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FAQs About African Dwarf Frogs, Health-Disease 4

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, Treatments,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eggy ADF with red scratch under mouth.      3/23/19
Hi!
<Good morning!>
This is my first time writing in but I have spent MANY hours on here reading up on ADF care. There is so much to learn.
My setup:
Established/Cycled 10 gallon tank with Aqueon HOB filter-upgraded to sponge & bio-ceramic rings and a sponge over intake filter, heater maintaining 78-80° and an air stone. Substrate is tumbled/smooth med-sized gravel, a driftwood log, a tall silk plant, 5 moss balls, a terra cotta pot for hiding and dish for feeding.
<Sounds great, though I might nudge the heater down a bit; 25 C/77 F is fine.>
Inhabitants: currently 1 male and 1 female ADF, and 2 Nerite snails
<All good.>
Background:
(I lost 2 ADFs to bloat and 1 to Red Leg disease about a week ago)... Since then, I got some Koizyme to add to the tank at 4 drops/week in order to help help snuff out gram neg bacteria, responsible for Red Leg, but my understanding is that I need to increase my alkalinity to around 100 ppm for it to work properly.
<Possibly. But Koizyme is a supplement for use with Koi carp, and absolutely NOT an antibiotic. I'd no more rely on this product to cure a disease than something like Melafix. What you want is a proper antibiotic, such as Kanaplex, or failing that, a reliable antibacterial medication such as eSHa 2000.>
So, today I started adding 1/2 tsp baking soda and plan to do this daily for 3 or 4 more days to avoid sudden changes that ADFs don't like. Is this okay?
<See above. What you're doing is not going to do any harm, but it's not a reliable fix either. Your frog might well get better under its own steam, and the Koizyme product will help create good conditions, though I don't really understand why you've selected a pond treatment for a tiny fish tank. Isn't dosing really difficult? The bottle seems to indicate teaspoon per 500 gallon doses!>
Water parameters:
PH-6.8 (hoping b.soda will help this move to more alkaline… > 7.0 )
<It will, but around neutral, 6.5-7.5, is fine for these frogs.>
Ammonia/Nitrites/Chlorine: 0
Nitrates: <15
Alkalinity: ~25
Hardness: ~70
Current problem:
I thought the other 2 adf's might also get bloat, decided to wait a bit before replacing any, and sure enough 2 days ago the female started getting bigger, but now-instead, I believe she is eggy because she looks much different than the others who got dropsy. She is not puffed up all over-- just her belly.
<Could easily be gravid, yes.>
But I confirmed today with a good picture that she has a red sore/wound? on the underside of her mouth. Should I go ahead and treat the water with something?
<I would always, ALWAYS treat wounds on frogs as per Red Leg, simply because healing sick frogs is extremely difficult. Best to use the medication as soon as wounds appear, rather than once those wounds becoming infected.>
(I don't have a hospital tank).
<Not an issue here. Antibiotics won't harm the other frogs or snails.>
Side note: I discovered that VitaChem can go a long way helping beta fish grow back their tails and is ultimately a great product for any and all fresh water fish…boosting their vitality. I should have some by tomorrow.
<None of these "boost" products is worth investing in. It's kind of like your doctor's opinion of vitamin pills -- for most healthy people eating balanced diets, vitamin pills contribute absolutely nothing of value whatsoever. Likewise here, anything marketed as a "boost" is more about extracting money from anxious fishkeepers. As/when fish or frogs get sick, you need to treat the pathogens involved with reliable medications, not vitamin supplements or whatever. You want an antibiotic here. Here in my country, the UK, antibiotics are only available from a vet, so for small fish and frogs, it's simply doesn't make much financial sense to visit a vet, so we tend to use antibacterial medications like Protozin or eSHa 2000 that work almost as well. But as I say, anything marketed in vague terms as a "boost" or "supplement" or "tonic" is probably a waste of money.>
Would this help my, frogs too?
<Almost certainly not. Your frog might get better of course, but the VitaChem likely won't have been the key factor in its recovery. Cheers, Neale.>

African dwarf frogs, systems, trauma        3/9/19
To who it may concern,
<That'd be me!>
My name is Erica and my I have had three African dwarf frogs now for three weeks and all are doing great except last Sunday, one of my little guys got his leg stuck in our filter intake.
<Oh dear. Avoid internal canister filters, and instead use air-powered sponge filters if possible.>
We removed him and it definitely appeared he broke his leg.
<Certainly seems plausible.>
I isolated him for almost two days until he jumped out and went back into general population. Now today there is some huge white gross thing growing out of his leg and I have no clue what to do! Please help!!
<Going to direct you to some reading. First here, and if you look at the 'Red Leg' section at top, the antibiotics recommended are probably your best bet:
http://www.xenopus.com/disease.htm
More generally, do read here for care:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/FrogsArtNeale.htm
While these frogs are adaptable and easy to keep, they do have a few non-negotiable needs.
Cheers, Neale.>

