FAQs About Xenopus laevis,
African Clawed Frog Environmental Diseases
Any detectable chlorine, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrates over
20 ppm are toxic
FAQs on Xenopus Disease:
Xenopus Disease 1,
Xenopus Health 2,
Xenopus Health 3,
Xenopus Health 4, Xenopus
FAQs on Xenopus Disease by Category:
Infectious (Virus, Bacterial, Fungal),
Keeping African Clawed Frogs and African Dwarf
Xenopus in General,
Xenopus Reproduction, &
Frogs Other Than African and Clawed,
African Dwarf Frogs,
Have to have a cycled,
filtered, heated system of size.
ACF Not Eating, Seeking Recommendations
Hello, I have a 15 year old African Clawed Frog that has lost its
For about 3 weeks he showed a decreased appetite before simply refusing
to eat for the last, going on 4, weeks and has refused ReptoMin, several
types of worms, and pink salmon. For the last week, he's preferred to
exclusively float on top or lay on the suction cup platform we have that
lets him poke his nose out of the water. I've also seen him vomit more
than once in the last week. Additionally, he's developed a curious habit
of following us as we walk around the tank and swimming/diving away if
offered food. About a week ago, I noticed he we stress shedding and had
a tiny ammonia burn. After water changes and the use of API stress coat,
the burn's gone and his shedding is almost completely gone (there's a
minor bit on one of his toes) as of today.
When he first began to lose his appetite, ammonia levels were between
0.5 and 1.0 (for clarification, we use Seachem prime on our tap water
due to its natural 0.5 ammonia content, PH is 6.6 out of the tap). About
ago, we had the ammonia spike to 2.0 and decided to move up the filter
maintenance schedule by 2 weeks and replace 1/2 of the foam sponges,
biological media, and carbon. In the meantime, we've conducted daily 30%
water changes to try to maintain consistent water conditions in case the
filter begins cycling.
The tank conditions for the past three days:
Date | Ammonia | Nitrites | Nitrates | PH
12/30 | 0.5<->1.0 | 0.25 | 0 | 6.0
12/31 | 0.5<->1.0 | 0.25<->0.5 | 0 | 6.0
01/01 | 0.5<->1.0 | 0.5 | 0 | 6.0
To me it looks like the filter's in the process of cycling. I'm
concerned about the PH, for months it was consistently at 6.5, which I
believe is on the lower end of the range for ACFs, and I'm not quite
sure what caused the decline.
Is there any way to induce the frog to feed? He's lost weight and seems
to be weaker than before. Both of the younger frogs are behaving
<15 years is a pretty good age for Xenopus, so you must be doing
everything right for the most part! But the issue here is surely water
quality and chemistry. Forcing animals to feed is rarely necessary -- if
they're 'happy', they'll eat. So let's review. Xenopus in the wild exist
in a variety of water chemistry conditions, but the farmed ones -- which
have been bred in captivity for decades now -- are much happier in
neutral to slightly alkaline conditions. Between pH 7 and 8 is about
right, with medium to high levels of hardness, recommended. Xenopus kept
in soft and/or acidic water do poorly, and older specimens may be more
sensitive than younger ones. So some attention to water chemistry will
be important here.
Given your water sounds soft if the pH is anything to go by, hardening
it slightly will be helpful. Per 10 gallons/40 litres, try adding 1
teaspoon baking soda and 1 tablespoon Epsom salt. This should provide
medium hardness water with a pH around 7.5; perfect for Xenopus! Do also
remember that biological filtration works more slowly below pH 7, and
below pH 6 may even stop altogether. Next up, the ammonia. Do make sure
you use water conditioner to neutralise ammonia in the tap water, but
also ensure the filter is up to the job. Really, there's no 'safe'
ammonia level -- anything above 0 is bad. While neutralised tap water
ammonia may still be detected, nitrite should certainly be zero (unless
of course there's nitrite in your tap water, but that's relatively
rare). Beef up the filter perhaps, replacing carbon (if used) with more
biological media. Hope this helps, Neale.>
Seeking ACF Medical Advice
Hello, one of our ACFs died yesterday (only 5 years old), presumably due
to an ammonia spike or bacteria due to a weakened immune system. The
tank has had issues with ammonia over the past two
months and the frogs we
excessively shedding. We became concerned about his health two weeks ago
when he refused to eat. Typically, we feed the frogs ReptoMin pellets
but decided to try red wrigglers last week to see if he would eat. He
decently size worms and satisfied us that his appetite had returned
(he's always been a light eater). five days later we found him floating
around the top of the tank, we were unable to see bloating and when
approached, he swam back to the bottom of the tank before swimming back
to the top to float about fifteen seconds later. The next morning we
found him floating dead in the tank. Ammonia was a little over 2 ppm.
Immediately I removed the deceased frog and took several pictures (Link:
http://imgur.com/a/rTL8b) and proceeded to clean out the entire tank
along with all decor. The other three frogs were returned to the tank,
all gravel at the bottom was removed to prevent future trapping of waste
and I started them on a round of tetracycline to be safe. Wanted to get
a second opinion and ask how long to wait to place the biological media
back into the filter after the carbon has been reintroduced to clear out
the remaining tetracycline four days from now.
<I agree that this does look like a systemic bacterial infection
following exposure to some environmental stress, but without doing
detailed microscopy, it's hard to be sure. I think your approach of
cleaning out the tank, doing water changes, and treating with an
antibiotic is a good one.
Antibiotics generally lose their effectiveness within 24 hours in the
warm, oxygenated environmental of an aquarium, so I wouldn't worry about
waiting too long between the last dosage and removing the carbon. It's
not as if residual tetracycline will cause any problems. Let me also
stress the importance of doing the complete course of tetracycline as
recommended by the manufacturer or your vet. Incomplete courses of
antibiotic are the major factor behind antibiotic resistance, and we all
have to play a part in staving off this particular doomsday scenario!
Re: Seeking ACF Medical Advice 4/19/17
Hello Neale, finished the full course of tetracycline and two of the
frogs are back to eating.
<A very good sign.>
The female, age five, however, has been shedding profusely and refuses
to eat regardless of the food since the other frog died.
<Less good, but probably not a huge amount you can do at this point.
Give it a week, keep up with water changes, and see what happens. If her
condition worsens, for example she is obviously losing weight, then a
second full course of antibiotics might be helpful. But do also try
offering a range of foods, for example earthworms, even if she's off her
Water conditions: Nitrates 20 ppm, Nitrites 0 ppm, ammonia 1 ppm.
Current course of action we're thinking is to continue water changes
every 1-2 days (dependent upon water conditions) to control ammonia
levels between weekly feedings, though we're certainly open to
<What you're doing seems fine. The ammonia is a problem though, and may
well be causing the shedding -- so using an ammonia remover, such as
Zeolite, in the filter could be very helpful. Certainly,
filtration (e.g., by adding an extra filter, or simply increasing
flow-rate through the existing filter) ensuring biological media is of
the best possible quality/type. Xenopus aren't especially ammonia
sensitive in the
short term, but 1 ppm is quite a high amount by any standards; I would
not be feeding at all like this, and probably wouldn't feed until
We also have a second full course of tetracycline on hand if you think
it may help.
<Good luck! Neale.>
ACF went rigid during water change
I've just experienced something horrifying and was hoping for some
information! I have a young African Clawed Toed and was just moving him
a holding tank while I cleaned his tank. (The filter was apparently not
working well so the tank needed some extra TLC.) I used a net to catch
and as I went to put him into the new tank his whole body went rigid and
stayed that way.
<Ah, yes... actually a quite common "reflex defensive mechanism" quite a
few animals employ to ward off predation... That is, having their bodies
tense, unmoving if/when frightened, in a dangerous situation.>
I assume he's dead and my heart is breaking. Was it a
heart attack? Stroke? Impossible to know?
<Could be; but I would not "toss" the animal just yet>
When I purchased him he had a nub
for an arm and a bum eye (clouded over and sunken in). He was my little
rescue frog and was healing very well (his arm had grown back and was
missing fingers!) Before catching him for cleaning tonight he was moving
about and avoiding the net more than usual. He seemed mad while in the
and would not chill out. It's like he tried to hop out of the net and
frozen in time. He's in the holding tank now with just enough water to
cover his body, but not so much that his nose is under water.
When I first
put in he would move his torso every so often as though to take in air,
that could have been residual muscle twitching, I suppose. I haven't
movement in about an hour now, just almost standing on the rocks with
legs stick straight and his arms straight by his sides. I'm pretty
devastated. Is there any hope?
<Yes there is. Bob Fenner>
Re: ACF went rigid during water change
Almost 20 hours later and Rigor
Mortis has set in, so it would seem that he has left us.
Thank you for your quick response, it helped me calm down enough to get
through the work day. Information is so powerful in that way.
My guess is a cardiac event due to the blood pooling. Thank you again.
I'm so glad that you were there to help.
<Thank you for this follow-up. BobF>
gagging frog 1/6/14
I have an African clawed frog for the past two days he
has been "gagging".
I thought he was dead because he was tank on his back. When i got the
net to get him he moved i don't want to lose him. How can i help him?
<Can't help without knowing something about the environment. Just to
recap, you need an aquarium (at least 5 gallons, preferably more); a
heater (not optional, the water needs to be at 25 C/77 F); a filter
(again, not optional); and the right sort of food (you can buy frog
pellets or use a variety of small frozen foods like bloodworms and brine
shrimps). In the meantime, have a read here:
Also follow the links at the top. Virtually all problems with aquatic
frogs are related to their environment, i.e., how well (or not) they're
Hope this helps, Neale.>
African Clawed Frogs; hlth.
Hi. I had two African Clawed frogs, a male and a female, each a little
over a year old. I changed out their water about 3 weeks ago and my
female laid eggs all over the tank. This was her first batch, I never
saw them mating, and none of them hatched. After she laid the eggs she
stopped eating completely, but my male seemed fine. Tonight I found her
dead at the bottom of the tank. Do you have any idea what happened?
