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FAQs About African Dwarf Frogs, Disease Diagnosis

FAQs on African Dwarf Frog Disease: ADF Health/Disease 1, ADF Health 2, ADF Health 3, ADF Health 4,
FAQs on African Dwarf Frog Disease by Category: Environmental, Nutritional, Social, Trauma, Infectious (Virus, Bacterial, Fungal), Parasitic, Treatments,

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

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

Mystery deaths!    7/26/19
Hello,
<Jarred,>
I’m writing because I feel I’m doing everything properly, but am still dealing with a lot of deaths. Obviously I’m doing something wrong, I just don’t know what.
Here is my situation.
I have a 35 gallon planted tank, that I originally set up as a betta sorority. It housed 6 female Bettas, 9 neon tetras, and Two African Dwarf Frogs.
One by one my Bettas Died off, most of which had the same symptom, Dropsy.
<Curious.>
My neons were disappearing also!
<They do tend to. They're a species I recommend against. The quality of farmed stock isn't great.>
I did notice one of my ADF got a white bump on his nose. After some online reading, I figured she must have burned her self on the heater. Since she was still acting normally, and eating well, I wanted to let her be. I did however replace my heater with two smaller heaters that make less of a foot print.
<Not sure I understand this.>
I did a fishless cycle before added anything to the tank. Once I did add life to the tank I was doing water test about once/twice a week, and always had 0Ppm Ammonia, 0Ppm Nitrites. If the nitrates were close to 20ppm I did a 20% to 30% water change.
<Sounds fine.>
About a month and a half ago, I installed a uv sterilizer to my canister filter in the hopes that any pathogens would die off.
<UV doesn't really work this way. UV is useful in industrial settings (like fish shops) by slowing down the rate at which motile pathogens can pass between tanks of livestock sharing the same filtration system. UV can also be useful in killing off algae that lives in the water, such as diatom blooms. It doesn't do much for anything stuck onto fish already, or bacteria latent in most tanks, such as Mycobacteria and Pseudomonas. Indeed, UV is pointless for most casual freshwater aquarists.>
Then about a month ago, I figured there might be a parasite, or harmful bacteria in the tank, so I pulled my last two tetras out, and put them in a 2.5 gallon tank.
<Much too small, except perhaps for quarantine purposes.>
I had just gotten a new betta, but put her in a separate 5 gallon tank, For both of those tanks I used filter media from the problematic tank, and have had no issues.
<Good.>
The only thing left in my tank are my two African Dwarf Frogs. Normally I would have pulled them out as well; but they were actually doing well and I didn’t have another tank for them.
<Understood.>
Recently, one of my adf has stopped eating, and she is getting skinny. They also spend a lot time at the top of the tank. This might be due to my apartment getting much warmer.
<Agreed.>
Their tank now sits at about 82 degrees,
<Much too warm.>
I installed an ac, in the hops to keep it down. I have had mixed results.
<Floating a plastic food container (like the ones you get Chinese take-out food in) filled with frozen water can do a quicker job.>
I have NO IDEA what is causing all these problems. Do you know what I can do to save my ADF, and how I can get my tank to support life.
There is only two other things I can think to mention.
1. I had grapewood in my tank. I’ve read that it rots really quickly and can cause problems in a tank. I removed it 3 days ago.
<Good. Always worth "controlling all the variables" by removing stuff that might be suspect to see if it helps.>

2. The person who had the tank before me said they used cleaning products on the side of the tank before he sold it to me. Before I added anything to the tank, I scrubbed the glass with Vinegar, and siliconed it with aquarium safe silicone, I also added a carbon filter for a bit, just incase
<Carbon will remove medication, so you can't use this while medicating.>
Any advice helps! Thanks
<My suspicion is bad luck more than anything else. Perhaps a bit of questionable stocking, with African Dwarf Frogs in all honesty rarely doing well for long when kept with fish. Starvation is a real risk with ADFs, and if they only eat one thing, say, bloodworms, then vitamin deficiency can become a problem even if they seem to be eating fine. In any event, I'd focus on the 35 gal tank for now, and basically leave it alone to sort itself out. Some livestock may die, in the case of the Neons especially, but that's probably not your fault -- though do remember Neons need cool (22-24 C) water and low hardness (1-12 degrees dH, pH 6-7) to do well. I would not medicate UNLESS there were obvious symptoms you could use to determine a specific disease. Even then, I'd avoid anything "broad brush" like Melafix that doesn't really do much. Antibiotics are often recommended in the US, but elsewhere, reliable antibacterials such as eSHa 2000 would be a better bet. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Mystery deaths!    7/26/19

Thank you so much Neale.
<Welcome.>
I should mention that in my first e-mail I said he used chemicals on ‘side of the tank’, but I meant, the ‘inside’ of the tank.
<Understood. But realistically, if a tank is rinsed properly after cleaning chemicals are used, it's highly unlikely enough will remain to kill off any livestock.>
I have only been feeding my Adf’s Blood worms, but I know when they eat because I always feed them with tongs. Also, I just started feeding them Tubifex worms also. The sick one has had some, but not a lot.
<Tubifex, especially live, are not considered a safe food. Bloodworms are a grey area, and there's some concern they may harbour diseases. If gamma-irradiated frozen, both should be safe in terms of disease.>
I was able to find a cheep 10 gallon tank, so I put my sick ADF in there.
<Should work well.>
I assumed the warm water was strictly due to the weather change (where I live, our summers are crazy hot, and our winters are crazy cold), but yesterday I tried turning down all my heaters and that seems to make a difference. The water since yesterday has been sitting at about 79 degrees. I will try freezing some water tonight.
<Sounds good.>
Have you heard of grapewood/vine causing massive die off?
<Sometimes it's not the wood itself, but chemicals used to spray them, such as pesticides. Have made this mistake with rose plant wood collected from a garden. Almost all the fish died within hours, and those that survived, once the wood was removed and water changed, went on to live happy lives -- the catfish is still with me now, some 25 years later!>
What else should I be feeding my Adf’s?
<Small live foods are good, tiny earthworms probably the best. Live Daphnia are safe, as are live or frozen brine shrimp, though live brine shrimp only last a couple hours in freshwater, so add just a few at a time. Tiny pieces of prawn, cockle and white fish fillet may be taken.>
I live in Canada, I can’t get antibiotics without a vet, and there are no aquatic vets near me. I’ve called every pet store, vet, vet college I can think of, and none of them are able to help me find something appropriate.
<If you Google the likes of "Xenopus" with "disease" or "health" you will find a lot that is relevant. Xenopus are ubiquitous in biological labs, so there's a vast wealth of information on their care. While Hymenochirus are obviously a low smaller, their healthcare is essentially identical. Start, for example, here:
http://www.xenopus.com/disease.htm
The main thing to remember is that Hymenochirus are tropical animals and more prone to damage because of their size, but other that that, they're much like scaled-down Xenopus.>
Thanks again!
<Welcome, Neale.>

