Dwarf frogs keep dying

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish and Invertebrates' started by bizaliz3, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. bizaliz3Fishlore LegendMember

    Here's the scoop. I am going to start by saying that I KNOW ABOUT THE CYCLE, so don't go there. My water readings are perfect and that is using the API liquid test. NOT STRIPS. So I know that my sruggle with dwarf frogs has nothing to do with water quality. Also worth mentioning, the dwarf frog we have had the longest is in perfect shape. He is big (for a dwarf anyway) and healthy. We have had him for 3 months and he started out tiny! But every time we try to get him a buddy, they keep dying. I decided it was because I was buying them at petsmart (even though the one we still have was originally from petsmart) So I went to a very well established well respected pet store that specializes in fish. We brought two home from there and they were thriving. (The ones from petsmart would die in a couple days). I have a pretty powerful filter in the 10 gallon and previously the little frogs would get sucked up into the filter and hurt their legs. I covered that up with a net before bringing the new ones home and that did the trick. Once the new one got bigger and stronger, i chose to remove that net so the filter would do it's job better. The frog did well for a few WEEKS with the filter uncovered, but then one day I find him caught in the input with his legs all mangled. I immediately got him out and he was still alive amazingly. But of course his back leg was pretty messed up. It was a little red and the back foot's webbing was all mangled. Just on one side. We moved him to a smaller tank hoping he would recover, but he didn't :-( after a couple days, he died. I wish there was something I could have done, but I think his leg had a blood clot or something after being stuck in the filter. It was all swollen and red. He probably got an infection and that inevitably killed him. Maybe worth mentioning is that during the two days after his injury, he still ate blood worms when I fed them to him. So I though MAYBE he would recover.

    Honestly...I don't really know what my question is...basically I am just very frustrated that no matter how hard I try, I can't seem to keep them alive! (except for the one) I feed them all with my fingers to make sure they get their food. (I give them frozen bloodworms). I thought that after going somewhere other than petsmart, we wouldn't have that problem. Technically we didn't though. We actually brought TWO dwarfs home from there. The tiniest one is still living and that is probably because we put him in a 2 gallon by himself so he could grow more before joining the 10 gallon community. So possibly the one we just lost may have made it if he had also started in there, but he wasn't as small!! And like I said....he was in the 10 gallon for like a month before he got stuck in the filter. Does that mean he got sick? Or was he just floating around lazily one day and caught his leg in there? (just a theory because he seemed very healthy)

    Since we already lost him after his injury, my thread here is not necessarily about how I could save him. (but I suppose it wouldn't hurt to tell me if I could have saved him) I will never put another dwarf in the 10 gallon until it is full grown. That is my revelation here. I am worried though, if he WAS sick and that is why he got stuck in the first place, I hope that when I moved him to the 2 gallon to recover from his injury, that he didnt sicken the little guy already in there. At the time I didn't consider that he was sick. I just decided to move him there to recover from his injured leg.

    ok...to sum it all up....I have one dwarf frog that came from petsmart and he is thriving. He is now full grown and healthy. Every other frog we brought home from petsmart died within a few days. We brought two more home a month ago from a respected pet store and they were thriving until the filter fiasco with ONE of them. If he was able to go a month without getting sucked into that filter....what happened?? If he was sick and got another frog sick...how long before I will be able to tell if the other frogs have been sickened by him? He was originally in the 10 gallon with the older dwarf and after his injury he was in the 2 gallon with the teeny dwarf. So he could have gotten them BOTH sick! SHEESH!! I am rambling WAY TO MUCH HERE!! sorry.

    PS: for the record, I also have an albino african CLAWED frog in my 30 gallon. He is obviously much bigger than the dwarfs, but still small for his kind. But he is doing wonderful as well. Maybe I just keep having really bad luck with these dwarfs. None of my other fish or frogs have died!!

  2. FashoogaFishlore VIPMember

    I'm wondering if the other frog is just bullying the others to the point they die. Maybe it likes it's space.

    Do you QT the frogs first? Hope others chime in as well.

