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Thread: American Bullfrog Not Eating, Floating Upside Down

  1. #1
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    Default American Bullfrog Not Eating, Floating Upside Down

    Hey guys, my little American Bullfrog needs help!

    She's recently stopped eating (maybe 4 days ago) and has started floating upside down, motionless, on the top of the water for various lengths of time. She hasn't appeared to have lost any weight but her food remains untouched or barely eaten over the last week or so. She is has also started swimming around the tank in a weirder fashion than normal, not really caring if she's swimming on her side or flipping upside down (normally she's always on her stomach and freaks out when upside down). She also seems a lot more tired than usual, not quite lethargic but definitely not as alert as normal.

    She doesn't look bloated, just fat. I was thinking maybe she is still fat because of a blockage and that's also why she hasn't eaten? I can't confirm if she has a blockage because I almost never see her poop (pretty sure she poops in her water, 11 gallons). If that makes sense I think the lying upside down and acting lazy might be her trying to alleviate the pain or pressure of a blockage. She also has been sticking to the water a lot more than the land but it's also been getting slightly colder here so that could be the reason for that.

    The only changes made recently is the addition of a minnow two weeks ago and a couple new plants one week ago. She has no sores, discoloration, eye problems, etc...

    But I'm not sure.. I want her to eat but I don't want to force feed her if she blocked up (which I can't tell because i never see her poop). Are there any laxative methods I could try to see if that's the issue? Or is there something else it might be?
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Size of enclosure?
    55 Gallons
    1.5ft x 1.5ft of land 3in deep and 2.5ft x 1.5ft of water ranging 0-6in deep.
    2. # of inhabitants - specifically other frogs and size differences?
    1 Bullfrog and 1 minnow he was supposed to eat but didnít
    3. Humidity?
    Moderate 40-60%
    4. Temperature?
    Water 78f constant
    Air 65-75 (heat bulb during day, house temperature at night)
    5. Water - type - for both misting and soaking dish?
    Arrowhead Spring Water with water conditioner
    6. Materials used for substrate?
    Eco Earth Coconut Fiber on land and small aquarium rocks in the water
    7. Enclosure set up i.e. plants (live or artificial), wood, bark and other materials. - How were things prepared prior to being put into the viv?
    Land:
    A couple live plants and wood cave from petsmart for him to hide in. Frog moss in patches on the substrate
    Water:
    Gravel bottom with numerous live plants in the water and a couple of caves to hide in as well. Shallow areas she can sit in and deeper sections up to 6in. Live plants get throughly washed and soaked in spring water with conditioner before being added to tank.
    8. Main food source?
    Wax Worms and Meal Worms (mainly wax). She used to eat wild crickets too but she injured her back 6 months ago and she canít hop well anymore.
    9. Vitamins and calcium? (how often?)
    Vitamin spray on food twice a week, calcium once
    10. Lighting?
    UVB light and heat bulb 8 hrs a day + lots of natural light
    11. What is being used to maintain the temperature of the enclosure?
    Heat bulb during the day and normal house temps at night
    Water heater set to 78f that runs 24hrs a day
    12. When is the last time he/she ate?
    4-5 days ago?
    13. Have you found poop lately?
    No but she primarily poops in her water (11 gallons so i almost never see any)
    14. A pic would be helpful including frog and enclosure (any including cell phone pic is fine)
    Iíll post a couple below
    15. Describe frog's symptoms and/or recent physical changes; to include it's ventral/belly area.
    lazy, floats upside down, swims on stomach or side instead of strictly stomach. hasnít been eating.
    16. How old is the frog?
    10-months as a frog and 8-months as a tadpole so 1.5-years old total
    17. How long have you owned him/her?
    1.5 years. got him as a tiny tadpole at a pet store.
    18. Is the frog wild caught or captive bred?
    captive bred
    19. Frog food- how often and if it is diverse, what other feeders are used as treats?
    Wax worms and Meal worms fed every 2-3 days (mainly wax). She used to eat wild crickets too but she injured her back 6 months ago and she canít hop well anymore.
    Crickets used to be treats but its been about 2 months since Iíve given her one due to her back problems. I tried giving her a minnow 2 weeks ago as a treat but she hasnít eaten it so it lives in her tank.
    20. How often the frog is handled?
    Once a week, as needed for the last 10 months so sheís pretty comfortable with it. I always wash hands well then rinse with spring water before touching her.
    21. Is the enclosure kept in a high or low traffic area?
    Low Traffic but moderate noise level. Nights can get loud but sheís been used to that all her life.
    22. Describe enclosure maintenance (water changes, cleaning, etc)
    Full substrate change every 3 weeks
    Gravel Vac and filter change every 3 weeks
    Add half a gallon of Arrowhead Spring water with conditioner every couple days. Iíve had my water tested and they said it was cleaner than some fish tanks.

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  3. #2
    Moderator Lija's Avatar
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    Default Re: American Bullfrog Not Eating, Floating Upside Down

    Hi, sorry your frog is not feeling well. I am not big expert on husbandry of these frogs, but will try help and find somebody to swing by here as well.
    what you are describing doesn't look good, it's more then not eating. Possibly overdosing on vitamins - no more then once a week, for an adult once in 2-3 weeks. Diet - mealworms, fish, waxworms its all very fattening. Wild crickets? What kind?

    my gut feeling says - bacterial infection, but without seeing a frog, even in the picture it's really a guess. Would you please post picture of a frog and its tank.
    Save one animal and it doesn't change the world, but it surely changes the world for that one animal!

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    Default Re: American Bullfrog Not Eating, Floating Upside Down

    EDIT: here's some pics of my frog and tank on imgur. http://imgur.com/a/6AfNo this site won't me upload pics directly no matter what file type/size i use but i think that link takes you directly to the album i just uploaded.

    Ouch okay, noted with the Vitamins. I've been trying to upload images all night but the site isn't letting me (maybe cause i have a mac because i've tried uploading as jpeg and png in different sizes to no avail). I'm not sure what species of crickets. they're the kind you can get at any pet store but the ones at the pet stores are smell disgusting and appear sick so i used to feed him ones i caught in my backyard. however its been a couple months since i've fed him any.
    I REALLY want to find him some food that isn't mealworms/waxworms but i can't find any LIVE food that's healthier. she doesn't eat any still food. What kinds of things would you suggest?


    She looks completely normal. She is fat but not any fatter than any of pictures of american bullfrogs that i've seen. her tank is kept very clean.

    I am taking her to the regular vet tomorrow (that sees reptiles) if i can't get an appt tomorrow with the reptile specialist in my area. hopefully they notice something but i have heard that vet visits don't really do much for frogs.

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    Default Re: American Bullfrog Not Eating, Floating Upside Down

    Quote Originally Posted by Lija View Post
    Hi, sorry your frog is not feeling well. I am not big expert on husbandry of these frogs, but will try help and find somebody to swing by here as well.
    what you are describing doesn't look good, it's more then not eating. Possibly overdosing on vitamins - no more then once a week, for an adult once in 2-3 weeks. Diet - mealworms, fish, waxworms its all very fattening. Wild crickets? What kind?

    my gut feeling says - bacterial infection, but without seeing a frog, even in the picture it's really a guess. Would you please post picture of a frog and its tank.
    well the vet thinks you're right, bacterial infection, so she's been started on an antibiotic. i hope this helps. i'm assuming the introduction of the minnow would be the cause so i've gotten rid of the fish and will start large water changes for the next few days.

    if you, or anyone else has any other recommendations, please let me know. i'd still love to know what other live food i could be feeding him (he's about 3in long) and where i could find said food.

    thanks for your help!

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