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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey there!
I'm quite new in the dart frog hobby and I am currently facing some issues with my Tinctorius Cobalt.

I had 5 tinctorius Cobalt, 4 froglets from the same parents (Mercure, Cigue, Belladone and Ricinus), and 1 6 months older bought separately (called Cyanure). When I introduced the froglets to the older frog "Cyanure", no issue occured whatsoever and until now everything was going well. Now that the froglets are not froglets anymore but about 8 months old, their growth has been completely different for each individual. "Ricinus" is almost as big as the oldest frog "Cyanure", "Belladone" is a bit smaller, "Mercure" and "Cigue" were tiny still. Recently "Cigue" stopped eating, kept on hiding in the same spot, and despite our efforts she died. Shortly after, Mercure started spending her time in the bath or next to it, and stopped eating too so I thought about parasites. We've put her in another tank and she still bathes and doesn't eat too much but I feel she is more lively than before. The breeder to whom we had bought the 4 froglets told me he suspects more of a dominancy issue though but I had never seen any aggressive behavior. About day after moving "Mercure", I saw the biggest of the 4 "Ricinus" assess its dominancy over the smallest left in the tank, "Belladone" (now that Cigue was dead and Mercure in another thank). Since then, it's been pushing itself on the ground, not eating, not moving, and today Belladone looks really bloated! I moved it to the quarantine tank as I believed it might be parasites as well, but I wonder if it's not just a dominancy issue. While moving it to the smaller tank, Belladone just let itself fall on the back not moving, i've put it back on its legs but it is still barely moving from it's spot, just sometimes kicking a ff that's been walking on it.
I called a vet last week that gave me a deworming treatment but I'm quite worried about all of this now and I'm not sure if they are dangerously sick or if it's a consequence of the bullying from their older sibling? Please help... I don't want to lose another frog...

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Mercure the smallest one that was always in its bath. Doesn't seem like it's loosing much weight despite not eating a lot.

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Belladone, the one that looks bloated since today and quite lethargic.

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Sorry for the bad quality, Ricinus the biggest of the 4 siblings, being aggressively dominant with Belladone, a day prior Belladone starting to look bloated.
 

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This doesn't sound good, and doesn't sound to me like the results of dominance/bullying.

Can you fill out these questions?

1. What species ? How long have you had the frog(s) and where did you acquire them ?


2. What are your temperatures (day and night - highs and lows) and how do you measure those temperatures? Does the vivarium have any supplemental heating, and if so, what type?



3. What lighting is on the enclosure (brand, type, wattage) and does the lighting add heat to the vivarium?



4. What is the Humidity like (percentage or guesstimate)? What type of water are you using? What is your misting procedure (automated or hand mister, how long and how often)?



5. Describe your tank/enclosure and its lid or top, and give details about the ventilation (how many vents, where are they positioned, how large are they).



6. What kind of food are you providing, how much and are you dusting it? What superfine powdered supplements (brand and exact product name) are you using and are they fresh (i.e. how long has the container been open, and how is it stored)?



7. Any other animals in the enclosure currently or recently? Tankmates / other frogs ?



8. Any type of behavior you would consider 'odd' ?



9. Have you handled or touched the frogs recently ? Any cleansers, paint, perfumes, bug sprays etc near the tank ?



10. Take pictures of EVERYTHING -- the frogs, the enclosure, the vents. Take numerous pics of everything - that will be of great help.
 

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4 Tinctorius Cobalt
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This doesn't sound good, and doesn't sound to me like the results of dominance/bullying.

Can you fill out these questions?

1. What species ? How long have you had the frog(s) and where did you acquire them ?
They are Tinctorius Cobalt and I've had them since October for the oldest one and November for the 4 siblings.

2. What are your temperatures (day and night - highs and lows) and how do you measure those temperatures? Does the vivarium have any supplemental heating, and if so, what type?
I keep them at room temperature (so without any supplemental heating and the window blinds are almost fully closed all day long so the sun light don't even hit the tank), but now that nights are getting warmer it doesn't go as low as before, so now it's usually around 25-26°C (77°F) during the day and 24°C (75°C) during the night. We use a thermometer inside and one outside to measure the room and the tank's temp.

3. What lighting is on the enclosure (brand, type, wattage) and does the lighting add heat to the vivarium?
It's a Led Panel from Lorica, 95cm, 29 Watt, 6500-7000K it doesn't add heat and it's not directly on the upper glass.

