather than randomly. If the frog is making progress under its own steam, then complete the current course of medications and then step back.
Interactions between medications can cause problems in themselves.>
Have you or anyone you known ever seen something like this? Any suggestions for treatment?
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: African Dwarf Frog shedding or diseased?      9/30/17
I may have panicked a bit...
What started as a faint outline of fuzz, spread and thickened significantly on the frog's skin in the last few days, it's about 1/8 inch thick now. He looks like a little fuzz-ball. I've had this species for 8 months now, so I know this can't be shedding.
So, I figured I'd find the safest medications for frogs and try them one after another and see if anything can bring the skin back to normal. I'd rather not wait until his appetite diminishes - cause with ADFs, I've learned that once their appetite goes, then they die within a couple of days.
<Does depend rather on their starting body weight, but yes, I agree.>
Thank you for your advice and I will be more careful with the medication. I will not mix them, and be more careful with them.
<If the frog is suddenly getting mucous-y, I'd be wondering if something (like copper) is irritating the frog's skin. I'd suggest also looking to see if the filter is removing all the silt, because when this gets stuck on the mucous, it can make things look a lot worse. In any event, medicating as per a bacterial infection is likely the first thing to do, but thereafter, I'd do substantial water changes, and leave a few days, before starting anything new. Do bear in mind that sometimes a second course of an antibiotic is necessary, so it's not always that the antibiotic was 'wrong' it's more that it needs a second pass. Cheers, Neale>

Sick ACF - Red Leg or Fungal?       7/29/16
We have four Albino African Clawed Frogs (two were 13 years old and the other two are 4 years old) kept in a 20 gallon tank with a Cascade 500 filter. The frogs are normally fed every Sunday, however two Sundays ago (7/17) all four refused to eat. I decided to give it a week and if they were still refusing to eat the next Sunday I'd go check on them myself. The next Sunday (7/24), I'm called over to check on them to find that one of the older ones has died, rigor mortis had already set in and the eyes were glazed over (pictures here: http://imgur.com/a/Vo3BI). I could find no readily apparent cause of death at the time, I thought the discoloration was due to decomposition. He had likely died early in the night.
<I agree; nothing obvious here that couldn't simply be decay. That said, red blisters or inflammation on the skin is always worrying with amphibians, and any specimens showing such symptoms in life are best treated with an antibiotic promptly.>
After removing the body, we set about cleaning the filter and change about 80% of the water. It turns out that the filter had been broken for an indeterminate amount of time, the motor would run but no longer generated appreciable suction and due to the design of the filter, the water was able to continue flowing without actually passing through any of the internal filters.
This is compounded on by something we hadn't considered, until this year, they had always been kept in or right next to a room with air conditioning, over the past month we've been hit with high 80s to mid 90s temperatures every day without a break, undoubtedly the water temperature had been consistently in the 80s throughout most of the day.
<A lethal combo. Xenopus does best at room temperature, around 22 C/72 F being ideal. Higher temperatures will increase metabolism (so more waste produced) while stressing the frogs (causing them to be more sensitive to
bacterial infections).>
After realizing the state of the canister filter, I checked on the other frogs, the two younger ones were somewhat lethargic but otherwise externally uncompromised. The remaining eldest, however, had red patches above his eyes, on his arm, and a brown patch on his stomach as if the skin had rotted (more pictures here: http://imgur.com/a/krGs3). Two things to note are that he's had what I've always assumed to be a slow moving cataract in his eye for years, the white in his right eye is not a symptom and the white growth on his nose is a nonmalignant tumor he's had for over
a decade.
<The red sores are likely a reaction to ammonia and nitrite. I'd optimise water quality while treating as per Finrot in fish, using reliable antibiotics such as Kanamycin or Tetracycline.>
At the time I had not noticed the stomach and decided to treat for a fungal infection using Methylene Blue based off the recommendation of an aquatic wholesale retailer I know. The results have been ... confusingly mixed. As
of today, (7/28) one of the younger frogs is back to eating, the other is not. All three frogs are no longer lethargic. One of the sores over the older one's eyes has disappeared, the other grew for about two days but seems to have stabilized. The sore on the stomach did likewise. expanding dramatically but seemingly stopping growth over the last two days. In the process, the brown skin has fallen off and the remaining area is red and raw. The arm has healed completely and is back to normal but a small new red sore has appeared on his right knee in the last two days, while the rest of the leg is back to normal (Stomach pictures from yesterday (7/27):
http://imgur.com/a/gp0do) . Additionally, he's been shedding nonstop and if I had a camera outside of my phone you could likely see the wisps of molt from him.
<Shedding is something Xenopus does, but it will also happen at a higher than normal rate during periods of environmental stress.>
At this point I'm utterly befuddled, I'm no Herpetologist and illness is far outside my area of expertise - this is the first issue we've had in 13 years.
<Sounds like you're more expert than you think!
Originally, we chose not to isolate due to the fact that we assumed they were all infected based off of their behavior and wanted to avoid adding further stress, though obviously I'm beginning to regret that assessment.
If I had the money and wasn't afraid the 30 mile trip alone would kill him, I'd bring him to the nearest reputable veterinary clinic that treats amphibians. Any advice you can provide is greatly appreciated.
Thank you, AR
<Let me direct you to a couple of my favourite links on Xenopus health, here:
Lots of photos and suggestions for medications there. I'm fairly sure you're looking at a combo of environmental stress and bacterial infection, and would combine antibiotics with daily water changes (do the water changes *before* adding that day's medication). Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Sick ACF - Red Leg or Fungal?       8/2/16

