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FAQs About African Dwarf Frogs,  Environmental Disease  

FAQs on African Dwarf Frog Disease: ADF Health/Disease 1, ADF Health 2, ADF Health 3, ADF Health 4,
FAQs on African Dwarf Frog Disease by Category: Diagnosis, 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,

Warm (with a heater) as they're tropical; need a filter; IS cycled:
NO ammonia or nitrite tolerated, and a maximum of 20 ppm nitrate.
Size matters. Ten gallons is ideal; anything smaller can be trouble keeping it optimized and stable.

Inherited African Dwarf Frogs       8/16/15
Good day,
<And you>
A month and a half ago I inherited two ADF's from my 5yr old son's classroom. His teacher bought one of those tiny cubed setups which after extensive research I now see are incredibly inhumane. I had no idea what I was getting into prior to agreeing to my son bringing them home at the beginning of summer. I have zero experience with aquatics, have never owned
fish or frogs in my 32 yrs. The teacher indicated their setup from http://www.wildcreations.com/shop, was very easy, minimal water changes (once every few months), and feeding frog pellets (twice/week),
<No and no>

and that was it. These little guys (I believe one guy and one gal) were relatively fine for the first month, though a few weeks ago I noticed their bodies turning red (arms and legs),
<Environmental....>
yet disappeared a few days later. Yesterday, it was back and very bright in color, so I started to research. Many, many hours and countless websites and articles later I now know there is more to it and am doing my best to provide a more humane existence and hopefully help them if they are ill.
<Ah good>
I currently have them in a 1 gallon fishbowl
<Too hard to keep stable and optimized. Need a tank and filtration as covered here:
http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/FrogsArtNeale.htm >
as my step father offered it to me in lieu of the cube after bringing them home. I have been doing daily water changes as it gets extremely murky after their feeds of frozen bloodworms every other day.
<Please; do the above reading, NOW>
I have never tested the water and did not know I had to until today when I read about ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels. I also had no idea about "cycling" until today. I have been completely removing the frogs from their bowl and doing 100% water changes so I can rinse the gravel, bamboo plant, little rocks and house that consist of their habitat. I feel horrible that
I have been putting them through so much stress and trauma over and over unwittingly. I again had no idea this causes the tank to have to cycle all over again, likely spiking and lowering the pH level, etc- which is torture to these frogs.
<Yes>

So, moving forward I would like to get them a proper living environment. I am on a *very* fixed income as I am single, sole support mother who works 3 part time jobs. I cannot simply pop over to a pet store and make hundred dollar purchases without adequate planning and budgeting.
<I suggest Craig's List... gifting these animals to someone who has time, the current means>
I will get them a proper tank with a filter and heater, but I would appreciate some input on what is the best, most cost efficient set up (keeping in mind that we live in a very small apartment and cannot house a 10 gallon tank). My son and I bicycled to the pet store yesterday and saw a 2.65 g tank with a proper filter for $80
(https://ca-en.hagen.com/Aquatic/Aquariums/Starter-Kits-Desktop/12850 ). 
What is your opinion on this?
<Better to make your own set up... can be done in any chemically inert container. Perhaps you can look on Craig's List in turn for a used tank, gear>
From what I've read, most of the issues folks seem to have with smaller aquariums and their aquatic life is inadequate filtering. The water temp is currently at 74. Is this OK, until I can also purchase a heater?
<Yes>
In terms of the body redness, today it seems to be gone and the frogs do not have other symptoms so I am unsure whether it is "red leg", an "opportunistic bacterial infection", or stress related from the water changes and likely ammonia/nitrite spikes.
<All of the above>
They seem quite depressed, yet have very good appetites, thankfully. Also, when they first came home, the male would sing in the evenings. He no longer does this but I am hopeful if there has not been too much internal damage, they might resume healthy behaviors and even mate.
Please share any and all thoughts.
Kind regards,
Sue
<The reading for now (and linked files above), then careful consideration of a workable path. Bob Fenner>
Re: Inherited African Dwarf Frogs       8/16/15

Yes I have read the link (and about a hundred others on your website since yesterday), hence my statement that I am looking to get them a filtered aquarium.
<Ahh>
The question that I had is if I do purchase a small tank (i.e.. 2.65 g), with adequate filtration, will that be enough to give them a good quality of life (with all of the other elements in place that keeping African dwarf frogs entails)?
<Yes>
Also you said, "all of the above"- do you believe they have a bacterial infection, and red leg, despite not showing other symptoms as described when I research these illnesses?
<Red leg symptomatically is linked.... to environmental issues, expressed BY bacterial infection. They are interrelated is what I mean/t>
I am a bit confused by your catch all response.
<Clarity is pleasurable. Sorry for the confusion>
Craig's list is an excellent idea, thank you. Making my own set up is also an option.
<Ah yes; much of the gear used in "commercially made set ups" is inferior, and not a good bargain>
Regarding having the time and means, taking care of dwarf frogs, from what I've read is not extremely time consuming, nor expensive- one simply has to be schooled on how to care for them and their needs. I am considering a "workable path", which should be quite explicit.
<Correct; simply stating that it appears your time, attention is greatly in demand otherwise>
Sue
<BobF>
Re: Inherited African Dwarf Frogs       8/16/15

Hello again,
<Sue>
Tonight my adf's were mating!
<Ah yes; you had mentioned the male "singing">
I had never watched it before so was quite fascinated. Although I've noticed two things: My male's body looks very red all over (along with the very swollen and protruding white glands under his forearms). Is the redness an evening thing, a mating thing or my prior fear of some illness?
<Mostly mating>
The female does not look red at all, although there is a pink patch under one of her forearms that looks raw as though she rubbed it on something.
The second thing I noticed is during their attempted mating (which has happened a total of three times tonight) the female's legs were crossed and her fins moving slowly... they were at the bottom of the tank and I was unable to witness her rise to the top as mating articles suggest. Each time she ended up spasming quite hard and was able to throw the male off and
then quickly dart to the top herself for a breath of air. My main concern is that if she is ill, perhaps she is unable to complete the ritual by swimming to the top with him attached. But, what do I know. This is all quite new to me.
<Neat!>
On another note, they absolutely love the earth worms my son caught for them and I chopped up into small pieces.
<Oh yes>
I have fed them a few twice today and they swim right over to me when they see me, mouths snapping open. I am confused as to their apparently otherwise healthy behavior, if they do have an illness. If the pet store I attended last night had tetracycline in stock, I likely would have begun administering it as per the instructions. Luckily they did not. I am left quite unsure of how to proceed with respects to treating our little ones for an illness, or hope that once their habitat gets sorted out (water, pH, cleanliness, etc)
<Fix the environment first and foremost; no medications needed, advised>
everything will continue to go up for them health wise. Perhaps the apparent redness was simply a stress reaction in their fragile bodies. Or, it is the beginning stages of a fungal infection, as there seems to be very tiny white spots on their bodies- although again, I have never studied dwarf frogs this much and so intently, and scrutinized every single inch of their body so thoroughly- it could be perfectly normal but I would not know. Frustrating indeed.
Any and all help clarifying would be greatly appreciated.
Sue
<I'd go on with your maintenance procedure, but changing only half at most of the water at any time... for stored (for a week or more if you have the room, containers); otherwise the plan for the better system. Bob Fenner>
Re: Inherited African Dwarf Frogs         8/17/15

Hi Bob,
<Sue>
How long does Amplexus usually last? Last night after my male (Hidey), successfully mounted Oval (female) 3 times, he then proceeded to sing all evening and late into the night and try to mount her (unsuccessfully) numerous times. Right now, I just saw them mating again!
<Mmm; yes.... till... the "act is done", really>
Although still no egg laying at the top, simply him holding onto her and staying quite still except for a few small swims and then throwing him off again. I just checked and they are at it again. Is this normal behavior?
<Yes... am hoping with better care (system and nutrition), your frogs are mating due to "times being good" (vs. bad; which can trigger as well). As with most all dioecious species (the majority of life on the planet), the male (more motile gametes) is "ready" to do their part, most all the time... a few days to answer directly here>
Cheers,
Sue
<And you, B>
Re: Inherited African Dwarf Frogs         8/17/15

Good morning Bob,
<Ms. Sue>
Yes you are quite right, my time and attention is in great demand but I committed to providing a home for these little ones and I intend to.
<Ahh!>
Not to mention, we have grown quite fond of them. I also love the opportunity to learn, and this has certainly opened my eyes to the intricacies of aquatic life.
<So very pleasurable>
Today, my little ones are swimming all about- do not seem depressed (hiding) as they were earlier in the week. Thankfully the earth worms are proving to be a success and do not muck up the water so I can leave them be for a few days! In the 1g bowl they are currently in, how often should I change out the water and how much of it at a time?
<Weekly... half if no filter, a quarter if so>
You mentioned not more than 50% and "for stored (for a week or more if you have the room, containers);"- are you able to clarify a bit?
<Yes; more to change if water "becomes cloudy"; otherwise, the routine just mentioned>
While at the pet store Friday I purchased a tap water conditioner (Nutrafin Aqua plus) and a biological aquarium supplement (Nutrafin Cycle), both of which seem to have improved the water quality at least for the short term.
The bottle recommends adding some each time I do a water change (but the prescribed amount is for 10g tanks), would you recommend this also?
<Yes>
Shall I purchase a water tester kit (pH, ammonia, nitrates, etc)?
<If you can easily afford the ammonia, nitrite... yes>
Also, thank you kindly for getting back to me and helping to guide us through this. In the very near future I will have a much better home for them (bigger tank, filter, heater), but in the short term, I would like mitigate any harm as much as possible.
With thanks,
Sue
<Certainly welcome. BobF>
Re: Inherited African Dwarf Frogs         8/17/15

Good evening,
<Sue>
I have to say, it is a real pleasure watching these two swim all around their little home...
<Ah!>
I understand now why they need more space than a tiny cube. I am now considering trying to obtain a 5g tank if possible. They are mating constantly, swimming most of the day and seem quite a bit different than the hiding pair I've had for the last several weeks (we even named our male after the fact that he hid most of the time- much more so than the female).
This weekend he has swam more than I've ever seen, and when still, struts his body and opens his gullet in this comical way just before he makes his call. The female tries desperately to get away from him it seems. At times she nudges him with her nose, pushing her body just under his (it is so sweet to watch), and other times virtually ignores him, swimming away as soon as he approaches.
<Well-described>
I don't think they are suffering from a rampant bacterial infection but it certainly has been a good wake up call to get to know these sweet little amphibians (as well as opening my eyes to the awful shallowness of companies that promote and sell tiny prisons-virtually death sentences like the cubed home they came to me in). I am so glad that just as human bodies
begin to respond to environmental stress, similarly do frogs' (all creatures), and it can be relatively easy to rectify if properly informed (which it seems your site does well).
<We are in full agreement>
I appreciate the copious data the website provides and your personalized answers to my queries.
<Y/our situation describes the very purpose we are about>
Kind regards,
Sue
<Thank you for sharing. BobF>
Re: Inherited African Dwarf Frogs; sys., cycling      9/16/15

Hi Bob!
<Hey Sue!>
Since the last time we corresponded my ADF's mated, laid about 200 eggs that turned into tadpoles, and about 50 have survived an entire month thus far.
<Neat!>
I have purchased a ten gallon tank with all the riggings but need to cycle it ASAP, as I we now have two more young ADF's. They (4) are very overcrowded in their small fishbowl home. Is there a link to quick cycling you can provide me.
<Yes: here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwestcycling.htm
as you will see, there are a few "roads to Rome" here. I would try a mix of approaches>
I also have aquarium bacteria that I purchased in the hopes it would speed up the process- the back indicates, Instantly cycles new aquariums when dosed as directed". Do you know if it works or is nothing more than a gimmick?
<Some products are real, dependable.... others.... not so much. Look for Dr. Tim's, read re other (real users) experiences on the Net>
Cheers!
Sue
<And you! Bob Fenner>

Omg my African dwarf frog help   2/21/15
So I have a 1.1 gallon tank with a mystery snail a male crown tail Betta and an African dwarf frog his name is flippers.
<1.1 gallons is too small, too little water... his world is toxic, too much pollution in too small a volume of water, killing him...>

He was all fine swimming around earlier but I just found him upside down on the bottom of the tank so I scooped him put and put him in a tiny container with new water and stuck it in the tank but not exposed to the rest of the water just so he can get the heat from the light.
<Heat from a light? Hmm... how to explain... aquaria should be heated with an aquarium heater. Many are sold, of different designs and to different budgets. Angle-poise and other lamps with incandescent and halogen bulbs may produce some heat (but LED essentially none and fluorescents very little) but aren't strong enough to warm water evenly, and certainly won't
do so at night when they're off (obviously). Using lamps for heating is (a) dangerous because the lamp doesn't switch off if the water gets too hot, resulting in very hot surface water compared to the too cold water at the bottom; and (b) are inefficient, wasting you money because while they produce some (unreliable) heat, some electricity is used to make light as
well, which you don't especially need. Do please understand what animals need before buying them... giving pets names is nice, and I'm sure you care for your pet animals in terms of affection, but animals honestly don't give a rip about these niceties. Food, warmth, shelter and a safe (non-toxic) living environment are what animals need and care about.>
The beta and snail are fine,
<For now. To be fair, Apple Snails are subtropical and do fine in unheated tanks indoors. Bettas are tropical fish, and don't live long in unheated tanks, unless you happen to live in Thailand or somewhere like that.>
in fact my snail has grown a lot in the while I had him.
<Indeed.>
There's algae on my tank but I figured itd just a plant it wouldn't hurt anything. The frog isn't skinny I see him eat the Betta pellets and frog food.
<Not just dried/pellet foods though. I hope you add some live or frozen (not freeze-dried) foods into the mix. Otherwise constipation, bloating and more serious problems await you.>

What would cause him to go from alive and fine to dead with in like 8 hours. The tank is dirty with algae is that what killed him?
<The short (and blunt) answer is ignorance. The long (and kinder) answer is that you got the environment wrong. I know, I know, "But he was just fine for weeks/months and the guy in the fish store said that a 1-gallon tank was all I needed." So let's start with the basics. The three beasties you're keeping can be kept together with a bit of planning. Some Bettas nip
at Apple Snails, but if yours doesn't, great. But while the Apple Snail might be kept in 1-2 gallons (I have done so without problems), and some people keep Bettas in this amount of water as well (but I would not), the African Dwarf Frog is a much more sensitive animal and needs much more space. Shall we say 4-5 gallons? Something along those lines anyway. They
also need heat, lots of it. A steady 25 C/77 F, which is mostly easily supplied by a traditional aquarium heater. You can buy alternatives, such as under tank heating mats, but plain old aquarium heaters, specifically, a 25 Watt one in your case, could be had for little money and unlike the lamp, would last many years, would heat the water evenly, and cost very little to run. Next up, you need a filter. Some folks insist these aren't necessary for Bettas and frogs, but mostly those people have dead Bettas
and dead frogs after as few weeks or months, so we can ignore their advice.
For sure some people keep Bettas in jars, but they're breeders in heated fish rooms who change 100% of the water every day. Not practical if you're a casual hobbyist who just wants a pretty pet fish. Get a filter. An air-powered sponge filter is all you need, and better than a small internal canister filter. Don't get a hang-on-the-back filter because these have an opening through which Bettas often jump and frogs almost always escape, winding up as dried "carpet jerky" as we say in the trade. ADFs and other aquatic amphibians should never, ever be kept in open-topped tanks unless such tanks are only half filled. Seriously. The risk of them jumping out is extremely high. So, we've covered aquarium size, heating, what else...?
Basically, that's it, beyond varying the diet. Dried foods are all well and good, but just like humans eating processed foods all day, these concentrated foods do tend to cause constipation and worse. So mix things up a bit. Frozen bloodworms you keep in the freezer are convenient and work nicely, though a very few people (surely less than 1 in 100) seem to have a
slight allergy to bloodworms. You don't need to actually touch the worms, just hold the package over the tank, push out a block from behind, then return the package to the freezer. Wash your hands afterwards though. A safer alternative to bloodworms is brine shrimps. Again, you can get these frozen (or for that matter live) and because of the hypersaline places
they're grown, these are probably the safest food you're likely to encounter, including human foods! Does this all make sense? Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Omg my African dwarf frog help.... & Apple/mystery snail beh. f'    2/21/15

