The African Dwarf Frog has recently gained immense popularity as a pet frog. This species is aquatic, and cannot survive outside of water. They can have a 5 year long lifespan.

This frog has relatively low maintenance as a pet. But, despite their popularity and low-maintenance, beginner pet owners often misjudge their nutritional needs, which leads to poor results.

The African Dwarf Frog is not a meticulous eater. These frogs eat almost anything that fits in their mouths. It is also important to note that this species is not a scavenger, so you need to put food in front of it.

Are you considering keeping the African Dwarves as pets? Or perhaps you are not sure how to exactly meet your pet dwarf’s nutritional needs? In this article, I will try to make you familiar with the African Dwarf Frog’s appetite and how to meet their nutritional expectations.

What is the African Dwarf Frog?

What is the African Dwarf Frog

Image Credits: Instagram, my_froggy_gram

The African Dwarf Frog is an aquatic frog that originates from the tropical forests of Africa. They are commonly seen on the Congo River. These are small frogs that spend most of their time underwater. However, they swim up to the water’s surface occasionally to breathe in air.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom : Animalia

Phylum : Chordata

Class : Amphibia

Order : Anura

Family : Pipidae

Genus : Hymenochirus

Species : H.boettgeri

What do African Dwarf Frogs eat in the Wild?

What do African Dwarf Frogs eat in the Wild

Image Credits: Instagram, dwarftrio

The wild African Dwarf Frogs are omnivorous. However, they prefer dining on meat, as they require a lot of protein to meet their nutritional expectations. They mostly eat tiny creatures found underwater, such as larvae, small crustaceans, worms, a lot of small fish, and live shrimp. This species doesn’t particularly like insects and bugs, unlike most other frog species.

What should I feed my pet African Dwarf Frog?

What should I feed my pet African Dwarf Frog

Image Credits: Instagram, Chris’s Fishes and Frogs

Feeding your African Dwarf Frog can be tricky because these frogs are omnivorous and very opportunistic eaters. They are also very slow in consuming their food. Therefore, a recognised problem that hobbyist pet owners often face is that the food needs to stay in the water for a longer period of time without disintegrating.

Since the dwarf frog is a slow eater, it may return to a food source later to have a munch.

Below I will mention a few options that you can consider the best food for your pet African Dwarf Frog:


Bloodworms, live or frozen, are the two best food options for African dwarf frogs. The more well-known food source is frozen bloodworms, which is a great option for feeding your aquatic animals. Bloodworms that have been frozen won’t decompose quickly, allowing your frogs to gorge themselves whenever they want.

Bloodworms that have been freeze dried are an alternative, but they have the disadvantage of floating on the surface, while bloodworms that have been frozen sink to the bottom as they defrost.


Black worms that are still alive might be a better option if you are not feeling like putting food in your aquarium every day.

Blackworms are an uncommon food source for African Dwarf Frogs, but they offer a variety of excellent advantages. Most of the time, your neighborhood fish store will sell you some black worms.

Since these worms are alive, they will dig underneath the gravel at your tank’s bottom. This leads them to coexisting inside the tank with your frogs and makes them a regular food source.

These worms are a great choice because they are extremely nutritious and full of protein.

Brine Shrimp

You African Dwarf Frogs love a snack of brine shrimp, whether they are fresh or flash frozen. Brine shrimp usually live in saltwater. These are small, sizing up to 0.5 inches. They are beloved meals for frogs.

You should be able to find these shrimp either fresh or frozen in your nearby pet store. Don’t provide too many frozen ones, as their leftovers will make the aquarium dirty. Rather, offer live ones. The ones that won’t immediately get consumed will keep swimming until it’s their turn to be a meal.


Gammarus are crustaceans with 13 different body segments. They are nocturnal, which resonates with the African dwarf frogs’ late eating habit. Most pet stores sell them as live or in larvae form, which need to be hatched.

These shrimp-like crustaceans prefer to live at the bottom of the water. Therefore, they are easy prey for your dwarves in the aquarium.

Heart of Beef

Another favorite food of your pet American Dwarves is a frozen heart of beef. It is rich in protein and fat. I recommend feeding this to your frogs once every week only. Its fat content can cause organ problems for your pet munchkins.

