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FAQs About African Dwarf Frogs, Foods/Feeding/Nutrition

Related Articles: African Dwarf Frogs, Amphibians, Turtles

Related FAQs:> Dwarf African Frogs 1, Dwarf African Frogs 2, ADF Identification, ADF Behavior, ADF Compatibility, ADF Selection, ADF Systems, ADF Disease, ADF Reproduction, & FAQs on: Amphibians 1, Amphibians 2, Frogs Other Than African and Clawed, African Clawed Frogs, TurtlesAmphibian Identification, Amphibian Behavior, Amphibian Compatibility, Amphibian Selection, Amphibian Systems, Amphibian Feeding, Amphibian Disease, Amphibian Reproduction,

Small, meaty, discrete foods... not just dried... they won't sustain these animals.

African dwarf frog help!       9/6/19
Hello, i got 3 adf about 2 weeks ago. They finally started eating!!!
They seemed to like the frozen bloodworms!
<They do. But they will need more variety, so be sure to add other items:
tiny pieces of white fish fillet or prawns, frozen krill, live or frozen daphnia, mosquito larvae, etc.>
However, today I realized that my youngest frog lost 4 of his toes on one of his back feet. Its a little red where they fell off. Will it get infected? Will it kill him?
<Very hard to say, but it is a bad thing. Frogs are prone to something called "Red Leg" if their environment is not ideal. It's essentially the same thing as Finrot, and can be treated with much the same antibiotics. But like Finrot, it's evidence of physical damage (e.g., sharp sand or gravel; rough handling; nipping by fish) or else, and perhaps more commonly, non-zero ammonia and nitrite levels. Let me direct you to some reading:
While Xenopus are the larger African Clawed Frogs, their healthcare is identical to the dwarf Hymenochirus species you're keeping.>
And if not, is there anything I can do to help him be less uncomfortable?
<See above.>
Thanks for you help!
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Frozen Food Cubes for African Dwarf Frogs    2/5/14
Hello!  I was wondering if you might be able to help me with a question about feeding my African Dwarf Frogs.
 I have quite a few (more than 10) of these guys, and I'm in the process of moving them from a number of small aquariums into one larger 20-gallon setup.  They're fed a variety of Hikari frozen foods--bloodworms, Tubifex worms, brine shrimp and Mysis shrimp primarily.  Up till now, I've always hand-fed all of the frogs--I take a frozen food cube, dissolve it in a small dish of aquarium water, then use tongs to feed each frog some thawed food. 
<Mmm, I'd add rinsing the foods in a fine (like a baby brine shrimp) net ahead of offering... and use a thin "baster" to deliver. The former to rinse away most of the accompanying pollution/liquid>
Extra food of course falls to the bottom of the tank, which the frogs eventually hunt down and gobble up.  Now that I'm going to have lots of frogs in one large tank, it's going to be a lot more difficult to keep track of who's eaten and who hasn't.
<I'd add some live black worms to the food mix... maybe once a week.
Irresistible and nutritious>
 Would it be safe to drop an entire food cube into the aquarium while it's still frozen, and let it just dissolve on its own at the bottom?
<No; I wouldn't do this... defrost, rinse, drain, then add>
 I've tried to research this topic, and I've found some comments saying that frozen food could cause intestinal blockages in the frogs, but since this particular food dissolves pretty quickly, I wasn't sure if this would be a risk or not.  I've had some of these little guys for more than three years, so I'm quite attached and don't want anything bad to happen to them.
 If there's any risk, I'll just go on pre-dissolving the cubes and using tongs to place the thawed food in the tank.  I have pretty good flow in the new tank, so the current would disperse the food around pretty quickly, and the frogs could find it by scavenging.
Thanks much for any help or advice you can offer!
<The sum total of our input re foods/feeding/nutrition of Hymenochirus can be read here:
Bob Fenner>

Re: African Dwarf Frogs Suddenly Not Eating     2/24/13
My apologies...I just realized I misstated the name of one medication I have.  They're all made by Mardel.  The names of the medications are Maroxy, Maracyn, and Maracyn Two. 
Thanks. African Dwarf Frogs Suddenly Not Eating

 Hello!  Thank you so much for your incredibly helpful site.  I'm having some troubles with my African Dwarf Frogs, and I'm hoping you can help.  I have had several small tanks with frogs in them for more than a year. 
Until recently, everyone had been happy and healthy.  Then a few weeks ago, one of my frogs stopped eating and developed a whitish, cottony patch.  I purchased some Maracyn and added it to the tank, but he died the next day. 
And now yesterday, in a totally different tank, all three of my adult frogs wouldn't eat, and they also wouldn't eat again today.  My two small frogs in the same tank are eating, but it is very unusual for the big guys to not eat.  I am very worried about them, especially after losing my other froggie a few weeks ago.  I don't see any outward signs of trouble (no white cottony patches, red legs, bloating, or anything), just the lack of interest in food.  I change about 25% of the water weekly (and just did this earlier today), and also test it frequently.  Ammonia and nitrite are zero, nitrate is low (around 5), PH is over 8, water temp is about 73.5 F. 
I have three different medications on hand--Mardel, Maracyn, and Maracyn Two.  Do you recommend trying any or all of these?
<Not really... these are safe to use on Amphibians in general (Many years back I answered Mardel's 1-800 calls), but w/o knowing the actual cause here... Instead I would clean out this system and re-set it up, hoping to change whatever the dynamic is in place here... As well as review your nutrition for these Hymenochirus. Have you read Neale's work here:
and the linked files above?>
I'm concerned that the other frog died the next day after I added Maracyn--do you think that could've harmed him? 
<Doubtful; no>
Is it a bad idea to use two or three of these medications all at the same time?
<Mardel's products (to their credit) are all miscible>
 Thanks so much for any help or advice you can provide.
<Do report back your further experiences and observations. Bob Fenner>