Also, not as important. I read that snails have breathing tubes. On my snail there's two little things like he has a moustache
<Sensory tentacles, a mix of touch and taste receptors, used to find out about his environment.>
but earlier it stuck this giant tube out of the water and did a heave like thing.
<Breathing. Apple Snails breathe air using a lung as well as having gills to extract oxygen from the water. Typically, the warmer the water, the more they breathe air. Sometimes it's a clue they're stressed, so if your Apple Snail does this a lot more than usual, first check water temperature (is it too warm, much over 25C/77F) and then check water quality (an ammonia or nitrite test kit is used for this).>
Whats going on?
<Biology. Cheers, Neale.>
re: Omg my African dwarf frog help   2/21/15

Im in central Texas.
<Ah, so too cold most of the time for tropical fish, at least at night. For most tropical fish, 25 C/77 F is the baseline, possibly a little warmer for a few (Bettas, Angels, Discus and Gouramis for example, which are good up to 30 C/86 F, a little cooler for a few (Danios, Corydoras, Platies and Neons, all happier around 22 C/72 F).>
And the snail is a mystery snail.
<Mystery Snails and Apple Snails are the same thing, for all practical purposes (there's some debate about which Pomacea species is which, but they're all much of a muchness so far as maintenance goes. Apple Snails seems to be the more popular name at the moment, and refers to their big shell (which can get apple-sized after a few years, though very few last as
long as a year in aquaria for a variety of reasons). Mystery Snails is a much older name, said to be because the baby snails (which are quite big, and hatch from eggs laid above the waterline) appeared in ponds seemingly out of nowhere. I recommend breeding them when you get the chance. It's a lot of fun, and the babies are rather cute (for baby snails, anyway).>
I've only had the frog for a month or so and no one nips at anyone, I don't have room for a much bigger tank.
<Could I suggest not keeping fish or frogs then? The Betta and the snail you'll get away with, assuming scrupulous care on your part. How to be clear on this? The smaller the volume of water, the faster temperature changes, and the quicker dissolved wastes (such as ammonia) cause problems. Tropical fish really shouldn't be kept in tanks smaller than, say, 8-10
gallons, simply because keeping them in smaller tanks is either unfair to them (e.g., you can't keep enough schooling fish for them to be happy) or else causes physiological stress as conditions go bad. Could I further suggest having a read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/SmFWTkStkNeale.htm
You do have some options for tanks upwards of 4-5 gallons, but they are very specific beasties, in some cases with very specific needs.>
It has an under gravel filter and it stays in the bathroom, which is the warmest room in the house.
<Good and good, but do see above re: temperature. Warm to you might not be warm to a fish from Thailand. The ADF is perhaps less fussy, and okay around 22 C/72 F, but no colder. Apple Snails are fine at room temperature, even in the UK, let alone Texas. Measure maximum and minimum water temperatures across the day and night using a thermometer, perhaps at
midday and again just when you're getting up and before lights/heating come on. If these fall outside the range required by the animals you're keeping, well, get a heater!>
And I never turned the tank light off.
<Yikes! African Dwarf Frogs are largely nocturnal. That's when they do a lot of their feeding. Also, light period (hours of light vs. hours of darkness) are important for the well-being of animals generally (keeping humans in bright light 24/7 is pretty close to torture, and at the least, disorienting after a while). Constant lighting will also cause algae problems.>

It really does keep tank warm. And its waaaaay better then the unfiltered beta bowl that the fish was in for a while.
<Ever have those discussions as a kid about which would be better, be hanged or having your head cut off? Perhaps just us Brits with our bloody mediaeval history! In any case, improving on a Betta (rhyming with "better", not "beater") bowl is nice, but doesn't quite "get you into the medals" as they'd say in sporting events. Truly, heating and filtration are both going to make your aquatic livestock significantly healthier in the long run.>
But uh thanks for the info....
<Aim to please. Or at least inform.>
Question: there is possibly a 2 to 5 gallon tank in my garage..... can I use the under gravel filter in that even though it won't cover all of the bottom?
<Nope. Water flows through the line of least resistance. So if you don't evenly cover the filter, the water will mostly go through the exposed part of the filter plate because that's "easier" than going through the bed of gravel. Make sense? Since gravel costs virtually nothing, a buck or two should be sufficient for enough to cover the undergravel filter plate here.
No need to go to an aquarium store to buy their expensive gravel. So long as its lime-free, not sharp, and you don't mind rinsing it thoroughly, then gravel from a garden centre will be just as good and a lot cheaper.>
Thanks
Emily
<Most welcome. Neale.>
Re: Omg my African draw frog help       2/21/15

I bought testing strips
<Cool.>
It says
GH : 60
<Low general hardness. Not suitable for fish from hard water environments such as Guppies, Mollies, Rainbowfish, Rift Valley cichlids, etc.>
KH : 80
<Low carbonate hardness. Look out for pH drops between water changes. Also, animals with calcareous shells, such as snails and shrimps, may have a hard time. Snail shells may develop distinctive pitting where the shell
dissolves.>
PH : 7.5
<Fine.>
NO^2 : 0
<Perfect.>
NO^3 : 25
<Pretty low.>
Waiting for the thermometer a bit longer.
What do those levels mean.
<See above.>
Could they have killed my frog.
<Not directly. But variations in pH could. Nonetheless, some other cause seems worth considering/more likely. Improper diet/insufficient food, for example.>
I cannot afford a bigger tank for another few weeks. So no more froggies until then.
I did however buy air stones to put in the filter tube... the pet shop guy said it might put a little more oxygen.
<Sort of. But how they work is misunderstood. Airstones produce bubbles. As the bubbles rise they pull water upwards. This creates a current that circulates water from wherever the bubbles start (ideally, the very bottom of the tank) up to the top. Oxygen actually gets into the water across the surface. Hardly any gets in via bubbles. But splashing at the top of the water increases the surface area a bit, increasing oxygen uptake. So while bubbles help, for best results you want to make sure the bubbles are rising all the way up from the bottom of the water column, not halfway down the tank or just below the surface.>
Should I return them or will they help anything for now?
<Aeration is always helpful. It's noisy though, so I prefer not to use it in tanks where I want quiet, e.g., a bedroom. Better to not stock the tank too heavily and/or rely on gentle ruffling of the water surface from an electric canister filter.>
Also bought something called a internal filter ceramic ring. It says it helps maintain water quality by converting harmful waste into harmless compounds. What do you think? Try or return?
<Do you mean ceramic rings or "noodles", less than a half-inch in length and that you to stuff a bunch of them into a canister filter? These are certainly useful. But just dumped in an aquarium they won't do much. They need to be in the flow of oxygenated water to work. But an "internal filter ceramic ring" as such, I've never heard of.>
Can you please tell me what the water quality strips numbers mean, whats normal. How to fix if too high or low. The package wasn't very helpful.
<NH3, NO2 are ammonia and nitrite respectively. They must always be zero.
Anything above zero quickly becomes toxic and dangerous, 0.5 mg/l NH3 is lethal, and 1.0 mg/l NO2 lethal. NO3 is nitrate. Adequate filtration and not overstocking or overfeeding keep these at zero. Keep this as low as practical, certainly below 40 mg/l, and the lower the better. Basically, water changes keep this down. GH and KH are types of hardness, or dissolved
mineral content. In general terms, low levels of both is good for things like tetras and barbs from soft water habitats, and high levels for things like livebearers and Central American cichlids from hard water habitats.
The pH is the acidity of the water. Most community fish are fine between 6 and 8, so long as its steady, though soft water fish may not be happy above 7.5 and hard water quickly get sick below 7.0. There's more to the numbers, as you can find out here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwh2oquality.htm
For your Betta, you're aiming for zero NH3 and NO2, a low NO3, a pH steady somewhere between 6 and 8, and the two hardness levels aren't too important so long as they're not extreme (your current values are fine).>
Thanks a bunches
Emily
<Most welcome. Neale.>
Re: Omg my African draw frog help       2/21/15

I still don't understand why the frog died.
<See previous emails; his environment was wrong. Something, sooner or later, would have killed him. Too much light, not enough heat, wrong diet, harassment by other livestock... impossible to say for sure what went wrong
in this instance. ADFs are somewhat delicate and easily starved.
While widely sold, most have a short life expectancy once they get shipped out to the retailers and passed onto the average hobbyist. They aren't community "fish" and don't do well in community tanks.>
The first snail I had died too.
<Indeed?>
I took it to the pet store they said he wasn't dead but minutes later his flap thing fell off.
<Been dead a while, then. The flap is called an operculum, by the way. Dead snails stink, so it's pretty obvious when they've joined the choir invisible. Pains me to say this, again, but Apple Snails aren't that easy to keep alongside other animals. Oddly enough, the frog would actually be a pretty good companion. But the Betta is a bit hit and miss. Even slight damage to the snail can lead to rapid, fatal infections.>
But it makes me worry because that snail only stayed on the pink castle I have. The fish doesn't touch it the new snail has been on it but he likes the walls. The frog would sit in it. Is there a possibility there Could Be lead paint?
<Virtually no possibility unless you've been opening up cans of 50-year-old paint and using it inside the fish tank. Seriously, lead hasn't been used in paint for a very long time. The number of aquarium fish killed by lead paint this century is probably zero. On the other hand, the number of fish (and frogs) killed by misunderstanding their basic needs is surely in the millions.>
Especially because it's pink. Do you know of that's even regulated in the us.
<No idea. But assuming the US has similar standards to the UK, then lead paint isn't currently sold.>
How would I even test for that?
<No need. Do also bear in mind that lead paint doesn't suddenly kill people. It builds up in the body, over years even, causing incremental problems. I think you're really grasping at straws here with the paint!>
Cause I have no idea why they both died. Cause if the water was fine then what was it? Could it really seriously be the tank is too small.
<Yes. Most of the fish deaths among casual hobbyists largely come down to the size of the tank, overstocking, or lack of adequate filtration. Really is that simple. Kind of like obesity in people. There might be some for whom there are genetic or whatever explanations beyond their control, but for the vast majority of people obesity comes from eating too much and
doing too little exercise.>
They're getting a bigger one anyways.
<Then it's an academic discussion. Review the needs of African Dwarf Frogs (nocturnal, fussy feeders, easily damaged) and plan accordingly. They're actually cute and rather loverly pets, the males even croak a bit in the evenings, but they aren't "easy" pets. Doubtless much written online, as well as here at WWM.
http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/FrogsArtNeale.htm
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Omg my African dwarf frog help       2/27/15

Ok so im going to get a bigger tank in a week or two when I get some money.
I saw this awesome 8 gallon bowfront tank for 45 dollars with everything: filter, heater, hood, lights.
<Sounds good!>
You are not in the US are you?
<Nope!>
They don't teach us the conversions in school for money, measurements,
temperature, anything. It seems like everywhere else knows [[sidetrack]].
<Kinda-sort of. If you can use Google, you can do conversions. Type in, for example, "10 US gallons in litres" and you'll get the litres! It's pretty neat.>
If I were to just put the snail in there (keep the Betta in his own lonely tank) how many African dwarf frogs could I put?
<Half a dozen, at least. Maybe more. Allow about a gallon each, plus a couple gallons for the Betta. You can pretty much ignore the snail so long as it doesn't die (dead snails pollute tanks very quickly).>
What about a 5 or a 10 gallon tank? I am not ready for the idea of snail babies, but tadpoles...yes, but i want to research first. Besides the males croaking how do I tell what gender the frogs are?
<Males tend to be smaller and more slender/less chunky. They also have small pink spots near the armpit but these can be difficult to see, especially in youngsters.>
How do I tell a snails gender? Do you think the pet store people could accurately tell me a frog or a snails gender?
<Not a chance. But if you get 6-8 frogs, you're bound to get a few males and females.>
Are frogs and snails about equivalent when it comes to how many I could put in a tank?
<See above.>
Do you have any good links on info of African dwarf frog breeding?
<Go online and type "breeding" and "Hymenochirus" into your search engine of choice.>
Can my Betta stay in the 1 gallon tank and be ok?
<Possibly, but see above. I do honestly recommend a larger, heated, filtered tank for Bettas, at least, if you want his and your life to be easy.>
I found out that if I turn on the heating lamp in the bathroom where the fish tank is and cover the tank with a towel the temperature is fine. And that the tank light does keep the tank warm enough during the day without the heating lamp. Im still upset I don't have a straight forward cause of death for the frog.
<Indeed. But the problem with environmental stress is that the immediate cause of death doesn't tell you much about what went wrong. For example, a drunk driver crashes into a tree, the tree falls down and kills him. The cause of death was a tree hitting him, but that wasn't the reason he died.
Make sense?>
Thanks for all your help,
Emily
<Most welcome. Neale.>Strange Swelling on Frog    12/9/13
Hello WWM Crew,
<Hello Amanda,>
My name is Amanda and I have three ADF's (two female, one male).  They live in a medium-size terrarium jar with well water and river rocks (I realise this is less than ideal, but I don't have the space for another aquarium.
<Hmm... is far from ideal. Do read:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/FrogsArtNeale.htm
Follow the links for more.>
I inherited these frogs from a family friend).  Tonight I noticed that one of my frogs has a large, round swelling right above her rear.  It doesn't have any discoloration, it matches her skin.  It also looks like it has a hole in the center, almost like a frog-colored pimple.  I know for certain that it was not present two days ago, so it had to just pop up yesterday.
Immediately when I noticed it tonight I removed her from the communal jar and put her in a different glass vase.
<Since the problem is likely bacterial, moving from one jar to another is unlikely to help.>
But I noticed when I was trying to pick her up out of the jar some clear jelly with brown flecks came out of the swelling.  Are those eggs?
<Possibly.>
I don't remember ever hearing that frogs develop swellings like this when they are about to lay eggs, but I'm certainly no expert. Also, when I had her in my hand, I gently pressed on the swelling to see if it was sensitive, but she didn't flinch at all so I assume that it's not tender. 
What does this sound like to you?
<Nothing antibiotics and transferral to a heated, filtered aquarium 5+ gallons in size won't fix.>
Thank you,
Amanda
<Most welcome, Neale.>
re: Strange Swelling on Frog    12/9/13

Thank you, as always, for responding so promptly.
<Most welcome.>
I have to be honest and say there is no way I can get an aquarium set up right now.
<Oh dear.>
I do not have the space in my room (where I am, have to keep them) or money currently.  Is there any kind of healthy alternative for me?
<Do try contacting your local/city aquarium club... often they can either help by rehoming aquatic animals or else by providing at low/no cost suitable equipment. Many big cities have such clubs... do look here, for example...
http://freshaquarium.about.com/cs/clubs/l/blclubstate.htm
Quite a few US clubs there.>
I do intend on getting an aquarium for all three of my frogs to be in, but like I said I can't do it right now.
<Unfortunately nature isn't forgiving in this regard. Short term, ensuring adequate temperature (around 77 F/25 C) and regular (10-20% daily) water changes will go some way to helping.>
Thanks,
Amanda
<Cheers, Neale.>
re: Strange Swelling on Frog   12/11/13