Fish Food

Fish food that sinks underwater is a good source of nutrition for your frogs. It is not exactly cheap, but you should consider it as an everyday food source. In comparison to other forms of food, they give the frogs nutrients in a concentrated form, which helps them get the energy they require.

This also reduces the amount of leftovers in your aquarium, which results in less time spent cleaning your aquarium. But be careful to choose the correct variant, as many just dissolve into water after staying in water for a while.

African Dwarf Frogs Feeding Chart

FeedFeeding ScheduleNutritional Value
Fish foodTwice every dayvariable
BloodwormsOnce every two days
  • Crude Protein (min) 8.3%
  • Crude Fat (min) 1.2%
  • Crude Fiber (max) 3.9%
  • Moisture (max) 81.7%
  • (Protein as a percentage of dry matter – 45.3%)
Black WormsOnce every two days
  • Protein 59.3%
  • Lipids 7.2%
  • Minerals 5.91%
  • Carbohydrates 20.2%
Brine ShrimpOnce every three days
  • Protein 37%-71%
  • Lipids12%-30%
  • Carbohydrates 11%-23%
  • Ash 4%-21%
GammarusOnce every three days
  • Moisture 5.7%
  • Crude Protein 40.0%
  • Ether extract 5.5%
  • Ash 21.4%
  • Carbohydrate 27.4%
  • Fibers 2.9%
Heart of BeefOnce every week
  • Total fat 7%
  • Cholesterol 71%
  • Sodium 2%
  • Potassium 6%
  • Carbohydrates 0%
  • Protein 6%

How do I feed an African Dwarf Frog?

How do I feed an African Dwarf Frog

Image Credits: Instagram, Chris’s Fishes and Frogs

You should feed your dwarves fish food once a day. Let them have their dinner for a while, and then remove the rest from your aquarium.

In the case of frozen foods, defrost them beforehand and wash them with clean water before putting them inside the aquarium.

When bringing live worms or brine shrimp, just put them in the aquarium and watch as your frogs feast upon them for a couple of days.

Which foods do I avoid feeding my African Dwarf Frogs?

Which foods do I avoid feeding my African Dwarf Frogs

Image Credits: Instagram, african_dwarf_frogs01

Try to avoid foods that only contain fish protein, as they typically contain subpar ingredients. Instead, choose foods that contain multiple sources of protein because they are healthier and better for your frog.

In addition, despite their widespread use and marketing hype, I believe that some popular frog foods, like inexpensive sinking pellets, need to be avoided.

Choose frozen or live food if you want to occasionally treat your frog with something affordable.


Can African Dwarf Frogs eat Cucumber?

Yes. Cut the cucumber in very tiny cubes before throwing them in the aquarium.

Do African Dwarf Frogs eat fish?

Yes, wild African Dwarf Frogs eat small fish living in the bottom of the water source. The biggest size of fish that they can fit in their mouth is 3 inches.

Do African Dwarf Frogs eat live food?

Yes, they love live bloodworms, black worms, and brine shrimp.

Can you feed African Dwarf Frogs fish flakes?

Fish flakes do not qualify as a satisfactory diet for this species. These frogs require meat in order to get enough nutrition.

How often should you feed African Dwarf Frogs?

Your frog’s daily meal should not consist of offerings more than twice a day.

Do African Dwarf Frogs need to eat everyday?

Yes, but you don’t need to provide them food every day if you’re giving them live food, as they are slow eaters. Young frogs need food daily, while older ones require food every other day.


Since the African Dwarf Frogs are tricky and slow eaters, you need to carefully feed them and plan a balanced diet. Otherwise, they can quickly gain weight and face internal organ failures while growing up. Since these frogs eat pretty slowly, excess food can contaminate the water in the aquarium pretty easily. Avoid overfeeding them and make sure to clean your aquarium every now and then.

So, did you learn something about what to feed your pet African Dwarf Frogs? Or have I missed something? Make sure to tell me in the comments below!

Feature Image Credits: Youtube, Aquarimax Pets

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