Should I be worried about my male?
<African Clawed Frogs, Xenopus laevis, should live for at least 10 years
in captivity, so if one dies after only a year or two, then you should
definitely review environmental conditions, diet, and other aspects of
healthcare. Or put another way, yes, you should be concerned, if not
actually worried. As for specifics, it's impossible to give any insight
without information on the size of their aquarium (should be at least 10
gallons, preferably 15+ gallons); diet (varied, no "feeder fish", and
only fed every other day); temperature (subtropical, around 20 C/68 F);
and water quality (filter essential, plus at least 25% water changes
Start by having a read here:
Xenopus are legendarily long-lived animals under the right conditions,
but they are prone to dietary problems as well as bacterial infections
if not maintained correctly. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: African Clawed Frogs 12/31/13
Thank you for responding so quickly. My frog is kept in a filtered 10
gallon tank, but it is not heated.
<One possible problem right here. Do remember these animals come from
Africa. So while they don't particularly need very warm conditions, they
do need warm room temperature upwards. In a centrally heated home kept
around 20-22 C/68-72 F then a heater won't be needed. But cooler than
this isn't recommended.>
His tank is at 65F right now. Is this too far away from
<It's a little cool for good health, yes. Is there a warmer room in the
house? Alternatively, get a fish tank heater (preferably one with a
wrap-around plastic grill to prevent burning) or use an angle poise
light with a bulb (a regular incandescent could work, but a reptile
vivarium heat lamp would be better). So lots of options depending on
your cost and convenience needs. Do note that the warmer the frog, the
more active it will be, and the faster (and therefore better) it will
Increased metabolism also boosts their immune response, reducing the
risk of disease. So while you can keep Xenopus in quite cool water,
adding a little warmth has many benefits.>
He also eats pellets every day.
<A good sign. But do try varying the diet a bit. Earthworms are an
exceptionally good treat, rich in minerals and vitamins. But even
better, their guts contain partially digested plant material that
provide useful fibre that will minimise constipation, a common problem
when animals are kept in tanks. If you collect your own, obviously avoid
anywhere pesticide sprays have been recently used.>
I've tried feeding him worms and shrimp, but he didn't seem to like
<Hunger makes the best sauce! Don't be afraid to starve your Xenopus for
several days, even a week before trying something new. That said, modern
pellets are an excellent staple, provided you're buying a good quality
brand. Labs that maintain Xenopus use nothing else and have great
There's a very good summary of their needs here:
This is designed for people keeping them in labs, but the basic rules
apply to pet Xenopus too.>
I will check the pH of his water, try skipping a couple days of feeding
per week, and try shrimp again. He doesn't appear to have any
sores or lesions though. Thank you again for responding and the reading.
<Most welcome, Neale.>
Red Feet/Safe Plants... for...?
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
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
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
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
It's an opportunistic infection that usually comes about when the frogs
have been physically damaged and/or kept in dirty water. There's an
excellent summary here:
Early on the infection can be treated, but once established it's very
difficult to cure.>
Also, we have an abundance of spider plants at our house, and we were
wondering if we could use one of those with the frogs. Are they
<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
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.>
Re: Red Feet/Safe Plants 5/16/13
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
Also, my mom and currently live with my grandparents--they do not like
animals, so I'm lucky to have my frogs and hermit crabs--and so our
current situation does not allow an aquarium for them since I already
have two for my crabs. We are working on getting our own house,
and we've already decided to get the frogs a nice, large aquarium with a
filter when that happens. And thank you for your plant advice.
We actually have a lot of spider plants that are in jars of water and
have been for months now, so that's why we were wondering if they could
be used for the frogs, but I'll certainly look into getting one of the
plants you recommended! :)
<Do start reading, planning:
…and follow the links. Cheers, Neale.>
"Red Leg" in ACFs 5/19/13
<Guten tag, Julia!>
this is not a question, but I´ve just read about the ADF with possible
"Red Leg" infection, so I wanted to share my own experiences with this
syndrome (if this is of interest; if not, feel free to ignore
this Email ;)).
<Ah, not our style.>
A few months ago, I wanted to get a few buddies for my two ACFs (an
adult pair, 42 gal tank, filtered, fully cycled, planted. No problems).
I was able to acquire three frogs from a lab (one male, two females),
which I moved into a 30 gal quarantine tank first. Smooth sand bottom,
two terracotta pots, floating plants, an adequately sized canister
filter. I checked the water daily (0 NO2, << 25 ppm NO3, pH 7.2, temp.
about 68 °C, moderately hard water).
<All sounds good. But do read this excellent summary by the RSPCA on the
care of Xenopus spp in labs, here:
Among other things, a somewhat warmer temperature is recommended, around
22 C. I mention temperature because many tropical animals are sensitive
to opportunistic infections when chilled, and even if otherwise tolerant
of cool conditions, warming them up can get their immune systems working
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
Because of the very fast progression of this infection (36 hours from a
perfectly healthy frog to death), the vet gave me some Baytril to treat
the females which didn´t show any symptoms yet preventatively. Luckily,
this was successful and I could move them to the display tank four weeks
after the end of the treatment.
In this case, I can rule out environmental problems as a cause. The
frogs have lived under stressful conditions in the lab and I know of
some deaths due to Aeromonas hydrophila in the colony before; I think
the inevitable stress from being moved was just too much for this frog.
<Could well have been, particularly if they were handled a bit roughly
when moved. Capturing frogs can damage their skin as they rub against
the gravel, net or your hands.>
I just wanted to show that this is a very dangerous disease which
requires a prompt reaction. The photo shows the frog shortly after its
<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
<Most welcome, Neale.>
albino frogs, hlth. 12/14/12
We have two albino frogs that we have had in a 10 gallon tank for about
<Are these Xenopus? The African Clawed Frog?>
They have been doing fine, until recently one of the frogs appeared to
be stuck to filter in the tank when I came into work in the morning.
At first I thought he was dead, but when I tried to remove him from the
tank but he began to move. So I knew he wasn't dead. I
removed him from the tank and put him in a small tank. He has just
stayed at the bottom of the new tank and occasionally floats upside
down. I use a net to turn him back right side up and he seems to
stay that way for a few hours. He does not appear to be eating or
swimming much and his back legs don't seem to move at all.
The outline of his back feet and the tops of his front arms appear to
have a red outline.
The other frog has been rather quiet and not eating either, but I have
kept that one in the big tank. I recently added some plant bulb s
which have sprouted in the tank, but I didn't think that these would
harm the frogs?
I have added a few drops of Start Right to both tanks to see if that
Any suggestions on what we can do to save one if not both frogs?
Lori and Adah
<The aquarium is probably too small, but have you tested water quality?
What is the water temperature? What are you feeding these frogs? Xenopus
laevis is relatively easy to keep, but they do have some needs, and if
you don't provided for them, then things go badly.
Almost certainly you are dealing with something called "Red Leg". It
usually happens when frogs aren't kept properly. It's treatable, but you
will need a combination of Maracyn II with Maracyn Plus. Otherwise a
slow, painful death is certain.
ACF hlth... repro.! 12/9/12
Hi I have been researching dropsy or bloating in Xenopus laevis. My frog
appears to be bloated but I cannot tell. She has been like this for quite
<May be... full of eggs, perhaps egg-bound>
She appears to active and is eating fine, which is why this has never
worried me before. She is housed with an albino male, who does not appear to
be bloated at all, in a 20 gallon tank with adequate filtration.
She does eat more then him but she is by no means overfed which is why her
size concerns me. I feed her ReptoMin sticks every 3 days.
<I'd add other foods here>
The tank was cooler around 65 degrees,
<Needs to be warmer; this could be a factor>
but with winter coming I have slowly warmed it up to about 72 degrees. Any
help would be appreciated, I have attached a picture of her for you to see.
<Please read here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: ACF hlth... repro.! 12/11/12
Thank you very much. She appears to be improving. Must have been the cold
<Ah, good. Thank you for this update. BobF>
Sick ACF! 5/3/12
Hi, my name is Sam and I have had my ACF from about a year now. I
changed the water in her 5 gallon tank about 2 weeks ago and she seemed
<Aquarium is far too small...>
I noticed this time that the water got really dirty really fast,
<…which is why this happens.>
and when I went to change the water again, I noticed that her front and
back legs seemed somewhat pink in color and she seemed a bit bloated.
<And in turn, poor environmental conditions have stressed this animal,
weakened its immune system, and now caused what's likely a bacterial
Her energy seems fine, and she seemed to be eating, but I am a bit
worried because of all the stuff that I have read online. I went to the
pets store and the lady there told me to use Melafix,
<Useless; don't waste your money on this.>
a product they had to treat bacterial infections.
<Not much chance of success. Melafix is, at best, a preventative. If a
frog is healthy but sustained slight damage, it can help to minimise the
risk of infection. But that's it. Once infection sets it, Melafix is
about as useful as a chocolate teapot.>
I put some in the tank when I got home, but I am still worried about
her. Any suggestions about what is wrong with her and what I should do
to treat her would be extremely helpful! Thanks again! Sam!
In particular, review comments on bacterial infections, Red Leg, and
There is a picture that is attached as well. I know the quality is not
good, but she likes to move around so it was the best I could do with my
phone. Thanks again!
<Photo too blurry to be any use at all. But hope the linked article will
help. Cheers, Neale.>
Xenopus toad query... hlth., env.
