African Dwarf Frog Diet & Feeding Guide [Interesting Facts]

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african dwarf frog good closeup

This site does not constitute pet medical advice, please consult a licensed veterinarian in your area for pet medical advice.

When you start keeping an African dwarf frog as a pet, you must be worried about its diet and feeding guide. After all, you have to take the responsibility of a balanced diet for your pet. You must provide a balanced, nutritional diet to keep your African dwarf frogs healthy and fit.

So, you need to choose the proper diet according to the age of your African dwarf frogs. Besides, knowing the forbidden foods for African dwarf frogs, feeding procedures, quantity, etc are compulsory for any owners.

So, in this article, I have shed some light on the proper diet, best foods, and detailed feeding guide of African dwarf frogs. If you are keen to know details, you should go through this article.

Are African Dwarf Frogs Hard To Feed?

Since African dwarf frogs are omnivores, there is no hassle in choosing food items for these frogs. The actual struggle is to feed your African dwarf frogs.

African dwarf frogs are hard to feed. Such is because these frogs are extremely slow eaters. Besides, if you keep your African dwarf frogs with the wrong tank mates, your frogs can not outcompete them for food.

But, if you choose proper feeding procedures, it will not be too hard to feed them. Also, choosing suitable tank mates will help let African dwarf frogs eat comfortably.

What Do African Dwarf Frogs Eat In The Wild?

You might have known that African dwarf frogs are omnivores. African dwarf frogs eat all types of living, dead, or dying animals. Since African dwarf frogs are scavengers, they love to eat the organic matter decomposed by other organisms.

In the wild, African Dwarf frogs eat any foods that fit in their mouth. These frogs remain herbivores until they grow hind legs and tails. But, the adult tadpoles and grown-up African dwarf frogs survive upon eating small fish, small crustaceans, snails, larvae, worms, etc.

However, the adult African dwarf frogs become carnivores fully. Also, they do not hesitate to eat anything as they are opportunistic eaters.

What Should I Feed My African Dwarf Frogs?

You might have already known that African dwarf frogs are omnivores. During the tadpole phase, these frogs remain entirely herbivores.

As they grow up, they prefer meat and protein-enriched foods. So, there are varieties of food choices for your African dwarf frogs.

Let’s see first what foods African dwarf frogs can eat depending on their age.

African Dwarf Frogs According To Their Age Foods
Newly Hatched Tadpoles (From 10 days old)Plants, algae, etc.
3-4 weeks old tadpolesPlants, powdered eggs, boiled lettuce, spinach, ground goldfish food, etc.
5-9 weeks old tadpolesInsects alongside plants
Tadpoles over 12 weeksIntroducing meats
Baby And Adult African Dwarf FrogsFully carnivore diet, such as worms, insects, fish, and so on.

It is a blessing that African dwarf frogs are not picky eaters. In a word, African dwarf frogs usually eat anything smaller than their size.

You can feed any type of smaller fish, larvae, worms, snails, insects, etc, that fit in their mouth. Moreover, in captivity, you can feed them commercial frog pellets.

After doing researches for a while, I have prepared a list of African dwarf frog foods. These foods are-

  • Small crustaceans
  • Bug larvae
  • Mosquito larvae
  • Brine shrimps
  • Bloodworms
  • Blackworms 
  • Earthworms
  • Tubifex worms
  • Mealworms
  • Night-crawlers
  • Algae wafers
  • Krill
  • Aphids
  • Various types of flies
  • Small insects
  • Fish flakes
  • Small live fish ( the fish must be smaller than tadpoles)
  • Commercial frog foods
  • Fish food pellets
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You should keep in mind that the regular food of African dwarf frogs should be pellets. So, you can provide the worms, beef hearts, etc as their occasional treats.

How Many Pellets Should I Give My African Dwarf Frogs?

You can feed pellets regularly to your African dwarf frogs. Also, you must ensure that the pellets sink to the bottom of the tank.

In each meal, you should give three to five pellets to each of your African dwarf frogs. If the pellets seem large for your African dwarf frogs, you can grind them up a bit.

When you go buying pellets for your African dwarf frogs, you can look for the products labeled as frog pellets, frog and tadpole pellets, etc.

I have found out some best pellets for your African dwarf frogs. If you want to know the details, you should check out the following chart.

Pellets Characteristics
Omega One Frog And Tadpole Pellets  Sources of marine proteins, low fibered, low in carbohydrates.
Zoo Med Aquatic Frog And Tadpole Pellets  High in protein and other nutrients
Aquatic Frog Bites And Sinking PelletsSoft textured, abundant in minerals and vitamins, enriched in proteins.

Click the name of the pellets to know detailed information about the products.

Can I Feed My African Dwarf Frogs Betta Food?

You can feed your African dwarf frogs betta foods because betta food is safe for them. It means that your frog will not get harmed because of eating up betta food.

But, you must not feed betta food to your African dwarf frogs as staple foods. Since betta foods are prepared for betta fish, these foods will not fulfill the nutritional needs of dwarf frogs.

