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African Clawed Frog Stomach Bulge

Discussion in 'Amphibian - General' started by testro, Feb 22, 2009.

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  1. testro

    testro Member

    I purchased an african clawed froglet about a week and a half ago. He's still only about 1.5 inches long so I keep him in a 8x5x6 tank with a rock to hide behind in about 3-4 inches of water with no substrate. I dechlor the water and I don't use any heating because I read that room temperature is good for them.

    Here's the problem:
    I feed him "HBH Frog & Tadpole Bites" about 4-6 pellets once per day like the directions say. He eats them all up very quickly and starts searching for them within about 30 seconds of dropping them in. However, after the first week he developed a bulge on the left side of his stomach after a feeding session. I thought maybe he just ate too much but he had it the next day as well. I did not feed him that day and by the next day it was gone, but he kept pooping out a lot of these solid white stones. So the next day after it was gone I did a complete water change and fed him 4 pellets and he was fine. The day after that(today), there is no visible white stones or poop in the tank and I fed him 5 pellets. The bulge on the left side of his stomach appeared right after feeding once again.

    -Are these solid, hard white stones normal? (Urates perhaps?)
    -Is this left-sided stomach bulge normal after feeding?
    -Am I feeding him too much or the wrong food?
    -Anything else I'm doing wrong?
  2. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Sadly, this is the one frog I know little to nothing about. The best I can do is offer you a care sheet.

    african clawed frog
  3. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I had an ACF for a few years, and I never fed him that stuff. I'm not saying it's bad, just saying I never used it. They can eat a LOT of things, so it's best to mix up their diet when you can. Mine got live earthworms, guppies and brine shrimp, and a mixture of frozen/refrigerated stuff like tubifex and blood worms, and dry foods as well, sinking carnivore fish food. Maybe try giving him a few other things to eat, and less of that stuff if it seems to be causing a problem.

    Insects didn't seem to work too well, as most of them float, and my guy didn't like to go to the surface to eat.
  4. testro

    testro Member

    Yea I read that they can eat a lot of things and that eventually I should switch to some of the other foods you mentioned as he gets bigger. Have you ever noticed any kind of stomach bulge after feeding them? Also have you ever noticed the solid white stones? When I was cleaning the tank they sound like solid pebbles hitting the sink. I'll look up some info on other kinds of food. I assume the bulge in his stomach involves those white stones in some way I was just wondering if they are normal.
  5. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    They don't sound normal to me at all, and it sounds like he isn't digesting them properly. I would try some other kinds of food. Frozen brine shrimp is easily available and its not difficult at all to chip off just a little chunk.
  6. testro

    testro Member

    Thanks. I'll try out some other foods. If anybody has any experience with the pellets or other things I've mentioned please let me know.
  7. Moshpitrockchick

    Moshpitrockchick Subscribed User Premium Member

    Do you know if he was housed on some sort of substrate before you got him? He could be passing gravel from his previous home.
  8. testro

    testro Member

    When I bought him he was in a tiny tank with like 20 other frogs with no substrate in it. Not positive where he was before that but the bulge did not appear until a week after I bought him. It probably has something to do with the pellets since the bulge appears right after feeding.

    I'll list the first couple of ingredients in these pellets: Fish Meal, Wheat Flour, Wheat Gluten, Krill Meal, Pea Powder, Soy Flour, Wheat Starch, Fish Oil, Brewers Dried Yeast, Beet Powder. etc. etc.

    I assume the digestion problems come from the wheat/vegetable ingredients... I thought these frogs were carnivores.
  9. Moshpitrockchick

    Moshpitrockchick Subscribed User Premium Member

    It won't hurt to try something else.
    Is your frog thin by chance? When I get in a sick animal that needs to put on weight you can usually tell when they've had a good meal.
  10. testro

    testro Member

    Nope he seems to be the right amount of pudgey for his size. The problem is the bulge is only on the left side of the stomach. This isn't my frog but it looks similar to this but on a smaller scale because my frog is still little. [​IMG]
  11. Drache Dame

    Drache Dame Elite Member

    That frog looks like it could be impacted. Do you have any substrate/gravel in the tank? (Sorry if it's in another post...I haven't seen it) You can try feeding him bloodworms or blackworms, as they tend to relish these.
  12. testro

    testro Member

    Well that picture is not actually my frog but that is the type of bulge I am talking about. I listed the living conditions of my frog in the first post of this thread. For quick reference though, no there is no substrate in the tank. Last time this happened the bulge appeared right after eating then it went away over the course of 2 days with him pooping out these fairly large solid white stones all over the place. He's quite active and swims a lot(usually into the wall :p ) so I don't think he is sick. No other visible problems than the bulge.
  13. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    You know, now that I'm thinking about it. When I give my pacman frog a big meal, his stomach is on one side of his body, and he will have a visual bulge on that side. Its possible its the same thing with african clawed frogs.

    I would still change up his diet a bit. The little granules sound like things aren't getting digested very well. A varied diet is best.
  14. wgnelson

    wgnelson Elite Member

    The pellets are dry, yes?
    It could be that the pellets are absorbing water/moisture/stomach fluids. Try only giving him 2 or three pellets at a time.
    The anatomy of his digestive tract may show that the initial part may be on the left side. This may be just his stomach area.
  15. testro

    testro Member

    Yes I was thinking the same thing... that his stomach is on his left side and he is just over-eating. The solid white stones he is passing lead me to believe the pellets are not digesting properly. I'm not really sure if he is stressed either. He swims into the corner of the tank near the top of the water pretty frantically sometimes, disturbing the top of the water. He isn't necessarily swimming upwards trying to escape, but he wasn't this active when I first got him.
  16. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    According to this African Clawed Frog Care Sheet and Information - WNYHS
    they are scavengers, feeding on a number of items.
    I am not frog savy but your tank sounds a bit on the small size. That's only a one gallon tank!
    I would suggest changing what you are feeding and see if the problem is still there.
  17. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    If its just a tiny baby, one gallon is OK. But it will need at least a 10 gallon VERY soon.
  18. testro

    testro Member

    He is only about 1.5 inches long right now so the 1 gallon tank isn't really much of a problem I don't think. I read that they mature within a year so I will be purchasing a much larger tank some time in the near future.

    To update you all on his condition: since I started this thread yesterday, he still has the bulge and has not passed any white stones as of yet. I don't really see any solid poop either but there are tiny specks of it all over the place. I will be going to the store later and purchasing some kind of freeze dried food such as krill or brine shrimp since those seem relatively easy to manage/store. Last time he had this bulge he passed all the stones the next day but this is day two and he has not passed any yet. :(
  19. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Give him a day or two. It won't hurt him to go without food for a day.

    Also, what is your water temp?
  20. testro

    testro Member

    Well I went to the pet store and got some freeze dried blood worms. They are brand name "Aqua Select" and say for exotic tropical & marine fish but I figured they were good for him too. I put them in the tank but even after 10-15 minutes they didn't sink, so I took the turkey baster I use to clean the bottom of the tank and fed him that way. :p He was pretty afraid of it at first but after he realized it was shooting out food he was lunging at it and would catch the food on it's way out. So for next time, how long should I soak these blood worms so they sink?

    As far as the temperature, I don't actually know because most of the stuff I read said it is ok to keep them at room temperature. My thermostat is constantly in the 68-72 range and there is not a lot of water in the tank to heat so the water is probably in that range. I'm guessing I should get a thermometer so I can know for sure.

    I'll update when his condition improves.
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