I thank you for your prompt response.
Following your advice I purchased Tetracycline and finished the fourth treatment today. As of yesterday (7/31), the two frogs that were refusing to eat have mostly regained their appetites for the most part - though interestingly enough, the eldest more so than our 4 year old female so far.
<Good sign they're eating, however enthusiastically.>
Additionally, the sores on the eldest have begun to slowly heal (Images here: http://imgur.com/a/9P1S9 ). Having tested the water, I can confirm that the most likely cause was high ammonia and nitrite levels.
Filtration is proving to be rather problematic. Penn-Plax, the maker of the faulty filter that caused this debacle, refuses to answer either email or phone calls.
<Poor show.>
This has left us using the old canister filter we replaced a year ago due to its inability to keep up with the filtering of the water in the tank - with a hampered bio-filter as a result of the antibiotics and Antifungals recently used. Even with daily water changes, The ammonia levels have ranged from 4-8 ppm with highly elevated nitrite and nitrate levels as well.
Currently we're attempting to locate a dependable new filter (any links/suggestions welcome).
<Depends upon your budget. A plain undergravel filter is perfectly viable with Xenopus, or for that matter air-powered sponge filters. But the key thing with Xenopus is that they produce A LOT of waste, as well as shedding skin. So you want to buy a filter rated for "the next size up" from your aquarium. So if you have a 20-gallon tank, choose something for 40 gallons.
A lot of American aquarists find hang-on-the-back filters to be the most widely sold and inexpensive, and they can work well. But I'd make the observation that certain brands do have a better reputation for reliability than others. Eheim is the best of the best, routinely working for 20 years without any issues at all, and excellent support through dealers for things like spare parts, so even when things do go wrong, it's usually easy to fix them. I'd have though something like the Eheim Powerball 180 would be reliable, easy to maintain, and a good choice for Xenopus, even if you did want to turn the flow rate down a little if you find the Xenopus working too hard when swimming. Lots of space on the inside for biological media, and the design is extremely simple to open up and clean. These are the filters I use in two of my tanks. I also like the Eheim Classic external filters. Fluval and Whisper are two reasonably good brands that should last
you a good ten years at least, and Fluval in particular has spares available through retailers, so is another brand, like Eheim, you can service yourself. Most of the no-name brands are cheap and cheerful, and should last a few years, but not forever, and as you've discovered, after-sales service is practically nil.>
In the meantime, we're considering our options on how best to balance the concerns of water quality with the fact that the frogs have lost a fair deal of weight from not eating for almost a month (Example here: http://imgur.com/a/9fCiB ). Thoughts on a temporarily revised feeding schedule or if we should simply go back to the regular schedule are
<Wouldn't overfeed, no. Wouldn't feed at all while nitrite and ammonia aren't zero. These frogs don't have a high metabolic rate and will recover from starvation very well, all else being equal.>
Once again, thank you. You've been tremendously helpful, AR
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Inherited African Dwarf Frogs       2/14/16
Hello WWM,
I have a beautiful female ADF that has become a dear member of our family.
She breeds constantly and is quite round and quite sweet.
<Sounds a nifty pet!>
She always looks as though she's smiling and gets real excited when she sees us. However, l recently noticed her right leg, inner section is very red- the vein, but not her left
. She also hasn't been wiggling her legs and body as per usual. I gently removed her to examine her and while on her back in my palm, I ever so slightly glazed my finger over her right leg.
She definitely jumped, I believe it was painful (my poor girl). When I did the same to the left leg, she did not move at all. Do you have any experience with red looking veins and what I can do to bring her some relief (if it is indeed painful)?
<Unfortunately, yes, this is quite serious problem.>
And lastly, a few days ago, I noticed she could not stay at the bottom, as she kept floating to the top, while trying to hold onto something with her feet spread apart to keep herself rooted at the bottom, eventually her body would force itself to the top. I believe this was gas- am I right, or something else to be concerned about? She is fine now with regards to staying at the bottom and swimming about.
Best regards,
<Do have a look here:
These bacterial infections are treatable if caught early on; otherwise, usually fatal. Antibiotics certainly necessary. Good luck, Neale.>
Re: Inherited African Dwarf Frogs       2/14/16

