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Thread: African Clawed Frog is losing color

  1. #1

    Default African Clawed Frog is losing color

    I have two African clawed frogs, Frodo and Leena. Frodo is 8 now, and Leena is about 5 and 1/2. I got them when I was 11 from the Grow-A-Frog company, so I had no idea what I was doing, and I had no idea that the two gallon tank I bought from Grow-A-Frog was completely inadequate for this kind of frog. About two months ago, I moved Frodo to a five gallon aquarium but kept Leena in the two gallon Grow-A-Frog tank (I know that five gallons is still inadequate, but I should have 20 or 29 gallon in the next week or two). I tried putting them together once a long time ago, and they started attacking each other and became really stressed, so I kept them apart... Well, a few days ago, I decided to try putting them together again. For the first night, they were amplexing quite a bit and were extremely active (Frodo's the male and Leena's the female, but Frodo is actually a bit bigger than Leena, so I don't know if that's good that they were amplexing or not?). The second day, they also seemed fine... But on the third day, I noticed Frodo had become a lot lighter in color. Today, four days after putting them together, Frodo is really light (he's a normal ACF, but he's starting to look like an albino). I've read this could be a symptom of a heart attack, but other than that, I haven't found this symptom attributed to any other disease. Some more details: the substrate I have in the aquarium is just fine, blue sand; I don't have a thermometer on the aquarium, but my house is always anywhere from 65 to 80 degrees; I just feed them food pellets that I bought from Grow-A-Frog. Leena hasn't changed color at all, and although Frodo has, he still attacks the food - he does seem a little less active than he has been the past couple days. Please forgive my ignorance - I'm trying to learn more about these frogs and I feel really bad that I've kept them in such bad conditions all these years If anyone could help me out with the answer to what might be causing Frodo's sudden loss of color or give me some advice on what I should be doing differently, I would really appreciate it. Frodo was my first pet, and I really wanna give him a happier, healthier life.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: African Clawed Frog is losing color

    The answer you're looking for is probably here: Pigments cells respond to hormones: African clawed frog - AskNature

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    100+ Post Member mpmistr's Avatar
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    Default Re: African Clawed Frog is losing color

    Xenopus can change color to some degree as Geoff stated with his article.

    Have you thought about feeding your clawed frogs nightcrawlers? The bait shop variety from walmart work fine, I feed my 4 xenopus these and they go crazy. Since you've had your frogs for so long I have no doubt you know how to care for them, though yeah the current water volume is too little for this species.

    I think once you've moved them to a large tank things will improve, these guys are messy and like having a lot of space to swim around. The temperature swings are a bit much here, try to keep the tank at 70F or close to that if possible, 65F is a bit cold for these guys and 80F is completely too warm. A larger volume of water will give you more stable water temps, as the large the water volume the less prone to 'swing' it becomes.

    I think these frogs will be fine, just move them in to a bigger tank. Make sure they have a cycled tank (take your old filter and move it to the new tank), give them adequate filtration and keep up on your partial water changes with clean, tap water treated with a dechlorinator. Try live foods, clawed frogs simply cannot resist earthworms.

  5. #4

    Default Re: African Clawed Frog is losing color

    Thank you so much for the quick reply! I'm hoping that the loss of color just has something to do with hormones, as it said in the article. I took him out today, cleaned his tank really well, and moved my female ACF to another tank. He's still really pale, I haven't heard him sing today (which he usually does constantly), and I noticed that his eyes look darker as well (maybe they just look darker now since the rest of him is so light?) I've read that discolored eyes could be sign of a bacterial or fungal infection, though. Hopefully you've never encountered those problems, but if you have, do you think it could be either of those?

    I've thought about feeding them nightcrawlers many times. I always have a bunch left over from fishing trips, but I've never know whether it's safe or not. You just feed them the ones that come in the plastic containers filled with earth? Do you feed the nightcrawlers to them whole or do you have to cut them up a bit first? My frogs are a little on the smaller side compared to some I've seen that could eat a nightcrawler like it was nothing. I'll definitely try giving some to my frogs, though, and I'm definitely going to get a much larger aquarium very soon.

    Also, I didn't know that larger aquariums stabilized the temperature. That's really good to know! We've been having 100+ weather here right now, so it's been hard keeping the temp in the house below 75-80. It might be a dumb question, but is there a something you could buy to help get the water temp down? I mean, I know there are aquarium heaters to keep the temperature higher, but how does one make the temperature lower, if there's even a way?

    Thanks again for all the helpful advice! I feel a lot more relieved now knowing that you think my frog will be fine, and I'll be keeping all of this in my mind when I go get a new setup.

  6. #5

    Default Re: African Clawed Frog is losing color

    Thank you for this! I'm still not exactly sure which of those reasons my frog just suddenly changed colors, but this helps a lot and has definitely made me feel a lot more hopeful about this situation.

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    100+ Post Member celticstarb's Avatar
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    Default African Clawed Frog is losing color

    There are aquarium chillers, but they can be quite expensive.

    If you are handy with tools, you can look on YouTube for "DIY Aquarium Chiller" and find a few inexpensive methods to make your own. Just be sure to look into thermostats to control your chiller.

    Another option is to use a fan blowing over the surface of the water in your tank. Evaporation will cool your tank several degrees. The downside to this is that the temp will vary with your room's temp and humidity.


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  8. #7

    Default Re: African Clawed Frog is losing color

    I've never even heard of those, but I'm looking them up right now... You weren't kidding about them being expensive! I'll definitely look into making one for when I get a larger tank, though. I think I'll try the fan option for now and see if that helps any. Thank you!

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