4. What is the Humidity like (percentage or guesstimate)? What type of water are you using? What is your misting procedure (automated or hand mister, how long and how often)?
I keep the humidity between 80-90 and I use demineralized water. I have automated misting 3 times a day 8 seconds.

5. Describe your tank/enclosure and its lid or top, and give details about the ventilation (how many vents, where are they positioned, how large are they).
It's a glass tank with front sliding doors, on the top there is a metal grid but it's not taking the whole tank's top it's only a band. We added two mini fans on it so the air can circulate better a few times during the day (I think 3 times a day for 30mn at a low speed).

6. What kind of food are you providing, how much and are you dusting it? What superfine powdered supplements (brand and exact product name) are you using and are they fresh (i.e. how long has the container been open, and how is it stored)?
We give them fruit flies once a day (small and big sizes) dusted with Birkhahn vitamins (Birkhahn Vitaminpulver A-Vital, 12,90 €), if there are too many in the tank we skip a day. We bought the supplements at the same time as we got the oldest frog, so in october and it's good until 2022. We keep it at room temperature in a dry place, there was no specific indications on how to store it. There used to be springtails but we ran out of them and they are out of stock for a while in the only shops that have reptilian/amphibian food so we ordered online and are waiting to receive it.

7. Any other animals in the enclosure currently or recently? Tankmates / other frogs ?
I separated the two smallest from the two biggest as it seemed one of the biggest frogs was bullying the smaller ones.

8. Any type of behavior you would consider 'odd' ?
Other than the fact one is suddenly looking like a balloon and not moving and one discovered a passion for baths, they all act pretty normal to me.

9. Have you handled or touched the frogs recently ? Any cleansers, paint, perfumes, bug sprays etc near the tank ?
I touched one frog, the smallest one because when i tried to move it from the big tank to the smaller one she jumped on me instead of the little box and fell on the floor so i had to touch it at some point, but other than that I always clean my hand before anything and avoid touching them. There's no cleansers or anything close to the tank.

10. Take pictures of EVERYTHING -- the frogs, the enclosure, the vents. Take numerous pics of everything - that will be of great help.
It's the night so everything is dark but I'll add pictures tomorrow when they are out and there's more light!
Thanks for taking the time to help, I really appreciate it!
 

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Sink that dish deeper in the substrate and pack it tight around so that it creates a cut out to return it to if you are going to remove it to scald and wipe out if it needs to.

Sterilze a smooth, good sized pebble and place it at the interior lip so that the frog can uptake while ailing in a comfortable repose position.

The blend line of a typical puddle of water and terra detail is not like the wall of a dish.

This will enable the weakened frog in ergo.

A splash of pedialyte in the water would be a plus especially if he is taking lengthy soaks in RO water which could tinker with absorption. I do not use water with absent or extremely low tds when rehabing amphibians.
 

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Basic support stuff, not a treatment or diagnosis. You need a veterinarian for that.
 

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You'll need to go to a vet that specializes in amphibians/reptiles, or has advanced knowledge of them.

The supplement powder you're using is one I've never heard of, and, from what I can tell, isn't an amphibian focused supplement.

Most of us use Repashy calcium plus as our supplement. Dust the feeders at every feeding.


You didn't post any pictures of the tank. Can you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sink that dish deeper in the substrate and pack it tight around so that it creates a cut out to return it to if you are going to remove it to scald and wipe out if it needs to.

Sterilze a smooth, good sized pebble and place it at the interior lip so that the frog can uptake while ailing in a comfortable repose position.

The blend line of a typical puddle of water and terra detail is not like the wall of a dish.
That's not their usual puddle on the picture, it's the spare one I had that I've put in the smaller "quarantine" tank. The breeder told me to remove it completely anyway cause if they are sick it might worsen their condition? I will follow your recommendations though.

A splash of pedialyte in the water would be a plus especially if he is taking lengthy soaks in RO water which could tinker with absorption. I do not use water with absent or extremely low tds when rehabing amphibians.
Pedialyte doesn't exist where I live, is it something that can be found in pharmacies? When starting I had read it was better to put demineralized water for them, but if I understood well you suggest to use regular water? Why does it makes a difference? I'm just wondering :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
You'll need to go to a vet that specializes in amphibians/reptiles, or has advanced knowledge of them.