Thank you for getting back to me quickly. I have isolated her and am calling pet supply stores to inquire about antibiotics (tetracycline).
However, I also see it is advised to give a "salt bath". I have pure sea salts (without iodine or additives) but I am not sure how much to put in, in a small 1 gallon container??
<I doubt salt will help much. Pet shops are happy to sell you salt (it's very profitable!) but unless this advice came from a vet or experienced amphibian keeper, I'd take it with a pinch of salt (if you'll pardon the pun). Put another way, before you go adding salt to the tank, join the Caudata forum and ask the good folks there for advice.
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Inherited African Dwarf Frogs      3/19/16

Hi WWM Crew,
I was able to treat my female ADF's bacterial infection with antibiotics, and she seems to be in tip top shape.
<Great news!>
Her leg is back to normal color and she is energetic and swimming around, feeding well. However, I noticed she now has a tiny bump (almost like a pimple) on the top of her arm-belly (if she had an armpit that is where it is located).
Is this indication of another infection or do African dwarf frogs get small cysts that go away on their own?
<Males have a distinctive pore or pimple (called the post axillary subdermal gland) roughly where their armpits would be. These are pink or white and may be as large as the eyeball. Females lack these. Other pores or pits are not normal, but not necessarily lethal either; observation would be the first action here, and antibiotics only if the frog showed signs of getting worse, stress, lack of appetite, etc.>
She is the only frog of our family of six that has had any issues. Should I do another round of antibiotics for her?
<See above; I would not if the frog is otherwise fine and feeding, but I would keep an eye on it.>
Also, an unrelated issue, yet same frog: Several weeks ago, once I treated her with antibiotics for her Redleg, I noticed her floating at the top, but not because she wanted to. She could not keep her body at the bottom of the
tank. Upon inspection, I noticed her skin looked translucent on the left side of her middle (large tummy) and seemed to have a fluid bubble inside that was forcing her to float. She looked miserable and was not eating during that time. I wondered if it was bloat and resigned myself to the fact that our favorite frog was likely going to die. She hung on though and responded well to a salt bath, which seemed to treat the fluid bubble completely.
<I would probably leave it that, perhaps alongside the use of Epsom Salt in the water over the next few weeks; 1-3 teaspoons per 5 gallons/20 litres.>
As I said, she is happily swimming about now, eating well and otherwise doing great. Big Mama is resilient if nothing else.
Kind regards,
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Inherited African Dwarf Frogs       3/20/16