African Dwarf Frog Feeding      10/2/12
Hello. I have a question concerning African dwarf frog feeding.
If I soak freeze-dried foods in tank water before feeding it to the frogs, will this prevent them from getting constipated by feeding them freeze-dried foods?
Thank you.
<Yes, soaking foods helps a bit, but not entirely. So use freeze-dried foods sparingly, and offer fresh or defrosted frozen foods on a regular basis. Needn't be bloodworms or brine shrimps -- tiny bits of fresh shrimp, cockle, mussel and white fish fillet are good too. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: African Dwarf Frog Feeding    10/3/12

Thank you so much for your reply. I was most concerned about this. I want very much to feed these wonderful frogs right. Let me know if there is a list of other proper foods to feed African dwarf frogs you could direct me to.
Thank you so much.
<Glad to help. If you need more, do read:
Cheers, Neale.>

Hello; I am having real trouble force-feeding my African Dwarf Frog     8/5/12
Hello; saw on your excellent site that you said "sometimes a tool" is required to open a frog's mouth. Can you tell me which kind of tool? I am really worried, however, about injuring his mouth. I need to force-feed him 3x day.
<According to the vet? Seems a bit harsh.>
Vet diagnosed with Asepticemis. (spelling may not be correct); it's a bacterial infection.
<Septicaemia; blood poisoning?>
Was given antibiotic bath for the frog to bathe in 2x day (mix it up w/solution and spring h20); and powdered food to be mixed up and fed to frog 3x day.
<I see.>
Vet said the prognosis is grim. I can't get his mouth open and don't want to injure it.
<Yes; very difficult to do. I wouldn't try force feeding any more than absolutely necessary, maybe once per day, and I'd use something nutritious and easy to work with, like a tiny piece of white fish fillet or prawn. I'd use a pin to carefully hold and propel the food towards the mouth but with the warning that even a tiny pin-prick could be fatal.>
If I do injure it, does it grow back?
<No; the frog will starve to death.>
It would be much easier if I could get him to open mouth on his own; he's now been treated w/antibios for 4 days. He's not interested in his pellet food or bloodworms. Is there another food which I could tempt him with?
<Not really. With animals this small, force feeding is almost never viable.
It's really up to the frog to eat. On the plus side, if he gets better, his appetite will return, and he can go many days, even weeks without food.>
It's now been 7 days since his last real meal.
-Can he smell food?
-Can I re-use the antibiotic bath; and, if so, should I refrigerate or cover?
<Check with your vet; some medication may be reusable, but most aren't. Assume not until you know better.>
Thank you! Karen
<Welcome, Neale.>

Best Option? ADF... comp., fdg., sys.     11/12/11
I, like many others, purchased an ADF because they were cute; without looking into the details of cohabitation and tank size. (I did check for water temp and filtration). I put my adorable ADF into a 25 gallon tank (chastising myself now after reading your info) This is where my question comes into play that I haven't been able to find on your website. Unfortunately I did put him in that tank with a couple of tiger barbs,
<These are nippy and need to be kept in groups of at least 6 specimens>
a molly ( I know.)
<Do need particular environmental conditions; hard, alkaline water, ideally slightly brackish; not ideal tankmates for the barbs or frog.>
After 3 days I thought he had been eaten after I read that tiger barbs were aggressive.
<When kept incorrectly, yes.>
I then bought some ghost fish that eat freeze dried blood worms.
<What are "Ghost Fish"? Do you mean Black Ghost Knifefish or Ghost Catfish? Neither are "scavengers" and the Black Ghost Catfish especially is difficult to feed, needs excellent water quality, and will need a MUCH bigger aquarium than yours. For what it's worth, freeze-dried bloodworms are okay as a treat once a week, but they're of NO VALUE at all as a staple food, so if you're feeding mostly flake, then choose fish that eat flake. Black Ghosts certainly won't live on flake alone, and need a variety of live, fresh, or wet-frozen foods. Ghost Catfish are marginally less picky, and do well on live foods like daphnia and brine shrimp, together with wet-frozen invertebrates of various types. They may eat flake, but not reliably so.>
All of this happened two months ago. 6 days ago, my ADF showed up bouncing along the bottom of the tank. I am super excited that he is alive and healthy and all of the fish I have acquired since his assumed demise (ghost and angel fish) have not attacked him. However, in the interim, I loved the ADF so I bought a few more and set them up in a 10 gallon tank with 6 fantailed guppies.
<Sounds a much more sensible set-up. Frogs best kept alone or with shrimps, but very small fish are fine.>
My question is, he is alive and healthy so far; but obviously he can't live on freeze dried blood worms.
<Indeed not. A mixed diet is best. Freeze-dried foods tend to cause constipation if used exclusively, so as I say, use once or twice a week. Think what would happen to you if you just ate dried meat like jerky all the time! Alternate with live, fresh or wet-frozen foods; this can be as easily done as finely chopping white cod or tilapia fillet and, occasionally, because they contain thiaminase, finely chopped shrimp. Wet-frozen foods can also be bought from pet stores, and stored safely in your freezer ("gamma" irradiated foods are even safer than foods sold for human consumption!). There are some pellet foods made specifically for frogs, and your pet store may sell them. Used once or twice a week, these are excellent supplements to a mixed diet.>
I have attempted to catch him and put him in the more appropriate tank but this is proving extremely difficult since he only makes an occasional appearance. (Remember, I didn't even know he was alive for two months). So. Do I leave him be and try to alternate his diet to a healthier state than constipation food, do I add a couple more ADF's and put some floating plants at the top and try to create a more conducive environment all around,(it is a 15" swim from the rocks to the top) or do I diligently keep at it until I catch him and transfer him to the 10 gallon tank?
<Would move this lone frog to the 10 gallon tank alongside your new frogs.>
Very worried and want my little froggies to have happy lives. Am losing sleep, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you,
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: Best Option?    11/12/11

