Adf Feeding Station

WendyLusch

HI Everyone! We bought my 9 year old a 10 gallon fish tank for Christmas. We finally got it cycled, added her glofish danios (I know people have strong feelings about them, but they’re so fun!) and got better at feeding/cleaning to get the ammonia levels back down to zero. Last weekend, we bought 2 African Dwarf Frogs to complete her tank. I’m very interested in using the “feeding station method” to feed them, but I can’t find anything to help us learn how to teach them to go to the plate (plastic reptile water dish). Most posts simply say “I taught my frogs to eat from a plate”, but don’t go into detail on how they did it. Could you please teach me how to teach them to use a feeding station?

The frogs are still getting acclimated to their new home and target feeding thawed bloodworms was next to impossible. The frogs wouldn’t come out from their hiding places, and I couldn’t see what I was doing. The fish are still swimming around with them every once in a while. I’m going to be doing multiple vacuuming/water changes to clean that up.

Any advice, videos, books, docs, etc that you could give me would be awesome. After the frogs and I learn what to do to feed them, I have to teach my 9 year old.
 

Triston Wasmund

Well I am guessing you feed them sinking pellets or something that sinks... Well basically you put the food in the dish, the frogs find it, and you continue to do it, and hopefully they will learn that the food is coming from the dish... It is kind of like getting a dog to learn that food and water comes from there bowls... whenever they are thirsty, they go to the bowl because they know that's where they get there water.... Please let me know if you understand and let me know what you feed them, how, and how they are doing..
 

WendyLusch

HI Triston. Thank you for replying. We got them on Saturday, but didn’t feed them. I thought they might be too stressed to eat. On Sunday, I used a turkey baster to put thawed bloodworms into the reptile water bowl in the tank. The danios ate a bunch, but I target fed the frogs, or at least tried to. They were still in hiding, so I couldn’t see anything. I tried to coax them to the bowl, but I think I just stressed them out. I skipped feeding on Monday, because the fish were still finding worms, and I read frogs only eat every other day. Today (Tuesday), I fed the fish their flakes and put a bunch of sinking pellets in the bowl. The fish eventually started eating the sinking pellets, but the frogs weren’t interested.

I think the frogs are happy. One swims all over the place. He’s so much fun! The other is still hiding quite a bit. He only comes out when the lights go out - we have a lit bubble wall though. The active frog is also shedding. I’m not sure about the hiding frog. I'm trying not to scare him, and give him time to get comfortable.

Sorry, another long post. How can I help the frogs find the food bowl? They don’t seem to care about the pellets. Should I stick to bloodworms and shrimp until they figure it out? Would it be ok for the fish to be fed the same food on the same schedule? We would be devastated if they got sick.
 

Lucy

HI wendy welcome to FishLore!

ADF's are great aren't they? So cute! If you consistently put the food in a dish at the same time the frogs will get used to feeding time. However, even with a feeding station the fish may get yummy shrimp and blood worms before the frogs. (especially zippy fish like Danios) It can be an issue with a mixed tank like that.
Have you tried blunt nose tweezers?
 

WendyLusch

HI Lucy! Thank you for replying. We are having so much fun with both the danios and frogs! It’s A LOT of work right now because I’m still learning, but my daughter LOVES them.

I haven’t tried the tweezers yet because my first attempt at target feeding (with the baster) was a failure, but I’ll run to the store at lunch tomorrow and buy some reptile tweezers for their dinner. Do you think the plate feeding would eventually be successful, or is that wishful thinking? Maybe once we all get better as a fish family, it will be easier to care for those cuties.
 

bitseriously

I wrote this on another thread... Basically it allows u to place the food right in front of frogs nose, and move it away from fish.
Tool suggestion:
I use a thick (nearly 1/4" diam?) bamboo bbq skewer to target feed bloodworms to my ADFs, one worm at a time. It's working really well for me...
I cut off the pointy end of the skewer, and made a short slit up the stick along the grain, maybe 1-1/4" long (kind of like if I was splitting the skewer into halves, lengthwise, starting at cut end). That slit stays closed enough on its own, but can be pried open with tweezers, which I use to load the skewer with 1 bloodworm at a time. So when I lower the worm on/in the skewer down to the waiting frogs (mine come out at feeding time, 3 strong taps on the tank rim), they can yank the worms off the skewer easily, and I don't have to worry about dropping it too early or holding too long with tweezers. And the top of the skewer stays above waterline, so no fingers in tank.
 

Lucy

Hopefully they'll get used to the feeding schedule and be waiting near the dish. I never had luck with turkey basters either.

I think bitseriously and I had replied in the same thread.
Something I did when my babies were added to their parent tank is took an old in take tube, put it in the water right above the frogs and dropped brine shrimp or blood worms right on top of them.
They soon learned tube = food.

You'll find a method that works for you.
 

bitseriously

They soon learned tube = food.
Agree!! My guys come out and inspect/strike at almost anything new in the tank. If I use my trusty skewer to move things around, or pick up a stray piece of java moss, they go after it. They also go after they vacuum/siphon tube, so I have to be careful when cleaning.
I think just like any pet (or baby ), they quickly get used to and thrive on a routine. If I walk past the tank anywhere close to their dinner time, they're at the glass, following me (the frogs not the kid). If I lean in for a close look at the tank for more than half a minute, they're both there, staring back at me like the dog or cat, "you're feeding me now, right?"
So try a bunch of things, but give the frogs time to figure out and predict what each one means through repetition. And this isn't a science experiment, with rigid controls. You can try a couple of different things at the same time, and turn whatever works into your solution.
 

WendyLusch

Thank you all for your wonderful suggestions. It looks like my best option is to run to the pet store and buy some reptile tweezers. Since they don’t seem to be tempted by the frog and tadpole pellets, I’ll grab some frozen brine shrimp to add to the blood worms and give them some variety. I’ll try the pellets again once they figure out the plate = food.
 

MrFluffie

I am skimming so forgive me if this was covered. You can also do a change in light and a rap on the window as a cue that you are putting the food out. I turn off the day light setting on the tank light for my ADFs before feeding time
 

WendyLusch

Froggy update - Unfortunately, we lost one of our little guys today. I used the reptile tweezers to target feed them. One of the froggies ate very well that way. The other one had very little interest in eating brine shrimp or bloodworms. I’m assuming that’s the one that didn’t make it.

Our other froggy has decided not to swim across the front of the tank anymore. He’s crawled into the castle, and while he’s always moving and poking his head and feet out, should I be worried that he’s not feeling well?
 

MrFluffie

Not Necessarily cause for alarm. Some of my frogs have hung out in my castle for weeks and driven me crazy by not coming out. I don’t know everything about ADFsbecause I’m new to it too but I know that spending time away from your sight is not necessarily a sign of ill physical or emotional health. I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost one soon after I got my four and it was very upsetting. There’s something about losing something with little hands and feet that is just particularly challenging. Sorry you had to go through that
 

WendyLusch

Thank you MrFluffie. It was especially sad for my daughter, but we had a little funeral for him.

I hope that other little guy is ok. He’s so cute to watch swim around and now when he pokes his little head out of the castle window.
 

Lucy

I'm so sorry Wendy. Condolences to your daughter as well.
 

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