Logo
Please visit our Sponsors
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,

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>

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: