Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs About Xenopus laevis, African Clawed Frogs in General

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

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

Xenopus come in "normal"/natural color and albino.

Help with ACF      4/6/20
Hello, I've had my from for 7 years. About 2 years ago he got soft bloat.
He was still happy, eating and singing. I recently changed his diet bc I was told the wrong thing at Petco, and he got better for a few weeks. Now he developed this on his under belly and I just noticed the hole tonight.
Any recommendations? Thank you
<Bloating in Xenopus is not uncommon. Your specimens are a reasonable age, given they can live 20+ years, indicating essentially good care, but it's always worth reviewing living conditions. Do start reading here: http://www.xenopus.com/disease.htm
Always a good website for sick Xenopus. Maracyn II is minocycline, while Maracyn Plus is trimethoprim and sulphonamide. The RSPCA suggest Oxytetracycline for bacterial infections, so that's another alternative. If you haven't already read their report (aimed at vets and lab workers, but
useful for us pet-owners too) have a read:
Both sources recommend the use of salt, which through osmosis will draw out some of the water. A good starting point would be 2 gram/litre, but Xenopus are surprisingly salt-tolerant amphibians, and you could raise this a bit after a week or so to perhaps 3-5 gram/litre for a few days if needs be.
After a few days, come back down to 2 gram/litre. What you should find is the swelling goes down. Hope this helps, Neale.>

Re: Help with ACF      4/6/20
Thank you so much!
<Welcome. Neale.>

Question about African Clawed Frog      8/23/19
Hi, I was wondering about my Albino African Clawed Frog. It is turning black like it has dirt on it, but we just cleaned the tank that it is in.
<Hard to say without a photo. Couple of obvious things to ask. First, did you use a water conditioner? If not, ammonia or chlorine could be irritating the skin and/or causing damage. Secondly, was there a lot of
silt in the water? This can stick the mucous on the frog, but will wash away in time. Will direct you to some reading for now:
While popular critters and quite hardy, Xenopus are not without a few basic needs. These include relatively cool water (20 C/68 F) and adequate space (60 litres/15 US gallons). They rarely cohabit well with fish or other animals, and while a filter of some sort is essential, very turbulent water flow rates will stress them. Cheers, Neale.>

3 y.o. Albino African Clawed Frog, Pinky  14 megs...   2/16/19
My female frog laid eggs twice last month and seemed lethargic before and after, which is her normal behavior during this time.
<And not uncommon among amphibians, post-egg-laying.>
The lethargy didn't go away and her tank was pretty filthy, but she was eating, as far as I know.
<Always a good indicator of overall health; if you see your frog eating, it's probably okay, or at least treatable even if there are signs of injury or disease.>
This past Monday when I came home and went over to her and looked at her face to face, the tip of her face (nose and mouth area) looked cyanotic. I panicked and figured her tank water was possibly poisoning her or asphyxiating her, so I quickly took her out of her tank and put her in her temporary tank with straight tap water.
<When amphibians (or for that matter fish) look oxygen-starved, a good approach is to lower the water level so that splashing from the filter is increased. This raises oxygen level. Since water quality might also be a factor, doing a substantial water change is always a good idea too. Physically transporting stressed animals to another tank might be worth doing, but only if the new aquarium has otherwise identical conditions (water chemistry and temperature in particular) or at the very least you slowly adapt them (which might be necessary if the home aquarium was too warm, for example, and while cooling the frogs down is necessary, you'd need to do so in stages to avoid shock).>
There was no time to let the water air itself out for 24hrs. I figured it couldn't be any worse than the water she was in, which seemed to be hurting her.
<Unfortunately this isn't always a good approach. Sudden changes, even to the better, can cause shock. Best to make small, incremental changes across a long period of time. For example, you could lower the waterline to increase splashing from the filter, while changing 10-20% of the water every couple of hours.>
I also remembered talking to a worker at a PetSmart who said he had the same species frog and kept it in a small tank in the bathroom and always just replaced the water with straight tap.
<Unwise. Chlorine will cause stress. Some water contains ammonia too, and again, severe source of stress.>
I then proceeded to clean the entire tank, complete water and media change in the filter.
<Do not change all of the filter media please, ever! No more than 50% at any one time, and at least 6 weeks before changing more media. Chemical media, such as carbon, is the exception. But filter wool, ceramic noodles, sponges, etc. should not be changed too often.>
I did leave the slightest, slightest water at the bottom of the tank with the gravel. Cleaned her plants, rocks, and cave by hand under tap water, didn't scrub them clean like I usually do to remove the greenish stuff that grows on them. I figured there was some good bacteria on there for her safety, since I did a 99% water change. There was a lot of old ReptoMin pellets and about 3 old shrimp mixed with the rocks, also some loose skin. The tank definitely needed a good clean.
<I dare say. But keep changes to a minimum. Cleaning out muck (e.g., with a net, or by removing rocks for cleaning under a tap, or by using a turkey baster to pipette out muck will all be fine). But doing a deep clean where you remove everything, even the water, is really a risky move. In theory it's fine if the new water is identical (water chemistry and temperature) to the old water, and the biological filter media is left intact, but these are things you should plan around before you get started. Otherwise, the risk is you'll remove the filtration bacteria and/or expose the frog or fish to dramatic changes in water chemistry and temperature.>
I had expired ammonia and nitrate/alkalinity strips which I used and the water indicated to me within normal limits. The cyanotic appearance on her face looked like it was worsening, and when I used the test strips in her temporary tank they didn't come out as good as her newly cleaned permanent tank, so I placed her bank into her permanent, full time tank, all within about 4 hrs. She seemed to settle back into her tank, but didn't eat anything. That was 3 days ago and still hasn't eaten anything at all.
<Looking at the photos, your frog looks bloated, very bloated. Chances are you're dealing with a bacterial infection. I'm going to direct you to some reading, here:
You're going to need antibiotics alongside aquarium salt (at a dose of around 2 gram per litre of water). The antibiotic will help deal with the infection, while the salt helps remove some of the bloating, reducing the symptoms.>
The clean tap water has now had a chance to air itself out, with her in the tank. Could it just be that everything was to shocking to her system?
<Could indeed.>
I would also say that today her face looks normal again, no more reddish purple appearance, thank goodness! The only thing she has ever eaten are ReptoMin pellets and freeze dried shrimp (which she normally LOVES, but wants no part of now), she doesn't eat anything at all. I just noticed that she's laying on top of her tall plant, which goes to the top of her water. She loves laying at the tippy top, but hadn't been doing that either, until now for a short while. She seems better today then yesterday, except for the not eating anything. I read in a website that they can go for a month without eating, so that would give me time to see improvement. What could be wrong, what can I do?
<See above.>
Should I wait and keep observing her, or should I take her to the animal hospital?
<Some vets can advise, but chances are they'll simply recommend antibiotics and salt as mentioned above. Xenopus are widely kept in labs, so there's a good literature available on their healthcare. This is unlike the situation for most other amphibians, which is one reason Xenopus are a good choice for hobbyists.>
They have specialists which specialize in exotic pets...I've never taken her anywhere. She's always been great. I'm attaching a few photos. I appreciate any help and guidance, thank you in advance.
Mary Luz
<Do hope this helps, Neale.>

Re: 3 y.o. Albino African Clawed Frog, Pinky     2/16/19
Hello Neale and thank you for your thorough response, I really appreciate everything you wrote.
<Glad to hear it!>
I know she may appear bloated to you, but not to me.
<Maybe not, but I do believe she looks bloated. If you very carefully handle her, you would feel she's a bit "puffy" to the touch, but I would not recommend trying this unless you understand how easily amphibians are damaged when handled roughly.>
She's normally bigger up top and her thighs are usually a lot more chunky.
She's definitely thinned out a lot along the bottom side of her back, I can see a thinner waist with the end of the ribcage I imagine. I mean, you know a lot better than I do as to what a bloated ACF looks like, so I don't really know.
<Do look on Google for some photos and make your comparisons. After all, you're best placed to judge, not me!>
If she takes the antibiotics and the salts and didn't really need them, can they hurt her?
<No, if used as stated. Xenopus tolerate salt very well, so 2 gram/litre will have no negative impact on her health. Wild specimens even occur in brackish water! The antibiotics will hopefully treat whatever underlying problem you're dealing with.>
Also, can she live up to a month without eating?
<Yes. Easily, if she was in good shape beforehand. Of course I'd still offer enticing meals every 4-5 days, and with luck, the medication and salt will kick in, and she'll be ready to eat a few days after you start treating her.>
By the time I order the antibiotics and salts and get them, it will be a few days. It would probably be quicker if I took her into the hospital?
<If you are prepared to do that, and a vet is willing to treat a frog (do call them first, some don't) then yes, a visit to the vet is always the best possible move.>
And hopefully they will have everything at hand. Do you have these supplies?
<No. I'm in England, where antibiotics are prescription-only, so I'd be visiting a vet for them. Salt, of course, is sold anywhere, and non-iodised (sometimes called "kosher") table salt will do the trick just fine. Just be sure to thoroughly dissolve the required dose in warm water first, then add it to the aquarium, a little at a time, across an hour or so. If your tank contains 60 litres for example, you'd dissolve 120 grams into a kitchen jug of warm water, and then add that in stages across an hour. With each subsequent water change, add the necessary amount to each bucket, so if you change 9 litres (a typical small bucket) then you'd add 18 grams to that bucket, dissolve thoroughly, then add to the tank.>
Are you in NJ by any chance.
Is she going to die?
<I hope not. Xenopus are extremely tough animals, which is why they're such popular lab animals. But amphibians are difficult to treat since we're not really clued up on their medical needs. So I'd be optimistic, but can't offer a guarantee.>
On Monday, when I put her into the temporary tank, I also remember the back of her left thigh starting to appear darkish purple under the skin. I was wondering if there was an organ there that was being affected at the time.
<Dark patches on the legs might be bruising, but do also be aware of Red Leg, described on the webpage on Xenopus health I sent you last time.>
That went away that night after I placed her back into her permanent cleaned tank. The only thing that stands out to me now, is a faint blemish she has on her chest/belly area, slightly to the left of her midline. It's very minor, but that's the only thing that stands out to me, except for her looking thinner. That blemish I have to say was there before Monday when I came home and she looked cyanotic. I thought maybe she had hurt herself somehow, but is still there. Could that be a sign of a bacterial problem?
<Could be; or bruising from rough handling.>
Thank you again for your help.
Mary Luz
<Most welcome. Neale.>
Re: 3 y.o. Albino African Clawed Frog, Pinky.... crashed our mail svc....  Another 17 plus megs... TOO LARGE FILES/Deleted  Sorry to all else who tried to write in; this person didn't follow our guidelines    2/16/19
I forgot to include this picture, I tried to get the blemish, but didn't come out to clear. Also, I took about an inch level of water tonight after reading your email, so the water has more splash and gets oxygenated better.
<That should help. Neale.>

Re: 3 y.o. Albino African Clawed Frog, Pinky       2/17/19
SHE ATE!!! She just snatched a freshly placed pellet and pulled it into her mouth!! So happy I could cry.
<Good news indeed.>
She only took one, but that's such an improvement. I often wonder if she has trouble seeing. Thank you again for all the feedback, so appreciated.
I will continue corresponding regarding her progress if you don't mind, until she's back to normal.
<Sure thing.>
It's like consulting with your mom when you have your first baby and feel lost and scared when they're sick and you have no idea as to what to do.
<Understood. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: 3 y.o. Albino African Clawed Frog, Pinky       2/17/19