Hence, you must not feed betta food to your ADF for a prolonged time.

Can African Dwarf Frogs Eat Fish Flakes?

There are no restrictions for feeding fish flakes to African dwarf frogs. As these frogs are omnivores, they enjoy all types of dishes. Hence, your pet African dwarf frogs can also eat fish flakes.

But, fish flakes are not ideal for your frogs. That is because fish flakes dissolve quickly in the water. Hence, the experienced owners recommend not to provide such foods as fish flakes that fast disintegrate in the water.

What Human Foods Can African Dwarf Frogs Eat?

I’ve already mentioned several times that African dwarf frogs are omnivores. So, these frogs can eat human foods too.

Although African dwarf frogs are omnivores, adult frogs prefer a meat-based diet. So, you can feed the human foods, including fish and animal meats to your pet frogs in small pieces.

You can feed raw fish in small pieces as tuna steak, salmon, tilapia, shrimps, etc. Also, you can give your frogs frozen beef hearts, chicken, etc.

Make sure that the foods are small in pieces. As African dwarf frogs do not have teeth, these frogs need to swallow the foods.

Should I Feed African Dwarf Frogs At Night?

As African dwarf frogs are nocturnal, the owners remain confused about the feeding time.

It doesn’t matter whether you feed your African dwarf frogs at night or in the daytime. You can pick any suitable time to feed your pet frogs. Although African dwarf frogs are nocturnal, you can make them familiar with eating in the daytime.

However, being nocturnal animals, African dwarf frogs remain active at night. Also, this is the natural feeding time of ADF in the wild. So, if you have no issue, you can feed your pet dwarf frogs at night. It will stimulate the natural environment.

Otherwise, you can feed them in the morning, evening, or whenever you like. Your pet African dwarf frogs will get accustomed to the feeding schedule. Besides, it will not make any difference with feeding at night time.

How Often Should I Feed My African Dwarf Frogs?

This question is pretty hard to answer. Each owner prefers to follow their techniques to feed pet African dwarf frogs.

However, all animals tend to continue eating until they are full. On the other hand, African dwarf frogs get fat pretty fast because of overeating. So, as an owner, you must keep their food quantity in a limitation.

See also  How To Know If My African Dwarf Frog Is Happy? [10 Signs]

In the case of adult African dwarf frogs, you should feed your frogs at least three days a week. But, because of the rapid growth, African dwarf frogs’ tadpoles and baby dwarf frogs require frequent feeding.

On another note, if you want to know the details of the beginner’s guide, you can check the African dwarf frog egg and baby care.

As they grow older, you have to reduce the feeding time. Besides, you should keep a track of fifteen minutes and let them eat as much as they can at this time. But, some owners suggest giving them only 2-3 minutes to finish eating.

Since these frogs are slow eaters, you should give them a little time. Not to mention, you must cut the foods into small pieces so that these frogs can eat the foods easily.

I have made a chart pointing how often to feed your African dwarf frogs according to their age. You can check out the following chart to get a clear idea.

ADF Of Different Ages Feeding Time
Newly hatched tadpolesOnce per day
6-12 weeks old tadpolesEvery three to four days
Adult African dwarf frogsOnce every two days

In addition, you can make a list of the feeding schedule of your African dwarf frogs.

If it is an adult African dwarf frog, you can feed them on Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays. In this case, you should not feed them on Fridays, Saturdays, Mondays, and Wednesdays. However, you can shuffle up the days as you wish.

Do not keep your African dwarf frogs hungry. No wonder these will create deficiencies of essential nutrients and energies. Also, make sure that you are not overfeeding your pet dwarf frogs.

Can You Overfeed African Dwarf Frogs?

Overfeeding is forbidden for all animals. The same thing goes for African dwarf frogs.

You can not overfeed your pet African dwarf frogs. An adult African dwarf frog remains happy to eat once every two days. Moreover, these frogs become fat pretty quickly. As African dwarf frogs reach maturity, they require less food.

If you continue overfeeding your African dwarf frogs, these frogs will become obese. Not to mention, obesity causes several health complexities which can shorten their lives. Otherwise, healthy African dwarf frogs can survive for a long time.  

Check here to know how long African dwarf frogs live!

However, these African dwarf frogs are opportunistic eaters. If you give them chances, they will continue to eat till death literally. You can ensure that you’re overfeeding by noticing their weight-gain, bloating situation, and so on.

Why Won’t My African Dwarf Frogs Eat?

If your pet stops eating, it may be a clear sign of sickness. But, there can be several reasons which are responsible for this. Before you start worrying, let’s check out the probable reasons why your African dwarf frogs may not be eating.

1. Adjusting In New Tank

Showing no interest in foods is pretty common for newly arrived African dwarf frogs. Generally, it takes some time for any pets to adjust themselves to a new environment.