African Dwarf frog help      6/5/19
Hi,
<Hello!>
I'm new to the hobby and started fishkeeping in January.
<Welcome.>
Since then, I've expanded from 1 10 gallon tank to 3 separate tanks. I just had an African dwarf frog die tonight after I placed it in quarantine yesterday and I'm not sure why. I'd like to try to figure it out to make sure my other frogs are ok.
<Going to direct you to some reading first:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/FrogsArtNeale.htm
With amphibians (and reptiles) generally, most diseases are best prevented rather than treated, and under good conditions both amphibians and reptiles are remarkably hardy and healthy. Indeed, even if you do have a vet trained to handle amphibians and reptiles (what vets call 'exotics') things like frogs are often too small to medicate successfully or, more usually, not economically worth medicating when the medicine costs ten times more than the frog cost. So, bottom line, get the basics right, and life is better
for both you and the frog.>
Here we go.
<Fire away.>
The tank is a 54 corner bowfront. It was started at the beginning of April in the Walstad method. It is fully planted, soil base with gravel top layer. The gravel is aquarium gravel, definitely larger than all of the mouths of the fish. There is no filter. I have 1-2 powerheads circulating water at lowest setting. I use 2 100 watt heaters to keep the tank around 78-79 degrees F. There are two pieces of driftwood (Malaysian driftwood and Manzanita). After about 3 weeks, I had 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 0 nitrate. I added 4 African dwarf frogs and 2 clown Plecos. within a week, I lost one dwarf frog. I'm not sure why, possibly fungus as he had white cottony something on him.
<Cotton-wool like fluff can be fungal infections; the fluff are the hyphae infecting (secondarily) wounds caused by handling or aggression. Skin shedding is more like transparent sheets of tissue peeling away. It's very distinctive.>
It could have been shedding skin. He died before I could fully treat him.
no other frogs showed any problems.
<That's a good sign. Often with frogs there's an all-or-nothing situation.
If the other frogs are undamaged and uninfected, they will hopefully go on to live happy lives. That said, the flip side is that there are certainly fungal and bacterial infections that can be contagious. However, such infections are often (if not quite always) secondary to the frog being damaged, starved, harassed, or otherwise in some way having its immune system compromised.>
Fast forward now, my tank currently holds 1 male Betta, some rummy nose tetras, black phantom tetras, dwarf Corys, pearl Danios, snails. I finished treating the tank for ich about a week ago. I was using Metroplex and focus to make sure the invertebrates would be safe. I also just stopped running a UV sterilizer due to a pretty spectacular case of green water.
(before this, there was some blue green algae which I spot treated with hydrogen peroxide and some bacterial blooms). When feeding the tank, I feed once a day with 1 cube of frozen food. the frogs come to the front to eat and are able to find food amongst the chaos. I usually feed brine shrimp, a mix called emerald entree, daphnia, or bloodworms for a treat.
<All sounds fine, though I will offer the usual caution that mixing frogs with fish is rarely successful. At the very least, catfish and frogs will compete (especially at night) for food. Frogs are also easily scratched, and even a non-predatory fish like a small Plec or loach could potentially cause harm while fighting over food. Bear in mind that underwater fish wildly outclass frogs and newts when it comes to mobility and perception, and in the wild these amphibians will only be common in places where the diversity and abundance of fish species is low.>
3 days ago, I noticed one of my frogs floating at the top for long periods of time. He also seemed slower to react. The day before and yesterday I was able to catch him pretty easily and he wasn't eating. I tested the water 2 days ago and found I had 0 ammonia, .25 nitrites, and 0 nitrates. I added a double dose of prime for the nitrites. I think what happened is when I did a water change, I accidently stirred up the dirt and increased the nitrite level in the water from the dirt. All other fish and frogs are showing no signs of distress. I have cardinal tetras in quarantine in a 5 gallon tank. They'll eventually go into my 54 to replace the fish I lost to ich. The QTank has an established sponge filter, a heater at the same
temperature as my main tank, and has been housing the cardinals for about 2 weeks. I caught the frog and placed him in the tank. He didn't eat at all.
<Sounds as if this one 'was a goner' by the time you noticed him. If he was newly purchased, I'd be tempted to put that down to bad luck (or at least, bad maintenance at the retailer, starvation and physical damage being two major risks for Hymenochirus spp. during the wholesale and retail phases of the journey to your tank).>
Earlier today, when I came home, he was starting to swim weirdly. he would almost swing in the water, like he couldn't coordinate his limbs to swim correctly. it was like this discoordinated side to side movement. He also would float on top or stay at the bottom. I just found him on the bottom of the tank, dead. I did a visual exam to with a magnifying glass to see what was up. The only thing I saw was red lesions along his underside, a little bit around his lower leg, and on his front claws. The red lesions
looked to be like pinpricks, so maybe bruising?
<Possibly, or simply a secondary bacterial infection: Aeromonas, Pseudomonas, or something else along those lines. Although the following link is to a page detailing the larger Xenopus aquatic frog used widely in labs, the diseases and treatments recommended are identical to the situation with the dwarf Hymenochirus species you're keeping:
http://www.xenopus.com/disease.htm
Red Leg is a common problem with both genera of frogs, though as those writers imply, easily preventable even if treatment can be difficult.>
There seemed to be no other problems with him. He didn't seem bloated or overly thin. I just want to make sure my other frogs and fish are going to be fine.
Thanks for any help!
Christina
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

