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FAQs About African Dwarf Frogs, Disease Treatments

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, Infectious (Virus, Bacterial, Fungal), Parasitic,

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

NOT: Organophosphates, salt/s, metals nor most dye solutions.
Sulfa, furan drugs can be efficacious.

As always, phony non-med's like Mela, Pima... non Fix s/b avoided.

New sick dwarf frog   6/14/16
My daughter and husband brought home a new African Dwarf Frog yesterday and added it to the small tank with another one (whose mate died two days ago).
I later find out that the woman at Petco told them that all the other frogs there had died and there was a dead frog in the tank. Yes, it was a horrible idea to buy this frog but now I am stuck trying to heal it while keeping the other alive. I don't know what is wrong with this frog (if anything- though he just floats at the top most of the time). What can I use as a basic antibiotic type solution that can help them?
<Unfortunately medicating frogs is very difficult. Oxytetracycline has been used with success, though Tetracycline and Minocycline might both make acceptable substitutes. In the US these are sold in some aquarium shops, but in most other countries they can only be obtained via a vet. There are some useful websites out there aimed at professionals maintaining Xenopus.
While your Dwarf Frogs need warmer (tropical) water compared with room temperature Xenopus, in all other regards they are very similar in terms of healthcare.>
I'm afraid it's contaminating the tank and I will lose them both.
<Agreed. But to some extent stress and poor environment seem to trigger problems with bacterial infections otherwise latent in frogs. So in good conditions these frogs are actually pretty hearty.>
Also, should I do a water change at this point to remove any toxins from the new frog or recently deceased frog?
<I would change as much water as practical immediately, and thereafter as indicated by the manufacturer of the medication used. Once the course of medication is done, you can switch to the usual weekly 25% water change.>
Thank you very much
<Most welcome. Neale.>

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

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

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

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

African Dwarf Frogs and Epsom Salt 5/2/12
Hello!  I wrote about a year and a half ago for advice on setting up a first aquarium for a pair of ADFs.  Thanks to Neale's help, I now have a thriving community of 10 frogs (the 2 originals, plus 8 of their offspring who were raised from eggs).  The 10 frogs are spread out among three aquariums, each with a river sand substrate.  All water parameters seem good (ammonia/nitrite 0, nitrate < 5, temp. 78 degrees F, ph 7.7).  The froggies are fed a rotating diet of frozen foods (thawed before serving)--bloodworms, Mysis shrimp, glassworms, brine shrimp, and Tubifex worms.
<All sounds good.>

Everybody seemed healthy and happy until last week, when one of the females started to get a raised hump on her back, just in front of where her tail used to be.  It got pointier and pointier, until it almost looked like a tent pole.  It appeared that the point was actually the tip of her spine, and that something underneath was pushing the spine up.  The whole back end of the frog actually seemed very "full," but it did not resemble any pictures of dropsy or other common diseases I found online.  At first, the growing hump didn't seem to bother the frog at all, but within a couple days she started hiding and stopped eating.
At that point, I was worried about an intestinal blockage.  In desperation, I decided to add Epsom Salt (1 teaspoon/10 gallons of water).  The next day, nothing had changed so I repeated the dose.  The next day, froggy was out and about, and the hump seemed to be a bit smaller.  Today, the hump is almost gone, and is now really just a small localized bump about 1/4 inch in diameter.  The frog seems to be acting pretty much normal and seems to have her usual voracious appetite back.  I've tried to restrict her food intake, and actually gave her some frozen daphnia I had on hand for the tadpoles (kind of small but she ate it).
Now for the questions.  First, does this sound like an intestinal blockage, and if so do you have any idea what might've caused it?
<I have seen this from time to time, and I'm to be honest I'm not sure what the problem is. Often it happens in frogs in less than perfect conditions, but that doesn't seem likely here. If all the others are fine, I'd put it down to "one of those things".>
Second, since the "hump" is not quite gone, I was wondering if another dose of Epsom Salt might be warranted. Is there a limit to how much is safe for ADFs?
<Should be fine.>
Finally, do you recommend adding this periodically to all of my tanks as a preventative measure?
<If your water is very soft, then yes, you could use Epsom salt to harden it up a bit. But if your water is already moderately hard to hard, there's no real point making it even harder.>
Thanks so much for all of your past help, and for any assistance you can provide with my latest challenge.
<Most welcome, Neale.>