Re: African dwarf frogs      3/10/19
Hello Neale!!
<Erica,>
Thank you for helping me!
<Most welcome.>
Can these antibiotics be used on the frog that shares a tank with two other frogs And fish?
<Yes and yes! Do be careful about mixing fish and frogs -- often ends up bad for the frogs.
Cheers, Neale.>

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

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

African Dwarf Frog        2/10/19
Hey Wet Web Media,
My little African dwarf frog is having some problems. I got him some fungal infection meds but I am not sure what is going on and I need some help for my frog! It started off like the first picture and today it got really bad.
Anything you know would be great help!
Thank you!
Ashley
<Looks like he's got a mouth infection -- pretty bad one too, not even sure I can see the lower jaw properly. In any case, you really need to be using a combination anti-Fungal, anti-bacterial medicine; something like Kanaplex or eSHa 2000 would be my pick. Observe the frog carefully for signs of distress, but these medications should be safe. It's a good idea to increase oxygenation of the water while using any medicine, and as always, ensure water quality is good: 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and a steady pH around 7-7.5. Your blue gravel is way too rough for frogs, and may be what's caused the problem here. A soft, lime-free sand (such as smooth silica sand) is the ideal. Coarse gravel causes abrasions, and it doesn't take much for these to become infected. Since they stick their heads into the sand when feeding, a damaged mouth or belly would be exactly the place such wounds would be seen. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: African Dwarf Frog       2/10/19
Hey!
Thank you for the quick response. I will defiantly get new gravel.
<Sand better. Much, much better. Even fine pea gravel runs the risk of being eaten.>
As I was examining him later today it looks like some how he has pulled his jaw off :( will it grow back?
<Not a chance. Death is certain. Do read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/euthanasia.htm
Because frogs aren't fish, Clove Oil isn't reliable. Oddly enough, a good sized blob of regular 20% benzocaine gel works best, rubbed onto the underside, and then the frog is returned to the water. It will pass out almost at once, and be dead within minutes. There's a scientific paper on this here:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2755021/
What is he kept with? Let me direct you to some more reading, here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/FrogsArtNeale.htm
African Dwarf Frogs are essentially best kept alone or with extremely docile tankmates that feed from the surface, such as Endler's Guppies or Hatchetfish.>
Also what’s oxygenizing water?
<Adding an airstone for bubbles. Or adjusting the flow of water from the filter so that there's more splashing and/or ripples.>
Thank you again for the help.
<Most welcome. Neale.>

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

African Dwarf Frog? Bacterial and/or fungal leg infection? Injury?      7/25/18
Good evening,
my daughter has 9 ADF. One died a few weeks ago (bloated?).
Attached some photos from another sick frog leg - lies on back… then not moving just below surface… Toes on left leg red, rest of upper and lower leg covered in white stuff (skin? fungus? bacteria?). I would be grateful for advice, please (am a pediatrician with zero training in frogs)
Kind regards from Minneapolis,
Stefan
<Hello Stefan. African Dwarf Frogs, Hymenochirus spp., are relatively easy to keep, but they do have some non-negotiable requirements. Miss these, and they can become sick very quickly. So let me first direct you to some reading:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/FrogsArtNeale.htm
To some degree they're really rather tough, and like most fish and amphibians, they exhibit a remarkable resilience against bacterial infections given they're basically swimming about in an aqueous solution of decomposing organic materials, nitrogenous compounds, and ambient populations of opportunistic bacteria such as Pseudomonas and Aeromonas! But once their defences are breached, bacterial infections can turn nasty. The most notorious is something called Red Leg, likely an Aeromonas infection. A suitable antibiotic is the best approach here. If you look at the webpage below, aimed at scientific researchers rather than hobbyists, you'll find out a fair deal about this infection and how to treat it: http://www.xenopus.com/disease.htm
Tetracycline is commonly recommended, but there's a bit of debate over whether this is as good as Trimethoprim for this particular infection. However you treat the Red Leg, do try and figure out why it happened at all. It rarely comes out of nowhere, and it's more likely physical damage (e.g., by rough gravel, careless handling, or even nippy fish) started the process, and an overall lack of cleanliness in the take fostered the development of the disease even further. A monotonous diet lacking in appropriate minerals and vitamins may also be a factor. Hope this helps, Neale.>

Re: African Dwarf Frog? Bacterial and/or fungal leg infection? Injury?    7/26/18
Thank you so very much for your prompt response. Have a great day, Stefan
<Most welcome and good luck! Neale.>

