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FAQs About Amphibian Disease/Health

Related Articles: Amphibians, Turtles

Related FAQs: Amphibians 1, Amphibians 2, Frogs Other Than African and Clawed, African Dwarf Frogs, African Clawed Frogs, Newts & Salamanders, Rubber Eels/Caecilians, Amphibian Identification, Amphibian Behavior, Amphibian Compatibility, Amphibian Selection, Amphibian Systems, Amphibian Feeding, Amphibian Reproduction, Turtles

How far down in the water will I go? About nee-deep!

ACF Fungal Infection      1/5/20
We have (had) 2 albino ACF. They are approx. 4/5 years old. They live in a 20g long. No other tank mates. They are feed night crawlers and feeder guppies.
<Please stop using the feeder Guppies. Whatever else is going on here, live feeder fish -- besides the cruelty involved -- is a sure-fire way of introducing parasites and pathogens for no good use. It's not like these frogs need live foods.>
We do regular 50% weekly water changes with R/O water and keep the water temp at 78.
<Why RO? Xenopus laevis do best in slightly hard water conditions: aim for around 10-15 degrees dH, pH 7.5.>
We have two Hang on back filters and all water parameters are in acceptable ranges - ammonia 0, nitrates 0. Not sure of water hardness. This Leads to up my first question. Does the ph range matter?
I cannot recall reading any info on ph ranges for frogs.
<A good deal in the scientific literature, at least. But a summary can be found here:
Avoid soft, acid water conditions.>
I have done many hours of research and feel like we are good frog caretakers. They have been happy and healthy for years now and loved members of the family. Unfortunately they recently became ill. We noticed that one of the frogs was floating at the top of the tank. She was not going back down to her “house” where they normally stay. She was also not wanting to eat. Not unusual for her she has never been a good eater. We looked her over and did not see any obvious signs of red leg or bloat. Two days later our other frog began to mimic the same behavior. This was alarming to us as they have never behaved this way before. Behavior change = something wrong! After looking them over again I noticed that they appeared to have small sheds of skin hanging from them. Immediately I knew this was a concern bc they should shed in one big suit, I have seen it many times! One also had a very small area of white fuzz on her butt/back area. Google hear I come! I have been researching for 12 hours now and can’t really come up with a definite answer as to what is wrong with them.
<Some amount of shedding is normal, but if they're suddenly shedding a lot of skin, and on top of that, behaving abnormally (e.g., not eating normally) then yes, you might well suspect some sort of problem.>
I realize it’s a fungal infection. But what kind? I found info that says amphibian fungal infections can be treated with methylene blue.
But again no clear instructions for amphibians.
<As per fish. Methylene Blue is relatively gentle, which is why we use it freely with fish eggs. Mardel MarOxy is another good choice.>
I knew waiting to do anything was a death sentence so this is what we did and the results so far:
3 gallons of aquarium water were removed from tank and used as bath water for treatment. We added 2 tsp. of methylene blue and bathed frogs for one hour. They were then put back in main tank. One frog died within 6 hours of treatment (the one with visible fuzz) one frog still living. I have resigned myself to that fact that my other frog will prob not survive but will keep fighting for her!
My questions are these:
What other medications can be used? Or what medicine works best?
<See above.>
What dosage should it be, and how often do you treat?
<Exactly as specified for fish. Remember to remove carbon from the filter, if used. Do also up the aeration a bit if possible.>
Should we just treat the main tank as there are no tank mates?
<I would, yes.>
Should the main tank be emptied sanitized and the surviving frog be put new “Clean” tank?
<No need. Fungus (and Finrot-type bacteria) are entirely opportunistic, and latent in all aquaria. Under normal conditions they may even play a role in 'ammonification', i.e., turning fish/frog wastes into the ammonia your filter bacteria can use.>
Any other advice would be welcomed!
<Do see above re: Guppies.>
P.S. We have discovered that the tank heater is the most likely culprit as to why they became sick. It was on the fritz and not keeping the tank at the proper temp. They got too cold!
<Xenopus laevis should handle room temperature without any trouble at all. Xenopus tropicalis is more finicky, as its name would suggest, but is less widely sold. Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>

Newt troubles     4/3/19
I have a eastern red spotted newt.. had him for months and he was thriving.. checked him today and his tail looks like its rotten or burnt not sure, I cant find anything on it and I'm freaking out please help!
<Newts are generally pretty tough, but they can be subject to bacterial infections similar to Red Leg as seen in frogs. Assuming this is Notophthalmus viridescens, one problem you have is that there are aquatic tadpoles, terrestrial (bright red) "Efts", and then once more aquatic sexually mature (and duller brown) adults. If yours are in their aquatic stage, then treatment will be quite simple, as per Xenopus or some other aquatic amphibian, as described here:
Treat as per Red Leg and you're probably doing the best you can. The terrestrial "Efts" are going to be trickier to medicate because they're not bathed in the antibiotic, so you'd have to feed it to them. I'd recommend a vet if that's the situation here. Cheers, Neale.>

Dechlor vs. Axolotls        9/10/15
I had super strong and healthy axolotls, still pretty young but about 6 inches long. I changed their water the other day and added DeChlor (removes chlorine and chloramine)
<Mmm; no; not if this is the olde Weco (company) product or its formulation. It was at least just sodium thiosulfate (hyposulfite) and water. ONLY removes chlorine, NOT chloramine/s... the latter of which are what we have almost everywhere in the US>

as I normally do (don't know if this is necessary but the pet stores advised it).
<A good idea; a better one to treat or not and store new water for a week or more...>
I usually wait a while to put them back in the tank but totally forgot to do that and when I put them back, they looked like they were choking. I took them out and put them in the water I kept them on while I was changing the tank and they called down. I did the tank all over again because I didn't know if the DeChlor hadn't neutralized yet or maybe I added too much. Either way, it's been about three days...the ax babies are still eating but they are not swimming or playing like they
normally do. They are only crawling around on the bottom of the tank and it seems like they can't make themselves buoyant. I'm so sad and scared that I may have caused permanent damage. Any suggestions?
<At this point/time, only to wait and hope... "the damage is done"... Going forward, DO read on WWM re Dechloramination, and means to prepare water.
Oh! And do know that municipalities at times "pulse" much more sanitizer into potable water.... Dangerous. Again, storing water to be used allows for dissipation, neutralization.
Bob Fenner>

Axolotl mouth problem     10/30/14
Hi, i have an axolotl that is about 6 inches long. Lately, his mouth stays open all the time like he is smiling a small smile. He seems fine otherwise but his mouth never used to stay open. Any suggestions?
<Persistent "gaping" behaviour in Axolotls is not normal and in some cases can indicate incipient issues such as swelling of the jaws and fluid retention (dropsy) caused by internal organ problems. A vet may be able to pinpoint the problem, but before you call your local vet, let's review their basic needs. Axolotls need a varied diet (but not too many mealworms, and never, ever store-bought feeder fish). A variety that includes earthworms, small pieces of fish fillet and seafood, and frozen invertebrates such as bloodworms and krill should be good, ideally supplemented with amphibian pellet foods from time to time. Some foods are rich in calcium, such as krill, and these are an essential part of their diet. You can add calcium supplements to any foods offered, and this is an extremely good idea. They need hard, alkaline water chemistry (soft water
can cause problems in the long term, as will high sodium levels, so don't use water from a domestic water softener or add things like aquarium salt unless you've been told to do so by a vet). Axolotls need good water quality, so the aquarium must have a filter and regular water changes. The tank shouldn't be too small either, 20 gallons for a single adult is about right, but the water level lowered to about two-thirds the way up the tank, so there's plenty of warm air above the waterline (breathing cold, dry air from your room wouldn't do your Axolotl any favours). Finally, they need to be kept relatively cool, room temperature is usually ideal, i.e., around 18 C/64 F. Any warmer than that can/will cause problems, and these amphibians do better kept cooler than that for part of the year if possible, so don't keep your Axolotl in a centrally heated room but in a cooler basement or at least somewhere well away from sources of heat and direct sunlight. Review this list, and anything you're not doing right may be a cause of stress, and so fixing that problem might improve the health of your Axolotl. Finally, I'd direct you towards Caudata.org, an excellent forum for discussion of amphibian healthcare. While similar to fishes in some ways, healthcare of Axolotls isn't identical, and some medications suitable for fishes are hazardous to amphibians. Sign up, ask your question, post some photos, and give detailed information about things like diet, water chemistry, filtration and aquarium set-up for more detailed help and commentary than I can offer here on the basis of what you've told me (which isn't much). Cheers, Neale.> <<Excellent Neale. RMF>>
Re: Axolotl mouth problem      10/30/14

Thank you for your quick response. I appreciate the help. If the problem is caused by diet, is it reversible?
<Sure, but the foods you're offering sound fine. The main thing is to avoid feeder fish completely (not an issue here in the UK, but still used in some countries, despite all the evidence against their use) and to use mealworms
only sparingly (while Axolotls like them, their tough exoskeletons don't seem to be easily digested).>
I feed her with frozen bloodworms, a frozen carnivore fish food (with fish and shrimp), brine shrimp and axolotl pellets. Also, she is in a 20 gallon tank filled about only two-thirds full with a filter and chiller which keeps her tank about 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
<That's fine.>
Your notes below says it should be more like 64, so I will lower that.<Well within their tolerance. The main thing is not to keep them "tropical" as that shortens their lives. Room temperature, though away from room
heaters or sunny windows, is usually fine.>
Nitrates and ammonia are at zero.
I don't know about the hardness, but I will pick up a test kit today.
<In short, do kettles etc. fur up with limescale quickly? Do you need to de-scale kettles and other appliances? If you do, you probably have hard water, so no need to test. But if you have soft/softened water, that isn't ideal for Axolotls.>
There is not a vet locally that will treat axolotls, so I am unsure what to try next.
<Depending on where you live, simply using Google, Bing or similar to search for "vets" and "herptiles" or "vets" and "exotics" may reveal some local vets who treat reptiles and amphibians. You can also visit the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians website to do a search by state, here:
Mostly US vets, but some elsewhere are listed too. Most vets are able to treat reptiles and amphibians, they're taught such stuff at university, though some may choose not to for a variety of reasons. Expense shouldn't
be a major concern though, since treating reptiles and amphibians is nothing like as expensive as treating cats and dogs. Again, and I stress this, Caudata.org is a very helpful place, as is herpetofauna.co.uk, another excellent forum dedicates to non-mammalian pet healthcare. Since I'm a fish "expert" rather than an amphibian specialist, I really would encourage you to visit these forums.>
Again, I appreciate any help you can give. Thank you for your time.
<You're most welcome. Cheers, Neale.>

Salamander. Feeding/hlth. issue.     5/16/14
We found a salamander (tiger I think) in western Oklahoma almost a year ago. It has a steady diet of earthworms, grubs, crickets and grasshoppers as the seasons allow. It has shed it's skin several times and largely goes undisturbed unless we freshen its water or soil. The last time we found a skin was about 2 wks ago and it has not opened its mouth to accept food since that time. He is large, abt 8 inches long with a width of abt 1 1/2 to 2 inches at its widest. Could there be residual skin keeping its mouth
<Unlikely, but providing a decent depth of swimming water will help. A lot of amphibians like to get wet when moulting so they can push off sheets of skin using their arms. This said, I would review other potential problems.
Check ammonia in the water, review your use of vitamin supplements, etc.>
Help, we very much enjoy this little critter!!!
<Quite so. Good luck, Neale.>

Fire Belly Newt :(      9/26/13
Hi, I've had my 2 newts for about 6 years... The "Big Guy" has started losing the tip of his tail and the bone is showing! Eeek! He's not happy :( They are both a good 6" long in a 10gal. tank. It's happened before and cleared up on its own, but this time about 1/4" of bone is showing.... Any suggestions?
Thanks, Pam
Port Stanley, ON
<Mmm, such troubles are almost always due to issues of environment (water quality principally) or nutrition (lack of vitamins, HUFAs, iodide-ate... supplementation). Read here re:
and the linked files above that cover all Amphibians. I'd be changing water out, supplementing... Bob Fenner>
RE: Fire Belly Newt :(     9/26/13

Hi Bob, Thank you for getting back to me... I will change the water again.
I feed them newt food from the store, but mix it up a bit with minnow pieces, dew worm and blood worm.
<I'd skip this last... Chironomid larvae. See WWM et al. re>
 The PH had gone up in the tank (pretty sure it was from the minnow I was feeding them). I picked up some PH down and some Melafix,
<Worse than worthless. See WWM re this as well>
 it's melaleuca for treating bacterial infections and open wounds in fish.
Think it would hurt to try it?
<Yes; this sham product should be taken off the market>
Thanks, Pam
<Welcome. BobF>
RE: Fire Belly Newt :(     9/27/13

You are awesome!! Thanks so much :) He has already come out of hiding!
<Ah good. BobF>

Red Feet/Safe Plants... for...?    5/16/13
<Hello Amanda,>
I have three African Dwarf frogs that I keep in well-water only in a medium-sized terrarium jar.
<Very far from ideal.>
Typically I am very adamant about changing their water as soon as it begins to appear cloudy, but this week I was stupid and lazy and didn't until it was really icky.
<A good reason why an aquarium with a simple filter, even one as small as 5 gallons, would be an improvement. These little frogs are not messy animals, and an air-powered filter does an excellent job keeping the water clean.>
When I change them, I put them in a small vase with clean water to allow them to swim and rinse themselves off.  Usually it's only for several hours, but I noticed one of my frogs were shedding so I left them in there until it was done--this took two days.  Tonight I was letting them move around in our kitchen sink--we rinse it and put a little well-water in the bottom--when I noticed one of them had red feet.
<Very bad.>
So I picked him up and was holding him on a paper towel and saw his feet are bleeding! :(  What does this mean, and is there anything I can do? 
Right now he's in the little vase in some clean water with a handful of the river rocks we keep in the big jar. 
<There's something called "Red Leg" in frogs that's often a death sentence.
It's an opportunistic infection that usually comes about when the frogs have been physically damaged and/or kept in dirty water. There's an excellent summary here:
Early on the infection can be treated, but once established it's very difficult to cure.>
Also, we have an abundance of spider plants at our house, and we were wondering if we could use one of those with the frogs.  Are they safe? 
<Spider Plants (assuming you mean Chlorophytum comosum) aren't good choices for aquatic frog habitats because Spider Plants do best in free-draining soil, so don't like their roots being somewhere damp all the time. Only a few houseplants really thrive in vivaria, mostly those that like humidity.
Classic choices are Syngonium and Philodendron, which can be potted above the waterline but will happily grow down to the water and may even put a few leaves below the waterline without complaint. "Lucky Bamboo" can do well with its roots in the water and the leaves above, but it's very demanding about light, but brightly lit spots in the house may get too hot for your frogs, so approach with caution. In any case, do an online search references "vivaria" with "plants" and you'll find dozens of alternatives.
All this said, because Hymenochirus spp. frogs are fully aquatic, and prefer floating plants best of all, a clump of Floating Indian Fern is probably the best bet.>
Thanks, --Amanda
<Welcome, Neale.>
Re: Red Feet/Safe Plants   5/16/13