ADF - "Froggy" Help please? Hlth.     3/1/12
Hello, I've had an ADF for a bit over a year now. His home (Errrm, I think it's a him?) is a 'cute' round 4 gallon tank, with one of the LED lights that change colors in the middle. It's has a basic pump filter, with bubbler in the middle tube, so frogs/pets aren't "close" to the bubbles unless they go to the top. Temp is set at 76. I KNOW not a super set up,
but, I didn't want to get really involved in more upkeep.
<I see.>
When we first purchased the tank, I was told that the 'basic' rule for fish was one fish per gallon of water,
<Uh, no. Imagine one Great White Shark in a gallon of water! There is a guideline that suggests one inch of small fish per gallon of water, so a school of six fish each an inch long will need at least 6 gallons. It's a crummy rule, and leads to all sorts of misconceptions, but it's a start.>
So we purchased 2 ADFs and a BeTta. I'm sure you know that didn't last long.
<Actually, this combination can work.>
Although I had the water tested, and was told it was good, 2 beta's passed away, as did one of the frogs (the beta's were purchased at separate times, never more then 3 animals in the tank at once).
I do pretty normal tank changes. 1/4 change if it's been 2 weeks, and I've done 1/2 changes when it had been a month. I am sure to add "Aqua Safe Plus" to each water change.
Diet consists of frozen blood worms, and yes, sometimes freeze dried worms or tadpole/frog pellets.
Trying to find 'live' feed anything that's small enough is difficult around here, or I just don't know where to look perhaps.
Down to my issue, "Frog frog" has been a bachelor for about 8 or 9 months now.
He does his quirky swimming about, lays on his back, floats, etc. He's ALWAYS seemed rather on the thin side.
<Likely not enough food or the wrong sort. Healthy specimens should look quite robust.>
I thought it was just how he was built? Over this last week or so, I've noticed he hardly comes up for air, and seems rather inactive. In the last couple days, I've been even more worried. I've looked everywhere I can, Google, pet stores, forums, etc - and no one seems to have an answer. He's not bloated at all, there's no red, or fuzzy on him. I know they get inactive when they're getting ready to molt,
<First I've heard.>
and just, well, because they can - but, he's been doing this odd thing of acting like his back legs aren't working? He has them very out-stretched straight, and they almost intertwine with each other, or, he keeps them curled up very close to his body. He's not doing his normal "push off" of the rocks at the bottom or anything like that, nor hardly coming up for air at all, and no, I've not been seeing him eating either.
<Not good. These animals do need a fair diet. and freeze-dried foods alone may not be acceptable. Wet-frozen foods like bloodworms can be better, or at least offer some taste variety. There are some good frog-specific foods on sale, and these make a good staple. Live daphnia is a good treat.>
I went ahead and did a 1/2 water change yesterday, then added the recommended amount of "Mardel - CopperSafe", for ick, velvet and other things, just in case.
<Ah, now, this wasn't good. Frogs are easily poisoned,
and "just in case" approaches in veterinarian healthcare are exceedingly bad ideas. Always remember: every single medicine ever created by man is a poison. We use them specifically because they kill things -- bacteria, parasites, cancerous cells, whatever. With care, we use just enough to kill the "bad
thing" while leaving the patient unharmed. But there's always a downside to medicines, and if used at the wrong time or the wrong amounts, they can do more harm than good.>
Late last night in my research, one site that I ran across last night suggested doing 1 cap of Pedialyte with 10 caps of water, for a 'bath' - remaining in it for 1 to 2 hours, no more then that though. That's currently where Frog frog is now - in a container in front of me.
<Stop. Do not do this. But equally, don't suddenly expose your frog to sudden changes in environment. Gradually change the water in the container back to what it was in his aquarium, e.g., by replacing 10-20% every 20-30 minutes for the next couple hours.>
He normally swims around or away from the small net when I need to take him out, however, this time when I went to transfer him, he stayed at the very bottom of the tank - I was afraid of hurting him with the net, so I ran my hands under very hot water for a few minutes to make sure they were as clean as I could get them (no soap) then picked him up and put him in this "Pedialyte" bath. His legs are still out stretched, and honestly, I thought he was a goner because he didn't move or respond at ALL when I took him out, but, I'm watching him move his head and shoulders a bit, so I know he's still alive.  Am I just being completely over-worried?
<No, this is a serious situation, and sounds like a starving frog.>
Is this 'leg thing' normal at all?
<Not normal.>
Is there some kind of ADF frog disease I can't find information on?
<Almost all "frog disease" is environmental or at least about care. In other words, it's not so much a germ or parasite, but more what *you* have been doing or not doing.>
Right before I got to send this off, Frog frog opened his mouth REALLY big, yawn? drowning? I thought he was gone again, so I took him out of the "bath" and put him back in his water, just in case. Still not moving at all, but, he's taken a breath at least. Help quick, please - Although I know it's possibly a lost cause, I'm going to miss Frog frog. No one can do the "Mr. Peanut stance" quite like his can. Thank you in advance for your time, comments, suggestions and energy it takes to read, and respond to this.
<Do read:
Look to see what you aren't doing/haven't done, and act accordingly. Do also read here:
And follow the links at top to other FAQs of relevance, education.>
<Cheers, Neale.>

