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This is the advanced forum, so let's dig hard on this one. I consider myself fairly adept with tadpoles. Yet, In the past few months, I have been plagued with mouth fungus in a certain species of frog that is simply infuriating.

I am referring to pallid tinctorius. Now there is no "delicate tinc" as far as I am concerned, and have morphed them in the past fine. What the heck is going on?

I have tried more frequent water changes, tea made from leaves, tea from a tea bag, meth blue, and nothing seems to work.

What causes mouth fungus? Perhaps if I learn a little more about the enemy, I can better kill the enemy. Is it a true fungus, or is it a mold?

I have tried letting the father carry the tads, but he is not real good at that, and does not seem to understand the term "low bridge" and often loses tads in transit by scraping them off on something that he is crawling under.

Any help here would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Hello John,

You have actually asked a very difficult question and one that has no one answer. The first question which is difficult to answer without a microscope is whether what is affecting the tads a true fungus like Saprolegnia or a slime bacterium like Chondrococcus (Flexibacter) columnaris which is the culprit behind the generic description of Mouth Fungus. It could also be a combination with Pseudomonas or Aeromonas first and a fungus as a secondary.

With all that said all we really want to know is how do we treat this and by the time we see the fluffy white mouth the tad is already unable to eat with its deformed and destroyed mouth tissue and on its way to dying. Has salt been a treatment which you have tried? Unfortunatly amphibians are probably much different physiologically than freshwater fish when it comes to this type of treatment. I have not done a search of the literature or reasearched myself but a propylactic dose could probably be used. I have seen doses of 1 tablespoon of salt per 5 gallons of water. This seems a bit low and might try a higher dose watching for stress/death.

Some of the drugs used in the aquarium hobby may be of some use here. The sidenote to this is will they affect the long term health both reproductive and physical of the frogs. Some of the Nitrofurans: Nitropirinol, Nitrofurazone may be worth a try as affected tads as you know do not resolve on their own. Penicillin, Erythromycin, Minocycline and Tetracycline are all mentioned as possible treatments. Malachite Green is yet another treatment for columnaris and Saprolignia.

I have had truble with "mouth fungus" in the past and was able to resolve it by a thorough disinfecting of all tadpole containers before placing new tads in and actually changing to a different flake food, less fouling fed at about 2-3 days after tads in water. If it returns I would be inclined to try experimental salt dosages followed in unsuccessful by the Nitrofuran drugs.

I hope that you are able to extract some useful ideas from this and best of luck with the tads
 
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That was awesome. By getting some common names for the possible mouth problems, I can use a different approach. I use the little 2 oz cups you can get at places like costco to raise the tads. Perhaps I will go so far as to not reuse the containers, and use a new one for every water change.
 

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fu-man-chu mustache aka mouth fungus

A few years ago we had this issue. It wasn't species specific. This is how we resolved the issue.

I began to make tadpole tea that I made on the stove. I added milled spaghum peat moss (the stuff at the garden center that is compressed into a very large brick), approximately 16 oz to my stockpot. I think my stockpot is about 6-8 quarts. I fill the stockpot to the top with tap water and turn the burner on high. I let the mixture boil for a 1/2 hour and then turn the heat/fire down and let the mixture simmer for another 2 hours.
I usually do this in the evening, and let it set overnight on the stove to cool.

In the mean time I have refilled empty water jugs with hot tap water and set them out. I usually let them sit for at least 24 hours before I use them.

The next day, I skim the tea from the stockpot and leave the sludge in the bottom of the pan. The tea should be a golden brown color. I add between 1 - 2 cups of the tea per gallon of water. In addition, I add a little stress coat to each gallon jug to remove any chlorine, etc...

Then I do my tadpole water changes.

Hope this is helpful,

Melis
 
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mouth fungus

I'm not sure how much of a geek you are, but have you thought about culturing a swab from a dead or dying infected tadpole's mouth? Take a sterile cotton swab (can be bought at drug stores) and bring it to a vet's office, your local college biology department, etc. If you call them first, they'll probably be able to culture and isolate whatever's got your tads. As someone said, knowing the enemy is the first step to successfully treatment and prevention.
 
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I actually had not thought of that. I get som mad when it goes right through my defenses (AGAIN!!) that I flush the tad. I think I will contact my vet that takes care of my whippets (greatest dogs in the entire WORLD!!) and ask her if she is interested in checking it out. She has already asked me to set up a dart frog terrarium in their office, so maybe I can convince her to take a crack at it.

I would not hesitate to send it off to the Fryes, but cannot think of how to preserve the tad for shipment, so that they can know what they are looking at.

A second question on this line; It may or may not matter...