Thank you!
I noticed today that the redness that was encompassing his feet has gone down to mostly be in the webbing of the feet.  I've noticed names of various medicines that have been used or recommended, but for my situation which would you recommend?
<Try a combination of Maracyn 1 and Maracyn 2; use as directed on the packaging.>
Also, my mom and currently live with my grandparents--they do not like animals, so I'm lucky to have my frogs and hermit crabs--and so our current situation does not allow an aquarium for them since I already have two for my crabs.  We are working on getting our own house, and we've already decided to get the frogs a nice, large aquarium with a filter when that happens.  And thank you for your plant advice.  We actually have a lot of spider plants that are in jars of water and have been for months now, so that's why we were wondering if they could be used for the frogs, but I'll certainly look into getting one of the plants you recommended! :)
<Do start reading, planning:
…and follow the links. Cheers, Neale.>

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

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

Recent study on Round-up's effect on amphibians and possible implications for humans /RMF  4/13/12
Bob & Neale (Darrel, don't mean to leave you out, feel free to add your comments too!)
With the whole topic of the "vanishing bees" (and insecticides) that's being talked about now, was wondering if either of you are you familiar with a recent study just published about the sub-lethal concentration, unintended effect that Roundup (herbicide) had on a vertebrate animal - in particular, amphibians? If so, what are your thoughts about it? Do you think the study is valid?
appears to be good science>
  Here's a link to an article discussing it:
Also -- What are your thoughts on the last two sentences of this article as to (if valid),
<Mmm, disagree w/ the wording of the first. Herbicides are designed NOT to affect animals... not the stated "not designed to affect animals". The second/last sentence is valid... amphibians can serve as useful barometers/benchmarks of a habitat's worsening. BobF, who will share w/ Neale and Darrel>
 what this might suggest for "other animals" - like humans (in particular now that biotech/chemical companies are bioengineering our food to become pesticides)?:  "Herbicides are not designed to affect animals, but we are learning that they can have a wide range of surprising effects by altering how hormones work in the bodies of animals. This is important
because amphibians not only serve as a barometer of the ecosystem's health, but also as an indicator of potential dangers to other species in the food chain, including humans."
~ Sue
Re: Recent study on Round-up's effect on amphibians and possible implications for humans /Neale   4/13/12
Hello Sue,
I'm not an expert on this field of biology at all, and don't really have any worthwhile thoughts beyond the obvious one that further studies would seem to be required in light of that initial study on tadpoles.
For what it's worth, it probably was naive to suppose that any chemical that's incredibly toxic towards one group of organisms will be completely safe with regard to every other group of organisms. It would be unfortunate if weed killers can't be used as freely as they are, given our reliance on them for cheap food.
Cheers, Neale

Fire Bellied Newt 2/20/12
Hey, my name is Jack, just recently within the last week, I've bought 2 fire bellied newts, good and healthy in the shop, still acting good and healthy, but the larger one (i assume it's an older female), has white patches on it's skin, they appear to look like air pockets under the skin.
<Not good.>
I'm not sure what they could be and/or what they mean,
<Bacterial infection.>
i browsed through some of the forums, found nothing about it...? The container consists of a water heater, set at 18 degrees, an air sponge filtration system, a piece of Bogwood and dull coloured gravel. Any ideas what it could be? please get back a.s.a.p. worried about her :(, oh and you can only notice the patches whilst she's underwater...Thank you very much
<How big is the aquarium? What's the water quality like? (A nitrite test kit result, at minimum, not something like "oh, it's good" as that tells me nothing at all.) There's a pretty good visual guide to Xenopus disease here:
While your newt isn't the same species at all, the typical diseases are common to both species. Cheers, Neale.>

Salamander vomiting up its own throat. Help!!!    1/4/12
I possess a morbidly obese yellow spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum).
<Hmm unusual for amphibians to become "obese" as such; do wonder if there is some other, metabolic, problem at fault.>
He is extremely large, at about eight inches long and three inches wide at this bloated belly.
<Does he feel heavy, or is the bloating soft or watery? In other words, does he feel like he's far (solid) or more like he's got oedema (soft, as if filled with fluid)? Oedema, or "dropsy", is something that is not uncommonly reported among captive Ambystoma. It is most often caused by a systemic bacteria infection, though poor diet can be part of the problem. Treatment will be by antibiotics, ideally injected, and obviously this requires a trip to the vet.>
I have been trying to get him to lose weight over the last five months or so with NO success. Anyways, the other day I woke up to find out that he had literally vomited up his esophagus! I thought he was going to die so I took him all around town to different clinics and no one had any idea what to do.
<You mean veterinarian clinics? Finding one that treats amphibians isn't easy, to be sure. But there are some. You may get useful help here by contacting one of the herpetological clubs in your country. Even a national forum may be worthwhile. Here in the UK, The Amphibian Forum is pretty good:
If you live someplace else, a little time searching for a national club or forum could pay dividends here. If all else fails, universities with herpetological departments may be of help in tracking down suitable vets.>
I felt I had to act fast or lose him, so finally I bit the bullet and shoved his throat back down his mouth. When he figured out what I was doing he stopped struggling and actually swallowed his throat back down. He is looking almost normal today, and seems to be breathing much easier. His throat is still slightly swollen though, and I worry that this may be a symptom of a much bigger problem.
I apologise if this isn't clear, I find it hard to explain. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I am very worried that he isn't going to make it. Also, if he turns out to be OK, how do I get him to lose weight?! I'm driving myself crazy!
<Would take this chap to a vet. Do strongly believe that obesity isn't the issue here.>
With great respect,
<Hope this helps. Neale.>
Re: Salamander vomiting up its own throat. Help!!!    1/4/12

I left out something critical! He used to be one of my coworkers pets, and he actually used to be slim with no sign of illness.
She unknowingly put the then skinny salamander in with her green anoles.
<Doesn't sound ideal>
The reason he is so large is that he ate three green anoles in one sitting!
The problem is that he is not losing the weight. Just wondering if that will give you a better idea of what I'm dealing with.
<Well, if he's eaten three lizards, then he'll get thinner once he passes out the faeces. In reality, that shouldn't take long. Salamanders have simple digestive tracts that don't retain food for long, though body temperature will affect that, and if the Salamander is cold, food can "sit" in the gut for a long time. Is the vivarium warmed? Ambystoma spp. are happiest at subtropical temperatures, around 18-20 C/64-68 F, and that applies to both air and water temperature.>
I will be sure to get him to a vet as soon as I can find one... And have you ever heard of a salamander throwing up his insides?
<No, and I doubt that he is "vomiting" his digestive tract up. For a start, only the oesophagus could come up through the mouth, as below that is the stomach, and I assume you haven't seen that! So, we might be seeing some sort of prolapse with the oesophagus coming upwards through the mouth. A prolapse is usually caused by bacterial infection, and with fish at least, a combination of Epsom salt (1 tablespoon per 5 gallons) together with antibiotics can work wonders.>
The part of me that isn't worried is extremely curious. Thank you very much.
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

Question About Our Firebelly Newt, injured?  12/21/11
We just bought a FB Newt about 3 weeks ago. He has been fine, eating normally... until today... he looks like he can't swim. he's just wiggling around like his front legs are hurt or broken. I've helped him to the top to make sure he gets some air. Please get me some suggestion, Thanks!
<Hello Tina. We seem to be getting a lot of messages about these Fire-Belly Newts, Cynops orientalis, all of a sudden! Do review them, here:
Newts are extremely delicate animals, and even careful handling can damage them. They also need quite specific environmental conditions. There's a really good summary over at the Caudata site, here:
You're after an adequately large aquarium (10 gallons or more) with cool, clean water; a good filtration system; soft substrate (smooth silica sand, a.k.a. pool filter sand); and plants, real or plastic, for shade and
shelter; and a smooth rock or bogwood root the newt can using for climbing out if it wants to (most specimens are almost entirely aquatic). Because your aquarium is new, water quality may be less good than you think.
Ammonia and nitrite need to be zero. Check your biological filter, and at minimum, check your nitrite level (if you have a filter) or ammonia (if you don't have a filter yet). If either is not zero, that's likely one of the
causes of your problems. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Question About Our Fire Belled Newt  12/24/11

I haven't handled him until recently. He is in a 10gal tank with a log thing to climb up onto. Now the guy at the pet store said he needed a heater at about 78 degrees? is this true or too warm?
<Do read that link I gave you last time. These Newts are not tropical animals and should not be kept too warm. Room temperature is about right, 18 C/64 F.>
he's still alive and wiggling around, just not swimming very well. Will his legs heal??
<Possibly, with veterinarian assistance, I believe, at this point. A vet will inject antibiotics and/or vitamins, and these male a HUGE difference to success with amphibians.>
<Cheers, Neale.>

Fire Belly Newt bloating   12/13/11
<Hello Jane,>
I have a 32 year old firebelly newt.
<Cripes! A veritable Methuselah among newts.>
We went on a vacation about 4 months ago and left him (Jimmy) under the care of a houseguest. When we returned he was quite bloated.
<Oh dear. The thing is, with cold-blooded animals like newts, lizards and fish, you're almost always better off NOT feeding at all. These animals can go weeks, months without food and not come to harm. But inexperienced carers make the mistake of overfeeding, and too much food is far more likely to cause problems.>
We had only been gone one week. I assumed he was overfed so cut back on his feeding.
He only eats ReptoMin pellets- and has his whole life.
He lives alone in a filtered water aquarium. Rocks, wood and plastic plants.
His swelling went down a bit for about one month, but now it has reappeared and is worsening, slowly, over the past 2 months.
<Not good, but clearly not immediately lethal either. So there's some room for optimism.>
I handle him and he feels just like a tiny water balloon.
<Soft and jellyfish, rather than firm? So like he's holding water rather than full of solid faeces or something? Does sound like some type of oedema as opposed to constipation. Oedema is difficult to treat directly.>
His head and legs are all normal, just the area between all fours is swollen.  It is clearly fluid retention, but some sites say it could be from starvation, which I assure you does not happen here.
<And is very unlikely anyway, given you know how/what to feed him.>
(He has been on the same feeding schedule for 32 years.) And some sites say it could be kidney failure, or bacterial disease.
<Quite so, or a combination. Overfeeding itself isn't likely to cause either of these problems. But too much food in the water, rotting, could have messed up water quality so badly a secondary infection kicked in. Or else, the wrong food might have been used, and exposed the newt to some type of nutritional problem. Really hard to say.>
How do I know what to do?
<I'm not sure you can. A vet is really the only person who can offer objective assistance here. In the short term, Epsom salt as per aquarium fish may help reduce bloating, see here:
But there's something called Amphibian Ringers Solution that's used to treat amphibians. Because amphibians don't have a watertight skin, if placed in a slightly saline environment, water oozes through their skin into the water around them. You can't do this for too long, half an hour is about the most, but it can work. It won't fix the underlying problem -- that will require antibiotics, e.g., a Maracyn 1 and Maracyn 2 combination -- but it can lessen the symptoms, making life easier for the newt. There's a recipe here:
I've never tried this myself, and I'd urge you to get in touch with the folks on this amphibian forum before tying it out yourself. Better yet would be finding a vet who knows how to treat newts, and have them take care of the newt for you.>
I tried to hand feed him to see if he would eat, but he did not.
<No, and don't try.>
He is acting normal in every other way, although not as mobile as he once was. He is not floating or flipping as suggested by other diseases.  I am nervous to take him to a vet who most likely will not know what to do and might stress him further.
<Understandable, but if the newt isn't getting better, you mightn't have much choice.>
He has been in the same habitat for over 20 years now, and has not had water "changes" like for a fish tank, but rather water added on a regular basis to maintain volume.
<Ah, now, this isn't ideal. Do remember, water evaporates, but salts are left behind. So each time you top up with water, you add more salts as well, Over the years, the water chemistry could become quite weird.
Conversely, if you only ever used distilled or RO water, the lack of any sort of minerals at all could mess up his kidneys too.>
His home has never been moved, ever, and he has thrived for all these years. I am quite nervous that he is seriously ill and I might lose him. He is part of our family. If he were your fellow, what would you really do to try and help him?  Please, any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.  
Thanks- Jane
and Jimmy
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

Axolotl with blood blister   10/6.5/11
My Axolotl has what appears to be a blood blister at the base of his dorsal fin as joins the top of his body. He is feeding fine and does not appear distressed. I panicked and did a complete water change and he has been back in for two days now. A friend of mine showed a pic to London Zoo and they said it was most likely to be an infected blood blister and suggested Baytril; the anti-biotic. Two things is it safe to purchase this on the Internet to save me vast expense of Vets and secondly is Baytril safe for Axolotl's and what is the process?
Thank so much, really fretting about Lotl
<Hello Julia. I'd definitely go with the opinion of the guys and gals at the London Zoo! Now here's the thing: dosing antibiotics isn't easy. You need a certain concentration in the water, and preferably, a dosage worked out for the weight of the animal being treated. So, as a first pass, I'd actually try a fish-safe antibacterial. I like something called eSHa 2000, which treats external bacterial infections rather well. By guess here is that this blister is a bacterial infection of a small wound on the skin. eSHa 2000 should take care of that nicely. If this doesn't work within a week or two, then contacting a vet makes a lot of sense. That'll likely cost around £20 for the consultation itself, and then the cost of the antibiotic if needed. Yes, more expensive than the £5 for a bottle of eSHa 2000, but this time the medication will be tailored for the animal in question, so the odds of success are better. Your local branch of the RSPCA may be able to help get you in touch with a reliable, inexpensive vet somewhere near home. Hope this helps, Neale.>

African Dwarf Tadpoles Dying - Large White Blisters   9/26/11
My first time trying to raise tadpoles, I didn't know enough, but the test strips for nitrates, nitrites, etc. were OK.
<Do need the numbers here. You're aiming for 0 nitrite. Nitrate not critical, but less than 50 mg/l. Water chemistry not critical either, but shouldn't be extreme; 5-20 degrees dH, pH 6-8.>
I finally tested for ammonia, and the level was off the chart.
<And why your frogs are sick. If you have zero nitrite and nitrate but high ammonia, that means biological filtration isn't happening in your aquarium.
The waste from the frogs is simply accumulating in the water. In theory, biological filters take between 4-6 weeks to mature. Ideally, you add an ammonia source (like daily pinches of flake food) to start up the process and wait for 4 weeks before you add livestock. But if you add fish or frogs from day 1, you need to do daily water changes, 20% or so, for at least the first three weeks to keep ammonia below 0.5 mg/l; any higher than that, and livestock will quickly sicken and die.>
I've changed the water every day, and got the level down, but not zero. I also had too many tads in the tank, and have rectified that.
<How big is the aquarium?>
The tads have a white blister on the underside. Is it a burn from ammonia?
<Could well be. Or more specifically, stress, which leads to bacterial infection, which ends up with the dead white skin you can see.>
They have difficulty staying right-side up and die just about when the tail has disappeared.
<Yes; bacterial infections work this way.>
It's devastating, because my ignorance is responsible.
I put 2 tads in clean, ammonia -free dishes, one to a dish, and although they eat, and have lived for about a week, they do not seem to get better.
Whenever they are upside down, I turn them over. Hopeless. I put MicroLift treated water in the aquarium with the remaining tads once, and will continue, but the problem remains so far. What, if anything, should I do?
The pet store clerk told me that the tads can't take any medications.
<Do read here:
Do also read here:
You can medicate with antibiotics for secondary infections; see here:
But in your case, do suspect environment is the primary issue here, and if you fix that, remaining healthy frogs should stay in good shape. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: African Dwarf Tadpoles Dying - Large White Blisters   9/26/11