Hi Neale,
I did not properly thank you for advising me to get antibiotics asap for my frog when she seemed to have the beginning stages of 'Redleg'. I am so grateful that she is back to herself, healthy, happy and robustly eating.
<Glad to have helped.>
I was mistaken regarding the location of my female ADF's recent cyst: It is on the top portion of her arm, not the underside where the male ADF's glands are located... hence my worry as this cyst-like/pimple is fairly recent and has caused her to hide from the males so they cannot mate her.
In the past she was predominantly the one who laid all the eggs and seemed to rotate being mated between the four males (my other female ADF, is not as friendly as Big Mama, nor has she ever laid eggs). I wonder if the salt
bath you prescribed would treat the cyst?
<Epsom salt doesn't really treat anything as such. It's a laxative (so good for constipation) and because it increases the mineral content of the water, it helps to draw out fluids (so useful for bloating, dropsy, that sort of thing). But it isn't a medicine otherwise, and has no appreciable impact on bacterial infections, fungal infections, or protozoan parasites.
Assuming that this "cyst" is an infected wound of some sort, adding an antibiotic should help. But otherwise good water quality and careful
observation could be sufficient. Aquatic animals generally have quite good resilience to physical damage like non-lethal bites and scratches, all else being equal. They have to, because they're swimming around in water filled
with opportunistic bacterial. Red Leg/Finrot-type diseases are really about the animals own immune system have become overwhelmed by bacteria because the animal was stressed and its immune system compromised. Make sense?>
<And likewise! Neale.>

help!    11/15/14
Hello I appreciate any input you can contribute. I have two ACFs: one is albino, and this pretty girl here. I got the albino in 2006 and this one in 07. They are tank mates in a 20 gallon, filtered tank and have always been fine together. Lately “Pearl” has shown raggedy skin and at first I thought she might be shedding but it looked like the colored part of the skin was peeling away revealing white underneath.
<Severe, serious bacterial infection. Possibly treatable with antibiotics.>

It continued to deteriorate and yesterday and today she has been hanging out at the top of the tank. Afraid of disease, I removed her from the tank and when I did as you can see here, she’s been bleeding. I plan to put her in isolation in a gallon tank when the bleeding slows or stops.
<Do ensure water quality is at least as good as the home tank. Remember, if you have a small (e.g., 1 gallon) tank that's unfiltered, you'll simply be exposing the frog to worse conditions than before. So while a hospital tank is a plus, and something around 5-10 gallons viable for a singleton frog across the short term, you'd still need to ensure adequate (a) temperature and (b) filtration.>
My question to you is this- is this disease or injury?
<A little injury perhaps started things, but now a massive infection has set in. Think of gangrene and you're on the right lines.>
I don’t know what to make of it. It looks like one of her front legs and part of her side are wrecked as well. She is not bloated at all. Any advice on treatment and in worst case, euthanasia? I called a local store and the man I spoke with called it aggression and if I needed to euthanize, suggested that a humane way would be to put her in a bag of water and put her in the freezer. I’m so sad!
<Freezing animals this size isn't humane. It was very, very common in the past to do this, and less well informed aquarists still do it. But no vet would recommend it for large animals (it's just about defensible to immerse a tiny fish, like a Neon, into iced water -- as opposed to just ice -- and cool it down so rapidly it dies very quickly). The standard approach for euthanising frogs is to use MS-222; a vet may be able to supply some for use, or else a trained biologist, e.g., at a university lab. Alternatively, there's "pithing" but it's not easy to do right, and for most people, simply too gruesome.>
Thanks for any help!
<Let me direct you to a few relevant pages:
What you're dealing with is likely Red Leg or something similar, and medication will be needed. Products such as Tetracycline, Maracyn II and Maracyn Plus have been used successfully. Depending where you live these may be available in pet stores (the US) or via vets (in the EU and most other countries). Consulting a vet is recommended because they will precisely calculate the dose, whereas using store-bought medications, while better than nothing, are hit-and-miss when it comes to correct dosing. Good luck, Neale.>

Re: help!     11/15/14
Thank you very much for responding. She had been isolated but died during last night.
<Too bad. Good luck with the remaining frogs. Neale.>

Red Feet/Safe Plants... for...?    5/16/13
<Hello Amanda,>
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 water clean.>
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 feet.
<Very bad.>
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 do? 
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 sentence.
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 safe? 
<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 of alternatives.
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.>
Thanks, --Amanda
<Welcome, Neale.>
Re: Red Feet/Safe Plants   5/16/13

Thank you!
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 packaging.>
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.>