  3. bizaliz3Fishlore LegendMember

    When I brought two home a month ago, one was significantly smaller than the other. So he started in the 2 gallon and is still in there. The one I put in the 10 gallon lasted a month and officially passed away last night, two days after getting caught in the filter intake. Forgive me, but what does QT mean? Quarantine? Like...putting them in their own tank first? because yes, I did do that with the smallest, but not the medium sized guy. If the older frog is bullying...then I haven't seen it. But you never know!! I can't watch 24/7! :) Thank you for responding so quickly. I also hope others chime in as well! My 10 year old and I both love our frogs and it is really tough to go through this over and over again! hopefully the teeny guy in the 2 gallon will make it! I will not be moving him any time in the near future!

  4. tress29Valued MemberMember

    I have a sponge over the filter intake in my dwarf puffer and betta tanks, and any tank that has shrimp in it. It provides more mechanical and biological filtration. I just rinse them in tank water when I do water changes. They don't impede the water flow too much if you keep them clean. Think I paid $3 each, less than the price of my last dwarf frog.
  5. LucyModeratorModerator Member

    Welcome to FishLore!!

    I'm really sorry about your frogs. :(
    Forgive me (and correct me) if I miss a few things.

    ADF's do best with minimal current.
    Were there other fish in the tank? If so, how many and what kind?
    There can easily be out competed for food.
    Not getting enough or proper nutrition can make them weak and ill.

    Could be that the filter is just too strong for them.

    It's advised to quarantine any new frogs for at least 2 months if not longer.
    There are illnesses that may not show up for that amount of time.

    Cross contamination could be another issue.
    ACF's can be carriers of the Chytrid Fungus. They don't succumb to it but can pass it on to other amphibians.
    Chytird Fungus does not look like a fungus.
    Symptoms include (but not limited to) excessive floating, hiding, no appetite, shredded shedding.
    It's highly contagious and usually fatal.

    And yes, I'm going there. No offense meant. :)
    Please post your readings for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.

    With all that said, ADF's are notoriously weak in the aquarium trade.
    Sometimes even with the best of care, if the stock isn't healthy there's not much we can do.

    Adf's are so endearing.
    One of my favs for an aquarium but I prefer and believe they do best in a species only tank.
  6. MattyBlancoValued MemberMember

    I would suggest using a weaker sponge filter so they are not being sucked up. I have 2 in a 30 gallon that are thriving and I've had them for about 7 months now. Each are about the size of a Canadian Two Dollar Coin.
  7. cbowlincatfishValued MemberMember

    I am sorry to hear about your ADF, sounds like you live in my area, I have a 55 g tank with different types of fish and I have an ADF. Freddy the frog has been with me for 2-3 months now but I went thru 5 frogs before I got one that has lasted.4 came from, well you know where Pet Smart and one came from the more reputable pet store no one could figure out why. I almost gave up.I don't know where you are locared but the African Clawed frog, I resently found out was outlawed here were I live. There very neat to have, my brother owned one but there also agressive and not good for community tanks. LPS I do go to for to get fish and supplies, I trust, she states that ADF are very sensitive and hard to raise. Hope this has helped.
  8. bizaliz3Fishlore LegendMember

    *My african clawed frog is in a different tank from the dwarfs. Just for the record

    *there are no issues with lack of food because I feed my dwarfs blood worms with my fingers ever other day. Because yes, they are with other fish and needed to be fed by me in order to get food :) I learned that very quickly! They do a great job eating from me. They love when I come near the tank. The fish they are with are two small corys, two TINY long-fin bristlenose plecos, two ghost cats and the other frog. I know that may seem like a lot for a 10 gallon, but they all seem happy and they get along great and I clean the water at least every two weeks and it is always chrystal clear.

    * last time I tested my water, the ammonia and nitrite were zero, and the nitrate was right in the middle on my API test sheet when I held up the tube...but it is really hard to determine the exact number on the nitrate. I tested it last week. So I will test it again tonight.

    *I had not been quarantining them. If they did have illnesses that didn't show up while I had them, it doesn't appear that my other frog or any of my other fish have been affected. They are all doing wonderful. My full grown dwarf handles not being in a "species only" tank very well and he started out very small. But I do agree with you...I think they would definitely excel more in a species only tank. Maybe I just got lucky with our big guy and the others just can't handle being in a community. I was just very shocked by the last one to pass. He seemed to be thriving!!