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

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

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

African Dwarf Frog shedding or diseased?      9/27/17
Hi,
<Miranda,>
This morning, I noticed my ADF (I've had him for 8 months) covered in a semi-transparent film. It's barely 1/16th of an inch thick and seems to cover his whole body. It's very difficult to see unless I'm very close to the tank.
<Quite normal for sheets of skin to be shed periodically, sometimes in alarming amounts. Generally safe to ignore, so long as the frog is otherwise normal, and there's no evidence of fungus (such as threads) or bacterial infection (such as red-white patches).>
I can't figure out if this could be a fungal infection or if it's a normal pre-shedding thing. The forums are all over on this. Do you have any diagnosing suggestions?
<See above.>
How long should I wait before attempting treatment? Do you have any suggestions on treatment options?
<Sit and wait for now! If the skin doesn't come away cleanly over the next couple weeks, then certainly think about what might be done, and anti-fungal or anti-bacterial as the case may be. But a happy, hungry frog is probably a healthy frog.>
He lives in a 5.5 gallon tank, fully cycled, with 1/2 tank water changes weekly (using RO DI water). His appetite is really good, I just can't figure out what to do about this weird film.
<Indeed.>
Thank you very much.
<Welcome.>
Miranda
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: African Dwarf Frog shedding or diseased?        9/28/17
Thank you so much for replying to me so quickly. You have no idea how much I appreciate this.
<Most welcome.>
I was hoping you'd say it was normal shedding - I just never saw it look like that before (then again, I have to be practically nose-pressed-to-the-glass to see this transparent film all around his body). If it does turn out to be serious, which meds do you recommend? I'd like to have them on-hand just in case.
<In all honesty, have a quick read here...
http://www.xenopus.com/disease.htm
They give examples of the most common diseases, and describe some suitable products easily obtained (in the US) by aquarists. Elsewhere, when it comes to anti-bacterial medications, you either get them through a vet, who'll
choose the right one for you, or else switch to an alternative type of medication, like eSHa 2000.>
I do have another question, if that's alright with you.
<Sure!>
I just finished dealing with chytrid fungus with my other ADF. (both frogs were never in the same tank/room as each other, chytrid frog is at home and filmy-frog is at work.). I always use fresh gloves when touching anything
frog-related and am pretty confident that the fungus has not spread from the sick frog to my other one (I've had the chytrid frog for about 2.5 months now).
<Understood.>
I bought this one at PetSmart as a companion for my first and didn't realize until too late that he very likely had the fungus - judging from the tattered skin shreds all over his body.
<Yikes!>
I've been extremely careful in my treatment (gloved hands, new container after every round of lamsil baths) and (fingers crossed) I think I've finally beaten it (after 3 rounds of treatment - it's been exhausting).
It's been about 3 weeks with no further tattered shedding and he finally has a really good appetite.
<A really good sign with amphibians generally.>
I'd like to know how long should I keep him in isolation prior to him being considered "safe" to live with another frog? Do I have to worry about the fungus still transferring over to the new frog when I bring the two together?
<Chytrid fungus is a serious threat, and I'd be super-conservative here.
I'd be waiting at least 6 weeks before combining the two frogs. Since frogs don't get lonely, there's no overwhelming reason to combine them anyways, and you may decide to keep your formerly Batrachochytrium-infected frog in
its own tank indefinitely, or at least for a good few months yet.>
I plan to buy one of those test-kits for the chytrid fungus just to make sure he still doesn't have it but I think the fungus might still be in the water?
<Indeed possible, which is why I'd sterilise, as far as possible, anything exposed to the Batrachochytrium fungus. Chuck out anything difficult to clean but easily replaced (sand, bogwood, plants) and thoroughly clean with hot soapy water anything that can be properly cleaned (rocks, gravel, ornaments). You can't do much about filter media without killing the bacteria, but you might decide whether deep cleaning the filter and replacing the media with mature media from another tank is the way to go. It's what I'd do, anyway. Obviously change all the water, scrub the glass, heater, etc. Fungal spores will tend to lurk in crevices, which is why soft and porous things, like sponges, wood and plants, are especially bad. The ideal situation is to move your "cured" Chytrid frog into an entirely new aquarium that you know is Batrachochytrium-free, and take if from there. In this situation, the only way Batrachochytrium would carry across would be on the frog (which we hope is clear) and any minute drops of water on the frog (hopefully a very small risk). Moving healthy frogs into a system that once had Batrachochytrium fungus in it is more risky because of all the places the Batrachochytrium fungus might still lurk, unless we thoroughly
cleaned the system so well it was practically sterile. It's a toughie!
There are aquarium products out there for sterilising aquaria, but you'd need somewhere to house the frogs during the process, and of course some mature filter media you can take from a clean tank afterwards, to jump start the filter once the sterilised tank is reassembled.>
He lives in a cycled 2.5 gallon tank with a little plant, 3 gallon filter and several hidey-holes. Once a week I conduct 1/2 tank water changes.
---Miranda
<All sounds great. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: African Dwarf Frog shedding or diseased?        9/28/17

Wow. Your responses are above and beyond. Thank you so much. There is so much information and nothing is consistent on the internet.
<You're assuming I'm right, of course...!>
The website you sent...the film looks kind of like how it does on the fungus frog, only more transparent and there's an even coat of it all across my frog. That leads me to think that somehow my little guy managed to catch a different fungus. Should I wait for the chytrid test kit or start treating him with Methylene blue? (I tried to find Mardel Maroxy but it wasn't available online).
<Regular, generic fungus is easily cured with clean water, good food, and aquarium anti-fungus medicine (remembering to remove carbon from the filter, if used). So you could use this, prophylactically even, to eliminate the possibility of regular fungus. As/when the chytrid test kit turns up, you can of course use it.>
Also, I know this is kind of silly to ask, but if I do a whole tank treatment should I still sterilize everything or could the medicine treat the tank as it is helping my frog?
<Hard to know. In theory the medicine should eliminate the fungus from both frog and aquarium, but it's hard to say. Hospital tanks tend to be clean and empty of decorations so that the medicine can get everywhere. Display
tanks have more sand, plants, etc., so while the medicine might work through the frog, you can't be sure about the decor. A conservative approach is justified here. By all means hope the tank is chytrid-free, but keep a close eye, and don't assume it's chytrid-free, at least not until you've had a good few months of success.>
I ask because right now I don't have any extra media. When I got the chytrid frog, I didn't know at the time how serious the disease was so I wasn't as careful as I should be when handling my other tanks. At this point, it's safe to assume that all tanks at home are infected.
<A wise assumption.>
I've seen some websites that talk about beating chytrid with heat and salt.
Do you know how true that is?
<There has been some research into the use of salt, with some positive outcomes. But it seems unlikely salt concentrations strong enough to kill the fungus are safe for a freshwater frog across the long term. Definitely
need some further evidence before I'd recommend this approach. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: African Dwarf Frog shedding or diseased?        9/28/17
Once again, thank you.
<Welcome.>
One last question and I'll be out of your hair. Do you know what happened to the Mardel Maroxy or the Maracyn Brand? I remember ordering it from Amazon about a year ago for my fish tanks but I can't seem to find that
brand anymore.
<Hmm... just looked and found both on Amazon.com. So not really sure what to say here! To be fair, neither would be my first choice for treating bacterial infections in frogs. Tetracycline-based antibiotics perhaps a bit better. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: African Dwarf Frog shedding or diseased?
       9/29/17
Oh. My bad. I originally clicked a couple of discontinued links. Anyway, thank you once again. You are a lifesaver.
<The candy or the inflatable jacket? Cheers, Neale.>

Re: African Dwarf Frog shedding or diseased?      9/30/17
Hi again,
Your website is incredibly helpful when it comes to my questions and general information. Thank you for that.
<Most welcome.>
In the last couple of days, the fuzzy outline went from barely there to very visible. I tried capturing it on camera but my phone had a difficult time focusing on him (blurry outline from the fuzz). He's in a bare-bottom tank right now (for ease of treatment) and as you can see, there's a lot of reflections.
<Indeed, but not a problem. This frog is looking healthy from what I can see. A little extra weight might be nice, but if he's eating well, then I think he'll be okay. There's no obvious damage to the skin that I can see, and if there are loose 'sheets', that may be normal shedding.>
I'm starting with Maracyn 2 for bacteria infection (internal/external according to the box), along with a Methylene blue dip once a day...because whatever it is, it's getting aggressive. From there, I plan to go with a Maroxy treatment for general fungal infections and possibly I'll add Methylene blue to the tank if nothing else seems to work.
<Don't overdo the medication! Medicate when you identify the problem, rather than randomly. If the frog is making progress under its own steam, then complete the current course of medications and then step back.
Interactions between medications can cause problems in themselves.>
Have you or anyone you known ever seen something like this? Any suggestions for treatment?
---Miranda
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: African Dwarf Frog shedding or diseased?      9/30/17
I may have panicked a bit...
<Oh?>
What started as a faint outline of fuzz, spread and thickened significantly on the frog's skin in the last few days, it's about 1/8 inch thick now. He looks like a little fuzz-ball. I've had this species for 8 months now, so I know this can't be shedding.
<Understood.>
So, I figured I'd find the safest medications for frogs and try them one after another and see if anything can bring the skin back to normal. I'd rather not wait until his appetite diminishes - cause with ADFs, I've learned that once their appetite goes, then they die within a couple of days.
<Does depend rather on their starting body weight, but yes, I agree.>
Thank you for your advice and I will be more careful with the medication. I will not mix them, and be more careful with them.
<If the frog is suddenly getting mucous-y, I'd be wondering if something (like copper) is irritating the frog's skin. I'd suggest also looking to see if the filter is removing all the silt, because when this gets stuck on the mucous, it can make things look a lot worse. In any event, medicating as per a bacterial infection is likely the first thing to do, but thereafter, I'd do substantial water changes, and leave a few days, before starting anything new. Do bear in mind that sometimes a second course of an antibiotic is necessary, so it's not always that the antibiotic was 'wrong' it's more that it needs a second pass. Cheers, Neale>