Hello again!
I talked over the aquarium situation with my mom, and we have decided to put up the money to get one.  I have included the link for a site we looked on that are at least the minimum gallon requirement.  Are any of those suitable?  Also, you had said that I should use antibiotics for my frog.  I have Maracyn plus and 2 (sorry if I spelled that wrong).  Is there something else I should use?
Thanks so much!
Amanda
<Maracyn would be fine. Use as instructed on the bottle. Can be used in combination, but Maracyn Plus should be ideal. In any case, the link sent seemed to present a variety of fish tanks. Any of the tanks upwards of 5 gallons will do, with 7-10 gallons being absolutely perfect. Lighting is not essential (the frogs are actually quite shy in bright light) but if you want plants as well, you'd need lights. A lid of some sort is important though because these frogs can/do escape from open tanks (if your tank lacks a lid, get a piece of glass cut slightly bigger that the top of the tank and it'll work just fine and cost a couple dollars). Filtration is important as well, but can be very simple, an air-powered sponge or undergravel filter being absolutely ideal (on eBay you can get generic sponge filters for another couple dollars, but of course you'll need a little air pump too). Avoid electric internal filters if possible (these frogs are weak swimmers and sometimes get sucked into very strong pumps) but if you must use one, choose a gentle one and set it to a low setting so there's no risk. Hang-on-the-back filters can work, but bear in mind my warning that if the frogs can escape, they will, and having an open gap at the top of the tank for an HOB filter may be asking for trouble! Hope this helps, Neale.>
re: Strange Swelling on Frog    12/12/13

Thanks so much!  We'll get them all fixed up!
<Real good. Have fun, Neale.>

Red Feet/Safe Plants... for...?    5/16/13
Hi!
<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:
http://www.xenopus.com/disease.htm
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!
<Welcome.>
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! :)
--Amanda
<Do start reading, planning:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/FrogsArtNeale.htm
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/dwfafsys.htm
…and follow the links. Cheers, Neale.>

Looking for advice, ADF care    4/3/13
Thank you for all the wonderful, informative info you have on your site. 
It is priceless!  I am another victim of Pet Smart's uneducated sales people.  We came home with two African Dwarf Frogs 10 days ago, and already one is dead.  After poring over your website I realize now that we did not have a big enough tank (2.5 is what they told me to buy), we should have bought a heater (they said I didn't need one) and furthermore we are over feeding and not giving them a diverse enough diet.
<Do need all these>
 I think the poor guy had that Red Leg disease. Thanks to WWM I am making the hour trip to Pet Smart tomorrow to buy a bigger tank, a heater, sand (instead of the gravel they sold me) and to get 2 new frogs.
<Wait on the livestock until this system is aged a few weeks... Cycled.>

 They are taking back the dead frog and the guy that is still holding on, but doesn't look too good.  So now for my questions:  how should I safely transport the frogs back and forth to the store and to my house?
<In a plastic bag, with some water, and just atmosphere, not pure oxygen... sealed w/ a rubber band, in a light and thermally insulated container (like a cooler) if possible, rather than just a paper bag>
 It is a solid hour drive between the two.  I am afraid that is one reason why my frogs were not so healthy when I got them home.  Also, I thought you should know that Pet Smart printed out a whole pamphlet for me on ADF that they publish.  It says that the frogs need temps between 68 and 78 degrees ( you say higher)
<Yes>
 and to feed them pellets
<... no>
 two times a day (I believe you say every other day and to switch between pellets and brine shrimp).
<Meaty foods of some sort/s>

 There was additional information on their pamphlet that contradicts what you say on your website.
Thanks so much for your help,
Rachel
<... Please do review what we have posted/archived re Hymenochirus
husbandry: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/FrogsArtNeale.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Looking for advice, ADFs, uncycled sys.      4/5/13

Thank you so much for your reply. Mi know how busy you guys must be.
Unfortunately, I got the email after I already went to PetSmart and bought a bigger tank, a heater, and one new frog to replace the dead one.  There was one surviving frog from my original 2, so I kept him.
Anyway, bought all the new stuff, had my water tested and brought the frogs home.  My water tested perfect for everything that you say they need.  We have a well and not town water so no chlorine.  But I had both the conditioned tank water tested and water straight from the tap.  They were basically the same.
Bought guys home, set up tank, thermometer, filter, etc, did not condition water and voila.  24 hours later one guy seemed very lethargic.  He hardly moved from this spot right against the heater.  I was worried he'd be burned, but the PetSmart folks said the heater was safe.
I moved him a bit and he rested on a plant, but again, very lethargic.
This morning, 36 hours after bringing them home, both ADF are dead.  I am horrified and being that I am working so hard on this, I just don't understand what I've done wrong.  Let alone that my son is going to be miserable.
The first frog that died last week definitely had Red Leg.  I didn't notice that on these guys.
Please help!!!
<.... this system is still not cycled; is NOT ready for livestocking...  Read re on WWM and where you've been referred. B>

ADF    8/10/12
Why is my ADF keeping it's head above water? Is it dying? Please help me.
Karen,
Tuckahoe, NY
<Could be a number of reasons; some good, some bad. Need to know more about this frog's aquarium. Start by reading here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/FrogsArtNeale.htm
Is the tank big enough? (At least 5 gallons.) Does it have a heater and filter? (Needs both.) Cheers, Neale.>
Re: ADF    8/10/12

Neal, Thank you for getting back to me so quickly. The frog is in a 5-1/2 gallon tank with another frog.
<Just about adequate in size.>
There is no filter and no heater.

<Ah, now, both of these are problems. These frogs need a biological filter and a source of warmth. A simple air-powered sponge filter and a small (15 watt) heater will be all your need. Budget $30 or so, but you may well be able to get these for less with some careful shopping online, Craig's List, etc.>
It was my understanding when I purchased them, that both were not necessary for the frogs to survive.
<Not the case.>
The other frog is doing fine.
<For now.>
I'm just worried about this guy making it. I know they do peculiar things sometimes, so I'm hoping the frog is just having a relaxing day. Any help you can give me will be appreciated.
<Read the article; act accordingly, making up any shortcomings between what they NEED and what you HAVE. Medicating frogs this small is often pointless, so prevention is the key to healthcare.>
Karen
<Cheers, Neale.>

pls help I'm desperate ADF in trouble, pls    3/29/12
hi, pls Im really desperate
<No need; you can search, read on WWM...>
I had to dwarf frogs; one died after an horrific week when he wasn't eating and was all bloated but I couldn't find anybody to help me. The second frog now is in the hide and doesn't want to eat
<Mmm...>
I bought them from Wildcreations. They came in a half gallon tank with a hole on top, gravel  two bamboo plants and a bag of pellets.
<Unsuitable environment... need steady heat, filtration>

 They were there for like 2 years until this one died. I used to take them out one at a time to feed them (two pellets twice a week). After the first one died an online vet told me to change her to a one gallon tank with a filter, but she hated it and remained hidden all day long, so she told me to change her back to see if without the filter she would come out and she did, but now she is hiding again and doesn't want to eat her pellets.
Pls someone help!! is she depressed because of the other frog? is she in the right tank (I know I cant put her in a big tank because of the current the filter produces), I know she is not sick bec a vet looked at her and told me she looks life suffering from a maladaptive syndrome but she doesn't look physically sick, does she need another frog?? (I rather don't suffer like this again)
I would pay pls could anyone call me, my kid is suffering a lot with this and don't know what to do
Maria
<Please read Neale's article re Hymenochirus:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/FrogsArtNeale.htm
and the linked files above. Your ADF may "just be old". Bob Fenner>
Re: pls help im desperate ADF in trouble, pls++ <Not rdg.>   3/30/12

i got her bloodworms and she loved them thank you!
<... please check your grammar>
only one more question if i use sand i cant have an undergravel filter can i?
<... read where you were referred. BobF>
 (this one seems to be the least disturbing) what kind of filter would you advise me on using that produces the smallest movement/disturbance for a one gall tank and one frog. Is it possible to use water worn cobbles, instead of sand , those are smooth and wont hurt them thank you for answering / any help
Re: pls help im desperate ADF in trouble, pls++    3/31/12

you are less willing to answer than my frog to eat. Thank you for your very gramatically correct and perfectly useless monosyllables 

ADF Male In Trouble 02/08/12
For over a week my 2-year old male has stayed as much out of the water as possible, by climbing up on plants in his tank.
<Trouble... what re water quality, tankmates? Data?>
He draws up his hind legs into a crouching position and struggles to push half his upper body out of the water. He can swim down, and seemed normal while swimming, but today I noticed he has a very slight roll from side to side when hanging still in the water. Although he does not swim down to eat food in a dish on the bottom of the tank, he quickly went after food I dropped on the surface near him. He is not swollen. Is it possible that there is a neurological problem?
Respiratory problem?
<Can't tell>
I have successfully raised more than 20 of his offspring, now about 8 months old, with excellent advice from Neale, but this ADF's behavior is both new to me and alarming. Thanks for any help you may offer.
Sheila Baer
<... please read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/FrogsArtNeale.htm
and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/hymenochirus.htm
and the linked files above... for input and to see the types of info. we need to help you. Bob Fenner>
Re: ADF Male In Trouble 2/9/12

Bob,
My male ADF is the sole occupant in a plastic tank 6.5" x 6.5" x 10"long,
<Too small... to be stable>
smooth gravel bottom. No filter, no heater.
<Need both... did you read where you were referred?>

He has been in this tank for 2 years. His mate was injured during amplexus, and died about 6 months ago.
Only Poland Spring water used,
<... not advised.>

partial water change approx weekly, more thorough cleaning about once monthly, no gravel removed. Sometimes green algae on tank walls, washed off when I see it.
Diet of Zoo Med's or ReptoMin frog pellets, sometimes Omega One freeze-dried shrimp I partially pulverize, as it is usually too large for him.
Temperature 74-77F degrees
Tetra Easy Strips:
Nitrate <20
Nitrite 0
Hardness 150
Chlorine 0
Alkalinity 40-80
pH 6.2
Ammonia, using API salicylate-based ammonia test kit 0.25 I have never tried live food, so could that raise constipation issues?
Thanks for any help,
Sheila
<... no sense. IF you won't read... B>
Re: ADF Male In Trouble 2/9/12

Bob,
The word 'IF' in caps...does that mean that you are allowing for the possibility that I DID read the material on proper care?
<Certainly>
Many times in the last few years. That I am able to provide no better care than I do, and still don't want to throw in the towel on this little animal. So his health and his life are not stable.. neither are mine, but what did you imagine I would do with your response? Nobody is rushing in to adopt him. Do I just let him suffer, if that is what he is doing? Flush him down the toilet?
<None of these I hope/trust>
When he and his mate started dining on the many tiny eggs they produced, I made the huge mistake of rescuing the eggs. Bleeding-heart liberal? The net was filled with doom and gloom ahead, but what choice did I have? I raised them in an unstable environment, and I have a kitchen counter filled with unstable tanks, with some 20 grown frogs singing at night, playing, jumping around and heading towards what will likely be a too brief but jolly sex life.
I live without a dog or cat, for the first time in my life, because I know I cannot provide them with proper care. I never bought the frogs, they were a non-returnable gift in a tiny little plastic tomb, and I did the best I could. That is what I am trying to do now. I can accept that you don't wish to hazard a suggestion about trying to deal with my frog's current ailment, knowing as you do that in the long or short term he won't have a long life, but your arrogant response was unkind. Better to not answer me than to presume to chastise me.
Sheila
<I presume nothing; nor believe in circumstance alone. Cheers, B>

Platy, ADFs in uncycled setting   2/8/12
Hello WWM! Thanks so much for your help in the past...but I've got another question! I have a 5 gallon tank at my work which has been running for 2 months with a single platy (she had a friend, a molly, but i moved her to another tank about 1 month ago), and everything was fine.  7 days ago I added 2 African dwarf frogs.  But, I made the mistake of changing the filter AND vacuuming the gravel on the same day, which I now know was a no-no.  Now my nitrate and nitrite levels are off the chart!  I have been doing a 25% water change every day and adding NovAqua's Ammonia Detoxifier every day for the past 5 days, however there is still no change in the nitrate/nitrite levels.  I have also cut back on their feeding, although not entirely.  I fear I have just started the cycling again, and my question is: should i still be changing the water? or should i just let the water rest and get going again?  I don't want to cause any unnecessary stress for my fish/frogs...what is your suggestion?  thanks again, sooo much!-Alisha
<Move this life to a cycled setting, and read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

African Dwarf Frog Very Low Ph 1/12/12
Hello All,
<Nic>
I was gifted a Brookstone Frog-O-Sphere two years ago.
<Death-traps... am often surprised that this co. would be engaged in such>
I'm an animal lover, and I've done my best to care for these frogs, quickly realizing that the habitat provided was not an ideal environment. I can't even get into the barbaric way the live frogs were delivered to me, as it puts me into a blind rage. We've since upgraded to a 2.5 gallon tank, which has five living plants in good condition, and I've been using "living" substrate. The aquarium heater keeps the tank at about 83 degrees,
<Mmm, a bit warm. Please read Neale's review here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/FrogsArtNeale.htm
and the linked files above. I'd re-set the temp. to 77 F maximum>
although the heater is a recent addition (since I've noticed that my frogs don't seem "happy"). Their diet varies every other day between pellets and crickets. The nitrates measured at about 10ppm and the nitrite is 0. The ph is very low -- about 4.
<Yeeikes! What is the cause here? Is there a bit of driftwood present?>
The tank has recently been cleaned. When I clean the tank, I keep about 1/3 existing water and add room temperature spring water.
<Spring water? A commercial product... not likely useful...>

The frogs have perked up since I've raised the tank temp (it was around between 69 and 71F), but they are still not back to their "old selves". I thought they may be droopy because the weather is getting colder (and thus their tank temp was dropping) but there must be something more. I have read that frogs are not overly sensitive to PH,
<Not so... this pH is dangerous in a few ways... the reason/s it's so low need to be discovered and dealt w/. What is the pH of the source water?
Does it have any measurable alkalinity?>
but 4 seems very, very low. Can I raise this without damaging or over- stressing the frogs?
<Yes... slowly... Read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwph,alk.htm
and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwh2oquality.htm
and Neale's related articles on Hard/Soft water linked above>
Thank you in advance for you help.
Sincerely,
Nicole
<Do write back after reading if you're unclear re what to do. Bob Fenner>
Re: African Dwarf Frog Very Low Ph 1/12/12

Dear Bob,
<Nic>
Thank you for your response. I am currently out of test strips, so I need to buy more. According to their website, the spring water I've been using has a PH of about 6.3, so lower to begin with.
<Too low... and alkalinity? Likely low as well... Did you read where you were referred?>
I have also recently raised the tank temperature, so this may have added to the PH problem??
<Yes>
Could those two factors alone account for it?
<Oh yes>
I don't have any driftwood in the tank. The only thing other than the plants and substrate are two rocks that came with the original kit.
<These should be fine... not chemically/physically dangerous>
Do you recommend a particular heater?
<... yes... again, did you read?>
The one recommended to me at the pet store I cannot manually set a specific temperature. The ones I've seen online will not fit properly in my tank.
<There are some smaller units... Hydor, ZooMed... are two makers>
If I add a buffering solution to the water that I add to the tank, will that slowly correct the PH problem or am I too far gone?
<... my friend, I/we can't help you IF you won't read... DO NOT pour chemicals for this directly in the system. READ where you've been referred.
BobF>
If my tap water has an appropriate PH, will using this instead of the spring water over time be enough to solve the problem?
<Yes>
I also saw in the pages you linked that I could use coral substrate, but then when I looked at online retailers, it warned me that it's a product for salt water aquariums only. My apologies in my confusion as I am trying to dig back in my brain and remember some high school chemistry!
Again, many thanks,
Nicole

