Last Sunday, I purchased a 2-gallon hex tank setup and a trio of then-healthy African Dwarf Frogs. Not thinking of the devastating effects of an uncycled tank on amphibian inhabitants, I did not wait to place them into their new home. Further investigation has revealed that I am an idiot.
My tank specs:
2 Gallon Hex
1 non-fluorescent bulb, unsure of wattage (came boxed with aquarium, setup did not say)
Bettasafe water dechlorinator (it's all they had that would dose on a measurable single gallon basis - I figured that frogs and bettas are both tropical, so it should be fine)
Feeding Zoomed Sinking Frog Pellets (fed twice a day, about 10-15 pellets total)
Undergravel Filter w/airstone (No mechanical or chemical filtration)
Smooth river rock substrate, too large to fit in frogs' mouths
No heater - room stays at a steady 73 degrees throughout the day and night, water feels lukewarm to the touch (no thermometer)
No other decorations
Formerly 3 frogs in tank, 2 left
Just before the first frog's death this morning, there were Blue Bell and Purple Waffle plants, fresh from Petco, in the tank. I noticed a baby Mystery Snail on the leaves, but I have removed the plants to plastic cups with clean water in case they were the cause of the problem (or in case they're harboring microbes). I vacuumed the gravel thoroughly yesterday afternoon, and I have performed one feeding in a makeshift dish since them (the food was eaten/removed cleanly and promptly). I performed a 50% water change yesterday, and a 30% water change today. I plan to continue doing 30% water changes until I can improve the water parameters.
The deceased frog's early symptoms included lethargy and spending extended periods of time floating near the top of the tank. A day later, I noticed a red spot on the frog's lower leg - I dismissed it as mild skin irritation, but then I noticed that the redness was becoming more pronounced, and that arteries and veins were becoming very clearly outlined in red. The condition quickly worsened, though I could not see that it had spread to his abdomen. When I extracted him from the water, he did not appear to have any swelling as is present in red leg, nor was he exceptionally bloated as would be expected in a case of dropsy. However, there were notable pinkish splotches on his back and stomach, that I did not notice before because he was doing his normal froggy thing and swimming normally. His behavior, up until ten minutes before he died, was relatively normal.
In addition, the tank has a rather odd metallic odor. Ammonia tends to smell more like urine, and there's a bit of that, but it seems to have a metallic odor in addition to that.
I have no water test kit, and I will not be able to go to the store to buy a proper filter or anything else until Saturday at the earliest due to having no car. The remaining two frogs appear to be vigorous and healthy, and show no signs of internal bleeding. They're sticking close to the substrate and swimming around occasionally - normal froggy behavior. I have no safe method of placing any of the animals in quarantine, so I did not do so.
My question is, what can I do until I'm able to retrieve a proper filtration system and some Stress-Zyme? I'm a college student with next to no transportation, and a midterm tonight that prohibits me from trying to go out and solve my problem right away. Currently, the tank is bare aside from the substrate, water, and under-gravel filter.