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Thread: African Clawed Frog - possibly sick? first time owner - help!

  1. #1
    FrbidenTmptation
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    Default African Clawed Frog - possibly sick? first time owner - help!

    I have one female African Clawed Frog, albino. She lives solo in a 10-gallon tank, which is typically filled 75%. I have had her in this setup for the last 2.5 years that I've owner her, with no problems at all until now. This past weekend, she started acting strangely. She was jumping alot in the corners of the tank, as if trying to escape (much more jumping than usual, almost agitated). She even managed to bump the tank cover sometimes. I reduced the water level by about an inch because I did not want her to hurt herself. This behavior continued until yesterday, when she became much more lethargic. She was not very interested in eating (which is usually her favorite thing to do!), but she did eat some. Tonight, she is possibly even more lethargic, and I could not get her to eat at all. She may have come back and eaten one or two of the food sticks I feed her, but certainly not while I was with her. I've also noticed that she looks like she might be shedding a little, and I'm not certain - but it's possible there has been more shedding than usual over the last week or so? When she's just hanging out at the surface of the water, I've also noticed that her fingers and toes look a little kinked up - when they normally are straight. I don't know if that means anything, or if I'm over-analyzing. I'm worried about her, and don't want her to get worse! Please help!

    I have included pictures below - they're the best I could get of her.
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  3. #2
    Founder John's Avatar
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    Default Re: African Clawed Frog - possibly sick? first time owner - help!

    I would change all of the water immediately and see if she improves. In the mean time hopefully Terry will chime in.
    Founder of Frogforum.net (2008) and Caudata.org (2001)

  4. #3
    FrbidenTmptation
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    Default Re: African Clawed Frog - possibly sick? first time owner - help!

    Update: this morning, her hind feet are nearly clamped shut. It also looks like there is increased skin shedding, more concentrated to her lower half.
    Thanks for the suggestion, John. I will change all the water today as soon as I'm home from work, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
    If anyone has any other information, I really appreciate it.

  5. #4
    Lacibeth
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    Default Re: African Clawed Frog - possibly sick? first time owner - help!

    Quote Originally Posted by FrbidenTmptation View Post
    Update: this morning, her hind feet are nearly clamped shut. It also looks like there is increased skin shedding, more concentrated to her lower half.
    Thanks for the suggestion, John. I will change all the water today as soon as I'm home from work, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
    If anyone has any other information, I really appreciate it.
    If you don't have them, get some of the water quality dip strips on your way home and test the water before changing it. Those strips will give you an idea if you have a nitrogen (nitrate/nitrite) problem or if it's pH related which will help in determining what steps to take.

    http://di1-2.shoppingshadow.com/imag...+Strips+Ki.jpg

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    Moderator Jenste's Avatar
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    Default Re: African Clawed Frog - possibly sick? first time owner - help!

    To be honest, the paper test strips are extremely inaccurate - I would recommend a liquid test kit.

    Do you filter the tank? Have you changed anything with the decor/substrate or her diet?

    What temperature is the tank usually at and how often do you do the water changes, how much do you take out, and what do you treat the water with? (ex, dechlorinator etc)
    72 Gallon Bow - ACF and GF tank.
    26 Gallon Bow - ACF tank.

    20 Gallon Long - ACF tank.


    "If there were an invisible cat in that chair, the chair would look empty. But the chair does look empty; therefore there is an invisible cat in it." C.S. Lewis, Four Loves, 1958

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  8. #6
    FrbidenTmptation
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    Default Re: African Clawed Frog - possibly sick? first time owner - help!

    Thank you - I'll pick up a water testing kit as well to test the nitrite/nitrate/pH levels.
    Her diet is the same - we've been doing the TetraMin floating sticks the whole time I've had her.
    I usually do a complete water change monthly, and I do not treat the water; I use spring water. I've done this for the last 2 years with no issues thus far. Should I be doing something different here? I was unable to find anything definitive online about this.
    The tank is at room temperature, which has been mostly between high 70s, low 80s in RI this summer. We've actually been having a cooler/rainy month so no excessive heat levels lately.
    I do not have a filter. There have been no changes whatsoever to decor or anything else in the tank.