Hello again....thought of another question. Pinky laid eggs twice recently. Every time she lays eggs, she ends up eating them, and I let her. After the first time she laid eggs 2 yrs ago. I read online that they could be removed from the tank or left and the frog would just eat them. Do you not recommend this?
<I remove the eggs from my Axolotl tank, and would remove doing so from a Xenopus tank too. Unlikely to cause ill health, but they are extra protein in the tank that will affect (negatively) water quality by placing additional workload on the filter. Whether alive or decaying, eggs will also be consuming some oxygen from the water. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: 3 y.o. Albino African Clawed Frog, Pinky      3/2/19
<PLEASE stop the madness!~ ONLY small Kbyte files. Yours have been deleted. B>
Regarding Pinky      3/3/19

Hello Wet Web Crew,
I sent out an email last night and was wondering if it had been received.
Thank You,
<Hello! Nothing arrived last night that I saw. Cheers, Neale.>
<<RMF deleted due to too large file size. Did send note Re>>
Re: 3 y.o. Albino African Clawed Frog, Pinky

Hello Neale,
<Hello Mary. Please don't send big files like videos, and if you send images, please resize them to less than 1 MB. The reason for that is that we're all around the world and often rely on phones (or even dial-up modems) to access email. That way we can look for emergency messages even when travelling, as many of us do. But it does mean that big files make it impossible for us to access email or even move files. It's very frustrating. Thanks for your understanding.>
Pinky has made a turn for the worse. :'-(
<Sorry to hear that.>
Not sure what has happened. Last time I communicated with you I was taking her to the vet. I took her, they weighed and examined her, they swabbed the 2 lesions on her chest to check for bacterial infection - was negative, and took a sample and sent it out for a possible fungal infection they say frogs can get.
<All sounds helpful.>
I'm actually still waiting for the results of the fungal infection test. They force fed her, since she was going on 2 weeks of not eating. The vet said Pinky was not considered bloated, since she had been shaped like this for 3 years since I've had her.
<Good to know.>
They suggested x-raying her and doing an ultrasound, but that would have come out to over $1000, the visit was expensive enough.
<Indeed. At some point with these small animals you do the best you can with the budget you have, and if it's more complicating and expensive, euthanasia is the best thing. I agree, spending hundreds, let along thousands of dollars on a small frog would be ridiculous.>
They sent her home with 2 medications, an antibiotic "Baytril" and an antifungal "Sporanox."
<Good choices.>
The instructions were to give both medications for 14 consecutive days as follows: Baytril - 0.05ml by mouth once a day, Sporanox - add 0.5ml to 5L water and place Pinky in bath for 5 minutes once a day. The Baytril was started at the vet's office on 1/17 so they could show me how to administer it, the next day I gave her both medications and continued to do that daily until I left for vacation on 1/20. My good friend who accompanied me to the vet and is an animal lover and vegetarian most of his life, babysat Pinky and continued administering the meds to Pinky on 1/21 and continued until 1/25. On 1/25 my friend noticed that Pinky was swimming like a top, spinning around pretty quickly. He thought it seemed strange, but he didn't know, so he administered the meds that evening. The next day when he arrived at night, he noticed that Pinky seemed off and was still twirling around, so he discontinued giving her meds. Every day he gave her Reptomin pellets in the morning and at night. My friend said up until she started swimming erratically, she seemed calm and seemed to be eating because some of the pellets went missing eventually. I came home from vacation at 11:30pm on 1/28 and when I saw Pinky she was unrecognizable. I turned the lights on and walked up to her tank and she started swimming so fast, but her torso is disfigured and contorted and it basically looked like she was tumbling in a clothes drier. Sometimes she swims in tight twirls in every direction possible, even upside down and backwards, sometimes her legs flap almost entirely backwards as she's moving around quickly. She's not symmetrical anymore, so when she floats at the surface, she floats lopsided, pretty much on her side.
<It's unlikely the medication has caused the symptoms you are seeing. This is one of those times you have to trust the vet. But it does sound as if she's in a bad way. Perhaps the situation is terminal already, to be honest.>
She looks like she had a stroke and when she gets going, she looks like she's having a seizure. I don't know what to do. I feel terrible for taking her to the vet and am wondering if the meds made her this way.
<As I say, this is unlikely. Antibiotics shouldn't normally do anything harmful, and Sporanox is generally regarded as safe. So while it is possible the frog is reacting to them, it is very unlikely.>
What should I do?
<I would on principle always follow the vet's instructions. Especially with antibiotics, there's the problem of antibiotic resistance that happens if you don't follow the full treatment. On the other hand, I would do everything practical to ensure the frog is not stressed: water changes as often as practical, darkness, warmth.>
I wish I knew if she was suffering.
<As do I.>
I believe she has been eating.
I got a little video of her swimming around erratically, but am afraid to send it and cause your server to crash.
<It may indeed, or at least make it very difficult to manage the email. It doesn't take much for the email account to "fill up" (I think it's 50 MB) and once that happens, new messages are bounced back to the senders, crew members can't move emails to their folders, and other annoying things.>
I am including some pictures I took on 2/29.
Thank You,
<Hope this helps. If things don't improve in the next couple days, and the symptoms become worse, I'd certainly be considering euthanasia at this point. Cheers, Neale.>

African dwarf frogs and salmonella  1/26/14
Hey crew! I'm currently cycling a new planted 10 gallon tank for 3-4 African dwarf frogs. Everything's going good. I did my research and am pretty excited besides the fact that I keep reading about salmonella from adfs. My question is, what're the chances of catching it and does having little spots of psoriasis on my hands increase my chances?
Thanks so much!!
<Hello Nicole. Virtually all aquaria and vivaria can "grow" Salmonella.
It's not the animals so much as the combination of warmth, damp, and spilled food particles. Keeping the tank clean will help, but my guess would be even the cleanest aquarium holds a few of these bacteria.
Generally speaking, washing your hands after exposure to things that might carry Salmonella (whether raw meat in the kitchen or water in an aquarium) provides adequate protection, but some people choose to wear rubber gloves when working with animals and their enclosures. But I'm not a medical doctor so if you have serious concerns, you should talk to someone who is medically qualified. Cheers, Neale.>

African Clawed Frog question     5/15/09
First of all, thank you so much for your site, it has helped me tremendously!
<Very kind of you to say so.>
We've had two ACFs living in the same 10gal tank for about 2 years. Last night, one of them died - no sign of disease, malnutrition, etc. The tank is kept clean and the frogs are well taken care of.
<Hmm... do review the basics; these frogs should live some 12 years, so two years is well below par. There's a new article on Xenopus and Hymenochirus frogs here:
Do have a read. Xenopus laevis is very hardy, provided its (rather few) essentials are satisfied. Specifically, it needs a reasonable amount of space, water that is well filtered but not too warm, a varied diet (not just pellets!), and water that is hard rather than soft. Often, when a fish or frog is fine for a couple of years and then dies mysteriously, the problem isn't really a mystery at all, but the fact the frog or fish was kept in a tank adequate for a baby but not for an adult. As the thing grows, it puts more strain on the system, or perhaps the maintenance regime, and eventually a tipping point is reached and the thing dies.>
My question is, is the other frog OK to live alone, or do we need to get another frog for him to have a buddy?
<They are fine kept alone.>
I don't really want another frog (mom of two kids and 8 pets), but my first concern is the happiness of our frog - I want him to be happy and not lonely. Also, we've been using an outside the tank filter, with great success. But then I read that the ACFs have a linear line, and using a filter is akin to humans being constantly in the presence of a jackhammer.
What do you think about this?
<The "lateral line" is a sensory system best thought of as being sensitivity to pressure waves moving through the water. Some scientists have described it as touch-at-a-distance. There's no evidence at all that either fish or frogs are disturbed by the flow of water through a filter, and frankly, flowing rivers and the sea are much "noisier" than any aquarium filter. At best, some lazy aquarists might use the lateral line argument to rationalise not using a filter, but that's a flawed argument in my opinion.>
Please help!
Thanks again for all you do,
<Good luck, Neale.>  

Re: African Clawed Frog question     5/15/09
Thank you so much for your help, it's very kind of you to spend so much time helping people like me!
<It's honestly a pleasure.>
I truly, truly appreciate it.
<You are most welcome!>
<Cheers, Neale.>  