African Dwarf Frog suddenly sick   2/24/19
Hi,
<Hello,>
I’ve been having some issues with my female ADF who is in quarantine before I add her to a bigger tank. I’ve provided information about the current quarantine tank and my maintenance of it below, as well as a description of the problems.
<Understood.>
The tank is a 2.6 gallon Fluval that’s been running for 3 months.
<Much too small. While these frogs aren't all that demanding, I'd be looking at something around 5-10 gallons as the absolutely minimum for a singleton or small group. Smaller tanks aren't ideal for a variety of reasons we've gone into many, many times before.>
I’ve had the frog for about 2.5 months now; she’s in 3-month quarantine for chytrid and I’d hoped to move her into my 10 gallon cycled tank after.
<Ah, good, yes, 10 gallons much better!>
It’s filtered with the input and output flow baffled by sponges, and kept at 76F. I do 30% water changes weekly/a little more than weekly with Seachem Prime.
<Good.>
It's bare bottom except for like 5 pieces of gravel (it didn't used to be bare bottom) and I use a turkey baster to suck up all detritus on the bottom of the tank during every water change; I started doing 30% changes daily as soon as the ADF started getting sick.
<Sounds like you're maintaining the tank well.>
The pieces of gravel are all bigger than the frog’s head so she wouldn’t be able to swallow them.
<Good! I do prefer fine lime-free sand for African Dwarf Frogs.>
The tank was instantly cycled using seeded media from one of my other cycled and well-established tanks prior to acclimating and adding the frog, and I use the API Master Test Kit to test parameters (0,0,0, but it's cycled; I've just been doing 30% daily changes recently and these are my most recent readings). pH is 7.4.
<Do be skeptical of 0 nitrate levels. These are very unlikely in aquaria.>
I feed thawed frozen bloodworms and brine shrimp about 2-3x a week, and occasionally I use ZooMed frog and tadpole bites instead but I'd say no more than once every two weeks. I feed her until I see that her stomach is a little round.
<Good.>
As for the issues that came up with her, basically I’ve been seeing some reddish spots, a spot of torn webbing on her left foot, a bump on the back of her neck with some fuzziness, a lump on left side of abdomen, and puffing out of her mouth – all suddenly arising on Thursday/Friday.
<Does sound like an opportunistic bacterial infection, possibly with a fungus component as well. Cotton wool-like tufts are usually fungus. Anything more like off-white slime or speckles with pale reddish patches tends to be bacterial. Essentially the same thing as Finrot on fish, and treated the same way.>
She was hiding a lot on Thursday but now isn’t; she stays on the bottom as usual and seems relaxed when going up for air but overall seems a little tired and less reactive. I thought she had tattered sheds at one point and was freaking out about chytrid but turns out she was just biting at it and tearing it after it came off in one piece.
<Hymenochirus, like Xenopus frogs, will moult sheets of skin periodically. They will use their front legs and their mouth to sometimes tear sheets off. So if the shreds are clear, very thin sheets, they're probably dead skin.>
I've had this frog since December 3rd and as said earlier I am quarantining her for chytrid. (Originally I had a small male frog with her as well, but he never ate in my care no matter what I tried and passed away about a month later; I think he was sick when I got him but I never figured out what it was.)
<I would agree; often these frogs are starved in the tank at the retailer, and stand little/no chance of recovery.>
I last successfully fed this current frog with thawed frozen bloodworms on Sunday and she looked and behaved normally for the next few days, but Thursday night I noticed a large bump on the left side of her abdomen and it seemed to be filled with gas since she kept floating to the surface - she had to wedge herself under some driftwood in order to stay at the bottom. She also kept puffing her mouth up; this was when I started daily water changes even though upon testing the water the parameters were normal and temperature was still 76F. Friday morning she was halfway out of the water when I woke up but went back down when I dripped some water on her with the turkey baster; she seemed a bit better then and could stay at the bottom of the tank but her left side (the side with the bump) kept floating up a bit so she was kind of tilted.
<Odd, yes. Do suspect a bacterial infection. I'm going to direct you to some of my favourite reading on frog health, here: http://www.xenopus.com/disease.htm
While you're dealing with Hymenochirus rather than Xenopus, basic healthcare is very similar. Bloating can be a problem with both types of frog, with bacterial infections one possible explanation. Antibiotics, alongside a small amount of Epsom salt in the water (1-3 teaspoons per 5 gallons/20 litres) can help.>
Later that day I noticed a red spot on her chest near her right front leg and also a red spot on the back of her left back leg; I did another 30% change that night. Saturday morning the red spot on her chest seemed a bit bigger (also looks like it’s spreading up to her throat) and I noticed some redness on the veins of her right front foot; there was also a small hole in the webbing of her left back leg, as well as a small bump behind her neck which looks a tiny bit fuzzy. Another 30% water change was performed (of course, all of these are done with temperature-matched water and Seachem Prime). This morning (Sunday) the bump looks fuzzier and red. Her mouth is less puffed up but she’s still kind of tilted. She didn’t respond much to bloodworms on Thursday night and isn’t responding to brine shrimp today.
<Again, I do think you're dealing with a bacterial infection.>
I haven't started any treatments, though I have ordered Maracyn 2, API fin and body cure, and Methylene blue, all of which will arrive on Monday.
<Maracyn 2 is a good choice here. Methylene blue is a treatment for fungus, and if you're not dealing with fungus, isn't necessary. Too many medications can cause new problems, so it's best not to use ones you don't need.>
I currently have Fungus Clear (active ingredients Nitrofurazone and potassium dichromate) but haven’t used it because I don’t know if it’s safe for frogs and I can’t seem to find any information about that online.
<Nor I; while Nitrofurazone is probably safe, I don't know about potassium dichromate at all.>
The only thing I've been doing is the daily 30% water changes since Thursday in the hopes that it was just some issues with water quality even though the API water tests that I did didn't show that anything was wrong, and the redness just seems to be spreading and the fuzziness appeared yesterday morning despite the water changes. She seemed perfectly healthy when I got her 2.5 months ago. As of today (Sunday) she hasn’t eaten, and last night I noticed something which I’m about 99% sure was poop but she still has the lump on her side and although she’s not floating uncontrollably to the top anymore she’s still tilted as if there’s still gas in the lump.
I'm thinking it's potentially red leg/some bacterial thing, constipation/impaction (though I'm not sure what she would be impacted from), and maybe fungus? I’m also wondering if it’s possibly an internal infection that’s causing the lump, but of course I’m not an expert. I'm just at a loss of what to do since it all came on so suddenly and it seems like there’s so many things wrong with her so I don’t even know what medication(s) to use. I know tetracycline is the recommended product for red leg, but it doesn't come up on Amazon - API Furan-2 comes up instead, but I'm not sure if that's the same thing.
<Is not; API-Furan 2 contains Nitrofurazone; whereas tetracycline is an antibiotic.>
The active ingredient in Furan-2 is Nitrofurazone and I wanted to double check before I ordered it in case it's not safe for frogs. What do you recommend me do in terms of medication, feeding, and anything else I could do for her?
<Do see above.>
Thanks in advance,
YJ
<Hope the above helps. Cheers, Neale.>
African Dwarf Frog suddenly sick   2/24/19