    *It does appear that one of the biggest issues was the filter. A very strong one indeed. I took the netting off of the tube after we had the new guy for a month because I thought he didn't need it anymore and the filter cleans much better without it. And he handled it for a few weeks after that and one day he must have gotten a little too close. Or he had just gotten weaker or something. I don't know.

    SO...here is the scoop. I am being forced to try this again sooner than I hoped. I think I mentioned that we had an even tinier dwarf in our 2 gallon tank and he is doing great, but that tank got a leak and we had to move him to the 10 gallon. I put the netting back on the tube and fed him some worms and so far so good. I don't dare EVER take the netting off until he gets as big as the old guy!!! So the only issue would be the other suggestion on this thread about the big guy bullying the new ones and weakening them. I have kept a close eye on him and I just can't imagine that he would be bullying. BUT, you never know!! For the record, because the other new guy was so tiny (not the one that just passed) and was put in the smaller tank, he DID get quarantined...but only for a month....(He is the one that just had to be moved to the 10 gallon). I hope he makes it!!!!!! If not...I give up!!!!!!
  9. soltarianknightFishlore VIPMember

    If you are seeing red legs on them then they have Red Leg, highly contagious and terminal. QT is something you should do with them, you have gotten lucky so far with the other frog not dying as well. Also, 10gals is not enough for cory or plecos. Cory desrve the proper schools they thrive in(5-6+) and a big enough tank to do it(20-29gals at least). The pleco will simply out grow the tank and crash the cycle.
  10. bizaliz3Fishlore LegendMember

    They outlawed the ACF? weird!! I actually just saw them for the first time when we bought him a few months ago. He is an albino african clawed frog. Still pretty small since the LPS said they can get the size of a softball!!! This guy is about the size of a golf ball at this point. He is in my 30 gallon and eats the blood worms out of my fingers too :) The one other fish I have that eats from my fingers is my Black Ghost Knife. That is AWESOME since most people complain about them always hiding and never coming out. Mine is ALWAYS out and about. I LOVE IT! Sorry...off topic!!
  11. bizaliz3Fishlore LegendMember

    The pleco is NOT a common pleco, so he will only get about 5 inches. And I have a bigger tank for him when he gets a little bigger. As for the red leg. I am familiar with that and No...he doesn't have that. His leg got smushed and damaged in the filter when he got stuck.
  12. bizaliz3Fishlore LegendMember

    I have seen that suggestion before. How do I do that? Just shove the tube into the sponge? I am trying to picture it...How big of a sponge and how do you get it to stay attached?
  13. tress29Valued MemberMember

  14. bizaliz3Fishlore LegendMember

    OH! I get it....a PRE-filter sponge. I didn't realize those existed. I haven't seen one for my aquaclear anyway, but I wasn't really looking for them. Do you think the Fluval one will work on my aquaclear? Mine is also a tube with slits at the bottom....My only issue is that when that tube is covered, whether it be a net, or pantyhose or a sponge....how do the larger particals get sucked up? you know?
  15. MmbrownWell Known MemberMember

    Hi there,
    I am sorry about your frogs. ADFs sleep while floating at the surface in order to breathe. More likely than not, your frogs are getting sucked into the filter while asleep (this would also happen if they were already sick, like fish who get stuck to the intake when ill, but you have stated they were each healthy before this). In this case, the size, strength, and age of the frog won't really make a difference, in that it can still happen to big strong ones. I would bet the most recent frog's leg was broken, and he thus had a lot of difficulty getting to the surface for air. He may have drowned or died from internal injuries.

    At any rate, I had a similar fiasco in one of my tanks once, when after I took the filter apart, I didn't notice the grate had fallen off, leaving a frog sized opening. Luckily the frog lived, but that one incident was enough for me to learn permanently from my mistake. Aside from always checking filters after maintenance, I put a similar covering on my filter as you have discussed. If you want this to stop happening to your frogs, you need to keep your filter cover on permanently. Never take it off. To take care of some of the bigger particles that the reduced flow no longer picks up, you should look into getting a gravel vacuum if you don't have one already, and vacuum out the bottom at least once a week.