Many questions about ACF and tadpole care... 9/13/08
I've been raising 7 ACF tadpoles for two weeks as of today, and just when I think I couldn't possibly have any more questions, another one pops up. Add to this that much of the information on the net is conflicting and I'm at something of a loss. After reading all the posts in your FAQ, it seems like you guys are going to be my best shot at some straight advice. (By the way I've NEVER owned any kind of aquarium before.)
<That's OK. By and large, keeping aquaria is easy if you do things precisely by the numbers. Where people go wrong is doing stuff before they've read up on things.>
So, here's hoping.
1) These tads came in a kit with VERY poor care instructions (they didn't even tell me what species they'd sent) so I'm fumbling some in the proper care department. They've always been, and still are, in a 1.5g container.
I was feeding once a day and skimming the uneaten food off the top about 2 hours after feeding.
<Very good. When raising any small animal, the golden rule is this: little but often. Tadpoles and larval fish have short alimentary canals, and after the first couple mouthfuls, anything else they eat is going to pass through pretty much undigested.>
I was doing 100% water changes daily, removing the tads (gently with a cup), rinsing the gravel, tank, plants etc.. and putting it all back with fresh de-chlorinated tap water.
<All sounds like a bit of waste of time really. Is this some sort of Science Shop kit? Every once in a while we get messages about these things, and the sad truth is that these kits are very much gimmicks, sold to people who have no idea about rearing frogs (or Triops, or Sea Monkeys, or whatever).>
I was advised by the FroggieFriends yahoo group that I wasn't feeding enough and to step it up to twice a day.
<In the wild they'd be eating more or less constantly, but tiny tiny meals. When rearing baby fish, I like to put clumps of Java Moss or algae in the tank. This traps food particles like a sponge, giving the baby animals someplace to graze. I can then add small amounts of food without worrying it's going to get lost in the tank or filter.>
I was further advised I was cleaning too much, to remove the substrate and fake plants, and add an air stone set on low. In addition I was told to stop skimming, but to use a turkey baster to get the yuck off the bottom and do about a 50% water change every day.
<All good calls, but a total waste of time in the big picture. Here's what you really need before wasting time/money on this. Start with a 10-20 gallon glass or plastic tank. Get an air pump and an air-powered sponge filter. The latter looks like a cylindrical block of sponge built onto a plastic U-shaped tube with some suckers. You stick it on the tank, connect to the air pump, and switch on. This will clean the water and also become a breeding ground for tiny animals (infusoria) that the tadpoles will gleefully eat. For the first week or two you'll want to do 25% water changes every day or two while the filter becomes mature, but after that weekly 25% water changes will be ample. The good news is that not only will this work fine for the tadpoles, it'll keep working for the frogs as well!>
So I started doing that, then tested the water for ammonia just to see what it was. Well it was 1ppm, so I promptly did a 100% water change. Today when I tested for ammonia it was about .50ppm so I did a 90% water change. About 3 hours later I tested again (I'm a freak about whether or not they're suffering) and it was between .25 and .50ppm.
<Now, the ammonia comes from decaying food and from the tadpoles themselves (which produce ammonia for the same reason we produce urine). A biological filter will handle this, and I refer you back to my sponge filter!>
So I turkey basted the bottom. Then, I noticed that, today, everyone developed a crook in their tail!!! What's that about? I know the tail will go away, but is this some indication that they're doomed already?
<Difficult to say; sometimes under poor conditions larval fish and frogs will develop deformities. But for now, hope for the best.>
Well, I'm sure they suffering, but I can't get a complete cycle because that would likely kill the little guys. But aquaticfrogs.tripod.com says one wants the tank not too dirty or too clean.
<This refers to the need for algae and infusoria for the tadpoles to feed on; again, my sponge filter will do the trick!>
So I'm at a loss as to what to do to get my little buddies to adulthood in one piece. All help will be appreciated.
2) I'm currently cycling a 55g tank into which they will eventually move, but have a few questions about this as well. First question is about filtration. I currently have an Aquaclear 70 waterfall filter on the tank.
The research I did indicated that most waterfall filters are fine for the frogs BUT.. I found out the frogs have motion sensors in their skin and water turbulence is VERY disturbing to them, so now I'm questioning the waterfall filter bit.
<Depends. Are these fully aquatic frogs or frogs that jump about on land? If the amphibious kind that spend only some time in the water, I'd not worry too much. But I'm assuming "ACF" are African Clawed Frogs, Xenopus laevis, a big, subtropical species that never ever leaves the water. These are very hardy and will be fine with whatever filter you prefer. They're standard lab animals.>
BUT I also read where one absolutely could NOT use ANY kind of under gravel filter for them because this would be like subjecting them to living with a jackhammer 24-7..
<Never heard of this. Undergravel filters are in fact very gentle, and widely used with delicate fish. I suspect this factoid was dreamed up by someone with much interest in frogs but little understanding of their actual biology. It is true frogs are sensitive to vibrations, as are fish, underwater is a hugely noisy place because sound carries so much better there than in air. So I'd worry much more about water quality than whether or not the tank was noisy.>
BUT then I read in your FAQ that under gravel filters are GREAT for these frogs. HELP!???
<I'd actually eschew undergravels for amphibian tanks. Instead I'd use a simple air-powered sponge filter or electric canister filter where possible, and use smooth sand for the substrate. Less likely to cause damage to their delicate skin.>
3) Food questions: Right now they're getting the powdered food that came with the kit. They seem to like it, everyone's growing and seemingly happy.
Is this food good for them all the way to the froglet stage?
<No idea; but personally I'd be expanding their diet as they grew to include things like live daphnia and frozen bloodworms. Dried food loses its vitamin content within a few weeks of opening, so "old" packages become steadily less useful as a sole food item.>
I've been advised that there should always be food in their tank at this stage because they're filter feeders.
<Most tadpoles feed on algae, though whether that makes them filter feeders is up for debate.>
On the one hand, that makes sense to me because it's not likely that there's no food in the water in the wild.
<Tadpoles invariably live in shallow water where there aren't fish. What they do when young is skim across solid objects, feeding on "aufwuchs", the combination of algae and tiny invertebrates. As they mature they tend to become more omnivorous, and at least some tadpole species become carnivorous, even cannibalistic. Before they turn into froglets they will be completely carnivorous, and as frogs feed entirely on smaller animals.>
On the other hand, food in the water all the time will cause more ammonia, which at some point will kill them won't it?
<Correct; which is why we moderate the food that goes in, and provide a filter to remove the ammonia produced.>
So where is the balance between over feeding and under feeding at the tadpole stage. At the froglet stage what do they get? Can pellets or tadpole bites be their staple at this point? Once they're adults, the information about what to feed them and how often is just as confusing.
<Xenopus laevis is carnivorous when mature. Being subtropical it has a lower metabolism than tropical frogs, and so doesn't need daily feedings. Earthworms are a particular favourite, but bloodworms and other frozen foods given to fish make ideal staples.>
You guys are definitely of the opinion that the food that comes in pellet form should NOT be their main source of nutrition. Others say that's fine. So if I don't feed them pellets as their main food, should I just be feeding them live things like brine shrimp and crickets?
<Neither brine shrimp nor crickets will be appropriate to this species. Adult brine shrimp are the fish equivalent of popcorn -- empty calories with no useful nutrition. Crickets will be too hard for them. Go visit your local aquarium shop and buy a blister pack of (wet) frozen bloodworms; these will do the job nicely.>
Why are frozen bloodworms okay, but freeze dried aren't?
<Freeze dried food is overpriced for what it is, and not all animals will take it. Aquatic animals sometimes get problems with constipation when fed freeze dried to excess. Wet frozen foods are the aquarium equivalent of sushi -- nutritious, popular, and clean.>
How often to feed them as adults is also confusing. Some say 3 or 4 times a week. Others say once or twice a week.
<Depends on the quantity. I always advocate "little but often". If you want to feed small daily meals, that's fine. Really, all that matters is that the ammonia is zero. Frogs (or fish) don't explode when they're overfed -- what happens is the excess food decays, and produces ammonia, and THAT poisons them. In tanks with generous filtration, overfeeding isn't really an issue, so you can play it by ear and see what it takes to keep your frogs gently rounded but not fat.>
I guess that would depend, though, on how much you're giving them at each feeding, right? So how much should I be feeding them as adults, and how often? Oh, and in the 55g tank I've put about a 1.5" layer of substrate down. They're small stones, not really gravel. Someone told me that I should clear a space in the corner, and put a small bowl or plate in it so the frogs could get the food from there. They said with the substrate in, they wouldn't be able to get to the bottom to feed. Apparently, this is something they like to do. Do you agree with this?
<All sounds dandy. Xenopus laevis is really very easy to keep once metamorphosed, and I doubt that there's any single best way to keep them. I'd go with a bare tank with a sponge filter only because it'd be easy to clean. But feel free to improvise. Just make sure you can remove uneaten food and that there's adequate water circulation. Floating plants are good with this species, but I'd add some plants-on-bogwood too (Anubias, Java fern, Java moss).>
4) Separation: Tadpoles develop at different rates. I learned from your site that this is an evolutionary protection of the species kind of thing, in case the pond dries up, and a bunch of the more mature ones get eaten right away. (very interesting by the way) I've read that you should "separate tadpoles that are at different developmental stages". Does this mean I should separate big tadpoles from little tadpoles, or does it mean I should separate tadpoles from froglets?
<It's really about cannibalism; if the size differences aren't great, I'd not worry overmuch. If you want, put the smaller ones into a floating breeding trap or equivalent.>
5) Froglet stage: I've been told that once they're froglets and the tank is done cycling, they can go in the 55g tank. It seems like they will still be pretty small as froglets. Can they still be sucked into the filter at this stage? Because it would really stink to get them all the way to froglets only to lose them to the filter!
<A sponge filter will not "suck up" baby frogs.>
6) Cycling the tank: I've done my research about this as well and we've started a fishless cycle on the 55g tank using raw shrimp. We're testing for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate every day (as part of a science project for my 8 yr old.) We're getting a steady rise in ammonia, and expect to see nitrite sometime in the next week or so. No problems really except the STINK. My house smells REALLY funky!
<Too much shrimp! Too much shrimp! You only need a little!>
I've got a huge hepa-filter running next to the tank on TURBO speed. We can't find ammonia without surfactant in it. I've looked everywhere. We've decided to put new shrimp in every other day, and take old shrimp out the day after we put new shrimp in. Will that work or will it mess up the cycle? Do you guys have any suggestions on a less offensive way to do this? (We aren't going to cycle with live fish, it's just not an option for us.) Most of the information out there says that it'll be about 6 weeks for the tads to become froglets. This works out, because most of the information also says it'll also take about 6 weeks for the tank to fully cycle. However, if the tank is ready for life before the tads are froglets, we thought we'd put some mystery snails in the tank.
<I'd remove the shrimp, do a great big (90%) water change, and then add the Apple Snails. They'll keep the filter in good order.>
Well, actually we're planning on putting the snails in the tank regardless.
My question is, if the tank is cycled and we put in 3 or 4 mystery snails will that be enough of a bio-load to sustain the bacteria until the froglets can go into the tank?
What I'm trying to avoid is a re-cycle once I add 5 to 7 froglets (assuming I can get them all to that stage). So if the tank is ready before the frogs are how can I KEEP the tank ready? Well, believe it or not, I think that's it. You said not to worry about the length of the email. ;-) Thanks. I really appreciate you all taking the time to help me and my
little buddies out.
<I hope his helps, Neale.>

Re: Many questions about ACF and tadpole care... 9/13/08
Neale and crew,
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer all of these questions! You guys are the best. I really appreciate it.
<You are most welcome, and we're glad to help! Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Many questions about ACF and tadpole care... 9/13/08
Hello again,
I wonder if I could trouble you with a couple of follow up questions?
<Sure thing.>
1) I asked if the froglets would be big enough to put in the 55g tank without getting sucked into the filter. And Neale advised that they wouldn't get sucked into a sponge filter (one he advised me to get). I'm wondering, though, since he mentioned I should be ok with any kind of
filter, how the froglets will do with the Aquaclear 70 that's already running on the tank?
<I'm not wild about these "hang on the back" filters for a variety of reasons, not least of which are the fact the inlet and outlet are in the same part of the tank, and that they are designed to use "modules" the manufacturer locks you into buying rather than giving the option to choose whatever media you want. All this said, assuming that the froglets swim at least as strongly as a small fish, the Aquaclear shouldn't cause any problems.>
2) Apple snails and vegetation: Neale mentioned getting some floating plants, or "plants-on-bogwood too (Anubias, Java fern, Java moss)". I understand that the snails do well with vegetation, but I was under the impression that African Clawed Frogs (ACFs) would pretty much destroy any plant in the tank. Is this not so? Do I feed the snails something other than what I'm feeding the frogs? Is there anything special I need to do to make sure the frogs aren't hogging all the food? Can I get those plants at the local pet store? Will the fact that my aquarium is securely lidded cause any problems for the plants?
<My experience of Apple snails is that they eat most plants, so I'd experiment with a few plants first to see how things go. Java fern should be a good starting point, being ignored by most things, supposedly because its toxic. Java moss and Anubias sometimes get damaged by grazing animals, so I'd buy one of each and see how they did before stocking up on them. I can't imagine your frogs doing any harm to these plants -- they are tough enough for use with cichlids and catfish!>
3) Regarding cycling my tank, Neale said, "<I'd remove the shrimp, do a great big (90%) water change, and then add the Apple Snails. They'll keep the filter in good order.>" Does he mean to do that now, or once the tank is finished cycling? As of today, we're at 3ppm ammonia, 0 nitrItes and 0 nitrAtes. It's only been 6 days.
<I'd do this now. The snails should be fine in a 55 gallon tank, particularly if you took care to ensure the ammonia stayed below 1 ppm. The reason it's so high is the excessive amount of rotting shrimp! With the snails on their own, it should drop to almost nothing. Add a pinch of flake food every couple of days, and the snails will produce the ammonia from that.>
If he means we should change to the snails now, won't the ammonia spike hurt the little guys? I think he might have made this suggestion because I was complaining about the smell using
raw shrimp. He said we had too much shrimp in the tank but we only have one in there, except when we're going to change out the really gross one for a fresh one. Then, there are two in the tank together for about 16-24 hours. But if we can cycle with snails and they're somehow impervious to the pain and damage the ammonia spike causes other aquatic life, then I'll do that.
<It's not that the snails are impervious to ammonia, but that they'll produce so little in the context of a 55 gallon tank that the level won't be high enough to cause harm. I'd be surprised if three or four Apple snails in a 55 gallon tank raised the ammonia to even 0.25 mg/l.>
Just one last follow up question on this subject. Neale said (and I'm not doubting him) that 3 or 4 Apple Snails would be enough of a bio load to maintain a bacteria colony large enough to prevent a re-cycle once the froglets are added. There will be 5-7 froglets (I hope). Will the re-cycle be prevented because the froglets will be small at the time of their addition?
<I'm assuming the froglets will be quite small, Neon-tetra sized. This being so, yes, the filter will be plenty mature for them. Let's say the Apple snails are on their own for a month; that will cycle the biological filter, meaning that once you add the froglets from the tank their in now to the 55 gallon system, all the filter has to do is "step up" the amount of biological filtration. Filters do this incredibly quickly (remember, bacteria can double their numbers in 20 minutes). The tricky bit with filters is going from zero to mature. That takes a few weeks. Going from a mature filter adapted to a few fish to a mature filter adapted to a few more fish is easy. All you need to do is take care not to overfeed, and then to check the nitrite for a couple of days after adding the livestock just to make sure everything is fine.>
Thanks, AGAIN, for the help.
<Cheers, Neale.>

