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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-01-2009, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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African Dwarf Frog Help

When I started, I had two (suspected females, from what the internet told me) African Dwarf Frogs.

They lived in a 2 gallon tank with a heater to keep the temperature between 75 and 78 degrees and an air filter (bubble maker from what it seems to be to me) that the tank came with. I do 25-50% water changes weekly (bottled spring water is what I put back into the tank) and also have purchased an anti-bacterial solution called "Microbe-Lift" from my pet store and follow the recommended "dosage" on the bottle. I'd been trying to feed the frogs freeze dried blood worms with no success--I had to scoop out all of the food I put in. Then I tried "Betta Bites" because I remember feeding an ADF I had when I was younger those. No luck there, either. Then I went back to the pet store and asked their opinion, and the man working told me that the frogs occasionally get algae wafers there and love them. No response to the algae wafers in my tank, however.

About a week and a half ago, one of the frogs died. A few days later, I had the water tested at the pet store I mentioned earlier to make sure that the surviving frog was safe and they told me that everything was within the regular level.

The surviving frog has never been very active. She likes to sit on the bottom of the tank all day. Once in a while I have to use the net to move the rocks near her so I can make sure she's still alive. I've never seen her swim to the surface for air, but I assume that she has been or else she would've died by now. I've never seen either of the frogs eat.

Before the first frog died, I realized that her face had turned "blacker" than it had been before and her entire body had changed to be a bit darker. Now the second frog is starting to have the same appearance, so I'm hoping it's not too late!

Anyone know what's going on?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-02-2009, 05:20 PM
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Don't use spring water to do water changes. I would instead recommend using tap water and treating the water with something like Prime (it removes chlorine, chloramines, heavy metals, etc.), which can be found in the fish section.

I haven't heard of Microbe-Lift. What's in it?

I would get your water re-tested and ask for the actual numbers (or even get your own test kit). If the store is that clueless about frogs, they might not know what the "regular" levels are. I would also get a better filter, try looking for an Azoo Palm filter. There are better filters out there but most are rated for larger tanks (at least 5-gallons).

How are you offering the food? A lot of African dwarf frogs are kinda, well, stupid when it comes to finding food . You really have to wiggle it right in front of them (using tweezers) or use a turkey baster to blow it near them. If you're really having issues getting them to eat, try live foods (bloodworms, blackworms, earthworms, brine shrimp, small ghost shrimp, etc.) to see if you get any sort of response. Another frog favorite is frozen krill (just cut it up into small pieces).

By the way, don't take lethargy to mean that your frog is sick. While that could be the case, keep in mind that they're quite inactive animals to begin with.




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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-02-2009, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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Sasami:
On the tap water--I have a product called "AquaSafe," is this pretty much the same thing? On the front it says that it "neutralizes chlorine" as well as a number of different things.

On the Microbe-Lift--the bottle doesn't exactly say what's in it. I'm sure that the box had those details but it's long gone. Here are a few of the things it does say on the bottle: "Dramatically reduces need for water chances and cleanings, a new tank starter for biological cycling and boosting, an organic water degrader, lowers ammonia levels and biologically reduces nitrates, removes odors and clears cloudy water..." etc.

On offering the food--at first, I just dropped all of the food in. Then, after noticing that the frogs weren't eating, I read on the internet and found that they're not good at finding their food. Even when I hold the worms in front of my frog with tweezers (as I've been trying for the last few days) she doesn't seem to care. I also drop another piece on the top of the water and turn off the air filter for about an hour so that it isn't floating around, but she never seems to eat. As far as the live food goes, I'd like to see if there are any other options, I'm a college student and am kind of short on cash.

On sickness--I tried to look up anything on sickness but there weren't too many answers for me. The only thing that sounds kind of similar is "Spring Disease." The website I found it on listed the symptoms as "
yawning, lethargy and skin discoloration," but didn't give details about what kind of discoloration. I tried to find more on the disease but didn't have any luck.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-03-2009, 04:54 PM
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Hi! Welcome to PT!
Have you tried frozen bloodworms? Freeze dried bloodworms have next to no nutrition in them, so I would dont reccomend them. Also, what substrate you you have in their tank? From what Ive seen, they have more trouble finding food in gravel because it is wedged in the spaces between the rocks. You might want to try using sand (Thats what I use for my African Clawed Frog) or just a bare bottom tank. You can also set a little plastic lid or something like that on the bottom of the tank and only feed them on that, so they will learn where their feed in. Brine shrimp would also be a good food to try, if they dont like the bloodworms.

And the AquaSafe would be fine to use- You just want something that gets rid of chlorine.
Im not sure either what Microbe-Lift is, but personally I wouldnt use it. Frogs absorb everything in their water through their skin, so I never put anything in my tank besides de-chlorinater, just to be on the safe side. As long as you keep up with water changes, you shouldnt need it anyway.
If you still need something to help start your bio filter, try Cycle. That stuff works great for helping start new tanks!



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"For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear.They are not brethen, they are not underlings; they are other nations caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth."
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-03-2009, 08:09 PM
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Yup, AquaSafe is pretty much the same thing. I personally prefer Prime but they'll both get the job done!

Hmm. I'm asking because some of those products work and some don't. I wonder if that ones contains live bacteria. The ones that do are usually pretty effective. If you see one called Tetra SmartStart (or something like that), it's considered one of the best. It used to be called BioSpira.

I think you're assuming that live foods are going to be more expensive but that's not the case at all. It's actually cheaper in the long run if you can breed your own live food . Believe me, I know how it is, I'm a college student too . I breed ghost shrimp, minnows, and crickets. It really does save me money. I buy bloodworms and brine shrimp, though.

If you're looking for other ways to offer the food, try a turkey baster. You can make the food "move" towards the frog that way.

Don't assume that your frog has a disease. That's a mistake that a lot of new aquarium owners make (and it leads to other issues like improperly medicating animals or over-using antibiotics). There might be a much simpler explanation for your frog's behavior--your water parameters. Get the actual numbers. If I had to guess, I'd say that because you have such a tiny tank (and with a poor filter) that wasn't cycled, you're experienced ammonia and/or nitrite spikes (possibly along with pH changes). The spikes are stressing your frog out and causing the symptoms you're describing. That may also explain why she doesn't want to eat.

So I would do daily water changes with treated tap water and get your water tested. By the way, how are you doing water changes? Make sure that you're only doing partial changes with a gravel vac, don't change all of the water. Oh, and if you can, pick up some hardy live plants (like java ferns). They'll help stabilize your tank .




~Stephanie

"We weep for a bird's cry, but not for a fish's blood. Blessed are those with a voice."


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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-06-2009, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you guys for all of the help, but sadly, the frog died this morning. =[ I haven't decided if I'm going to try again with ADFs, but if I do (and run into any problems), I'll definitely be back.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-06-2009, 10:39 PM
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I'm very sorry for your loss .

Don't feel discouraged, they were probably in bad shape to begin with. If you do try again, definitely get the tank cycled and stable first. You'll probably have much better luck.




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"We weep for a bird's cry, but not for a fish's blood. Blessed are those with a voice."


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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-07-2009, 12:56 PM
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Aww, sorry
ADF are SUPER touchy little things- I could never get any to live myself! So dont feel bad.
If you want to try another frog, and have room for a 15-20 gallon tank, I would definatly go with an African Clawed Frog. They are much more hardy than dwarf frogs, even though they are a little more work. Ive had mine for over 2 years, and Im getting another one soon



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"For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear.They are not brethen, they are not underlings; they are other nations caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth."
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