Hi,
<Hello,>
I’ve been having some issues with my female ADF who is in quarantine before I add her to a bigger tank. I’ve provided information about the current quarantine tank and my maintenance of it below, as well as a description of the problems.
<Understood.>
The tank is a 2.6 gallon Fluval that’s been running for 3 months.
<Much too small. While these frogs aren't all that demanding, I'd be looking at something around 5-10 gallons as the absolutely minimum for a singleton or small group. Smaller tanks aren't ideal for a variety of reasons we've gone into many, many times before.>
I’ve had the frog for about 2.5 months now; she’s in 3-month quarantine for chytrid and I’d hoped to move her into my 10 gallon cycled tank after.
<Ah, good, yes, 10 gallons much better!>
It’s filtered with the input and output flow baffled by sponges, and kept at 76F. I do 30% water changes weekly/a little more than weekly with Seachem Prime.
<Good.>
It's bare bottom except for like 5 pieces of gravel (it didn't used to be bare bottom) and I use a turkey baster to suck up all detritus on the bottom of the tank during every water change; I started doing 30% changes daily as soon as the ADF started getting sick.
<Sounds like you're maintaining the tank well.>
The pieces of gravel are all bigger than the frog’s head so she wouldn’t be able to swallow them.
<Good! I do prefer fine lime-free sand for African Dwarf Frogs.>
The tank was instantly cycled using seeded media from one of my other cycled and well-established tanks prior to acclimating and adding the frog, and I use the API Master Test Kit to test parameters (0,0,0, but it's cycled; I've just been doing 30% daily changes recently and these are my most recent readings). pH is 7.4.
<Do be skeptical of 0 nitrate levels. These are very unlikely in aquaria.>
I feed thawed frozen bloodworms and brine shrimp about 2-3x a week, and occasionally I use ZooMed frog and tadpole bites instead but I'd say no more than once every two weeks. I feed her until I see that her stomach is a little round.
<Good.>
As for the issues that came up with her, basically I’ve been seeing some reddish spots, a spot of torn webbing on her left foot, a bump on the back of her neck with some fuzziness, a lump on left side of abdomen, and puffing out of her mouth – all suddenly arising on Thursday/Friday.
<Does sound like an opportunistic bacterial infection, possibly with a fungus component as well. Cotton wool-like tufts are usually fungus. Anything more like off-white slime or speckles with pale reddish patches tends to be bacterial. Essentially the same thing as Finrot on fish, and treated the same way.>
She was hiding a lot on Thursday but now isn’t; she stays on the bottom as usual and seems relaxed when going up for air but overall seems a little tired and less reactive. I thought she had tattered sheds at one point and was freaking out about chytrid but turns out she was just biting at it and tearing it after it came off in one piece.
<Hymenochirus, like Xenopus frogs, will moult sheets of skin periodically. They will use their front legs and their mouth to sometimes tear sheets off. So if the shreds are clear, very thin sheets, they're probably dead skin.>
I've had this frog since December 3rd and as said earlier I am quarantining her for chytrid. (Originally I had a small male frog with her as well, but he never ate in my care no matter what I tried and passed away about a month later; I think he was sick when I got him but I never figured out what it was.)
<I would agree; often these frogs are starved in the tank at the retailer, and stand little/no chance of recovery.>
I last successfully fed this current frog with thawed frozen bloodworms on Sunday and she looked and behaved normally for the next few days, but Thursday night I noticed a large bump on the left side of her abdomen and it seemed to be filled with gas since she kept floating to the surface - she had to wedge herself under some driftwood in order to stay at the bottom. She also kept puffing her mouth up; this was when I started daily water changes even though upon testing the water the parameters were normal and temperature was still 76F. Friday morning she was halfway out of the water when I woke up but went back down when I dripped some water on her with the turkey baster; she seemed a bit better then and could stay at the bottom of the tank but her left side (the side with the bump) kept floating up a bit so she was kind of tilted.
<Odd, yes. Do suspect a bacterial infection. I'm going to direct you to some of my favourite reading on frog health, here:
http://www.xenopus.com/disease.htm
While you're dealing with Hymenochirus rather than Xenopus, basic healthcare is very similar. Bloating can be a problem with both types of frog, with bacterial infections one possible explanation. Antibiotics, alongside a small amount of Epsom salt in the water (1-3 teaspoons per 5 gallons/20 litres) can help.>
Later that day I noticed a red spot on her chest near her right front leg and also a red spot on the back of her left back leg; I did another 30% change that night. Saturday morning the red spot on her chest seemed a bit bigger (also looks like it’s spreading up to her throat) and I noticed some redness on the veins of her right front foot; there was also a small hole in the webbing of her left back leg, as well as a small bump behind her neck which looks a tiny bit fuzzy. Another 30% water change was performed (of course, all of these are done with temperature-matched water and Seachem Prime). This morning (Sunday) the bump looks fuzzier and red. Her mouth is less puffed up but she’s still kind of tilted. She didn’t respond much to bloodworms on Thursday night and isn’t responding to brine shrimp today.
<Again, I do think you're dealing with a bacterial infection.>
I haven't started any treatments, though I have ordered Maracyn 2, API fin and body cure, and Methylene blue, all of which will arrive on Monday.
<Maracyn 2 is a good choice here. Methylene blue is a treatment for fungus, and if you're not dealing with fungus, isn't necessary. Too many medications can cause new problems, so it's best not to use ones you don't need.>
I currently have Fungus Clear (active ingredients Nitrofurazone and potassium dichromate) but haven’t used it because I don’t know if it’s safe for frogs and I can’t seem to find any information about that online.
<Nor I; while Nitrofurazone is probably safe, I don't know about potassium dichromate at all.>
The only thing I've been doing is the daily 30% water changes since Thursday in the hopes that it was just some issues with water quality even though the API water tests that I did didn't show that anything was wrong, and the redness just seems to be spreading and the fuzziness appeared yesterday morning despite the water changes. She seemed perfectly healthy when I got her 2.5 months ago. As of today (Sunday) she hasn’t eaten, and last night I noticed something which I’m about 99% sure was poop but she still has the lump on her side and although she’s not floating uncontrollably to the top anymore she’s still tilted as if there’s still gas in the lump.
I'm thinking it's potentially red leg/some bacterial thing, constipation/impaction (though I'm not sure what she would be impacted from), and maybe fungus? I’m also wondering if it’s possibly an internal infection that’s causing the lump, but of course I’m not an expert. I'm just at a loss of what to do since it all came on so suddenly and it seems like there’s so many things wrong with her so I don’t even know what medication(s) to use. I know tetracycline is the recommended product for red leg, but it doesn't come up on Amazon - API Furan-2 comes up instead, but I'm not sure if that's the same thing.
<Is not; API-Furan 2 contains Nitrofurazone; whereas tetracycline is an antibiotic.>
The active ingredient in Furan-2 is Nitrofurazone and I wanted to double check before I ordered it in case it's not safe for frogs. What do you recommend me do in terms of medication, feeding, and anything else I could do for her?
<Do see above.>
Thanks in advance,
YJ
<Hope the above helps. Cheers, Neale.>