Nitrate 0, nitrite slightly lower than 3, GH 25, KH little less than 40, PH 6.2, chlorine 0, ammonia .5, one hour after feeding and before water change since yesterday
<I'm assuming the general and carbonate hardness measurements are in mg/l rather than degrees dH or degrees KH. Water is a bit soft and acidic; for best results, you want medium hard, around neutral water chemistry. Don't dramatically change things all in one fell swoop, but do read here:
The Rift Valley salt mix, used at about 25-50% the recommended dosage will go a long way towards improving water chemistry.>
Ammonia .5
<As stated before, this isn't good. Up to 0.5 mg/l will be tolerate for a few weeks while cycling the tank, but even levels above 0 are toxic.>
Aquaria are four separate plastic containers, each about 1 gallon, nothing on bottom, 4-5 tads in each now
<Rather small; would sooner have one tank, filtered with a sponge, than lots of small tanks I was keeping clean through water changes.>
Read your links, the best and most concise information I've found. I raised an African clawed frog who lived and sang nightly for about 5 years, and died of bloat, and I wish I'd known more then. Many thanks for your advice and rapid reply,
<Glad to help, and wishing you good luck. Cheers, Neale.>

Axolotl, beh., sys.  10/20/10
I purchased an Axolotl about 3 months ago from a reptile store. She has been going great, eats heaps and seems quite happy. The only problem that I have found, and after doing much research before and after purchasing her, is that her external feather like gills have not really grown, nor were they there when I first purchased her. I did think that they had started to grow but they have not gotten any longer than about half a centimeter.
Should I be worried? I was also wondering if it is normal for them to have quite 'old' looking, wrinkly skin? She was black when I purchased her but her colour seems to have faded to a grayish colour on her underside.
Kind Regards,
<Hello Louisa. Yes, Axolotls do have wrinkly skin. So provided the skin isn't bloody or has odd white patches, and assuming the Axolotl is adequately fed (no feeder fish!) on earthworms and other safe foods, the texture of the skin shouldn't be a major source of concern. Colour does vary, and you do need to be sure that the paleness is simply the animal changing colour rather than unusual amounts of mucous, this latter being a sign of irritation, for example non-zero levels of ammonia and nitrite, or non-dechlorinated tap water, or rapid changes in pH and hardness. As with any other aquatic animals Axolotls will be darkest when kept in shady tanks with a dark substrate and floating plants, and become paler if there are no floating plants, strong lighting, and/or the use of non-natural coloured gravels or sand. Note also that these animals have eyes that are damaged by bright lights, so if you don't have floating plants, e.g., Indian Fern, don't use aquarium lights at all. As for the length of the gills, these do vary in length. They should be at least as long as the distance between the shoulder and elbow, and may be as long as the distance between the shoulder and wrist. To some degree the size of the gills varies with water temperature: because warm water contains less oxygen, Axolotls have evolved the ability to grow larger gills when exposed to warmer temperatures. However, the gills are easily damaged, particularly by other Axolotls, fish or turtles pecking at them. Good advice is to keep Axolotls singly unless the tank is very large and never alongside fish or turtles. By the same token, handling Axolotls can cause damage to the delicate gill filaments, so that should be avoided too. Potentially, sharp sand, gravel and rocks can also cause damage, so these shouldn't be placed in the tank either. Otherwise, provided you stick with the ground rules for keeping Axolotls, you should find them very hardy; in other words, i.e., 20 gallons for a singleton and 30 gallons for a pair; a good air-powered undergravel or sponge filter; hard, alkaline water chemistry; 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite; and room temperature rather than tropical temperatures. Earthworms, strips of
tilapia fillet, and chopped seafood all make good foods, and as stated earlier, don't use feeder fish, partly because of the risk of introducing disease, and partly because fish that aren't eaten can damage the Axolotl
itself. Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Axolotl... fdg.
Thank you, this information has helped put my mind at ease.
<Glad to help.>
I do usually feed her cut up seafood and occasionally add some small fish (not feeders though as she doesn't seem to like them, usually neon tetras)
<No! Don't do this. Really, incredibly unwise. Live fish are single easiest way to make your predator sick. Even ones from the pet shop. In fact, *especially* ones from the pet shop. Strips of tilapia will make excellent meaty supplements to the diet of your Axolotl. Earthworms should be the staple food as these are extremely well balanced in terms of vitamins.
Seafood is good, but make sure to limit things like prawns and mussels, as these contain thiaminase that creates problems in the long term. Cockles are okay, as is tilapia, which is cheap as well, and well worth using. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_6/volume_6_1/thiaminase.htm
Many reptiles and amphibians die long, slow deaths from poor diet.>
for her to eat if she wants. she has left some of them and they have stayed in the tank.
<Would rehome them ASAP; they don't belong here. At best, they're tropical fish in a coldwater tank, so bound to die for one reason or another. At worst their little disease incubators. Keeping exotic pets is hard enough without throwing needless variables into the equation.>
I do have a pH testing kit that I have been using, but have never checked the ammonia or nitrate levels. I am assuming that a similar testing kit would be used to test these levels also.
<Sure. Assuming you have a biological filter, you only need the nitrite with an "I" test kit. Ammonite test kits are nice, but not essential. Nitrate -- with an "a" not an "I" -- is not essential at all. Weekly water
changes of 20-25% should take care of nitrate automatically, assuming you're not overfeeding. As I hope you realise, Axolotls do not need daily feeding.>
Would you be able to suggest to me where I would be able to get a testing kit for ammonia and nitrate levels so that I can test these for myself at home?
<Any aquarium shop should have a nitrite with an "I" test kit. The liquid ones are generally more accurate and better value than the paper strip ones.>
Thank you,
<Cheers, Neale.>

Paddle tailed salamander. Hlth.   9/17/09
I have a paddle tailed salamander that i got from a pet store about 3-4 weeks ago.
<Pachytriton labiatus, a remarkably hardy subtropical species that can live for 20 years when properly maintained. Unfortunately, like all amphibians, it will quickly sicken and die if bought on impulse and not given the right conditions.>
I checked his cage today and his mouth looks like its stuck shut but I'm not sure. Also his under throat area is puffing out like its swollen.
<Hmm... could be a variety of things. Given that you've only just obtained this animal, let's recap what this species needs. Firstly, adequate space; 20 gallons for a singleton, 30 gallons for a pair. (Males are aggressive, so you never keep two males together.) Next up, moderate temperature, 15 degrees C (60 degrees F) being about right. In other words, an unheated tank in a cool room should work nicely. Like all aquatic amphibians, filtration is important, and you need a biological filter similar to what you'd use in a fish tank. A simple internal canister filter (such as an Eheim Aquaball) would be perfect and easy to maintain. As with fish, you're after 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite levels. The water current must be strong because these salamanders come from fast-flowing streams and need lots of oxygen. As you'll have observed, they hardly ever gulp air, and normally get all their oxygen from the water, via their skin. If the water is stagnant, they will essentially suffocate. They don't naturally come onto land much, if at all, and you don't need a rock. Instead, keep the water reasonably deep, at least 30 cm/12 inches, so that the salamander feels comfortable and can swim about. Floating plants or plastic plants can be used to create some resting places near the surface of the water, and the salamanders will rest among these, but they don't need basking lamps.
Indeed, they prefer tanks without lights, though a moonlight or Gro Lux light could be used perfectly safely. A couple of other things. Firstly, don't touch them, ever. Their skins are very delicate (so they can breathe
through them) and easily damaged. Secondly, provide a varied diet, mostly live foods; earthworms are ideal staples, but you can also offer live foods of the sorts offered to tropical fish, such as bloodworms and mosquito larvae (brine shrimp and daphnia would probably be too small though).
Wet-frozen foods may be take too, once the salamander is settled.>
It keeps sitting on its rock out of the water which it never does
<Not normal.>
and I'm not sure what's happening or if there is anything i could do. If you had any ideas what could be happening pls tell me.
<I'm worried you aren't keeping the salamander properly. Review what I've said above, and if necessary, change things. The usual problems with Paddletail Salamanders is, in this order: wrong type of enclosure, poor water quality, the wrong diet, and careless handling. If fixing the environment doesn't work, and it's still acting weird two or three days from now, then take it to a vet.>
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Paddletail Salamander  9/18/09

Unfortunately my salamander died today...
<Sorry to hear that, Abby.>
I had all of those things covered.
<Are you *quite* sure...? 99 times out of 100, pet animals die because we, their keepers, ignore some aspect of their environmental or dietary requirements. So go back to my e-mail, read through it, and see if there are any discrepancies between what the species needs and what you were doing.>
It looked like it had an allergic reaction if that's possible...
<No, not possible at all. However, similar "reactions" can develop from any number of things, including not using dechlorinator when adding new water; not checking for copper or ammonia in new water and acting accordingly; toxic fumes or poisons getting into the water, e.g., paint fumes, insecticide sprays; extremes of water chemistry, i.e., too acidic or too basic water.>
When I took it out to look at its mouth was slightly agar and air way closed.
<All amphibians look like this when dead. It's simply post mortem swelling and muscle movement. Don't read anything into this at all, unless you happen to be a pathologist with a knowledge of amphibian anatomy. Much more important you review water chemistry, water quality, temperature, aquarium size, filtration rate, diet, and handling.>
Thanks for your help anyway
<You're welcome, Neale.>

Help with Sick Eft! 03/18/08 Hi folks. Wonderful site you have. It's a great resource for all us avid pet owners. <Thank you> I have a question for you regarding my pet red eft. I'm worried that he might be sick. I've had him for almost a year, and he was quite active and happy until several weeks ago. He has always been quite a shed-er, sloughing layers of skin regularly. But recently he has seemed unable to get all the skin off, and it has turned black in the patches he can't remove. The black covered his tail and his hind toes. The tail part has now been partially removed, but his skin underneath is wet and weeping, and many pieces remain. His toes are now gummed up with black skin. And he has become very inactive, preferring to hide all the time, and I haven't seen him eat or go for a swim in his pond in these past weeks. He seems uninterested. He's also weak; I take him out to play and he has very little energy. He has also dulled in color considerably; in the two photos I've attached, perhaps you can make out the dull brownish on his head and spine. He used to be far brighter. Do you have any ideas about what this could be, and what a treatment plan might look like? Thanks so much for your help. Yours, Reed Black <This may be due to some dietary deficiency and/or water quality issue... Amphibians are quite sensitive to both issues... Please place the following term "Notophthalmus v. viridescens husbandry" in your search tool and read... esp. on Caudata.org re. Bob Fenner>

<It appears you have a good terrestrial environment. Is the aquatic one made with pre-treated, stored water? What do you feed? BobF>
Re: Again: Help with Sick Eft!
Thank you. For the water, all I'm doing is adding a couple drops of "Reptisafe" water conditioner to new York city tap water -- should I be doing more? <I would... treat and store the to-be used water. Read: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwmaintindex.htm the second tray...> I feed with black worms only. I've tried wax worms and baby crickets, but both are too large! I also tried brine shrimp but he didn't seem interested. Any other ideas? <Again, the Net... I kept small Salamanders and Newts as a lad... but can't recall much re their care... I do endorse the use of vitamin prep.s, baby types as liquids or commercial ones labeled for such use> Thanks so much for the quick response. Yours, Reed Black <And yours, Bob Fenner>

Tiger Salamander, hlth.  9/29/07 <Hello "?". Andrea with you tonight. The Shift Key for that pesky letter "i" is directly under Caps Lock on the left.> I am having problems with my Tiger Salamanders and Water Dogs. <Bummer. They are always so cute. Lets see if we can help.> They are getting white spots all over there bodies and are dying. I tried to separate the sick ones from the ones without spots. The next day some of the ones I separate now have the white spots. I don't use tap water I have a water well. It seems to be coming in from in from the wild ones collected from only one pond. Is there any type of medicine I can use to cure this? It seems it is only a day or two after they get the spots that they die. Please help here is my email address xxxx@yahoo.com. Thanks for the help. <Wow, sounds like ich, HOWEVER, amphibians cannot get Ich and Ich meds CAN harm many amphibs. It is hard to tell from what you are telling us, but if you could send a picture, that would help a great deal. Are the spots small or large? Are they fuzzy looking, flat, open, raised? Any more detail you can give would help a great deal. In the meantime, here is a great link on amphibian disease on WWM. Read it, and the linked files at the top. You just might find an answer on what it is, and how to treat it. Until then, I'd stop taking pets out of that pond.> <You're welcome?> <Andrea>
Re: Tiger Salamander 9/29/07
Andrea <No problem. Can you please do me a favor and edit this with capitalization and such so we can use it on our site? We post these on our site, and can't edit them all. Thanks so much, and no more ich medicine. A picture will really help. Also, read those links! Andrea> thanks for answering me. the spots are small and white and start as only a couple and within 24 hours the hole body is covered and there is no slime feeling on the dead animal. and it seem to spread very quickly. i took all the animals out of the tank and bleached it out and it did not make any difference. i took a couple of the sick animals out and tried some ick medicine with no luck. i will try and get a picture for you. i deal with alot of different reptiles and have never seen this before if i find some thing out that takes care of this problem i will let you know and we are not taking anymore animals out of this pond. thanks again for your response

Sick Frog, Frog With Fungus 7/13/07 Hello, I am very concerned. This morning I woke up and my African frog was sick. He had weird foam type stuff around his head. < Probably a fungus from a trauma to the area.> I had never seen this before. I immediately took him out of my aquarium, and placed him in an isolated tank. I was wondering what the frog had, if it was a disease or virus, and if I should be concerned about the rest of my aquarium. I have a 55 gallon. If you have any ideas I would be glad to hear about them. Also I do not know how to treat the frog. Thank You Derek. Also, if you need pictures I can send some. < Photos are always helpful but I think I have it figured out in this case. The frog probably went after a food item a hurt itself on a rock or a piece of wood. The damaged area has become infected and a fungus is feeding off the damaged tissue. I would recommend keeping the water very clean with water changes and treating the tank with Nitrofuranace. This antibiotic works against a wide range of bacteria and fungus.-Chuck>

Fire Belly Toad With Infections I have a fire belly toad with cloudy eyes and a swollen leg and have no idea what is wrong with him. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Sarah <Frogs are very susceptible to infections when the water is not kept perfectly clean. Start by doing a large water change, vacuuming the gravel and cleaning the filter. If things don't get better in a couple of days then try treating the tank with Myacin.-Chuck>

Firebelly Toad Changing Color   3/21/07 Hello! I am writing to you because I have a firebelly toad in my kindergarten classroom. I have two frogs in the tank, one of which was adopted from our local petstore because he was born with only three legs. Normally his color is green, but today we noticed that his coloring is much darker than usual and the frog is not as active as usual. Could it just be an off day or could something be wrong?? Thanks!! < They do shed their external skin so this just could simply be a case of a toad getting ready to shed. Just in case do a water change and clean the filter to see if he perks up.-Chuck>

Axolotl hlth., no useful info. 03/18/07 Hi   I have an axolotl  he has been vomiting all day no its more like dry reaching because nothing comes out All my water levels are fine <Data, not subjective evaluations> I have large rocks on the bottom but I'm thinking maybe he has swallowed one what are the changes that he has. <Possibly> He also goes up for air and then tries to vomit again I have owned axolotls before and I've never seen this. Any advice would be appreciated Therésè <You've presented no useful information... on system, maintenance, water quality, foods/feeding... Can't read minds (that well)... Bob Fenner>
Re: axolotl  3/19/07
My ph is sitting at 7.4 My ammonia levels are at 0 nitrate is at 0.05 <Good> He is feed every 2 days aqua master axolotl food about 5 pellets we had feeder fish in the tank <A very poor idea. Not suitable prey, and carry disease...> but he took no interest in them so they were removed my tank is 600mm by 300 by 400 just over half full  I'm using a crystal clear aquarium 380 filter  with 3 stage filtration at 100 litres an hour his water is changed at 1/3 every 10 days I'm using A.C.E ammonia chlorine eliminator <I would stop using this product (used to contain Formalin... toxic), and just let new water set about for a few days ahead of use> and aqua plus water conditioner all my rocks are the size of a 50c piece or bigger there are no plants in he tank he has one round barrel to hide in I don't use a light and I have no water temperature gauge hope that is enough information for you Therésè <Other than doing away with the "treatment" above, I would try more "lively" foods... Worms of appropriate size, and insect larvae... e.g. Blackworms (Ambystoma means "cup mouth"; they scoop up their food), earthworms, mealworms... Bob Fenner>