    Also, as an aside, Sol is correct about the plecos outgrowing the tank. Even though they are bristlenose and not common, one does not belong in a 10, and certainly not two. I know this from experience- I kept saying it would be fine, but eventually realized I was wrong and upgraded my bristlenose's home. It was a very good decision. If you could put yours in your aforementioned 30, I think they'd have a much better time.

    I hope this helps. Good luck!
  16. bizaliz3Fishlore LegendMember

    Thanks for the response. I do want to start by clarifying, Right now the 10 gallon works for the plecos because they are only about an inch in length. But like we discussed, they will eventually be moved. Unfortunately!!!! I don't want to move them because he does an AWESOME job keeping things sparkly in there. I know there are other algea eaters out there, but they aren't quite as good (and pretty) as this sucker! Oh well. But they sort of need to be in the smaller one FOR NOW because we have larger fish in the big tank that might nip at them. LIke I said, right now they are actually TOO SMALL to put in the 30. But believe me, they will be moved as they get bigger.
    Back to the frog and that broken leg of his, I don't think he suffocated due to the injury, because he stayed at the top after he hurt his leg. He even allowed me to continue to feed him. I am sure your are correct in that the internal damage is what did it. My daugher wanted to see if a vet could "cut his leg off" and see if he would survive then (we had recently watched dolphin tale where they had to cut off the dolphin's tail or else he would die from infection). LOL, I told her that vets don't do surgery on a dwarf frog. (I assume)
    And I do have a gravel vacuum and I do clean often, but there are still occasionally larger particles that would have gone straight into the filter, but they won't now. I was thinking maybe in the evening when we are home from work and school and we are keeping an eye on the tank, we could remove the netting and the put it back on when we go to bed. That would allow a couple hours of some solid filtering :) Just an idea :)
  17. MmbrownWell Known MemberMember

    That is a solid idea, you are right. You'd just have to be diligent about watching the entire time the cover is off, as well as putting it back on before bed. I know I would definitely forget to put it back on!

    When my frog was injured, I was really worried about internal stuff going on. There's really nothing you can do about it, except take exceptional care and wait. Mine's eye turned a little red and yellowish, but luckily, that was it. It's still a little discolored but that was several months ago, so he is healthy now and definitely dodged a bullet.

    One thing I want to mention, and sorry if we are overwhelming you with information, but bloodworms have been known to cause Dropsy if fed too often. Obviously I don't know how frequently you feed this particular food, but I would be careful about this as Dropsy is a killer.

    PS Glad to hear you have a pleco plan! I tried to make mine work in a 10 but lesson learned. She didn't kill the cycle, but she did become grumpy until I gave her a bigger home ;)
  18. bizaliz3Fishlore LegendMember

    I didn't know that blood worms were unhealthy. I feed them every other day. just a few for each of them. (along with the african clawed frog and the Black ghost knife in the big tank..they usually get a bit more than the dwarfs) What else should I feed them? the frogs are too blind to find the food themselves, even if it is right in front of their face. And I can't feed pellets with my fingers and they aren't able to find food floating at the top. What other things would you suggest? I am worried about my ghost knife now too! He doesn't need to be handfed, but I end up hand feeding him some blood worms anyway when I am feeding the frogs. :)
  19. CichlidnutFishlore VIPMember

    Frozen Mysis shrimp works really well, great food for them. Frozen brine shrimp is also good. I also feed Repashy to my frogs, they like it a lot.
  20. bizaliz3Fishlore LegendMember

    Does Dropsy only affect frogs? or should I be concerned about giving too much to the Black ghost knife too? (sorry if I am going off topic with that question) I actually do have frozen brine shrimp in the freezer, but it was much more difficult to hand feed those than the worms. And they didn't seem to want the shrimp either. All of them love the worms, but I had trouble with the shrimp... I will have to do some reading on dropsy. I don't want to hurt any of my fish or frogs. For some reason I was under the impression that blood worms were GOOD for them!

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