Aquatic Frog Question   8/3/08 Dear WWM Crew, What would cause a year old Aquatic Frog not to eat everyday, shed often, along with floating excessively and to be hunched backed? <Many, many things. But 99% of the time, it's some sort of environmental issue.> All aquarium readings are normal! <Define "normal". By African Frogs I assume you mean Xenopus laevis, as opposed to the dwarf species like Hymenochirus spp. You need zero ammonia and zero nitrite. "Low" levels aren't acceptable. Has to be zero. The water should be neither too hard nor too soft, and the pH should be around neutral. There must not be any salt in the water. The water needs to be middling warm in temperature, between 20-24C/68-75F being correct. They can't live in an unheated tank (unless you live in South Africa, of course, since Xenopus laevis comes from South Africa). But a tropical aquarium will do them harm in the long term. The tank needs to be filtered, and you should be doing 25% water changes weekly, at least, using a good dechlorinator. You must not use water from a domestic water softener. You can't keep any frogs 100% reliably with fish.> He is loosing weight rapidly. <Check the above. Also review diet. Pellets/flakes aren't acceptable staple foods whatever the retailer might say. These frogs need a varied diet, containing at least some frozen/live (but not freeze dried) foods, particularly bloodworms. Food should be given sparingly, and not every day of the week.> Please help, I am desperate. Thanks ahead of time. Jean <Hope this helps, Neale.>

African Clawed Frogs, gen. care    8/30/07Hello, <Hi there> I am writing with many, many questions. Last year, when I lived in a college dorm, I found myself really wanting a pet, but could not get one because of rules regarding aquariums at school. Next year, I'm moving to an apartment, and think that I am ready to start taking care of my first "solo" pet (my family had a dog when I was a kid, but this will be the first time I'm taking care of something on my own). <Can lead to growth, reflection> I was originally going to get a couple of low-maintenance fish because I wanted to ease myself into the caretaking business, but a friend of mine asked if I would like to take her two 3-year old African Clawed Frogs instead. <Neat animals Xenopus...> I've met these frogs and they are kept by her parents in pretty pitiful conditions (unfiltered, separate, very small tanks in which they can barely extend their legs fully, and they certainly can't swim around!, and they are only fed pellets). So I've decided to take them and give them a better life. However, I have to do this on a limited student budget. Additionally, school is in Chicago, but during the summer and on breaks, I live in L.A. with my family. <I see> I've found some conflicting reports about the frogs online, so I'm going to say what my research has led me to thinking is the way to provide for the frogs that strikes a balance between proper care, cost, and time. <You are wise here> I would appreciate it if you could correct me where my information is wrong, or where I could save money, as well as where I shouldn't. Additionally, if I am being too extravagant in terms of maintenance, it would be great if you could let me know, because I am still a student, and thus, have limited amounts of time (and, as I said, money). <Okay> It seems like I should invest in a 20 gallon long tank, at a minimum (unless completely wrong, this will probably be the size I get, as it seems like the price goes up as the size goes up. <Is a good size, shape> if I can go down, that's great, but i am guessing it's not a good idea, as most estimate there should be 10 gallons/frog). Aquarium gravel depth should be 1 1/2 to 2 inches, <I'd keep in shallow unless the grade is rather large... for ease of cleaning> and water depth should be 6 to 12 inches, with plenty of air on top. <Yes... among other things to prevent escape> Plastic plants and a few good hiding places seem to be a good idea. A non-escapable, netted top seems to be a must. A light is not necessary. It is okay to keep these frogs together, but I probably shouldn't put any other fish in there unless I want the frogs to eat them. <Correct> A varied diet of bloodworms, shrimp, and worms (Tubifex or earth?) is good. <Mmm, expensive, inconvenient, unnecessary and too much likelihood of pest and disease introduction... I'd settle on a bag of frutti de mar... mixed frozen seafood... defrost bits of this...> Feeding them 3-4 times a week is good. I can use pellets occasionally, but not all the time, as they will probably be cheaper, but less nutritious than other food sources. Where can I get these kinds of food? Do I have to go through mail order, or will the local, independently owned pet store carry them? Any providers that are particularly good and not expensive? <Again... I would get the mixed seafood from the supermarket> This is my first time keeping an aquarium, so I'm a little hazy (pun!) on how to take care of the water. Here is what seems to be the case. I need to treat the water before I put it in the tank with a dechlorinator (any brand in particular?). <I like Novaqua or Amquel...> I should have a filter that is not too loud, because ACFs have good hearing. Additionally, I should be testing the water with a testing kit to make sure ammonia, nitrate, and chlorine levels are, not just low, but at 0. pH should be around 7.4. (I assume the filter and a dechlorinator take care of these problems?). <Likely so and your tap is likely close enough pH wise> Temperature should be between 68-75, though I've seen you guys recommend raising the temperature up to 80. For a tank located in a heated apartment in Chicago, will that require a heater? <Mmm, depends on your room/setting... if there's money available I would get/use a small submersible heater for sure> A 10-15% water change every two weeks, or a 25-33% water change every month with a gravel vacuum is enough to keep the water clean. How often should I clean the tank itself (scrubbing the glass), and what should I clean it with? <I would gravel vac once a week and do the water changes at that time... about 25%... A dedicated clean sponge> Product recommendations would be great, especially if you know of something that is cheaper that doesn't sacrifice too much quality (especially if you know where I can get the tank for not too much money, since that seems to be the most important thing to buy). Do you know about how much it is going to cost to get this tank up and running? How about general maintenance once the tank is up? <Likely a hundred dollars or so... and ten dollars a month or so for food, power...> Assuming I keep the tank very clean, will it be smelly? <Hopefully not> This question is to know whether to keep the frogs in my bedroom or in the living room, where they might be more susceptible to my roommate and guests doing something (I'm still a college student, and am afraid that somehow things might get rowdy...I heard the frogs are skittish, and I don't want to scare them with loud music or TV, and I certainly don't want someone to break the tank or something like that...is that likely?). <Mmm, depends on "friends"... Do check re how noisy the proposed filter will be... perhaps an in-tank power type will be best here...> What about tank setup? Should I scrub the tank clean before I fill it? How? <Posted on WWM... just no soap, detergent...> Do I need to put a bacterial start in the water when I am first filling it up? <Not likely... the frogs will bring their own> Do I need to let the tank sit for a day or two before I move the frogs in? <Yes I would> When I leave for university breaks, will there be a problem if the frogs aren't fed for a bit? <Mmm how long> My breaks range from four days to 3 weeks. I am guessing the 3 weeks will be a problem, but four days probably won't. <Correct> Is there a way to give them staggered food, or will I need to find a frogsitter? <The latter is a good idea... but barring this, an automated feeder to offer pellets will work> I know that I will be taking the frogs for the next two years while I finish college, and hope that I can take them with me wherever I head after that. I know that the frogs will still have a home with the parents they are with right now when I go home for the summer, or after I am done with school. My hope is that after I get them a nice new habitat with filters, new food, etc., they will receive better care, because the family has just not spent the money on giving them the right environment. My concern here is whether or not it will be relatively easy to transport the aquarium back to the house (a 20 minute car ride) when I go home and come back for the summer, and indeed, if it will be possible, though not easy, to fly the frogs cross-country should I end up taking a job outside of Chicago when I graduate. <Not impossible to take as carry on...> My last questions are frog-specific. These two frogs have obviously not lived in the best of conditions. Will it shock their systems to just move them in together straight away? <Mmm, not likely> Should I acclimate them to their new surroundings, and if so, how? <Move and place their existing, yes stinky, water with them... change this out weekly as stated above> Should I move one frog in first, let him get used to the new place, then add the other frog? Or should I put them in together for a day, and then move them back to their old tanks for a day, before putting them in for good? <I'd move both in all at once> What about acclimating them to the new food they are going to eat? <Almost never fussy eaters> I am guessing since they are really made to eat what I am going to give them that there won't be any problems with changing their diet. Thanks for reading an e-mail this long. I really want to make sure that these ACFs get the care they deserve, and wouldn't want to just take them without taking care of them. Best, Jessie <You have read the FAQs files here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/afclawedfrgfaqs.htm Above? Good to peruse. Bob Fenner>

ACF... Misplaced Xenopus, goldfish and a koi... in ten gallons...   4/2/07 I have been reading some of the questions and answers on your site about African Clawed Frogs. We purchased 2 Albino ACF's about 10 mths ago. We have them in a 10g tank with 4 feeder goldfish and a koi. <... unsuitable tankmates... coldwater animals that are too messy, get too large for this volume... the Xenopus need much different water conditions... as you'd know if you'd read ahead of writing, as requested...> They have all been living happily together for the 10 mths. Honestly we have no idea about these frogs. <Obviously> Now that I have read some of the info. on the site I am aware that I may not have my fish for much longer depending on the size of my ACF's. We have never changed the water or really cleaned the tank. It is still pretty clean, to my amazement! This morning we realized that one of the frog's stomach is big. I'm not sure if it is bloated or possibly pregnant. <Mmm, could be either...> They are only about 1.5 to 2 inches. It is still swimming normal and eating. Do you have any helpful information or advice? I don't know if I should remove them from the tank to see if they will reproduce (if they are even a male and female)? Thank you! <Yes... read on WWM re these animals care... and provide it... What you list requires at least sixty gallons of space... and adequate filtration, circulation... for these messy animals... All is archived on WWM... Bob Fenner>

Sick Clawed Frog  2/28/07 I have a clawed frog, who has stopped eating for the last 3 days. She is only 2-3 years old. I have changed her water and put her into a clean tank. She is listless and will let you pick her up, but she can still swim away. I have tried to open her mouth gently to put food in, but she won't open her mouth and take food. She frequently lets out bubbles of air, she spends her time floating on the surface. Her skin has gone very mottled and saggy. Have you any ideas what is wrong with her??? I really would be upset to lose her!  Any suggestions would be welcome. Thanks Jill <These little frogs are actually pretty tough, but can be sensitive to chemicals in the water. Try keeping the water very clean and offering some life foods such as washed earthworms and crickets. I suspect that their may be an internal problem with the lungs since you are seeing bubbles. Try increasing the water temp to 80 F and see if that helps. On Kingsnake.com you may be able to find a vet that can be of more help.-Chuck.>

Re Sick, Albino Frogs Not Blind   3/1/07 Hi again, Thank you for you're advice, she is now eating a little bit of food, 2 small pieces of pork fillet.. We changed some of her water and made it water warmer. However, she is still just floating in the corner and very lethargic. She is normally very active and gets very excited when she spots a human i.e. it means food! Thanks again, Jill P.S: are albino frogs almost blind? < Because they have no pigment, their eyes might be more sensitive to bright light. But they are not blind or else they would not be able to find their food.-Chuck>

