African Dwarf Clawed Frogs

Feeding African Dwarf Clawed Frog Tadpoles

Unlike the tadpoles of African Clawed Frogs and Suriname Toads the tadpoles of African Dwarf Clawed Frogs are carnivorous. This means that they need supplying with live food throughout their development. The size of the food increases as the tadpoles grow. To reduce pollution of the water in the breeding tanks you can add some small snails, which will eat leftover food. If you have any new information about ADCF tadpole food please email me (Martin.

In most cases you can start feeding the tadpoles with young Japanese water fleas (Moina) or Artemia when the tadpoles start swimming freely. If this food is too large you can feed Infusoria or commercial food used for fish fry:

  • Infusoria cultured from banana peel: Put the banana peel in a large jar with water and wait several days. Tiny, free-swimming animals will grow there.
    Another method is to use evaporated or condensed milk instead of banana peel.
  • JBL Nobil Fluid: This is a very good food for tiny fish fry. It is similar to Liquifry.
  • Liquifry No.2 (Green) by Interpet: This is a liquefied food normally sold for feeding the fry of livebearing fish. Add some drops to the tank water daily. In my opinion it is a little bit strange that I have never been advised to use Liquifry No. 1 (Red) which is intended for egg-laying fish fry.
  • Protogen from Brustmann: This product is said to be very similar to Liquifry No. 2. Its main difference to Liquifry is that you can put the pellets directly into the tank but it is better to culture the food in large jars. The infusoria may be the same as in the Banana peel cultures. My information about this is a little unclear.
  • Water from thawed out frozen food: You can put this into the tank. BUT: it might contain chemical additives!
Aufzuchtfutter Infusorien
Aufzuchtfutter Infusorien

When you see the tadpoles eating Moina or Artemia you can stop feeding Infusoria and commercially-produced food. Another very good food for ADCF tadpoles are Cyclops or Daphnia (water fleas). If you have a pond or an open rain water tank containing them in your neigbourhood you can catch and feed them to the tadpoles. Now details of bigger live food:

  • Japanese water fleas – Moina: They are easier to bred them Daphina. You need a glass for cucumbers or a small tank (12 liter), some water fleas and porridge oats or yeast for food. Let the water stand in the tank for one or two days then add the water fleas and feed them. Keep checking the water to make sure that it does not get too polluted. Clean the tank after several weeks and start a new culture. It is always good to have at least two or three glasses running at the same time. Sometimes on stormy weather the Moina cultures are losing a lot of animals so you have to keep checking the cultures and start again with only a few water fleas.
  • Artemia: They are a very popular food for fish fry. You need eggs, water, jodinium-free salt or sea salt and an air stone for the culture. They are very good if you need a lot of food within two days. You can find a lot of information on them on the WWW. Please use search engines or the Pipidae Board to get more details.
  • Cyclops and Daphnia: If you can find them in ponds in your neighbourhood you can use them to feed your ADCF tadpoles. They are a good food. You can feed them in quanties that will last for several days so that food is constantly available for the tadpoles.
During metamorphosis you can start feeding adult food:
  • When the hind legs are completely developed you can use frozen Cyclops and Bosmids but be sure that the food is not too big for the tadpoles’ mouths!
  • When the front legs are completey developed and the tail is being absorbed you can start feeding black mosquitoe larvae and frozen Artemia.
  • other tiny shrimp and freshwater invertebrates: You can try Hyalella and other food of the same size during this period but I have no personal experience with them.