Also, your African dwarf frogs may feel shy to eat in the new tank. Hence, your new dwarf frogs are not eating. Otherwise, African dwarf frogs are good as pets with no hassles for the new owners.

2. Wrong Tank Mates

Many pet lovers want to keep multiple pets together. If an African dwarf frog owner wants to keep tank mates, the owner must check the temperament.

You must have known that these frogs are friendly, peaceful, and docile. If you are still unsure of their friendly nature, you should click here to know the level of their aggression.

So, if you keep aggressive tank mates with dwarf frogs, your frogs will feel stressed. Due to stress, they might stop eating.

Besides, African dwarf frogs can not outcompete other fish for foods as they are pretty slow eaters. Thus, wrong tank mates might snatch away the foods of your African dwarf frogs.

However, choosing suitable tank mates is essential to ensure the good health of any pet. So, if you want to know some suggestions for this, you can check out the best suitable tank mates for African dwarf frogs.

See also  How Long Do African Dwarf Frogs Live?

3. Their Stomach Is Fulfilled

If your African dwarf frog is not eating, there may not be anything to worry about. The reason may be not being hungry. Because of being scavengers, African dwarf frogs tend to eat often from the bottom. Thus, these frogs may remain full. So, they are not eating.

4. Sickness

A sick frog will show a common sign of sickness with less appetite. If your dwarf frog is not eating, it may be sick.

How Long Can African Dwarf Frogs Go Without Eating?

Sometimes you might need to go out of home for several days. Hence, it’s a common concern for the owners to know how long African dwarf frogs can go without eating.

African dwarf frogs can go without eating for around 2-3 days at a time. Starving 2-3 days will not affect severely on their health. Moreover, in case you want to know the limitation, you can keep these frogs without food for up to 4-5 days.

But, you should not keep them without food intentionally. It will affect a bad impact on health.

What Do I Do If My African Dwarf Frogs Aren’t Eating?

You can take a look at the following suggestions if your African dwarf frogs are not eating. These are-

  • Sometimes, their tank mates finish the frog food before ADF gets a chance to eat. In such cases, you have to remove those tank mates first. Only ghost shrimp is an exception.
  • You can start placing foods on a specific spot daily. It will help them locate the food as these frogs struggle to see a bit. Also, many experienced owners suggest using a terra cotta plate.
  • You can train your African dwarf frogs to denote a specific feeding time. For example- you can tap the tank 2-3 times before feeding them. Your pet frogs will learn quickly that it is their mealtime.
  • However, you should keep offering them food. African dwarf frogs can survive 3-5 days without eating. So, take some time to notice the positive changes in your pet frog.

Do African Dwarf Frogs Need A Feeding Station?

A feeding station is a specific spot where the owners put food for their pets. Then, their pets eat the food from that station.

African dwarf frogs do not need any feeding stations. Such is because these frogs are bottom feeders. They tend to roam around and eat anything from the bottom of the tank. Besides, these frogs are scavengers.

So, you need not worry about putting a feeding station for your African dwarf frogs. Your frogs will manage to catch their prey by themselves. However, you can hand-feed your dwarf frogs.

Feeding Techniques: What Is The Best Way To Feed An African Dwarf Frog?

Feeding your African dwarf frog is the hardest task of keeping as a pet. As these frogs see everything almost blur, they struggle to find the food.

Hence, the owners often remain worried about whether their frogs are eating or not.

Thus, I have collected some feeding techniques from several experienced owners. If you are interested to know the best ways to feed an African dwarf frog, you should check out the following techniques.

  1. Generally, the owners leave the foods in the tank. When the pellets sink, these will remain at the bottom. As African dwarf frogs are opportunistic eaters, they will eat those foods after noticing them.
  2. In cases of frozen worms, cut them into small pieces. Then, you should bury a block of these worms into the substrate or sand. When African dwarf frogs notice the worms, they will eat them.
  3. Also, you can feed your African dwarf frogs directly. For this, you can train your frog. When you give a signal before offering food, your frogs will learn to come to the front of the tank. Then, you can feed them with turkey basters or tongs.
  4. Besides, you can feed your African dwarf frogs with the help of tweezers or a pipette. Due to poor eyesight, sometimes African dwarf frogs can not find the foods at the bottom.

So, bring the pellets with the tweezer into the mouth and let go of the food. However, you should use this method especially in the case of frozen foods.

Foods To Avoid

Although African dwarf frogs can eat almost everything, some foods are harmful to their health. For the safety and good health of your African dwarf frogs, you should avoid certain foods. Such as-

  • Larger foods
  • Fast disintegrating foods
  • Wild bugs
  • Leftover human foods or table scraps
  • Harmful insects like millipedes, stinkbugs, praying mantis, etc.

Final Words

It is a must-to-do responsibility to ensure a balanced and nutritional diet to keep your dwarf frog healthy. Besides, learning feeding techniques will help you feed your pet frog. I hope, this article enlightened you properly about the African dwarf frog diet and feeding guide.

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About Muntaseer Rahman

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