Sick Albino Xenopus Frog Success   3/2/07 Hi, I am happy to report that she loves live earthworms and eats them so fast you miss it if you blink.  I've only been giving her small thin ones as I haven't wanted to overdo it but she is putting on weight again, her skin looks healthy and the red dots have disappeared.  She's also back to moving around and lurking behind things in case any more of those wriggly worms come her way. So, thanks for your advice.  Have been keeping water super clean with new filter, and increased temp etc. (Its been very cold here this winter)  These frogs are sold everywhere here in England and with little or no advice on their care, except they eat Bloodworm or Daphnia. (available frozen)  We were surprised how quickly she grew and how much fun she is.  Very friendly (or hungry) and if you put a finger anywhere near the water you end up with a frog hanging off the end of it! So thanks for the advice and I hope she continues to improve. Regards, Jill < Glad to hear that your frog is getting better.-Chuck>

Xenopus laevis comp.    02/17/07 Hi... as I have said before my albino African clawed frog is housed in a 60ltr aquarium with 4 goldfish (varying in size and variation). I am thinking of   adding an algae eater into the setup. Is this wise or is it not compatible with  the frog? <The Xenopus will eat or try to eat all. BobF>

Bloated Frog   1/3/07 My albino African claw-toed frog, Bridezilla, is normally quite large. However, she is now quite swollen with what appears to be fluid (she ripples when she swims). She is otherwise engaging in all her normal behaviors, eating, swimming, snuggling with one of the koi in the tank (they are buddies) and taking food from Frogzilla, a regular African claw-toed male, who is much smaller than she. I am very fond of my frogs, so am trying not to panic about her water retention. Help! Thanks, Sharon Kaczorowski, Delaware < These things are almost always diet related. Food sits in their gut and bacteria break it down instead of the frogs digestive fluids and cause gas. Try raising the water temp to increase the frogs metabolism. Then go to Kingsnake.com and try to find a frog vet that can give you more specific recommendations such a medications.-Chuck> Bloated African clawed water frog   5/8/06 Hello: I appreciate any help you could give me. I have a 15-16 year old African clawed water frog named May. <This is an unbelievably "ripe old age" for Xenopus> She is 6 to 8 inches long. She has been very hardy and healthy. I have never done anything special for her. She eats Reptomin pellets. That's all she has ever eaten except when I once made the mistake of putting goldfish in her tank. She has lived through several near disasters. I haven't been diligent about cleaning her water. She has tolerated the lack of good care all of these years. Now she is bloated horribly. But she acts normal, still wants to eat, moves around, comes up to the surface. She has been bloating slowly for several months, maybe up to six months. I have had personal crises so I haven't been able to focus on her. I have read online that I could maybe use Maracyn 2, maybe aquatic salt, MelaFix, stress coat. Her water had a lot of "stuff" on top of the surface recently. My daughter recycled her water, using Genesis in the tap water she added. We have always used Genesis to remove the chlorine. What is the best way to treat May? <... I'd go with the Minocycline... the Maracyn2 product> How much longer can I expect her to live? We have never used soap to clean her tank, but is there something I can use to disinfect it since she might be suffering from some bacteria? <Mmm, best to just use clean water, rock salt...> If I use Maracyn, how do I know what dose and how long to treat her? Thank you for any help. Maria C. <Three treatments, change water and re-administer every three days. Bob Fenner>

Albino African Clawed Frog feeding/digesting problems  02-05-06 I recently bought an Albino Clawed Frog about a week ago. I have had quite a few frogs, my last one of six years died last month. I bought this small one now (about 3 inches) and she does not seem to want to eat anything I give her. <Very unusual for Xenopus laevis not to feed> The shop I had bought her from was feeding her cut up meal worms, and so I  have reluctantly started to feed her those. I was wondering if meal worms are okay, seeing as  my last Clawed frog had problems digesting them when he was this small. <Not by themselves, no> I am also worried because her stomach seems to be growing and I am worried about intestinal blockage. How should I deal with this? and How would I know if it is? Any help would be AMAZING. Thank you! Mallory Wynne <Perhaps a level teaspoon of Epsom Salt per ten gallons of system water will move this blockage. Bob Fenner>

Sick African clawed frog   8/1/06 I love your website!! Unfortunately, I have a sick albino African clawed frog, Piggy. She is probably about 5 years old and no longer wants to eat. <This is a good old age for Xenopus...> She lives in a 55 gallon aquarium with two goldfish and another African clawed frog. There is a Fluval canister filter, a Fluval submersible filter, and a "homemade" canister type filter on the tank. They have all been together for a year or so. Water quality is fine--no ammonia, nitrites, ph 7.4 or so. No new decorations or fish. About a month ago, I noticed she wasn't eating as much (the frogs are hand fed)--maybe one or two Reptomin sticks per day. I didn't worry too much--they do that occasionally. Then, she stopped eating completely. She absolutely refuses to eat anything--not even her favorites--worms and flies. <A very bad sign...> She ate nothing for three weeks-I noticed she started to get smaller. She doesn't swim around as much as she used to and sheds more than usual. How long can they go without food?? <Perhaps a few more weeks> She has no other physical symptoms--no injuries, red leg, fungus. I decided to force-feed her and see if it helped. I've been able to get several earthworms into her over the past week. <Good> I only force-feed her a few pieces every day or so (whenever I can catch up with my brother who is good at holding her and opening her mouth while I shove a worm piece in). She doesn't seem to have anything caught in her throat or mouth--we can see almost down into her stomach when we get her mouth opened sometimes. She doesn't spit the worms back out once we get them in her and she definitely swallows them. Since feeding her, she has gotten more active and not as skinny, but she still refuses to eat on her own. Can anyone help? <Mmm...> I've tried Maroxy and salt in the water, but neither seemed to help. I've read about all sorts of medicines to treat bacterial, fungal infections, but I don't' know if I should try something else or just wait. Maybe she has a blockage and needs Epsom salts??? <Doubtful, but as a "last ditch effort" worth trying> I can't tell if she is pooping or not. I have read that a Chloramphenicol bath may also be effective, but for how long??? <I myself would not use antibiotics here, but a 250 mg capsule dissolved in one gallon of water for about five minutes is about right> A bath for a few minutes or hours?? I work in a lab and we use Chloramphenicol on fish eggs to prevent bacterial/fungal contamination. Or would an antibiotic from a pet store be better? <These are identical to human use... though often "post-dated", old> Any suggestions would be appreciated. I've had many of these frogs over the years and just love them. They are so personable. <I suspect this frog is "just old"... cumulative heritable defects... doesn't "feel like" going on. A hard issue with our beloved pets, life around us. Bob Fenner>

Frog Tank With High Ammonia   1/31/06 Hi, I am hoping that you can shed some light on what is going on in our tank.   We have had this 10 gallon tank set up with 2 baby albino ACFs (African Clawed Frogs) for over a month and it was cycled before we added frogs. They are still very small frogs and we plan on a bigger tank once they grow a little.  Anyway, something disrupted the biological filtration system.  I am not sure exactly what happened.  We raised the temp slightly (approx 2 degrees F) which I know will effect it slightly.  The only other thing I can think of is that one of the frogs was extremely constipated and was extremely compacted with food.  She finally passed it about three days ago.  Two days ago when I tested for ammonia with a newly purchased test kit because I had been using strips and have learned they aren't all that accurate.  The ammonia was around 1.0 ppm.  I immediately prepared some tap water for a 50% water change.  Within six hours of the water change the ammonia was back up to the same levels.  I tested the tap water and another smaller tank (that I have been using drinking water in -instead of tap) to make sure the test kit was working and both came back zero.  I did another 50% water change yesterday and the same thing happened.  I tried using some Ammo-Lock out of desperation and tested again after an hour.  It made absolutely no difference in the ammonia reading.  Perhaps that batch of Ammo-Lock is bad or outdated.  But, I still don't get why the ammonia level is rising so fast after a water change.  We are using a whisper filter that goes up to 20 gallons.  Also the other readings are pH 7.2, Nitrate 0ppm, Nitrite 0ppm, GH about 75 ppm, KH about 120 ppm.  Water prep is letting the tap water sit overnight or for several hours and adding 2 drops pH down per gallon (tap water is off the chart alkaline for my pH testing kit before adding the pH down and very hard) and Aquasafe per directions. Any suggestions?  Probably the Ammo-Lock wasn't the best idea since we need it to recycle but I was desperate.  Should I continue doing a 50% water change everyday.  It doesn't seem to be helping much.  I would be interested to see if the level would get above 1.0ppm if I let it go but I won't put the little froggies at risk. Thank you so much!!  Christi < Go to Marineland.com and go to Dr Tim's Library. Read the article titled "The First 30 Days." The will give you some background on cycling terms so you can determine if your tank is indeed truly cycled. If not add Bio-Spira from Marineland to get the tank cycled now.-Chuck>

African Clawed Frogs  5/23/06 Hi, <Hi Anthony, Pufferpunk here.> Two quick questions: *   At what temperature should the albino: Xenopus laevis  (African Clawed Frog) be kept? <68-75(F) degrees is good.> *   Would it be ok to keep three Albino frogs (6") and three  common Plecos (6", 5", and 3") in a 36 gallon tank, with gravel, rocks  and a decent sized filter? <Your subject line said dwarf frogs but yours are definitely not dwarves!  I wouldn't keep an adult ACF in anything less than 15g each.  A 55g would be nice for 3. They really like to swim. They have huge appetites & foul the water quickly.  I would do 90% weekly water changes on them.  Plecos are big poop machines & the common one grows to 18", certainly too large for even a 55g.  Here's a great site for your frogs: http://members.aol.com/sirchin/afc.htm  Good luck with them!  ~PP> Thanks for your help! Anthony

Clawed Frog Constipation? - 11/19/2005 Hi, <Hello. Sabrina with you, today.> I've owned my African Clawed Frog for almost 3 years now and I have never had issues with him. He's had to deal with living at college with me and the trips back and forth and the freezing cold dorm rooms and has lasted through it all.  <Mm, sounds like some stressful times.... Do please be cautious; such stresses can make an animal much more prone to disease....> Right now I have him in a 25 gallon tank with a ground feeder and a snail. The past week his butt has started to get red and irritated looking and it actually looks like he's almost constipated.  <Hmm....> Last night I came home from being out and he had that bloated look of what Dropsy is but not as severely as some pictures I've seen.  <Alright....> I woke up this morning expecting the worst but the bloating actually went down and he's eating and is shedding right now and acting normal except for looking irritated and constipated back there.  <If he was constipated, he may have become bloated from the blockage, then after it passed, the bloating subsided. Mind you, though, I/we am/are not frog experts, so take anything from me with a grain or to of salt.> I've looked up stuff on red leg but it doesn't seem to be that.  <Good.> I have the tank at a steady temperature of 76 and I always clean the tank the same way so there haven't been any drastic changes in his routine recently.  <Mm, but do you test your water? Readings for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate? Please do be testing for these, and maintain ammonia and nitrite at ZERO, nitrate less than 20ppm, with water changes.> Do you think you know what this might be because I can't find anything about it on the internet. <As above, perhaps the animal was in fact constipated.... or perhaps this is from ammonia or nitrite poisoning (any reading on these above ZERO should be considered toxic). I would urge you first to test your water and maintain optimal water quality, then do some Google searches on clawed frog nutrition and disease. Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

African clawed frog and fire-belly toad... not together     6/23/06 Hi I would like to combine two African clawed frogs with some fire-belly toads. Is that possible? <... Mmm, not really. Xenopus are entirely aquatic, the Bombina "semi-aquatic"... Please see here re the care of the latter: http://www.wnyherp.org/care-sheets/amphibians/fire-belly-toad.php > Are both compatible and if yes, which would be the required tank size? thanks Cristian <A minimum of ten gallons for both/either. Bob Fenner>

