Dying Frog

Discussion in 'Amphibians' started by FrogPrincess, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. FrogPrincessNew MemberMember

    Hi -- I was wondering if there was anyone who's been through a similar situation and might be able to shed some light on what may have happened to our African Dwarf Frogs. (Bob and Sue Ellen)

    About 3 years ago, my daughter saved up her allowance to buy an enclosed-system ADF tank from BrookStone. After we brought them home, I did a little research (googled) and discovered the environment in which they were living was inhumane. So we went out and bought a 3 gallon tank, some stones, blood worms, etc. Well they thrived in this environment, growing quite large and fat.

    Recently, I decided to upgrade their home to a 10 gallon tank I had purchased several years ago and had been sitting in the garage. Their old 3 gallon was getting ratty, and I figured they'd be even happier in a larger environment. Again, we went out and bought them new gravel, bamboo plants, and decorations. (I cleaned the tank thoroughly - no bleach or chemicals) About a week ago, I noticed the tank was developing quite a bit of algae, but I wasn't too worried about it, I was going to clean the whole tank at the end of the month. Then Sue Ellen looked like she had some algae growing on her. Her skin got very pale and appeared to have some black spots. Over the week she began to shed. I'd seen them do that before, so I wasn't too worried, but this time it seemed to be different and her eyes were clouded over.

    I also noticed she was spending a lot of time near the heater and was floating at the top of the tank. Yesterday morning, we saw that she was being blown around the tank by the current of the filter system. (I keep the tank only 2/3 full -- so the filtration system has a waterfall affect). I immediately scooped her and Bob out and placed them in the temporary tank they came in with some spring water. I went to the pet shop and they sold me fungus medication (victoria green & Acriflavine). I dumped a package of that in to the tank and I sprinkled a very tiny amount in the little tank they are in now. Sue Ellen is having so much trouble -- I've actually reduced the amount of water they are in to about 3 inches just so she can breathe. It's as if her legs just don't have enough strength to hold her up. (it's a miniature covered tank.)

    I don't understand what happened. My 10 year old is beside herself. We haven't introduced any new animals to the tank. We used spring water only. Could it have been something on the bamboo? In the old tank, the algae was green but in the new tank, it was more of an orange/brown. I just though it was the different lighting. Any ideas as to what may have happened, and is it too late to save Sue Ellen?

    Thanks for taking the time to read about our frogs.
  2. Lucy

    LucyModeratorModerator Member

    Hi FrogPrincess welcome to FishLore!!

    I'm sorry your frog isn't feeling well.
    I know how upsetting that can be.

    Do you know the readings for ammonia, nitrite and nitrates?
    You don't mention changing the water at the end of the month.
    I fear that Sue Ellen is feeling the effects of the nitrogen cycle.
    Ammonia builds up through frog waste and left over food.
    This is toxic to your frog.
    Nitrogen cycle should be underlined, please click the link to learn about it.

    Please, please do a water change. The meds you used are not safe for our little flippered friends.
    If you have a filter, the carbon will help filter out the meds.

    I've heard of people using different water. I never have. I use regular tap water treated with Stress Coat to removed chlorine and other nasties in tap water.

    Good luck, I hope Sue Ellen feels better soon.
  3. OP

    FrogPrincessNew MemberMember

    Hi Lucy,

    Thank you very much for your assistance. When Bob and Sue Ellen were in the 3 gallon tank, I changed their water every other month. They had a running filter and we didn't feed them every day. They've only been in their new 10 gallon tank maybe 5 weeks? (we feed them defrosted blood worms 2-3 times a week - our frogs are pretty cool, we feed them off a tooth pick, I tap on the side of the tank and they know it's dinner time. They come to the top of the tank to be fed! They can't see very well, but if you wiggle the worms in front of them, they'll snap at them).

    I wish I could tell you what the nitrate and ammonia readings were, but after I took the frogs out, I blasted that tank in an effort to kill whatever was attacking our frogs. Sue Ellen has this whitish fuzz around one of her knees and I believe that's what caused the lady in Petco and I to believe it was a fungus. She was very nice, but I don't know if she knew a lot about frogs. Believing there was a fungus in the tank, I took out the filter, dumped the fungus medication in, emptied half of the tank 24 hours later, added another dose of fungus medication and then refilled the tank with boiling water. I removed the bamboo and threw it away. My intent was to start the tank over. We'll empty it out after I get in from work tonight.

