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FAQs About African Dwarf Frogs, Social 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, 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,

Best by themselves; next with VERY easygoing small fishes who won't pick at them. NOT with turtles, crabs, lobsters... not Bettas, Goldfish...
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, Kuhli loaches and surface-living things like Danios, hatchets and Halfbeaks.

My African dwarf frog died, incomp. 6/4/2011
Hi I bought an African dwarf frog about over a month ago and everything seemed fine. I made sure to ask the pet store employee if the frog would survive in my 20gal tank filled with tropical fish, one shark, algae eater, and cat fish. and they suggested it would be fine.
<He was wrong. Generally, these Dwarf Frogs to much better kept among their own kind or mixed with very small, very gentle tankmates. Cherry Shrimps are ideal and bring some nice colour to the set-up. Very small tetras such as Neons can work, but there's always a risk with fish that they'll either steal food or nip the frogs.>

My frog actually did pretty good and was rarely bothered. In fact if the fish would try to mess with him, the shark scared them away. Now im not sure what exactly happened because I check on them every day and last night I checked and he was just laying upside down. I moved him around and he twitched but it looked like he was just slowly dying. I change my filter every month and do a water change a week after my filter change. And we bought blood worms but kinda figured that he would eat the left over fish flakes so stopped putting them in the tank and also because every time we put the worms, all the other fish went for it. So im not sure what else I can tell you but could it be that he wasn't eating properly?
<This is why the frogs are best kept alone. That way the foods either gone inside the frogs or left uneaten, so either way, you know the state of affairs. Cherry Shrimps aren't much competition, so the frogs will come out and feed happily. The problem is that fish can scare the frogs so much they don't eat enough.>
Also something we tried but not sure if it made a difference was since the fish tried to eat the worms as soon as they saw them ( we used a dropper to reach in) we turned off the light so they wouldn't see his food and he would have a better chance of eating.
<Do read, here:
Cheers, Neale.>

Frogs The letter below was posted by me to you. I have been trying to follow what you told me in your response. I was able to get another 10 gallon tank as I have no place for a larger one. I was moving the Dwarf Frogs and one jumped out of the tank and was on the floor for about 5 - 10 minutes. I am not exactly sure. I was so upset and put him in the tank quickly when I found him and he seemed ok. Now he has something of a red bulge coming out of his bottom. I've never seen this before. Will he be ok? Also. The two long skinny algae eaters passed away. I think the other Gold fish ate the small Rosey Red. The fish have been acting so aggressive over the last two days. The Black Moor seemed to try to bite the Frog and the frog lunged at the Black Moor and the today I saw the Black Moor with a mark on his side. I do not know what is going on. The long skinny Algae eater was acting crazy so I took him out and isolated him in a fish bowl over night and he was swimming so fast and then about 20  minutes later he was dead. I am moving the goldfish to a colder spot and putting the Frogs and Shrimp in the warmer area. Do you think this will be ok? Thanks, any help will be appreciated. I am new at this. I've only ever had goldfish. but I do love these frogs. >>Hello Yolanda; Have you tested your water for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate? I am new to the crew, but Sabrina gave you some good advice, so I will try to follow up on it. The fallen frog sounds like he has some internal injuries, you will have to wait and see how he does. He may not make it if the injuries are severe. I agree that all the animals should be separated, move the frogs away from the goldfish, algae eaters too, and the shrimp and Rosy reds also. This is quite the problem! I hope you are doing frequent partial water changes to keep all the animals in good health. -Gwen<<

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

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.>

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.>

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