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.
<Perhaps.>
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:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/FrogsArtNeale.htm
Do also read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/xenopusdis.htm
You can medicate with antibiotics for secondary infections; see here:
http://www.xenopus.com/disease.htm
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:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwh2oquality.htm
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,
Sheila
<Glad to help, and wishing you good luck. Cheers, Neale.>

African Dwarf Frogs questions! Hlth., sys. 6/13/2011
Hi there-
I came upon your site when researching ADFs online. My boys each received 2 from Brookstone (I know...Yikes) in December 2009. They lived in their tiny tanks eating their pellets and seemed to be doing fine. On Thursday, my son accidentally knocked over his dresser and sent the tank flying. We managed to get the two frogs and put them into his brother's tank. (I know you are cringing right now, based on how obscenely small those tanks are-- I had no idea until recently.) That evening we went to a local pet store and got a new tank. It's a Betta tank with a filter and light. We got new gravel, a cave like stone for hiding, a Nerite snail, and drops to treat the tap water.
<Do make sure these "drops" treat for Chloramine (not just chlorine)... important and apropos to your situation below>
I put the frogs in the new tank and that night they were more active than ever. They seemed to have calmed down since then. I have been feeding them more based on what I have read about the 2 pellet regime being a starvation diet. This morning (Sunday) the snail was floating at the top of the tank. This evening we noticed one of the frogs had died. He was on his back at the bottom of the tank, unmoving. When I removed him from the tank he remained completely still. I thought they would float to the top when they died. My son was devastated and thinks one of the other frogs was eating his food. I decided to change the water and put the 3 frogs in a bowl. They each moved when I transferred them but were pretty still in the bowl.
<Mmm... the sanitizer, Chloramine...>

I put a few pellets in to see if they would eat and they didn't. When I changed the water I used the drops and made sure the temp was between 75-85 degrees. What do you think is wrong?
<See above... this and the fact that this system is not likely "cycled">

Here they were "fine" in the awful Brookstone tank, and I move them to a better environment and they seem to be failing. Please let me know if you have any advice before the next three die!!
Thanks-
Jen
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/FrogsArtNeale.htm
And use the search tool (on the left border) to look up re cycling, Dechloramination... Oh, and do write back if you have further concerns,
questions. Bob Fenner>

HELP!! caring for "classroom" DAF's - need new environment ASAP!! 1/3/11
I have taken home two DAF's from my son's classroom that have been housed in a small 6x6 acrylic tank for almost 3 months!! I would like to change them out to a bigger 3-5 gallon tank ASAP but need to know how to best (and most cheaply) do it as no one else will, and I have limited resources. I have filled two plastic jugs with tap water and let them sit out for 2 days - do I need to add a dechlorinator? test the water? at what rate should I water change? I am hoping they survive - they are obviously not very active since the tank is so small but I do not want to jeopardize their health any further by doing the wrong thing!! Also, the classroom gets cold at times and I am very surprised they have lived this long - please advise!!! I appreciate any help
Kim
<Hello Kim. I assume you're talking about Dwarf African Frogs. Like you, I'm surprised these animals have survived so long. But like the Russian guy who lived to be 150 drinking nothing by vodka and eating nothing by pig fat, just because the surprising happens, doesn't make it something that works reliably or will continue to work even in this case. So please start by reading here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/FrogsArtNeale.htm
At minimum, you need a 5 gallon tank with a small filter (an air-powered sponge filter is ideal) and a small heater (25-50 W is likely to be ample).
If you home doesn't get colder than 22 C/72 F, you might not even need a heater. But these are tropical animals and their lifespan in cooler conditions will be far reduced, and watching them die from stress-related diseases such as Red Leg will break your heart. Their lack of activity is surely down to them being so cold. Water needn't be sat aside for a day or two, but you should add water conditioner -- which does more than remove chlorine. Change 10-25% a week, depending on how dirty the tank gets. If you can't provide them with everything they need, do call a local aquarium club (most big cities have one) or perhaps an aquarium shop to see if you can find these little chaps a new home. Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: HELP!! caring for "classroom" DAF's - need new environment ASAP!! 1/3/11
Neale - Thanks for the advice - Unfortunately the frogs are not mine to give away but I am hoping if I return them in the right env. with the right advice I can get them moving in the right direction - if not, I will recommend they do as you suggested!
<By all means have the school e-mail us if they need help. We volunteer here specifically to help people keep their aquatic pets better, and while we might get a bit snappy when people are willfully ignorant or just plain callous, we're mostly nice guys and gals happy to help. Good luck with what you're trying to do here. Cheers, Neale.>

ADFs disease unidentified 11/17/10
Hi - university student here keeping 2 ADFs in 0.75 gallon tank live plants no heater. Don't know exact numbers for nitrates etc. but I do dechlorify the water and feed them frog pellets. No filter... I change the water weekly. No roommates for the frogs, just the two of them. I know, I know, those are not ideal conditions... I've had them since the start of the semester (beginning of Sept) and one just died today. Promptly removed the corpse and changed water fully. I got a new pal for the still-living frog so he wouldn't be lonely. After finishing the new home examined the corpse.
Kinda pale, beige-grey film all over - same type of film as was floating perpetually on top of the water. Belly was disturbingly soft and you could see green inside as well as very dark in the pelvic region under the skin. He hadn't been eating too well for 2-3 days prior. Then again they don't seem to notice the pellets that well. I've been trying to introduce fish flakes with the highest protein content I could find. What the heck could this be?? Haven't found anything matching these symptoms. Is my second frog in danger, and is my brand-new frog in danger? Anything I can do to prevent this?? Or should I give up on ADFs at university despite my love of frogs (also have had them since elementary school... figured being at school
would be a bit harder but still doable... maybe not). Thanks for any and all answers you can provide
<Hello Hallie. Your tank is too small and almost certainly too cold. Water changes don't remove the necessity of a biological filter. Because you're exposing these frogs to lethal conditions, they're weakening through a combination of stress, poisoning, compromised immune system and inadequate digestion of their food. All your frogs will die before long. Do read the following from top to bottom, and then go out and buy the 6+ gallon aquarium, heater, and air-powered filter as stated.
http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/FrogsArtNeale.htm
There's nothing mysterious about what's happening to your frogs; what you're seeing is absolutely predictable and typical of Hymenochirus maintained in small, unheated, unfiltered conditions. Hope this helps.
Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Tadpole nursery... re pH, Alk... hardness... reading... 6/14/10
Good afternoon/evening Neale,
<Hello again Diana,>
I have been having lovely luck with my tank since we last traded e-mails, my two adult frogs are doing great and my one surviving tadpole has blossomed into a full fledged frog named Spike.
<Cool!>
Performing my weekly water changes and feeding frozen brine shrimp or blood worms every other day. However, two days ago two of my cherry shrimp kicked the bucket leaving me with one female cherry, one male, and four Amanos.
<Oh dear.>
Tested my water today before my usual Sunday water change and the ammonia was off the charts high (somewhere between 4.0 and 8.0) and the Ph was off the charts low (between 6.0 and 6.4).
<Yikes!>
My usual Ph out of the tap is around 7.6. Nitrates are 0 temp is around 75-78 as the weather has been warm.
<I see.>
All frogs are accounted for but my shrimp go missing on a regular basis, hiding among the plants.
<Normal.>
They usually reappear at some point so I never worry much.
<Me neither. I often find gaggles of them hidden inside filters or behind ornaments.>
That being said, I have only been able to account for 3 small Amanos and 1 female cherry over the last few days which means the big amano and the little boy cherry are missing. I have a feeling that they may have died as well and are hidden among the plants. If this is the case could it cause the ammonia spike?
<Possibly, but a single dead shrimp shouldn't overly tax a biological filter, so I'd be open minded on this. Do the usual things first. Check the filter is working properly. That the air pump is bubbling nicely, and that there's nothing blocking any air pipes. Use a pencil or chopstick to root around the plants a little, and see that there isn't a dead fish or lump of uneaten food sitting there. Plant roots keep gravel clean, but any gravel more than an inch or two from the plants should be gently raked down to a depth of about half an inch. Take out the filter sponge or ceramic noodles and gently rinse them in a bucket of aquarium water -- or, lukewarm water no hotter than the aquarium but not much colder either.>
And, what could cause the Ph to crash?
<Check the carbonate hardness. If it is very low, less than 3 degrees KH, you might want to add some of the Rift Valley salt mix at 0.25 to 0.5 the usual dose for Rift Valley cichlids. If you have Platies, Frogs and Shrimps, they all like high carbonate hardness so this is a low-risk, low-cost strategy. Do also read:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwh2oquality.htm
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwsoftness.htm
All aquaria experience pH drops between water changes; what limits those pH drops is the buffering capacity of the water, normally carbonate hardness, but you can also use commercial pH buffers. For Platies, Frogs and Shrimps, the aim is a pH around 7.5.>
My tank is pretty heavily planted with Java Fern, moss wrapped bog wood and grass; the plants are very full and bushy making it virtually impossible to see what is going on underneath it all.
<Great!>
Should I pull everything apart to find everyone or should I closely monitor the tanks chemistry, up the frequency of water changes and let nature take its course with anything that has died?
<Oh, I wouldn't uproot anything, but a stick of some sort can be used to stir the leaves a bit.>
I have included a picture of my tank to help you envision my predicament.
<Looks charming!>
I did a 50% water change and ammonia is showing 0 and Ph is 6.6.
<Is rather low for frogs, Platies and shrimps.>
Thanks for your constant support,
<My pleasure.>
Cheers,
Diana
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Tadpole nursery/// reading...............
Good Morning Neale,
<It's about quarter to seven PM here -- but thanks anyway!>
OY!!! KH is 1 degree!
<Very low.>
two small Amanos dead this morning. I am down to 1 cherry, 1 amano, three frogs and a gaggle of snails. Ammonia is back to 0.25 Ph is down to 6.4.
Filter operating properly, rinsed ceramic media yesterday, will rinse sponge today.
<Right, now, when water is this soft and this acidic, your biological filter is going to work less and less reliably. At about pH 6 biological filtration usually stops completely.>
So, it is clear that I need to raise the Ph and increase KH.
<I agree.>
I see your recipe for the rift valley salt mix but I also happen to have a bottle of Nutrafin African Cichlid Conditioner - can I use this?
<No.>
Each dose provides 20mg/L (ppm) as CaCO, or by 1 percent of GH. Guessing I should raise the hardness and Ph slowly over a few days...what is the best way to do this?
<General hardness and carbonate hardness are different. Think of them as the way both "volts" and "amps" are about electricity, but different aspects. General hardness has little/no impact on buffering. Carbonate hardness is what you want.>
Dosing instructions on the bottle are 5mL per 10 US gal, my tank is 5 gal so I should use 1/4 of the half dose (I'm not sure I can even get my head around computing that!)?
<Here's an idea. Go buy a 5 gallon bucket with a lid. Make up some dechlorinated tap water, and then add the amount of Rift Valley cichlid salt mix -- or at least the sodium bicarbonate -- needed to raise the carbonate hardness to 3-4 degrees dH. You can then use that water for water changes across the next few weeks. As/when you need more, you can make some more up. Does that make sense?>
And, how do I maintain this stability during water changes?
<Do 25% water change today and then daily for the next 3-4 days. That should level things off.>
If I change 50% of the water on a weekly basis would I simply add a 1/2 dose of the salt mix to the replacement tank water?
<Yes, but once settled down I'd only be doing 25% changes weekly unless the tank got really messy.>
Thanks Neale. Once again I am finding myself in an unenviable crisis situation!
<The sudden pH drop and resultant death of fish is actually quite common.
This is why "old hands" like me tend to focus on carbonate hardness rather than general hardness.>
Cheers,
Diana
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Tadpole nursery... Hey, look at me!
Thank you. Yes, your big bucket of rift valley salt mix makes perfect sense. I'll whip up the recipe this evening and begin treating immediately and continue over the next few days. Thank you again.
Diana
<My pleasure. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Tadpole nursery... now reading in Nova Scotia... Good day all!
Hi Neale,
<Diana,>
I just re-read the salt solution recipe and I want to clarify that I am understanding you correctly. My tank has only snails, ADFs and shrimp - no fish.
<Yes.>
If I prepare this solution in a 5 gallon bucket should I mix it at 50% (1/2 teaspoon soda and aquarium salt, 1/2 tablespoon Epsom) and than add that after a 25% water change? And, will my frogs tolerate the salt?
<Yes, this will be fine for the frogs. It's really a trivially small amount of salt.>
Clearly Chemistry is not my strongest subject!
<Indeed.>
Diana
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Tadpole nursery... Monty Python future skit content...
Okay thanks! Off to buy a bucket and some Marine salt.
Diana
<Cool. At a pinch, non-iodised (e.g., Kosher) sea salt will do too. Cheers,
Neale.>
Re: Tadpole nursery... no, really
Good to know! Thanks.
Diana
<Most welcome. Cheers, Neale.>

Platy, Molly and Frog in 1.5 gallons; ooh, surprise, they're dying! 6/1/10
Hello :)
<Hello Kacy,>
I'm really quite new to this owning frogs and fish business.
<Indeed. Do read.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/FrogsArtNeale.htm
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlivestk.htm
Do a degree, most problems come with keeping the wrong fish in the wrong-sized aquarium in the wrong set of environmental conditions.>
I have two African Dwarf Frogs, a Sunburst Wag Platy, and a Dalmatian Lyretail Molly.
<Mollies are not really compatible with these other animals. While Dwarf Frogs and Platies should get along fine provided the water isn't too warm, Mollies need much warmer water and typically need slightly saline conditions.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/mollies.htm
If you have hard water and keep the aquarium water very clean -- by which I mean 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and less than 20 mg/l nitrate -- the Molly may be okay. But it's difficult to predict.>
I've only had them for a couple weeks but the very next day after I clean the tank (1.5 gallon)
<Far too small; these animals WILL die in there. The frogs may be viable in 5 gallons, the Platies need at least 15 gallons, and the Mollies 20 gallons+. It's not just about swimming space, though that's important; it's also about social behaviour and their sensitivity to changes in water quality and water chemistry. Very small containers of water expose livestock to constant changes in conditions, and inevitably this leads to death. Me telling you anything else is a total waste of time unless you upgrade this aquarium to at least 20 gallons.>
it gets cloudy and this white, cloudy, cotton like weird stuff forms at the bottom of my tank.
<Fungus and bacteria consuming organic waste, essentially doing the same thing as mould on bad cheese.>
I have no idea what this is and it spreads really fast.
<Because the aquarium is too small, overstocked, and under-filtered.>
Within two days the water in my tank is so bad I can't see through to the other side and I think the nastiness of this mystery substance killed my other Sunburst Wag Platy, though I'm not too sure.
<You are wrong. Rather, the death of the Platy and the appearance of the white mould in the aquarium are both symptoms of the same problem: this 'aquarium' is far too small.>
I change the filter often.
<Meaning? Do you understand that filter media needs to be cleaned, not replaced, and that it takes 6 weeks for cycling to take place before the filter can effectively remove ammonia? Furthermore, in a tank this small, no amount of filtration will save the fish.>
I've tried using a product called Clear Fast by Nutrafin which says it is supposed to make a difference in the water within 3 hours. I've never seen a change for the better.
<Indeed not; you've replace lack of knowledge with blind faith in marketing. The Capitalist Way perhaps, but not particularly useful.>
Also upon reading the question/answers I've seen some people say they only feed their fish every other day.
<Depends on the fish. Frogs need not be fed every singly day, but Platies certainly should receive a small meal of algae-based flake food once or twice per day. Problem is, in a tank much smaller than 15 gallons, any amount of feeding Platies properly will overload the filtration system.>
Am I not supposed to feed mine every day? I feed my frogs little foggy bites from HBH (though they don't often eat that, they do eat the fish flakes). Is that bad?
<Least of your problems.>
Thanks for your time,
<You need to do some serious reading. You ARE killing these animals through ignorance of their basic requirements. Hope this helps. Neale.>

