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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-27-2010, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
kv1
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Sick ADFs?

Hi, I'm worried about my african dwarf frogs. Usually they are both very active and spend all their time at the bottom of the tank looking for food, since yesterday both frogs have been floating around on the surface and have not touched their food. This morning one of them fell to the bottom on his back and lay there upside down, when i lifted the lid off the tank he swam back to the surface. I recently bought a new plant and have noticed lots of tiny crawly things in the tank, not sure if this has anything to do with the frogs getting ill. Any advice would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 09:32 AM
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We'll need more information to help. What size aquarium are they in? What kind of equipment is in there (filter, air pumps, etc.)? What's the water temperature? How long has the tank been set up? What's the substrate (sometimes, for example, they'll swallow a piece of gravel and become impacted)? What are your water parameters (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH especially)? Do they live alone or with fish?




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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
kv1
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I'm afraid it's too late, found both my little frogs dead this morning . I would still like to know what went wrong as I'd like to get more frogs and don't want the same thing to happen to them.

They were in a 20 litre aquarium by themselves (two of them), the tank is at 23 degrees and has a heater It has a sand substrate. There is no filter as I took it out after one frog got his leg stuck in it and died, but I do regular water changes. It's been without a filter for a few weeks now, I did a water test last night and all parameter were OK according to the test. The tank has been set up for about a year now, previously I kept small Platy fry and shrimps in there. I did notice the grey crawly things in there at the time when my shrimps died so I'm think it may be something to do with them, there seems to be a lot of them on the glass and in the sand and they appeared just before the frogs got sick. They're too small the describe properly but there seems to be two types - some look like tiny fleas and the others look like little worms. Any idea what they could be and if they are harmful to frogs?

Really want to sort out any problem with the tank before buying new frogs, was thinking of replacing the substrate and putting plastic plants in there after giving it a good clean.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 05:13 PM
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I'm sorry for your loss .

What are the actual numbers for the water tests? And what are you using to test the water with? The strip tests tend to be pretty inaccurate so try to use chemical tests if possible.

It's hard to say what the hitchhikers are without photos (which I realize would be tricky to get) but the worms are most likely planaria of some kind. They tend to have population booms when water quality drops or if there's uneaten food rotting. How do you normally feed the frogs? Is it possible that pieces of food are falling into the substrate and not getting vacuumed out?

The bugs you're seeing (the "fleas" may indeed be water fleas but don't worry, they weren't biting your frogs) are probably not what caused the frogs' death but they may be a sign of what did--dropping water quality. They could also be totally unrelated, harmless hitchhikers. Either way, I wouldn't replace the substrate and take out the plants. You'll just kill off your beneficial bacteria that way and not accomplish much.

Have you considered maybe adding a sponge filter or something? There should be no danger with one of those and if cleaned regularly, it could help.

When you do water changes, do you vacuum the substrate (or in this case, the top of it, since it's sand)? What dechlorinator do you use?




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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-02-2010, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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Hi, I was using a strip test but just did a chemical pH test and got a result of 8. I was feeding the frogs using a small terracotta plate, they mostly ate frog pellets but sometimes had bloodworm or daphnia - I tried to keep most of the food on the plate to make it easier to remove but it did sometimes get in the substrate. I haven't yet got a substrate vacuum as I've been trying to find one for small tanks, I was about to order one online when they died - I think I've found one short enough now. When doing water changes I would stir up the substrate and net out bits stirred up, then I would put the filter on for a bit to clear the water when I could watch the frogs to make sure they were safe. I use Nutrafin aqua plus water conditioner to declorinate the water.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-02-2010, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kv1 View Post
Hi, I was using a strip test but just did a chemical pH test and got a result of 8. I was feeding the frogs using a small terracotta plate, they mostly ate frog pellets but sometimes had bloodworm or daphnia - I tried to keep most of the food on the plate to make it easier to remove but it did sometimes get in the substrate. I haven't yet got a substrate vacuum as I've been trying to find one for small tanks, I was about to order one online when they died - I think I've found one short enough now. When doing water changes I would stir up the substrate and net out bits stirred up, then I would put the filter on for a bit to clear the water when I could watch the frogs to make sure they were safe. I use Nutrafin aqua plus water conditioner to declorinate the water.
What about ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate? And does your tap water come out that high as far as pH goes? That's a bit high for the frogs but shouldn't have killed them or anything.