    I'll purchase one of those test kits I saw in the store the other day before adding my frogs back to the new tank. (Thank you again for the information of the nitrogen cycle, it was very helpful).

    Fortunately, as of this morning Sue Ellen is still alive but only just. She and Bob are in a few inches of water so she can get her nose up to breathe. I "cycle" (I hope I'm using the term correctly) their water by removing a cup with a turkey baster (so as not to upset them) and replace it with a fresh cup of water about every 6-8 hours. She's been in the temporary tank Since Sat morning but has shown no signs of improvement. Is there anything else I can do for her?

    Thank you again for helping us out with our sick frogs.

  4. Lucy

    LucyModeratorModerator Member

    You're welcome!

    Is it possible for you to post a picture?

    Since the problems started when you upgraded the tank my guess would be they are feeling the effects of a cycling tank.
    The toxins weaken their immune system and leave them open to illness.
    If the meds are still in the water, do 100% water change.
    Carbon will help filter them out.

    If they have a fungus Moroxy is adf safe.

    Here's a basic explanation of the nitrogen cycle:
    First the ammonia (from fish/frog) waste and left over food) will rise.

    In a few weeks bacteria will start to develop, the nitrite levels rise and the ammonia levels start to drop.

    After a few more weeks a different kind of bacteria begins to develop, the nitrate levels rise and the nitrite levels drop.

    Ammonia and nitrites are toxic to fish.
    So until the cycle is completeand enough bacteria develops to process the toxins, keep the levels down with 50% daily water changes.

    If your pH differs greatly from tap to tank 2 25% changes a day would be safer.

    Using Prime as your water conditioner will detox the ammonia for 24 hrs between water changes.
    When the readings are 0 on both ammonia and nitrites with some nitrates showing, the cycle is done.
  5. frogbreeder

    frogbreederWell Known MemberMember

    I'm sorry your frogs are not feeling well. It could have been something in the new tank - it's difficult to say for sure. Usually algae isn't a problem for frogs though. It does sound like your frog is suffering from a fungal infection. As Lucy mentioned, Maroxy is the safest medication to use for ADFs with fungal infections (most of the other medications sold in pet stores to treat fish diseases are not safe for frogs). Lowering the water depth temporarily, as you have done, will also help reduce stress. But, keep in mind, that ADFs prefer very calm water, so the waterfall effect caused by the filter may be very stressful for the frogs. For the time being, it might be best to remove the filter altogether and simply do weekly 100% water changes instead. In addition to frequent partial water changes, a turkey baster can be used to remove any waste and uneaten food from the bottom on a daily basis to help keep the tank clean between weekly, complete water changes. I hope they make a full recovery. - frogbreeder
  6. OP

    FrogPrincessNew MemberMember

    f1.JPGf2.jpgf3.JPG Thank you Lucy and FrogBreeder for your time and your help.

    Tonite I came home to find that Sue Ellen had died. She was on her back at the bottom of the shallow tank. I scooped her out and took some pictures before my daughter could see her. She has this weird little "tag" on her knee, but I also noticed that her right foot looks like it turned red. She looks puffy -- but she's always been kinda large.

    My daughter made her a little box, and was placing Sue Ellen in it when she screamed. Apparently Sue Ellen moved her head. I know sometimes, when we love something very much, we don't want to accept that's it's gone. So I rested Sue Ellen (who was quite clearly limp and out of the water about 20 minutes now), in my hand and allowed the warm water from the faucet over her to show my daughter that she was indeed gone. I then placed her in the box.

    She picked up her head, took a breath and put her head back down. I scooped her up and put her back in the water. She rolled on to her back so I braced the fish net on the side of the tank and reseted Sue Ellen in it with her nose out.

    Is this normal? We are rather upset at the moment. I don't know if there is anything we can do for Sue Ellen, but based on the photos, what can I do for Bob, if anything?