ADF hlth., env. 2/15/10
We have an African Dwarf frog (after doing reading, I am not sure if it is claw or not because its front feet are white, kind of like mitten, turned backwards, and look kind of atrophied, and moving around in the upper part
of the 10 gal tank.. I don't see any signs on the angel fish or catfish.
<If the toes have fallen off, as sounds the case here, the problem is likely bacterial infection, essentially gangrene. You often see similar things on catfish where their whiskers are eroded away. It used to be said sharp gravel was the cause, but while that may exacerbate the situation, the direct cause does seem to be dirty gravel, and the bacteria therein. In tanks with poor water flow at the bottom of the tank bacteria can spread from decaying organic matter onto fish or frogs resting on the bottom, and catfish whiskers and frog toes do seem particularly vulnerable. So, if you have some Corydoras in there, do look at their whiskers. On healthy Corydoras, the whiskers are very long, around 1 cm/about half an inch in the larger species. Corydoras that have suffered from "whisker rot" have
short, stubby whiskers that only extend a couple of mm from the mouth.>
History: We have had him for about 8-10 yrs and he has lived in the same aquarium with catfish, tetras, Plecostomus, shrimp, and other small fish.
I fed him bloodworms.
<Bloodworms are fine, but shouldn't be the only food items offered. At the very least, offer a variety of suitable small wet-frozen foods, or augment with commercial frog pellets.>
A few months ago my husband replaced some died-off fish with an angel fish he always wanted. He feeds the tank TetraColor tropical flakes and TetraColor tropical granules. Since the frog looked fed all the time (I had fed him only when he looked skinny and until he was full and that worked for the 6-8 yrs), I no longer feed him.
<Hmm...>
A few days ago, I cleaned the tank by stirring up the gravel and taking out much of the dirty water. I checked the pH and it was okay. Today we put him in a separate tank with medicine for Ick. Is that a good move?
<Yes.>
Questions: Are the flakes and granules foods above the correct foods for the frog? Will they do him any harm?
<I recommend offering a variety of foods, rather than just one thing.
Pellet and flake foods are good in terms of energy and vitamins, but they lack fibre, and do tend to cause constipation if used all the time. So just as with our own diet, offering pet animals a variety is the best approach.>
Do the water conditioners do the same job as the pH up and pH down?
<No. There's no reason casual fishkeepers should be using pH up or pH down products at all, and the fact you don't know the difference sets of all kinds of alarm bells! I'm not being mean by saying this, but rather stating a very important rule: if you don't understand water chemistry, then you shouldn't be changing it. Frogs do best in neutral to slightly basic, moderately hard water. In other words, between pH 7 and 8, and around 10 degrees dH. Avoid soft water and acidic water. If you have hard water coming out of your taps, as is certainly very commonly the case here in England, then all you need is dechlorinator to make that water perfect for frogs. Don't use softened water, distilled water, or pH down products either.>
What do we do to clean up the what appears to be a fungus, is that correct, on his feet?
<Use an amphibian-safe anti-fungal medication such as Mardel MarOxy if you suspect Fungus (which looks like white cotton threads). But do be aware of Red Leg, a very dangerous bacterial infection. If you use carbon, remove from the filter while treating. Read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebindex/FrogsArtNeale.htm
My guess is the substrate is dirty and your aquarium has poor water flow along the bottom.>
The other tank inhabitants appear to be fine.
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>

African Dwarf Frog, lonely? 4/8/09
Hi,
<Ave,>
I am hoping you will be able to help with all of your combined knowledge.
<Do our best.>
I've had a little African dwarf frog for about two weeks and he's become lethargic the past four days or so.
<Hymenochirus spp. are quite sensitive animals, and rather more difficult to maintain than the subtropical Xenopus many of us will have seen at school or in labs.>
He lives alone in a one gallon tank and I am wondering if he is lonely. Is that a possibility?
<Not lonely, no. But could be suffering from lack of swimming space, poor water quality, inadequate water temperature, or any of the myriad other problems that occur when trying to keep frogs (or fish) in what are
basically jam jars. Minimum sensible tank size for this species is 5 gallons.>
He seems in good condition physically, no wounds or sores. And he has shed his skin once already.
He's been fed HBH pellets, as he didn't do so well with frozen and dried bloodworms which did not sink and he was unable to find.
His appetite isn't great, he eats about two pellets every day. Some of the information I've read seems to think that is normal, so I am not too worried about that.
<It is true that they aren't "big" eaters. That said, pellets aren't the best staple, and you'll have best results using (wet) frozen bloodworms, thawed out before use. Feed enough for the frog to be gently rounded but not swollen after eating. Freeze-dried food is as good as useless frankly, being both massively overpriced and also prone to causing constipation. No idea why anyone buys the stuff.>
The water temperature is around 70-72 and I've treated the water (which I let sit out over-night) with dechlorinator which also includes some protection for the skin.
<Too cold. These are tropical frogs, and should be maintained around 25 C/77 F. A heater is mandatory, unless of course you happen to live in equatorial Africa!>
I've also provided him with plenty of hiding spaces and he's not too far away from the surface to reach the air.
So my concern is that he hasn't been swimming around much or active like he was for the first week.
<Most of these dwarf frogs quickly die because people buy them without supplying the right environmental conditions.>
I did change 25% of the water (and cleaned the rocks since there was excess food from me trying to figure out how much he would be eating).
He just seems uncomfortable and a little unhappy. He does not respond like he used to, and he doesn't seem to be afraid of being scooped up by the net like he was initially.
Any ideas or thoughts?
<Many.>
Thanks.
<Use a bigger, heated tank. Make sure it is filtered. Do 25% water changes weekly. Use (wet) frozen and live foods every other day. Provided you do all these things, he should recover quickly. If not, doomed. Hope this clears things up, Neale.>
Re: African Dwarf Frog, lonely? 4/9/09

Thank you very much, Neale.
<You're welcome, Erin.>
The thawed, frozen bloodworms are hard for him to find since they don't sink, even when I put them in with a turkey baster. Any other ideas?
Something live maybe?
<Live bloodworms will certainly be eaten. But frozen bloodworms should sink (the ones I use usually do) but do try stirring briskly to remove any air bubbles trapped in their bodies. If that doesn't help, switch to a
different brand. Most people find frozen bloodworms work well, so I'm surprised you've had this problem.>
I had read in a number of places that one gallon was plenty for ADFs and that they were one of the few aquatic animals that would be happy in a small tank.
<A lot of people underestimate the amount of space fish, frogs and turtles require, and you'll see many, many messages here about problems people have had ultimately caused by this critical error. One-gallon tanks are difficult to heat and filter properly, and the small volume of water will be very susceptible to sudden pH and temperature changes. These can stress livestock severely, potentially kill them. A five-gallon tank is a good minimum size for these frogs, and would certainly allow you the potential to keep, say, three specimens without worrying too much about water quality issues.>
It makes me very sad to think that I've caused him harm by keeping him in a home that is too small. Most of the "experts" I spoke with said the home I gave him should be perfect.
<Were the experts selling you anything? Advice from pet stores can often be somewhat biased in terms of making a sale. As always, advice collected online from web pages and forums should be viewed with a critical eye.>
I will take one of the plants out and give him more space to swim while I work on upgrading his habitat.
<Great!>
Thanks again!
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: African Dwarf Frog, lonely? 4/9/09

No, they weren't trying to sell me anything, the bowl with all the stuff to go inside was a gift from my little cousins, so I felt obligated to use it.
<Ah, I see. A thoughtful gift, but as is often pointed out, pets aren't the best presents because of the responsibility and expense often associated with them.>
So, I researched what could live in it comfortably... talk about something backfiring!
<Perhaps... but I hope you'll see an upgrade to the environment as an investment, and in the long term will derive pleasure from these interesting animals.>
I sincerely thank you for all of the advice, and I'm sure "Sunny", the ADF, feels the same way. You've been a great help!
<Happy to help. Good luck, Neale.>

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

Filter blues, ADF... Sys., hlth.    6/13/07 Hi <Ave.> I bought an ADF a couple of weeks ago from the local PetSmart and named him Lego. <OK.> I set up the tank, researched what he needed, took out the filter the tank came with since it produced a tank wide strong current, bought some frog and tadpole bites, and put in plants and a pot for him to hide in. <You bought the frog before researching the pet? Not good.> Everything seemed to be going good except I wasn't sure he was eating the bites. <No surprise there. These animals really aren't wild about dried foods. Sure, they'll eat them eventually, but not with much enthusiasm, and in the case of small animals like African Dwarf Frogs the damage through starvation may well be done by then. Almost without exception, new reptiles and amphibians (and oddball fish) do best given live or "wet" frozen foods first. Once eating, wean them onto dry alternatives.> After looking it up online, I went to the petstore and bought freeze dried bloodworms. <Never yet met an animal that ate freeze dried anything. I'm told some people have good luck with them, but honestly, in 20+ years of fishkeeping they've always been a waste of money in my experience.> They floated which I read that ADF's don't go to the surface for food and sure enough he didn't eat a single one. <Quelle surprise.> The pet store didn't have frozen any type of food, so I went back to the bites. One day I did catch him eating some and after that the bites I put in would disappear so I didn't worry to much about it. <Well, OK, that's promising I suppose.> After seeing on various websites that a whisper filter would be the best for him, I went back to the store yesterday and picked one up. I installed the pump and added some water to the tank that I already had prepared a while ago so that the water level was high enough for the pump. When I first came home from the store, Lego was laying on a leaf at the surface but he had done this before so I didn't think twice about it. However, after putting in the pump he started going up for air over and over again. <This usually means the water quality has plummeted. Tell me, did you mature the filter in any way before adding the frog? Are you measuring the nitrite or ammonia levels? How much and how often are you performing water changes? What about temperature? These are tropical animals, and need a heated tank. If it's too cold, they're digestive enzymes won't work, and they'll starve to death however much they eat.> Then he would swim around and start all over. Sometimes he managed to stay floating at the surface with no support. <A dying frog...> Worried, when he kept this up the rest of the evening, I turned off the filter and went to bed. When I woke up this morning the poor thing had died in the night. <Again, quelle surprise.> Did the new filter kill my frog? <No.> He did seem kind of skinny so did he starve to death? <In part, yes. But also you almost certainly dumped too much food in hoping to tempt him, but most wasn't eaten, rotted, raised the ammonia, and poisoned the frog.> Should I have gotten him a buddy for the tank? <Definitely not. All you would have had is two dead frogs instead of one.> (the tank is a little less then 3 gallons since I live in a dorm during the school year) <Three gallons!!!! That's a bucket, not an aquarium. To quote someone on a forum I visit, don't put animals in this, cut some flowers and put them in it instead. Much prettier, and they'll last longer.> please help! <I'm trying to help. But please understand this: looking after animals isn't easy, and you absolutely have to "do it by the numbers" if you're coming to this new. Go buy or borrow a book about keeping these frogs. There are lots of them around. Sit, read, learn. Once you're up to speed on the theory, reflect on what you might have done wrong. Having pets while you're at college is great fun. I did, and in the end that experience is how I ended up an aquarium writer. But sometimes time, money, and space just aren't going to accommodate an animal in your life. So think carefully before gambling on another animal's life. I would love to have another frog but don't want to kill that one as well <Provided you read and learn about these animals, certainly, there's no real difficulty in keeping them as pets. And they are fun and fascinating animals. But yes, you'll end up killing it if you try and "make it up as you go along". Advice from most chain pet stores is either useless or downright dangerous, so take anything the sales clerk says with a pinch (bucket) of salt. Good books are priceless here. So please please please do some some reading first.> Jessica <Good luck, Neale>

ADF... hlth.   9/23/07 I had two African Dwarf Frogs in a tank with a Pleco and two Danios. About two weeks ago one of the ADFs developed a white chalk-like ring on its body near to where its right front leg connects <Don't see this in your pic> (the Pleco has had similar white chalky spots on its snout since I inherited it about six months ago). Within a few days, it died. Soon after, I noticed that the other ADF has developed a very red bump between its right eye and snout. Its behavior is still normal. No trauma that I'm aware of. Any idea what it could be? <Mmm, something environmental perhaps... Your system, water look very clean... perhaps too much so> How should I treat it? <What water quality tests do you have data for? What are your nitrate readings?> (It's a little hard to see, but I've attached a picture that shows the red bump.) Any suggestions on the Pleco? Thanks for your help. <What sort of filtration is employed here? Foods, feeding? You have read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/dwfafdis.htm  and the linked files above? Bob Fenner>

Re: ADF Health -- 09/23/07 Bob, <Jules> Thanks so much for answering. Here is information on my water quality: Nitrate: 40 <Way too high... needs to be reduced by at least half> Nitrite: .5 <Deadly toxic... needs to be zip, zero, nada> Hardness: 300 Chlorine: 0 KH: 300 pH: 8.4 Ammonia: 0 Temp: 82 I have had the two ADFs with one Pleco and two Danios in a five-gallon tank with a filter pump with bio-wheel and an aerator. I inherited the tank with the Pleco and Danios, and I obviously didn't do my research (don't yell). I just recently found out that the Pleco needs a much bigger tank, so I'm in the process of rehoming him. Meanwhile, I removed the surviving ADF and put him back in his original 2-gallon non-filtered bowl until I can figure out what's going on with him. I feed the ADF HBH Frog and Tadpole bites (I know you don't like these, but he's really always eaten them with no problems) -- about four to six pellets once a day. He's now had the red spot on his head for a few days, and today I noticed that it had a little white cottony piece sticking up from it. I thought "fungus," but when he moved, the white part came off. I've never seen a fungus, so I'm not sure that's really what it was. I have Maracyn2 and Maroxy on hand if I need to use either of those. I did read all the information I could find, but I can't seem to find anything like the round red spot that he has. Is it possible that he received an injury from the Pleco? I've never seen it be aggressive, and I also didn't see the ADF sustain an injury, but the red spot does resemble an open sore at this point. I've attached another picture (he has a piece of food balanced on his head, so ignore that). I'd love to hear any advice you have. Thanks!!! <Need to fix this environment... pronto. See WWM re NO3, NO2... BobF>