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

Dwarf frogs      4/26/18
Hello!
I have 4 dwarf frogs and noticed that 1-2 of them appear to have tiny air bubbles on them. Is this normal?
Water readings:
GH 180
KH 0
PH 6-6.5
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 20-40
Mandy
<Hello Mandy. I do believe these frogs are in good health. So far as I can see from the photos, the skin has the normal pimpled texture, and maybe a bit of silt in the water has become stuck to the frogs. But otherwise they
look well-fed and happy. These frogs moult their skin periodically, little semi-transparent flakes coming off in pieces, and this can look decidedly odd. If the frogs are behaving normally and feeding well, I'd not be concerned. Cheers, Neale.>

ADF not swimming properly       10/25/27
Hello!
I have had 2 ADFs for about 6 weeks and one seems to be doing very well (eating, active, growing) and the other is not. The other seems to have a hard time swimming (flips around erratically, struggles to maintain direction and seems to even struggle with crawling along the bottom) it almost seems as if she is partially parylized, but in different limbs at some times and sometimes she just falls on her back at the bottom. She seems to be interested in food but is struggling to find it.
Nitrates, nitrites and ammonia are all 0 according to my test strips. I can't find any info on what might be causing this issue. She is very thin as well. I have separated her into a smaller tank so its easier to reach the top and so I can monitor her food intake.
Is there anything else I need to be doing? Does she maybe have an injury?
She doesn't seem to have any physical signs of injury or infection.
Thank you so much!
-Kelsey
<Hello Kelsey. African Dwarf Frogs are not fond of deep water or strong water currents, so your first thing to check is that neither apply here.
The fact your frog is underweight would tend to suggest the lack of stability is more weakness than anything else. Optimising diet will help here: live or frozen bloodworms and brine shrimps are good starting points, and if necessary, separate the two frogs, as you're doing -- though do ensure the second tank has water quality at least as good as the main tank. Isolating frogs and fish in 'hospital tanks' that aren't properly heated and filtered will only make things worse. African Dwarf Frogs are fairly hardy animals, but they are prone to starvation, so I will direct you to
some reading, here:
http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/FrogsArtNeale.htm
Medicating or treating sick frogs is difficult, but there are a few options. But first, get the frog feeding! Cheers, Neale.>

