Anyone know anything about them? I bought 5 (funny thing is one of them has disappeared from the face of the earth) from the fish shop today. The lady in there said they just eat sinking pellets. Anyone have any tips about looking after them or what they are like. I did, at one point, think one of them had died. It was up on it's back legs with its arms in the air leaning against the side of the tank. Is this normal behavour? He did move after a couple minutes, but thought it was a bit odd. Any advice?
Yup , theyre adf's african dwarf frogs. Being still for long periods is completely normal, but she may have misinformed you about the pellets, not all frogs take them, though its very handy nutritionally if they do learn eventually, so offer some and see what happens, and youll probably be needing to bulk them up with bloodworm, tubifex and brineshrimp.
Recycling wot I rote before innit.lol. Its all relevant
There are a good few provisos on which communities they can go into though. Obviously larger fish will find them appetising, so its obviously not a good idea to include them in your average cichlid community. Second they can barely see, cant use scent accurately in circulating aquarium water, and primarily hunt by vibration, They are easily outcompeted for food by fish, and so in some communities you end up having to give them night feeds to stop the fish getting the food first. They also dont appreciate being jostled about and pulled about, so they are better off in very calm communities with smaller fish.
Problems arise mostly because of the adaptability of individual frogs as regards feeding. Some learn to zero in on what the fish are mobbing, other just sit and wait for the vibration os something tiny in the water before they can feed, and if you have a picky specimen ( of which there are many , probably 60% of adf's get feeding issues and die prematurely in unsuitable communities)) the inability to use its vibration sensing hunting techniques because the fish keep throwing it off target can lead to starvation.
In a smallish community they often do well, but you might have to make feeding efforts specifically for them,and a small percentage will never adapt to dead food. Some people can just chuck them into a community, the frogs more by luck than judgement manage to adapt , and all is well. Equally though, it could go the other way. They are a better choice for people with small communities, not too many fish, and a low level of food competition.
There is variance on food acceptability too, some eat anything, others wont touch commercial flake foods or even frog specific formulas, and must be given bloodworm, brineshrimp etc. Other will never take dead food and you can find yourself having to raise your own brineshrimp, or excess fry etc.
Theyre not one id recommend for everyone, but in a calm tank with a few fish their odds of survival are reasonable. They are much better in species tanks where fish dont throw them off their natural feeding behaviour. ADF'S in nature dont coexist closely with fish, they generally go for quieter pool edges hidden by vegetation where they hunt tiny fish fry and invertebrates in relatively still water away from the bigger feeding shoals.
If you want a significant percentage of the frogs you encounter to survive, give them that little extra bit of consideration, or you will find as most owners do, eventually they simply wane. They are probably oversold as suitable for community tanks. Not saying it cant be done, it often is, but they dont work in every community.
Aside from that, they like plants and caves, average tropical temps and not too much flow, but they do need reasonable oxygenation. Totally aquatic so no need for haulout areas. I think thats about it.
I have 3 ADF'S and mine are all doing well. You don't need to feed them every day. I fed them every other day and i feed them brine shrimp or bloodworms bothe frozen.
I have never sen them eat but all the food has gone in the morning. Mine are with 1 angel, 4 congo tetras, 2 clown loaches and a couple bristlenose cats. They also share the tank with 1 red clawed crab and 2 apple snails. The tank is is a 30 inch with lots of hiding places.
They are great fun to watch and they tend to be more active at night. Mine took awhile to settle in but now they seem fine.
Also the behaviour that you described is normal and they hang there for very long periods of time. So don't worry!!
Thanks everyone. I keep watching them every time I walk past, mainly because I'm worried about them and I love watching them. Thanks Lizroberts, for reassuring me of their strange behaviour. I'm going to have to look for some frozen food, so will be on a mission this weekend.
I used the Tetra bloodworm in jelly, you can squirt it right in front of them and mine loved it! I also used daphnia in jelly. I just fed them every second day. The arms up legs down position is nicknamed the 'zen' position
Yes, and its a hunting position, most people dont realise that these frogs are actually passively hunting when they do that. They are extending their limbs in order to pick up sensory vibrations from tiny organisms in the water, which when the opportunity arises means they can ambush predate on tiny creatures such as daphnia, mosquito larvae and tiny fry.
Its also one of the reasons you get so many feeding problems with these species, that is their natural way of hunting, and going for dead foods is a learned behaviour, that not all frogs can learn, their sense of smell isnt too good, and some only have a limited amount of success using it, and their eyesight is bloody awful, but the lucky ones learn to key into whatever the fish are mobbing, and catch on to hunting that way, which is why you'll occassionally see them swim up to fish with a high activity level, and start snapping blindly at food. Obviously shoals of small fish can completely beffuddle the frogs by creating massive micro changes in water pressure around them, meaning the frog gets no clear target on prey even if you do use live foods, which is why its better to house them in a species aquarium, or with small, slow fish that dont provide much in the way of movement or food competition.
Most ADF's for example do ok with single bettas (though its common for the bettas to get a bit overweight) but a big shoal of danios or tetras can lead the less able hunting frog who will not budge from its primary hunting instinct to go for movement , into a state of malnutrition. Thats why I would urge those who cannot get their ADF to feed in a competitive situation to segregate it asap, and give it a small species tank. Even 5 gals would be enough, so its hardly a bank breaker. Would be a shame ,(not to mention neglectful animal keeping) to watch them wane. Its amazing how many people will say, oh I had four, but ive only got one now. Usually its starvation.
Plenty of people have starved these frogs to death by keeping them with very active, fast feeding shoals. Often it can become a real problem ensuring your ADF's get enough food without overfeeding the fish.
Look in the link for the xenopus frog thread for extra feeding info.
I have just recently started up a tank and have 5 Danios and 4 Congo frogs, but i am not sure that the frogs are getting enough to eat. i give flake in the morning and in the evening about 1cm cubed of bloodworms between the fish and frogs. the frogs tend to get less of the worms though. Any tips?