Thank you so much, your suggestions as far as what to do with my lone froggie are in alignment with what I felt would be best.
<Glad to help.>
(The ghost fish by the way, are the knife fish, black with white rings, and I will need to get a bigger tank once they start growing)
<Oh yes! Potentially, these beasts can get to around 50 cm/20 inches, though few live that long in captivity. They do grow slowly, but part of that is surely that many specimens are half-starved in community aquaria. Lovely fish, but difficult to keep properly. In the wild they inhabit deep, fast-moving streams and rivers often near waterfalls. They like water current, oxygen, shade, and insect larvae to eat!>
Thank you also for the food information. I should have done more research initially, but with your additional knowledge I'm sure I can create a happy, healthy environment. Thank you also for such a prompt reply. Best wishes
<Thanks for the kind words! Cheers, Neale.>

African dwarf frogs, fdg.    8/7/11
Hi Wet Web Crew,
I hope you all are well! Just a quick one about the above heading. Are Mysis Shrimp or Baby Brine Shrimp (Hikari for both) acceptable staple foods for ADF's? Thanks.
<Perhaps, but the mysis shrimps might be a bit and prickly for them. Better choices are wet-frozen bloodworms and mosquito larvae, as well as good quality frog pellets. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: African dwarf frogs
Thanks Neale. I actually have an allergy to bloodworms however. Also there is a Betta in with them so pellets are hard because the Betta is a food hog so I spot feed the frogs. Any advice? Thanks!
<Easy peasey. These frogs are nocturnal. Add some pellets when the tank and room lights are out. The Betta won't see them; the frogs will. Problem solved. Cheers, Neale.>

ADF - Water and food questions, reading  02/02/11
Hello. I have a couple of African Dwarf Frogs, that I have had for almost 2 years. Lately I have had some concerns about them. I hope my email isn't too long.
To describe their tank, they are in a 1.5 gallon tank, without a heater or filter.
<Ahh, do need this. Please read here:
I keep them under a desk lamp about 12 hours a day which keeps their water temperature around 76 - 78.
<When the lamp is off? The temp. likely drops too much for these tropical animals>
Also, their tank is plastic and I was told I could not use a heater.
<Not so... please learn to/use the search tool, indices on WWM ahead of writing us>
I didn't use the filter that came with their tank because I read frogs don't like the vibration of the water.
<Also incorrect. Better to have improved water quality, not be poisoned by metabolic wastes>
I am not sure if anything I was told or read is true, so correct me if you have any suggestions about their tank. Also, they have a bridge they can climb on, or hide under.
<Don't leave the water...>
About the frogs - One frog (Jack) is very overweight and the other, (Peewee) is on the thinner side. Neither of them are aggressive. I have fed them small dark pellets (that they came with), freeze dried brine shrimp, frozen bloodworms and now, a few times Betta pellets. Jack begs for food all the time, and eats whatever I give him. Peewee comes out from under his bridge a couple of times a day, but unless I put food up to his mouth, I am afraid he won't eat.
<These may be just two differing sexes... are morphologically diff.>
I have moistened the pellets and pushed them through a small medical pet syringe. I have picked up frozen blood worms with tweezers and waived them in from of Peewee. Eventually he eats a bit. I am going away for a week and again for a month and cannot take them with me, so I am leaving them with my mother and I know she won't feed them like I do.
<No worries. >
Which food can she drop in the tank, without getting the water cloudy?
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/dwfaffdg.htm
It seems lately their water gets cloudy within 2 days of changing, and uneaten food will only turn the water quicker.
<Again... the filter...>
Which is another concern. I only use bottled spring water in their tank,
<Not a good idea... keep reading the linked files above...>
after I washing the tank, including the gravel and bridge. I have noticed their bridge has started to get green with algae. I did not have that problem last year.
Lastly, every once in a while I see this greenish slime at the bottom of the tank. It comes up in one piece when I pick it up. Do you know what that is?
I thought it might be shedded skin, but it happens about once a week, if not more.
Thank you for reading this. and thank you in advance for any suggestions you can offer. I don't want to come back home to find a dead frog. Like I mentioned, I am concerned about which food can be thrown into the tank without getting the water cloudy after a day. And what is happening with their water getting cloudy so fast!?
<A lack of filtration, circulation...>
Thank you for having a wonderful web site!
Lisa O.
<Please use it. Bob Fenner>