Sick African Dwarf Frog - 10/07/2007 Hello Crew, I have a sick African dwarf frog. I'm desperately looking online for his illness but none of the other websites have as much information. <Hmm... general advice: before worrying about what a disease is, think about the causative factors. Nine times out of ten, it's water quality. So whip out your Nitrite test kit, and see what the water quality is like. There should be zero nitrite. If not, if there's even a trace of nitrite, that means water quality is inadequate, and the basic cause of illness is the immune system of the frog being compromised by the environment. Frogs (and amphibians in general) are extremely sensitive to pollution, both in captivity and the wild. This is why they're often considered "early warning" species for signs of damage to wild habitats. It almost goes without saying that the last few decades have seen a catastrophic decline in amphibian diversity and abundance, thanks to Man's stupidity. But that same holds for your vivarium: if the frogs are sick, then it's likely the aquarium conditions that need fixing.> I have 2 African dwarf frogs in a 2 gallon octagonal tank. <Tank too small. Two gallons is smaller than a bucket. Ten gallons would be nearer the mark for this species.> I have had these frogs for about a month and a half. I recently cleaned out the whole tank (About a week and a half ago) because I read that you had to clean the tank frequently online. <Nope. You need to change the water frequently, yes, but cleaning the tank is usually redundant in a properly maintained aquarium. Your basic maintenance schedule is this: every weekend, take out 50% of the water, and replace with new, dechlorinated water. If you live in an area where Chloramine is used in the water supply, treat the water with a dechlorinator that removes Chloramine as well. Most, but not all, do anyway. Finally, never, ever use "softened" water from a domestic water softener.> (Oops!) I took out a under-gravel air rock also because I also read that those can lead to diseases. <What are you reading? Obviously web sites. Please please please buy a book. Books are edited for factual accuracy. Anyone can throw together a web site saying anything they want. I could create one saying Dwarf Frogs like to live in molten lava, should be fed marshmallows, and breed by shedding their toes, which become new froglets. If I tried to write that for a book publisher, I'd lose my contract and the editor would find someone else to write the book. Most of us here at WWM write for books and magazines, so you can have confidence that what we say is sound. But for the most part, treat stuff published online "cum grano salis", as the Romans would say.> I did so and the little froggies where very happy! Within two days, both of the frogs got cloudy eyes. <What a surprise. You removed the sole source of biological filtration, the Undergravel filter. So after a couple days the ammonia had built up to toxic levels. Ergo, the frogs got sick.> I read online though, that this is because of skin shedding. I think they both shed their skin because there was some loose film around the tank. And both of the frogs' didn't have cloudy eyes anymore. For about 5 days though one of the frogs has been staying at the top of the tank. I just thought he was lazy frog that liked to hang out. <Not "hanging out". These frogs are benthic animals that like to stay close to the sand, preferably hidden among plants or leaf litter. When they rise to the surface, it's a sure sign they aren't happy.> He hasn't been eating from what I can see for these 5 days. <Dying animals tend to lose interest in food.> Then today when I looked at my frog, he was struggling to get to the surface and his legs and feet didn't look right. I panicked and got him out into a holding container immediately so my other frog wouldn't get sick. Here are his symptoms: Floating at the top of the tank. Not eating. Listless. His arms and legs seem to have muscle degeneration. Both of his feet are curled. He has a sore at the back of his head that is reddish pink. What does he have?? <What these frogs have is a keeper who didn't research them beforehand. Pets are 100% dependent on you for survival, and that means any mistakes you make causes them suffering. So, you need to go buy a book on African Dwarf Frogs. There are many, many books on pet amphibians out there. In the meantime, buy a proper aquarium and install a proper filtration system. The tank you have is too small for a decent undergravel filter to work. An undergravel filter needs a depth of about 5-8 cm gravel to work. A two-gallon tank will be a real squeeze with that much gravel! Anyway, once they are transferred to an aquarium that has a chance of keeping them alive, you can then treat using an anti-fungal/anti-Finrot remedy used for tropical fish. That might help cure the symptoms, though frankly I suspect you have the dreaded "Red Leg" already in which case the frog will die.> And is it treatable? <Don't bank on it, and certainly not without you providing them better living quarters.> Is my other ADF going to get it? <Long term, no, not unless you change how you keep these poor animals that totally depend on you.> Thanks so much, Sarah <Please understand that loving your pets isn't enough if you don't spend the time and money on their needs. Often, this means buying/borrowing a good book on the subject before even getting the animals. Once you're up to speed in terms of theory, practice becomes so much easier. These are basically hardy, easy to keep animals, so once you fix things, you should be able to keep this species without problems. Good luck, Neale>

African Dwarf Frog acting strangely/manic... and non-heated, non-cycled Betta... systems   12/2/07 I purchased an African Dwarf Frog along with a male Betta about two weeks ago. <Mmm, these don't always get along> These are my first aquatic pets I have had the pleasure of having, and I'm already quite attached! I have done a lot of research but I am still learning... Well today, I decided to do some water changes for the first time, having been a little over a week since the frog and Betta were settled in. I originally was planning to have them in the same tank, but after I placed them together my Betta started to get aggressive, and then I learned that 1 gallon is too small to keep two creatures together in. <Yes> So, for a while I had Robyn (my ADF) in my 1 gallon tank and Reno (Betta fish) in a "Betta planter" that I bought. I felt bad for Reno because he didn't have much water to swim around in (probably less than 1/2 gallon), so this weekend I bought him a 1 gallon tank also. I did a 25% water change for Robyn's tank, and introduced my Betta to his new tank. <Mmm, both these animals are tropical... need steady, high temperature> I am concerned because ever since the water change, Robyn has been swimming up and down like crazy, and keeps pressing her nose up against the side of the tank, it seems like she wants to escape. <Maybe> Is there something wrong with the water? <Could be> I made sure to buy it at Petco and it's called "Beta Water", but it says it's suitable for frogs as well and has a neutral pH, etc. <... am not so sure. What are the ingredients? I would change a good deal of this water out for just dechloraminated tap> Reno, on the other hand, is going crazy in his tank as well, and I think it's because the plastic creates a mirror effect and he can see himself and thinks it's another fish. <Likely so> Will seeing this constantly stress him out too much, or is it just normal for him to swim around that much in a new tank? <Likely will be okay in time... a few days> What about Robyn? Before I did the partial water change she just liked to hang out in the little cave I got her, and poke her head out occasionally. I am really concerned, I don't want them to die :( Also, as a note: The 1 gallon tanks I bought both come with an undergravel filter and an air stone that has a little plastic tube around it (I guess to minimize current?)? I have heard a ton of conflicting information on whether or not this air pump is safe/good to use in my tank with my Betta or my ADF. <Are fine... but... what re cycling?> I would really like to use them because I like how they look and I think they will keep the water cleaner, but I don't want to endanger my frog or make my Betta unhappy.? Any suggestions? Please help, and thank you! -Valerie <Yes... for you to read... Which you were directed to do before writing... Start here for Bettas: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm  and the linked files above, particularly on Nitrogen Cycling... Bob Fenner>
Re: African Dwarf Frog acting strangely/manic, Betta bubblenests 12/5/07
Dear Bob, <Valerie> Thank you so much for the prompt reply, sorry I couldn't get back sooner! (Final Exams).? I have read a lot of the articles on your site, but I wasn't able to find the specific link on nitrogen cycling... and I am still sort of confused on what tank 'cycling' involves exactly, though I understand the general idea.? <Yes... and I've seen your response further on, where you state you have read re> Reno the Betta seems much more like his normal self these past two days, although he started spitting his food back out when I gave it to him, then re- swallowing. It stayed down for a couple more minutes before he spit all of the pellets back out. I watched a while and he eventually ate them and kept them down. Not sure what that's about... I bought some frozen bloodworms today, am going to try varying his diet with those, but I am confused as to how to serve them and the portion amount? <Just a few at a setting, defrosted... held near the surface to get his attention> My ADF freaked me out a lot yesterday because I saw transparent, filmy stuff clinging to her underside, but after looking it up online it seems she was just shedding her skin. <Likely so> In a few more minutes it was off completely so I didn't worry anymore about it. She's learned to come to her food plate to eat, and is now eating consistently. Her weird behavior also seems to have subsided, but her tank looks cloudy... I am going to do another 25% water change today, even though I just did one on Saturday. If I turn on the air stones now (all of the sudden) will it alarm/stress my animals? <Should be fine to do so> Should I perhaps move them to a separate tank, turn them on, and then reintroduce them? <Mmm, I'd leave all in place> I want to get my undergravel filter system working, as I feel this will help with the tank changes. I am leaving their lights on about 12 hours a day, in order to keep the water warm enough, but I am going to get a thermometer tomorrow so I can see what the temp actually is... I am afraid it is dropping too much at night even though I keep my apartment around 75 degrees F. Now the problem... today I just got home from school and I see my ADF is missing his right foot entirely!?!? He still has his leg, with a stump. <Happens... perhaps the Betta...> I have no idea how this happened... he seems to be swimming alright without it but I am so worried it will get infected. <Possibly> It doesn't look like there's anything on it right now but what are the procedures I need to take in order to get him to grow it back? (I heard they can do that..)? <Mmm, a possibility, but not likely> Also, what might of caused this to happen? I am afraid his little plastic coral reef may of caused him to catch his foot and tear it.. but the thing said it was approved for aquariums and when I felt around the edges prior to buying none of them seemed excessively sharp. <What other life is present?> Please let me know ASAP what treatment I should apply for Robyn, as many of the different FAQ's prescribe different things and I am unsure where to start. Thank you! -Valerie <No specific treatment is suggested... as your system is not established... this will very likely cause more trouble than fix...> P.S.? What does a Betta "bubblenest" look like? <Like a floating mass of small bubbles...> I Googled it without much success on an actual picture. His tank has a large accumulation of bubbles all concentrated on one area on the side of the tank, I was wondering if this was a bubblenest, or an indicator of some type of water quality problem. it looks crystal clear the moment... I will try purchasing some of those test stripes for nitrogen, ammonia, etc.. anyway if you could provide a picture or a verbal description of what a bubblenest looks like, that would be great, thanks! <Do try to set some time aside to visit a local library and check to see if they have books on Bettas... these will have photos... Bob Fenner>

Deceased frog.  2/14/08 Dear Bob, <Neale here today!> About a year ago I decided I wanted a fish, so I went and bought two Jack Dempseys. The employee at the big box pet store told me they would be fine in a ten gallon tank. <Nope; and indeed getting two JDs to share any sized tank is pushing your luck unless they're a mated pair.> Needless to say, I hadn't done my research and neither had he. After doing my own research and learning more about them they're now in a 55 gallon tank with a few other fish and seem to be doing fine, but my boyfriend and I wanted a peaceful community tank as well. <Doesn't everyone!> I did some research on that and found that (hopefully this is all correct) an ADF would be fine with some small Corys and a peaceful Gourami or two. <Actually, no; I don't believe that frogs of any kind make particularly good additions to aquaria. They are best kept alone, or possibly in tanks with ultra-peaceful species that can be guaranteed to ignore them (say, Hatchetfish or Kuhli loaches). Otherwise, frogs are too easily damaged, too sensitive to poor water quality, too easily killed by fish medications, and too difficult to feed properly. While some people manage to mix frogs and fish fine, the majority don't.> We set up a 30 gallon tank (about a foot deep) and had it running for a few days before we went down to the specialty fish store that we now shop at. We bought one ADF, three small panda Corys, and a honey dwarf Gourami. We brought them all home and put them in together yesterday. The frog was extremely active. He swam around a lot and seemed to be enjoying himself. They seemed fine when we went to bed last night, but when we woke up this morning (gasp) my new frog friend was dead! <Not really surprised. Almost certainly killed by water quality problems. Running a tank for a few days EMPTY does nothing at all to cycle it. Maturing a tank depends on the bacteria getting established in the filter, and that requires a source of ammonia for the bacteria to "eat". An empty tank is just a big bucket of water, and there's nothing biological going on in there. You then add a bunch of fish, they produce ammonia, and the ammonia stresses/kills the livestock. Do read the WWM articles re: starting a new aquarium.> The water has a strange cloudy quality to it. The fish are still alive, but the frog was done for in less than 24 hours and I'm really not sure what happened. We tested the PH again and it was fine. <The pH is irrelevant, and most inexperienced aquarists have no idea what it actually means. For a new tank, you need *at minimum* a NITRITE test kit. This gives you a measurement of how the second stage of the two-stage biological filtration process is doing. Under normal circumstances a tropical tank takes 6 weeks to complete the cycling process. That's six weeks from when the first ammonia source is added -- whether a few hardy fish (like Danios) or an inorganic source (ammonia from a bottle). The pH is about the acidity of the aquarium, and there is no such reading as "fine". A low pH (i.e., 6 to 7) is good for Angelfish and tetras but bad for livebearers and Goldfish; conversely, a high pH (i.e., 7.5 to 8) is essential for livebearers and Goldfish, but not appreciated by soft water tetras and dwarf cichlids. Please do read the WWM articles re: water chemistry to understand this topic.> The temp is at 78. The light was on for about 4 hours yesterday. Any ideas? <Lots, but mostly you need to sit down, read, and understand how an aquarium works. In particular focus on water quality and water chemistry. Getting these wrong surely account for 99.99999999% of aquarium fish (and frog!) deaths.> Thanks in advance, Shelley <Cheers, Neale.>

African Dwarf Frogs - Twitching, lethargic  3/2/08 Hi guys, <Hello,> Thanks to your wonderful site my husband and I have had 2-3 aquariums up and running for several years with no problems at all in at least a year. We have 2 adult African Dwarf Frogs that had lots of little froglets a few months ago. We couldn't possibly keep them all (21 total) but were waiting for them to grow up to be strong healthy frogs before selling them to our local Ma and Pa fish store. They were in a tank that's way too small to support all of them (5 gallons, but lots of the frogs are still very small), but we did frequent water changes and kept a very close eye on all water parameters. The tank was completely cycled, we'd never see any ammonia or nitrites, and the water changes took care of nitrates fast. We're moving and things have been hectic, the tank went a few days without a partial water change and my husband tested the water - Ammonia had spiked off the chart! The frogs were all on the bottom, lethargic, and a few of them were lying on their backs and twitching. We immediately did a 50% water change and retested. Ammonia was still WAY too high, so we waited a few hours and then did another 75% change. Still too high, so we moved some fish around, completely cleaned our 20 gallon tank and moved them into it last night. <Doesn't sound promising. A good rule during times of chaos is to STOP feeding livestock. Anyway, if you see an ammonia spike in an otherwise stable aquarium, do check for overfeeding and/or dead livestock. It may be that one frog died, decayed, and that was what overwhelmed the existing filter.> This morning I checked on them and 5 out of 21 are on their backs twitching, the rest are very lethargic, and a few of them have their legs twisted around their other leg. It's not looking good... Water parameters are fine in this brand new tank. We've added some gravel from our very old cycled tank to assist the cycle in this new one and will be picking up some BioSpira when the pet store opens later today. <Hmm... gravel (unless part of an undergravel filter) doesn't do all that much to speed up cycling, so don't rely on it. Much better to divide the media in the existing filter into two, put one portion in the new filter, and then let things recover. A mature filter can easily tolerate a 50% loss of media without any serious water quality problems.> Our frogs are our babies, we feel terrible that we let this happen to them. We were planning on giving some of the babies to the LFS today but are terrified that they'll just put them down since they look so bad. We'll keep them for as long as we feel that we can do some good to help them. <Good. Sometimes time helps. Additional aeration plus regular water changes will also help.> To further compound the problems, we MUST move their tank to our new place today which is sure to traumatize them. Is there anything that we can do to help them other than make sure that this new tank cycles fast, being vigilant to water quality issues? <Transporting the frogs, providing they are parceled out into spacious containers, a few per container, shouldn't really cause major problems. Keeping them warm and dark during transit will help, as will being quick. But compared to ammonia spikes, simply being moved about for a couple hours is neither here nor there.> Thank you so much, you guys are great. Heather <Hope this helps, Neale.>