Cohabitation with African Clawed Frogs   5/21/06 Hello, <Hi there> I recently purchased an African Clawed Frog.  I'm having trouble finding information on what types of fish can safely cohabitate with this type of frog.  He is currently housed in a ten gallon tank.  I'd like to add a couple of fish (aside from the guppies) but don't want the frog to eat them.  I also want to ensure that the fish we purchase don't harm the frog.  Any suggestions?  Also, I read that this type of frog is social so I was thinking of adding another.  Is a ten gallon tank too small for two frogs (some sites are telling me 5 gallons per frog and some are saying 10)? Thanks in advance, Tara <Mmm, well... Xenopus will eat most anything fish-wise small enough to fit in their mouths... and a ten gallon tank is too small for anything of sufficient size, speed, smarts to avoid predation... You're pretty much set with a choice between the frog or something/s else. Bob Fenner> African Clawed Frog ... comp.    5/2/06 Hello Crew, <Hello Matthew!>   I'm new to the interesting life called African Clawed Frogs. <Cute but dim, aren't they? I have a pair myself.>   As such I have a question regarding the webbing on its back feet.  It appears it is either shedding its webbing or it has been "eaten" by one of my other fish.  Am I looking at infection or poor water condition? <It is hard to say without knowing what tankmates are in with it. It is not recommended to keep African Clawed Frogs with fish. If the fish don't nibble at the frog, as the frog gets larger, it will damage the fish. Infection is often a sign of poor water quality, so do try to keep the water pristine to allow the frog to heal.> Will this webbing regenerate itself? <If the frog is not harassed and the water quality is good, then yes... frogs do have a remarkable ability to heal/regrow.>   Hope to hear from you soon <Do separate this frog... and make sure it has no "escape routes" (an inch-wide crack in the canopy is enough to lose these renowned escapologists). Best regards, John.>      Sincerely   Matthew

African Clawed Frog Advice ... sel., comp.    5/2/06 I was cruising around your site, and was intrigued by your mentioning of the African clawed frog.  I kept an ACF for around 6 years.  I found it interesting that your site did not clearly state one thing: an adult ACF will unhesitatingly consume any fish 1 inch in length or less!  I often fed mine feeder guppies from PetCo.  I would pass this along to anyone thinking of keeping guppies, tetras, etc. with an ACF. Finally, for anyone looking for an ACF, I recommend "Grow-a-frog."  That's where mine came from, and they sell great food and other supplies.-Robert < Thanks for the advice and we will post it on the site.-Chuck>

Mormyrid/s, and some species of frog   2/23/06 One very quick question that I can't seem to find an answer for anywhere. I have a 25 gallon tank with have 1 Elephant Nose and 4 Albino Frogs in it. I know Elephant nose do better in groups of @ least 3 so very soon <Stop! Not in this sized tank... too small for even just one> I plan on buying at least a couple more. But anyway, my question is, are these 2 species ok being together? <The frogs and Mormyrid should mix fine> They don't seem to bother each other. My fish stays hid and my frogs just do their own things. I occasionally feed my Elephant Nose dried baby shrimp "recommended by the pet shop owner" and my frogs eat it too. Also, the pet shop owner just said it would make the frogs grow. Anyway Anyway Anyway, getting off the subject...are they okay together?   Thanks!   Morgan <Keep your eyes on all... the frogs can be messy... I take it these are African... Dwarfs, not Xenopus. Bob Fenner>

Clawed Frog Disease - 09/08/2005 My Frog, Bugzie, has a large bulging, swollen area under her mouth that extends from chin to throat.  This occurred 3 days ago and seems to be getting larger and lighter in color....PLEASE HELP!   <I recommend you try reading here:   http://fluffyfrog.com/FrogPondVetF.html .  Though this may just be some result of physical trauma (injury, etc.), it could be an infection of some sort.> Thanks.  Carole <Wishing you and Bugzie well,  -Sabrina>

Science, frogs, and ORP Dear Dr. Fenner, <Anthony Calfo here for WWM while our friend Bob is away on a Red Sea trip... a charmed life he leads!> I am a molecular biologist working in Boston. I saw your article on-line and was hoping you could help me with a bit of advice. I study frog embryogenesis, and for this purpose, keep a facility of 300 frogs (Xenopus laevis, the African clawed frog). These frogs lay eggs which my lab experiments on. Anyways, for about a year and a half we have had excellent luck with our facility, but now we're having a problem and I wonder if you have any advice for me, since I'm not the kind of biologist that knows much about water and husbandry issues, unfortunately. Briefly, what I have is this. City water (horrible, and full of chloramine and other nasty stuff) goes into a facility on the roof of my institute which puts it through a sand pre-filter, then over a carbon bed, and then through reverse osmosis. It then comes down to my facility (through pipes of questionable quality) and is cleaned again by a smaller point-of-use water polisher (de-ionized etc.). It is fed into a large plastic holding tank, where we add the right amount of artificial sea-salt, adjust the pH, and take measurements. From this holding tank, about half of the water is taken each day to perform a 10% exchange of the water in the actual tanks where the frogs live. They live in a flow-through system of about 20 tanks, plus a number of filters (including a bio-filter for the urea, carbon filters, a UV bulb to kill bacteria, etc.). The parameters in the tank (and thus in the system as a whole) are supposed to be: pH = 6.7 to 7.0, salt = 1800 microS. When everything was going fine, our ORP was always about 240-290. Recently we experienced a crash - a few frogs which succumbed to opportunistic infections which the vet said was due to stress. At the same time, we noticed the pH being consistently low in the holding tank,  <hmm... and 6.7 is low enough with regard for the dynamics of culturing this amphibian and most any aquatic organism (higher levels of dissolved organics, weakly buffered purified water that you are using, natural inclination for pH to fall, etc)> so we had the small water purifier system checked out and found out that the company which is supposed to service it had screwed up and it was in horrible shape. They've since supposedly replaced everything and fixed it, but we still have a problem: the ORP will not go above 200. <interesting...> They claim that the ORP is meaningless <wow... I would strongly disagree as it pertains to aquarium husbandry/aquariology. ORP is significant and quite indicative of overall trends in water quality. Although we may not need to target any one specific set point, a consistently low range is indicative of a flaw in the system as you suspect> and I don't know enough to argue with them, but I do know one thing: when things were going well, it was consistently higher, and the change makes me concerned that something is still wrong.  <agreed... as a measure of ReDox potential, these low ORP readings are indicative of so-called "lower" water quality... at least as they relate to live aquatics and sensitivity to oxidative/reductive potentials. However, the solution to this problem may be as simple as better aeration. Do experiment. Other common solutions to raise ORP may harm the frogs unfortunately (iodine and potassium permanganate primarily). Else it may be a compositional flaw with the source water> Most importantly, this problem is as measured in the *holding tank* - so it is isolated from all the complexities of the frog habitat. The only thing which goes into the holding tank is: supposedly pure (17 MegOhm) water from the purifier, and the salt which we've been using all along. We had the water tested, and they didn't find anything unusual. So, here's the million dollar question: do you have any idea what could be responsible for the low ORP in water which just came out of the purifier? What sort of problem with the water cleaners, salt, etc. could be responsible for this change? Thank you very much in advance for any help you can give me. <do consider if any aspect of aeration or aspiration of source water through this filter may have been tempered with the cleaning/changes in purification. It really could be that simple. But if 6-12 hours of vigorous aeration does not markedly improve ORP, lets look harder at the water composition. At that point, try perhaps filtering the water through a chemically absorptive media like Poly Bio Marine's "Poly Filter pad". The product changes colors to reveal concentrations of conspicuous impurities. After some passes... lets test the sample again to see if that moves the ORP.> Sincerely, Mike Levin <best regards, Anthony>

Science, Frogs, and ORP Hi Anthony, Thanks for getting back to me. <Steven Pro in this morning with the follow-up.> >> wow... I would strongly disagree as it pertains to aquarium husbandry/aquariology. ORP is significant and quite indicative of overall trends in water quality. Although we may not need to target any one specific set point, a consistently low range is indicative of a flaw in the system as you suspect. <That's kind of what I figured... >> do consider if any aspect of aeration or aspiration of source water through this filter may have been tempered with the cleaning/changes in purification. It really could be that simple. But if 6-12 hours of vigorous aeration does not markedly improve ORP, lets look harder at the water composition. At that point, try perhaps filtering the water through a chemically absorptive media like Poly Bio Marine's  "Poly Filter pad". The product changes colors to reveal concentrations of conspicuous impurities. After some passes... lets test the sample again to see if that moves the ORP.<< interesting - I'll try it. Can extra aeration hurt anything (like the frogs, for example)? <No, will be fine if not beneficial. But in particular, test a sample of your processed water for ORP. Then aerate it for 6-12 hours in a separate vessel (no frogs or anything). Then retest for a change.> Cheers, Mike <Good luck, Steven Pro>

Frogs and drugs (no toad licking here) Hi, I just treated my freshwater tank for what appears to be velvet. I bought Greenex to treat the tank. I have an African Albino Clawed Frog in there that reacted badly to this. Am I going to lose the frog due to using this product? Thanks, Lynn <wow... I must admit that is doesn't look good for the frog. Do remove it from the tank or the medication from the water immediately (water changes and carbon). Medications that include metals (like copper) or organic dyes should never be used on invertebrates or scaleless animals (including some fish). The frog was indeed overdosed... but don't give up, please. They are hardy. Fresh water ASAP. Best regards, Anthony>

Re: frogs Anthony, Thanks for your reply. The frog was dead by morning : ( I sure felt bad. The rest of the fish are dropping like flies. I wish that I had gone on line before I bought the Greenex. The product said it was safe, HA! Now I am just trying to save as many of the fish as I can. Thanks, Lynn <alas... sorry for the loss too. Some such meds are not necessarily bad, but rather cure or kill remedies. For virulent infections they may be called upon. I personally do not care for this medication in most applications, but many fine aquarists have had very favorable results with it. I do not recall the manufacturers warning to know if it considers invertebrates, amphibians and the like. I suspect it must mention scaleless fishes/animals though. Best regards, Anthony>

Albino Frog Hi, We have one in our fish tank....cute as a button, but what does he eat? <Does he look like one of these fellas http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/amphibians.htm> And also, It seems like he really can't see well...because, when we drop food in the tank for the other fish, he only takes he hands and pretends to be putting food in his mouth, but actually missing the food that is being dropped close by? He is swimming around well...but how is he surviving? <Lots of info on these little guys at the link below. http://www.ahsc.arizona.e> Thanks for your help. Maryann <Hi Maryann, the links above should provide more information than you would ever want to know about these critters, check them out and let us know if you have any more questions.  Best Regards, Gage>

Bugs 'n' a frog I noticed these really weird white insect things in my African clawed frog's bowl. <The regular, enormous clawed frog, or the dwarf frog?> They're almost as small as pieces of dust, are sort of oval shaped, and only stay on the sides of the bowl. When I looked at it really close, they were coating the whole walls of the bowl, so it looked like white dust! <These sound perhaps like water fleas (Daphnia).> I decided to clean its bowl out right away. I even put this water purification stuff in there for amphibians and fish, <Dechlorinator?> but they still came back in about 2 weeks. And there were still a whole bunch of them. what should I do? <Chances are, these little critters are mostly harmless, and are probably feeding on leftover food for your frog.  Please try very hard not to overfeed, or you'll likely never be rid of these critters.  As you reduce feeding, they'll probably die out and go away.  Also do keep on top of keeping your frog's home clean.  Please look over this information: http://www.pipidae.net/ .>