Ich Quarantine 8/9/11
<Hi there Alyssa>
Last month, I decided I was going to upgrade fish tanks, going from a Marineland 5 gallon to a Marineland 12 gallon. The 5 gallon housed my three-year-old ADF, Simon. After setting up the 12 gallon, I let it run for two weeks before moving Simon into it,
<Along w/ some olde water, substrate, filter media I hope/trust>
and decided to keep the 5 gallon running.
I also decided to buy neon tetras for the new tank.
<Mmm, Characins/oids really don't like "new systems">
It has been a week since I bought the fish, and the tetras have been dying left and right. Now only two tetras remain, and I am fairly certain one has Ich. I just noticed tonight the tetra has beige-colored granules on his body. Depending on where the tetra is in the tank, the granules are either noticeable or they aren't.
So here are my questions.
I have read ADF's are sensitive to Ich medication. Is it better to relocate Simon to the 5 gallon, while I try to treat the Ich, or to move the tetras into the 5 gallon?
<Yes I would>

Do I move both tetras, or only the infected one?
<Move the ADF, leave all else in the 12, treat>
If I move Simon, how can I make sure I am not somehow also transporting the parasite to the quarantine tank?
<Yes, but will die off in a few weeks for lack of a suitable host>
Will Simon be all right in the bare 5 gallon for the amount of time it takes to remove the Ich from the 12 gallon?
What is the best approach to removing the Ich?
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm
and the linked files above, particularly re "sensitive fishes"... Likely a thermal approach alone will work here>
This is my first time dealing with Ich and I'm a little freaked, thus all the questions.
<No worries.>
Thanks so much for your help,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

ADF's, no salt please 4/16/11
Hey Folks,
I recently lost about six ADF's in two separate tanks over the course of a couple days.
The female Betta fish that were with them are doing fine. I had gotten in the habit of adding a heaping tablespoon of salt per gallon of water with the Betta's water changes .
<Why? Please read here:
and the linked files above... There is a persistent "wives' tale" re salt use... in this case, toxic>
The frogs were added about a month ago. Today I read on the internet that I might be using too much salt.
At any rate do you think that the salt might have killed my froggies?
<Oh yes>

I read on your site that they absorb through their skin. Most of them looked normal but a few were bloated. The strange thing is that they did fine for a month and then suddenly over the course of several days they all died. Last week I bought some HBH frog and tadpole bits. They are larger and sink. Before that I was feeding something smaller that floated on the surface and the Betta girls were getting huge. Water, food, or something else.
Thanks so much for your time,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: ADF's 4/16/11
Hi Bob,
<Big D!>
Thanks so much for your timely response. Very kind of you. I appreciate the information. Have a great weekend. GOD bless.
<And you, BobF>

African Dwarf Frog/Betta safe medication? 2/1/11
Dear sir/ma'am,
One of my little African Dwarf Frogs has developed bloat.
<Mmm, a symptom... with a few/diverse etiologies/causes...>
He looks pretty bad off. He is not floating and seems to still be eating (frozen bloodworms),
<I would discount to discontinue these larval insects as food. They have been implicated in troubles in recent times>
but is super swollen.
He is in a 5 gallon tank with one other ADF and a Betta (they get along fine, basically ignore each other). I am looking for something to treat the frog with that will also be safe for the Betta since they are in the same tank. I adopted the frogs from someone else in last December and the one was already puffy at that point, but I just though he was fat. He has gotten much worse since then. Can you please recommend something you think would be effective and yet safe for my Betta too?
Thank you!
<There are some folks who endorse the use of broad-spectrum antibiotic use, Epsom Salt for such... but I'd just switch foods... Do read here:
and the linked files above, particularly "Feeding FAQs". Bob Fenner>