ADF odd symptoms   9/25/10
Greetings. I am inquiring about a <1 year old African Dwarf Frog (Hymenochirus boettgeri).
Tank size-10 gal.
Tank mates-3 zebra danios + 2 x ray tetras* our new ADF just died last week* no symptoms
total hardness-75
total alkalinity-110-120
Food-3-4 Omega One goldfish pellets every 2-3 days. 2-3 Freeze dried Bloodworms 1X per week.
She has developed 2 bumps on the base of her body along with a protuberance (which used to be much smaller) as you can see in the pictures. Her behavior has changed drastically with her spending most of her time floating on the top of the water rather than exploring the bottom of the tank, playing, swimming, etc. She is eating normally. What are the bumps on her body?
What is the protuberance below the bumps?
Is the change in behavior indicative of a problem?
Thank you for your feedback,
<Hello Gwynne. I'm pretty sure the problem here is lack of food, either simple starvation or the lack of some essential nutrient or vitamin. In other words, you aren't feeding these frogs enough, and in not enough
variety, for them to stay healthy. The bumps are simply bones poking out, and this frog is really very thin. Do read here:
On the whole frogs make very bad companions for fish, and I normally recommend they are kept among their own kind or with other very slow feeders like snails and shrimps. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: ADF odd symptoms   9/26/10
Upon reading your reply, I jumped out of bed and fed our poor little frog.
At each feeding she gets her food from a baster. She sees it coming into the tank and goes right for it and typically eats vigorously. I will read further about changing her diet and feeding frequency so she can be the happy healthy frog she used to be. Thank you so much for your advice.
<Glad to help. Hope the frog puts on some weight soon. Good luck! Neale.>

ADF Eating 7/9/09
I have a really simple question... Are African Dwarf Frogs "okay" if they're kind of skinny?
<Not as such, no.>
Seems like all the ADFs I've seen have been...fat? (And I mean that with all the love in the world.)
<Healthy frogs will be gently rounded rather than obese.>
I've got a couple ADFs, and only had them for a couple weeks, and am worried about if they're eating or not. I've got sinking amphibian pellets right now, and bloodworms on the way, but I've never seen them eat the pellets.
<No loss; will do much better on live/wet-frozen foods anyway, and without the risk of constipation that goes along with freeze-dried foods.>
Must be eating something, though, cause they're still alive... Are they "okay" if they're skinny-ish, and have YOU ever seen them eat pellets?
<I don't recommend the use of pellets and certainly don't use them. At most, they should be 10-20%, tops, of all the food they consume. Provided they are offered a varied diet of live/wet-frozen foods, and aren't being forced to compete with fish (best not kept with fish!) than feeding shouldn't be a problem. Aim for to keep them sufficient well fed their bellies are gently convex but not swollen. If their bellies are "hollow" (i.e., concave) they're starving, and you ain't keepin' 'em right. Do see here for the basics:
Watch for things like the size of their habitat, the cleanliness and temperature of the water, and the choice of tankmates (ideally, just one another).>
<Cheers, Neale.>

African Dwarf Frog 10/27/08 Hi, I recently bought a African Dwarf Frog, and I feed him live worms (I am assuming they're blood worms), but the worms fall through the glass pebbles I have to the very bottom. I see the frog digging through the pebbles, but I can't tell if he can actually eat the worms or get to them? <If they're too far down, he won't get them. Obviously he can't push pebbles aside. African Dwarf Frogs are small animals and should be kept in tanks with smooth silica sand or equivalent. Some inexperienced aquarists use things like painted gravel and coloured glass, and these are invariably too large and coarse for the frogs. Food collects under the gravel particles, rots, and reduces water quality. This makes the frogs much more prone to diseases like Red Leg. Sand is easier for the frogs to dig through, but in any case the bloodworms will sit on top of the sand where your frogs can feed at their leisure. For the sake of your frogs, go to the garden centre, buy a small bag of smooth silica (silver) sand (not sharp silica sand!) and replace the unsuitable glass pebbles you have. Always remember: put the needs of the animals before your own aesthetic tastes.> Do you think he can push his way through the glass pebbles and get the worms? <No, he can't do this. The worms will rot and make the water dangerous to the frog.> Thanks, Emily <Cheers, Neale.>

