When starting an aquarium, everyone usually thinks about fish but what about frogs? Well, why not? My wife loves frogs!
Frogs make an excellent aquarium candidate and they are not aggressive and can easily live with other fish such as the guppies and mollies in an aquarium.
Okay, now that I convinced you so easily, let’s answer a very important question,
What do aquarium frogs eat?
It is important to understand the nutrition of frogs before you put them in an aquarium.
They can’t go out of the aquarium to fend for themselves so you are totally responsible for their welfare including their feeding.
It is not as difficult as you think. The simple answer is that frogs eat the same food that most aquarium fish will eat. They eat a wide range of food because they are omnivores. That is, they eat meat and plants. However, they prefer meat to plants if they can choose…
So you see, aquarium frogs don’t have some strange diet like dead flies. Before I go further by describing their foods and feeding habits, it is important to know a little about aquarium frogs.
What Are Aquarium Frogs?
Not all frogs are good candidates for aquariums. Some will not survive in the aquarium for several reasons.
It is either they are too aggressive and fight other fish in the aquarium or they don’t accept the food you give them. Aquarium frogs are the frogs that can live and survive inside an aquarium.
The common candidate for the aquarium frog is the African dwarf frog. Their name tells a lot about them already. So I guess you know they are dwarf frogs and that they are also from Africa.
They are distributed along the forest of equatorial Africa and hence the name African dwarf frogs. They require little maintenance and that is the top reason why they are the best frog for an aquarium.
The name African dwarf frog is the name given to four different species of frog. They belong to the same family and genus, only their species are different.
They belong to the genus called Hymenochirus. The four species are Hymenochirus boettgeri, Hymenochirus boulengeri, Hymenochirus curtipes, and Hymenochirus feae. The four of them look alike and their only difference is their native locations.
They are very small in size and grow to a maximum length of 3 inches and their size is just about a few ounces. They all have dark spots on their body but the color can vary from brown to olive green.
They can live up to five years. But they should not be confused with the African clawed fish that looks almost exactly. Those ones grow larger and become more aggressive than the African dwarf frog.
They can be seen sometimes flowing freely on the surface of the water with their limbs spread out as if they are dead. “This special position is called the zen position.
It is also important to know that because they live in water does not mean that they are fish. This means that they don’t breathe inside the water because they do not have gills but rather lungs.
You may see them rising to the surface occasionally. They do this to breathe fresh air before they go back into the water. You should not bring them out of the water to let them breathe air. They cannot survive more than 15-20 minutes outside water or else they will die of dehydration.
The frog is nocturnal. Meaning that they will be more active at night or when it is dark than during the day. But, this doesn’t mean they are not active during the day.
In their natural habitat, they prefer to hide under the rocks and stones at the bottom of the water. This is also their position in the aquarium. They prefer to stay close to the bottom of the tank where they feel more secure. This also affects their feeding habit as I will be explaining soon.
How Does An Aquarium Frog Eat?
Now that you know a lot about the aquarium frog, it is also important to know how and what they eat. They do not have a tongue or teeth and their body is adapted to living inside the water.
They are also adapted to finding their food inside the water. They have four limbs that are powerful and that makes them a fast swimmer. This is one of their advantages of going after their food in the wild.
Their webbed limbs are not only useful when they want to swim faster. They are also useful when it comes to feeding as they use their forelimbs to push their food into their mouth.
Another way they get their food is to open their mouth and suck food into their mouth. Their forelimbs have claws that they use to tear foods bigger than their mouth into smaller pieces before eating them.
They have a lateral line on their body. They use these lateral lines on their body, like fish, to detect movement and vibration in the water.
This is also the way they know that there is food in the water. That means they rely on their limbs, their good sense of smell, and their lateral line to find food inside water.
They eat a wide range of food because they are omnivores. That is, they eat food that is the animal source and plant source. However, they would rather prefer the fleshy diet than the alternative from a plant source.
Like I said earlier, that they eat the same food as the fish. You can get any fish food that has all the necessary nutrients that are required for their growth.
Most of their food is usually available in pellet form. This allows them to sink to the bottom of the tank where they prefer eating. You can also give them a variety of live food and preserved foods such as fish fry and mosquito larvae. Worms and beef can also be included in their diet.
They usually don’t need much food. You can feed them as little as one time a day when they are young and then less often as they grow older.
You should be careful to feed them only with the quantity of food they can consume within a few minutes. The food that they do not consume will decompose and pollute the water.
In conclusion, you should know that frogs are good pets for aquariums. They don’t require much management stress and aquarium frogs will eat basically the same type of food that the fish will eat.