Hello, I have two albino Xenopus toads which I bought about two months
The pet shop could not tell me what sex they are and because of how
young they are, it is unforeseeable so far. Recently, the larger of the
two named Patra has developed what looks like charcoal markings on the
bottom of the front feet, and I cannot find any information as to what
this could be. They are both housed in a 3 gallon tank
(I know this is too small but they
are small at the moment) with two ceramic flower pots and large pebbles
and rocks to hide behind. The water is dechlorinated etc. with
tap-safe, is kept at 30 degrees and is cleaned about every four days as
at the momentthere is no filter. They are both fed on
Meal worms, blood worms and the occasional bits of meat and catfish
pellets, recommended by my exotic pet shop. Can you enlighten me as to
what this could be, and should I be worried? thanks
<Hello Chloe. Do start by having a read here:
One of the best web pages to see photos of sick frogs and toads is
While Xenopus is normally extremely robust, bacterial infections are
not uncommon when environmental conditions aren't right and
haven't been for a long time. That web page provides some ideas on
suitable antibiotics. Yes, 3 gallons is way too small, and long term,
will cause problems. If the toad doesn't seem to have anything
similar to what you see on that page of sick toads, and otherwise seems
healthy, I wouldn't worry too much for now, just sit and watch them
over the next few weeks. Do also be aware of the "nuptial
pads" that MALE frogs and toads (including Xenopus) develop on
their front legs during the mating season. These may come and go
depending on the time of year. You can see photos online. Nuptial pads
are used during spawning to hold onto the female. They often look like
rough callosities. Cheers, Neale.>
Your help and advice is much needed. Xenopus sys.,
Dear WWM crew,
Thank you for reading my email. I recently bought an Albino African
<Small? Or just a "frog" size of Xenopus laevis I'll
Im not sure of the age. When I first brought him home he was fine. I
set up the tank after doing research on this little creature because
the pet store that sold him to me didnt know much about their
<Mmm, ours: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/FrogsArtNeale.htm
and the linked files above>
I have a 10 gallon tank filled up half 2/3 the way. Right now I have a
heater, which I keep at 72 degrees Fahrenheit, and smooth rock display
for hiding places. I decided to keep with a smooth glass bottom with a
dark cloth around the outside since I didnt want him accidently eating
sand or rocks. I have not gotten a filter
<Absolutely necessary. Amphibians are very sensitive to
accumulated metabolite and variation in water quality>
yet but change the water ever couple of days so its not too messy in
the tank. The pet store said that they just put fish pellets for the
fish in the tank and guessed that the frogs ate them too, I have bought
freeze dried Hikari Tubifex Worms or him to eat. Sadly, now that Ive
had him for a couple of weeks Im noticing very strange behaviors and I
cant seem to find any diseases that match his criteria.
<Highly likely these are all traceable to environment... You NEED an
When I first brought him home I used hard water because I didnt find
any articles saying I couldnt. He was fine at first but after a couple
of days he started swimming oddly, swimming up to the top and then
floating down over and over and when Id turn on the light or walk
towards him hed start thrashing his legs. Doing more research I found
out hard metals are toxic so I bought Aqua Safe Plus by Tetra which is
a water conditioner and dechlorinator all in one. I changed all of the
water and added the conditioner in to fresh water.
<Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm
re establishing cycling in aquatic systems. Simply changing the water
here won't do>
So to keep you updated on the time frame he was in the hard
unconditioned water for about a week then I changed the water with the
conditioner. I still used the hard water but I thought the conditioner
would help, but he wasnt getting any better, in fact he was getting
worse, he was now trashing at random times and spinning so that his
belly would be facing up and then hed flip over for about a minute over
and over. Then he would stop and just float around my guess was that he
was exhausted from thrashing. Today I decided to get regular city tap
water for him and added the conditioner/dechlorinator to the water
hoping he would be able start controlling his legs. When he first
started thrashing I thought he was just nervous around people but now I
fear there is something more going on. It seems almost like he is
epileptic and it gets set off by people walking towards him. I havent
moved him to a shallow tank because I often look over and he is
floating at the top where he can breathe. The closes symptoms I have
been able to notice are cramping leg or slightly paralyzed leg syndrome
but I wanted to check in with the experts before I tried any remedies.
Any advice you can give would be very helpful. Sorry for the length, I
wanted to give you as much detail of the situation as possible. Thank
you for your time.
<One last time; this system needs ongoing biological filtration...
Is this clear? Bob Fenner>
My Albino Clawed frog just shed its skin and is has
not stopped twitching since. Arms, fingers, toes, legs...pretty much
anything that he can move is twitching. He is still swimming around
just fine but he has never twitched (to my knowledge) before. I was
nervous that perhaps his water was dirty and affecting his new skin so
I changed out close to half of it.
I feel really bad for him. Is there anything I should do or is this
normal. It doesn't look normal.
<Hello Emily. Sometimes frogs shed their skin more quickly than
normal when there's irritants in the water. So
check the water is clean (i.e., filtered) and that you're using
water conditioner with each weekly water change (use a conditioner that
removes not just chlorine but also Chloramine, ammonia and copper).
Check that there's nothing "foreign" in the water, like a
rusty nail, that might be producing toxins or irritants.
Finally, do make sure the diet is a good, balanced one. Frogs can get
nerve damage from a monotonous diet, just like humans can. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/FrogsArtNeale.htm
Short of all this, no, there's nothing specific I'd recommend
beyond a good water change (50% perhaps) and a "wait and see"
attitude. Cheers, Neale.>
Sick African Clawed Albino Frog 4/28/11
I have an African Clawed Albino Frog that I have had for three years
now. I have never had any problem until last night. I keep him in a 5
gallon round tank,
never had any filtration
and have gravel on the bottom and no plants or any other frogs or fish
with him. I have fed him freeze dried shrimp since day one.
<Freeze-dried foods are okay occasionally, but for obvious reasons
(I hope) dried foods day-in, day-out aren't good for the digestive
system of animals. They do need variation.>
I have tried to give him freeze dried blood worms and krill and he
doesn't want to eat anything but the shrimp.
<Unfortunately, crustaceans are not a complete food; variation is
My problem is I found him upside down in his tank last night. I was
able to net him without any effort at all. I cleaned his tank( I keep
gallon water jugs that have had Stress Zyme put into them and set them
aside for the next tank cleaning) and put him in a shallow container to
keep a better eye on him because he was not able to swim to the surface
to get air.
<Sounds bad. Do understand that adding potions isn't a
substitute for a proper sized aquarium and suitable filtration.>
He is not eating at all and he is still very un active. He seems to not
be able to use his back legs and when I moved his small container he
almost rolled up in a ball and was acting like he was having a seizure.
He flipped over to his back again and couldn't roll back to his
<Dying. Given these frogs should live more than 12 years and
potentially 20 years, you can see that 5 years is pretty poor.>
His one back leg went out strait as a board and stayed that way. (I
just checked him and his leg is back to normal).
<Spasm of some sort not good.>
He is not eating anything at all now and I still haven't introduced
him back into the bigger tank for fear he will not be able to make it
to the top to get air. When he surfaces in the small container his
breathing is very hard and seems to be taking extremely big breaths. He
also feels cold to the touch. He does not have any shedding skin issues
or bloating or red leg.
I'm not sure of what the water levels are at due to not having
anything to test with
<Should own, at minimum, a nitrite (with an "I", not
nitrate with an "a") test kit.>
and not sure exactly where and what to get.
What could possibly be the problem and what can I do to help him? I
have been reading illnesses and diseases and found little information
on my particular issue. Could you please help Kermit ( the frog). Thank
<Do please read:
The differences between what this frog needs and what you've
provided thus far are the things killing him. A vet may be able to
help, but I really can't recommend anything off the shelf.
That's because this frog is very close to death, and you just
don't have time to mess about with weak over-the-counter
Update: Within the last 5 minutes of writing this I checked on Kermit
before sending this and he now has a long milky slime extending from
his rear feet to under his chin. A quick response would greatly be
appreciated. My 8 year old daughter is very upset thinking her pet frog
is dying. Thanks again.
<Most welcome. Cheers, Neale.>
Urgent! Please help! ACF... dis.... from?
Hi, I so very much hope that you can help me. I have an Albino African
Clawed Frog, approximately 4 1/2-5years old. I bought him as a dwarf
but I am not entirely sure that he is a dwarf.
<... Xenopus, vs. Hymenochirus... different species... Read
and the linked files above>
I had him in a bowl when he was still tiny, and then for a while after
his last tank broke, and he did well in there, but I wanted him to have
more suitable living conditions, so about three months ago I got him a
new tank (not brand new-it was previously used). I rinsed it out and
set it up, let it run for a while and tested the water by throwing a
bunch of rosies in their to see how they'd do. None of them died,
so eventually I went ahead and put my frog in.
<... uncycled... Won't work>
At the time, I had read that rosies were okay for frog dinner, so I
wasn't worried about him eating them,
<Poor idea... vectors of disease>
which he eventually did. Slowly. I noticed he stopped eating. He would
eat very little if at all. He had originally been eating HBH Frog and
Tadpole Pellets, but later stopped eating those so I fed him the
ReptoMin pellets, shrimp, and krill. He stopped eating the pellets, but
ate a lot of the shrimp, and has been eating mostly those for the last
three months, but then stopped eating those so much as well. I know he
can't see well, so typically, I have to help him find the food
(move my finger or a plastic spoon around near the food) and he lunges
and gets it then, but that hasn't been working lately. So. I got
six more rosies to see if he'd go after them. Most of them died,
but I think he ate maybe one or two.
Maybe a day after the last one disappeared, I noticed him upside down
at the bottom of the tank, and I freaked. I righted him, he was still
alive, and I brought him to the surface for air. He didn't really
struggle, just kind of floated around then let the filter blow him back
down and around, so I scooped him back up again and let him cling to
his feeding ring for support (he does that a lot anyway). Every so
often, he'd let go and drift around, but I didn't see him
upside down again until hours later.