ADF Hunger Strike  10/1/08
Hello again! Thank you so much for helping with my last question about Kuhli loach pigment loss (you were right about the stress, and water changes seemed to help too), so now I've got a question about a frog, though in my mother's tank instead of my own.
It's a 45 gallon tank with four frogs, one large lavender Gourami, several guppies, one tetra and one pepper Cory catfish. The pH is around 7.2, temp 72 degrees. She bought three of the frogs from a pet shop a few months ago, and two of them have gotten huge, but one is still tiny. He still has that "we never get fed" look that he had in the petstore. (she bought them from Petco, and I'm amazed the three of them are still alive.) I tried to tempt it today with a frozen food cube (I say "food cube" 'cause it had brine shrimp and bloodworms in it as well), but it did nothing. I mean I held it right in front of his nose until it was drifting on him, but no go. I'm sure he must have been eating at some point, otherwise he would be dead by now. Is there anything we can do?
<Mmm, perhaps a food/feeding stimulant added to/soaked with the foods before being offered... look for one with a blend of Vitamins and HUFAs...>
I've considered force-feeding him,
<Mmm, no. I would NOT>
but he's so small I don't know how we can. (He's about a half-inch long) The other frogs and fish in the tank get fed fish flakes, sinking pellets and the occasional shrimp cube (less often now that most of them are large). Anything you can suggest would be spectacular, as she loves her frogs like I love my loaches.
Also (a bit off topic, I'm sorry, I wasn't sure if I should have sent in a different email); would dwarf gouramis go after Kuhli loaches?
<Mmm, not usually, no>
I recently lost one of my Kuhlis. The same one that had the pigment thing, but I don't think that was the cause. I noticed his tail was torn and not as full a few days before he died, and when he was dead it was gone entirely. I thought it was some kind of fungus infection and I blued the tank (one of my few defenses in the crisis, I wonder if the raised ammonia ended up killing him),
<This could, yes>
but he died earlier today. The only other thing I could think of was that maybe one of the other fish had gone after him, as none of his other fins were damaged, and the tail fin would be the easiest to attack. They're in a 35 gallon tank now, along with assorted cories, three pygmy cories, one beta (I doubt it's him though; he's been in there since I added fish in the tank and the loaches were fine) and the two gouramis. I don't think the cories would have gone after him either, although he was sitting still as though dead whenever I looked at him for the last few days, and I wonder if the cories could have nibbled on his tail, though I think he would have moved after a bit.
There is a heater in the tank, too; it's around 78 degrees, and the pH is 7.8, which I'm hoping is from the recent blue-ing. Again, any solutions would be welcomed. Thank you so much for your help!
<Do monitor water quality. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm
and the linked files above.
Bob Fenner>

Feeding issues with my ACF 9/23/08
I'm having troubles feeding my frog. He's very on and off about things. Like he'll go a couple months of eating nonstop and then we'll hit a low point where he doesn't want to eat anything and he begins to lose weight and looks like he's got "pinched" sides. Why is this?
<Mmm, could be a few "things"... most likely metabolite build-up ("water quality) issues>
I've made sure that the water quality of my aquarium is the same all the time, and I do regular water changes. What are some suggestions on how to increase his appetite,
<Yes, good>
and what are some foods that ACF's absolutely love. That's one of my hardest things to figure out, because I hear that certain foods ACF's can't pass easily.
<Have not read this>
I've been feeding my frog Reptomin sticks and occasionally shrimp pellets. Can either of these foods go bad eventually.
<Mmm, not practically... if the containers are kept with lids on, should last for at least a year>
I've had both of these foods for a couple of months now. Oh and I forgot to mention that he'll put food in his mouth but just spit it back out. why is he doing that?
<Unpalatability I'd think>
Thank you for your time, Samantha
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/xenopusfdg.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

My ADF has stopped eating completely. 2/29/08 I've had my little guy only for a couple of months now, and yes, I am a first time frog pet owner. Recently my frog has stopped eating completely. I try to get him to eat but every time it gets food in his mouth he just spits it right back out. He did this before when I ran out of food and I switched to using fish flakes. (which he absolutely hated but would still stomach eating a couple of them). That was about a month ago and I went out and bought more freeze dried bloodworms. So I've been feeding him about three times a day. In the beginning it used to just spot the food floating on top and swim up like a shark to eat it, but now for the past month or so it will only eat off of my finger. I'm not sure what's happening here. He's shedding a lot too. He's shed twice already and I got him in December of 2007. Is that normal? I don't know what to do to get him to eat. I've recently went out and bought Reptomin food sticks but he seems to take no interest in it. Is my frog sick or do they sometimes go through periods like this where they don't want to eat? Thank you. <Greetings. The best foods for Hymenochirus frogs are wet frozen (not freeze dried) bloodworms or live bloodworms. By all means supplement these with pellets or flake, but they shouldn't be used as a staple. When they stop feeding, your first instinct has to be to check water quality. All frogs are sensitive to water pollution. Given how much food you have given in the past, and the persistent skin shedding, I'd suspect water quality issues, so go do a nitrite test right now. Then get back to us. Frogs need feeding once daily when settling in, and once they are settled then skip a meal once or twice a week. At any one meal the frog should get just enough for its belly to become very slightly convex, but that's all. Lots of people try to keep these frogs in unheated tanks, tanks without filters, or tanks with other fish. They end up with dead frogs! Keep your frog in its own tank with a heater, a filter, provide regular water changes (using dechlorinator) and take care not to overfeed. Cheers, Neale.> Re: My ADF has stopped eating completely....     3/1/08 Thank you for responding so quickly, but im afraid there are still no signs of improvement. His sides are sinking in and he still has no appetite. I've looked online to see signs of diseases or other things but when I've checked with my frog none seems to be identified. I will keep trying. I recently bought him tetra Reptomin sticks but still no interest. :( <As I said in the last e-mail, pellets and flake are no good. Stop using them! The frog will starve do death before eating them! Go buy some (wet) frozen bloodworms or live bloodworms, and use those, sparingly at first. Very small earthworms might be used too, if you can collect them from an area that isn't sprayed with pesticides (e.g., wilderness or an organic garden). Do also check water quality -- you haven't told me what the NITRITE concentration is, and almost without fail sick frogs are sick because of poor water quality. Measure the nitrite concentration and get back to me. These are the two things you have to do... sending e-mails and looking on web sites won't help! So get going! Cheers, Neale.>