Fungusy Firebelly  3/12/07 Hi, <Hi, PufferPunk here< I had wrote to you before regarding my firebelly toad that has a fungal problem, I think. You had told me to use erythromycin in the water and it has not helped at all. His upper lip is red and he still has the discolored skin near his eye and around his mouth. He is not very active and is always hiding his face or has his head way down to the ground. Any other suggestions?  Thanks <Try adding Melafix & Pimafix, in addition to the antibiotic already recommended, for an added boost.  Be sure to keep it's water clean. ~PP>

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>

Tadpole With Red Sores  2/26/07 Hello, about a week ago, I bought a bullfrog tadpole from a local  petshop. It wasn't kept in the most healthiest of looking tanks  (overcrowded with fish) and the other tadpole that was in the same tank  was dead. I couldn't see what killed it, though. But I figured I could  nurse it back to health if it were sick but I might be wrong. It  hasn't been eating (I boiled up some lettuce) and it doesn't move at  all. Today, though, I noticed it swimming around more. And then I  spotted a massive sore between it's tiny little legs, I don't know if  it was like this in the petstore or not. But what could I use to cure  it? And could it be redleg/can tadpoles get that? <Red Led is a bacterial infection that affects many aquatic amphibians. I think it is initially caused from rough or abrasive sand and gravels rubbing against the legs then they get infected by a bacteria. I would recommend that you do a 50% water change, vacuum th gravel and clean the filter. Treat with erythromycin as per directed for treating tropical fish. Boiled lettuce has almost no nutrition. Feed Spirulina pellets or flakes instead. Much better for your tadpole.> I've attached a picture, albeit a crummy one. I've never seen it float around like that before, either. I looked all over your website and couldn't find anything, and I've  looked all over the internet. I apologize if you're repeating yourself. Thank you for your help, < The photo was very helpful.-Chuck>
Re: sores on tadpoles, Tadpoles Didn't Make It-Sand Too Coarse?  2/28/07 Hello again! Thank you for all your help, I'll definitely use that information later.  Sadly, after sending my email in, I went and checked on my tadpole, but  it had died. And it was incredibly bloated. But what would you suggest  as a good substrate if gravel is too rough? -Nicole < Tadpoles are usually found over mud or very fine sand. Some sand sold for aquariums is very abrasive. This causes trauma for bottom dwelling fishes and tadpoles buy scratching their skin and leaving the vulnerable to disease.-Chuck>

Firebelly Toad With Infected Eye     2/23/07 Hi. I have 2 fire bellies and one  I noticed awhile ago had what looked like a scratch near his eye and it was red. After a bit then it looked like it was starting to heal. It was as though new skin was growing but it is like a clear, cloudy skin. Now though it is going down towards his mouth. He is still eating but he does not like to be touched near that area and he is usually hiding and always has his head way down. Any idea of what that could be?  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. < Your fire belly toad probably has an infection near his eye due to some trauma to the area. Keep the water very clean and try some Erythromycin in the water.-Chuck>

Getting Erythromycin For Infected Toad  2/25/07 Can you tell me where I can find erythromycin? < Any good tropical fish store will have this or a derivative.-Chuck>

Tadpole With Cloudy Eyes    2/16/07 First off let me say you have a REALLY good website, and seem to have helped a lot of people. I hope that you can help me, my daughter and her tadpoles! :-) Santa brought my youngest daughter (almost 5 years old) an Uncle Milton's Planet Frog for Christmas!  My daughter was ecstatic and couldn't wait for her tadpoles to arrive.  Unfortunately, when they did arrive 1 was very close to death with a distended belly (appropriately named Bubbles for the large bulge in his belly), but the 2nd (named Psycho Waddles for her swimming techniques of occasionally jumping out of the water, and making a big splash) seemed fine.   The problem is that the 2nd tadpole's eyes have become cloudy!  They were blood red for a few days, then the redness went away, one eye went back to normal while the other clouded, but now both eyes are clouded.  (Also since her eyes clouded, she has stopped growing.  She doesn't seem to be getting any longer, or making any strides toward becoming a froglet. I would assume that this is because her body is busy trying to fix her eyes, or fighting an infection. What do you think?) The "tank" that came with the kit seemed very unhealthy and too small for 2 tadpoles, none the less 2 frogs that are going to be around 3" at the their largest, so I spent a ton of $$ to make a nice vivarium for them in a 20 gallon tank with a filtration system (waterfall), a ramp to help them get out of the water , and a house for when they are frogs. but now I am starting to worry that Psycho won't make it. I really will do anything I can to help her, but I am unsure of what to do!  (I called a vet's office, and they told me it was just a tadpole. I should just replace it!  I don't want to. I would never, and I don't want to teach my daughters to just throw away a life because it is sick. you do all you can before you put something to sleep!) My question for you is this. what can I do to clear up this little girl's eyes?  I am using spring water in her tank, and cleaning 1/2 of it a day, and feeding her the supplied food.  For now, she is in the supplied tank from Planet frog, as I didn't want the replacement tadpole (Bubbles 2) to catch anything should she be contagious. My daughter thinks she is blind, if in fact she is blind, will she be able to catch food as an adult frog?  Can blind frogs feed. I mean they do depend on their sight to see food and know when to stick out their tongues, right? P.S.  Just incase she is okay, and I can put her back in the vivarium with the other tadpole.. Are Leopard Frogs the type of frog that emits a chemical into the water when they have started (or is it finished???) their metamorphisms that tells all of the other tadpoles to stop their metamorphosing?  Or will Bubbles 2 eat Psycho if she is smaller and less advanced than him? P.P.S.  I really think those grow-a-frog kits and Planet Frog  (and others like them) should be outlawed. the tanks are too small and not healthy! <Tadpoles are actually very easy to care for. In the wild they are found in little streams and creeks that quickly dry up. Keep the water very clean and treat bacterial infection with erythromycin from the tropical fish store. Hopefully the eyes can be saved. They eat algae at this stage. Adult frogs eat moving insects. Blind frogs don eat at all. Larger frogs will eat anything that moves, even other frogs.-Chuck>

HELP!!! Sick maybe injured ADF  2/5/07 I have 4 ADFs in my tank along with 6 platys, 2 mystery snails, 2 ghost shrimp and a pleco. I have 1 teaspoon of salt per 5 gallons of water. <... frogs, the snails... don't "like" salt...> I originally had one frog and it seemed to do ok with the salt and everything else, so I decided to get the other three. I have had the others now for about 2 or 3 months. We just noticed yesterday that one of the newer ones looked like he was shedding. <Mmm, Hymenochirus do this...> We have seen them shed before so we didn't think anything of it, except that it wasn't trying to get it off of himself like they normally do. Then he started swimming up and we noticed that he has some kind of injury on the underside of him. Almost the whole right side (left side to us when we are looking at it) is sunken in. Almost like he was crushed. We had to run some errands and when we got back we could see the stuff that looked like his shedding skin was gone, but it looks like he has a fungus growing on his back. It looks kind of lumpy, too. I searched your site and found some stuff dealing with the fungus, though I'm not sure if that's even what is on my frog, but I didn't find anything like the injury so please if you could help I would appreciate it. Also, if I have to I would like to know of a good humane way to euthanize him if I can't nurse him back to health. Thank you in advance. <I would start to dilute the salt/s in the water... and look into "Sulfa" drugs (see WWM re this term... the search tool)... 250 mg./ten gallons... Bob Fenner>

Can African Dwarf Frogs Get Ich?  1/29/07 <Hi Betty, Pufferpunk here> I'm a beginner with aquatic pets, so I need all the help I can get.  It all started when my little terrier got hit and killed by a car last March.   <Awww... that's so sad.  #1 cause of doggie death is getting run over.> That left me pet-less for the first time in 16 years.  So for my birthday last June, my co-worker gave me a male Betta (named Flash) which I keep in a 2 1/2 gallon aquarium with some gravel and a few live plants.  A few weeks later, I was in the pet store asking what I could put in the tank with Flash to keep him company and the store worker suggested the ADFs.  That sounded good to me, especially since I have a particular affection for reptiles and amphibians.   <Not really enough room for more animals in there.> So I bought a couple of tiny ADFs (named Slim and Chance, because that's what I thought the odds were of them staying alive under my care).  But when I put them in Flash's tank, he started nipping at them, so I quickly removed them and put them in their own tank. <Good> They now reside in a five-gallon aquarium with a Whisper filter, a few plants, a couple of "houses" and a smooth pebble substrate. <Perfect size for just the 2 frogs & nothing else.> But I couldn't leave well enough alone, so a few weeks ago, I purchased a couple of serpae tetras to try with Flash, with the same results, so I put them in with the frogs.   <Opps!> One of the tetras started bullying the other tetra, so I sent the bully back to the pet store.  Anyway, that's when I saw the neon tetras, and they looked so pretty, I ended up getting two of those and putting them in with the frogs and the serpae tetra.  As it ended up, I think one of the Neons was sick when I got him, so I removed the two tetras from the frog tank and put them in a bowl.  The next morning I had a dead neon but the other neon looked OK, so I went to a different store and bought a replacement neon.  Then the second neon started looking like it had ich (based on what I was able to learn about it from the Internet) so I put it in its own bowl and started treating it with Quick Cure.  I also took the serpae tetra and the latest neon and put them in a separate bowl.  Both the Neons ended up dying, which left the serpae tetra, who now looks like he's got ich too.  I've started treating him but I don't hold out much hope of curing him the way my luck is running.  I can handle losing the tetra but I'm really attached to Flash, Slim and Chance.  Flash appears to be doing fine, especially since I've stopped trying to find buddies for him and so far Slim and Chance look OK but I'm scared to death they'll get ich and die.   <They don't get ich but can be affected by ich meds.> They've been doing great for months, and I've discovered Slim is male and Chance is female, so that's kind of neat, although if they mate, I hope they eat their babies before they leave the egg stage.  I hope that doesn't make me sound cold; I just don't want more frogs.   <I don't blame you.  My girlfriend's did spawn & they eventually ate all the tadpoles.> So please let me know if Slim and Chance could get ich.  I do frequent water changes like I'm supposed to.  I don't know what else to do besides worry and pray that they make it. <Sounds like they'll do fine.  Just don't add anymore fish to that small tank, especially Neons.  They are a difficult fish to care for.  ~PP> Betty Williams

Cloudy Eyes on Fire-Belly Toad  1/16/07 Hi! <Hi Sue, Pufferpunk here> I enjoyed reading through other amphibian owners' questions but am still unsure of what to do for my daughter's fire-belly toad. Both eyes are very cloudy and have been for some time. I think I see a little blood around the edges too but that may be irritation. He/she is still feeding normally but seems to be in discomfort and is significantly less active that when his/her eyes were clear. After reading through questions and responses, I'm pretty sure it is a water quality issue. We can take care of the water quality by cleaning the 10-gallon tank and changing the water more frequently but I would like to get advice on treatment, as the irritation or infection looks pretty severe and I would like to keep the poor toad from going blind if possible. <Since these animals eat, sleep & drink in water that they poo in, water quality is definitely important.> I noticed that one Crew member's advice to one owner was to put one drop of MelaFix in each eye daily but that was an Asian bull frog. In answer to another question relating to cloudy eyes, a different adviser suggested sulfa drugs in the water. Could you please help? <Actually I was also thinking of using Melafix for the eyes (I believe that's what you meant?)  Worked for some of my frogs.  Be sure to dechlorinate the fresh water, after cleaning the tank.  ~PP> Thank you so much!! Sue W.

Damaged ADF  1/10/07 Hello, <Hi, Pufferpunk here> Your website is very helpful :) <Thank you, we try!> I recently got a dwarf African clawed frog. He was fine when I bought him but I think I might have somehow injured him when I moved him into the tank or something. He is missing most of one of his front feet. It looks a little red...and there are small pieces of the fingers left. I  read that frogs will often repair themselves but I wanted to make sure this didn't sound like a bacterial infection. <Yes, should grow back.  Treat with Melafix in the water & keep the tank clean.> Also, I don't know if he is behaving normally. He floats around a lot on the top...and then swims back down to the bottom for a bit...is it normal for them to hang out at the top so much? I had a couple frogs in the past and they liked to stay at the bottom and then come up for air every once in a while. Do you think something may be wrong? <Could be difficult to swim, due to the hurt foot.  It should be fine after treatment.  ~PP> Thanks SO much for your help :)

Axolotl - damaged limbs   1/6/07 Hello Crew at WWM. I have a sad but true story, and am hoping that you may have some advice to help. We have an adult female Axolotl which was attacked by an Australian Bass that was temporarily placed in her tank. <A mistake> Her hind feet are now gone, as are most of her front legs and a large part of her tail. She now remains in one spot in the tank, but on the very odd occasion will try and move (with difficulty), and her frilly gills still 'wave' every now and again. She hasn't eaten for 5 days now. I wasn't sure of the likelihood of her regenerating the limbs and tail given the extent of the damage and her age? <Mmm, one can only do their best, be patient, and hope> The damaged limbs and tail turned white and eventually the white part 'disintegrated' over the space of two days. Is this what usually happens to damaged limbs in water or could it have been some sort of bacteria? <Yes> I have done a water change and am monitoring the water to keep it as clean as possible to give her a better chance of recovery.  I have heard that salt baths can assist with some Axolotl infections, though wasn't sure if it would do much good given the extent of her injuries in this case? <I would be careful re the amount of salt administered here... Perhaps a level teaspoon per ten actual gallons of system water> My main concern is that she is not interested in her food. She is hand fed, usually frozen blood worms, and she normally loves her food. Since she was attacked, I have literally been holding food right up to her mouth, but she turns her head away. Is there something else I could feed her or place in the water at this time to help her eat? <Perhaps some live (other) insect larvae and/or freshwater worms (tubificids)... an occasional earthworm/nightcrawler of small size... I would administer a vitamin/food stimulant product (these are packaged/sold for aquarium use... either marine or freshwater, doesn't matter here... And I might consider adding a source of useful iodine/ide... to possibly aid repair, conversion...> If you have any other suggestions that would help in regards to her comfort or the healing process I'd be grateful. Thank you. <Life to you my friend. Bob Fenner>

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>

Rubber Eel Amphibian With Internal Infection   12/24/06 Hi There, I came upon your webpage hoping to find an answer to my question.  I have a Caecilian (rubber eel) in a 10 gallon tank with a small Cory fish.  I've had it for about 4-5 months and it was doing fine.  Recently, I've been observing erratic behavior:  it floats motionless on the surface, just hanging, or it lets itself get sucked onto the filter.  Before, it would burrow or curl around a rock or the one small plant in the tank. Other behavior includes, what seems like, the amphibian contracting its entire body and gaping its mouth wide open and sinking to the bottom of the tank.  It then frantically gulps and repeats to contract and tighten its entire body and gape its mouth. It also has been gulping for a lot of air at the surface and has stopped eating (I've been feeding it live bloodworms).  I don't have a heater for the tank, and I know they should be kept at 74-78 F.  It was fine during the summer, but now it is considerably colder.  I hope you can help me with this, since information on these creatures is scarce.  Thanks, Lidia < Tropical amphibians need adequate heat to properly digest their food. The food is rotting in his gut and the bacteria are causing this gas/bloat problem. Heating up the tank to 82 F should get the digestive juices going and start to retard the bacteria in the stomach. In the future if you are going to keep him cool the stop feeding him when the weather starts to cool.-Chuck>