    Thank you again.
  7. frogbreeder

    frogbreederWell Known MemberMember

    I'm so sorry about your frog. Sadly, I think she might be suffering from a type of infection which is commonly referred to as red-leg (you might try googling this term to see what you can find out about it further on the internet). Judging by the photos, whatever it is, the infection is fairly advanced, and I suspect she will pass away by morning. Although I fear that there may be little hope of saving her, you could try using a combination of Maracyn and Maracyn Two, if you have any on hand. These medications (which can be purchased at most pet stores that sell fish) contain antibiotics that are considered safe for frogs. You can use both at the same time; just be sure to follow the package directions carefully. Unfortunately, if she is in fact suffering from red-leg, the condition generally doesn't respond well to treatment in its latter stages and is almost always fatal. But, you may want to get some antibiotics anyways, just in case, because Bob might also be infected and not yet showing symptoms. I wish there was something I could tell you that would help. I know how difficult and upsetting it can be to lose an ADF. - frogbreeder
  8. Lucy

    LucyModeratorModerator Member

    I'm so sorry, please give my best to your daughter.
    We know how upsetting these things are.

    Just wish I could have helped more.
  9. OP

    FrogPrincessNew MemberMember

    Hi Lucy, FrogBreeder, -- I just wanted to follow up regarding Sue Ellen's tank mate, Bob. I did purchase the Maracyn and Maracyn Two, and have been using it everyday as instructed, but it appears that Bob is also failing the same way Sue Ellen did. He seemed to be doing fine but just spiraled down hill very quickly. I'm not sure what killed our frogs, but neither the Maracyn nor the Victoria Green helped. In both cases, they developed what appeared to be white spots all over their backs and they both spent a lot of time around the heater, and the at the top of tank. At some point, they would roll over on to their backs and needed to be moved to a smaller tank to facilitate breathing. I can't help but feel it had something to do with their new tank and I'm throwing everything associated with the tank and the frogs away. If we do decide to try and have frogs again, we'll start with fresh equipment. Thank you for all your help and wisdom -- you were helpful.
  10. frogbreeder

    frogbreederWell Known MemberMember

    I'm so very sorry about your frogs. I hope your daughter isn't too upset. I know how very difficult and heart-breaking it can be to lose ADFs, especially when you've had them for a while. Sadly, in most cases, by the time an ADF exhibits obvious symptoms of disease, it is usually too late to do anything about. Despite our best efforts at treatment, they seldom survive. You did everything you possibly could to try to save them. I suspected that it was only a matter of time before Bob also became ill, because these types of infections are usually highly contagious. The white patches are indicative of a fungal infection. But, frogs that are suffering from severe bacterial infections quite often develop secondary fungal infections, once their immune systems become weakened. So, it can be difficult to determine the primary source of the infection, and therefore very difficult to know how to go about treating it. As I mentioned, as best I can tell from the photos you posted, I think your frogs might have been suffering red-leg disease, which is almost always fatal. At any rate, whatever it was, I agree, it was likely caused by something in the new tank.

    As long as you sterilize the tank and associated equipment carefully, however, there is no need to discard them. A 3:1 solution of water and household bleach will kill any pathogens present (provided a minimum contact time of 60 seconds) and make them safe to use again. Hydrogen peroxide can also be used to sterilize equipment, but bleach is much less expensive. When using bleach, just be sure to use plenty of dechlorinator to remove any chlorine that remains after rinsing thoroughly with plain tapwater. I usually fill the tank to the very top with heavily dechlorinated water and allow it to stand for a day or two, after I have carefully scrubbed the tank with the bleach solution and rinsed it with tapwater. Then, just to be absolutely certain that no chlorine residue remains, I rinse it again with dechlorinated water, before using it. It seems a shame to throw the tank and equipment out, when they can be cleaned and sterilized, instead. But, I would definitely discard any substrate, live plants, filter media, or porous materials that were used in the tank, since these can be difficult to sterilize. Thanks for the update. I really appreciate your taking the time to let us know what happened. It's always helpful to know the outcome, however good or bad. I just wish there was something I could have recommended that would have helped. I certainly hope you will will keep ADFs again in the future. They are such amazing, little creatures. Again, my condolences. May Bob and Sue Ellen rest in peace. - frogbreeder

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