When you own an exotic pet, you have to take care of a lot of things to ensure that it is safe and healthy in your care. The same is the case with African Dwarf Frogs. These frogs are very docile and easy to keep as pets, but their diet has to be on point to keep them healthy. Since they can live in tanks with fish, people tend to feed them fish flakes. But can African Dwarf Frogs eat fish flakes?
Technically, African Dwarf Frogs can eat fish flakes, because they are omnivores who will eat anything that they can get their mouths around. But whether you should feed them fish flakes is an entirely different issue. Despite their ability to eat fish flakes, you must refrain from feeding them these.
Let’s take a look at why fish flakes are not ideal for African Dwarf frogs.
Feeding fish flakes to African Dwarf Frogs
African Dwarf Frogs (Hymenochirus boettgeri) are medium species of frogs that are found in the regions around the equator in Africa. They grow to about three inches in length and come in a lot of colors, ranging from olive green to brown.
The brown frogs also have black spots on their skins. They make very good pets as they keep to themselves, can coexist with fish, and live for almost 20 years.
These frogs are omnivores, eating plant materials when they are tadpoles and juveniles and hunting insects and invertebrates as adults. Because of these traits, they are very popular as pets, and they are often kept with fish in the same tank.
As they are omnivorous animals, sometimes people tend to feed both their fish and African Dwarf frogs the same food to reduce hassle and expenditure. One food that owners often tend to feed their frogs is fish flakes. Since there is nothing wrong with the composition of fish flakes, they can technically work as food for African Dwarf frogs.
But just because they can eat fish flakes doesn’t mean you should feed them those. There are a few reasons why you should refrain from feeding your frog fish flakes. Such as
- They are slow: The biggest issue with feeding fish flakes to your African Dwarf frogs is that they are very slow. Fish flakes are very light and stay on the water’s surface. These are then gobbled up quickly by the fish in the tank, while it takes ages for the frogs to go to the tank’s surface.
By the time, they reach the surface, the flakes have already been eaten by the fish, so they starve. If the only food dropped in the tank are fish flakes, then the frogs will eventually starve to death for not being able to reach the food in time.
- Fish flakes disintegrate quickly: Another reason fish flakes are not suitable for African dwarf frogs is these flakes easily disintegrate when they come in contact with water. By the time they reach the surface, the food is either eaten by the fish or if there is no fish in the tank, they simply break down into a million pieces.
These frogs love to come back to their food once they have secured it, but as there is no food to eat in the first place, coming back to it is out of the question. So, they starve and die.
- They like to bite their food: African Dwarf frogs like their food in bite-sized shapes. And they like their food to drop down to the bottom before eating. But fish flakes are neither bite-sized nor do they drop down to the tank’s bottom.
Due to the flakes being extremely light, their shape and size are not exactly to the liking of the frogs. Additionally, the flakes don’t drop down to the bottom, which makes eating tougher for them.
- Fish flakes don’t retain their nutritional value: The final reason why you must not feed fish flakes to your African Dwarf frogs is that when they come in contact with water, fish flakes start to lose their nutritional value.
The more it is suspended in the tank water, the more it dissolves and loses its nutritional materials. As a result, even if your frog does get to the food, it will be of very little use to the animal.
What should you feed your African Dwarf Frogs?
Now you know that you must not feed fish flakes to your African Dwarf frogs, even though they can eat them. So what should you feed them? Let’s take a look:
Frozen Blood Worms
The two main characteristics of African Dwarf frogs’ food must have are that they have to be bite-size, and they must not dissolve into the tank water. One of the best foods for these animals is frozen blood worms.
Not only are these worms of the perfect size for the frogs to bite, but they also don’t dissolve in water. So when you drop these worms into the tank, they will gently drop to the bottom and your frogs will be able to eat them as they see fit. Just ensure to thaw the worms out until they reach the water temperature before dropping them into the tank.
Live Black worms
It’s not like you have to always feed your pet African Dwarf frogs dead and frozen animals. You can also feed them live black worms. As these frogs often hunt their prey, they will enjoy feeding on these live prey.
Apart from these two, you can also feed them a whole host of foods, such as
- Chopped earthworms
- Gammarus (can be either live or frozen)
- Frozen Krill
- Frozen and chopped beef heart
- Brine Shrimp
- Tubifex worms
- Small fish
- Frog pellets
- Mosquito Larvae
- Algae wafers
- Flies and their larvae
What you should not feed your African Dwarf frog
Although African Dwarf frogs are omnivores, they shouldn’t be fed a few things, either for health issues or their inefficiency. These are:
- Fish Flakes
- Fish pellets
- Food pellets
How should I feed my African Dwarf Frog?
Taking special care with your African Dwarf Frogs is important. Unlike a lot of amphibians, you have to feed your pet frog daily. As well, they’re prone to overeating if you leave food in the tank, so it’s better to drop a small amount of food in the tank. The food has to be dropped into the tank in such a way that the gently drop to the floor of the tank.
Also, ensure the fish in your tank doesn’t eat up all the food you are giving to your pet frog. So, you should choose your frog food in such a way that the tankmates of the African Dwarf frog either don’t show any interest in the food or they can’t eat it due to the size. Leaving leftover food inside the tank will also result in the water inside being nasty and overall unhealthy.
Since it is very common for fish and African Dwarf frogs to be housed together, people often wonder, “Can African dwarf frogs eat fish flakes?” While it is not recommended to feed fish flakes to your pet dwarf frog, it doesn’t mean you have any shortage of other foods to feed them. Take a look at the list of food mentioned above and choose the ones that you can find near you.