I tested the water and from what I could tell, everything was safe,
except the water may have been a little hard (that one didn't
really match up well to anything) but the nitrite was bad, I followed
the instructions to do a water change, and I removed the gravel so that
he can eat sinking pellets from the bottom. I posted a question on
yahoo answers for more help, researched as much as possible on Google,
and just tried to keep an eye on him in the mean time. Yahoo answers
has given me only one response: flush him. Thanks. I woke up
periodically throughout the night and found him a few times upside down
on the bottom again, at which point I realized that, where he might
squiggle his front legs around, he didn't kick me with his back
legs. I touched them and moved them and they were limp/paralyzed. I
read a little about this (that got more results than anything but not a
lot by any means). It could be from nitrite, vitamin or nutrient
deficiency, or Trematodes/flukes. It listed a few things I can try,
crushing up vitamins and mixing baths and such, but I had a few
questions about the details and they don't offer any contact info.
I don't know how to tell which one it is, and I am afraid to do too
Today I bought him frozen bloodworms and more frog and tadpole pellets.
He has three options of things to eat, but will not eat anything, and
is shedding his skin now (I think he did that a few days before
dropping as well). Once in a while he opens his mouth very wide and
kind of twists.
He seems frustrated about his skin. I put him in a mini carrier so that
he can surface to breathe (I don't know how long he can hold his
breath for but I work two jobs the next few days and won't be able
to watch him closely, and I don't want him to drown in my absence).
Please please please, if you have any information on this, help me!
Whatever is wrong with him, I must have done, and I am desperate to
help him. Thank you for your time-I hope this won't too much. If
you can, please write me back as soon as possible.
Brooke P.S. If you post this, please don't post my e-mail/last
<Keep reading. Bob Fenner>
re: Urgent! Please help! Xenopus 3/9/11
I don't understand-you said to keep reading, and I am reading and
reading but cannot find anything similar to my frogs situation (I did
click the link you sent me).
<Your information was scant. It was/is my intention that by reading
you/'d discover what is amiss or missing here>
The ten gallon tank has a filter (didn't include that in the first
but I have to remove my frog when I am leaving because it cannot swim
to the top for air anymore.
He gets to the bottom of the water and can't get back up.
<Something very wrong here>
Sometimes he will squirm and wriggle and twist, open his mouth really
wide and snap it shut again, and flap his front hands. I pull him back
to the surface to breathe, but I can't spend all day watching him
(I work two jobs), so while I am gone, I keep him in a smaller mini
carrying tank, but I use the same water as the big tank so I don't
shock him. I haven't seen him eat (he won't touch the
bloodworms and apparently got a pellet in his mouth but spit it out
later) or go to the bathroom. I just need to know how to fix this-how
to I pinpoint the cause, how do I know if he is constipated, how do I
figure out if it is water, nutrients, or flukes/Trematodes, and how to
I make his back legs kick again? I am trying the vitamin bath as
suggested by the other website (vita b and potassium crushed up and
dissolved in water) and planning on buying parasite meds,
<... for what? And/or what indication do you have of what sort of
but wanted to make sure it wouldn't be over doing it either. I need
some solid instruction here and the people at the pet stores don't
seem to really know what they are talking about. I realize rosies were
a poor choice now, but now I need to know how to fix it. It is just
really frustrating and scary. Please guide me.
<... All I know re these animals is archived on WWM... Do please
re-read all that is posted re Xenopus laevis... I suspect there is
summat environmentally wrong here... Ammonia/Nitrite presence,
excessive Nitrate (test for)... or a toxic decor item.
re: Urgent! Please help! Still no real data, info. of use...
That is where I read about Trematodes, etc.
<I see... this pc. also mentions metal poisoning, nutritional
deficiencies... In all your writing thus far you've yet to render
any data re actual testing...>
My frog can't move his back legs. I don't know what else to do
except to try something that website suggests, or else he'll drown.
That is the only place I have found advice, except for the careless
advice on Yahoo Answers that suggested I flush him. I have had fish and
frog tanks for years and this is the first time I have experienced
something like this. He's been shedding this whole time.
<A clue... one last time. I suspect principally a poisoning from the
environment... Second, avitaminoses deficiency syndrome>
I don't know what other information to give you and I don't
know what to be looking for. If it weren't for his being upside
down and his constant shedding, he would appear normal, but after
finding him upside down I discovered the cause was that his back legs
can't move anymore. Earlier in the day, he was still swimming
<... Re-read what I've written to you. B>
African Clawed Frog has sores on his arms
I have a African clawed frog who is now 2 1/2 years old. Just recently
I purchased a few feeder fish, within the first day of their purchase
one of the fish had died, and short coming so did the rest. However
before the fish passed they were slowly getting this white fuzzy crap
growing on there scales.
<Fungus, typically follows on from exposure to poor conditions,
either in the pet store or at home. Feeder fish are often maintained by
retailers in dismal conditions.>
Now I am afraid that my frog has it. He's got white fuzzy's on
his arm and on the black sticky part of his arms it is red and looks
<More likely Red-leg from exposure to poor conditions in your
aquarium. If you add a bunch of fish to a small aquarium, water quality
can plummet, and the frogs won't be able to handle that.>
How do I treat this? What should I do?
<Do read here:
Re: African clawed frogs...
Cycling Update: Ammonia 1.0, Nitrite .25,
<Ammonia at this level is very toxic, so I wouldn't feed
at all for two days out of three, and I'd be aggressive with
the water changes. Do make sure your tap water has zero ammonia
(some water supplies do contain some
ammonia) and if your tap water has ammonia, be sure to use a
water conditioner that removes ammonia as well as chlorine and
pH 8, Nitrate 0 The frogs are active, eating well, and look
healthy. The 3 remaining Tiger Barbs are showing some signs of
<Yes, Barbs are very sensitive to ammonia and nitrite.>
You can see they are gasping a bit. As for the Green Corys, they
<I bet they're unhappy with the cobblestones though! Have
tried decorating with cobblestones, and while pretty, eventually
I changed to sand or fine gravel. Why? Firstly most fish hate the
cobblestones. They can't burrow
nicely. Secondly, the cobblestones trap detritus and quickly make
the tank messy. Best avoided.>
My tank looks extremely clean from the decreased feedings and
daily water changes.
<Do remember water clarity and water quality are quite
Thoughts or comments?
|Re: African clawed frogs...
Thanks again Neale. Well you are correct. I tested the tap water
before and after adding my chlorine/chloramine conditioner and
received 1.0 ammonia readings.
<Do note that you will get a "false positive" AFTER
treating water with chloramine in it, so do check the water
*before* adding water conditioner or dechlorinator. That's what
matters. Chloramine, as its name suggests,
breaks down into chlorine and ammonia when it reacts with some
water conditioners. If a water conditioner says it treats for
chlorine, chloramine, and ammonia, then this isn't a problem.
But if the water conditioner only treats chlorine, not chloramine,
then the ammonia sits around afterwards. More of a problem. So, to
recap, test your water without any conditioner added. If it
contains ammonia, or if you want to be careful, simply choose a
water conditioner that treats chlorine, chloramine, and ammonia,
all at the same time.>
So any recommendations on the product to buy?
<Many brands; all should work fine.>
I'm sure the product you advise will take care of ammonia as
well as chlorine in my tap, so maybe I should just stop using this
generic conditioner altogether. Kind of hard cycling out ammonia
when every water change, I'm adding more.
<Again, do make sure you don't have a false
African clawed frog swimming strangely and discolored
My son has a ACF that seems to be taking a turn.
It has been healthy and fine, to this point, but I did notice it was
turning a darker green color in blotches, rather than staying it's
pretty light green color.
<This tends to be a reaction to poor environmental conditions.
Essentially a bacterial infection. Can be treated with antibiotics,
e.g., Maracyn II (Minocycline) and Maracyn Plus (Sulfadimidine and
Trimethoprin, but best avoided.>
It lives with two other fish and a snail, and we change out the water
by 2/3 weekly.
<Actually, these frogs should never be kept with fish. Whatever
habitat you keep them in should be adequately large, maintained at
around room temperature (rather than tropical temperatures) and ALWAYS
filtered. Changing water instead of filtering just doesn't work. Do
see here for the basics:
We have floating plants for the bowl. The frog is swimming in a
twisting motion, and then stops and just floats.
Sometimes it seems to stay slight twisted almost upside down. This
appears to be different behavior than we have seen to this point (one
<You see, it takes about a month for things to go wrong.>
I have removed it from the big tank and put it alone with a bit of
shrimp in water that has been dechlorinated to see ---I am not sure to
Is it dying or is there something I can do for it to try to save
<Maybe not at death's door, but certainly severely stressed.
Review the conditions in the tank. It needs a tank at least 10 gallons
in size (ideally twice that for an adult) at about 15-20 degrees C in
and filtered with a good, strong filter. A small internal canister
filter would be ideal.>
Thank you. Susan
<Happy to help. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: African clawed frog swimming strangely and discolored
Thank you, Neale...
<Happy to help.>
I am not sure how the Pet Stores stay in biz. ugh
<I look at it this way: A sales clerk wouldn't stop himself
selling me a ghastly pair of yellow trousers with pink polka dots.
<<Hey! I bought those!! Heeee! RMF>>
It's up to me to make an appropriate choice. So with a pet shop:
They'll sell any animal to
anyone who pays the money, regardless of the ability of that person to
keep that animal. Yes, I agree, the *ethics* is totally different,
since it's an animal we're talking about, an animal that can
suffer in various ways. But so long as the law doesn't enforce some
sort of ethical dimension, it's up to us to make sure we research
the needs of those animals prior to purchasing them. I do my best to
help people *after the event*, but
often-times that isn't much good, perhaps because the animal is too
far gone, or else because my correspondent doesn't have the funds
or space to house the animal properly. It's a thorny problem, I
Is my Albino ACF sick? 9/6/09
I have a new Albino ACF that I got about two weeks ago.
<Question: How did you mature this aquarium first? You
can't expect to add a frog to an immature tank and expect him
to do well.>
He was perfect looking when I bought him at our local Wal-Mart,
but now he has tiny little black dots covering his back from his
head to his toes.