Re: African Dwarf Frog/Betta safe medication? Using WWM 2/22/11

Thanks for the information. We tried your recommendation of switching our ADF food to try to cure his bloat. We switched him to mysis shrimp, but the little guy is still suffering from bloat. He is extremely swollen. We contacted an exotic animal vet in our area that deals with frogs. He told me this morning to put the frog in 1 liter of room temperature water with 1 tsp of table salt and 1 tsp of sugar and leave him there overnight.
<Worth trying>
I am confused because I thought exposure to high levels of salt for long periods of time would kill an African dwarf frog. What are your thoughts on this method of treatment? It breaks our heart to see him suffering. Thank you!
<... Have you read, searched on WWM re? Start here:
Bob Fenner>

White fuzz and ADF [Methylene blue vs. Malachite green] 7/22/10
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, 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.
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

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

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

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

Frog with cloudy eye 7/7/05 Hello, I have been gone for a couple of weeks and have had a friend caring for my fish and other pets, but today when I returned home I discovered that one of my African dwarf frog's eyes were clouded over, I'm not sure what I should do about this and would greatly appreciate your opinion. Thanks. <Check your water quality, change some water... make sure it is feeding and all should be well in time. Bob Fenner>
Re: frog w/ clouded eyes 7/13/05
Hi Bob,      you were the one who responded last time so I'm writing to you by name , plus it feels better to write to someone in particular. Any way, My African dwarf frog's eyes have not cleared up  yet and he is spending all day at the very corner of the tank. His skin is looking very odd as well. I put him in an isolation tank away from all of my other fish. Also I tested the water and it was fine. PH. a little high but that's it. what do you think is wrong? Any suggestions? <Yes... I'd administer 250 mg. per ten gallons of system water with a mix of Sulfa drugs... "Triple Sulfa" if you can find it. Bob Fenner>

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

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

Fluke Tabs and African Dwarf Frogs.  8/14/07 I have spent the last three days searching the Internet for any information regarding fluke tabs and ADF's. I've mailed veterinarians, with no reply back. You're my last hope! I would like to eradicate hydra in my frog aquarium by using fluke tabs. I've discovered that fluke tabs are safe for turtles, most fish and their fry, not safe for invertebrates and scaleless fish. But I can't find a thing about whether or not they are safe for my frogs! So my question is: Are Fluke Tabs, when used for eradicating Hydra, safe for my African Dwarf Frogs? <I vote not... Please peruse: http://www.google.com/search?q=use+of+organophosphates+and+amphibians&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-Address&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7PCTA > Sincerely, Melissa <I'd remove the ADFs during the use of organophosphates. Bob Fenner>
Re: Fluke Tabs and African Dwarf Frogs.   8/15/07
Thank you so much for your reply! I wish your answer had been "fluke tabs are perfectly safe for ADF's"! But at least now I know not to use it with them in there. Again, Thank you! Melissa <Ahh, from the Latin, small "sweetness", even "honeybee"... Shades of A.A. Milne! Cheers, BobF>

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.>

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.>

Bloodworm Infestation (HELP!!) Hi, your site's really great! I really hope you can answer my question I'm at my wit's end! ). My question is ( I admit ) a bit off the subject BUT still is related to external/internal parasites. OK, my fish ( guppies, silver hatchets, loach, emerald cat, iridescent shark ) and one of my African Dwarf frogs are infested with bloodworms. I am POSITIVE they are bloodworms (thin, red, protrude from vent, and aquarium has no other parasitic contact). Anyway, my frogs NEED the bloodworms to eat (they won't eat anything else. <Have you tried "Glassworms"? (actually chironomid/midge fly larvae), small frozen/defrosted marine crustaceans? There are quite a few of these offered by the pet-fish trade. Look for the Gamma brand...> I feed them frozen ones, never live. ). I now know a feeding method that prevents the fish from getting infested, but, now one of my frogs is "wormy". Whenever my fish got wormy, it always died in the end. I try to halt parasitic invasion by plucking the worms out of their ventral areas ( it's really gross and I'm rather  squeamish. ). It seems to help, but my fish still die. Is there any medication or wormer that I can use? <There are... a few worth trying. Piperazine and Praziquantel may be had through your veterinarian... you are looking for a vermifuge (as in "flee worm") medication that won't harm fishes, frogs...> I have no invertebrates in my tank, and all of the plants are fake yup, plastic. ). I really don't want to hurt my fish and frogs. It'd be great if there is a medication available. Please help me! - "Worm Picker-Outer"( that's really grossed out ) <Do keep us informed of your progress. Bob Fenner>

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