Two ADF's In The Same Tank - 04/04/2007 Hey Guys, My boyfriend has 2 African dwarf frogs that coexist with a black skirt fish. He has had them for maybe 3 months now? We feed them sinking shrimp pellets (the fish gets tropical flakes), one or two pellets at most every day or every other day. One of the frogs is big and fat, not bloated, and the other is tiny and skinny! The smaller one is probably half the size of the other.  We were thinking that the smaller one might not like the food, but haven't tried anything else yet, or that perhaps there is some competition going on, where the bigger one isn't letting the smaller one eat? We want to make sure they frogs are both healthy, but their opposite extremes are worrisome. Thanks for any insight you can offer!-Kamielle PS: I know you post faq on the website, and I assume you email responses too, but I just want to double check that I can get a response in email because I don't check your site all the time. <Not all frogs adapt to eating pellets. Try offering some small Tubifex/blackworms from the local fish store. Very small washed earthworms could be offered at the end of a pair of tweezers too. If  a few get lost in the sand they will stay alive and the frogs will get to them later.-Chuck>

African dwarf frogs 8/24/05 Hi, have a question.     I have searched your site & do not see a similar problem.      I have 2 ADF in a 2.5 gallon tank, with a filter running.      We first bought pellet food, then found out through research online they should be fed frozen bloodworms. <... and other meaty live, non-live foods>     Purchased those 3 days ago now, feeding them pea-sized amount every other day (is this correct???) <Best to look at their "tummies"...>      My main question is an odor. <Interesting>    It's gotten milder/better since switching from pellets, but it still is unpleasant.     Had water checked at the petstore, they said water levels are fine.      Should we do a partial water change to see if there's disintegrated pellet food causing odor?   <Yes... should do these change-outs weekly...>     Any other suggestions?      My pet peeve is pet stores selling these frogs with zero info on feeding, correct water levels, cleaning of tanks, etc.      Thanks for the help, Lisa <Thank goodness for books, magazines, the Net... Bob Fenner>

African Dwarf Frog Not Eating  03/09/07 Hi there.  I have read so much info on your sight and am very impressed with you guys and so unimpressed with my pet store! < This is an unfortunate state of the hobby and why we volunteer out time to help save organisms. Pet stores are there to make money and can't be experts at everything. Usually they have their strengths and weak points. Some are better than others.> Unfortunately, as beginner aquarists, we had no idea about cycling our tank and the store was more than happy to sell us all the supplies (should have made it obvious that we were setting up) along with 7 neons, 4 cloud whites and 2 ADFs. As you'd expect (unless you're clueless like us), all fish died of toxicity within about 4 hours of placing them in the tank.  The store manager told me that even though my water levels must be poor, the frogs will be fine because they are not as sensitive.  Well the first one died yesterday (4 days after purchase) and I am very concerned about the other. These all were for my young daughter and she's devastated. I have promised to do anything I can to save her last "pet".  The tank is now cycling, I am small water changes with R.O. water.  I'm adding de-chlorination drops for the tap water that is still in the tank, and treating the tank daily with Seachem's "prime".  The last frog will not eat a thing - hasn't at all since purchased 5 days ago. They sold us their homemade pellets (dried shrimp) that sink and eventually puff up.  I have even tried holding it in front of the frog with tweezers but he continually buries his head in the rocks/marbles at the bottom of the tank.  I am concerned that he is dying - extremely inactive and apart from the odd climb up the corner of the tank, he stays face down, feet up in the marbles (very scary looking to my daughter). After some reading on your site, I see that the pellets probably aren't appealing.  I am scared about the blood worms after reading of how they can multiply and become a problem.  I am not willing to go to the store every few days to get anything fresh and I don't want to get anything smelling or so disgusting that my 9 year old daughter won't take responsibility for the feedings.  Please help! kudos to you and your crew for trying to make up for the yahoos that call themselves "knowledgeable" pet store owners. Julie < Frogs are carnivorous ambush predators. They wait until something swims buy that is good to eat. Unfortunately this means you need some live food to get him starting to eat. I would recommend a small washed earthworm to start. Go out into the garden and flip a few rocks or logs and find a few small earthworms. You could always go to  bait shop to and see if they have small worms for sale. Large ones could be cut up into smaller pieces. Wash them to remove the soil but don't drown them. Take the tweezers and hold one end of the worm in front of the frog in a manner so he is not scared away. You might even try just dropping the worm down in front of him. As the worm struggles under water the movement should get the attention of the frog. If he is close then he will swim up to it at bit at it. A good sized worm will fill him up for awhile. Other food items to try would be meal worms, wax worm or Tubifex/black worms. Sometimes these frogs can be somewhat trained to eat pellets. I think that they stumble onto them while fish are moving them around. Once you get fish in the tank then they will be going after the worm and it may never make it down to the frog. This is where the black worms come in. Feeding them a couple times a week will make sure that some worms get down to the frogs. They are not a problem unless they die and pollute the tank. I am aware that you were looking for some nice /child friendly food for your frog, but I don't think there is one.-Chuck>

