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FAQs About African Dwarf Frogs, Infectious Disease  

FAQs on African Dwarf Frog Disease: ADF Health/Disease 1, ADF Health 2, ADF Health 3, ADF Health 4,
FAQs on African Dwarf Frog Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional, Social, Trauma, Parasitic, Treatments,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Red Feet/Safe Plants... for...?    5/16/13
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.>

"Red Leg" in ACFs    5/19/13
Hi Crew,
<Guten tag, Julia!>
this is not a question, but I´ve just read about the ADF with possible "Red Leg" infection, so I wanted to share my own experiences with this syndrome
(if this is of interest; if not, feel free to ignore this Email ;)).
<Ah, not our style.>
A few months ago, I wanted to get a few buddies for my two ACFs (an adult pair, 42 gal tank, filtered, fully cycled, planted. No problems). I was able to acquire three frogs from a lab (one male, two females), which I moved into a 30 gal quarantine tank first. Smooth sand bottom, two terracotta pots, floating plants, an adequately sized canister filter. I checked the water daily (0 NO2, << 25 ppm NO3, pH 7.2, temp. about 68 °C, moderately hard water).
<All sounds good. But do read this excellent summary by the RSPCA on the care of Xenopus spp in labs, here:
http://www.rspca.org.uk/ImageLocator/LocateAsset?asset=document&assetId=1232712646624&mode=prd
Among other things, a somewhat warmer temperature is recommended, around 22 C. I mention temperature because many tropical animals are sensitive to opportunistic infections when chilled, and even if otherwise tolerant of cool conditions, warming them up can get their immune systems working better.>
They settled in just fine and for the first few days, everything was ok; they were active and always hungry just like my other frogs. But after six days, the new male suddenly became listless and had two tiny red spots on his feet as well as slightly swollen hind legs. I had a bad feeling about that and immediately separated him from the females before doing a large water change in the 30 gal tank. The next morning, he was barely moving and had several severe hemorrhages (he spent the night in a clean tank without any decor, so an injury is out of question). I took him to a vet, but it was too late and he died in the evening of the same day.
<Very sad.>
Because of the very fast progression of this infection (36 hours from a perfectly healthy frog to death), the vet gave me some Baytril to treat the females which didn´t show any symptoms yet preventatively. Luckily, this was successful and I could move them to the display tank four weeks after the end of the treatment.
<Good.>
In this case, I can rule out environmental problems as a cause. The frogs have lived under stressful conditions in the lab and I know of some deaths due to Aeromonas hydrophila in the colony before; I think the inevitable stress from being moved was just too much for this frog.
<Could well have been, particularly if they were handled a bit roughly when moved. Capturing frogs can damage their skin as they rub against the gravel, net or your hands.>
I just wanted to show that this is a very dangerous disease which requires a prompt reaction. The photo shows the frog shortly after its death.
<Thanks for sharing. Hope your other frogs do better. Cheers, Neale.>

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

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

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

White fuzz and ADF [Methylene blue vs. Malachite green] 7/22/10
Hi
<Hello,>
I've read your site which is the only place I have been able to find any information... so thanks for that... Alas, I don't think I read far enough soon enough... Here is the saga and the question.
My ADF got a white cottony fungus on his foot about 2 months back. I used the liquid fungus cure ( aquarium pharmaceuticals) which turns the water green. I didn't save the ingredients and so I don't know if it has something
the frog is sensitive to. His foot fell off complete with the cottony fungus. I kept him in the hospital tank for a few more days just to be certain he was okay. Once I was sure... I returned him to the tank with the rest of his friends. (another frog, and some betas)
<Betta, as in "better", from the local name for these fish, "Bettah".>
after about a week or so the fungus came back. So I went back to the store and then they sold me some fungus guard- which turns the water blue- and now I find that it has the blue that frogs are sensitive to. Okay, so I did another complete water change and am back to the green liquid cure that doesn't seem to be working. My frog is clearly VERY sturdy as he has been hanging in there through all of this... but the fuzz is not clearing up.
Is the liquid fungus cure the same thing you have been recommending? My pet store seemed to think so.. but again its not clearing up the fuzz.
I'm sorry to ask the same question over again... but I'm very worried about him.
Thanks so much!!
Dawn
<Dawn, generally Methylene blue is deemed to be fairly non-toxic, and can be used safely with even baby fish. So given the choice, that's the medication I'd use. Malachite green is somewhat more toxic, and can affect things like biological filtration as well, and should be used with caution.
For what it's worth, Methylene blue is a reliable anti-fungal medication.
It should be noted though that "amphibian medicine" is a very unclear science, and fungal infections generally are known to cause massive morality in the wild.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7067613.stm
As ever, prevention is the name of the game here, which in the case of aquatic frogs means providing good, clean water without copper or ammonia, properly filtered, and with regular 25% water changes. Diet is another key issue, with vitamin deficiencies likely reducing the frog's own immune response to opportunistic infections. Cheers, Neale.>
<<Neale, this product's active ingredient is Acriflavine: http://cms.marsfishcare.com/files/msds/fungus_cure_liq_030308.pdf
RMF>>

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

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

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

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