Dumpy Tree Frog Peeling   12/21/06 To whom it may concern. I'm beginning to freak out! My 7 month old white dumpy tree frog seems  to be peeling! I took him out of the tank take a closer look and it seems that he is a bit bloated and has a bump (or just a new bump) under his mouth. It also looks like he has "left-overs" around his mouth, as if its peeling there too, but its a much darker color (looks blackish, kind of like if something had been burnt). I don't know what to do, I've searched the web but can't seem to find my specific answer questioned. Please help! I appreciate anything. Sincerely, Nina Morato < Assuming that everything else is normal and as it should be, it sounds like your frog has been poisoned. As you place live insects in your terrarium not all of them get eaten. The ones that live may be eating some of the terrarium plants which may be harmful. When they get eaten by the frog they carry the poisons from the plant. The "leftovers " may be the result of your frog trying to vomit the poisonous item out. Go to Kingsnake.com and look for a reference to a vet in your area. I would say for now get him into a very clean and very damp container so he does not dry out. Used cool distilled water to spray him often so his skin does not dry out and get infected if he survives.-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>

African Frogs Died 11/01/06 Hi, I had three African Dwarf Frogs, they just died. They were fine last night and when I returned from work today they were are all the bottom of the tank covered in some sort of grey mold. < This is a fungus that feeds on dead tissue.> I checked the pH of the water and it was neutral. About a month ago, I introduced a fourth frog and two weeks ago, I noticed it was missing. I still haven't found the fourth frog. I was just curious if you had any idea as to what this could be or why they may have died. Thanks, Clio < The fourth frog probably jumped out on is dried up on the floor somewhere. The others probably died from poor water quality. Frogs don't really care about pH, but the are sensitive to poor water quality such as water with high nitrogenous waste. Check the ammonia, nitrites and especially the nitrates.-Chuck>

Fungusy Frog  10/10/06 Hey there, I'm writing again! I just wanted to say thanks for all your help first--this website is great. <Thanks, Jess!  Pufferpunk here> My question is concerning one of my African Dwarf Frogs. I bought 2 of them about a month ago, & they've been doing extremely well in my tank (active, eating well, clear eyes, etc.). However, about a week ago I noticed that the color of one of my frogs was lightening. When I bought it, it was brown & speckled, but now it's a light, grayish speckled color. It's still eating normally, & it's still pretty active, but I've also noticed about 2 days ago that there's 1 or 2 little cotton-like & cloudy growths coming from its lower abdomen/leg area. I'm not really sure if the frog's just shedding or something, but I'm worried because its eyes are slightly cloudy (though I wasn't sure if that has something to do with it changing colors). Should I treat the tank (which also contains livebearers, tetra, & a Gold Inca Snail) with some kind of anti-fungal or anti-bacterial treatment? & if it does have some kind of bacterial infection, does that have something to do with its transformation of color over the last week or so? (It started transforming colors well before the cotton-like growth appeared.) & one last question: My other frog remains completely normal at this point. Is it going to be okay if something is wrong with frog #1? <Frogs can change from light to dark & they do shed.  It couldn't hurt to try using some Melafix in his water, just to be sure.  It's totally natural.  ~PP> Thanks a lot & hope to hear from you guys soon! --Jess

Help- African dwarf frog with curled toes. Nutritional deficiency likely    10/3/06 I am very impressed with your site.  I would appreciate some help if you can.  I've had my African dwarf frog for about a year.  It's fingers and toes have been slowly but severely curling. <Interesting...>   It looks as if it is holding a small ball in both hands. The back feet look as if they were holding a pencil.  The frog can still swim just fine, but it can't straighten it's fingers or toes at all anymore. <Am wondering what would cause such a "clubbing" of feet?> It lives in a 5 gallon tank with goldfish. <Oh...>   I feed it tadpole bites <...> and it also eats the fish's flake food.  Wouldn't want to have an uncomfortable frog-any ideas?   Thank you, Jennifer <Likely a nutritional deficiency at play here... need more (animal source, Tryptophan, Lyseine, Threonine...) source protein, and vitamins than the foods you've supplied. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/amphibfdgfaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

Bloated Newt  - 09/13/06 My sister has 3 Firebellied newt's.  Just before we went on holiday about 10 days ago we noticed that one of them was looking a bit fat.  A friend has been feeding them while we were away.  They will only eat bloodworm.  When we came back yesterday he now has bloated up to about 3 times the side he normally is.  I read one of the other posts on your website where it said that you just need to let is run it's course but he just looks so big around that neck that looks like it will choke him.  How long do you think that it will take to go down?  We have now separated him off into a tank with shallow water on his own as he just floats in deeper water.  Thanks, Sarah <Your newt may have eaten some decaying food that is rotting in his gut. The bacteria is multiplying and producing gas that is causing the boat. Usually they are able to vomit up any bad food. Sorry don't have a solution but I would suggest you check out some newt/amphibian websites. Start with Kingsnake.com and see if you can find a chat group or communicate with a vet that may be able to help.-Chuck.>

Medications With Snails And Frogs  9/9/06 Dear WWM Crew, Want to first say what a great site you guys have, and the patience you have for all the numerous questions you guys answer! I have tried looking through the google search and forums regarding my  question, and wasn't able to find my answer, so I am asking you. My first question is regarding my black mystery snail.  I recently  gave it a soft leaf vegetable (Chinese vegetable called Xiao bai cai  which literally means small white veggie) and it is consuming the  entire thing.  I was wondering if you can actually overfeed a  snail, or will they stop eating once they are full? < They are exposed to all kinds of veggies in the wild and I am sure they quit eating when they are full.> My second  question is regarding the medication I have been applying to my fish  tank for fin rot.  I checked the applesnail.net site, but their  link to fish pharmaceuticals led to a dead link.  I am using  Melafix (active ingredient is Melaleuca) from Aquarium Pharmaceutical  Inc., and was wondering if it will affect either my black mystery snail  or my African dwarf frog? Thanks a bunch!  And keep up with the awesome work! Anson < Invertebrates and amphibians really don't like medications. Melafix would not be my first choice to treat fin rot. Stronger medications may harm them. I would treat the sick fish in a hospital tank with Nitrofuranace of Kanamycin.-Chuck> I have a male Bristlenose catfish, two years old he is four and half inches long. He is in a 300 litre tank, he used to be kept with Neons, glowlights and platies. He was very happy, I fed him on catfish pellets, algae wafers, bloodworms, brine shrimps and daphnia. Now he is living with tinfoil barbs. he's not as happy and hides under the filter, he is only getting the catfish pellets and algae wafers, as the tinfoil barbs eat everything else first, I have noticed that he is not cleaning the tank as well for the past week. And he has a lump on his snout in front of one eye, I have telephoned all my local aquatic shops, no one seems to have heard of this before, I'm very worried, to me is looks like a cyst, apart from this his colouring and general condition is very good. I hope you can help me, as the children are very fond of catty! Wait to hear from you, Sue < As your Pleco roots around for food he probably injured himself on a piece of wood or rock. The area may be infected. I would recommend treating him in a hospital tank with Nitrofuranace or Kanamycin as per the directions on the package.-Chuck>

Fungused Frog  9/7/06 I am incredibly irritated with Petco right now.  After going through the archives on your site (your suggestion was correct, nearly all of my questions had been answered and more) I discovered that not only can my African Dwarf frogs not tolerate aquarium salt (which I specifically asked the attendant at Petco about--not wanting to hurt either my Betta, Chester, or the frogs) they can also not really be around my Betta.  Which was very confusing as several Betta enthusiasts have suggested this type of frog as a good bottom feeder to compliment Betta fish. <I have had good success keeping these together.  As long as they are the DWARF species & not the CLAWED species.> Chester is in general much more passive than my other male Betta (obviously in another tank) and snapped a little at them but seems to get along well with them right now.   I noticed a cottony growth on one of my ADFs (Bender) right before searching on ways to fix this.  Promptly afterwards I found out he couldn't handle salt so I did an immediate water change and then came back to look at more things for fixing this.  I planned on getting a quarantine tank soon.  I don't want to do so many changes because stressing him out won't help any, but are there medicines that are safe for other fish and can he be by himself?   <Melafix> Will he spread this infection to Fry (the other frog) or Chester? <It's possible.> I don't want him to be lonely in a quarantine tank (even if he doesn't seem to really give a flying hoot about Fry).  Would you suggest getting a one gallon or so to move them both into permanently? <Not necessary, if they are OK with the Betta.> You are one of the most knowledgeable sites I've come across for pets of any kind and if anyone can help me out, I hope it's the team at Wet Web Media. <Awwww,... shucks, happy to help!  PP> Thank you, Meghan R.
Re: Fungused Frog  9/8/06
I'm positive they're Dwarf Frogs but thank you for clearing up the confusion.   <Sure> Shortly after I sent you an email, I went back to look at Bender again and discovered that it seemed like the whole cottony growth had come off of him, it was floating around the tank before I sucked it up and got it out.  Is it possible he was shedding his skin?  What does that look like? <It's possible the shedding skin could've fungused but it looks like shedding skin, not fungus.> And thank you so much again, your response was quick and the answers helped a lot! <I'd still add the Melafix.  ~PP> --Meghan R.

Firebellied toad hlth.  - 09/01/06 Hi. < Howdy! >   I recently bought two young fire-bellied toads.  I have had  them for about one week, and they seem to be doing fine.  But today one of  them has started making weird faces and rubbing his front feet over his head and  kicking his back feet around as if he were in pain or something.  I can see  what looks like loose skin clinging to his sides and am wondering if he is just shedding? < Sometimes these guys are affected by excess metals and minerals in the water. Have you tested the hardness of the water? They are also affected by improper water quality: excessive ammonia and nitrites. Last, but not least, air-borne pollutants and contaminants can have this reaction as well. Aerosols, room fresheners, carpet fresh, etc. will cause chemical burn. >   He is even opening his mouth and making faces, and I wonder is  all this normal behavior just to shed his skin, or might there be something else  going on? < Possibly shedding, but more likely a chemical reaction. > Could he have swallowed a pebble or something and maybe it has  nothing to do with the shedding skin? < I hope not, pebbles can be hard to pass! >   Any advice you could give would be  greatly appreciated.  I've never had any type of frogs before, only fish  and turtles.   Thanks. < I hope I helped some. RichardB >   Paula
Re: Firebellied toad
  9/11/06 Richard, thanks so much for responding.  Believe it or not, I think he  was just shedding after all.  After he got the loose skin off, he resumed  acting normally.  A little later, I was looking through a book from the  library on frogs and toads, and there was a picture of a toad doing exactly what  mine was doing, and it said that he was shedding his skin and eating it and that  this was normal frog behavior.  So I think he's OK!  He's eating and  acting completely normal now.  Thanks so much for your response! < You are very welcome! RichardB >

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>

Cuban Frog - Damaged Leg - 07/18/2006 Hi Bob, <Actually, Sabrina with you, tonight.> Here at work we have a Cuban frog that has taken up residence outside. He seems like a friendly fellow, however, this morning when I saw him, apparently the lawn person had cut off the frogs rear foot with the weed eater. <Ouch!> It looks like a clean cut, but can you tell me if the foot will grow back or have problems healing? <It will probably grow back.  Frogs are pretty resilient animals.> Is there anything I can do to help? I would be open minded to setting up a terrarium for him if you think the frog would do well in captivity or make a good "pet". If you think so, then could you recommend set up and food options? <Mm, sadly, I don't know a huge amount about frogs and amphibians....  but do please take a look here:  http://talkto.thefrog.org/ and here:  http://www.amphibiancare.com/frogs/caresheets/cubantreefrog.html .> Thanks so much for your help! Love the website! <Thanks for these kind words!> Kimberly Searles <Wishing you and your amphibious pal well,  -Sabrina>

Frog With Respiratory Infection  7/15/06 Hi, my frog has gotten sick about 3 days ago and I was wondering if you all could help me. My frog is doing some thing really strange, he is not really swimming he is just floating above the tank and doesn't move when I come to him. He just stays there. He also shrivels up at times and opens his mouth  up really wide. He won't eat much either but he does eat a little when I am  not looking. I feed him gold fish flakes and he had no problem eating them  before. Also, he sometimes turns with his belly up when he is trying  to swim, when I think he's dead I flip him over and he moves. I have been  keeping him in a small tank with about 5 inches of water in it because he  cant swim back up to the surface when he is not floating, and I have been  boiling and cooling our city water to get all of the chlorine out. What else  should I do. From, Tina, 14 yrs old < Your frog sounds like it has a lung infection. The lungs fill up with fluid and your frog floats all the time. He stays at the surface and tries to breath through his skin. If this was a turtle I would say to heat him up. A turtle would go up to a basking site and the heat would inhibit the bacteria. At this point I would try to elevate the temperatures slowly to 82 F. Keep the tank clean and the water well aerated. At this point I think you need to take your frog to a vet for antibiotics.-Chuck>

African Dwarf Frogs and fish medications    7/13/06 Hello, my name is Robin. I have a 45 gallon tank that houses one African Dwarf Frog, 4 Ghost Shrimp, and 12 Bronze Cory Catfish.   Yesterday I noticed that some of the baby (I say baby, my original three bred successfully in my aquarium about four months ago) Corys have fuzzy fungus   growth. I have Applus+  Anti-Fungus Fungus and Fin Rot Treatment, whose  main ingredients are Malachite Green and Hydrochloride. <Toxic to your Frogs and Shrimp> I wanted to check before I add anything to the tank, because I'm concerned about the frog and the shrimp. Will I have to move them to a different tank while treating the catfish? <Yes... and do check your water quality... The Corydoras would not "get" a fungal/bacterial infection if all was well here> Is there a more "frog friendly" treatment for the catfish? I know that the Anti-Fungus treatment is potentially harmful to scaleless fish, and frogs absorb things through theirs, so I don't want to  poison the frog.   Thank you very much. Robin <You need to separate the non-fish. Bob Fenner>

Frog Damaged   7/7/06 Please help any one out there. It is 2:00am Chicago time and I don't know what to do. I was just awaked to a large rumble, so I start to investigate when I find my 3 year old frogs body hanging limp from the back of a box fan on the floor. I pulled him out and thought he was dead but decided to give him a chance and put him in a quarantine tank (about 2 to 3 gallons) put water in it. Still no movement. By the way he is severely hurt a part of his lip or mouth has been cut off, and still attached and hanging from the rest he is bleeding and I really can't tell if his eye is hurt or not its covered in blood. Well so I decided to put some MelaFix, PimaFix, and ick away in the water and he started to move and hope around again. I dont know what else to do please help me. I want him to suffer to much any info you may need just ask. Thank you in advance. < The MelaFix and PimaFix were good ideas. Frogs don't like the dyes like the malachite green in the ick medication. Keep the water clean and watch for infection. If any cloudy areas appear on the frog then that is a fungus and needs to be treated with Nitrofuranace. Lots of water changes will help. That is just about all you can do except take him to a vet for a more precise diagnoses and treatment.-Chuck>

Fire Pebbled Bellied Toad   6/16/06 Dear Crew, I know for a fact that my small fire bellied toad just swallowed a large pebble.  She was going for her second cricket and missed.  I was trying to catch her to pull it out of her mouth, but she choked it down.  I don't think that there is any way that she can pass that, unless these critters are extremely stretchy.  Is there anything that I can do?  I don't want her to suffer. Thank you, Linda < If the stone went down then it can go back up. When the toad is ready I'm sure he will cough it up.-Chuck.>

Injured ADF's    5/2/06 Hi, I recently brought 3 more frogs after my male died suddenly, & my female became lonely. Well, the runt (stumpy) of the 3 has no foot on one leg, and a small, deformed foot on the other. could this be infected as the stump looks slightly ragged & what treatments could be used. <... I'd be very careful here. Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/amphibdisfaqs.htm and the linked files above> stumpy can swim fine & come up for air & moves around a lot. Also, on 1 of the other new ones, i noticed a red patch, which i read could be red leg. However, i can't see it now, but they are moving a lot. what can be done about this. I'm a bit unsure about illnesses as the first 2 had never been ill, & the male died as it was old. Luckily, my original frog & the other new one seem to be perfectly fine. Any help much appreciated. Edith <Bob Fenner>

Axolotl trouble - 4/20/6 This is the first time I have ever tried to contact any of your crew, but I really am in need of some advice.  Firstly I have a 4ft x 1ft x 2ft coldwater tank, how many gallons is it? <<It is a nominal 60-gallon, but holds a few gallons less than that.>> Secondly all my fish who cohabit with my two seven year old axolotls are fine except for one, which recently has presented what looks like a few scales missing on one side, but more worryingly doesn't seem to be able to open his mouth, what on earth could this problem be? <<Could be a myriad of things.  Do you mean the axolotl is experiencing this? Do the standard tests for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, to be sure these arent the culprit.  Make sure water quality is high, temp is in the low 60s.>> And how should I go about helping him? <<Read here: http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/4301/axolotlhealth.htm and browse through the topics on the left hand side menu.  You should find what you are looking for.>> Thank you very much for your trouble. <<No trouble at all, Im glad to help. Lisa.>> Emily-Jane, Lancashire.