African Clawed Frog- 10/27/03 Hello to some very helpful folks! <Hi there, Pufferpunk here> I have been reading a lot of your postings and FAQ's to learn as much as possible about my newly acquired singing/smiling African clawed frog. <they are forever smiling, aren't' they!> I got him from a friend that got him as a "grow-a-frog" in 1996 for her kids. <He's 8 years old?  He must be pretty large!> He has lived most of his life in a big fish bowl with gravel. I now have him in a 10 gallon tank. <I think at least a 20g would be better.  They really like to swim.  Make sure you have a top on there tightly, w/no escape holes.> Just about everything I have read on the net and your forum says to be very careful what you put in the tank. <I'm pretty sure that means tankmates.  These frogs will eat anything they can fit in their mouth.  I thought I was safe keeping mine w/Cory catfish.  I figured they'd never eat them.  I came home to find one stuck in my frog's mouth w/the spiky fins pointing in a direction that wouldn't let me remove the fish without killing either the fish or the frog.  The frog got a thick white milky film over it's entire body.  It died the next day ={>  I would love to have a hiding place and some pretty bigger rocks or tunnels for him to enjoy. Maybe a plant or two. <Expect any plants to get uprooted.  You could float a few.  They love caves.> Heating or boiling beach rocks seems to be no-no!   <I see absolutely no problem with that.> What about glass objects? <Bad idea.  Nothing sharp that could cut the frog.> Also, in one area of your site, it says to feed him 2-3x per week. He has always been fed every day and has only eaten frog pellets. Those things are so small... how many at a time? <Mine love crickets, krill (frozen or freeze-dried) & worms.  Even my young ones eat every 2-3 days>   There also seems to be some debate about filters. What do you think? <Mine live in the water section of a river tank.  I think a good HOB filter, probably the same kind you use for the turtles would work.> I have only had him a week, but he now comes up to the top of the water and seems to be smelling me. My hands are clean, is this ok that I touch his head? (<It's probably ok to touch them a little.  You could certainly hand feed them!  As w/any aquatic creatures, make sure you wash your hands w/antibacterial soap after touching them, to prevent from getting salmonella.> I know their skin is very sensitive to chemicals and such.  As you can see, I have plenty of questions about this little fella.  I also have 4 assorted turtles----my life has gone aquatic! <I have 8 assorted box turtles that live in an outdoor habitat in the summer & a big kiddie pool in the winter.  A softshell, African sideneck & Asian leaf turtle in a 55g river tank.  I also have another 55g river tank w/assorted frogs & a dwarf African bullfrog living w/the aquatic turtles.> Thank you so much for ANY info you can give me! Joan <Your very welcome--Pufferpunk>

Clawed Frogs Hi again!   <Ello.> I wrote to you a couple of weeks ago with questions about my newly acquired African clawed frog. I have more questions now that he and I have bonded a little!  My questions pertain to his senses... mostly his sight and sense of smell.  I drop pellets in (one at a time) and if they don't land on his body, he doesn't seem to see them and I don't think he knows that they are there. <This has been my experience as well, and unfortunately I am no expert on these frogs so cannot say for sure.> What is his vision like?  I am guessing it isn't too great. <My guess as well, if I ever do set up a tank for these little fellas again, it will be species only, the fish seem to out compete them for food.> Should I have an over tank light?  I guess it doesn't need to be UVA/UVB since I don't think it could penetrate through the water. <A full spectrum florescent would be good.  I am not sure on your tank setup, but a Vitalite might be a good idea> He loves worms and when I drop one in and he feels it on him, he tackles it and rolls all over like he is going after an alligator!!  And to watch those little alien fingers shove it in his mouth is so delightful! <Everybody loves worms, I might have to try one myself some day.> I wish there were more books about these guys...instead of just a page or two in a book about amphibians! Thank you for your insight!  All your information has been helpful! <I'd be willing to bet if you searched enough online (starting with google.com or some such search engine) you could find a site, for forum, or maybe even a club (or you could start one) related to these frogs, they are pretty popular and the information out there on them is not as vast as other aquariums species.  You should definitely document your experiences to share with others.> Joan and the still unnamed little frog guy <I vote for Frogger.  Best of luck with your new buddy -Gage>

Aquatic Frogs, offer of assistance WWM Crew, <Chris> I saw an e-mail on the Daily FAQ page recently looking for African Clawed Frog info, in which it was suggested to web search for the species given the lack of printed material on them. If it will help, I'd like to offer the assistance of Aquamaniacs on this topic. Among other topics, our forums have an Aquatic Frogs forum for questions/discussion of African Clawed Frogs and African Dwarf Frogs (I think I once saw an axolotl thread in the archives, but primarily the species dealt with are ACFs and ADFs). Additionally, a aquatic frogs article/care sheet is currently in the works (I believe it's in front of the editor at this time) to offer recommendations for new owners as to tank conditions, food, etc. Wet Web Media's been in the Aquamaniacs' links page for longer than I've been with the forum, and I'm frequently referring folks to this site for info. I found WWM before Aquamaniacs and appreciate all the good advice you've given me in response to my questions in the past, as well as your excellent archives and friendly responses to questions. If you'd like to post the links, Aquamaniacs is located at http://www.aquamaniacs.net/  and its forums are located at http://pub36.ezboard.com/baquariumbbs . <Outstanding. Thank you for coming forward. Will share and post your listing on the FAQs re> If you wish, I'll send you an update to let you know when the aquatic frogs article/care sheet is up incase you'd like to refer future new frog owners to it. <Please do so> As noted in that e-mail I referred to earlier, there's unfortunately a lack of information available on these species, dwarf frogs more than clawed ones, and more and more stores seem to be selling them without providing any information, or providing incorrect information (Wal-Mart, as of this summer, has started selling them in the same little cups they sell bettas in around here, for example). I hope this is of some help to you and to those looking for info on their frogs. Sincerely,     Chris Sandusky (DonQuixote, moderator of Aquamaniacs' Aquatic Frogs forum) <Again, thank you for your efforts. Bob Fenner>

Re: Aquatic Frogs, offer of assistance Mr. Fenner, <Mr. Sandusky> Looks like I got to send you the update rather rapidly :) The article/care sheet has just been posted at: http://www.aquamaniacs.net/aquaticfrogs.html <<Bad link 3/07. RMF>> <Ah, will update our links> And although their names didn't get mentioned when the article got posted, I'd like to note my thanks to Aquamaniacs' mrclint and fishmommy for their reviewing, editing, and posting of the article, and thanks to LeslieLu for photos (which were credited in the article itself). <Duly noted> Hope this is able to help out new owners of these two species. My personal experience has just been with dwarf frogs (and admittedly I'm fairly new to them myself, I purchased my first pair this summer), but I tried to find as much relevant info on both species as I could and collect it in one location for this article, erring on the side of caution when possible <You are wise here> (for example, I know a few sites suggest 1.5 gallons is enough for one or two ADFs, but I'd really prefer the additional stability, and added swimming space of 2-2.5 g each if possible). Some topics aren't covered, such as breeding, as I figured those beyond the scope of what's intended as a beginner article / general care sheet. Sincerely, Chris Sandusky <Thank you, Bob Fenner>

Amphibian Ailments (4/2/2004)  Hi your site was suggested to me by a rep a pet land. <A well informed pet store employee> I have 2 African albino clawed frogs and one of them seems to have some thing wrong with its foot. It looks like the skin is peeling off, or shedding. Its also blood shot. <Could be bacterial or fungal...is there any "fuzziness" or anything indicative of a fungal infection, or is it more red and swollen, possibly indicative of a bacterial infection? As a side note, do check your ammonia levels, and I assume you are not using chlorinated water?> I at first thought that it might of hurt it self or the other frog bit it. But today it looks a little better. But now if you look at it, you can see the bones on the foot. <Not good. Does it appear to be spreading? Any red\swollen skin or any red "blood poisoning" obvious in the legs\blood vessels? Frogs of this species are especially susceptible to "Septicemia"> Would you guys have a idea as to what it could be? The guy at Petland thought that it might be a fungal infection, but the other frogs seem ok. <Probably bacterial (Septicemia), a nasty and all to common infection of these animals.> If you can email me back at * I'd be grateful.  <Try treating the frog with 'Triple Sulfa' by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals or Tetracycline (available from Kordon and other vendors, shouldn't be hard to find at your local pet store). Do this in a separate container of tank water or a quarantine tank. Dose appropriately and make sure to keep the water heated. If you don't notice any improvements in 4-5 days, do send me another email, along with the aquarium size, tankmates, and a picture of the frog if possible>  Thanks  <No problem, let me know if your frog doesn't improve in health in a few days. M. Maddox>

Frog Demise (4/6/2004)  Thank you for taking the time to write back. <My pleasure> I have to tell you that the frog did not make it. It died the next day. <Sorry for your loss :[ Septicemia is a vicious killer among aquatic amphibians, and often is extremely difficult to treat successfully> The other frogs seem to be ok, I did a 40 % water change the same day. <They most likely won't become infected unless they have some sort of injury or are otherwise stressed> Is there any thing I can do to prevent this from happening again? <Maintain good water quality and feed a variety of foods. If you notice injury, or know your frogs have recently been stressed, keep a very close eye on them, and treat at the hint of an infection. Be sure to run the full course of the antibiotics: don't stop dosing even if the symptoms disappear until the rededicates have run their course> I am thinking it was the septicemia that you mentioned. <Very probable> I haven't been using chlorinated water, should I be? <Most definitely not!> I use a chemical to treat the water I put back in. <Highly recommend Amquel+> How do frogs get this kind of infection? <Anything that stresses a frog could cause it to fall ill to this infection. Not all that different from people getting sick: excess stress or injury leads to illness in all species>  Thank you for your time again. <Not a problem, sorry about your frog>  Luke  <M. Maddox>

Tropical frog problem Hi i have an albino frog, looking at your picture i think its an albino clawed frog but not sure. I have had him along with 3 others for about 2 months and he has been doing fine. When i woke up this morning and looked at him, he has bloated up. As if someone has blown him up with air, right down to his legs. I thought that if it was over feeding then by night time he would of gone down slightly, but no sign of getting better. My local pet store couldn't really offer any advice, so i was wondering if you could. So please help quickly as i don't know if he will last much longer. Thanx for help < If your frog is still eating then I would watch him for awhile and see if the bloat goes away. Being that it happened overnight I am wondering if it shed and ate its shed skin. If it is an internal bacterial infection then there is little we can offer except that you might have to consult a vet.-Chuck> Phil. 

Albino Clawed Frog I have an albino clawed frog that somehow jumped out of the tank during the night. We found it this morning and was wondering if there was anything that we should do cause it is still alive but looks kind of bad? Should we keep it in a separate tank away from the other frog or could we put it back? Any suggestion would be helpful and appreciated. < Keep him separated until he is fully rehydrated. Watch for bacterial infections. These frogs are usually pretty tough so I assume he will be back to normal in a couple of days.-Chuck> Thank you

Sick Underwater Frog? 8/2/04 Hi, I have a female African clawed frog who has a strange discoloration on her leg. It is on the back of the leg at the joint where it bends inward- it is a reddish-purple color an is slightly swollen.  She has not been acting any differently and had been eating normally. I have gone on several web sights to check the symptoms and I cannot find anything. The only thing this resembles (in on line symptomatology) is a fungal infection, but she does not have any white around it. I thank you for your time and appreciate your help with this matter. < I have heard of these bacterial infection on frog legs before. It is caused by a bacteria that quickly multiplies in water high in nitrates from dirty water. Keep the tank clean and remove all the uneaten food, service the filter.  Watch that it doesn't get any bigger or becomes infected. If it is an injury from a fish bite then the same would apply.   Not sure how the little frog would react to antibiotics. If it gets worse I would isolate him and treat with Maracyn at half strength and see how he reacts. If there is not problem then add the rest after a couple of hours if he is doing ok.-Chuck> Frog Eyes My African clawed frogs have grown feathery things from their eyes. <It may be the frog shedding some skin, or it could be a fungus. Fungus usually occur in dirty tanks or to injured body parts. Fungal medications for fish may be worse for the frogs than the fungus. Try treating with aquarium salt at a tablespoon per 3-5 gallons. Frogs do not like a lot of salt. At these levels, the frogs will not be harmed but perhaps the fungus will clear. Make sure his tank is clean and had fresh water. Don> I put 6 feeder fish in with them yesterday and only one has been eaten. Usually 3 are gone the first day. They are hanging out at the top more than usual and not very active.