The supplement powder you're using is one I've never heard of, and, from what I can tell, isn't an amphibian focused supplement.

Most of us use Repashy calcium plus as our supplement. Dust the feeders at every feeding.
I'm calling the vet this morning, now that it's quite clear it's more of a sickness than an effect of bullying.

The supplement powder is the one that's most popular in germany and switzerland (where I live) for amphibians and has been recommended by breeders I met at fairs. Can you recommend which Repashy product is interesting? I've been on their website but the frog supplement only contains vit A, the Ben's Jungle one is multivitamin.

UPDATE: The vet keeps asking advices to a zoo, the same zoo to let a couple of Red Lehmanni my breeder gave them die. Also last time they told me we'd run a fecal test if I noticed anything getting worse and now they told me it's useless to treat them or test them I should just give them a hot bath for 30mn and isolate them and in the same time redo my terrarium completely with brand new material, substrate, leaves, plants, wood etc. Which is a no for me, I don't have the money to start a brand new terrarium of that size without being sure the bloat has been caused by parasites. I contacted another vet to see what's their thought on the matter. I feel pretty much on my own, it's not a popular hobby where I live and even vets specialized in amphibians and reptiles have little knowledge of dart frogs I feel...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You didn't post any pictures of the tank. Can you?
Here are pictures of the tank. I didn't take pictures of the smaller tank I used to put the two I suspect to be sick in, do you need it as well? I used to have a water point so they could bath if needed but after I suspected at least one to be sick I removed it so it wouldn't spread through the water. As it's misted automatically during the day I did not put it back yet. Also I'm replacing the leaves litter so right now I mostly have moss until the leaves are ready. I hope it's not a problem to mostly have moss except it's less natural for them?

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Might just be me, but is the ground 100% moss (vs. leaf litter)? I am thinking the darts may have been kept too wet which resulted in parasites, fungus or rot issues. Swelling makes me think possibly related to GI issues. Thoughts?
 

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Hopefully this second vet is more competent. A fecal on the frogs, and/or a necropsy (more expensive, but probably will give more information) would be prudent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Might just be me, but is the ground 100% moss (vs. leaf litter)? I am thinking the darts may have been kept too wet which resulted in parasites, fungus or rot issues. Swelling makes me think possibly related to GI issues. Thoughts?
It is mostly moss even if the moss is quite dry now (it's not even green anymore and doesn't grow) but it's not 100% moss either. I left some leaves and some other parts are simply "nude" if I can put it that way. I had planned on changing the leaves that's why it's a bit empty at the moment but then I got caught up in the frogs current dominancy and illness situation. I'm not working today so will go in the forest find some leaves i could sterilized so I can replace the litter, and also add litter in the small terrarium I quickly prepared for the quarantined frogs. I might not have put enough leaves anyway from the start. I don't know what is too much and what is enough :/ I'll put a decent amount this time to make sure it's enough, but can it rot if there are too many?
I do also suspect GI issues, I thought parasites, I'm not sure what other illness exist in dart frogs. I sent pictures to another vet, I'm still waiting for their input... fingers crossed!
 
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Your breeder was mistaken. Demineralized water is used because it doesnt cause staining on glass or clog automated misters.

That is it. No other health reason.

Sick frogs can have impaired ability to maintain homeostasis. The water should be supportive. Not RO or distilled.

Unlimited access to supportive uptake water is an important part of how to keep them alive when they are sick.

Its troubling as I am thinking another myth is getting started per what 'breeders' say and this one is about water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Your breeder was mistaken. Demineralized water is used because it doesnt cause staining on glass or clog automated misters.

That is it. No other health reason.

Sick frogs can have impaired ability to maintain homeostasis. The water should be supportive. Not RO or distilled.

Unlimited access to supportive uptake water is an important part of how to keep them alive when they are sick.

Its troubling as I am thinking another myth is getting started per what 'breeders' say and this one is about water.
Oh I didn't know that! Would tap water work as well or should I buy bottled water? I'll change the water immediatly, I hope it'll help them!

It wasn't the breeder who told me, I read it online on another forum, it was a random guy I think.
 

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Tap water can be used if you treat it with a dechlorinator. I use Prime brand when I use tap. We have a good source here and the pipes are safe.


I use bottled drinking water too, especiall for small applications, with no illusions about its marketed purity.

I choose a drinking water that has transparency of source and regular quality readings.

I do not know of your waters in your country.

The other choice is to add the elements to the RO with a reconstitution product. Kents.

*Also Joshes Frogs has an electrolyte product I think its called Amphibian Aid thats a concentrate version of Amphibian Ringers.

Careful provision of hydration, energy expenditure and stress reduction is critical.

I learned this, in its beginning, rehabbing wild caught dart frogs and other species that came in sickened, weak.
 

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IDK, maybe I missed it but the frogs should be separated. It sounds like classic dominance issues. YMMV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Tap water can be used if you treat it with a dechlorinator. I use Prime brand when I use tap. We have a good source here and the pipes are safe.


I use bottled drinking water too, especiall for small applications, with no illusions about its marketed purity.

I choose a drinking water that has transparency of source and regular quality readings.

I do not know of your waters in your country.

The other choice is to add the elements to the RO with a reconstitution product. Kents.

*Also Joshes Frogs has an electrolyte product I think its called Amphibian Aid thats a concentrate version of Amphibian Ringers.

Careful provision of hydration, energy expenditure and stress reduction is critical.

I learned this, in its beginning, rehabbing wild caught dart frogs and other species that came in sickened, weak.
Oh it's interesting to know Josh's frogs sells an electrolyte product! I'll definitely look at that! I'll check also the bottled drinking water here, tap water is pretty good here too but indeed it still has some chlore so I'd need to look into that. Thanks a lot for your advices! It's really great!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
IDK, maybe I missed it but the frogs should be separated. It sounds like classic dominance issues. YMMV.
I've put the two smallest ones (the one that started to be super bloated and lethargic and the one that is constantly bathing) in the spare tank I had, it's not the greatest because I did not think I'd use it again but I've just added some leaves, I spray it multiple times a day and there is a few hiding spots in it. It lacks a bit of plants I added some but they need to grow now. The one that baths a lot is more lively than when it was in the bigger tank, but it keeps on bathing for long periods of time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
UPDATE: The two sick frogs haven't been eating for the whole day yesterday, the smallest one spent the evening in the water (I used some bottled drinking water that is also recommended for baby humans), i've put some drops on the back of the bloated one as well. Today I feel the smallest is looking thiner than before but she tried to eat a little this morning. I am going to the pharmacy to try to make a ringer solution (NaCl : 6.6g / NaHCO3 : 0.2g / CaCl2 : 0.15g / KCl : 0.15g / QSP 1L purified water) hoping it will help.

I have been at the second vet I found in urgency, she punctured the bloated frog and extracted a significant amount of liquid. For now, the frog is still very lethargic. I'm scared to take it out of its wet paper sheet by hand because when I touch it it just doesn't move at all and I'm scared it'll stress it too much. Then we ran a fecal test and bingo, they have parasites and we know which type. So I have to continue with the ivermectin dewormer, but not wait 14 days like the first vet said but 7 days and try to give it as a bath this time (if they are too stressed about she said I can keep putting a few drops on their backs), in addition to that she also gave Flagyl for a 30mn bath I'll do tonight, and she also said I need to scrap the two tanks and redo them, and if I can and it doesn't stress the frogs too much, I should do it every week until they are cured (about a month). But I'm scared it'll be too much moving out and in and out and in for the frogs! She also gave me a isotonic solution to replace their normal water and she confirmed the ringer solution quantities I had were correct so I can still do that. Then she also gave me something - but I'm not sure how to administrate it - it's Emeraid IC Carnivore, it's an "intensive care nutrition for debilitated carnivores and insectivores" that will provide extra energetic food specially designed for exotic animals (including amphibians) that are extra skinny due to a disease or that don't eat enough due to a disease. Basically it's a powder you need to mix with water and then give it in the mouth of your frogs or in a little bowl and they just come lick it. But I'm pretty sure they won't even look at it... I don't know how to force it into their mouth tho, they are so tiny and it's not like a cat where you can just force open the mouth...

QUESTION: How many times should I clean and redo the tanks during the cure and is it possible to deinfect some of my plants? I'm heartbroken to see them all go, especially the orchids and the rare bromelia I had... Also it's frikkin' expensive so if I can save a few it would be greatly appreciated haha
And how can I feed the super energetic powder to them? Or have another way to give them extra calories as the two small one won't eat much (if not nothing for the bloated one).
 
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