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

African dwarf frog infection     6/13/17
Hello yet again!
<Hello,>
I got great advice from your site regarding treatment of what I suspect is a secondary bacterial infection my female frog, maybe I'm jumping the gun a bit, but 24 hours after starting A.P.I tetracycline she looks worse.
<It is possible that Tetracycline is something these bacteria are resistant to, in which case, swap or supplement with a second antibiotic from a different antibiotic family (i.e., not Minocycline, which is in the same family, but something completely different, like Kanamycin, available in Kanaplex). Alternatively, do check there isn't carbon in the filter (this will simply adsorb antibiotics) and that the tank and filter are basically clean (piles of decaying organic matter will also diminish the effectiveness of antibiotics).>
About a week ago she was bitten accidentally by my male frog during feeding, affecting her left eye and side of nose. Instead of healing, the sore got bigger, she got bloated, and her left foot turned red to boot. She hangs near the surface quite a bit. She lives with two other frogs, and a very calm Betta in a 5.5 gallon filtered tank, heated to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Live plants and a few hiding places as well. The tank is well cycled, ammonia is 0, nitrites 0, ph is 7.6, I do 30-40 percent water changes weekly, with gravel vacuuming, and adding Prime. I feed frozen thawed bloodworms, beef heart, Mysis, and brine shrimp. I started the tetracycline treatment to the entire tank yesterday, I lack the means to have a hospital tank, and am worried it would spread anyway so I thought to treat everyone.
Please help!
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

My African clawed albino frog. Hlth; no data       2/16/17
My African clawed albino frog looks really veiny is that good or bad thing
<Mmm; can be an indication of stress... too much/little of something necessary. Most often Xenopus show such when in a poor environment; incompatible water quality. Is your system filtered? Have any idea what the nitrogenous waste readings are? Any ammonia, nitrite present? More than 20 ppm of Nitrate? Have you read on WWM re X. laevis care?
Bob Fenner>
Re: Seeking ACF Medical Advice        5/26/17

Hello, the ammonia problems have been sorted and all frog behavior has been normal for the last few weeks.
<Good.>
Unfortunately, today I noticed that the female has one bloated leg.
Behavior and appetite are normal and neither of the other two frogs show any abnormalities. Do you have any suggestions?
<I would check water quality again, do a substantial water change, and see if anything improved within a day or two. Epsom salt, at 1-3 teaspoons per 5 gallons/20 litres, can help with swelling. If no better after a few days, then try antibiotics again.>
Images: http://imgur.com/a/RCU9I
<Goofy looking animals, aren't they? Nice clean tank though.>
Thank you,
--AR
<Welcome and good luck! Neale.>

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

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

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.>

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.
http://www.columbia.edu/cu/biology/faculty/kelley/webessay/frog_disease_site.html
http://www.xenopus.com/disease.htm
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
Shannon
<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.>

African clawed frog bruised?       11/24/15
Hello, I have a very small, young African clawed frog,
<Mmm; not Xenopus but Hymenochirus... Dwarf. Have you read on WWM re?>
not exactly sure how old or the gender
<... can be discerned>
as I got him from my grandma who had him since being a tadpole. He has developed what looks like a red bruise on his back leg. I have looked up possible answers and came across red leg syndrome.
<Ahh, no; this looks to be a physical trauma>
It doesn't seem to look the same as some photos posted and he is still very active and eating regularly. He is cleaned every two weeks and likes in a 5 gallon filtered tank. The tank has some large rocks that he may have injured himself on?
<A good guess>
It has only been a few days since I've noticed it. Please look at my attached photo maybe to help diagnose the issue.
Thank you
Tessa
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ADFTraumaF.htm
and the linked files above; as you lead yourself. Bob Fenner> 

Re: Inherited African Dwarf Frogs       10/20/15
Hi Bob,
<Hey Sue!>
I have some sad news. First an update since we last corresponded. I purchased a ten gallon tank, with filter, heater, live plants, and some neat aquatic contraptions that are conducive for the needs of dwarf frogs (hiding spots, perches, etc).
<Good>
We adopted two more baby dwarf frogs into our family that seem happy, healthy and thriving. Cannot sex them at this time, as they are still too young. My male and female mated regularly and everyone seemed to be doing great. Yesterday I was crouched near the tank as I always do before going to bed, to say my goodnights to the frogs. And as usual, they made their
way over to the glass nearest me (I hand feed them, so they associate me with food). I noticed my male dwarf frog's right eye had the teeniest speck of red in it. I had to really look as it wasn't obviously noticeable and I wondered if it was just the light coming from the tank lid. Indeed there was a tiny bit of red in ADF's one eye. I made a mental note to myself to keep an eye on him and ask some questions about it today. He otherwise was fine, swimming all around, eating, etc. Just the day before he was happily mating my adult female as per usual. Upon waking up today, to my horror, my male dwarf was pressed up against the filter, with what looked like his little hands inside the filter slots. Right away I took him out and saw he was dead. How very sad. I don't know what he died from and I don't know how it happened so quickly.
<Don't know>
I know the filter's current draws waste into it and is why the little frog once likely dead was carried into it... but how did he die and how did he die so suddenly?
<Perhaps... resultant from a concussion.... ADFs do dive head long into things on their return from periodic trips to the surface for air>
Kind regards,
Sue
<Cheers, Bob Fenner> 

Need help with African dwarf frog     10/8/15
Hello, about a month ago I got two adfs in a tank with a Betta, Pleco, 8 neon tetras, and two algae eaters. One adf died on day 2 and the second is still alive. Its a 75 gallon tank at 80 degrees.
I never see the frog eat or breath and I'm worried about it.
<Understandable. ADFs aren't aggressive feeders. They compete poorly with bottom-dwellers in particular. I wouldn't keep them with catfish or loaches of any kind, including "algae eaters" whatever those might be. Instead, keep them with midwater feeders, so any frozen bloodworms that hit the ground are eaten by them and them alone. Also bear in mind ADFs prefer to feed when the lights are out, but not necessarily in the dark. So maybe feed them when the room lights are on but before you turn on the aquarium lights, and likewise in the evening before you turn the room lights out but the aquarium lights are switched off. Make sense? Vary the diet beyond bloodworms of course, with prepared ADF foods available, and a useful supplement alongside frozen bloodworms, brine shrimp, etc. They don't eat flake, so don't keep them expecting that to work out.>
Mostly it hides in a fake live rock and stays underwater for hours without breathing. I'm fairly sure it's staying underwater all day, because I only see it moving around late at night.
<See above.>
I have never seen it eat anything, even when I hold brine shrimp right in front of it.
<Quite so.>
The tank has several live plants and some snails, could it be eating this?
<Nope.>
After reading your blog I realize my tank may be too deep, but at night he seems too swim around easily, going to the surface with ease. Thanks for any help you can provide.
I've attached pics as well.
Mike
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

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

Serious ADF Question/Issue
I have done research on my frogs odd situation and still I am coming up empty. There are no vets that know enough about my frog for me to take him in as well so I am relying on advice here. My ADF has been doing perfect for years. He has never been ill and always lived in a huge tank with giant fish happily. I recently moved and he is now in a 10 gallon tank, with good filter, heat, etc and now he's alone. We've been here for a month. I was busy for two days and in that time he has changed. He hides behind the filter and now he stays with his head above water and his forehead is red/bruised looking and he won't eat. There are no possible ways for him to I jure himself and nobody else lives with me. He also was shedding but it
looks like his hand has a black filmy skin stuck to him that looks like it should come off but hasn't. I assumed it was a fungus and went ahead and put in the tropical remedy sold at PetSmart where my ignorant friend bought him (yes, I rescued him about 5 years ago).
Any ideas?
Thank you, Shari
<My immediate reaction would be physical damage, perhaps burning against an exposed aquarium heater. But the bones on this frog look a little pronounced for my liking, as if this frog hasn't eaten well for some time (weeks rather than days). Would first direct you to the commercial Xenopus sites for pictures of various symptoms and issues:
http://www.xlaevis.com/diseases.html
http://www.xenopus.com/disease.htm
I'd also suggest you join one of the good pet amphibian forums out there, such as this one:
http://www.theamphibian.co.uk/amphibian_forum.htm
Such folks would be able to provide the sort of help and support you might not get from local vets.
Cheers, Neale.>

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ok so im going to get a bigger tank in a week or two when I get some money.
I saw this awesome 8 gallon bowfront tank for 45 dollars with everything: filter, heater, hood, lights.
<Sounds good!>
You are not in the US are you?
<Nope!>
They don't teach us the conversions in school for money, measurements, temperature, anything. It seems like everywhere else knows [[sidetrack]].
<Kinda-sort of. If you can use Google, you can do conversions. Type in, for example, "10 US gallons in litres" and you'll get the litres! It's pretty neat.>
If I were to just put the snail in there (keep the Betta in his own lonely tank) how many African dwarf frogs could I put?
<Half a dozen, at least. Maybe more. Allow about a gallon each, plus a couple gallons for the Betta. You can pretty much ignore the snail so long as it doesn't die (dead snails pollute tanks very quickly).>
What about a 5 or a 10 gallon tank? I am not ready for the idea of snail babies, but tadpoles...yes, but i want to research first. Besides the males croaking how do I tell what gender the frogs are?
<Males tend to be smaller and more slender/less chunky. They also have small pink spots near the armpit but these can be difficult to see, especially in youngsters.>
How do I tell a snails gender? Do you think the pet store people could accurately tell me a frog or a snails gender?
<Not a chance. But if you get 6-8 frogs, you're bound to get a few males and females.>
Are frogs and snails about equivalent when it comes to how many I could put in a tank?
<See above.>
Do you have any good links on info of African dwarf frog breeding?
<Go online and type "breeding" and "Hymenochirus" into your search engine of choice.>
Can my Betta stay in the 1 gallon tank and be ok?
<Possibly, but see above. I do honestly recommend a larger, heated, filtered tank for Bettas, at least, if you want his and your life to be easy.>
I found out that if I turn on the heating lamp in the bathroom where the fish tank is and cover the tank with a towel the temperature is fine. And that the tank light does keep the tank warm enough during the day without the heating lamp. Im still upset I don't have a straight forward cause of death for the frog.
<Indeed. But the problem with environmental stress is that the immediate cause of death doesn't tell you much about what went wrong. For example, a drunk driver crashes into a tree, the tree falls down and kills him. The cause of death was a tree hitting him, but that wasn't the reason he died.
Make sense?>
Thanks for all your help,
Emily
<Most welcome. Neale.>
re: Omg my African dwarf frog help; comp.... chatting, no rdg.        3/5/15

Thanks. I think maybe the frogs will have a snail as a tankmate. The more I watch the snail.... the more interesting I think he/it is. I want him to get big.
<That's the tricky bit. Don't keep your snail or the frogs too warm, and try cooling the tank a bit during the winter, and minimise high temperatures in summer (perhaps even by floating ice cubes). 22 C/72 F is about right, and no higher than 25 C/77 F in summer. Apple Snails infrequently make it past their first year, but to get really big -- tennis ball sized -- you need to keep yours going into its second year and beyond.
The biggest one I saw, at the London Zoo, was 5 years old! Let me also direct you to the excellent AppleSnail.net website. It's the best place for accurate information, and also has a nice forum where you can chat to other Apple Snail keepers. Very useful!>
He's doing a lot better then when I got him.. his shell was really thin looking. He's actually a unicorn because his breathy tube is on top of his head lol.
<Indeed? Neale.>
Re: Omg my African dwarf frog help.... more chatting        3/5/15

Well maybe its kinda on his back actually i don't know if its a he or she.
If i could get some pictures with a good camera you think the people on that website could tell me if its make or female?
<There are differences you can see... the most prominent is a pink 'armpit gland' the males have.>
The frogs are going to live in my room where i like to keep it at least 70 but they will have a heater... not just a light.
<Good.>
They will have a proper tank. Any good froggie websites.
<Hmm... aquaticfrogs.tripod.com looks pretty good.>
Oh yeah you told me find a fish club too. I will. I want lots of frogs and I definitely do not want lots of DEAD frogs like flippers :( I swear that wasn't my fault. I really hope not. He was so cool. But now I know a lot more.. I was planning on keeping the beta
<...Betta...>
in the bathroom it stays at 77/78 all the time. That's like perfect for a beta right?
<If that warm... yes, would be good.>
Would the snail prefer colder? Does he stay with the beta or go with the frogs? He moves around a lot he doesn't seem scared of the fish. I guess one in each tank wouldn't be ok? What if the Betta got a 5g tank with 2 or 3 snails if i ever decide to have snail babies? :)
<Would keep with the frogs.>
Those are the last questions for now unless i have any problems in the future. You've really helped me out a lot. I thank you for all the time you put into answering my questions.
<Most welcome.>
My future froggies will thank you too. You must really like aquatic animals.
<Sure do!>
It was nice talking to you, Neale.
<That's kind to say.>
Thank,
Emily
<Bon voyage! Neale.>

URGENT: African Dwarf Frog Starvation... rdg.      8/5/14
I think I may have starved my frog to death. I feed the both of them dry tadpole pellets that the pet store said were fine.
<Mmm... not fine>

He shares a cage with another aggressive frog that will attack him from time to time.
<?!>
I am a horrible owner and I usually end up forgetting to feed them, they usually get a heap of pellets every 1-1.5 weeks.
<... What?>

Today I thought the skinnier one had died but he is still kicking. His bones are protruding and he refuses to eat. I already read an answer of yours about force-feeding and like you said, it is extremely difficult to
make him open his mouth. I've had the frogs for almost 8 years so it may just be his body giving out.
At the moment I have them separated, the dying one in a bowl of room temp water and pellets.
Any suggestions you have would be appreciated. Thank you.
-Amanda
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/dwfaffdg.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Injured male swordtail tail, plus ADF hlth.    1/3/14
My male swordtail, Charlie, has two slits that extend into the skin of the tail. I removed the other male, of course.  I'm worried that he is in pain and if there is anything that I can do to help him to heal.
<Good water quality and nutrition, and time going by>
 He is over a year old, two inches long in body, with a manly sword that is another inch or so that seems heavy for him now that his tail is torn, so he'll have to rest on the sandy bottom occasionally.  He is still very interested on eating and uninterested in being captured, though I tried half-heartedly because your website crew has spoken against this.
<Yes>
    I'm not sure what to do.  Because the sword is heavy, can that be trimmed like a finger nail, or would that cause pain for him?  What about a liquid bandage? 
<Perhaps a modicum of aquarium salt. Search WWM re Neale's article re salts and their medicinal use with freshwater systems>
    Also, if an African Dwarf Frog has a pregnant look to him/ her do you think that is a tumor? 
<Not necessarily; no>
She has a rounded belly, but a slim neck and bone- thin arms and legs and has to work hard just to surface.  The back bone jutting from her back worries me.  The other ADF is in perfect condition.  And yes, I put her in the little trap from time to time so she can rest.
I adore your advice and go by every word that  Drs Bob and Neil write, however I hope that mercy killing won't be the suggestion for either of these two cases!
Christina
<Patience here Christina. Bob Fenner>