Knives, Spines, Rope and Fire. OK to add Claws? Hi, thanks for the info that you've given me so far, but I've got another question. I've got my 130 gallon tank set-up with a 10" clown Knifefish, 12" spiny eel, 6" fire eel, and 12" ropefish. <No guppies or swordtails for you, huh?> I also own two African clawed frogs (about 4" long each) that are being kept at my mothers work. I'm wondering if I would be able to put the two frogs in the 130 gallon tank. In your opinion, do you think that the clown might decide to take a bite out of the soft, fleshy frogs, or would he leave them alone? Right now, the clown eats 3" long goldfish, but I'm trying to get him to accept frozen shrimp. <A bit risky, IMO. A Knife will eat anything he can fit in it's mouth. Even if he only tries, he may kill or injure the frog. Not a great mix. Risk would be reduced if the Knife was off live food first and kept well fed. The eels may even cause problems at night, but less likely.>     Also, one other question.  For my 130 gallon tank, would a Classic Eheim 2215 canister filter and a Fluval 404 canister filter be enough for the tank? I'm going to be adding more fish to the tank than I have now and prefer to have above average filtration. If the filtration isn't enough, what's a good filter that I could add to the other two? <Each are rated for around 100 gallons. You should be fine as is, but those are some pretty large fish in there, and growing. I'm a big fan of Marineland's Emperor 400 for bio filtration. Surely wouldn't hurt to add the bio wheels to help with ammonia processing.> Thanks for all of your help. <One last point, which I'm sure you knew was coming. Try very hard to get the Knife off live fish. Hard to do, I know. But unless you can QT the feeders, sooner or later you WILL (not "may") bring Ick or some other nasty into your system. Treating a 130 with these large fish will be a challenge to say the least. Don>

Confused, poor grammar/spelling, and frogs how do I know the difference between an African clawed frog and dwarf frog? <Size, shape... that your other livestock are missing! Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/amphibfaqs.htm> also when they are small like an inch, do they grow bigger? <What? The Xenopus definitely do> if so how big? I'm looking on info on a dwarf, I had a clawed, I had to get another tank for it. <I'll bet... Learn to capitalize proper nouns, use spaces, write in sentences, please. Bob Fenner> Frogs and Bala sharks I recently began a small semi aggressive community of fish and aquatic frogs (2). After about 2 months, I am experiencing some problems with my tank. The frogs are faring just fine, but I am having problems keeping a Bala shark alive. I have gone through two now. The only other fish in the 2.5gallon tank is a Betta fish and he seemed to get along fine with the balas. I am aware that stress from the 2 albino African clawed frogs could have caused the shark's demise, but I am believe it had something to do with the water quality. It has become cloudy and foamy.  I used spring water that I treated before I put the fish in and I clean the tank monthly, using Aquasafe as a water conditioner.  Recently, the water took on a pungent, stale odor and became cloudy. I tried cleaning the tank and the cloudiness continued. A few days later, the surface of the water started frothing (or foaming) in front of the filter and circulating around the tank. My first question is: what causes this foaming and what can I do to alleviate it before it kills another of my fish? The 2nd Bala died yesterday 2 days after the foam started and the first one died almost immediately after purchase. The second question is: Is it wrong to keep those three species together?  Was the stress level too high for the Bala? My third question is: Even though these are small fish in a small tank with a filter, do I need a larger tank or perhaps an aerator? Thank you for any assistance you can provide.  Sincerely, Lauren >>>Hi Lauren, A few things. First it is generally not wise to keep herps and fish in the same system unless it's properly designed to accommodate them. Especially in such a small system. Second, what kind of filter do you have? When you say you clean the tank monthly, what exactly do you mean? Do you empty it an strip it down? Third, Bala sharks get HUGE, and are active and nervous fish. 2.5 gallons is too small *in the extreme* for this species. Long term, 55 gallon minimum. Without any other info, my advice would be to get a larger tank for your fish, and leave the frogs in the 2.5. Get a good hang-on BioWheel filter or a canister filter, and DO NOT break the tank down when you clean it. Any filter pads and such need to rinsed in water from the tank to avoid killing the bacteria in the filter. Jim<<<

SICK FROG I read some other emails about their albino frog shredding its skin and that being normal. However, I had an old catfish recently die and as it was dying, the whiskers (not sure what they are called) began to shred away to almost nothing and it had red sores in its mouth. It was an old fish so I didn't think much of it, I just thought it was from age. After, my albino frog began to shed about 4 layers of skin and now a few of its front legs' claws have deteriorated and some claws are red on the end. I don't think this is normal shredding, but I am not sure because it is my first pet frog. Please help me. < You have a bacterial infection that began with you catfish and is now affecting your frog. Change 30 to 50% of the water and clean the filter. Vacuum the gravel to remove and sediment that has occurred there. The clean water should greatly help. Now if it gets worse then we need to try some antibiotics and I am not real sure which one would be appropriate. Look online at red legged frog diseases and see what others have been using. To be safe you could always ask a vet but many are not to familiar with frog diseases. If you need to try something ASAP to save its life then I would try Nitrofuranace. It works well on fish but frogs breath through their skin. If your frog starts to show any kind of reaction then get him out of the water immediately. Then try another medication like Maracyn but this is only a guess. I know these medications will work on the bacteria, I am just not familiar enough with frogs to know if they will have any adverse reactions to the antibiotics.-Chuck> 

Albino African clawed frog I have searched for an answer and have not found one. Can you please help? I recently received an Albino African clawed frog. The owner's were moving and were not taking him. Anyhow, he is in a small 10 gallon tank with a pleco. My question is can I take him out and put him in my 75 gallon cichlid (mostly African) tank? The smallest fish would be my Mbuna. The largest would be my green terror. Thanks for your help. < Your newly acquired African frog would turn into a mobile banquet block for your cichlids. Even though your cichlids may not be able to eat it entirely they would be able to take chunks out of its flesh and eat the limbs that eventually would become infected. Not good for the frog. If the frog died then it would breakdown and pollute the tank which is not good for the fish.-Chuck>

Why is my African frog losing its skin? <Mmm, they do shed their skin quite a bit... if yours is eating, otherwise well, I would not be concerned. Do take care if you intend to add other life with it, and beware of adding chemicals to its water. Bob Fenner>

DEAD FROG I recently purchased two of the above and have them in a ten gallon tank with algae eaters, a black molly and they all seemed to be cohabitating well. One of the albino frogs was exhibiting rather odd behavior by spinning around in circles like it was possessed and then would proceed to flop to the bottom of the tank and just lay there. My room-mate and I watched this behavior for a few days thinking it was odd but also thinking maybe it was just having fun. I went out of town for two days and when I came home my roomie told me one of the frogs had died.......can you give me any insight to what may have happened? They get a steady diet of frozen blood worms and like I said, all my habitants of this tank seem to be fine. Perplexed! < I don't think it is anything in particular that caused his death or else both of the frogs would be dead. I will assume that one of the new frogs tried to eat something in the tank that it couldn't digest and eventually died from intestinal blockage. That would explain the weird behavior for the few days before it died.-Chuck>

Albino Frog Problem Our frog was eating normally one night and all of a sudden it basically spazzed out. I don't know how to describe it. After that it fell to the bottom where I thought it died. I went to scoop it up and it very slowly crawled so I left it. I thought it was going to die but when I went back to it later it was still alive. It remained this way for about a week. It gradually started to move about but could not swim without spinning around uncontrollable.  About a week later it became all bloated and it's eyes were really red and bulging. I thought for sure it had died, but it was still alive.  About a week later it was back to normal size and looking for food on the bottom. It can now control itself on the bottom but it cannot swim at all. When it tries to swim it just spins around uncontrollable. It now has a bruise on it's right side and it's veins are protruding also it's sides are starting to sink in. I don't think it is eating because my goldfish eat the food before it gets to the bottom and it does not like shrimp pellets. I put it in a separate bowl to eat but it won't.  I also forgot to mention that when this happened it is lopsided to the left it cannot sit or float normally anymore. I took it to my pet store and he said in all his thirty years he has never seen this. I also called Drs.Foster&Smith and they could not help me and sent me on to you. It is almost like it had a seizer or stroke is this possible? I would greatly appreciate your constructive comments. Thanks, Erica < Not much literature is available on frog diseases in captivity. External problems can be somewhat figured out but internal problems are a whole different story. If the frog were mine, I would treat it with Metronidazole. It is effective on internal bacterial infections on fish so it is worth a try. If the frog starts eating again I would give him some black worms or small washed earthworms to build up his strength. Frogs are pretty tough little creatures, Hopefully he didn't eat something like a piece of gravel that may stay lodged in his gut.-Chuck>

Frogs hopping mad about ammonia 7/30/05 I currently have a twenty-nine gallon tank with three African clawed frogs. I keep about twenty-five gallons so they don't jump out. <Good idea>   My problem is my ammonia is through the roof. <Toxic...> I switched to a canister filter about a month ago.  It is keeping the water remarkably clear.  I have in the media baskets the foam filters, pre filter (inert ceramic rings,) a carbon bag, an ammonia remover bag, and the media growing rings.  I had been doing one third water changes every week, now I am doing two thirds.  I am also switching the media every two weeks. <Shouldn't switch...> Two of the four sponges, carbon, and ammonia.  I am staggering these out, so I don't disturb the beneficial bacteria.  I expected an ammonia spike with the initial set up (the tank is about six weeks old,) but it seems I can't stabilize the tank.  When I had a hang on the tank filter, my ammonia was close to nil. <Should have left the hang-on on during this transition to the canister... or used both even better>   Granted the water was nasty (ACF's are pretty gross little beasts,) but I didn't have this problem at the time.  I have no live plants in the tank and I have about twenty-five pounds of sand.  I am currently using ammo-lock to make sure my frogs aren't harmed.  I have also monitored their eating habits and they are eating what I feed them.  There is very little food left after they eat.  The frogs don't seem to be suffering any ill effects at all.  The ghost shrimp that I put in (as a snack and to help clean are literality jumping out of the tank when I put them in. Any suggestions for me? <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Rope Fish Tank Size  9/15/06 Hello, <Hi Ren, Pufferpunk here> Just wondering, I have a rope fish (around 4 inches long, male) with two African clawed frogs (pretty small themselves at the moment, maybe 1 and a half inches) in a 20 gallon tank. I know the tank is gonna be small in the long run but they seem to be doing fine for the time being. I was just wondering, what size tank should I save up for? <Since these are social animals, they are best displayed in multiple numbers together. I would keep at least two to a tank. That being said, I'd save for at least a 40 gallon tank.  I'd keep the frogs in the 20g.  They get large (around the size of your fist) & will eat anything they can fit into their huge mouths!  ~PP> (P.S. He has dens/caves too).

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: