Hello! I wanted to stop in and give you all an update on the drama that's been going on over here, and ask for advice. . .
On the 7th of March, I fed my fish and frog as usual at around 7 in the morning. Watched them for a while, then got involved in the morning rush with my family, and didn't get back to check on my friends until around 12:30pm. When I did, I was very alarmed to see that the oval 'strainer' part at the bottom of the filter (which had been covered in nylon mesh - didn't do any good here!) had completely fallen off and into the tank.
Speckles the frog was nowhere to be seen.
I found him INSIDE of the filter box. He was out of the flow of the water, clinging desperately to the inside wall, and was not looking very happy. I dumped him immediately back into the tank. I don't know how long he was there, could have been moments, could have been hours.
At first, I thought his leg might be broken, but after further observation, I now think his limbs are sound. I don't know if he has suffered any internal damage, but he was definitely stressed beyond belief. He had gone VERY pale, almost white, and his skin was obviously in bad shape, and looked like damaged patches kind of flaking away from his body. He was very weak, and having trouble swimming. He was still managing to get up to the top of the tank (18" tall) for air, but he was unable to swim in a direct line. Looked like he was kind of floating and unable to control his movements. He was flipping from side to side on his way to the top, and even on the opposite side of the 30" long tank, I could see that he was being drawn toward the filter (which had been fixed). The only obvious WOUND that I could see was that the webbing on one of his back flippers has been torn.
I moved him, along with a boatload of Hornwort plants into my 10 gallon 'hospital tank,' which is in a dark and quiet room of the house (inhabited by 4 female guppies to keep it cycled). I dosed the tank with Stress Coat, turned the hood lights off, and observed him quietly while scouring the internet (and the chat room here) for help. He was still very pale, and not swimming well, and was having trouble with the very low filter on the 10 gallon tank - even after I planted a jungle of hornwort around it to baffle the flow a bit, he would get sucked in and stuck to the filter
from halfway across the tank. I turned the filter entirely off for the rest of the afternoon, and added a bubbler, instead. I attempted to feed him periodically, but he refused to eat. I gently placed him on the top of a floating bunch of hornwort, so that he was close to the water line and didn't have to swim up for air. He rested in that spot for several hours.
By around 8:30 that evening he was looking MUCH better. He was back down at the bottom of the tank, swimming much more strongly, and was somewhat active again - though still refusing food, and still very weak. His skin was still flaky looking, though his color had almost entirely returned. I ran to the petstore and got a divider screen to put in the tank to keep him far away from the filter overnight, just in case he continued to have issues with it, and switched it back on. At around midnight, I offered him a couple of bloodworm bits, but he refused them. I left them in the tank overnight, and they were gone in the morning. The guppies were on the other side of the tank, so they didn't eat them :)
By day 2 he was looking even better, and I finally got him to eat at around noon. Just a couple of bites, but it made me feel better! His color was 100% back to normal, though his skin was still flaky, and there were no signs of redness or inflammation around the broken webbing or anywhere else on his body. I kept the lights off for the day, just to give him peace.
On day 3, he was eating and swimming perfectly normally. I turned on one of the two lights in the tank (on the other side of his divider, so his side was still dark) and at midnight I got to see him shed his damaged skin. The next morning I put the lights back on as normal and removed the divider.
Now, a week later, he is perfectly back to his old self! I still have him in the 10 gallon tank, but he's having no trouble with the filter or swimming and is eating and swimming and zenning out like he always has. The only visible evidence of his traumatic ordeal is that his flipper is still torn, and he has a short white stripe on his back. I'm not sure what this is, maybe scarring or damage that extended beneath the skin he shed initially. I'll be watching to see if it fades with the next shed.
I'm posting this here to get your take on it, and also in the hopes that it might help anyone who is in a similar situation, frantically searching the internet for help on what to do. If you can add any further advice on what I SHOULD have done differently, please do, in the hopes that it can help someone else, someday - and me should something like this ever happen again (I hope not!)!!
Anyway, just wanted to check in and get this out there!!! I hope all is well with you froggy ladies *luffs*