Strange Swelling on Frog    12/9/13
Hello WWM Crew,
<Hello Amanda,>
My name is Amanda and I have three ADF's (two female, one male).  They live in a medium-size terrarium jar with well water and river rocks (I realise this is less than ideal, but I don't have the space for another aquarium.
<Hmm... is far from ideal. Do read:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/FrogsArtNeale.htm
Follow the links for more.>
I inherited these frogs from a family friend).  Tonight I noticed that one of my frogs has a large, round swelling right above her rear.  It doesn't have any discoloration, it matches her skin.  It also looks like it has a hole in the center, almost like a frog-colored pimple.  I know for certain that it was not present two days ago, so it had to just pop up yesterday.
Immediately when I noticed it tonight I removed her from the communal jar and put her in a different glass vase.
<Since the problem is likely bacterial, moving from one jar to another is unlikely to help.>
But I noticed when I was trying to pick her up out of the jar some clear jelly with brown flecks came out of the swelling.  Are those eggs?
<Possibly.>
I don't remember ever hearing that frogs develop swellings like this when they are about to lay eggs, but I'm certainly no expert. Also, when I had her in my hand, I gently pressed on the swelling to see if it was sensitive, but she didn't flinch at all so I assume that it's not tender. 
What does this sound like to you?
<Nothing antibiotics and transferral to a heated, filtered aquarium 5+ gallons in size won't fix.>
Thank you,
Amanda
<Most welcome, Neale.>
re: Strange Swelling on Frog    12/9/13

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

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

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

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

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

"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.>

Red Injury, Growth?     3/18/13
I discovered one of my ADFs has a little bump, indent and grove a couple of days ago and it looked like an injury.
<Agreed>

I searched far and wide and I can't seem to find anything about this or how to treat it even on WWM. My LFS told me to use a little bit of aquarium salt
<Nah... Amphibians don't "like" salts... try applying such solutions to your eyes to discern why>
 to hopefully see if it gets better to no avail. I'm really concerned and am wondering what's going on.
Please let me know, I've attached a few pics to depict it.
<Likely nothing to do, treatment-wise... but can spiff up nutrition and environment: Help indirectly. For background, read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/ADFDisF3.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: Red Injury, Growth? ADF hlth, reading      4/18/13
I heard MelaFix is good for wounds.
<Worse than worthless. Please... search before writing. See WWM re. B>
 Should I try? and will it be detrimental?

Looking for advice, ADF care    4/3/13
Thank you for all the wonderful, informative info you have on your site. 
It is priceless!  I am another victim of Pet Smart's uneducated sales people.  We came home with two African Dwarf Frogs 10 days ago, and already one is dead.  After poring over your website I realize now that we did not have a big enough tank (2.5 is what they told me to buy), we should have bought a heater (they said I didn't need one) and furthermore we are over feeding and not giving them a diverse enough diet.
<Do need all these>

 I think the poor guy had that Red Leg disease. Thanks to WWM I am making the hour trip to Pet Smart tomorrow to buy a bigger tank, a heater, sand (instead of the gravel they sold me) and to get 2 new frogs.
<Wait on the livestock until this system is aged a few weeks... Cycled.>

 They are taking back the dead frog and the guy that is still holding on, but doesn't look too good.  So now for my questions:  how should I safely transport the frogs back and forth to the store and to my house?
<In a plastic bag, with some water, and just atmosphere, not pure oxygen... sealed w/ a rubber band, in a light and thermally insulated container (like a cooler) if possible, rather than just a paper bag>
 It is a solid hour drive between the two.  I am afraid that is one reason why my frogs were not so healthy when I got them home.  Also, I thought you should know that Pet Smart printed out a whole pamphlet for me on ADF that they publish.  It says that the frogs need temps between 68 and 78 degrees ( you say higher)
<Yes>
 and to feed them pellets
<... no>
 two times a day (I believe you say every other day and to switch between pellets and brine shrimp).
<Meaty foods of some sort/s>
 There was additional information on their pamphlet that contradicts what you say on your website.
Thanks so much for your help,
Rachel
<... Please do review what we have posted/archived re Hymenochirus
husbandry: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/FrogsArtNeale.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Looking for advice, ADFs, uncycled sys.      4/5/13

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

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