Newt Growing Spots  - 04/05/2006 Hi! I can't seem to figure out what's wrong with my newt, if anything.  He has a yellow-orange underside normally, but lately there are black-brown speckles on his belly.  He is acting normal and eating well, but if he's sick, I want to be able to fix the problem so he doesn't die.  Please let me know what this could be.  Thanks! Lauren < If everything else looks normal then I think the spots are part of the normal coloration. Look for reddish sores or wounds that seem to get bigger. These are bacterial infections that require treatment.-Chuck>

Newts... env. dis.  - 04/05/2006 I have 3 fire belly newts in my cage. I have had them for about 3 weeks. I noticed that after two days the water gets really scummy and slimy. Also yesterday I was cleaning the cage and noticed that one of the newts' hand was missing like it was burned off. Also another one of my newts has what looks like burned skin, it is white and on the tip of the nose, tail and body. What is going on? Do they fight or is it bacteria and what should I do.                 Jaleesa <Mmm, reads like you may have environmental/water quality issues... You need filtration here... as the declined state of your habitat is allowing disease to mal-affect your amphibians. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/amphibians.htm  the linked files above re Systems, Feeding... Bob Fenner>

Sick FW Frog Does Not Like Ich Medication  3/15/06 Hello and thanks for taking the time to answer questions.  I have two small silver dollars, two small pink Gouramis, and one African dwarf frog in a ten gallon tank.  My tank was cycled for about one month before the fish were added.  Recently I decided to change the gravel because I didn't like the color.  I changed half one week and the rest one week later.  Nitrates went up a bit but all seems to be leveling back.  A couple of days ago I noticed that one of my silver dollars had a small tear on a fin and small white spots.  I treated the tank for ich and now he seems to be fine.  Now the problem is my frog.  Today I noticed that he has an off white film developing on his body.  Is it the medication or has the gravel change ruined the biological balance of the system?  Can my frog be saved?  I am only a beginner but I sure do enjoy my fish, especially the frog.  Thanks, Amanda < Frogs and denitrifying bacteria do not like ich medications. Add a good quality carbon to remove any remaining medication in the system. Check the water quality for ammonia or nitrite spikes. Add Bio-Spira if needed to get the biological filtration going again.-Chuck>

Dwarf Frog Diseases  - 03/13/2006 I can't seem to find any info on the diseases dwarf frogs suffer from.  I have read that they are very sensitive to the medicine in ich remedies: does this mean they can't get ich?  If not, do I still need to be quarantining them? < Frogs are sensitive to the dyes like malachite green and methylene blue, but they can handle antibiotics used for fish. The frogs may not have ich but the tank water from the store may have the ich parasites in it. I would still quarantine to be safe.-Chuck  

Bullfrog with possible fungus?   3/4/06 I have recently taken in a Bullfrog. A Friend of mine found it sitting in a parking lot here in Ohio. It's been snowing here. <Must've been imported...> He is very active and has a good appetite. I noticed over the past week he has developed white spots on his eye lid, hind legs and on his back. Is it a fungus? <Too likely so> If so what is the best way to treat it? <Mmm, this animal needs to be in a "proper environment" first and foremost... heated, filtered, with the water checked for metabolite build-up... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/amphibsysfaqs.htm> I have read a variety of different things about using fish meds on amphibians and am not sure what to do? Is Malachite Green, Formalin, or Methylene Blue safe? <No> Is Maroxy? I read somewhere that Malachite Green could be deadly to amphibians. <Yes... shades of the Jan. issue of National Geographic... which contained a harrowing piece on the disappearance of frogs... I would try a "sulfa block" devised for aquatic herps here. ZooMed, among others offer these... Along with an adequate environment. Bob Fenner> Erin

Frog with cloudy eyes   2/8/06 HI WWM Crew: I have had my White's tree frog for 8 years (he was full grown when I got him, so he is probably 9 or so years old). <This is a good long time for this species> I have always kept him in a 20 gal. tall tank with sphagnum moss and a water dish and some live plant, and fed him crickets.  Last month I traveled for the month and put him in a smaller container with moss and a plant which died.    I didn't notice at first, but he was sitting in the plant pot and when I picked him up his eyes were clouded over and so he couldn't eat.  I bought some Fluker's Repta-Rinse, but it wasn't working and he wasn't eating (or pooping) for about a month Finally, I took him to the vet and he gave me saline and atropozine (sp?) drops to treat corneal edema.  His eyes were getting better and he finally ate and pooped and I thought we were good...for 1 week, and now the clouds are back and he won't eat cause he is blind...again. Do you guys have any suggestions?  I feel terrible and would really like him to get better. Thanks, BEA <... Not much to do here... "old age"... accumulation of genetic anomalies, lack of ready fit with environment...: http://www.google.com/custom?q=Frog+with+cloudy+eyes&sitesearch=wetwebmedia.com Bob Fenner>

White's tree frog   2/8/06 We recently acquired a whites tree frog, after a couple of days we  noticed one of his toes looks broken or bent backwards. What , if anything can be  done to fix or at least prevent further injury. Its possible we got him that way but we still like him. >> There is not much you can do, and he will likely be ok so long as there is no infection on the toe. Make sure to watch for places where he can break his toes. Screen covers are the worst for these types of frogs if the mesh is too large. Oliver

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>

Fire Belly Toad On Fire 10/22/05 Hi. I have 3 firebelly toads. I've had them for about six years or so. Just today, one of them started acting weird. It is very weak and has constant spasms in its legs and body. Its stomach sometimes pulsates and it can't jump. I have no idea what is going on and I was wondering if you could help me out.  Oh ya, and also its back legs have a lot of mucus on them. I don't know if that's related, but I just want to find out what's wrong with my toad. Thanks < Frogs can succumb to bacterial infections. One in particular is called red legged disease which is a bacterial infection on the legs of the frog. The mucus on the leg may be this disease. It is difficult to see on a frog when a red pattern is on the belly and legs already. Clean the tank and the filter. Heard of some remedies using dyes and antibiotics with mixed results.  Sometimes the frog is too ill to survive the treatment. Frogs in general are very sensitive to chemicals in the water since they seem to absorb everything through their skin. Isolate the toad from the rest so he doesn't contaminate the other two. I would try a product from Jungle called Start Right.  It is a little Methylene blue and salt. This should inhibit the bacteria and give you toad a chance to fight off the disease on its own. It looks like it is getting worse then antibiotics would kill the bacteria but I am not certain how the frog would react to the medication. I would recommend that you look online at some frog site that have had success in treating this disease to be sure.-Chuck> 

Disease? Algae? Dwarf frogs, snails, 10 gallon 10/17/05 Problem: Substantial amount of film extending outward several millimeters with an almost halo-like translucence, not cottony at all, on African Dwarf Frogs lower bodies, <... mycete...> on body of at least one Malaysian Trumpet snail, <Odd... same> on shells of apple snails and also covering plants, driftwood and filter <This, likely something else> Water test results: Ammonia= 0, nitrate= 0, nitrites= 0, PH= 7.2, Temp= 74F, current alkalinity =<40, water hardness=150. Setup: 10 gallon with Aqua Clear filter for 20 gallon, 2 African Dwarf Frogs, several small Malaysian Trumpet Snails, 1 Ramshorn snail, 2 mystery snails, approx 20 live plants/moss. I was unfortunately locked out of my apartment for about three days. During this time a new addition African Dwarf Frog, who had been quarantined before introduction into my tank, died. I removed the corpse <Likely the source of the opportunistic fungus, stress, diminished environmental quality here> and did a 100% water change. <Best to avoid such wholesale changes if possible, practical> At the same time I changed my silica sand substrate, which had been accumulating a black mold and put in a thin, 1/3 inch, layer of calcium carbonate and well placed pebble piles to hold down the plants. After all of the disruption my filter became clogged and was working less than adequately for 1-2 days until fixed. A nearly invisible thread-like algae sprung up throughout the aquarium almost overnight but disappeared once the filter was working properly. <Is/was a mix of microbes... from the loss of biological stability, "cycling"> Ammonia/Nitrite levels stayed at zero. I noticed the algae like substance remained on and was covering the lower bodies of both frogs and one may have had slight pop-eye (could be my imagination). They started and have continued to shed their skins. There may also be a difference in their dropping, possibly longer and stringier. Also noticed today that long stringy dropping was sticking to the tail of the female. I removed the carbon from my filter, added 1tsp of salt <Good> and started and completed the five day treatment with Maracyn 2 adding another tsp of salt on the third day. The filmy clear beard-halo went away for a day and came back. I began today the five day treatment for Maracyn as well as the first of two (dosage as recommended on packaging for scaleless fish) treatments of APPLUS Anti-Fungus (active ingredients Malachite Green and Acriflavine Hydrochloride) <... I would not use this here> I am confused whether this is Columnaris because it is all over the tank and is not white. <What? Stop! You're going to kill off your livestock with this hypochondriac behavior> I do not think it is algae since it is harming the frogs and at least one snail.  Bacterial, Parasitic or Fungal? What should I do/stop doing immediately? THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! <Mmm, actually, locking yourself out for a number of days... don't do "anything" more chemical-wise other than finish the Mardel product use, partial water changes, replenish the salt removed from same. Bob Fenner> 

Amphibian and Chelonian <mis> mix 8.27.05 I keep my red ear slider in an aquarium with 3 firebelly toads, a tree frog, and a chubby frog. I have the aquarium so one side is water and the other side is land. I have been wondering, however, if the mix of reptile and amphibian is safe.  I do have a filter and light source and the animals usually keep away from each other. Also, I used to have a soft-shell turtle; I had kept him with the frogs (but at that time I had one firebelly). Sadly, he died in a weird way. A large, black, tube like thing with feathery ends came out of his anus, and hung out about an inch. We suspected that it had to do with the turtles eating habits, for it ate up to six fish a day. Recently, I have been wondering if it had to do with the frogs. I really don't want my red ear slider to die, so please help. Also, we have been feeding the slider a more reasonable amount of food. PLEASE HELP!! <I am not sure what the large black feathery thing might have been, but it might be worth contacting a reptile Veterinarian to find out.  I would not recommend keeping frogs with turtles.  Turtles foul the water very quickly, frogs and toads are very sensitive to the quality of their environment and will not tolerate less than optimal conditions for very long.  I am not sure if the frogs and toads you are keeping are toxic to animals that ingest them but it is definitely something you will want to look into, I am sure a turtle would sample a frog if given the opportunity.  I would definitely keep the turtle in a separate tank. I would also get some care sheets on the different types of frogs you are keeping to ensure that your setup is meeting their needs as well, heating, lighting, feeding, etc. -Gage>

Chubby Frog 8.27.05 My chubby frog has been acting strange. He doesn't seem to be eating and he doesn't move. I picked him up and he barely moved his leg. I have noticed him breathing so he is still alive, but I am concerned. I have also noticed that he is shedding skin. Could this have to do with it? I keep this frog with three firebellies, a red ear slider, and a tree frog. Is this bad? Please HELP! <In this situation I would seek the advice of a reptile/amphibian/exotic animal veterinarian, or local reptile shop. Your local reptile shop might be the best place to start; all of the reptile stores I used to frequent were pretty good at diagnosing problems and always knew a good Vet to refer me to. The links below are to care sheets for the animals that you are keeping.  Best of luck, Gage http://www.anapsid.org/bombina.html http://www.anapsid.org/greentreefrog.html http://www.anapsid.org/reslider.html http://thelilypad.org/?q=node/view/125  >

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>

Melafix on Frogs  9/8/05 I actually want to compliment you guys on http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/amphibfaqs.htm that article. I'm glad to see that SOMEWHERE on the net someone is able to use Melafix on frogs with success. I currently have a Whites Tree Frog that has some open sores ( they're healing with rinsing, but I want to keep them clean) and I was wondering , Melafix being a Natural substance , would it help me out with the problem. I see that people have used it with success from this link, and I really want to thank you! - Alicia < If you use this product as a bacterial inhibiter then I think it will work OK. If you try to use it as an antibiotic alone then I think you will be disappointed. Good housekeeping and sanitation goes along way in curing diseases. I think a combination of all of these is the key to a full recovery. If the frog shows signs of distress then I would discontinue to use it.-Chuck>

Frog With Bacterial Infection  8/31/05 My Aquababy frog just this morning developed some red, pussy globular thing over his right eye, and it suddenly burst, leaking blood and some other fluids into his tank, his eye looks like it is still there, but it looks like it might also just be an open socket in his head.  What may cause this and what can be done to help him.  He has been eating everyday, and I just cleaned his tank yesterday (which I'm worried may have been the impetus behind this injury). Thank you < You frog probably got a cut or scratch that got infected. As the infection got worse it grew until it ruptured through the skin around the eye. With it now opened up you need to treat the infection with Nitrofuranace. He may lose the eye but at least you can save the frog.-Chuck>