"Red Leg" in ACFs    5/19/13
Hi Crew,
<Guten tag, Julia!>
this is not a question, but I´ve just read about the ADF with possible "Red Leg" infection, so I wanted to share my own experiences with this syndrome
(if this is of interest; if not, feel free to ignore this Email ;)).
<Ah, not our style.>
A few months ago, I wanted to get a few buddies for my two ACFs (an adult pair, 42 gal tank, filtered, fully cycled, planted. No problems). I was able to acquire three frogs from a lab (one male, two females), which I moved into a 30 gal quarantine tank first. Smooth sand bottom, two terracotta pots, floating plants, an adequately sized canister filter. I checked the water daily (0 NO2, << 25 ppm NO3, pH 7.2, temp. about 68 °C, moderately hard water).
<All sounds good. But do read this excellent summary by the RSPCA on the care of Xenopus spp in labs, here:
Among other things, a somewhat warmer temperature is recommended, around 22 C. I mention temperature because many tropical animals are sensitive to opportunistic infections when chilled, and even if otherwise tolerant of cool conditions, warming them up can get their immune systems working better.>
They settled in just fine and for the first few days, everything was ok; they were active and always hungry just like my other frogs. But after six days, the new male suddenly became listless and had two tiny red spots on his feet as well as slightly swollen hind legs. I had a bad feeling about that and immediately separated him from the females before doing a large water change in the 30 gal tank. The next morning, he was barely moving and had several severe hemorrhages (he spent the night in a clean tank without any decor, so an injury is out of question). I took him to a vet, but it was too late and he died in the evening of the same day.
<Very sad.>
Because of the very fast progression of this infection (36 hours from a perfectly healthy frog to death), the vet gave me some Baytril to treat the females which didn´t show any symptoms yet preventatively. Luckily, this was successful and I could move them to the display tank four weeks after the end of the treatment.
In this case, I can rule out environmental problems as a cause. The frogs have lived under stressful conditions in the lab and I know of some deaths due to Aeromonas hydrophila in the colony before; I think the inevitable stress from being moved was just too much for this frog.
<Could well have been, particularly if they were handled a bit roughly when moved. Capturing frogs can damage their skin as they rub against the gravel, net or your hands.>
I just wanted to show that this is a very dangerous disease which requires a prompt reaction. The photo shows the frog shortly after its death.
<Thanks for sharing. Hope your other frogs do better. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Red Feet/Safe Plants     5/21/13
I just wanted to let you know that we did get the medicine, and are on the third day of the treatment.  I have been putting both types of Maracyn in the water, which is how I understood what you said previously.  But ever since I started it, a white fuzz has been gathering on my frog.  Is this just from the medicine or is there something else wrong?
<If the threads are fluffy, like cotton wool, then it's fungus. Quite common alongside bacterial infections. Methylene Blue and other anti-fungal remedies may help.>
Also, does the Maracyn cause the frogs pain?
<Should not do so, no; it's merely an antibiotic.>
Because when I sprinkle it in the water, I notice he twitches around and seems like he's trying to escape from it or rub it off on the rocks in the water. 
Thank you!
<Most welcome, Neale.>

ADF skin disease - please help? 1/25/12
I came in this morning to my office and saw this on my ADF (please see attached photo) - first, he has a very unnatural stance and seems very stiff but still responds when you tap on the glass. He has multiple white patches on this back and under his arms. I suspect that it is a fungal infection but is there a way to treat it?
<I agree with your diagnosis. Methylene Blue should work. Use as indicated on the bottle. Remove carbon from the filter, if used.>
I did a regular water change last week, and the only difference was that because he was thin, I fed him some frozen brine shrimp. Could they have caused this?
<He is certainly VERY underweight. What is his environment like? These Dwarf Frogs need a reasonably large aquarium (5 gallons is surely the minimum) as well as filtration and, crucially, heat. Do read:
He did not eat that many on Friday, and has not eaten over the weekend.
Can this be treated with anti-fungals used for freshwater aquariums?
Please help - thanks,
<Cheers, Neale.>