Floating ADF, what treatment options? Poor environment, no reading    3/17/08 Crew, I bought 2 African Dwarf Frogs a week ago. I have them in an unheated/unfiltered, but treated, 1 gallon tank. <Umm, this is the trouble... Need heated (they're tropical), filtered environment... of larger (more stable) size> Initially I also had 3 Ghost Shrimp, but those died within 24 hours (I think due to the stress of extensive travel and adjustment, and probably due to the cramped quarters of having 5 animals in a fairly small bowl). Their deaths, I don't believe is related to this problem. As soon as the shrimp died they were removed from the tank and they water was changed and re-treated. After about 5 days of having the frogs they started to act a bit strange. They started to just float at the top of the bowl without any movement. They have also stopped eating (they have been on a strict frozen brine shrimp diet in the store and in my home). According to my research on this site and on others, it appears that they do not have red leg, fin rot, extreme bloating, or a fungus related infection. One site I research mentioned that there is a bacterial infection that can afflict these frogs. The symptoms, floating at the surface and not eating. This site did not give any treatment options. I know there are certain types of salts and medicines that could possibly be used to help, but I didn't want to use anything that would not treat this problem. What treatments would you recommend? I really don't want to lose these critters, but I fear that they may be a casualty of my novice status. Please send me any advice you have that might remedy this problem. Thank you. Dan <Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/hymenochirus.htm  The linked files on the page. Bob Fenner>

ADF floating and now with red feet... new water, hlth.  -- 03/18/08 First, Thank you for being a superior source of information. I have read about the ADF and diseases and found one that seems to match what is going on, but I need to know what to do next . . . My daughter (11 1/2 years old) has had her hex 5 tank for 2 1/2 years and has done a pretty good job of keeping it clean and the 3 fish & 1 ADF frog cared for. Over this time she has lost three fish and one frog, but all has been well for about 10 months. Until now . . . Paige did a water and filter change last month <Mmm, I'd do smaller, more frequent change-outs... 10-20% a week... with treated, pre-stored water> and the water again last week. On Friday I noticed that there seemed to be gunk floating in the tank (like shedding skin and algae from scraping- this is not normal for her tank) Then Sat. her ADF was floating at the top of the tank (also not normal and not a Zen pose). I took him out, took a sample of the water to the pet store and did a 1/2 exchange of the water. <Careful here... It is dangerous to change too much of a system too soon with amphibians... whatever is in their water, gets into their bodies... almost immediately. Hence the statement above> When I helped with the water exchange I found that the filter had not been pushed all the way down and wasn't filtering properly. It's working now and the pet store said that the water was "fine". <Fine...> We put the ADF in a 1/2 gallon bowl with a mix of old and new water until the Sunday afternoon (if he died, I didn't want to leave him in the tank with the other fish while we were gone a few hours). We put the frog back in the tank, but this morning his hands and feet looked red. <More evidence of "new water poisoning"> This afternoon his legs are red and he is floating at the bottom of the tank up-side-down, <Bad...> but when we tap him with the net he moves around. I found a reference to "red leg" that stated that red leg or foot is due to water quality - and lack there of. But I didn't see what to do about it. Our situation seems fatal. What do you suggest we do next? The pet suggested that we use Melafix. <No... worthless... See WWM re> What do you think? Thank you for your help! Joanie and Paige <Really, only time, patience... I do hope your daughter's Hymenochirus recovers... Do please read here re water changes: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwh2ochgs.htm  and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: ADF floating and now with red feet
Bob, <Joanie, Paige> Thank you for your speedy reply. I feel very badly that I could have made the situation worse by putting too much new water into their environment. <Is a very common situation... Nowadays, our tap/source water is not very "consistent"... and much of the treatment (e.g. sanitizer addition) is quite toxic to aquatic life> It looks like you were giving me another link about the Melafix or another med. but it didn't show up on the email. Would you resend the link and/or give me more insight on the medication issue for this situation? <Do just peruse WWM through the term and our search tool here: http://wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/question_page.htm  reading the cached views... highlighted...> By the way, the little frog is still at the bottom, but is moving occasionally on his own. Thanks again, Joanie and Paige <Am hoping for the best... Cheers, BobF>

African dwarf frog, hlth., no data or reading ahead of writing    8/20/08 Hi- last fall my frog lost her front leg, <?!> it kind of curled up on her and then it was gone, leaving a pinkish stump. <More to this...> She adapted well to the loss of the leg, but now the other front leg has done the same thing. We were hoping maybe it would grow back but neither have. We would just like to know if you have ever seen this before and what causes this. Thank you, Becca BTW she is 3 years old. <... Legs are not "just lost"... something missing... in the system, maintenance, water quality, nutrition, aggressive tankmates... You give no data re these... Read: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/dwfafdis.htm  and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: African dwarf frog, killing   8/21/08
hello- I wasn't sure how detailed you wanted me to get. Okay, the frogs live in a glass vase with a lid on it that holds a plant, <... dismal... Totally inappropriate> the water used is regular tap water that is aerated for at least 24 hours before we replace 50% of the water once a week. They are fed frozen blood worms. <Ditto> Now, before you start thinking why are they living in a vase without filtration, heat lamps etc., I would like you to know that these frogs are 3 years old, they mate constantly and have laid eggs several times. <Animals, plants for that matter will attempt to reproduce in extremis... conditions that spell their doom... something about "survival of the species">  We have watched the eggs evolve to tadpole stage and have actually had 2 fully mature. The other frog is fine. So I don't think anything is wrong with the way we are raising our frogs, in fact I think we got it right, and they are actually quite spoiled, for frogs. Is there anything I can put in the water to help her? Will the legs grow back? Or do I need to start looking for a new frog? Thank you in advance for any information you provide me. <Please read where you were referred to... RMF>

ADF Sick 11/10/08 Two weeks ago we set up a 5 gallon tank with a mini heater that stays at 78 degrees with a Tetra Micro Filter with Biobag cartridge. We started with 3 fancy tailed guppies and one ADF. The water levels were normal and the water was crystal clear. On Thursday we added another ADF and a mini algae eater (not sure what type but is not supposed to grow bigger than 1 1/2 inches). <You shouldn't mix fish with frogs. This "mini algae eater" is almost certainly an Otocinclus catfish. These fish CANNOT be kept in tanks as small as this. For a start, they are SCHOOLING fish, and keeping a single catfish of this type is just plain cruel. Next up, they're difficult to keep. They mostly only eat green algae, and after that, algae wafers. In small tanks they almost always starve to death. Thirdly, they're "cool" tropical fish from llanos of South America; water temperature should be around the 22-24 degrees C mark (that's 72-75 F). In other words, your tank is way too hot for them, and heat exhaustion is just around the corner. Finally, Otocinclus can be "parasitic" when hungry -- attacking other fish, scraping at the skin. They possibly only do this when half-starved, but even so, they're a silly risk to take with an animal with very delicate skin, like a frog. I have seen these catfish behave in this way, so this isn't rumour-mongering. A 5 gallon tank is a marginal environment for Hymenochirus frogs, and UTTERLY inadequate for Guppies. I know you don't want me to say this, but everything about this tank is wrong, and indicates to me that you did no research at all before buying these animals. Please read a book or visit this web site before buying animals -- you have the choice to buy or not buy a fish; the poor fish (or frog) has no choice at all, and that means it can't escape a probable death in a poorly set up aquarium.> Yesterday we noticed the tank was getting cloudy as we were getting ready to leave (I'm assuming it is from the algae eaters food tablet he didn't eat). This morning I got up and noticed one of the frogs has a white filmy coating and is staying at the top of the tank. I checked the water levels - ph 7.2, ammonia between 2 & 4, nitrates between 0 & 5, nitrite .25. <The tank is insanely dangerous to animals of all types. The ammonia level is beyond lethal, and I'm staggered anything is still alive. Let me be CRYSTAL CLEAR about something: unless you're an expert fishkeeper you shouldn't look at any tank below 20 gallons, and even the frogs shouldn't be kept in anything below 10 gallons.> I immediately did a partial water change of approximately 40% and added 1/2 tsp Tetra Aqua Safe. I have been reading through the site and trying to figure out the best way to take care of him. <Buy a bigger tank. Install an adequate filtration system. Try not to overfeed your livestock.> I went back up to check to see if the water change helped and found him floating on his back. <Doomed...> I moved him to a quarantine tank and a few minutes later he started to swim around and is now floating at the top of the tank right side up. Is there anything I can do to save him? <He'll be okay and likely recover if conditions improve. But be under no illusions: ammonia and nitrite levels should be ZERO all the time. If you're not getting that, you're doing something wrong. The Guppies and the Otocinclus have absolutely no business being in a tank this small. A 5 gallon tank is a bucket. It offers no margin for error, and male Guppies in particular are aggressive and will turn on one another in such small spaces. The Otocinclus will be dead soon anyway, simply because you simply don't have an environment where this very difficult to maintain catfish can survive.> What do I need to do to treat the regular tank to ensure the other fish and frog do not get sick too? Also how soon should I do another water change? Thanks for your help, Diane <Do please read over the articles on stocking and setting up new tanks. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlivestk.htm  Also review water quality. Buy yourself (your animals) an adequate habitat. Their ticket out of there is death, unless you do something to change that. Good luck, Neale.>
Re: ADF Sick (Hymenochirus sp.; 5 gallon tank; doom and gloom; quelle surprise) 11/10/08
Thanks for all of the information, apparently I should not have listened to the people at PetSmart. <Do always remember: Pet shops exist to sell stuff. While many retailers are well intentioned and even experts in a particular field, many junior staff members have no particular experience or knowledge. They're just doing a job. So while you certainly should talk with your retailer, it is always important to read a good book prior to purchasing an animal.> I will see if they will take the catfish back, I had questioned them specifically to see if these would all be ok together and they assured me I would not have any problems. <Otocinclus (if that is what you have; check) are widely sold to the wrong people for the wrong tanks. Easily 90% of these catfish die within months of purchase, and likely the majority within a few weeks. Many die in the aquarium shop even before they are sold.> I had also looked on Frog World and read that you need 1 gallon of water per frog so I thought a 5 gallon would be perfect for our daughters room. <You're confusing two issues. One is how much space per frog. Certainly a gallon or two is adequate. But then there's the question of how small a tank can you reliably maintain. The answer to that is that anything below 10 gallons is difficult to heat and filter properly. Very small tanks are prone to wild temperature changes and poor water quality. It's to do with dilution of toxins, volume to surface area ratio, thermal stability of water, and various other well understood issues in fish/frog-keeping. In other words, the correct answer to the question of choosing a tank for Hymenochirus frogs would be "One gallon per frog, with a minimum tank size of 10 gallons". Since the price difference between a 10 gallon tank and anything smaller will be trivial (especially compared to the maintenance of the frogs in the long term) there isn't any practical reason to try keeping a smaller tank.> The site also said guppies etc would be ok tank mates with the frogs. <The problem with mixing frogs and fish is that frogs have extremely delicate skins. They breathe through their skins. Anything that causes damage to the skin can quickly lead to death. Fish are liable to peck at anything tasty-looking, and that can include small frogs. Moreover fish are much faster swimmers than frogs, making it difficult to ensure the frogs get enough to eat. On the flip side, frogs should be fed extremely sparingly (typically every other day) and this isn't viable where fish are being kept. So you have either overfed frogs or underfed fish. Finally, frogs are extremely sensitive to poor water quality, perhaps more so than hardy fish. If you have an overstocked/overfed aquarium because it contains some fish as well as the frogs, you're making your hobby harder by increasing the risk of things like Red Leg.> I did do some research, apparently not enough or in the right places... We do have a ten gallon tank that is empty- would the guppies be ok if I moved them into there & left the frog in the 5 gallon until I can find another setup? <Under the circumstances, this would be the best solution. I'm not wild about Guppies in 10-gallon tanks because they tend to become aggressive, and the females especially generally get harassed by the males. But people certainly have kept a few Guppies in tanks this size and got away with it! Likewise, provided the 5-gallon tank was clean and properly heated, you should be successful with one or two frogs in there. It isn't the system I'd recommend, but at a pinch, and if you were extremely careful with water quality and temperature issues, you could just about get away with it. The advantages of 10-gallon tank shine through when things can't be managed: e.g., when you're on vacation or don't have the time to do water changes religiously. That's why I say for the average aquarist or frog-keeper, their hobby will be much more fun and easy with a slightly larger aquarium than they might expect.> I want to do everything I can to keep them healthy. <That's the aim!> Thanks <Hope this helps, Neale.>

Unexplained male dwarf frog deaths  11/30/08 Hi, I have been keeping African Dwarf Frogs for more than two years now. I first got a pair that turned out to be male and female. I named them Slim and Chance because I thought those were the odds of my being able to keep them alive. Anyway, they seemed to thrive under my care and even mated. The tadpoles hatched, and long story short, I kept two of the froglets and later bought another frog to make five frogs altogether. I had them in a five-gallon aquarium, so when they seemed to be doing so well, I bought them a ten-gallon tank and they acted happy to have a bigger home. Then a few days later, the only male frog (Slim) started making mating calls, or at least that's what I thought. And I was happy because I thought that meant they would breed again. Then later in the day Slim was suspended nose down in the middle of the tank, and when I touched him, I realized he was dead. Rigor mortis and all. Well, that was devastating for me since the females seemed fine, and I thought he was too until I found him dead. So a few days later I went to the pet store and bought another male frog. Of course he was much smaller than the females, but I figured he would grow. I had him about a week when just today he started with the mating calls, and I was so happy, thinking finally this would work out. Now this evening I found him dead. And still the females are fine. Can someone please tell me what is going on??? Why are the males dying and yet the females are OK? My water quality is fine. Now I'm afraid to try to purchase another male because I can't keep watching them die like this without knowing why. Please help me! Betty <Hello Betty. It's impossible to answer this question without some data about the tank, diet, temperature, etc. But let's review. Hymenochirus spp. frogs are tropical, and in an unheated or room temperature tank will die. Next up, they need excellent water quality. All amphibians are extremely sensitive to ammonia and nitrite, so you absolutely must provide good filtration. "Water quality is fine" doesn't help me much here: what I'm talking about is zero ammonia and zero nitrite. Finally, you need stable water chemistry. Precise values don't matter, provided you avoid the usual mistakes of using water from a domestic water softener (too much sodium) or water that is so soft the pH drops rapidly over time. I'd recommend moderately hard, neutral water. The diet should be varied; like it or not, "frog pellet" foods aren't a useful staple, and should be augmented with things like frozen or live bloodworms. Overfeeding is a very common problem too, and most frog keepers finding feeding every OTHER day works best. Males, being smaller, are much more sensitive to problems than females, and this explains the differences you're observing. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: unexplained male dwarf frog deaths  11/30/08
Thanks for your response, Neale. I rechecked the water, and both ammonia and nitrite levels were zero. The pH level is 6.4. The tank was unheated, so that could have been a factor. Their five-gallon tank was always unheated and they did fine in that for more than two years, but moving them to a ten-gallon unheated tank could have been a problem. They get frog and tadpole bites as well as frozen bloodworms to eat, and I feed them daily, so perhaps I was giving them too much food. I've now added a heater and I'm going to try feeding them every other day. I would like to look for another male frog but it isn't always easy to distinguish the males when they're so young at the pet store. I hope I now have the tank conditioned for success. It's so heartbreaking to lose one of these guys. Betty <Hello Betty. The pH is quite acidic, and that tends to go along with soft water, so do check your hardness, in particular the carbonate hardness (KH) as that's the thing that stabilises pH. All aquaria become acidic with time, but the rate varies depending on the carbonate hardness, which is specifically the ability of water to resist pH change. It's a really easy problem to slide into, because we don't always appreciate how suddenly pH can change. While your frogs will be fine between pH 6-8, they won't like sudden changes. Regular water changes are a great way to avoid pH disasters. As for temperature, these are tropical frogs, and there's really no getting around that. In summer you might be fine, but in winter things can get too cold for the frogs. I'd not let them get colder than 18 C (about 68 F). It sounds as if you're doing everything right, so fingers crossed! Cheers, Neale.>
Re: unexplained male dwarf frog deaths
Thanks, Neale, for all your advice. I just purchased another male so I'm hoping to get it right this time. Betty <Good luck! Neale.>