Tadpoles, Anchor Worms? - 09/16/2005 Hello. I recently acquired two new albino bullfrog tadpoles from a local PetSmart. Having worked in a reptile store a couple years ago, I know that PetSmart isn't exactly the place to get healthy animals, but because I had successfully raised another bullfrog tadpole that I got there, I thought it would be fine. Not only are these new tadpoles sickly, lethargic, and tiny (about an inch long still, as compared to my frog who was 3 inches or so) but they each have 3 copepods. <Hmm....> I am fairly sure that these are what they are, having skipped my first class of the day (ironically, biology) to do some research. They are about half a centimeter in length, thin, white / clearish yellow in color. They branch at the end. <Could be parasitic copepods called "anchor worms", Lernaea sp.  Definitely fits your description.> At first I thought they were small limbs, but unless the tadpoles are infected with trematodes, this wouldn't make sense. If I look really closely, I can see that there is some sort of "pulse" inside of these things...a very tiny one but I don't know how to describe it other than that. In any case, my question is this: could the copepods, if that's what they are, be parasitically harming my tadpoles? <Yes.  And once reproductive, can be of more concern from greater numbers of them attaching....> They have both been sluggish and very very weak-looking lately. In fact, if I didn't think that removing the copepods would somehow harm my tadpoles, I would perform a small operation right now. How do I get rid of them? <Look up some images of Lernaea/anchor worms (many available on the 'net) to verify that's what they are, first.  Then, if so, you can remove these with forceps.> Thank you so much for your help. Sincerely,  Marisa <Wishing you and your frogs-to-be well,  -Sabrina>

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>

Axolotl with a belly full of? Good morning!  I have a long question that might not have a very happy answer.  I recently purchased an axolotl at a local pet store, he seems to be in good condition and he acts normally. (He's really nearly the neatest thing I've had in my freshwater tank)  but he's got a large mass in his stomach, it's black.  I'm well aware that anything they can fit into their mouths, they will, but are they able to pass anything they can fit in?  The place that I bought him from admitted they didn't know a whole lot about him, just the basics, "They're freshwater....and I guess they'll eat just about anything"  And that was it.  I bought him and spent the evening doing research (I know I know!  that's the wrong order, but he was so cool!)  So in my reading I found out that they shouldn't be kept in gravel bottom tank because they have a tendency to swallow gravel, and therein lies my problem.  The tank at the LFS has a gravel bottom, as does my own tank, I quickly moved the gravel to only one side of the tank (the side that I don't put the food on) but I think he swallowed a fair amount of gravel regardless.  This particular axolotl is 4-5 inches long, he's been eating normally and I haven't really noticed anything weird except for that his belly looks like its full of something black.  I haven't seen any evidence that he's passed anything since I brought him home (god knows he's been eating though - two dozen white cloud and more brine pellets than I can imagine.) I'm not sure if I should just wait it out or what I should think.  Forgive me for my lack of preparation!  You're advice would do me wonders.  Thank you for your time.                                   Rachael <Not much to do at this point with this neotenic salamander. I would just keep up its maintenance and hope for the best. Bob Fenner>

Bloodworm Infestation (HELP!!) Hi, you're site's really great! I really hope you can answer my question I'm at my wit's end! ). My question is ( I admit ) a bit off the subject BUT still is related to external/internal parasites. OK, my fish ( guppies, silver hatchets, loach, emerald cat, iridescent shark ) and one of my African Dwarf frogs are infested with bloodworms. I am POSITIVE they are bloodworms (thin, red, protrude from vent, and aquarium has no other parasitic contact). Anyway, my frogs NEED the bloodworms to eat (they won't eat anything else. <Have you tried "Glassworms"? (actually chironomid/midge fly larvae), small frozen/defrosted marine crustaceans? There are quite a few of these offered by the pet-fish trade. Look for the Gamma brand...> I feed them frozen ones, never live. ). I now know a feeding method that prevents the fish from getting infested, but, now one of my frogs is "wormy". Whenever my fish got wormy, it always died in the end. I try to halt parasitic invasion by plucking the worms out of their ventral areas ( it's really gross and I'm rather  squeamish. ). It seems to help, but my fish still die. Is there any medication or wormer that I can use? <There are... a few worth trying. Piperazine and Praziquantel may be had through your veterinarian... you are looking for a vermifuge (as in "flee worm") medication that won't harm fishes, frogs...> I have no invertebrates in my tank, and all of the plants are fake yup, plastic. ). I really don't want to hurt my fish and frogs. It'd be great if there is a medication available. Please help me! - "Worm Picker-Outer"( that's really grossed out ) <Do keep us informed of your progress. Bob Fenner>
Re: Bloodworm Infestation (HELP!!)
Whoa, that was quick! I didn't get the stuff yet ( It's Sunday night ), but I was hoping for a bit more information ( the info you sent me was great! ). I think the frogs would like the glassworms, but if the glassworms hatch...? <This won't happen... or you can just try them as frozen/defrosted...> There is a small chance that they will grow into flies, right? And if they're flies, they aren't parasitic...? <No my friend... the world is comprised of much more than hosts and parasites... these are "free-living" organisms> Or do they just swim around? <The do wiggle quite a bit> If given the chance, do they multiply rapidly? <Mmm, no... please use your search engine and the words "glassworm" or "chironomid"... The adults lay eggs, which hatch into larvae... You won't have adults> Do they smell (like brine shrimp)? Will they carry disease/irritate fish? <None of the above> Or will fish enjoy them as well? <Likely very much so> Please answer as many as you can ( don't feel pressed; I'm just a kid ). Also, about Pip. and Praz. We don't have a regular vet (but we can find one). How is the medication administered? Are there needles (shudder)? <As powders in the food. 10 mg of Piperazine sulfate/kg for three days... the equivalent of 0.10% Piperazine at a rate of 1% body weight/day. Praziquantel can be administered via baths of differing strengths, durations or orally at 50 mg/kg of fish... or 0.50% fed at a rate of 1% body weight per day> Is it a dissolvent? Will I have to force feed the frog ( their mouths just won't open! )? <It is necessary that the animals ingest the food-laced with chemical, or that they be immersed (about 2 mg Praziquantel/l or 7.6 mg/gallon for 24 hours> And last, what should I ask for ( kid at counter, embarrassed, doesn't know which medication out of dozens to choose )? <Please consult with your parents/guardians here (do show them our correspondence). It will likely be necessary to purchase one or both of these compounds from a veterinarian source> Again, don't feel pressed. Thank you sooo much for your help and time!!! <You are certainly welcome. Bob Fenner>                        
  - "Worm Picker-Outer"( that might be SAVED!! )

Fire Belly Toads I've had my 2 fire belly toads for 3 years in a filtered 10g 1/2 full tank with 1/3 land today while feeding one frog has lost more then 1/2 body weight and seems to have an equilibrium problem only seeming to move one direction (very little movement ) basking on land , with other frog standing guard in some type of protective mode the sick frog was not strong enough to eat. I feed once a week and dust crickets with Reptocal is there any thing i can do i don't think it will make it very long and is there any thing I'm doing wrong. <Well... you've got me stumped here, I do not have much experience with fire belly toads.  If I had to guess I would say the problem may have started with the diet and developed into something else.  Most problems that I have encountered with amphibians were related to problems with their environment.  The link below has some good information on captive care of the Fire Belly Toad. http://www.livingunderworld.org/anura/database/bombinatoridae/bombina/orientalis/ I would make sure I am meeting all of their requirements.  You could also try using google.com to search for common ailments or diseases.  A local reptile shop may have some good information as well.  Best of Luck, Gage>

Dwarf frog and ich meds! Hi there!   <Hi! Ananda here tonight...> I have two Dwarf frogs, and I had them in a tank with a goldfish and a black moor.  The black moor came down with Ich and died.  So, I moved my goldfish (Herbie) to a quarantine tank w/meds.  Then, I cleaned out the other tank, removed all the decor, to remove the ich from it, and put meds in that water as well.  After putting my frogs in the water, about half hour later, I realized one of my frogs turned pale!!!  Can you tell me what is wrong?  Or am I just freaking out over nothing?   <It is entirely possible that your frogs cannot tolerate the medication at the strength you're using it. I would quarantine the frogs in their own bare tank, with no medication.> I really appreciate your help!! <You're welcome.... --Ananda>

Frogs and Fungus 10/8/03 I hope you can give me some advice on what may be wrong with my Congo frogs.  I have had them about a month. They are only young.  They were in with an African clawed frog but I put her in another tank as she will soon outgrow them and eat them.  Since she has been out of the tank, the water became very murky. I feed frozen Blood worms which seemed to go moldy an hour or so after they go in. I know the Congo frogs can't see as well and so maybe not all the worms are getting eaten now the African Clawed frog is out but the mould that started to grow on the worms has now begun to grow on the frogs. One of them is particularly bad.  I use spring water and keep the frogs at a temperature of 70 F.  and try to remove the uneaten food.  Is there anything you can suggest might be causing this fungus to grow on my frogs and if there is a treatment I can use to clear it? Thank you in advance for your help.  I look forward to hearing from you. Miss Vaughan. <Miss Vaughan... my apologies for the delay in reply. But we have been swamped with mail lately. It is also not clear what species your frog is. Do you have a scientific name to clarify... or more information to share? As to the fungus on the frogs, improved water quality alone (smaller but more frequent feedings... and bigger/more frequent water changes) alone can reduce the growth. Adding a small amount of salt to the water (1TBN per 10 gallons) is also quite safe and therapeutic. Best regards, Anthony

He Put the "Otl" in Axolotl.. My axolotl's gills are badly damaged! What can I do?!?. <The best thing to do with any sort of amphibian/salamander/axolotl when they have body damage is to simply make sure that the animal has freshwater in which to live in.  They usually heal themselves quite quickly when given a bacteria free environment with nice freshwater.> Can the water's PH balance cause this? Can he repair himself? <The pH shouldn't have effected the animal in that way, unless the water levels are extremely acidic.  If his gills are damaged by tears then hi might have an aggressive tankmate that's hurting him.  Or perhaps he has some skin/gill parasites that are making him rub on things damaging his own gills.  There are some great sources online to learn more about axolotls.  here is one with some brief info. http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/4301/axolotlhealth.htm Hope that helps.-Magnus>

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>

Clownfish, cant find help anywhere... and bizarre Newt situation I've been researching the web for over an hour and cant seem to find what wrong with my pair of freshwater clownfish. <I have never heard of a fish with the common name "Freshwater Clownfish".  Do you know what the Latin name or other common names are for this fish.   I really can not help because I'm at a loss of what fish you are referring to.   They can only swim up, not side to side anymore.  This behavior has been going on for weeks, but never so bad. <That is also something unusual in any fish...> They had ick about a week ago and doesn't seem to be there anymore, I treated it.  In addition, there may or may not have the white cotton around mouth. <The white cotton around the mouth is a Fungal infection that you can treat with medicines.  But, if it has cleared up already then most likely the medicine you treated with helped fight the infection.> I cant tell what's normal.  Please help. Also, my newt wont eat, has no arms. but has been alive for weeks, should I perform euthanasia. <Did your newt have it's arms bitten off? did the newt lose it's arms? a bacterial/fungal infection? Is it sharing the tank with the fish?  If so, Newts really shouldn't be with fish (aside from feeder guppies), they should have their all their own.  If you have the newt separated, and are providing it with constant supply of freshwater then there is a chance that your newt will regrow it's arms.  To learn more on newts go to this site: http://www.centralpets.com/care/pets/reptiles/salamanders/2541/1/1/petcare.php  It should offer you information on how to care for your little guy.> thanks so much Diana Boyer <good luck, and let me know what type of fish is a "Freshwater Clownfish".  The only thing I can think of is a Marine Clownfish that was forced to acclimate to lower salinity.   -Magnus>
No idea what's wrong with my clownfish
First of all, i really appreciate your response i am really new to this whole thing and so far it seems pretty hard. <No prob, that is what we are here for.  Once you get the hang of it, it won't be hard at all.> I've had the tank for about a month now.  its a 30 gallon tank. ammonia was high one time, so we put AmmoLock in it, and just did again today. <With all new tanks there is a point were the ammonia builds up.  It's the start of the nitrogen cycle.  You need to give tank time to build up the beneficial bacteria to help break down waste and other harmful things.>   to treat the ick, we used Ickguard. i don't think the newt has ever eaten.  he is in the same tank.   <You should set up a tank specifically for these animals.  They need specific environment to thrive.  Here is another reference for you to read and learn more about these amazing critters.   http://www.livingunderworld.org/caudata/database/salamandridae/cynops/ Our newts have tanks specifically designed for them, and are very happy and healthy.> we have tried 3 different foods, but he is still alive despite having no arms, he swims fine too. <They loose their arms in nature from disease or predators, and have the ability to regrow them given the proper conditions.> but doesn't look very happy.   <I wouldn't be happy if I had no arms and hadn't eaten in a while either. heh ) the newt chills on a raft at the top of the tank, he is a Chinese fire-belly newt, it is obvious to me that he has lost a lot of weight since when we got him over 3 weeks ago. <The best course of action is to set up a tank for him.  It does not need to be large.  We have a 3.5 gallon hex tank with rock work and water at the bottom so our can swim and climb out when he wants to.  We have had ours for many years.>   i have seen one of the fishes in the tank snip at the newt, but i also read about the possibility of him having a disease. <if a fish should nip at the newt it can break the skin and allow bacteria to get into the wound and thus give the newt bacterial infections that can lead to bacterial rot of limbs or death.> in the beginning, he had a newt friend that somehow disappeared, so i was afraid he got depressed, but am weary about putting another newt in there and getting that one sick. <"somehow disappeared" isn't good.  it could possibly have been eaten.  I would NOT but another newt in this tank!  You have already lost one, and this one is not eating and has lost it's arms.  That should tell you that the conditions are not right and you shouldn't have one in this tank, let alone add more to the mix.  Read everything you can on the care of newts and set up a tank specifically designed to care for these animals.  Once this newt becomes healthy and eats, then and only then should you even think about getting more.> since last night, i lost one of my clownfish.  the mouths of the clownfish (clown loach), seem to always be open. <If fish have their mouths always open it could be a sign that there isn't enough oxygen in the water.  or that the ammonia levels are high enough that it's damaging their gills.  I would start by adding an airstone and airpump to the tank to help raise the oxygen levels.> we have only done one partial water change this month, and it was for the ick treatment.  also, the heater kept coming unplugged, so the water temp has been up and down, i did not raise the temp. of the tank when putting the ick treatment in. i will definitely purchase a water testing kit this weekend. <having a test kit will really help you realize what is happening with the tank.  and know where the cycle level is at.> and ill email you with the results. i know something is wrong, because i lost my two catfish last week too. thanks a lot. diana Boyer <I suggest you also look at getting some books on freshwater tanks.  Read and research as much as you can, this will help you understand what is happening in your tank.  You can't rush into setting up a ecosystem like this.  Good luck. -Magnus>

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

Dwarf African frog with fungus  8/19/04 Bob and crew, <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I am currently having a problem with a fungus affecting one of my dwarf African frogs.  I have a 2 gallon acrylic tank with a BioWheel power filter that houses two dwarf African frogs and one immature guppy.  Life has been good for a while and the guppy has been growing pretty fast (had him since he was about 3/16" long.  For the past couple of days, the female frog has been hanging out at the surface of the water, using a plastic plant to keep the front half of her body out of the water.  Normally both frogs stay on the bottom except when feeding or getting air.  I was concerned, but had no other symptoms to go off of, so I let it go.  Yesterday, I found that her right hind leg is covered in a white fuzz (a fungus obviously) and she was not moving it.  She also is not eating.  I did an immediate 50% water change with distilled water, and replaced the filter (with carbon) just in case there was something in it affecting the water quality.  It's been 24 hours now and while it doesn't appear any worse, it also doesn't appear better.  The male frog and guppy are unaffected, but I don't have a quarantine tank to put the female in.  Assuming that the fungal outbreak was caused by bad water conditions, how long should I watch for improvement before resorting to medication of the tank?  Otherwise, if I should medicate now, what would you recommend for frogs? <She may have scraped her foot (any sharp rocks?), leaving it open to infection.  I have had success with Melafix for this problem with aquatic frogs. You can also use Pimafix in unison with Melafix, for a 1-2 punch.  These products are ok to use without quarantine, but remove the carbon.  A water change is a good idea.  These should be done weekly.  Distilled water isn't necessary, just use lukewarm tap water (same temp as tank) & dechlorinator, for water changes.>   Thanks for any help, David <I hope she gets better soon!  ~PP>

