African miniature frogs, better known as African dwarf frogs, are unlike most of your aquarium inhabitants as far as feeding goes. They don't eat flakes or algae wafers, but they love fresh and frozen food, and they don't mind pellets either. Feeding them isn't as easy as dropping in their food and watching them pick at it. The little frogs require a bit of human assistance.
Fresh and Frozen Food
African dwarf frogs enjoy a variety of fresh and frozen food. The food needs to be small enough to fit in their tiny mouths, because African dwarf frogs swallow their food whole. Good choices include blood worms, brine shrimp and daphnia. Larger food, such as earthworms, krill and mysis shrimp, are fine, but you typically need to cut them into smaller, bite-sized pieces. If you opt for frozen food, it typically comes in blocks that you'll need to thaw. Rather than thawing and refreezing the entire block, shave off the amount you plan to feed your frogs with a knife and let that portion thaw. Freeze-dried food is also available, but it's generally more difficult to prep because you must let it soak in water prior to offering it to your frogs; otherwise, you risk your frogs developing bloat or becoming constipated.
African dwarf frogs eat pellets, and although pellets sometimes get a bad rap, they're fine as a staple diet for your dwarf frog. Look for products labeled as "frog pellets," "frog and tadpole pellets" or something similar. The product should specifically mention frogs. Fish pellets, reptile pellets or anything that does not mention frogs is not appropriate or healthy for your little guys. Note that if you feed fresh or frozen food almost exclusively to your dwarf frogs, they may refuse to eat pellets.
Frequency and Amount
African dwarf frogs, like most fish, have no idea when to stop eating. One frog would eat an entire cube of bloodworms if he could. To keep your frogs fit and in good health, feed them about four days out of the week—roughly every other day—and only until their stomachs become very slightly rounded and full-looking. It doesn't take very much to fill their little bellies. Five to seven blood worms or pellets, for instance, will do the trick. It's better to feed them too little and realize you need to give them a bit more than to feed them until they look like they're ready to explode.
Drop a few pellets or bloodworms in your tank and chances are your African dwarf frogs won't eat anything. This is especially true if they're in a community tank with other fish. African dwarf frogs are nearly blind. They generally find their food only when it flashes in front of their faces: that's one reason you'll often see them lunge at fish and snails that pass by. Use a baster to suck up your frogs' food, and then squirt out the food in front of their faces. They'll find it much more easily that way. If you have other fish in the tank, distract them with a few flakes or pellets while you offer your frogs their meal. If your other fish eat your frogs' food before your frogs have the chance to, hand-feed your frogs with tweezers or your fingers.
Located in Pittsburgh, Chris Miksen has been writing instructional articles on a wide range of topics for online publications since 2007. He currently owns and operates a vending business. Miksen has written a variety of technical and business articles throughout his writing career. He studied journalism at the Community College of Allegheny County.