<Xenopus tropicalis, Xenopus longipes, and some other Xenopus
species are grey with small black spots. You may have one of
these other species. Refer to Google re: systematics, photographs
of the genus. What you are seeing may be entirely normal.>
He is otherwise healthy, I believe. This started about three to
four days ago after he shed his skin. I keep him in a 10 gallon
aquarium. I also have two Mixed Balloon Mollies, one Black Molly,
an odd looking Algae eater similar looking to the Plecostomus
(though I have not found a picture of him anywhere on the
Internet that tells me exactly what he is),
<Presumably Pterygoplichthys multiradiatus or Pterygoplichthys
pardalis, the two common "Plecos" of the US
an Apple Snail, and two Orange burst Glofish.
<Obviously, this collection of animals isn't REMOTELY
viable in a 10 gallon tank. For a start, Mollies need a good 20
gallons or more, and the water should be brackish. Danios (what
you call Glofish) need a tank 60 cm/2 feet long if they're to
be happy, and should certainly be in groups of 6+ to avoid
bullying and premature death. Even the frog needs a tank bigger
than this, 15-20 gallons, minimum.>
They all share the same tank.
<Why? Did you research the needs of *any* of these fish before
you bought them? At least some Xenopus, e.g., Xenopus laevis,
need subtropical water, whereas Mollies like things fairly warm.
There's no good reason to mix any of these animals.>
I did not like the gravel in the tank so I opted to put seashells
in it instead (I hope this will not harm them and I cleaned the
shells well before I put them in).
<Seashells are a bad idea. Two issues. Firstly, they harden
Mollies won't mind, but your other animals might. Secondly,
they trap food, leading to pockets of decay and foul
I constantly keep a check on the water and the Nitrates are at 40
mg/L, Nitrites are at 0 mg/L, the water is very hard at 300 ppm,
Alkalinity is at 180 ppm, and pH is at 7.2. I have now managed to
get the Nitrates to the fringe of being okay for the fish, but I
have trouble keeping it down.
<Nitrates not critical for Xenopus, but is so for Mollies,
which, in freshwater rather than brackish, are hypersensitive to
nitrates above 20 mg/l.>
I use Tetra Easy Balance with Nitraban, which says is supposed to
help maintain the tank with less frequent water changes.
<Garbage. Don't believe the marketing!>
I do not get a lot of time to do water changes so this works well
The water is crystal clear, I use Tetra Whisper filters with
Carbon, I keep a heater, which I have just lowered to a
temperature of about 80 degrees F since I was treating the tank
for Ick and it was at about 85 degrees F.
<Far too warm for Xenopus laevis, though Xenopus tropicalis
won't mind. Do, please, read here:
The treatment was performed a few weeks before I added the ACF. I
love animals and I am very interested in keeping a colorful and
<I love animals too. However, we all have to learn to separate
out affection for animals as an abstract concept from the hard
work of giving animals what they need. This is the tricky part to
life. Animals are
demanding and expensive. That's why I don't keep all the
animals I'd like!
I'd love a pet dolphin, but that's never going to happen.
But what I can do is review the needs of whatever I see in the
aquarium shop, and then put together what I need to keep them. In
your case, you have a collection of fascinating animals, yes, but
not necessarily in the conditions they need.>
I have an air stone. I have three plastic plants in the tank and
feed the fish and frog a blended diet of Wardley Tropical Fish
Flake Food, Hikari Tropical Algae Wafers (my Mollies love them),
and Tetra Freeze Dried Blood Worms (also a favorite among my
Mollies). I have done extensive research about all of my fish and
the frog and have been able to improve my tank. When I first
started, my fish were dying left and right, but now all of the
new ones I have been great, with the exception of a small Pleco
ended up with a very bad looking abrasion just under his eye and
a big hole in his tail fin before he died. I can't seem to
keep the Pleco very well since he was my second one.
<Your tank is too small for Plecos. Even the common species
need 55 gallons. Sure, not when they're 2-inch babies, but
they grow fast, and in small tanks will react quickly to bad
water quality. Things like sores and ulcers are often signs of
environmental stress, so looking backwards from that, my best
guess is that something in your tank wasn't right. Review,
and act accordingly. We're happy to help here at WWM, so if
you want advice on a fish *before* you buy it, feel free to ask.
We're not selling anything. In fact, we'd just as soon
convince you NOT to spend your money if we think a fish
wouldn't make sense in your aquarium.>
I try to keep the tank maintained as well as possible with my
work schedule. None of my fish seem to have any problems. The
frog eats very well and is semi-active and has gotten more active
since I first brought
him home. I also am able to see some of his veins, mostly in his
legs and one on his lower back. They are very thin red lines. I
suppose they are his veins, they look veiny. So, is it normal for
my frog to have little
black speckles or dots all over his back and is it normal for me
to see the red veins or whatever they may be?
<Difficult to say. When Xenopus and Hymenochirus frogs are
stressed, one of the things that does happen is their skin
reacts, becomes irritated. On humans, you'd call it a rash or
inflammation. Anyway, if left uncorrected, the skin starts to
become damaged, and you end up with bacterial infections, such as
the notorious Red Leg.>
I have attached a picture of the frog. including the picture as
an attachment is the only thing I can do with this email. Am I
being paranoid? I did hours of research last night to no avail. I
even tried the suggested Google search engine on top of the
others I had checked and Google sent me right back to your page.
I laughed hilariously at that and decided to give up on my search
and finally send you an email. I had to get some sleep first
though as I had ended up staying awake until 4:30 this morning
researching this issue. Please help me, I would hate for my new
frog to die.
<I would hate that too. As another animal lover, I'm
really keen you enjoy your pets and that you pets are healthy
living with you. In this case, I think the frog is not so much
ill yet as reacting to environmental stress.
As such, fixing the conditions, e.g., if this is Xenopus laevis,
as is usually the case, then cooler water will be important. A
more varied diet will help, with the accent on soft rather than
dried food. And so on. See
the article mentioned above.>
I am beginning to get attached.
<Thanks for writing, and good luck, Neale.>
|Re: Is my Albino ACF sick?
Thank you much for your advice Neale.
I did not research the fish at first since it was a start to a
hobby I thought my husband and I could enjoy.
<Ah, enjoyment of this hobby tends to be in direct proportion to
the research done first! Like gardening or foreign travel. Numerous
good books out there, many inexpensive but useful.>
I started out with a 20 gallon tank that was given to me, with just
Black Tetras, Red Tetras, and the Algae Eater I referred to at
first, however that tank is now sitting empty in our back yard due
to my lack of knowledge at the time in cleaning it and it got a
crack across the glass from one side to the other.
<We've all done this... cracked the glass by dropping
I have since learned not to do a full water change and more
importantly not to use such hot water.
A mistake that I will most definitely avoid again in the future.
After that, we went to the nearest store and bought the biggest
tank they had that we could afford at the time, which was the 10
<In itself, not a disaster, but I would caution you to select
fish extremely carefully. Most of the "community fish"
you see on sale need 20, if not 30 gallons to do well. Do read
This was mainly to get the fish back to a tank quickly.
I then started to research the proper care and maintenance of fish
and the different types that you could have together.
Please understand, the town I live in is rather small compared to
most, so we don't have much to work with.
<I feel your pain! My hometown doesn't have much of any kind
of aquatics at all, just a fairly hopeless garden centre that I
tend to use as my benchmark for what a BAD aquatic retailer looks
I am not a small town kind of person and moved around a lot as I
Being only 25 now, I understand the importance of having the
resources you need and that it is harder to obtain in a small
<Mail order often helpful here. Research your needs first, so
you can shop with confidence. I don't even drive, so anything
bigger than, say, a 10 gallon tank would have to be mail ordered
This being said, the information I obtained from Wal-Mart may not
have been sufficient enough to have the kind of fish and aquarium I
<This chain does seem to have, ahem, a mixed reputation as a
supplier of pet animal goods and advice.>
I have had the aquarium for about 4 months now and it was
stabilized for about two weeks before I added the frog. Needless to
say, I was not happy with the Tetras and gave them to a friend so
that I could have more tropical fish that were 'prettier'.
I started out with just the Mollies and the snail. I added the
Mollies before I got rid of the Tetras and some of them died, I
think from bullying from the Red Tetra, which led to the purchase
of more mollies so that I finally ended up with the amount that I
mentioned in the original email.
<Mollies are not easy, and among other things, are sensitive to
low pH, high nitrate, and poor water quality. Their size and
liveliness also makes them difficult to recommend for tanks less
than 30 gallons in size. Adult female Sailfins can get to 6
inches/15 cm in length! Shortfins are smaller, but still,
they're some 8 cm/3 inches long at maturity, so even a
"long" 20 gallon tank will be a bit crowded. Furthermore,
Mollies do, on the whole, live longer and healthier in slightly
brackish rather than freshwater conditions. They don't need
much marine aquarium salt mix added to their water, but a bit
helps, around 0.5-1 oz per gallon, but that's more than most
freshwater fish will tolerate. Hence, many would suggest (including
me) that Mollies are best kept in a single-species set-up. Or, at
least, combined with other fish that like slightly saline water,
such as Guppies, Glassfish or Gobies.>
So, by this time, I had done some research on what type of fish
were compatible with Mollies.
Everything that I found suggested that other community fish were
okay and my husband wanted Glofish so I got the two mentioned
previously. I was aware of the fact that they do better in groups
of 6 or more but they are not cheap, to us people in the small
<Well, they're not even sold here in the UK, so you're
doing better on that count! They're genetically modified, as
you probably know, and there's less consensus here in Europe
that such things are ethical and/or safe.>
So, two it is until I can afford more, and I have kept an eye on
them and they seem fairly happy.
