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Azureus female bullied by tankmates, not eating

Hello everyone, I'm new to this board, and I signed up because I'm having an issue with one of my three children (frog!) I will use the questionnaire format to be most thorough and concise.

1.How long have you had the frog(s) and where did you acquire them ?
I have 3 D. azureus, all are females. I have had them for over a year. I got them as captive bred froglets in the US. I live in Taiwan now, and I brought the girls with me. They handled the trip like champs. (It is legal to bring amphibians into Taiwan.)

2. What are your Temperatures -Day and Night - Highs and lows ? Are you lights too hot ?
We have a sub-tropical climate here, and temps stay around 26-30 as a high and 24-26 as a low. My lights are not too hot.

3. What is the Humidity like ? - Percentage or guesstimate. What type of Water are you using ? Describe your tank/enclosure and it's lid or top.
I have a glass tank, about 10 gallon floor space, but a lot of vertical height too. My substrate is spaghnum, plus some clay balls under that to collect water. There is a pipe at the bottom under all that to drain excess water. There are lots of plants and leaf litter. I use filtered drinking water. I keep the tank quite humid. It is always around 80-90%. Everything is sealed except for a small screened vent at the top.

4. What kind of food are you providing, how much and are you dusting it ? What superfine powdered supplements are you using and are they fresh ?
I use wingless D. melanogaster FFs. They had been eating like monsters, and two still are, but one has stopped eating. I feed daily about 150 flies, dusted on alternating days with Rept-cal calcium and Herptivite. It still has a year before expiring.

5. Any other animals in the enclosure currently or recently ?
I have sowbugs inside, they live in the substrate and mind their own business. Occasionally the frogs eat a tiny one.

6. Any type of behaviour you would consider 'odd' ?
Well, I'm naive I guess. I had kept all three girls in the tank together, and everything was peaceful until last week. There are two larger females, called Darkie and Little Moon. The smaller one is Spotty. They had always eaten together with no problem, even slept tucked together under leaves. But I recently discovered that Little Moon has been quite bossy, stepping on others, and licking them. I checked online... (which I should have done from the start, I know!) ...and learned that 3 girls together is a no-no for this species.

So here's how it went. I noticed last week that Spotty was "taking naps" in the tank. She would lie on her belly and close her eyes. I was sick myself last week so I didn't look into the issue further, my fault. Yesterday, I finally understood the extent of the issue. She would not go to eat. They are all fat, including Spotty, so I don't think she will starve to death quickly. But she was clearly depressed and stressed out. I immediately set up a second tank and moved her into there at once.

Today, when I fed everyone, she would not eat. She did eat 3-4, but then stopped and closed her eyes. She would typically keep eating for quite a while in the past. I also noticed Little Moon was licking Darkie in the other tank during feeding, although Darkie continued eating regardless. They are nearly equal in size, but Spotty is significantly smaller. All of them are visibly healthy, no injury or damage whatsoever.

My guess is everyone hit sexual maturity and the happy family went to hell!

So, my most urgent question is- how do I help Spotty? At the moment, I am leaving her alone to chill out, keeping her hydrated, providing food, but nothing more. Everything is quiet in the house, no loud noises anywhere. Anything else I can do?

Also, is Darkie in danger of the same situation? I don't have a third tank, so I'm not sure what I would do! My husband and I adore our frogs, and we hate to separate them, but we will of course if that is what is needed.

7. Have you handled or touched the frogs recently ?
We never touch the frogs. They are strictly look-only companion animals. They are quite bold though and sometimes jump on our hand during feeding!

Thank you very much for your help. If pictures are really needed I will post them later, but I just wanted to get this posted ASAP.

Hi there and welcome to Dart Den !

Your enclosure is small. I would recommend something like 10 gallons per adult frog. When enclosure space is limited , there is virtually no way for the frogs to get out of each other's way and stress becomes huge.

You did the right thing by separating them. Provide plenty of shelter, good humidity and try not to stress them. Frogs can go several days without eating- maybe even a week for a large adult tinc.

Other than a vet and a fecal exam, there is very little 'medical' advice we can offer. Basic good husbandry methods, limiting stress, is the best thing.

Try not to 'overfeed' , that is, have lots of uneaten FF crawling all over the enclosure and frog.Try feeding the FF maggots. Spoon some into a plastic lid and offer those.

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".

Ditto what Phil said.
Do you have plenty of hides and leaflitter for your frogs?
I would recommend a dixie cup on its side for the frog you pulled, might make her more comfortable. Also, as she is recovering try to put her in a low light, quiet area. Could reduce some stress. You said there were size differences between the other 2, perhaps you have a pair.
You can post pictures and have the "tinc" experts try to sex them.
Hope she gets better soon.


(I know this is my first post here, but I've been heavily into Tincs for 3 years now so please take the following into consideration.)

1. A 10 gallon tank is fine for 3 Azureus froglets, but too small for 3 adults. Keeping them together in such a small space almost guarantees that at least one will be stressed. There's no way for them to have their "space" and get away from the others. You should seriously consider upgrading to at least a 20 gallon tank or, at the very least, keep them separated between the two tanks as you have them now.

2. You state that your temps are between 24-30c (75-86f). The temperature inside the tank, though, is probably higher...especially with the lights. This is really too warm to consistently keep Tincs. You need to find ways to lower the temperature. You want to keep them below 26c (80f). It's great that you have the tank vented...that helps some of the heat escape. Your next step would be to turn off the lights.

3. Your supplements may still say that they have a year before they expire, but how long have you been using them? It's been recommended that they are stored in the refrigerator and are only kept for 6 months after opening. (I always write the date I open mine directly on the jar.) High temps and time can lead to them losing their effectiveness.

All of these (stress, heat, supplements), if left unchecked, can seriously harm and even lead to the death of your frogs.

Good call Wendy.

I too, would recommend to turn off the top light on the sick tinc enclosure. The frog and most plants can get by wonderfully on ambient or surrounding light. A big bright light is both hot and unnecessary.

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".

If turning your lights off is not enough, aim a fan at your viv (a trick from Phil) to try and get those high temps down while you are searching for bigger housing. I start working on reducing viv temps when they hit 78 (26). Both turning off the lights and using a fan may help to get your internal viv temps down quickly. Good luck!

Jim from Austin |
fantastica nominant | summersi | reticulata

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