African Frog Death  3/6/07 Hi there, our little frog was found lying on the bottom of the tank when we got home from a 2 day holiday. I found out my son had not give him his usual bloodworms but rather placed an algae tab as well as a few frog pellets in the 20 gallon tank (which the frog shares with an Albino Cory and 2 Killi fish) the day we left. The last time the frog had bloodworms was 4 days ago when we dropped them right in front of him. There is no proof that he ate any of the pellets or algae - as he usually can't find them. Is it possible he starved to death? < Frogs do best with live prey items like washed worms and insects. Frogs are carnivorous and do not eat algae. A long diet of algae pellets would probably starve him to death.> We have had him for 2 months. The fish all seem fine so I'm not sure it's a water quality issue - the water was checked a couple of weeks ago and everything was normal. The bloodworms were still semi-frozen and I don't know if that might be a problem. Thanks for any help as we are so sad to lose our little guy and don't want to make any mistakes if we get another one.  His colouring looked fine except for the white film around him (fungal growth). < Next time try washed earthworms, brine shrimp, or mealworms.-Chuck> <<...? Too big for an African Dwarf Frog... are you thinking this is Xenopus? RMF>>

Dwarf African Frogs Don't Eat  - 02/22/07 I'm worried about my two African Dwarf Frogs and appreciate any help.   The tank is a 2.5 gallon, with rocks and two small ornaments, all levels check out ok, temp is right on. One of the frogs has a big tummy, he eats everything and always seems hungry.  We have curtailed his diet and waiting for his tummy to shrink before indulging him more.  The other frog doesn't seem to want to eat. He is much skinnier and it didn't appear as though he was eating at all, so we put in him a little holding tank in the same tank to monitor if he eats.  It's been at least a week under observation and he has eaten.  The contrast in behavior worries me, is this sort of thing normal? Thanks for any help! < Only feed your frogs if they are moving and in search of food. Too many times frogs are over fed and the food rots in their stomach and causes gas and other digestive problems. Offer them a washed small earthworm. make sure it is alive and wiggling. If they don't eat that then they are not going to eat. Keep the tank clean and increase the water temp to 80 F and see if that makes any difference.-Chuck>

Frog Problems 8/2/05 Hope You can help us we are trying to start a African dwarf frog tank, with no luck. we have a small 5 gallon acrylic bow front tank with a corner bubbler type canister filter, all the water conditions are fine i.e. ammonia, nitrates, ph.... it is NOT heated , the water stays around 72 degrees, the tank has been running for about a month ,MT,  we have tried twice to add frogs (4 young about 1 inch each time) but both times they all died with in a week or two. We are feeding them HBH frog and tadpole bites. We have no problems with our other 3 tanks (thanks to your GREAT help) , 55 Gallon Cichlids tank , 30 gallon GSP tank (soon to upgrade) and a 25 gallon community tank. We have read your forums and seen to have the tank set up right, Caves to hide in, Low water movement, i.e. the canister filter, broad leaf plastic plants (no live plants)  HELP why are we always committing Frogicide? Thank You, Mike < Many frogs are held at wholesalers and retail stores and never seem to get enough to eat. If would recommend that you get a few frogs and feed them Calif. black worms. Just throw them in the tank and the frogs will find them and fatten up. Once they are eating then you will be on your way.-Chuck><<These animals won't live indefinitely on only dried diets. RMF>> Frog/pleco/goldfish Hello, I have a few questions.  I recently just set up a 10 gallon tank, with 3 fantail goldfish, 1 pleco, and an African dwarf frog.  I bought algae wafers for my pleco, which I'm concerned that the goldfish are eating them instead. the goldfish are also eating the frog food.  I feed the frog the sinking tadpole/frog pellets.  I have heard that feeding bloodworms can actually make the fish sick??? < Feeding bloodworms has been known to cause digestive problems in some fish. It may be from overfeeding.> I'm not sure how that all works but I was told that the frogs like frozen bloodworms, so is it possible for the bloodworms to come alive after they have been frozen?? < Once they are frozen then they are dead.> I am looking for a substitute to feed my frog so I will have to deal with worms of any sort...ugh.  and I am also trying to find away for my pleco and frog to get food without the goldfish eating it all first. please help! < When you turn out the lights the goldfish will go to sleep and the pleco will come out to eat. So feed the algae wafers at night. Unfortunately I think the goldfish may still find some of the wafers , even in the dark but it is worth a try. Your frog is a carnivore and will require some sort of critter to feed on. I suggest that you get some small earthworms and wash them and place them in front of the frog. I am sure he will snatch them up right away and hide so the goldfish won't get them.-Chuck> Snail Stocking Part Two Hello again, Thanks for the response, I've got two in the 10 gallon right now (I had a regular brown one in there, what I've seen called the 'wild-type' shell pattern, then saw a little blue one shoved into one of the 'Betta cups' at Wal-Mart the other day and decided it needed a home). The only other one I'm possibly planning to add in the future is maybe the one from my 6g African dwarf frog tank if any water problems develop there. So far no problems with the 10g since adding the second mystery snail, other than slightly elevated nitrates (25 rather than 20), but I think that's likely due to overfeeding of the bottom feeders, or my trimming back a lot of the anacharis that's in there. I'm going to try adding a little duckweed (I know, it takes over tanks. I read somewhere about someone making a 'corral' with airline and airline clips to keep it within an area of their tank. So I'll see if that works.) to pick up the extra nitrates. Plus I heard there's a chance the mystery snails might like to nibble on it. <Duckweed is an excellent way to suck up excess nutrients.> I'll let you know if there's any problems with either level of snails in the future. On a different topic, since WWM's amphibian area is a bit sparse right now, I thought I'd offer the following feeding idea, if you'd like to post it:  One of the biggest problems I had with African dwarf frogs was trying to get them to eat before their food (frozen bloodworms) fell between the gravel, resulting in hungry frogs and food polluting the water. So as a solution, I got a plastic water bowl from the reptile section of PetSmart and half buried it under the gravel. The plastic's a single piece of unpainted molded plastic, so I figure it should be safe to use. Now I just squirt the defrosted bloodworms (mixed with water from the tank) into the bowl with a turkey baster. The frogs swim right over and start feasting, they've also taken to trying to nip at the turkey baster if it's in the tank since they've figured out that's where food comes from. Posted this idea on a few forums and the regulars seemed to like it, so figured I'd pass it on incase it's of use to any of WWM's regular readers. <Great idea, I have heard of something similar for feeding Corydoras live worms that dig into the substrate before the fish get a chance to eat them.  Thanks for the info, best of luck, Gage> Thanks again,        -Chris