<Two males will fight though, and they can be nippy when
They are very active as all the material I have read suggested they
<Yes, hence the need for a long tank, 60 cm/2 feet being about
The Algae Eater is the only large fish in the tank and keeps mostly
<Depends on the species. Gyrinocheilus aymonieri for example
(the "Chinese Algae Eater" or "Sucking Loach")
becomes highly aggressive when sexually mature, and is NOTORIOUS
for causing problems in small tanks. The true Plecs though, in
general, ignore other, non-Plec type fish (they are pretty
territorial towards one another though).>
My research showed that the Mollies and the Glofish were both
peaceful fish and were compatible.
<Nothing you read mentioned Mollies preferring slightly salty
water? Do please read here:
I have had them together and living, what I find to be very well,
together for about a month now.
<A month isn't long.>
As I mentioned before I have just added the frog, mainly because I
saw it at the store and they seemed interesting.
<Yes, they are.>
I did a little bit of research before I bought it, but I suppose
<Often the case.>
I promise you, I am normally a very thorough person, so once I had
them all together I made sure to get all of the information I could
gather in order to maintain a healthy and peaceful aquarium. So far
all is well with the exception of the appearance of the spots on
the ACF. I did research the pictures on many sites and I am
positive it is an Albino African Clawed Frog, though I wonder if it
may be pigmented, but the pictures I have viewed don't seem to
match the black spots he has.
<Does sound like the albino morph of Xenopus laevis, a
cool-climate clawed frog that doesn't do well in tropical
My main concern was whether it was normal for the frog to do this
or if I needed to change something quickly.
<I don't think the black spots are a disease, so there's
no immediate danger. But your tank will be too warm for this
species in the long run.>
Basically, should I be alarmed or just keep an eye him?
<A little from column A, a little from column B.>
From what I gather you are saying that I should maintain the water
and keep the diet varied, with mostly soft or live foods.
<Yes; frogs are prone to constipation when given dried
I was able to dig up some worms today and cut them into small
enough pieces for him to swallow. He definitely loved them.
I will continue to try to give a variety of food to him, bearing in
mind that the live food provides more nutrients and prevents
I am aware that they need a lower water temperature, so I have
started lowering the temperature slowly as to not shock any of the
fish with a sudden change.
<There's not much overlap here, to be honest. Mollies
absolutely must be kept warm, at least, fancy Mollies from pet
stores do. Once the temperature gets below 77 F, they tend to get
sickly, and the ideal is somewhere around 80 F. This is too warm
for Danios (which do best around 75-77 F) and far too warm for
What do you suggest that I do about keeping Nitrates down?
<Depends what your tap water nitrate content is. If you have a
nitrate level of 20 mg/l or less out of the tap, then regular
(weekly) water changes of around 25% should be ample. Just
don't overfeed your fish, and take care to remove uneaten
All of my other tests show to be good according to the chart that I
have to compare the tests to.
I may be a novice hobbyist, but I do hope to get better.
<You will. I've been doing this for some 25 years, and still
manage to kill fish by doing stupid things!>
All things get better with time and some trial and error, otherwise
we would not have the technology we have today.
<Yes, very true.>
I did find your information helpful, but for some reason I picture
you to be a Simon Cal.
<Both British, may be the clue...>
Not intending to offend you, as I find it rather comical.
<Well, I suppose the point is we're both plain spoken and
honest, rather than trying to make friends. If you like me,
that's nice, but what I want above all is that you understand
what I'm saying. There are also differences in how Brits and
Americans use their common language.>
I believe you are a very intelligent person, but feel that you may
underestimate the intelligence of those that refer to your site for
assistance and guidance.
<Always difficult to judge intelligence from an e-mail; indeed
e-mails generally tend to be written casually rather than
carefully, so it's all too easy to misjudge things. It's
not my intention to alarm or upset, merely to inform and
Keep doing what you do. You are great, as I am sure you are aware
I hope to be able to get a bigger tank soon. In the meantime, I try
with what I have and maybe it will be okay, though I completely
understand the affect the small aquarium may have on the fish.
Please forgive me if my email seems a little scattered, my mind
thinks differently than most and I end up confusing myself and
others rather easily.
I find it amazing that I can be an intelligent person but yet so
simple minded at times, well a lot. I hope it is a refreshing
difference from your normal inquiries.
<Always nice to hear a little more from our
What could be wrong with our Clawed African Water Frog?
Env., reading 9/1/2009
Thank you for your help. My son brought home a baby Clawed African
Water Frog from school in May. Yesterday, I noticed him belly-up in the
bottom on his tank.
<! Water quality?>
I noticed he jerked his back leg every now and then so I put him in a
shallow container with water so he could more easily reach the surface
<Change a good part of the water. Stat!>
I checked on him throughout the day yesterday and found that he would
go to the top for air but other than that did not move. Last night I
put him back in the larger tank and once again, we found him belly-up,
but still alive, at the bottom of the tank this morning. I have read
information on your site and he doesn't have a bloated stomach,
there are no white patches on his body and he has no bloody red areas.
He just doesn't move much.
Other than the past two days, he is kept by himself in a 5 gallon
<Too small a world. Very likely the issue here is
Any suggestions on what might be wrong with him and how I can help him
would be greatly appreciated.
<... Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/FrogsArtNeale.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
New Information for previous question
Hello, I emailed a question regarding my son's clawed African water
frog earlier today. I just went to check on him and he seemed to
"cough" up a cloudy substance. Thought that the new
information might help figure out what is wrong with him.
<Read. And quickly fix this animal's universe. B>
911 -- very sick albino African black-clawed frog...
env., nutritional, reading as usual 7/8/09
We are new pet owners, and have obviously done something
seriously wrong in caring for our 6-month-old albino African
<I see an abscess on the leg>
She is kept in a 5 gallon tank with a Whisper 10 gallon filter
and sand substrate. As the water has remained clear,
we have been negligent in changing the water more than once a
We feed her bloodworms
<Solely? Insufficient nutritionally>
about three times a week (she has been a voracious eater, I might
add). I do not know the ammonia or nitrate levels -- we do not
have the tools to check those levels at this point (nor did we
understand the importance of monitoring such things in caring for
our first aquatic pet when we purchased her).
<Likely there is too much nitrate presence... These issues of
nitrogenous matters are covered on our site>
About three weeks ago, I performed a 50 percent water change and
had unknowingly used a water conditioner that was expired. Our
frog lost her appetite about 10 days ago -- not eating many
bloodworms at all. Then I noticed some small reddish/purplish
spots on her left upper leg (above the knee). These continued to
grow and at one point developed a white kind of fluff on top.
At this point I sought help from the fish store where we had
The owner was convinced this was a bacterial infection stemming
from a chemical burn and quite possibly poor water
She gave us a treatment plan that included water changes every
three days and Triple Sulfa (1/4 pack per dosage -- spread over
After following the treatment plan for a week, I've noticed
only changes for the worse. My frog's entire leg is swollen
to the point that she can no longer use it effectively. The
red/purple spots expanded and then today opened to reveal a white
and puffy-looking wound which is trailing a wispy white matter.
This wispy white matter is all over the tank -- attached to the
The frog is barely moving -- I've already declared her dead
once today (to the utter horror of my 9- and 7-year-old daughters
whose beloved pet this is). I do not hold out much hope, but I
thought I'd look for another opinion. (The pet store where I
purchased her was closed yesterday and today, so I haven't
been able to take her in for an assessment.)
I've attached a picture (not the greatest quality). Thank you
in advance for any information that you can give me. If we
can't save this frog, maybe we can save a future pet.
<Only time, with improved water quality, nutrition will tell.
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
African clawed frog... A cry for help w/ no info.,
Just a question have two African clawed frogs one albino one
regular one.....looks like the one frog has some sort of white
patches on his back foot.....the webbing between looks cloudy and
fluffy???? any ideas??? seems to be swimming eating....stays at
bottom like he does all the time???? try send you a picture of
<... What? Need data... to make a first-order approximation
even... System, water tests, history of maintenance,
foods/feeding... Read here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
African clawed frog 4/4/09
look at his foot it is cloudy or white????
<I'd say more of the former. B>
Re: African clawed frog
About my African clawed frog white patches on his foot.......
<Deadly toxic... see WWM re>
hardness 200 (Calgary water, safe)
alkalinity 160 (safe)
change the water once a week in a 20 gallon tank
<Not all of it... see WWM...>
......with gravel filter siphon........
they eat Repti sticks 2-3 a night
frog pellets a few feed frozen blood worms every 2-3 days
they seem to be acting as normal.....swimming, eating, all seems
<Look good too>
there house mates are one balloon molly seems fine no white
patches or anything and a sucker cleaner fish......he seems
<Might be causing troubles here... is this a CAE?
thanks hopefully can figure out what's the matter with
<Keep reading. BobF>
Sick African Clawed Frog 11/03/08
Over the past month and half I've been struggling to feed my frog.
I've had him for about 11 months now (since he was tiny).
Throughout those months we've gone through periods where he
won't eat anything, or he tries to but then spits it back out.
<Hmm... try live bloodworms. Few healthy aquatic frogs will turn
these down. Wet frozen bloodworms should work too. That said, if water
quality is poor, fish and frogs will go off their food.> But I'd
have to say that this time is the worst. He's not eating anything,
not even his favorites. I can't figure out what's wrong with
him. I've increased the water temp to be about 80 degrees but still
no desire in food. <Wouldn't keep him so warm; 25 C/77 F is
ample. Warmer water = less oxygen in the water.> He's also been
shedding excessively and this morning I watched him throw up. <When
frogs shed a lot of mucous, it's a good sign water quality and/or
water chemistry aren't correct.> I know that throwing up for a
frog is not normal but how serious is this? <In itself loss of
appetite and vomiting are not life threatening in animals any more than
they are in humans. But they are a clue something isn't right,
requiring further study on your part.> What he threw up looked
something like poop, so I thought that he might have accidentally
ingested some of his own feces by accident and it made him sick. Keep
in mind that he's barely been eating this whole time and has just
thrown up today. What can I do to make him feel better and have a
better appetite? And can I use a product called Stress Coat in his
water to help ward off bacterial infections as well as help him feel
better? <Randomly adding medications rarely helps animals any more
than it does humans. Understand the problem, diagnose the pathogen, and
then treat. Nine times out of ten, fish and frogs get sick because of
the environment, so if you are going to act randomly, at least
concentrate on the most probable issue: the water.> Please help, I
don't know what else to do. <Do water chemistry, quality tests.