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    Moderator Jenste's Avatar
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    Default Re: African Clawed Frog - possibly sick? first time owner - help!

    Weekly water changes should be done and the tank should be filtered.

    Tap water treated with a dechlorinator is usually better than spring water due to the filtration process and demineralization.

    Leaving large amounts of time inbetween water changes means ammonia (frog waste) is left to build up in the water and ammonia is extremely harmful to them. As she has grown, the amount of waste she produces has grown but the volume of the water has not - meaning the ammonia is more concentrated now as she is an adult than when she was a small frog.

    Bashing about and hitting the walls and lid indicate water problems - she is trying to escape an unhealthy environment.

    I would also look into ReptoMin sticks vs the TetraMin floating sticks - - TetraMin sticks are designed for fish, not amphibians. They may be not meeting her dietary needs fully which may negatively affect her ability to fight off problems - her foot curling could be a result of poor diet mixed with stresses of dirty water.

    Where abouts in RI are you from? I also live in RI - North Providence.
    72 Gallon Bow - ACF and GF tank.
    26 Gallon Bow - ACF tank.

    20 Gallon Long - ACF tank.


    "If there were an invisible cat in that chair, the chair would look empty. But the chair does look empty; therefore there is an invisible cat in it." C.S. Lewis, Four Loves, 1958

  10. #8
    FrbidenTmptation
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    Default Re: African Clawed Frog - possibly sick? first time owner - help!

    Thanks, Jenna - I'll switch to dechlorinated tap water and a filter.
    I was wrong about the food name - it is the ReptoMin food sticks.
    I'm in East Providence - we're nearly neighbors!

  11. #9
    FrbidenTmptation
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    Default Re: African Clawed Frog - possibly sick? first time owner - help!

    So I tested the water last night: the pH was low, nitrites were high. So we did a complete water change - dechlorinated and with aquarium salt. I have Aquarisol (as I also own bettas) - is that safe for ACFs?

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    Moderator tgampper's Avatar
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    Default Re: African Clawed Frog - possibly sick? first time owner - help!

    Instead of Aquarisol, try Lymnozyme, it's a little expensive but will work well with your frog and fish. It is a probiotic and if used regularly it will help prevent bacterial infections. It has been my experience that poor water conditions will agitate frogs. I remember one time I forgot to condition the water and the frogs went "crazy". Once I realized what was wrong I added some conditioner and the frogs became quite calm. One very common disease affecting ACFs today is "bloating". This condition is associated with a bacteria and generally fatal. I think Lymnozyme will be benificial for all aquatic frog tanks.
    Terry Gampper
    Nebraska Herpetological Society




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  13. #11
    FrbidenTmptation
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    Default Re: African Clawed Frog - possibly sick? first time owner - help!

    Update: after a day with clean conditioned water, we seem to be on the road to recovery. The shedding has greatly diminished, and she is more active now. Activity levels aren't quite at 100% and eating is still iffy, but we're looking much better. Thank you everyone for all your insight and tips. I've definitely learned my lesson!

  14. #12
    Moderator Jenste's Avatar
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    Default Re: African Clawed Frog - possibly sick? first time owner - help!

    Glad for the positive news!!!

    Please keep us updated - - I for one and extremely pleased about having another ACF parent so close by to me (an enthusiastic one anyways)

    How are you faring with the Irene preparation?

    I would do a water change now in preparation of not being able to should you lose power for a bit
    72 Gallon Bow - ACF and GF tank.
    26 Gallon Bow - ACF tank.

    20 Gallon Long - ACF tank.


    "If there were an invisible cat in that chair, the chair would look empty. But the chair does look empty; therefore there is an invisible cat in it." C.S. Lewis, Four Loves, 1958

  15. #13
    xxianxx
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    Default Re: African Clawed Frog - possibly sick? first time owner - help!

    Well played guys its good to see this forum being beneficial to frogs and owners
    !

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