African Dwarf Frogs dying off - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 11 Old 07-25-2013, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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African Dwarf Frogs dying off

Tank size: 10 gallons.

Testing kit used: API Master Freshwater Testing Kit
Water parameters have been the same for months and are as follows:
PH: 7.2
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 5.0
GH: 10(guess from the water company since I can't find testing solution for it)
KH: 80 The only thing I have to test out KH is strips, which are never accurate, but out of six of them they all say the same number.

Temp: 78F

Freshwater settings.

The tank is about three years old, was re-done with sand substrate about two years ago, didn't change the filter or anything then, just the substrate and removed fish until things were settled. No further changes have been made since aside from new plants every so often.

The tank had one betta and four African Dwarf Frogs since the end of last November. So for about eight months. I did lose a betta recently to some type of tumor on his chin and got a new one who has been in there about a week. He's a young Dragon Scale Crowntail, I'd say about half grown, he's around two inches long. Three of my frogs were pretty small, one was fairly large. Two females and two males.

The betta was QT'd in a separate tank for two weeks. Yes I know it should be longer, but he was QT'd in someone else's home(another betta's five gallon tank that has been set up without issues for anyone for a year and a half). lol

I have about a dozen live plants. One Amazon Sword, an Anubias, two Umbrellas, a few stem plants, and one other that looks kinda like a leafy bush. I don't know the names of all my plants, sorry. I've had them all in there aside from the newest umbrella plants for two years now.

Substrate is sand.

Heater and filter are Aqueon brands that came with the tank when it was purchased.

Lighting schedule is about eight or nine hours per day, usually turn the lights on between 8-10am and shut them off around four or five PM.

The lights are ZooMed Ultra Sun 5500k bulbs.

Tank gets no sunlight except certain times of the year(usually dead of winter) it may get a little indirect light on one corner for about half an hour or so at the end of the day.

My water change schedule is every Sunday for this tank. I change out about 30% and vacuum just over a quarter of the substrate, different place each week.

Tap water is used.

Water conditioner used is Aqueon Water Conditioner with a drop of Seachem Prime since we had ammonia in our tap last year after a water issue when they came to fix the street pipes, yuck...just a bit of extra security since it almost totaled my other tank. lol

Foods are all frozen and Hikari brands that include: Brine Shrimp, Glassworms, Bloodworms once per week if that, tubefix worms, and beef heart once per week. They are all fed two bites of whichever food is given once per day, and are fasted once per week.

The abnormal signs: One died of seemingly nothing. I looked them over, saw no injury, bloat, swelling, marks, nothing up with the eyes, I didn't see anything wrong except they couldn't sink. I assumed it was swimbladder issues, petshop guy(as I call him, he's very good and isn't one of those who knows nothing about fish and gives stupid and fatal info to beginners, which I'm not, but he isn't as great with frogs unfortunately so options were few), also thought the same. He said I can risk it with peas or go with an antibacterial and hope for the best, I chose to do both and it cleared them up without me losing anyone else.
They would be unable to sink for about 24 hours and then would die. These issues have stopped. I had another frog in early November that died of the same, but I haven't had problems like that since then.

The issues I'm having now are: One died of what looked like air under the skin, she looked like a water balloon honestly, with a few air bubbles visible under the skin. It didn't look like bloat, it literally looked like she had air and water under her skin from nose to toes, complete body swelling, when she died I took a look at her, and that was my conclusion, though I have no idea what that was about. She floated about like that for two days and then passed away with no other odd markings, it was not shedding either.

Last night I lost another frog. This one had no floating problems. No bloat, no funny waterballoon-ness. His right back foot turned red. Kinda like your skin does when you get sunburned. And he had what looked like a little red spot on his side. It looked like it was under the skin, not on top. Other than that, I saw nothing on him. I thought I might have ammonia in the water, but none showed when I did a test. I have no idea what caused it.

I have only one frog left, my little male. =( He also shows no signs of anything, no red marks, no bloat, no swimming issues...I hope to keep it that way. T_T But it'd be nice if someone could tell me what's up, I have no idea and I love these little frogs. They're social creatures, so I doubt he's gonna like being alone for so long, but I'm not getting him any buddies until I figure this out!

I have not treated them for anything, I have no idea what's going on, it doesn't seem to be the same thing as last time. I put in a little stress zyme+ to help in case and repair any skin damage that may not be visible. I can't take them out and look them over, they're too delicate and I'm afraid to touch them, so please don't ask that of me. ^^; They're far too fragile.

Turning on the Aquarium lamp in the morning is MY cup of coffee.

Last edited by Sylverclaws; 07-25-2013 at 01:48 PM.
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post #2 of 11 Old 07-26-2013, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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I know this is probably not the place for frogs...but I'm not sure where to put it. =( So if it's supposed to go elsewhere, please aim me in that direction.

Turning on the Aquarium lamp in the morning is MY cup of coffee.
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post #3 of 11 Old 07-26-2013, 05:28 PM
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As for the one that was swollen from the way you described it it was most definitely dropsy. However I can't say what wold have caused it. maybe the nitrates..?? But honestly very hard to say. Or could be age or nutrition. Mysis shrimp are much better for them then brine shrimp. However I can't recall what the red showing up on the frogs foot would be. I remember hearing about that before but don't remember what issue it was. Sorry...wish I could be of more help.
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post #4 of 11 Old 07-26-2013, 05:37 PM
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Hmmm... Well with what you're describing I don't see a noticeable problem. I have 2 frogs, and my previous frogs lived to the ages of 4-5 and I also have a lot of plants, zoomed flora sun and some decor. I have black titanium moon sand substrate. It's better for the frogs than gravel or large rock. Mine don't have such a varied diet though... Which isn't that much of a good thing XD I hand feed them frozen bloodworms, with a giant glove and pipette. I also try giving them sinking pellets but I don't think they get to them before my fish!