Help please for my African Dwarf Frogs     10/12/17
Hi - Just so you know, I am one of those people that Google everything and anything and am usually pretty successful in finding answers to my questions. Well I have been searching for a couple days (at least) to try and figure out what is going on with my ADFs...well one ADF in particular.
I haven't had any luck and it may be that it is an issue that is hard to word in a Google search. I don't have much faith in the knowledge of the staff at my local pet store so I am writing you. I'm sure you are inundated with emails but I figured I'd see if you could help.
<Sure thing!>
I have a 5 gallon, heated and filtered tank and in it are 4 guppies, one mystery snail and now 2 ADF's. I had just one ADF for a few months and then decided she (I assume she is a she as I never hear singing like I have in the past with males) may like to have another ADF to interact with.
<Understood. But like most frogs, they're not really social as such...>
Prior to my adding the 2nd ADF (Ginger), my 1st ADF (MaryAnn) seemed like a happy active frog. She would always come when I tapped on the glass, would follow my finger and dance around for me, and would eat heartily Frozen Bloodworms and/or Brine Shrimp.
<Sounds neat!>
After adding Ginger to the tank, MaryAnn is a different frog. She hides out of sight most of the time, barely eats and seems to want to run from me versus being happy to see me. The new frog (Ginger) is acting normal. Is active and eats heartily.
<Odd.>
What happened to MaryAnn?? Could she be upset that I added another frog?
<Bullying is certainly a possibility, the solution for which, oddly enough, can be adding more -- it's harder for a bully to harass two frogs than just one. On the other hand, a useful trick is to remove the bully, rearrange the tank enough it looks different, then after an hour or so, return the bully. With a bit of luck, this has a "reset button" effect because the bully is now the newcomer again, and the original frog has a chance to assert itself better.>
Ironically, I hesitated at first to get a 2nd frog as I really enjoyed the "special" one on one time I had with MaryAnn. I only got the 2nd thinking it would make her happier to have a little friend.
<Always dangerous imagining animals are people. They're not. Their minds are very different, and animals that aren't gregarious, like frogs, really don't notice or interact with other frogs outside of breeding. Since you're offering the food, you are actually more "interesting" to them than other frogs!>
I don't know if it is my imagination but she does appear to be a tad bloated. That could be due to the fact that I fed her often....not sure.
<Possibly, so do try cutting back the food a bit, or using something with a laxative effect, like Daphnia or Brine Shrimp, to see if it helps.>
Either way, do you have any idea what could be wrong??
Let me know please when you have a chance.
Thanks in advance
Lisa
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: Help please for my African Dwarf Frogs       10/14/17

Hi Neale -
Thank you so much for your response.
<Most welcome.>
I am not sure why but I originally drafted this to you in September but, for some reason, it didn't go through until October 10th. Possibly because I was on a different computer. Anyway, MaryAnn passed a couple weeks ago.
:(
<Oh dear; sorry to hear that.>
I will not be getting another frog to keep Ginger company based on your response below. As long as one frog is happy without another, I am happy with just the one!
<Indeed, this is the case. Good luck with your remaining batrachian buddy!
Cheers, Neale.>

Strange ADF lady lump      7/9/17
Hey there! Looking to see if I can get some help Identifying what my female African Dwarf Frog has; I've tried some different forums, but no one has seen this type of bump before!
<Indeed?>
I've had her and her boyfriend alone together in a 5 gallon tank *(heated @75, gentle filtered)* for about just under 2 years; woke up to her with a strange pointy bump on her back!
<I can see this from your photo.>
Now, I know when they Amplexus she'll sometimes get 'ridges' on her back from him squeezing her so much, but those are symmetrical, and they go away shortly * (in the pics you'll see one in front of the bump)*
But, this lump is asymmetrical, only on one side of her. It's particularly pointed, and not something she's had before. It doesn't seem to be hard.
She never shies away from my hands, so I took a chance and gave her a gentle patting-down when feeding them, to see if I could feel the lump.
Sure enough, I can, but it just feels like a little squishy nub, like the rest of her body. Nothing hard or pointed. She also didn't show any negative reaction to me touching her (albeit disappointment that fingers are not edible), so it looks like it's not anything that causes her any pain.
<So far as you can tell, anyway.>
Her behavior hasn't changed at all, she's still as feisty as ever. She doesn't shy away from me at all, and she's still eating *(bloodworms, brine shrimp, vitamin supplement added) *as usual. She's not trying to rub up against anything, nor is she acting like she's in any pain. Her tankmate is just fine, no growths or any other physical changes, so it's not contagious.
<Agreed.>
Does this look like something to be worried about, like a tumor or abscess, or something similar? The only thing vertical in my tank is the filter intake; maybe she fell asleep next to the it and it kind of pulled her skin there like a little hernia?
<It's a possibility, as is some type of post-coital damage, starvation, or for that matter an avitaminosis of some kind, which often leads to rickets-type things where fish or frogs develop odd deformities. Initially, observe rather than treat if the frog is feeding and otherwise active; certainly review diet, perhaps adding a vitamin supplement if possible. Only if the frog fails to improve after a week or two, or shows signs of stress or starvation, would I think about medicating. Cheers, Neale.>

African dwarf frog help please        5/26/17
Hello,
<Hello!>
I've spent quite a few hours reading over your information and questions regarding African dwarf frogs, but nothing seems to be quite the answer I needed. I have three ADFs living in a 5.5 gallon aquarium with one Betta.
It is filtered and heated to 80 degrees.
<Sounds good.>
Recently I caught my male "hugging" one of my females about 36 hour s ago.
<Amplexus.>
He held on for about 3 hours, and she laid 4 eggs (which were apparently not fertilized).
<Quite possibly.>
Ever since then, she has not eaten, and has a bump on her back, which is right above her tailbone, and is pointy in shape rather then round and soft.
<The bump may well be a result of Amplexus. Post-mating, female frogs can/do become relatively inactive.>
Until this morning her vulva appeared very swollen. For several hour after he let her go she would go upside down at the surface and hip thrust at the air, like she did when he was attached, but that behavior has stopped. The other two frogs and Betta seem to be doing fine, with ph at 7.6, no ammonia or nitrites. I feed a variety of frozen thawed bloodworms, Mysis, and brine shrimp, and I've no doubt they occasionally steal some Betta pellets.
She is also hanging around the heater at the top of the aquarium much more then usual. I'm very worried about her. Since the issues I've done 3 50% water changes, and I use Prime each time. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
<This is one of those times where "wait and see" is the best advice, in the short term anyways. Separating the female, for example in a floating breeding trap, isn't a bad idea, but keep the trap not-too-close to the heater or light otherwise there's a risk she'll overheat and suffocate. If she isn't perking up within the next day or two, write back and we'll think some more. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: African dwarf frog help please     5/27/17
Thank you so much for your fast response! It's reassuring to know they can be inactive after Amplexus, and that I've got someone knowledgeable to give advice. I'll wait and see and hope she gets better soon. The male grabbed
the other female right as I am writing this, but he let go quickly. I'd love to have some tadpoles, but not at the risk of my females lives.
<Understood. Adding fluffy plants (whether real or fake) such as Java Moss can go a long way towards creating safe spaces for eggs and tadpoles.
Surprisingly, people do sometimes find a few survive long enough to be removed (for example with a turkey baster) into a floating breeding trap, and raised in there. Breeding dwarf African frogs is done, and many reports are online for your perusal.>
Thanks again!
<Welcome. Neale.>
Re: African dwarf frog help please     5/27/17

