Rescuing aquatic frogs and fish
A friend of mine saw that I was reading an aquaristic magazine, and brought up his problem that his roommate has left him in care of some aquatic frogs and some fish - 2 tanks, one with originally 5 aquatic frogs - from the sounds of his description, probably the albino African Clawed type - and one or more plecos (he called them sucker fish, so it could be some other kind of algae eater). He says the frogs seem like they're developing boils, or maybe fungus, and that 4 have died. He's seen the plecos sucking on the frogs. The other tank contains some other fish where I couldn't figure out the species from his description.
His roommate only gave him instructions to feed daily, but didn't tell him how to do water changes - from my reading, these frogs seem to need very large (~90%) water changes every week, and the tank has gone a whole month without a change, so this sounds like the cause of the diseased and dying frogs. He asked me if I could come by and have a look and give him advice on what to do. I told him I could try to do whatever I can - I mean it's clearly not my problem, and if the roommate neglected to teach him how to properly care for the animals, it's hardly my friend's fault either, and it seems the right thing to do to try to help the suffering animals.
Apart from changing the water and cleaning out the solid wastes, is there anything else I should know beforehand? I'm going to bring my water test kits to test for the usual - ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH. Any help would be very deeply appreciated.
To immediately help, I would do regular large water changes, using a good conditioner. Maintaining clean water goes a long way to combating any disease, especially fungus. I've no personal experience with the frogs, so can't offer anything in the way of treatments.
Things seem worse now: the last frog has died, now there are two large plecos in a "big" tank, but I don't know the actual dimentions so it's hard to say if the tank is big enough for them.
The second tank contains two black ghost knife fish. The tank is smaller than the pleco tank, and from his decriptions, the tank is "about 2 feet". Sounds WAY too small, and to make things worse, it seems this species needs adequate hiding places, of which there are none, and should not be kept in pairs, which is of course the case! So everything is wrong here, and the degree of negligence of both the actual owner of the fish (who has, as I said, abandoned the tank a month and a half ago, dumping the responsibility on his roommate) and the petstore who sold such a "special needs" fish to a person who obviously has NO idea what he's doing! Disgusting.
But of course the fish aren't my property, so what is there really I can do? There's the possibility that the knife fish will do better in the larger tank, but how they will interact with the already foot-long plecos is unknown.
Take all the fish to your local fish store and have them rehomed, if possible.
The owner obviously doesn't care about them, not does your friend, and your interest seems negligible as well.
Best thing for all concerned, really.
I had assumed this was a temporary situation. As it seems to be permanent, I agree with rehoming the fish. They are likely to die otherwise, from the sounds of it. Very sad.
I'm sure your friend will let you take them.
Rehome them. From what I know about African knives, juveniles are peaceful to each other and adults get territorial, so they're probably fine for now in that aspect.
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Sorry, didn't mean to offend.
You are absolutely correct you are doing what you can, however, your interest in assuming all responsibility and long term care for these fish seems to be low, and I don't blame you.
You seem to be looking for a way to do what is right for the fish, without becoming their permanent caretaker, and it seems to me that the best way to do this is to take them to an LFS and ask for them to be rehomed.
Again, didn't mean to offend or imply insult in any way.
I certainly would take them in if I could, but as it is I don't have any room for a tank big enough for such fish! I share a one-bedroom apartment with my fiancee in a big city, so space is at a premium...
Anyway as I'm said I'm gonna go tomorrow to assess the situation, but if even my friend who knows next to nothing about keeping fish can tell that they seem stressed because they're constantly hiding behind the internal filter... well that's revealing enough I think. Obviously the owner bought them just because he thought "they look sooo cool!".
He have been provided with a ineffective "hiding spot" in the form of some sort of clear plastic pipes, apparently so that he could give them a "hiding spot" without actually hiding them away from his sight. :frustrated:
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