My frogs live in a 20 gallon currently. I've had frogs in 10 gallon also. All I can think of is something with the water... Do you're plants convert enough of the co2 into oxygen? Do you condition your water before or after you put it in the tank?

There was a time when my fish were dying off. My frogs were fine though... So maybe there could be some disease or something that affects frogs but not fish?

With my first girl.
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post #5 of 11 Old 07-26-2013, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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I was beginning to think nobody could answer. Thanks guys, at least I got some ideas and possible answers to what it is! But what is the cause...

I had gotten three frogs for my birthday that I chose myself two days before it, they were all fine. My brother surprised me with two more, which over-stocked me so I was going to move them to the twenty, but then two died on my birthday. I assume they came with something, but I was sure whatever it was was gone by now. =( It sucks, I've gotten very attached to them.

Today I noticed my remaining frog is going around with his mouth open, but again I see absolutely nothing visible aside, no bruising, torn skin around his mouth or odd swimming, he just hangs out where he always does, but his toes are turning red. I initially thought my betta was hurting them, but he completely ignores them now.

I don't know about how much co2 they convert. The plants all seem healthy, nice green and growing. I do add in a co2 boost twice per week, says I should once per day but it was just for a bit of extra security even though they seemed well. It's how I've done it for the last two years.

I condition my water before adding it. I also add in about 1ml of water conditioner or stress zyme+ to the tank itself after a change before adding water in case anyone gets stressed by it. I've only just gotten this particular issue.

The frog that seemed to have dropsy actually had these issues off and on since I got her(I also assume dropsy when she swelled up the first time, but my water stays nice and clean and not over-cleaned to the best of my ability and there were only three in there for the last few months with one betta and had no problems with anyone but her. The guesses from us all were bloat, dropsy and swimbladder, but nothing deffinite because we just don't know. My nitrates rarely go below 5ppm, it's in the tap water which was something like 30ppm last I looked, but I use seachem prime and it lessens it almost fully along with the plants), but over the last three months I've seen nothing wrong with any of them and then suddenly boom, problems. I haven't changed anything with my schedule except I moved my cleaning day from Friday to Sunday for it since I have four tanks. lol

Turning on the Aquarium lamp in the morning is MY cup of coffee.

Last edited by Sylverclaws; 07-26-2013 at 07:01 PM.
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post #6 of 11 Old 07-26-2013, 07:18 PM
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oooh.. Should not use Co2 boost with ADFs. You may want to remove that last one and put him in a tank without the use of co2boost or ferts of anykind...maayyybe root tabs but not anything else. Their skin absorbs stuff that doesn't effect fish. It probably slowly cause decline in health/immune system and this is what I am almost sure the cause was
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post #7 of 11 Old 07-26-2013, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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!!! That I didn't know. I knew salt was bad and too much heat was bad, but I didn't know fish safe ferts and co2 boosts would hurt them. I wont use them anymore and haven't since my last change, maybe it'll be ok, I used them in my other tanks because I got a few new plants moved.

Can that for sure cause all of this though? I've never heard of this one, I've asked around about it before too. >< If that is it, it'll be a relief since it's fixable. What about the stress zyme?

Turning on the Aquarium lamp in the morning is MY cup of coffee.
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post #8 of 11 Old 07-26-2013, 09:20 PM
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Stress zyme I think should be fine. But really you should just keep water clean as possible and use prime to condition it. What are you using stress zyme for though? Is your tank not finished with it's cycle? From your reading in 1stpost looks like your tank is cycled just keep up with water changed and use maybe do more water changes till you get nitrate to 0. ADFs are not as hardy as fish. and make sure your water temp is super stable for the frog.
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post #9 of 11 Old 07-26-2013, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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I started using it when our tap suddenly had ammonia in it several months back. I don't use it often really, a little during changes(about a quarter the required dosage) because it lowers stress, it also helps condition water and helps with slime coats and scale health. I can't exactly say my fish or frogs are fond of water others are fine, but my betta and frogs never did appreciate it no matter how gently I go about it. lol My tank has been cycled for over two years, three if I count before the substrate re-do.

What a bummer. I used to keep these guys when I was growing up, never once had any issues and I didn't know better. lol My frogs all lived about...5 years except one died at four. =( I thought it'd be nice to have them again...but I think I'll go back to fish-critters. Maybe loaches again, I did good with loaches, I do not want to kill anymore frogs. v.v; I did a good bit of research before getting them, but alas! I didn't do enough apparently. It never crossed my mind that plant care would harm them when it said safe for fish. I didn't consider, as I should have, frogs would not be safe with it. =(

Turning on the Aquarium lamp in the morning is MY cup of coffee.

Last edited by Sylverclaws; 07-26-2013 at 10:29 PM.
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post #10 of 11 Old 07-26-2013, 11:13 PM
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Don't beat yourself up about it. Everyone has made mistakes. Nobody can know everything. Hell.. I killed 20 shrimp doing the same thing last year not putting together the fact shrimp are dif then fish even AFTER knowing the effects it had on ADFs lol. I make mistakes.. Sure there will be more with all the different fish I keep.
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