Multiple ADF Troubles   12/10/08 First of all, your site has been very helpful in finding information on these frogs, and I appreciate it. Keep up the good work! I have gone through a number of problems in the past few days, and I had been finding answers on your site but it seems to be a combination of things and I don't trust my own judgment anymore... First of all, I'm a college student, which has run me into multiple troubles with the frogs, but I've been doing what I can. I had two ADFs, one male and one female. I got them in the end of July this year, so they're still pretty young. I got them with a 4 gallon tank or so, not exactly sure on the size. I also have an air filter that uses Bio-Bags, I'm not sure of the name of the type of filter or anything though. It uses an air pump to move water up from the bottom and bubble it to the surface and through a gravel-like filter piece (the bio-bag) and pours it back out on the surface...And I feed them HBH Frog+Tadpole bites. The female seemed to eat a lot more than the male, and got a lot larger. I was having concerns about her eating his food and such, and tried to make sure I saw him eat every time just to be sure. Everything seemed fine until around thanksgiving or so. I had to take them home with me for the week or so, and when I do I have to take about 30% of their water out. I did this when I left on Tuesday, and filled it when I got home (about an hour or two later). I use API tap water conditioner (dechlorinator). Everything seemed fine, and I took them back on Sunday, again having to empty 30% of the tank again. Looking back now this may have caused some stress on the tank and the two frogs... This past Saturday (my first Saturday since returning to school with them) they both looked OK and I didn't really notice anything. The water was getting a little dirty since I hadn't really done a full clean of all the poop/food on the bottom for a while. Late Saturday night I saw the male frog floating at the top, sideways, up against the filter near the spout. I panicked when I found him like this and didn't know what to do. I don't have a net here, so I grabbed a clean spoon and grabbed him with it and pulled him back to another corner. He was moving around a little bit, but was not NEARLY as lively. He was very lazy and seemed out of it. I noticed on his back that he had what looked to me like pieces of food or something, which I now realize was the cottony fungus you've told other people about. I freaked out and took him out thinking there was something wrong with the water, and put him in a separate small container entirely with new water. (After reading through your site, I now realize this was probably terrible for him). I took out about 60% of the tank water, hoping to help get rid of whatever made him sick. At this point I jumped online, found your site and looked for answers. It seemed to me that taking him out was a bad idea, so I put him back. I didn't want to mess with the ecosystem in the tank anymore so I only put about 10% new water back in. At this point the filter wouldn't run because of the way it works (needs about 80% of the tank full or it just gurgles). I figured it was better than shocking him more with clean water, so I left it this way. He started going through phases where he wouldn't move at all, and I thought he was dead. He'd then move a tiny bit a while later so I didn't give up hope. I read your suggestions of Pimafix and Melafix. The next day I got my hands on some as soon as I could (about 10 hours after I discovered him this way) and decided I'd try it. After spending the night, he looked as though he was already dead, but I figured I'd try anyway. I added a little bit more water, and added the doses of Pimafix + Melafix. I came back a few hours later and he was in exactly the same position, but the infection looked much better. I had also noticed the night before that the water was starting to get cold (68ish) as the weather outside was starting to freeze, so I had purchased a heater as well. I left them both like this, trying to feed the other one, though she seemed very shy/afraid and wouldn't come out, so I'm not sure if she ate. The glimpses I caught of her, she seemed to be getting skinnier. I came back later that day and found the males infection almost entirely gone, but he was starting to grow that grey hairy fungus, so I considered him dead. I hoped for the best and left him for the night. In the morning I was sure he was dead, so I flushed him. That Sunday I finished filling the tank, installed the mini heater, applied another dose of pima/Mela fix to hopefully protect/help the female. I installed a new bio bag into the filter (I'm unsure now as to whether this was a good idea, but I had read that you should remove carbon when you're giving the medicines so I had left it out before). Still, the female looked more or less ok, but she still was not lively and would not come out of hiding inside the castles in the tank very often. I was worried, but I kept feeding as normal, hoping she'd be ok. Tuesday I came back to my room for the day, and didn't see her anywhere. Not even 5 minutes later I heard rocks kicking around so I ran over and found her with her back stuck in the suction of the input of the filter. I quickly pulled the air tube off the pump and she dropped. She played dead for a while, or was in shock, either way it scared me, especially after losing the other frog so recently. She eventually moved, but I noticed she looked different. After looking at her for a while, I've noticed her toes and fingers both curl in (almost bird talon looking). She used to have very open fins, but now they're all curled in. I've read this is a nutrient deficiency (thanks, again, to your site ;P) so I'm concerned about her. I haven't changed her food so I imagine she just isn't eating. I haven't really been able to tell if she eats or not since I never see her. Tonight I managed to land a couple pellets on her head and she would eat them, but other than that she doesn't seem to be eating anything. I tried to pull her out with a spoon/cup so I could put her in a different container for a while and watch her and see if I could get her to eat, but she kept hiding and I don't want to stress her out. After continuously examining her, I've also noticed that her armpit area seems to be redder. She's always had a slight pink spot there (I think that's normal for a female?) but it seems a little darker than usual, and she has a spot on her leg that is darker as well. She seems to be losing weight too... In addition to her skinny-ness, she seems almost weaker. On multiple occasions recently I've seen her appear to be struggling to get to the surface of the tank to "breathe". I'm partly concerned she's going to "drown", though I think they can breathe through their skin? I'm not sure, I still have always seen them dart to the top of the water and seem to take a breath. I then proceeded to do a nitrite test, and it tested between .5-1 ppm. I know this isn't normal, but there's a small mix of poop/food and other stuff floating around the bottom, especially since I didn't have the filter running for a few days. I also starting using a new filter, and have replaced a lot of water. I know nitrites should balance themselves back to 0, but I don't know if this is extreme. All of those things I did could be affecting it so I don't know what to do. Should I change all the water? 50%? or just wait it out and see if it comes back down? Also, should I continue doing pima/Melafix in hopes to help keep the female alive? Or is this not going to change anything? Is there anything else I can do to help her? I feel terrible about the death of the first frog, I've been very upset about it for the past few days, and I really don't want to lose this one too. If this one doesn't die, would I have any problems introducing a new ADF to the tank? Might it bother her? Is there any reason why I should or shouldn't? Please tell me anything I can do to help. Again, I apologize for any redundancy in the material you guys have already posted, but I'm very unsure of what's wrong, and it seems to be a mix of problems. I don't know exactly how to "diagnose" the problem, not to mention how to approach it. After the few mistakes I've made, I really don't trust my judgment and don't want to mess something else up. Thanks in advance for your help, I hope to hear back soon, -Dylan <Hi Dylan. The short answers are these: Firstly, what you're dealing with is some sort of opportunistic bacterial infection. Very common among amphibians not kept correctly. Poor water quality (implied by the non-zero nitrite level) and low temperature (should be around the 25 C/77 F mark) were likely the triggering factors. Next up, treatment. Frogs respond positively to antibiotics and antibacterial medications used carefully. However, Melafix and Pimafix are both rubbish, and instead you should be using something like Maracyn (in the US) or eSHa 2000 (in the EU). Treatment with these tea-tree oil products is rarely effective once the infection becomes established; at best, their like antiseptics you'd use to keep a wound clean, but once the wound is infected, you'd turn to penicillin or whatever. Just so with fish and frogs. While I'm doubtful of a positive outcome, what I would recommend is optimising water quality in the tank (zero ammonia and nitrite) by ensuring the biological filter is working properly. Don't waste time with nonsense like carbon. Ammonia remover (Zeolite) might be beneficial if you don't have time to establish a good filter, but bear in mind Zeolite needs replacing every few weeks, so it isn't particularly cheap to use (though it can be recharged using salt water). Also keep the frogs warm, and then apply the right medication. Once you're done with these issues, get back in touch and we can discuss the care and maintenance of Hymenochirus frogs in more depth. They're not especially difficult to keep, but they do need a reasonably big tank (I'd recommend not less than 8 US gallons, to be honest) and a proper filtration system and heater. Miniature aquaria -- though popular with students -- really aren't stable or easy to maintain. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Multiple ADF Troubles  12/10/08
Hello again, I think that the cold was probably part of it, but I had never seen problems with nitrites before this. I'm assuming the filter was preventing that before, and I hadn't changed that one in a while, which led me to the conclusion of changing it. I have never tested so soon after replacing the filter, and I had left the filter off for a while, and I'm wondering if that's what is leading to the high nitrites. Is it probable that now the filter has been replaced and running, that the nitrites will drop again? <You should never, ever switch off a filter for more than, say, half an hour. After a while the bacteria die from oxygen deprivation, and you end up with a "dead" filter that needs to re-matured all over again.> As for the treatment, I'm not sure I can get my hands on Maracyn for multiple reasons. I also don't believe her to be infected, she isn't showing any signs like the other frog. She is slightly reddish on one of her legs, which is worrying me about red leg, but is this something Maracyn would fix anyway? <Erythromycin (in Maracyn) will indeed fix Red Leg.> I thought it was more of a disease than an infection...I could try getting Maracyn when I go home in a week and a half, but until then I don't think it's an option. Until then, should I continue with Pima/Melafix? or is it not going to do anything or be harmful? <Pimafix/Melafix will have no effect either way. Will not cure Red-leg or other opportunistic bacterial infections, but won't make them worse either. The frog will simply die at whatever rate it's going to.> I also just realised that in addition to Pima and Melafix, I have some fish "Stress Coat" (by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals) that says it removes chlorine, neutralizes chloramines (neither of which I'm worried about), removes heavy metals, and replaces the slime coating on fish. It's recommended to be used when "fish are damaged by injury or disease". Is this worth a shot? <Not worth a shot, no. Just a fancy water conditioner. Would be akin to treating gangrene with a bar of soap.> You mentioned "optimising water quality in the tank". Should I change MORE water? How much of the tank? All of it? Half? It seemed best to leave it alone from what I read online. <Optimising water quality means using the right filter for the right sized tank, with the livestock receiving only the right amount of food. Water changes are part of the equation to be sure, but at the usual rate of, say, 25% weekly, or every couple of days if you detect nitrite/ammonia levels not equal to zero.> I also can't get my hands on other filters at the moment, but that may, again, be possible to look into in a couple weeks. Suggestions on what kinds? Zeolite seems to expensive... <Zeolite isn't expensive.> I am making sure the remaining frog is warm...The heater seems to make it a little warmer than seems comfortable, so I turn it off at times... How warm is too warm? <Anything within the range 23-26 degrees C would be safe; anything below or above, unsafe.> Thanks again for the help, Hope to hear back soon, Dylan <Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Multiple ADF Troubles  12/10/08
Hello, I went out and got some Maracyn, and reading through the directions, it says that it can raise nitrites and ammonia levels. My nitrite levels were concerning me already, I'm unsure of what to do. <Well, you don't have much choice: treat with frog, and hope ammonia settles down, which it will if you use Zeolite in the short term.> My main concerns about the remaining frog are these: She may catch or have caught the infection the other frog had Her toes/fingers are curling One of her legs is reddish, in addition to a reddish patch near one arm She seems skinnier I'm not sure if she's eating enough. <I doubt she'll "catch" anything, but she certainly could succumb (is succumbing) to the same environment-induced syndrome.> I'm going to keep up with 25% water changes every 2 days like you recommended to help with the nitrite levels. <Do remember not to do water changes if the medication says not to. Some medications need to be left in the tank for X number of days before the water is changed. Read the instructions! I haven't used Maracyn myself (not sold in the UK) so you'll have to figure this out yourself.> My main question is, would giving her Maracyn do more harm than good by raising the nitrites? Should I concentrate on trying to drop the nitrites or treating her with Maracyn? I can't really tell which is riskier/unhealthier for her. <No choice really; she'll die quickly if she isn't treated.> It also says that filters that are less than 6 days old should be removed. I know you said not to leave it off for more than half an hour. Should I take it out, put in the Maracyn and put the filter back in a half hour later or what? <Leave the filter running. Your filter is surely more than 6 days old? If it is that new, use Zeolite, which is safe to use with medications (widely used in "hospital tanks").> Sorry to keep asking you questions, I'm just really concerned about her and unsure of what to do. Thanks again, -Dylan <Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Multiple ADF Troubles  12/14/08
Hey, <Hi,> Thought I'd give you an update on how things are going, and what I'm doing. Let me know if you have any suggestions... The remaining female ADF is doing about the same. I tried the Maracyn, and noticed they have another formula (Maracyn Two) for things like internal infections. The one I got is mostly for external infections like the male frog had. <The difference between Maracyn and Maracyn 2 is nothing to do with "external" vs. "internal" infections. They each treat different classes of bacteria, the first gram-positive bacteria, the other gram-negative. In situations where Maracyn has no effect, Maracyn 2 may work, and vice versa.> Her fingers and toes are still curled in...I've managed to get her to eat by dropping food near her. I noticed if it falls by her she'll snap at it and eat it, but she doesn't seem to be looking around for food. Not that ADFs really do much anyway... I try to feed her about 6-10 pellets a day this way, and leave a few around. They're small pellets. I can usually tell when she's done because she'll start spitting them back out and go and hide somewhere. She usually perks up and starts waiting for food when I take the lid off and such... <Well, that's all positive. So long as they're feeding, you can have some hope.> I'm a little concerned of whether she'll start looking for food again, but I'm going to wait until she looks healthier. This curling may be a deficiency from the food itself, should I consider something else? Can I look for some sort of nutrient powder or something? <Variety is the key. Bloodworms, live daphnia, mosquito larvae, etc. The more foods you offer, the less chance of dietary problems.> Anyway, I have small rocks in the bottom of the tank and I'm kind of concerned this might make it harder for her to eat. If I chose to take out the rocks would having an empty tank like that be ok? <She'll be fine, provided you put some black paper or something under the glass so it isn't horribly bright and reflective.> I'm going to pick up some Maracyn two tomorrow and try that as well. It says it's for internal infections (signified by lack of eating and red streaks). Her red patches and streaks on her legs are coming and going, looking worse during certain parts of the day. I feel like it's better to be safe than sorry and I don't think it can hurt, can it? <It's fine. They're both safe medications used correctly.> She also seems to have grown a couple of small white patches on her back and knees, very small though. I think this is the same fungus that killed the other frog, but I'm hoping the Maracyn will pull through and help her kill it. It doesn't seem to be getting much worse... <Does sound like fungus. Maracyn may help, but proper fungal remedy will be better.> Let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions, Thanks AGAIN for all your help =D -Dylan <Good luck, Neale.>

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