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>

African dwarf frog or clawed injury? <Hi, MikeD here> today my female Betta who had been living in a 1/2 gallon bowl (no filtration) died.<Sorry> I'm not sure how yet but I am taking the water into an aquarium store to have it tested. she was maybe 3 mo.s old so it was really sudden...but anyway I cleaned out the tank with hot water and all that good stuff. also in the tank (I know its too small but she was lonely)<No. She was happy and YOU thought she was lonely.> was a tiny African dwarf frog (or clawed-not sure). they were happy together.<Unusual. Often Bettas will kill or maim small dwarf clawed frogs, attempting to eat them.> but I decide that I didn't want ANY of the old water back in the new tank so I picked him up (clean hands) and tried to move him into another clean bowl temporarily. he escaped my grasp and jumped off the kitchen counter onto the floor. in his confused pace I managed to scoop him up and return him to the bowl.<Good> before that happened though he was searching around for the Betta, but now he looks for her and seems to have like the hiccups...but he shed like 4 days ago. he doesn't appear to be physically injured. is my frog broken?<Possible, but not likely. The shedding of the cuticle is a good sign> also if this is any help he may have something wrong with his foot; there was another frog in the tank and the other frog bit about 1/3 of his foot off and I've been looking after that.<Often it's the Betta that bites the foot off.> I don't know if this affects his weirdness.<NO, amphibians can be tough and heal amazingly.> I moved the frog into another bowl with a male Betta but they get along and the male has never even tried to hurt the frog at all...even when the frog kicked him in the face... but can you please help my fallen frog?!?!?<I can't help him, but if you quit putting him in with Bettas, YOU might. As a rule they are just too tempting a tidbit, particularly in a small container. Not what you want to hear, I'm sure, but it's the truth as I know it.>

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

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. 

A question about a newt Hello, I am worried about a white spots and white areas spreading among the  Chinese newt's neck, spine, and tail. I think it is a fungal infection although  I am not sure, it is smooth to the touch. The newt hasn't been eating as much as   it has been in the past. I think its the water conditions and I changed the   water and the white areas haven't decreased but increased in width among the   spine and tail. Any advice on how to solve this? I am having difficulty in   finding web sites regarding newts. < If the spots are spreading and appear more like patches then I think you have a bacterial infection. Many times these infections are caused by  dirty water and high in nitrates. Without a culture this would be guessing. My best advice is to make sure the water is clean and the filter has been serviced. An antibiotic I would try is Nitrofuranace or Erythromycin. Good luck.-Chuck> thanks.

Frog Query Hope you can help.  My son has two green tree frogs.  The smaller of the two has started to lose weight.  It doesn't seem to be interested in eating. There seems to be a brown patch on it's side.  The other frog in the cage is larger and very healthy and lively.  This little one just sits there and doesn't move around much.  It's eyes look closed or like the lid is shut. There are no vets in my area that can even answer simple "frog care" questions better yet what to do with this little one that is sick.  Help!! What do I do for it? Jen >>>Hey Jen, Sounds like a possible fungal infection to me, but I can't be sure without seeing the animal. Has the this frog been dewormed? It also sounds a little bit like he might have parasites. I'm mostly experienced with lizards so I'm going to refer your question. Please call this number (510) 841-1400, East Bay Vivarium -  and tell them you have a frog husbandry question. They will do a better job than I can. Cheers Jim<<<
Injured Dwarf African Frog  10/24/04
Hello, <hi, Pufferpunk here> I have had an African dwarf frog for about four years.  Tonight it seemed that he may be stuck under a rock so I tried to lift it slightly (which I shouldn't have done) and then it fell on one arm.  The arm is now curled up, especially the digits. He swims with some trouble now. I read that frogs repair themselves very quickly. What is your opinion on this situation? <I'm sorry your froggy is hurt.  You're not the 1st one to injure your own frog though.  I once closed the lid on one of my tree frogs legs & cut it off it's arm. Not only did his arm grow back, but every one of his suction cupped fingers too!  I think your frog will be fine, but I suggest adding Melafix for bacterial infection preventative & fast healing.> Thank you, Christie Bredenbeck <I hope your frog is hopping again soon!  ~PP>

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.

Frog with something stuck in its throat? I think my frog has a stick or something stuck in his throat.  When he swallows it appears as if he is in pain and he is not eating.  How could I open his mouth or what should I do? <Very carefully... hold the frog in a damp towel... and use a blunted thick wooden toothpick (maybe one you've chewed a bit on the end) to open the mouth from the middle... carefully look... a flashlight that you can hold between your teeth... or a friend who can help you with this. Good luck. Bob Fenner>

Dead Frog Scam? - 02/10/2005 Hi I just bought 2 African Dwarf Frogs today. When I bought them, they were floating at the top of the tank and not doing much moving at all (if at all). I asked the worker at the store and he said that that's just what they do.  <Though they ARE somewhat sedate animals, I have never seen them too terribly inactive at stores.... Usually they're milling about at least somewhat.> On the ride home, they didn't move in the bag. When I got home, I emptied the bag into the water after letting it sit for a while and they simply floated to the bottom of the tank and didn't move.  <Not at all a good sign.> Eventually, one floated (not swam, floated) to the top with his nose near the surface and didn't move at all. The other simply stayed on the bottom on his back.  <Yeah, that's not at all normal.> After about an hour of not moving, I took both frogs out of the water (I have other fish and if the frogs are sick I don't want to get the fish sick) <I'm not sure many diseases can transfer from amphibians to fish - but if they were to die in the tank, it could severely foul your water and cause problems for the fish that way.> and put them into other containers. <Any response when they were removed from the water? Also, what were the temperature(s) of all of these tanks/containers? Any idea of water parameters, including at the store?> They both stayed in the exact same position, one with his nose near the top, the other on his back. I gently poked both and they appeared to move slightly (when I first placed them in the tank) but other than this I have seen no movement. Is it likely that I was sold dead frogs? <Well, it certainly doesn't sound too good. I would absolutely consider returning them to the store - if they're not dead, they're almost surely very unhealthy. Also, do keep in mind that cold temperatures can be harmful to the frogs - if the tank water is very cold, it would cause them to be quite inactive.... Definitely try to find a store that has more active froggies for you to look at, and do a bit of research as to their needs before you purchase more; it sounds to me like the store you visited might not know much (if anything) about them. Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

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> 

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>

Frog with cloudy Eye 3/22/05 Hi - <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I have an Asian Bull Frog (Chubby Frog) and his right eye has a cloudy discoloration over it. Do you have any idea what might be causing this? He seems totally healthy otherwise but I'm concerned as to what could be wrong. <Generally, this is caused by poor water quality/dirty tank. Make sure to be meticulous with the cleaning of the tank & changing of his water. You can buy a product called Melafix, in the aquarium fish med isle. You can get a dropper & drop 1 drop in each eye/day, until it clears up. ~PP>

African Dwarf Frog, Invert??? I have a flame dwarf Gourami in a 20 gallon tank with an African dwarf frog. My flame dwarf Gourami has come down with some major abdominal bloating and I was told to use the APPLUS anti-bacterial solution to relieve the bloating.  However on the bottle of the anti-bacterial solution it says warning, do not use with inverts. I've looked all over the web trying to find out whether my frog is an invert or not, but have received no info. PLEASE can you tell me: is my African dwarf frog an invert??? <Oh... frogs are amphibians... are vertebrates, not invertebrates (along with reptiles, birds, mammals... and fishes!). Bob Fenner>

FAT TOAD - Time to Start Using Capitalization! Hi. I know I'm concerned with Jeff most of the time, but there are a lot of questions I have. Well, as much as I hate to admit it, Jeff is kind of fat. How do I safely slim him down? < The key is to make him work harder for less food. Just like we are told to eat less and exercise. Feed the tank smaller crickets a few times a day instead of dumping in a whole mess all at once. Toss in a couple small crickets before school and a couple when you get home from school. Any that make it through the day will come out a night when Jeff is out and about.-Chuck> <It is at this point that I will admonish you for continually sending in emails without using any capitalization whatsoever.  While we are happy to answer your questions, we are not happy to retype your queries. Marina>

Bloated firebelly newt Follow-up Thanks for the information. Any cures for gut impaction other than hoping nature take its course?  <I would think you could use Epsom salts at a rate of 1 teaspoon per ten gallons and if he is still eating you could use vegetables like peas.>

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>

Newt Problems One of my newts bit off three legs of a smaller one.  Now it looks as  if the legs are "shedding" or like they have a fungus.  I keep cleaning out  the tank to make sure the water is clean but am not sure what to do for the poor   thing.  It has now been a week since this happened and I am afraid the poor  thin will die.  I have since removed the other newt. Can someone help me to  help this little creature or is he destined to die?   Theresa < The legs will grow back if they do not fungus. I would get a Dr. Turtle block by Zoomed and place it in the water. Take a  wet cotton ball and wipe down the fungus off the legs.-Chuck>

Frog's Not Hopping Hello, I've just been on you're very useful website and I know I'm probably clutching at straws here but I was wondering if you can help... </DIV>   My Whites Tree Frog 'Bud' has been sick for some time now. He is eating willingly, with a little help from me holding his food. He lost a lot of weight, and it was at the point that I feared he would not make it. Hence the first trip to the vets...    Yet 6 months later he is still here, has gained a lot of weight, and is now as I would describe of 'average weight'. But it does not end here. He seems to be having difficulty controlling his limbs. He struggles to move around the tank freely, and when picked up he goes into a (excuse the description!) 'Starfish' position, legs splayed and toes curled. (If a photo would help I could forward one) He also seems to dry out a little, even though the humidity is high and I spray the tank thoroughly daily.   I have spoken to the vets and they cannot explain it. They assure me that if it was anything contagious/wrong with the habitat/a deficiency, my other frog 'Weiser' would almost definitely have shown symptoms by now. After the first trip to the vets I considered isolating him, but took into account what the vet had said and decided not to. I feel they would both get unduly stressed as they are a breeding pair.   They both live in a large 2ft square, 1/4 water, 3/4 land tank. In the water side they have a large waterfall & pump (to aid humidity). All water used in the tank is treated with 'Exo Terra, Aquatize for amphibians'. In the land side the substrate is large orchid bark chippings, covered in live moss. The tank is always kept clean. I also use pebbles, artificial plants, and corkscrew vines for decoration. The lighting is partly natural and partly artificial, I also have a heat mat at the rear of the tank and the temperature is correct. I treat the live food once a week with 'Nutrabol' vitamin supplement, and vary the diet with crickets & mealworms. (any other information needed I am happy to forward). <</DIV>   I have searched the net, read books, and asked vets; but cannot find anything sounding like the symptoms he displays. I am not overly worried as he does not appear to be suffering, and is happily eating. I would just like him to get back to being his old lively self! If you cant help then not to worry, I just thought I'd try! Many Thanks < Go to Allaboutfrogs.org/info/species/whites.html. There is lots of good info about frog problems. Especially check out the frog doctor. There are a number of things discussed that could be helpful.-Chuck>

Bloated Newt 3.28.05 Chinese Fire Belly Newt is extremely bloated. Any suggestions or ideas on possible causes? <I'd be willing to bet the bloating is related to the newts diet or something else that it has ingested. I would try varying the diet (I am not sure on what all a fire belly newt will eat) any roughage would be a plus, worms, avoid dry pelleted foods for a while. There is also the possibility that it ingested something foreign like a piece of gravel or other substrate which caused a gut impaction. Gage>

Frogs with Salt Hello, you're website has been a great help to me in many regards. I have one question that I haven't found an answer for yet. I have 2 African dwarf frogs in a 29 gallon tank along with some mollies, guppies, platies and some neon tetras. My water levels are all good. I have read that ADF's can handle some aquarium salt in the water but not much, but can't seem to find any specifics on exactly how much salt per gallon they can tolerate. Would you happen to know how much salt per gallon is acceptable for ADF's? Thanks. <Frogs really don't like any salt at all in their water. Frogs breath through their skin. There is a point in which salt will actually outright kill your frog and then there is a little amount that will weaken your frog and he will die from a disease before the salt actually kills him. I would try to limit the salt. I know your livebearers love it but the neons and frog really doesn't. Start at a teaspoon per 10 gallons and what the reaction from your fish and frog. While the livebearers may thrive the others may come down with other problems down the road.-Chuck>

Rana pipiens-Leopard frog We have an aquarium/Planet frog habitat with 2 tadpoles. One is growing normally but the other seems to have stopped and became pale. It also lies on its side. I thought it was dead but it swam a little. Sometimes it chases its tail. I'm not sure what to do if anything. It has been about 2 weeks since it  looked healthy. The other continues to grow normally. Lauren banks        Lauren >> This is common in many frogs. Tadpoles of some species release growth inhibiting hormones to stop other tadpoles from growing. Try separating the weaker one to see if he will pick up growing again. Good Luck, Oliver

Frog with cloudy eye 7/7/05 Hello, I have been gone for a couple of weeks and have had a friend caring for my fish and other pets, but today when I returned home I discovered that one of my African dwarf frog's eyes were clouded over, I'm not sure what I should do about this and would greatly appreciate your opinion. Thanks. <Check your water quality, change some water... make sure it is feeding and all should be well in time. Bob Fenner>

Re: frog w/ clouded eyes 7/13/05 Hi Bob,      you were the one who responded last time so I'm writing to you by name , plus it feels better to write to someone in particular. Any way, My African dwarf frog's eyes have not cleared up  yet and he is spending all day at the very corner of the tank. His skin is looking very odd as well. I put him in an isolation tank away from all of my other fish. Also I tested the water and it was fine. PH. a little high but that's it. what do you think is wrong? Any suggestions?                                                 Angy <Yes... I'd administer 250 mg. per ten gallons of system water with a mix of Sulfa drugs... "Triple Sulfa" if you can find it. Bob Fenner>

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>

Frog Problems 8/2/05 Hope You can help us we are trying to start a African dwarf frog tank, with no luck. we have a small 5 gallon acrylic bow front tank with a corner bubbler type canister filter, all the water conditions are fine i.e. ammonia, nitrates, ph.... it is NOT heated , the water stays around 72 degrees, the tank has been running for about a month ,MT,  we have tried twice to add frogs (4 young about 1 inch each time) but both times they all died with in a week or two. We are feeding them HBH frog and tadpole bites. We have no problems with our other 3 tanks (thanks to your GREAT help) , 55 Gallon Cichlids tank , 30 gallon GSP tank (soon to upgrade) and a 25 gallon community tank. We have read your forums and seen to have the tank set up right, Caves to hide in, Low water movement, i.e. the canister filter, broad leaf plastic plants (no live plants)  HELP why are we always committing Frogicide? Thank You, Mike < Many frogs are held at wholesalers and retail stores and never seem to get enough to eat. If would recommend that you get a few frogs and feed them Calif. black worms. Just throw them in the tank and the frogs will find them and fatten up. Once they are eating then you will be on your way.-Chuck>  

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