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ACF died after two months :0(

This is a discussion on ACF died after two months :0( within the Anura: Frogs & Toads forums, part of the Other Amphibians category; Looking for advice. My son's class had 20 ACF tadpoles and after a month only one turned into a froglet ...

Anura: Frogs & Toads For discussion of frogs and toads.

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Old 27th January 2013   #1 (permalink)
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Question ACF died after two months :0(

Looking for advice. My son's class had 20 ACF tadpoles and after a month only one turned into a froglet (ours), three are still tadpoles two months later (the rest died shortly after going home) and ours died yesterday. We found him on the bottom of the tank belly up. It was a real shock because he had been so vibrant and was growing so fast. There were no changes whatsoever to his personality. He was learning how to "beg" for food. I'd turn the light on and he'd rush to the front for me to put in his pellets (daily) or bloodworms (a few times a week). He even managed to eat two fish, one a week the past two weeks (I think they were rosies which is what the petstore told us is what they eat).

I changed 25% of the water weekly and changed the filter weekly since this guy is so dirty. He was living with the remaining two rosies. I also used a turkey baster to suck up feces and leftover food daily to help keep the tank clean.

Everything I've read says that if they die early it's a husbandry issue, is that always the case and if so what did I do wrong? We bought two more albino ACF's yesterday since my 9 year old was so devastated, one for him and one for me . I don't want to make the same mistakes, it's amazing how tiny these are. I drained 3/4's of the water and added more bottled water since our tap water his hard and limey before adding them.

I've been reading nonstop but haven't seen anything like this and it sounds like I'm doing things right although there is so much conflicting info out there.

Thank you in advance!



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Old 27th January 2013   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: ACF died after two months :0(

The first couple of months are a critical period in the development of the tank ecosystem; until it is well established, there is a danger of ammonia in the water. Your tank cleaning and water changing sounds perfect for an established tank, but in a new tank, ammonia can still build up (especially when using pellets and bloodworms). So this is one possibility. The only way to know for sure is to get a test kit.

What kind of substrate does the tank have? Gravel? This can cause problems, both in hiding uneaten food (which then turns into ammonia) and in possible ingestion.

It could also be disease, sometimes the symptoms are not obvious. But I would guess that the water quality is the most likely thing to look at. Good luck with the new ones!



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Old 27th January 2013   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: ACF died after two months :0(

thank you. I currently have some river rock on the bottom, not so many that it completely covers it and some on top of each other so that they can hide. I try to move them around when I such out the junk with the turkey baster. I didn't want to do gravel as it was difficult to clean and I've heard that they can ingest it (totally makes sense if they can eat a rosie!) I will get a test kit. Should I be using water conditioner even with bottled water? How about Lymnozyme? How do I best establish the water? The guy at the petstore told me perhaps I was changng the water too often and it should be murky for a week or two and then it will suddenly clear up.



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Old 27th January 2013   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: ACF died after two months :0(

Whatever you do DO NOT let it go murky! That is really bad advise from the pet shop. You should only do this if you have no animals in the tank in order to cycle as there is no risk of death to the animals.

Since you have bought some new toadlets I suggest upping the water changing to 25% every other day, just to be sure to keep the ammonia down. I'd also lose the fish, as they'll just pollute the water even more. You didn't say how big your tank was? If it's a small tank then you definately need to do regular water changes like that. For a larger tank (and I'm talking 30gal plus) the water changes only need to be every 3 days or so until cycled.

Best get a test kit for ammonia, nitrate and nitrite and use one of the threads on the forum about cycling to monitor the water quality. This is not essential as if you perform the regular water changes and clear up all uneaten food and detritus from the tank it should cycle eventually. The test kits just help you monitor the cycling, and check for future ammonia/nitrate spikes in an established tank. May be useful for future use though, so buy if you want to.

Don't forget, don't wash the filter in tap water as you'll kill off your biofilm, always wash in dechlorinated water, or water you've just removed from the tank.

You shouldn't have to use dechlorinator with bottled water, though I'd check the label to see there's no chlorine in it. But if I were you I'd just use tap water and a dechlorinator as it'll work out cheaper than bottled water int he long run.

Also, speaking of the fish you didn't say whether you'd quarantined the 'rosies' (not a fish I'm familiar with)... it could even be that your feeder fish pased on an infection or parasite to your toadlet. I'd not buy feeder fish if I were you and stick with the pellets and bloodworm until you can set up a quarantine tank for feeder fish. Personally I'm against feeder fish altogether but it's a keeper's choice after all.



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Old 27th January 2013   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: ACF died after two months :0(

no, I didn't quarantine them.

OK, I'll go get the test kit after our little ice storm and I'll search to learn about water cycling which is something else I know nothing about. I'm just a mom whose son won a frog in a raffle at school but we fell in love with the little guy. Of course it's like a baby, they come with no instructions.

Thank you for your help! I won't get more fish but I was thinking of getting ghost shrimp to help keep the water clean, what is your opinion on those or another fresh water shrimp?



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Old 27th January 2013   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: ACF died after two months :0(

now my son just brought home a snail from a petsmart outing with his friends. I put it with the betta until I know he'll be safe for the froglets, any advice regarding the snails? Are they good/bad/neutral?



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Old 28th January 2013   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by terig965 View Post
now my son just brought home a snail from a petsmart outing with his friends. I put it with the betta until I know he'll be safe for the froglets, any advice regarding the snails? Are they good/bad/neutral?
Poor Betta

Quarantine is best when the animal is separated - my bettas are too precious to risk using as coal mine canaries



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Old 28th January 2013   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: ACF died after two months :0(

how long is a quarantine period?



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Old 28th January 2013   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: ACF died after two months :0(

The snail shouldn't be a problem with the frog, so long as it is not small enough to fit in the frog's mouth.

Shrimp are OK in frog tanks, but just be aware that freshwater invertebrates like snails and shrimp don't do well with nitrate levels above about 20-30ppm so you need to get your frog tank cycled and ready before adding the shrimp. Shrimp should be fine in the tank, just prepare for many to get eaten!

There is lots of advise around about cycling a tank. It should be pretty easy to find many online how-to's, especially on fishy/aquatics websites. It takes a good sit-down with a cup of tea and taking a good read of all available info. It's not a difficult process, and there are many things you can do to jump-start the cycling (borrowing plants and ornaments from established tanks is one way!).

Don't worry too much about not quarantining those fish. It's a mistake many make and there's no evidence it killed your first toadlet. Oh yes also, quarantine for fish and amphibians is usually 3 weeks to a month. Any signs of illness should show up in that time period. If you're wanting to us feeder fish in future I'd set up an entire seperate tank just for this. Doesn't need to be big.

Good luck, keep us posted.



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Last edited by jane1187; 28th January 2013 at 20:55. Reason: More info
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