Get back to use with those. Tell us about the size of the tank, what
filter you use. Cheers, Neale.>
Water issues -FW, frogs 11/03/08
What is the best product to use to get rid of ammonia and other toxic
substances that are in the water? <Most modern dechlorinators should
remove chlorine, chloramine, ammonia and copper from tap (or well)
water. If yours doesn't, switch to a brand that does. Do understand
that no ammonia-removing water condition does ANYTHING about ammonia
from your fish or frogs. That's the job of the filter. All the
water conditioner does is remove any small traces of ammonia in your
water supply.> I have well water and I always use that without
adding in any dechlorinators. Is that water to hard for my ACF?
<Unless ridiculously high (i.e., above 25 degrees dH) hardness
shouldn't be an issue. If you have very hard water, you could mix
50/50 with rainwater; that's what I do. Otherwise, don't worry
about it: most fish and frogs can adapt to harder water in aquaria than
in the wild, provided water quality is good.> Plus his diet usually
consists of ReptoMin Sticks, lean raw beef, and occasionally a worm if
I can find one. What types of foods do they like? <Aquatic frogs
mostly feed in invertebrates of various types, particularly aquatic
insect larvae. These are widely sold frozen.> Plus I think my frog
has seeing problems because his pupils are shaped like teardrops. Is
that normal? <The eyes should be bright and the pupil essentially
circular.> When he was little he used to nibble at my finger and eat
freeze-dried bloodworms. But that changed overtime. Then I had to start
wiggling my finger on the surface to get his attention. I don't
think that he has very good depth perception. I'll put a ReptoMin
stick on the surface and wiggle my finger. At the time he acted like he
really wanted it but he'd always "pretend" like he was
getting it by shoving his little hands into his mouth but never
actually getting the food. That continued to happen so I switched to
beef, then I'd wiggle that in front of his face, he'd eat it
immediately. But now nothing. What's happening to him, he's
only 10 months old. <Do need information on the environment. Xenopus
are subtropical frogs that need a fair sized container containing clean
(zero ammonia/nitrite) water at around 18-22 degrees C; Hymenochirus
frogs are smaller and need tropical conditions, around 25 degrees C,
but still need clean water. So depending on the frog you have, you may
need to review environmental conditions. Almost always when frogs get
sick it's because of water quality issues. Take care not to
overfeed: these frogs need small amounts of food, around 2-3 times per
week. Change the water regularly, and make sure the filter is in good
condition, rinsing the media if required. The shed skin often clogs
small filters. Cheers, Neale.>
African Clawed Frog and Nitrate Level 8/8/08
Hi WWM Crew, Just want you all to know that I think the crew at WWM is
the best! <Thanks!> I have a question to ask; what level can
Nitrates be at for an African Clawed Frog? Thanks in advance for your
help. Jean <Jean, amphibians generally are sensitive to poor water
quality, so the lower the nitrate level, the better. I'd recommend
less than 20 mg/l as the ideal, and certainly no more than 50 mg/l.
Don't fixate on the nitrate level though. Provided your tank is
filtered, not too warm (these are subtropical frogs, remember, not
tropical), and you do 25-50% water changes per week, you should be
fine. Not overfeeding is also important; they certainly don't need
meals every day. Cheers, Neale.>
Albino ACF 07/20/2008 Hey Guys, I recently
bought a new albino ACF and I've had for a few months now in the
same tank. I moved her to a bigger tank with plants a few days ago, I
made sure to wash the plants with boiling water to make sure there was
no bacteria issues, <? Shouldn't be... and the "films"
on such are often of use...> and just took them out because her
hands and halfway up her arm has begun to turn black! I've look all
over but the only discolourations that I've read about have their
skin turning red. What could be making this happen! <This condition
may be due to chemical make-up of the system water, it not being
completely "cycled" or perhaps pathogen growth... Do please
read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/xenopusdis.htm and the
linked files above. I would check your water quality... urge
nitrification. Bob Fenner>
Albino African Clawed Frog swimming upside-down -
07/13/08 I have three African Clawed Frogs in a 29 gallon tank.
They share the space with two spotted Rafael's. In the last two
weeks my Albino ACF started acting weird and started swimming a little
weird. I was away on vacation for the last week and changed 1/3rd the
tanks water before leaving. Upon coming home I found my Albino friend
upside-down on the bottom of the tank. I grabbed a net to take what I
thought was my dead frog out of the tank only to find that my frog was
very much alive. <Well that's good news at least. In any event,
your first stop here would be to test the water, at minimum the nitrite
level. Almost all "sudden disasters" in aquaria come down to
water quality, and if you've been away, there's every
possibility that something went wrong in this regard, and the livestock
got sick. I'll put aside for now my general observation that fish
and amphibians don't mix.> Watching her over the last day I see
that she still has a lot of energy and a very strong kick, but she has
trouble swimming right-side up. <Not really a symptom of any one
thing.> My frog spends a lot of time in the corner wedged between a
gravel filter tube and the side of the tank. I'm thinking she is
doing this so as to breath air without trying to figure out which way
is up. I also sometimes still find her upside-down on the aquarium
bottom. I'm pretty sure she is not eating her regular diet of live
crickets and recently added freeze-dried tube worms (with no luck
either.) <Do remember that these animals won't thrive on a
single food item. Frozen bloodworms and live earthworms would both make
excellent additions to the diet of these frogs. Freeze-dried foods are,
in my opinion, a waste of money. Moreover, not all animals eat them
(and none of mine ever seemed to enjoy them).> The other two ACFs, a
male and a female, both seem fine, as do the spotted Rafael's. The
only major tank change I made before heading out on vacation was taking
old plants that looked like they were dying, and replaced them with new
ones. (The kind of live plants that come in a plastic container with a
gelatin in the roots that keeps them alive for a while. <Never seen
these. Must be something particular to your country. In any case, being
protein-based, gelatin decays under water and adds to the nitrogenous
wastes in the system. Could very easily have caused an ammonia/nitrite
crisis in your absence.> These plants have not shared space with any
other water animals.) I have two filters running. The pH is often high
and I find I am regularly using pH Down to bring the pH level more in
line with where it should be. <Arggghhh!!! Lesson #1 - Don't
change the pH unless you also change the hardness. One of the most
common mistakes inexperienced aquarists make is to assume that a fish
"wants" a certain pH. They do not. Fish don't really care
about the pH. What they need is for the pH to be stable. Beyond that,
most freshwater species will adapt to anything within the range pH 6-8.
What fish DO care about is hardness. So when you have an Amazonian fish
and you read it comes from "soft, acidic water", that means
your job is to reduce the hardness. Do that, and the pH will go down by
itself (sort of, anyway). Change the pH using buffering potions without
changing the hardness and all you're doing is creating an unstable
environment. No fish wants to live in hard but acidic water overloaded
with buffering agents. Blech! If your water is hard and alkaline
(basic), then don't worry, you're fish don't care. I think
the reason inexperienced aquarists change the pH is because it seems
easy to do, especially when compared with softening water using
rainwater or an RO filter. But that easiness is illusory! By the same
token, this is why so-called soft water from a domestic water softener
is bad for fishkeeping -- it's chemical composition is all wrong
for most fish, despite the fact it is called "soft water" and
so sounds like the stuff you get in the Amazon. It most certainly IS
NOT like the stuff in the Amazon!> I also changed another 1/3rd of
the water in the tank yesterday just in case. <Change more. After a
crisis, change 50% immediately, and then another 50% 6-12 hours
later.> My Albino friend is about 2 years old and does not have any
skin problems, bloatedness, or red anywhere on its body. I've also
heard that female frogs sometimes swim upside-down before laying eggs,
but I don't think this is the issue. Do you have any suggestions as
to what the problem is and how I can help my small friend? <Almost
certainly either water quality or water chemistry issues. Check these
and act accordingly. My prediction would be that if you [a] stopped
feeding for a few days and [b] did dechlorinated tap water changes to
remove all traces of the pH buffer, the aquarium would quickly settle
down. Use your test kits to check this.> I'm also heading away
again for a number of days and could bring a separate small aquarium
with me to monitor any progress but am wondering if it's best to
leave her be. Thank you for any insights. <Hope this helps,
ACF with fungal/bacterial problem? 01/22/2008 Hello,
<Howdy> My name is Rachel. I have 4 Albino Clawed Frogs and
they are housed in a 30 gallon tank filtered with 2 Whisper 20-40
gal filtration systems. I know that this 30 gallon is going to be
too small for these guys but they are still relatively small. We
plan on upgrading to a larger tank as soon as we can. All of my
frogs are between 6 months and a year old I am assuming. We do
regular water changes <Every week I hope> and feed them
every day or two. Nothing has changed with their tank except that
we added the second filtration system about a month ago.
<Good> One night when feeding the frogs however, we noticed
our smallest one had some small black spots/rings on one of his
hind legs and his eyes were blackened. With the others, if you
look into their eyes its almost like you can see through to their
brains, but his looked black and mucky if you looked through
them. <Not to worry re... some degree of melanization is not a
problem... even with "albino" Xenopus> From the leg
alone and "cloudiness" of the eyes I assumed I was
dealing with some sort of fungal or bacterial infection. He was
eating and swimming just fine and he does not seem to be acting
any differently. After reading a little on your site and others,
I decided to add a little aquarium salt <Mmm, I
wouldn't> as well as Maracyn Two (pet store recommended).