Thank you so much for your fast response! It's reassuring to know they can be inactive after Amplexus, and that I've got someone knowledgeable to give advice. I'll wait and see and hope she gets better soon. The male grabbed
the other female right as I am writing this, but he let go quickly. I'd love to have some tadpoles, but not at the risk of my females lives.
<Understood. Adding fluffy plants (whether real or fake) such as Java Moss can go a long way towards creating safe spaces for eggs and tadpoles.
Surprisingly, people do sometimes find a few survive long enough to be removed (for example with a turkey baster) into a floating breeding trap, and raised in there. Breeding dwarf African frogs is done, and many reports are online for your perusal.>
Thanks again!
<Welcome. Neale.>

re: African dwarf frog help please     5/30/17
Hello,
Thank you again for the advice and information. She finally started eating again, although her appetite isn't quite what it used to be, it seems to be improving daily. I am very grateful for what you guys do, good information is such a valuable resource and you offer it for free, saving countless lives.
<Good to hear things are on the up, and thanks for the kind words. Cheers, Neale.>

My African clawed albino frog. Hlth; no data       2/16/17
My African clawed albino frog looks really veiny is that good or bad thing
<Mmm; can be an indication of stress... too much/little of something necessary. Most often Xenopus show such when in a poor environment; incompatible water quality. Is your system filtered? Have any idea what the nitrogenous waste readings are? Any ammonia, nitrite present? More than 20 ppm of Nitrate? Have you read on WWM re X. laevis care?
Bob Fenner>

ADF with new large bulge under one arm    10/28/16
Hi,
I was looking on your African Dwarf Frog page, and I have a question I hope you can help with. I’ve had 2 male frogs for about 3 years. Recently one of them has developed a bulge under his left armpit. He has always had the small glands under both of his arms, but this one is quite large now and is only on one side. I am attaching a few photos for you.
I am hoping this is something benign, but I can’t find any info on the web. If you can help me figure out what is going on, I would appreciate it. He is behaving/eating completely normally.
Thank you,
Esther
<Hello Esther. Could well be a benign tumour of some sort
. Such things are not uncommon with captive amphibians. They're essentially impossible to diagnose given you can't tell different types of benign from malignant neoplasms without examination of tissue under a microscope. So for the most part, a "hope for the best" approach is what you're stuck with. That said, benign tumours may clear up in time if conditions are optimal, vitamin deficiency in particular being a common problem with captive amphibians and reptiles across to board. Review diet (frozen bloodworms for example aren't enough) and look at either increasing the variety or using a proprietary vitamin supplement with the food. Viruses are another cause of tumours, and again, with good conditions and diet, these can subside in time. Beyond these two ideas, there's little you can do without veterinarian help, and given the size of these frogs, finding a vet able to examine them, let alone treat them, will be difficult. I will direct you to the excellent Caudata.org website, which has a helpful forum that might be able to offer you prompt, specific advice beyond my abilities:
http://www.caudata.org/forum/
Cheers, Neale.>

Re: ADF with new large bulge under one arm     10/29/16
Thanks so much, Neale!!
<Most welcome.>

African Dwarf Frog Illness or Injury - Red Bump        12/10/15
<Five megs of pix?>
Hello,
<Hi there>
I am not sure what is wrong with my African Dwarf frog, and I haven't found a similar question in the forums, so I am hoping you could give me some advice. I have four African dwarf frogs in a ten gallon tank. I noticed last night that one of my frogs has a red bump behind its right jaw (I
don't know of a better way to describe this location).
<This is it. I see what you're referring to>
It grew overnight, and it looks a bit swollen now, but it does not appear to be an open sore.
<Almost assuredly a physical trauma.... the frog charging into something hard. Happens
>
My frog is also acting strange. She spent most of the day near the surface of the water, and she is trying to keep as much of her body out of the water as she possibly can. According to my API freshwater test kit, the water parameters are: Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 20ppm.
<Mmm; I'd not allow the NO3 to get any higher. Do see (READ) on WWM re Nitrate control
>
The water temperature is 78 degrees (F). The other three frogs are acting completely normal, without signs of illness or injury. I have attached pictures for reference.
First, do you think this is an bacterial infection, fungus, or injury?
<The latter; though it may foster the former in time>
Second, should I quarantine her?
<I would not... at this point. Too stressful. Better to wait... and READ:

http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ADFTraumaF.htm
She would be in a 2.5 gallon unfiltered tank because that is all I have available. Thank you so much for your help
- I (and my aquatic animals) would be lost without your website.
- Caroline
<Do please write back if, after your reading, a plan of action isn't clear.
Bob Fenner>

 