Ah, yeah, not vacuuming the substrate would explain the planaria. They thrive on debris.




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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-02-2010, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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Hi, yeah, the water comes out the tap like that, I live in an area with very hard water, is there something I can treat it with to lower it? A nitrite test gave a value of <1.5 mg/ml and ammonia gave between 0.25 and 1.5mg/ml. I haven't done a water change since the frogs died though and there are a few dying plants in the tank so these may not be the values when they were in there but I've only just got the test kits. Don't have a nitrate test at the mo.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-02-2010, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
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Hi, yeah, the water comes out the tap like that, I live in an area with very hard water, is there something I can treat it with to lower it? A nitrite test gave a value of <1.5 mg/ml and ammonia gave between 0.25 and 1.5mg/ml. I haven't done a water change since the frogs died though and there are a few dying plants in the tank so these may not be the values when they were in there but I've only just got the test kits. Don't have a nitrate test at the mo.
You can but a stable pH is usually better than one that's changing because of chemicals. Adding driftwood to the tank might naturally lower it, though.

There's the problem. An aquarium shouldn't have ANY ammonia or nitrite. Dying plants could explain the ammonia but the nitrite makes it look like the tank isn't done cycling.

http://www.paw-talk.net/forums/f77/c...ium-43789.html




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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-03-2010, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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Hi, the lowest value on the nitrite test I did (Tetra test) was <0.3mg/ml, so I think the levels of the nitrite should be ok. I have ordered a gravel vacuum and am planning to buy some driftwood at the weekend to hopefully lower the pH.

Do you think I should put the filter back in? I have a Classica Powerbio 200 (can't put a link in as I'm new to this site but it comes up if you type it into Google). There was a small hole at the back where the two sections clipped together, this is where my first frog got his leg stuck but I've now filled the hole with a bit of silicone. I was unsure if this filter was too powerful but when I had it in there before I put a bit of filter sponge in the outlet tube which reduced the flow. Was just paranoid about leaving it in there after the first death! If this isn't suitable can you recommend a good sponge filter?

Also how much of the water do you recommend changing during water changes for a 20 litre tank? As it's a small tank I'm never sure how much I should be changing to keep the water conditions stable whilst also taking enough out to clean the tank. Was probably doing around 20% before.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-03-2010, 07:26 PM
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While that's a small amount, any nitrite is a sign of something wrong. You said it was <1.5mg/ml and that the lowest possible value was <0.3mg/ml. That means you have nitrite and something is up with your beneficial bacteria. Like I said, ammonia spikes happen sometimes (they shouldn't in a stable tank but things happen and 5-gallons are anything but stable) but a nitrite spike means the tank is crashing or wasn't cycled to begin with. Make sure both ammonia and nitrite are 0 (or the lowest possible values) before getting more frogs.

I'm not too familiar with that filter (we don't have that brand here) but it looks like it's internal, allowing the frogs to potentially get sucked in. I would use a HOB filter (the Azoo palm filter is very popular for small tanks--and cheap) and cover the intake tube with some sort of mesh (stretched out pantyhose works!). Either that or use a simple sponge filter, keeping in mind that it'll need to be cleaned regularly. I don't have any personal recommendations for a sponge filter--they all work pretty much the same.

I'm normally an advocate for 20% water changes at least every other week, with at least 10% changes a week being more ideal. But lately I've changed my thinking a bit in regards to small aquariums. Obviously they need frequent water changes because of the fast build-up of pollutants--but at the same time, it's easier to stress the organisms by doing large water changes. So now with desktop aquariums, I change 5% twice a week. You end up changing out the same amount of water with less stress to the animals--and it's easier for you, too (making it more likely that you'll stick to the schedule) .

When toxic ammonia and nitrite are concerned, though, you want to do large water changes to dilute them (at least 20%, probably not more than 40%). In that case, the risks of poisoning outweigh the possible stress of large water changes.




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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
kv1
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Sorry, the nitrite level was at <0.3mg/ml not 1.5- was getting my numbers mixed up with the ammonia test. I will get a new filter and monitor the ammonia and nitrite levels to make sure they are 0 before getting my new frogs.
Thanks for all your help!
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