I only used half the recommended dose for each. After three days
of the Maracyn Two, his eyes seem to be SLIGHTLY more clear but
his leg is looking the same. I have attached a picture for you.
Hopefully you can give me some more suggestions. I hope that I
caught this in time and that it will not be fatal. I would hate
to lose him. He is our baby of the bunch.?? Any help would be
greatly appreciated.? Thank you. <There does appear to be a
bit of reddening here... I would step up your water change-out
procedures, and add/soak a bit of liquid vitamins to their foods
ahead of offering (ones made/intended for baby humans are fine
here). Bob Fenner>
Re: ACF with fungal/bacterial problem?
1/31/08 Hi again! <Hello> It seems as though my problem
is getting a little worse. I stepped up the water change. I
actually did a full system clean because of the salt that I had
originally put in. With the clean water, I took your advice and
found some liquid vitamins that the pet store had. I believe its
called Vita-Chem. Anyway, I had mentioned previously that all
together we have 4 frogs. All of the others were fine but tonight
I noticed that 2 of them are starting to get the same dark spots
on their legs (not as extreme as the frog in the photo). The
redness that you noticed on the picture has diminished slightly,
and the spots on the toes were clearing up, but the spots on the
legs are very persistent. Now that the other frogs are developing
the same condition, Im wondering if there isn't something
else I should be doing on top of the water changes and vitamins.
<Perhaps adding some filtration, or a larger system...> (As
far as the vitamins, I add about a drop per 2 gallons in the
water when I do a water change, as well as soak their food in
it.) Do you have any more advice for me? <To read more widely
on the Net using the terms Xenopus and health, nutrition,
systems... and to report back to us re your findings... for
others edification. Bob Fenner>
ACF with fungal/bacterial
problem? 3/5/08 Hello again, I first sent you an email on
01/22 about a frog with a possible bacteria infection. It turns
out that the spots on his legs are actually ammonia burns.
<Hmm... not sure there's a difference, to be honest.> I
don't believe we cycled the tank properly from the beginning.
We have since cycled the tank completely. Ammonia, Nitrites, and
Nitrates are all at 0. I know that ammonia burns will take a very
long time to heal/go away. <Yes, and the main problem is
secondary infections, i.e., the infamous "Red Leg"
causes by Aeromonas bacteria.> Assuming that the reddening you
noticed in the picture was part of this ammonia burning issue, I
did not treat my frog with anything other than the first dose of
Maracyn Two. (I realized about a week ago that the treatment of
Maracyn Two was completely unsuccessful - I did not remove the
carbon filters). <Two lessons here: ALWAYS complete the course
of medication, and ALWAYS remove carbon when treating livestock.
In fact, carbon is practically useless in freshwater aquaria, and
is mostly sold to extract money from hobbyists. Water changes do
more good for less money.> After the tank was completely
cycled, I spoke to a pet store owner that has been helping me
test my water and cycle my tank properly. When I mentioned the
reddening of the legs, he raised his eyebrow and said that it was
a bacterial issue. <Likely, yes.> I have been reading about
bacterial infections and septicemia - which would be a cause for
his body's change in color. Septicemia is the same thing as
Red Leg from what I have seen. <Red Leg is a category of
septicaemia, yes; all a septicaemia is a bacterial infection of
the blood. In fish and frogs this often happens where the
integument has been breached (for example by a burn or scratch)
and the Aeromonas bacteria get in from the water and into the
tissues.> My frog has had this red color and the spots for
over a month and a half. Frogs with red leg usually don't
make it and probably don't live for a week after the symptoms
actually show. I bought another treatment of Maracyn Two and
removed the carbon filters. I haven't noticed too much of a
difference. <To be honest, recovery from Red Leg just
isn't that common. By all means try, and stick with the
medication you are using. Water quality and a healthy diet are
critical factors, and probably matter just as much as the
medications.> Even before treating with Maracyn Two properly,
one day his body would look normal with slight reddening on his
legs and the next day his whole body would look red and somewhat
inflamed then back to normal looking again the next day, almost
as if his immune system is trying to fight this off. With your
knowledge and experience, do you think that I am dealing with
septicemia or something else? He has been like this for about a
month and a half. Should I be treating him with something other
than Maracyn Two? I have read about Tetracycline - perhaps it
would work better. <Certainly worth a shot.> Any
information would be greatly appreciated. Rachel <Good luck,
Frog Tank With High Ammonia 1/31/06 Hi, I am hoping that you
can shed some light on what is going on in our tank. We have had this
10 gallon tank set up with 2 baby albino ACFs (African Clawed Frogs)
for over a month and it was cycled before we added frogs. They are
still very small frogs and we plan on a bigger tank once they grow a
little. Anyway, something disrupted the biological filtration system. I
am not sure exactly what happened. We raised the temp slightly (approx
2 degrees F) which I know will effect it slightly. The only other thing
I can think of is that one of the frogs was extremely constipated and
was extremely compacted with food. She finally passed it about three
days ago. Two days ago when I tested for ammonia with a newly purchased
test kit because I had been using strips and have learned they
aren't all that accurate. The ammonia was around 1.0 ppm. I
immediately prepared some tap water for a 50% water change. Within six
hours of the water change the ammonia was back up to the same levels. I
tested the tap water and another smaller tank (that I have been using
drinking water in -instead of tap) to make sure the test kit was
working and both came back zero. I did another 50% water change
yesterday and the same thing happened. I tried using some Ammo-Lock out
of desperation and tested again after an hour. It made absolutely no
difference in the ammonia reading. Perhaps that batch of Ammo-Lock is
bad or outdated. But, I still don't get why the ammonia level is
rising so fast after a water change. We are using a whisper filter that
goes up to 20 gallons. Also the other readings are pH 7.2, Nitrate
0ppm, Nitrite 0ppm, GH about 75 ppm, KH about 120 ppm. Water prep is
letting the tap water sit overnight or for several hours and adding 2
drops pH down per gallon (tap water is off the chart alkaline for my pH
testing kit before adding the pH down and very hard) and AquaSafe per
directions. Any suggestions? Probably the Ammo-Lock wasn't the best
idea since we need it to recycle but I was desperate. Should I continue
doing a 50% water change everyday. It doesn't seem to be helping
much. I would be interested to see if the level would get above 1.0ppm
if I let it go but I won't put the little froggies at risk. Thank
you so much!! Christi < Go to Marineland.com and go to Dr Tim's
Library. Read the article titled "The First 30 Days." The
will give you some background on cycling terms so you can determine if
your tank is indeed truly cycled. If not add Bio-Spira from Marineland
to get the tank cycled now.-Chuck>
Frogs hopping mad about
ammonia 7/30/05 I currently have a twenty-nine gallon tank with
three African clawed frogs. I keep about twenty-five gallons so they
don't jump out. <Good idea> My problem is my ammonia is
through the roof. <Toxic...> I switched to a canister filter
about a month ago. It is keeping the water remarkably clear. I have in
the media baskets the foam filters, pre filter (inert ceramic rings,) a
carbon bag, an ammonia remover bag, and the media growing rings. I had
been doing one third water changes every week, now I am doing two
thirds. I am also switching the media every two weeks.
<Shouldn't switch...> Two of the four sponges, carbon, and
ammonia. I am staggering these out, so I don't disturb the
beneficial bacteria. I expected an ammonia spike with the initial set
up (the tank is about six weeks old,) but it seems I can't
stabilize the tank. When I had a hang on the tank filter, my ammonia
was close to nil. <Should have left the hang-on on during this
transition to the canister... or used both even better> Granted the
water was nasty (ACF's are pretty gross little beasts,) but I
didn't have this problem at the time. I have no live plants in the
tank and I have about twenty-five pounds of sand. I am currently using
ammo-lock to make sure my frogs aren't harmed. I have also
monitored their eating habits and they are eating what I feed them.
There is very little food left after they eat. The frogs don't seem
to be suffering any ill effects at all. The ghost shrimp that I put in
(as a snack and to help clean are literality jumping out of the tank
when I put them in. Any suggestions for me? <Please read here:
http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm and the
linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Clawed Frog Constipation? - 11/19/2005 Hi, <Hello. Sabrina
with you, today.> I've owned my African Clawed Frog for almost 3
years now and I have never had issues with him. He's had to deal
with living at college with me and the trips back and forth and the
freezing cold dorm rooms and has lasted through it all. <Mm, sounds
like some stressful times.... Do please be cautious; such stresses can
make an animal much more prone to disease....> Right now I have him
in a 25 gallon tank with a ground feeder and a snail. The past week his
butt has started to get red and irritated looking and it actually looks
like he's almost constipated. <Hmm....> Last night I came
home from being out and he had that bloated look of what Dropsy is but
not as severely as some pictures I've seen. <Alright....> I
woke up this morning expecting the worst but the bloating actually went
down and he's eating and is shedding right now and acting normal
except for looking irritated and constipated back there. <If he was
constipated, he may have become bloated from the blockage, then after
it passed, the bloating subsided. Mind you, though, I/we am/are not
frog experts, so take anything from me with a grain or to of salt.>
I've looked up stuff on red leg but it doesn't seem to be that.
<Good.> I have the tank at a steady temperature of 76 and I
always clean the tank the same way so there haven't been any
drastic changes in his routine recently. <Mm, but do you test your
water? Readings for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate? Please do be testing
for these, and maintain ammonia and nitrite at ZERO, nitrate less than
20ppm, with water changes.> Do you think you know what this might be
because I can't find anything about it on the internet. <As
above, perhaps the animal was in fact constipated.... or perhaps this
is from ammonia or nitrite poisoning (any reading on these above ZERO
should be considered toxic). I would urge you first to test your water
and maintain optimal water quality, then do some Google searches on
clawed frog nutrition and disease. Wishing you well, -Sabrina>