Re: African Dwarf Frog Illness or Injury - Red Bump    12/12/15
Hi Bob,
<Caroline>
Thank you for your prompt reply. My frog died the night I sent you that email. I appreciate the information about nitrates. I thought 20ppm was decent, but I'm glad I now know that ADFs are more sensitive to all water parameters than fish.
<Ah yes; tis so. In animal physiology works, lectures, comments I've heard/come across statements that whatever touches their skin (virtually to really) gets inside them>
After the frog died, I performed a 30% water change and removed any debris I could find on the substrate. African dwarf frogs have been harder for me to keep alive, by far, than any of my fish (a violet goby, three mollies, and two guppies- all in a brackish 30 gallon tank). Oddly enough, I have put more effort and time into keeping my ADFs healthy than I have for the fish. I've noticed that the chytrid fungus has not been discussed much on this site.
<You are correct. And I'd like to "admit" to conspiring to not mentioning it, and really most all "misc." pathogenic disease/s, organisms... on WWM.
The reason/rationale? Really just trying to meet/offer folks using the site (vast majority neophytes) "enough" information to "get them by" plus an increment of further sophistication. Put another way, it is my (responsibility, doing) that our readership NOT be overwhelmed by too much information.... which I still fear dissuades folks from involvement. There are many equivalents in other human affairs... the statements re "IF I knew now" re child-having/rearing, finance, personal affairs. Perhaps stated differently still: WWM is aimed, purposely designed for beginners to some intermediate level hobbyists... some business, some science input is proffered, but usually not much detail... Little math, chemistry, physics, or detailed biology. All this being keyed, I will of course post your statements re chytrid fungi and their role as secondary decomposers of not in Hymenochirus (et al.) amphibian disease. And yes; if you have specific suggestions (perhaps WWM II?) re making the site more science based, a "higher" source of scientific sharing, please do.>
I saw that someone asked about chytrid on one of the forums five years ago, but they were told that bad water conditions are far more likely to cause death than chytrid. <This is so; really most all bacterial to try fungal issues are largely environmental in origin, "cause">
I wonder if the prevalence of chytrid has changed since then.
<Not as far as I'm aware; and have just looked on the Net myself. And bcc'd Neale Monks for his further input>
Other sites claim that it is responsible for near-extinction of many amphibians, as well as the poor stock of African dwarf frogs available these days.
<Mmm; how to put this; "once" these infections "get going" they can/do become hyper infective; and can/do overwhelm these animals at times.... A useful lesson in "not overpopulating", mono-culturing, and degrading one's environment>
I have also read that chytrid fungus is highly contagious and can take up to three months to kill a frog, and visible symptoms are not always apparent.
<This is so as well>
Perhaps the chytrid fungus is a bigger problem in the US than the UK, but, if this isn't too much of a pain, I would really like to hear more about the chytrid fungus from one of you because I trust your advice and expertise.
Thanks again!
- Caroline
<Let's see/wait for what Neale has to offer. Bob Fenner>

Re: African Dwarf Frog Illness or Injury - Red Bump     /Neale's input       12/13/15
Hello Caroline, Bob,
<Neale>
It’s increasingly assumed that Xenopus at least played an important role in spreading the chytrid fungus worldwide. Ironically, many of the people keeping Xenopus around the world were scientists who should have known better. But there you go.
Xenopus is a carrier of the chytrid fungus but not especially susceptible to it in terms of sickness and death. Hymenochirus on the other quickly dies if infected, as I understand it. It doesn’t seem to have much innate resistance.
On the other hand, I doubt much mortality of pet Hymenochirus is down to the chytrid fungus. Overwhelmingly, starvation is the main reason pet specimens die prematurely; they’re purchased by inexperienced aquarists who assume they’ll eat flake food like their fish. Of course they don’t eat flake regularly enough to thrive, and as they gradually weaken, they become prone to all sorts of other problems including opportunistic bacterial infections.
<Ah yes>
The quality of Hymenochirus frogs in the trade is pretty poor, and likely bacterial and perhaps protozoan infections are present from the day of purchase. I’m increasingly of the opinion they should be kept in their own tanks and not alongside other fish, even though most of the “big box” pet stores sell them as harmless community tank novelties. Folks who do keep them on their own in quiet, well maintained planted tanks seem to find them relatively easy to keep, so all is not lost.
<Agreed>
If you Google “chytrid” and “Hymenochirus” together you’ll get quite a few links to academic papers and extended blog posts about the topic. While it is of interest, I’d stress again that I doubt it’s a major problem for the farmed frogs you see in the trade. If chytrid fungus was established in the Asian frog farms, you’d expect the frogs to be dead long before they get to your local retailer, and that doesn’t seem to be the case. Starvation, Red-leg, and opportunistic infections seem to be far more prevalent causes of premature mortality.
Cheers, Neale
<Thank you, BobF>

African Dwarf Frog Problem for Ilsa      8/6/15
Hello,
I have an African Dwarf Frog in a 2.65 gallon heated tank that I’m pretty sure has not completely cycled yet.
<Oh. Slightly smaller than I'd recommend; in all honesty, if you've got space for 4-5 gallons, that'll make life a lot better for the frogs (and easier for you).>
I had to move it recently to take over to my friend’s place so they could watch my from Pam while I’m out of town. Apparently she had been doing well for the first four days even though the water was cloudy (I was not terribly worried about his as I have been having problems with this and she’s done fairly well as long as I change the water regularly), but last night and this morning she was sluggish, and she has not been wanting to eat. I have told my friend to do a 1 gallon water change since that usually helps a lot, and to do a combo treatment of Maracyn 1 and Maracyn 2 in case something got stirred up in the move that’s making her sick.
<Understood, and a good course of medications to try (assuming you've removed carbon from the filter, it used). While "stirring up the substrate" isn't a common or even rare source of bacterial infections, opportunistic Aeromonas and Pseudomonas infections are an issue with African Dwarf Frogs generally. Typically a combination of environmental stress and lack of (balanced) food items.>
My question is, is there anything else that could be doing this? All my water stats are well within range, and I’ve weirdly never had a problem with the ammonia, so I am just not sure what to do from here on out, especially if she won’t eat.
<Do let me direct you to some reading:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/FrogsArtNeale.htm
Without knowing specific water quality and chemistry values, water temperature, and type/amount of food, I can't say anything specific. But reviewing the tank yourself, and comparing with my thoughts in that article, may narrow things down.>
I would really appreciate any suggestions, especially since I already had one ADF die on my and I’d really love for it not to happen again since it’s just so sad.
Thank you,
Ilsa
<Cheers, Neale.>

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