African Dwarf Frog with Fungus... No rdg. 5/20/11
I received two African Dwarf Frogs from a friend at the end of last summer named Justin and Lindsay. Originally they were in the same tank, which I was told a self-sustaining eco-system and that all I needed to do was change 50% of the water once every 2-3 months.
<... am wondering what this actually is system-wise. Gallons (at least ten), live plants (plenty), filtration...>
One day I noticed that Justin, who is significantly larger than Lindsay, was preventing Lindsay from eating by biting her side and dragging her to the bottom of the tank every time she attempted to each the pellets floating on the top of the water. So I quickly separated the two, putting Lindsay in a different aquarium tank, and things have been fine since then.
However, yesterday I noticed a white, cottony growth on Lindsay's back left foot. I immediately did a 50% water change
<Good start>
but I haven't noticed any improvement. It looks like there is almost a cocoon around her foot with thin, translucent fungus hairs coming out in all directions. Lindsay is floating on the top of the water, which isn't unusual but is also not common. I read that for other cases like this Melafix is recommended, but I'm also wondering what variety of water conditioner is good for frogs?
<All that are made for aquarium use>
I also have a beta fish,
<What a test one? Betta>
so I have been using a fish water conditioner (for tap water to be suitable for aquatic life) for my frogs too. Is this okay?
Or should I get a different conditioner for the frogs?
Thank you,
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/dwfafdis.htm
and the linked files above, particularly Systems. Do write back if you have further specific questions, concerns. Oh, your issue here is almost certainly environmental... though avitaminoses may play a role. Bob Fenner>

White fuzz and ADF [Methylene blue vs. Malachite green] 7/22/10
I've read your site which is the only place I have been able to find any information... so thanks for that... Alas, I don't think I read far enough soon enough... Here is the saga and the question.
My ADF got a white cottony fungus on his foot about 2 months back. I used the liquid fungus cure ( aquarium pharmaceuticals) which turns the water green. I didn't save the ingredients and so I don't know if it has something
the frog is sensitive to. His foot fell off complete with the cottony fungus. I kept him in the hospital tank for a few more days just to be certain he was okay. Once I was sure... I returned him to the tank with the rest of his friends. (another frog, and some betas)
<Betta, as in "better", from the local name for these fish, "Bettah".>
after about a week or so the fungus came back. So I went back to the store and then they sold me some fungus guard- which turns the water blue- and now I find that it has the blue that frogs are sensitive to. Okay, so I did another complete water change and am back to the green liquid cure that doesn't seem to be working. My frog is clearly VERY sturdy as he has been hanging in there through all of this... but the fuzz is not clearing up.
Is the liquid fungus cure the same thing you have been recommending? My pet store seemed to think so.. but again its not clearing up the fuzz.
I'm sorry to ask the same question over again... but I'm very worried about him.
Thanks so much!!
<Dawn, generally Methylene blue is deemed to be fairly non-toxic, and can be used safely with even baby fish. So given the choice, that's the medication I'd use. Malachite green is somewhat more toxic, and can affect things like biological filtration as well, and should be used with caution.
For what it's worth, Methylene blue is a reliable anti-fungal medication.
It should be noted though that "amphibian medicine" is a very unclear science, and fungal infections generally are known to cause massive morality in the wild.
As ever, prevention is the name of the game here, which in the case of aquatic frogs means providing good, clean water without copper or ammonia, properly filtered, and with regular 25% water changes. Diet is another key issue, with vitamin deficiencies likely reducing the frog's own immune response to opportunistic infections. Cheers, Neale.>
<<Neale, this product's active ingredient is Acriflavine: http://cms.marsfishcare.com/files/msds/fungus_cure_liq_030308.pdf

Frog missing foot I have two African dwarf frogs in a 2 and a half gallon tank. One is a female and one male. At least that is what I think. I noticed today that my male is missing his foot. Upon searching the tank to figure out what might have happened, I noticed that my thermometer was broken on the top. I have no idea how this happened. My main concern is that he will be okay and is not suffering. I was worried that he will get infected. Please tell me what to do. Thanks. < Years ago I had a newt in which my cichlids chewed off one of the feet. Keep the area clean so it doesn't fungus. Furanace is a good drug to use if you notice any cottony growth developing on it. It should soon heal up in a few days.-Chuck.

African Dwarf Frog question, hlth.   4/6/08 WWM Crew, I love your site by the way, I am a new fish owner and I enjoy reading your site and getting lots of really useful information. But here is the issue. I have a decent size 5 gallon tank where I have just a single ADF named Sal. <Hmm... "decent" isn't really how I'd define 5 gallon tanks. The problem is that they're very difficult to keep stable in terms of pH, water quality, etc. Even for very small beasts, you're a lot better off with a 10 gallon tank unless you're an expert fishkeeper.> He seems to be fine, is always playing and floating towards the top of the tank. I had him for about a month before I purchased a mystery snail. About 3 days after I introduced the snail into the tank with the frog the snail developed a fungus. <Snails don't normally develop fungus. They're either alive or dead. Are you sure this just wasn't algae on the shell?> As soon as I recognized what it was the snail was immediately put into isolation. After changing the water in the tank with the ADF and cleaning everything. I've noticed that Sal has developed a single red bump under each of his front arms its doesn't seem to be bothering him or anything, I'm just trying to figure out if he has something that I need to treat. <Yes; find an amphibian-safe antibacterial or antibiotic. Your local reptile pet store will be able to help here. Fish-grade medications may be safe, but often aren't. Once bacterial infections get established, these little frogs die very quickly.> I don't want him getting sick and making his happy little life uncomfortable. All the levels in the tank are fine, he doesn't have red leg or cloudy eyes or any other symptoms. Any advice would be great or am I being overly paranoid? Thanks. Paranoid ADF lady <Hope this helps. Neale.>

Aquatic Frog Red Sore on Finger  4/19/08 Hi WWM, Hello; I have an aquatic frog named Freddie who is almost a year old now. He is in a 10 gallon tank and all readings are perfect. I maintain the tank once a week. Freddie is eating well and swimming a lot. But, I noticed for over two weeks now he has a red sore on his finger that will not go away. I started to treat him with aquarium salt and Melafix. Please give advice if this is the proper care. Thanks ahead of time, Jean <Hello Jean. This is a secondary bacterial infection, likely caused by poor water quality and/or physical damage. Melafix and salt are useless for treating bacterial infections; both are primarily used as preventatives rather than cures, and many of us here at WWM doubt their value even then. Instead, use a suitable antibiotic or antibacterial medication safe for use with amphibians. A pet store that specializes in reptiles and amphibians will be able to provide such medication, as will a vet. Bear in mind that fish-safe medications (such as eSHa 2000 and Maracyn) could harm the frog, so shouldn't be used before confirming that they are safe. Red sores are likely caused by Aeromonas bacteria, and untreated lead to Red Leg, a deadly disease. While dealing with the infection, establish what caused the problem in the first place. Water quality is usually the problem, but if you mix frogs with fish (something you shouldn't do) the fish can attack the frog making it vulnerable to infections. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: African dwarf frog
-- 04/19/08 Yikes! Why does PetSmart give such crappy information! <No idea. Not all branches give bad information or misleading sales pitches. But some appear to do so.> I'll keep Ferdinand where he is, and maybe I'll buy him a new froggie to visit with. <Sounds like a plan!> I will also take my black skirts and tigers back to PetSmart and give them up for adoption! <These species are only problematic if you choose to keep them with slow or long finned fish. Also tend to be "bad" when kept in too-small a group, i.e., less than six. They're fine fish mixed with other barbs and tetras though.> I'll add some angels or ghost shrimp instead. <Hold out for Cherry Shrimps if you can -- although not so big as Ghost Shrimp, they're nicer colours and happily breed in well-run aquaria. I have quite a colony in 10 gallon tank, and they're more fun to watch than the fish!> If I get rid of them, would it be safe then to add Ferdinand to the mix? <Frogs are safe ONLY with completely peaceful, non-nippy fish. Angels would be a bad choice. Shrimps should be fine, as are things like Corydoras and surface-living things like Danios and Halfbeaks.> Also, is there any way to keep Neons alive? I still have 2 of my original 8, and I would love to have about a dozen of them. <Neons are plagued by a problem known as Neon Tetra Disease (or Pleistophora). In a nutshell, if one gets sick and it dies in the tank, it will infect the others. There is no cure except breaking the cycle by removing sick fish on sight. Neons also need soft, acid water. They also need lower than normal temperatures: around 22-24 C (that's about 72-75 F in old money). Kept at high temperatures they just won't thrive. Because Neons are mass-produced to be cheap rather than decent quality, you "get what you pay for" -- so anywhere you're seeing Neons at a buck a throw, you have to ask yourself just how good are these fish that they've managed to sell them at under 50% what they went for even a few years ago. Oddly enough, Cardinals tend to be (in my experience) altogether easier to keep, though they *definitely* need soft water to do well.> Thanks for the great advice. <Happy to help, Neale.>

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