Does anybody think it is a whole body thing and can only be seen on the mouth, or that it is only isolated on the mouth? And if so, Why there and not all orifices?
 
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If it is indeed fungal, then it is more than likely a secondary infection. Fungi such as yeasts and other fungi that are capable of becoming unicellular are often opportunistic normal flora. In other words, your species of tads might be super sensitive, and if something happens to distract their immune systems (such as stress, or another more virulent primary pathogen, then the stuff that grows on them normally and which normally doesn't cause problems all of a sudden...are capable of causing problems!

But lots of things can look like fungus. The opportunistic normal flora would explain why it only appears in the mouth, because many normal floras tend to be localistic to one part of the body.

The problem with this is that we might be able to identify what's in your tads' mouths, but what's in your tads mouths might not be the primary cause of death, it may be the straw that broke the camel's back so to speak. But it's worth a shot!

So the direct answer to your question is: Maybe it is a whole body thing that only is visible on the mouth, or maybe not. :) Such is life with exotics.

*disclaimer-all this is speculation based the work I've done toward my first degree! I'm not a PhD microbiologist, I just spewed forth stuff to ponder.
 
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John,

Are you feeding your tads as soon as they are hatched and placed in the water?

-Bill J.
 
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Nah, I let them go for a while, to clear their intestines. Then after a couple of water changes, I start feeding them very small amounts of food.
 
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fhqwhgads said:
I would not hesitate to send it off to the Fryes, but cannot think of how to preserve the tad for shipment, so that they can know what they are looking at.
To help on this question about preserving the tadpole, Check Dr. Frye's post http://www.dendroboard.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=244 I would call him if I were you. I bet however, if you put the tadpole in a file canister filled with its water, you would have luck if it was sent chilled.

fhqwhgads said:
Does anybody think it is a whole body thing and can only be seen on the mouth, or that it is only isolated on the mouth? And if so, Why there and not all orifices?
Maybe the fungus you have acts like "Chyrid" Chyrid only attacts the keratin layers in frogs. Tadpoles only have keratin in their mouths, and maybe the fungus only effects the keratin. But really I have no clue, about the fungus affecting your tads and I would send a infected tad to a vet for testing.

Just my $.02
 
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Hello! I had that bad experience with galactonotus tads and lost a lot of them.What I used and worked very well were pieces of tree fern, which I took from tree fern pannels(very common here in Brazil).I just put small pieces inside the tads cups.The results were wonderfull and the infected ones recovered completely after three days.I have a water container with aged water and tree fern pannels imersed to use for keeping young tadpoles.The water turns to a "tea"color, but I had no fungus disease with that procedures anymore.I've noticed that that fungus occur only in young tadpoles(under ten days old).I hope that this can help.
fhqwhgads said:
This is the advanced forum, so let's dig hard on this one. I consider myself fairly adept with tadpoles. Yet, In the past few months, I have been plagued with mouth fungus in a certain species of frog that is simply infuriating.

I am referring to pallid tinctorius. Now there is no "delicate tinc" as far as I am concerned, and have morphed them in the past fine. What the heck is going on?

I have tried more frequent water changes, tea made from leaves, tea from a tea bag, meth blue, and nothing seems to work.

What causes mouth fungus? Perhaps if I learn a little more about the enemy, I can better kill the enemy. Is it a true fungus, or is it a mold?

I have tried letting the father carry the tads, but he is not real good at that, and does not seem to understand the term "low bridge" and often loses tads in transit by scraping them off on something that he is crawling under.

Any help here would be greatly appreciated.
:idea:
 

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This is more of an explanation of what is usually occuring. Every dart tadpole has an "organ" or "body part" that is attached to it's mouth that is used to attach itself to the back of the adults during transport. After transport this "part" either falls off or is absorbed (forgot which) but this is often the source of the "infection". The problem can be stopped or the process significantly retarded by using some form of "tadpole tea" to increase tanins in the water which everybody has their own ingredients/formula.
 

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snip "With all that said all we really want to know is how do we treat this and by the time we see the fluffy white mouth the tad is already unable to eat with its deformed and destroyed mouth tissue and on its way to dying. Has salt been a treatment which you have tried? Unfortunatly amphibians are probably much different physiologically than freshwater fish when it comes to this type of treatment. I have not done a search of the literature or reasearched myself but a propylactic dose could probably be used. I have seen doses of 1 tablespoon of salt per 5 gallons of water. This seems a bit low and might try a higher dose watching for stress/death.
"endsnip

Actually salt baths are routinely used to treat fungal infections in other aquatic amphibians and are a well documented treatment method.
While I haven't tried it I am aware of some aquatic amphibians being kept in salinity as high as 13 ppm for treatment (some Sirens).

Ed
 
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