African dwarf frogs 8/24/05 Hi, have a question.     I have searched your site & do not see a similar problem.      I have 2 ADF in a 2.5 gallon tank, with a filter running.      We first bought pellet food, then found out through research online they should be fed frozen bloodworms. <... and other meaty live, non-live foods>     Purchased those 3 days ago now, feeding them pea-sized amount every other day (is this correct???) <Best to look at their "tummies"...>      My main question is an odor. <Interesting>    It's gotten milder/better since switching from pellets, but it still is unpleasant.     Had water checked at the petstore, they said water levels are fine.      Should we do a partial water change to see if there's disintegrated pellet food causing odor?   <Yes... should do these change-outs weekly...>     Any other suggestions?      My pet peeve is pet stores selling these frogs with zero info on feeding, correct water levels, cleaning of tanks, etc.      Thanks for the help, Lisa <Thank goodness for books, magazines, the Net... Bob Fenner>

Help- African dwarf frog with curled toes. Nutritional deficiency likely    10/3/06 I am very impressed with your site.  I would appreciate some help if you can.  I've had my African dwarf frog for about a year.  It's fingers and toes have been slowly but severely curling. <Interesting...>   It looks as if it is holding a small ball in both hands. The back feet look as if they were holding a pencil.  The frog can still swim just fine, but it can't straighten it's fingers or toes at all anymore. <Am wondering what would cause such a "clubbing" of feet?> It lives in a 5 gallon tank with goldfish. <Oh...>   I feed it tadpole bites <...> and it also eats the fish's flake food.  Wouldn't want to have an uncomfortable frog-any ideas?   Thank you, Jennifer <Likely a nutritional deficiency at play here... need more (animal source, Tryptophan, Lyseine, Threonine...) source protein, and vitamins than the foods you've supplied. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/amphibfdgfaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

African Dwarf Frog, tetras, and ghost shrimp gang:   1/19/07 In separate 5 gallon tank with 4 tetras and 5 ghost shrimp. I understood the ghost shrimp wouldn't mess the biolevel too much, so put them in for clean up (I wanted an algae eater but didn't want anyone messing with the frog - and I knew the tank would be too small for a growing algae eater). <Good choice> First question, WHAT CAN I FEED THE FROG THAT THE OTHERS WON'T TAKE FIRST?! <Mmm, nothing> Ha, those ghost shrimp are so good at taking food even if it is right in front of the frog (one even tried to take a piece of meat from the frog's mouth!). Oh yeah, the frog is most likely male and is smaller than a quarter. I've managed to feed him dried-bloodworms (by hand), frozen brine shrimp (by hand), and ground turkey (by hand). I recently crafted a little feeder wand just for this sucker (and the salamanders) and wanted to see if any other alternatives exist. I know we aren't supposed to feed them but once a day (or two) and I've seen some people's frogs online turn to little porkers. <Yes... with shortened lifespans> I understand that they are naturally supposed to be slim since they usually skip meals so how much should I feed regularly.  I wanted to try the sinking pellets but didn't want to count on them since I know the ghost shrimp will eat anything they can grab. <Mmm, won't likely eat pellets, prepared dried foods period> Feeding ADFs  1/23/07 <Hi, Pufferpunk here> My dad bought me a African dwarf frog but didn't buy any food. I don't live in a big town so there are  no pet stores around and the next time I go out of town is in February. I have sinkable beta food and fish food but that's it. What should I feed him? <If your frog isn't interested in the pellets of flakes, you can try feeding tiny pieces of fish or shrimp.  Try not to overfeed or you will pollute the tank.  ~PP>

Starving Frog  1/24/07 Hi Pufferpunk! <Sue> Thank you so much for your reply. I have been using the Melafix for over a week but since I started using it, the little toad hasn't eaten a thing. He/she was skinny to begin with (probably a result of the eye problem and poor water quality) but is now so emaciated that I'm afraid we will lose him/her. We had always hand fed the toad crickets "dusted" with a supplement, so he/she isn't used to any other food. Is there something I could try, like bloodworm or some kind of mixture, that might be easier to digest and could tempt our little friend to eat? I'm unsure of whether or not the toad can see, but I think he/she can sense the food, as he/she turns away when I put the cricket near his/her nose. Thanks for any suggestions you can give me! <You'll have to force-feed the lil guy.  Get a syringe (no needle) & fill it with Nutrical. It is a highly concentrated vitamin/molasses mixture.  It may be difficult to pry his mouth open--you may have to find a flat tool for this.  Be very gentle, do not break his jaw.  Feed small amounts & try not to choke him with it.  Good luck.  ~PP> Sue

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