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Old 04-10-2011, 03:10 PM   #1 
small fry
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Question ADF care??

Hey guys!

I am jumping out of my seat! Tony is about to go from a divided 10g tank (with another fish that really needs more than a divided 10g tank) to his very own 5 gallon tank!! In math, there is no difference, but other than the fact that he will have alot more surface area, plants per inch3, and alot more horizontal swimming room, he wont have to put up with any more fish!

Now that he will be in his own tank, I want to think of some non-fish animals to put in there with him. I really want to do African Darf Frogs, but I have never kept them before, and I want to learn everything about them I need to know before I get some. Rest assured, I wont get any until I know exactly how to take care of them.

So anyway, I have heard that ADF are nearly blind. I have heard several different ways to feed them, and several different food choices. I would really like to hear what different people are feeding, and how they are feeding their ADFs.

I want to provide a little bit of ground cover so the ADF can escape. Maybe something like a small cave, or a number of fake plants. I need to know, is it common for bettas to injure ADFs on purpose? My betta likes to hunt Ghost Shrimp, but I was hoping that he would not mind the frogs. Is there a proper way to test? I have a backup tank ready that I can use if they don't get along. I guess I could set aside an hour to watch their interactions if anyone thought that would be nesacary. I do not want to be irresponsibe with the frog or betta, though. If I could get some opinions on that, that would be great.

I am also wondering if ADFs should live in groups, and how many ADFs to keep in 1 habitat (say, a 5g tank with a betta in it). I think I have heard that they are somewhat social and will do better in a small group of maybe 2 or 3?

All and all, what do you guys think? I really want to get an ADF, but I don't want anything to get hurt. I am trying to take a responsibe approach to this, to reduce any hurt or deaths as possible.

small fry,
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Old 04-10-2011, 04:16 PM   #2 
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Hey Small Fry! I got your pm and am here :)


So anyway, I have heard that ADF are nearly blind. I have heard several different ways to feed them, and several different food choices. I would really like to hear what different people are feeding, and how they are feeding their ADFs. For me personally, I use three different staple foods. (My ADF is a female named Bella, so if you dont mind I will just refer to Bella in talking about her as it is less confusing for me, lol.) It is reported supposably that not all ADFs will eat flakes. Well, I have had many ADFs in my day, and all of them ate a basic tropical fish flake. Bella actually seems to LOVE the Tetra Tropical Flakes more than any other food. It is very important for ADFs to have a good amount of calcium in their diet. This is best achieved by using a sinking pellet food designed specifically for ADFs, a very popular commonly used brand, and what I feed Bella, is Tetra's ReptoMin Frog. Now, I have never seen Bella eat these pellets, and any fish ever housed with Bella spits them out as they dont like them, but I never see the pellets on the tank floor, so I am pretty sure she eats them. I also feed Bella freeze-dried bloodworms (you can also do live or frozen...if frozen soak them in a small cup of tank water until thawed). They recommend freeze-dried bloodworms to be soaked to soften, but I have found that when you just spinkle them on the top, by time Bella notices they are there and finds them, they are very soft and I can avoid pre-soaking them.

Yes, ADFs are nearly blind and hunt for food through smell. Some people freak out and worry that their ADF isnt getting food, and will buy tongs or turkey basters to put the food infront of the ADF. While this is a wonderful thought, it isnt always needed. Most ADFs tend to only actively eat once every other day (despite that, I feed Bella twice a day everyday). Bella knows the moment food is dropped in the tank and will crawl out from under her favorite bridge decor cave, she will then wait for the perfect piece of food to float by her nose, and then she jumps getting the food right in her mouth and eating it only to start the waiting game again for the next piece of food until full. Dont let an ADF fool you, they are very capable of coming to the top of the tank to eat the bloodworms that dont sink (freeze-dried at least). Bella has even trained me to feed her as she sits on top of the submersed heater so she can get the bloodworms with little to no effort and before my Betta (no name, just never thought of anything that stuck for him).

To summarize the feedings, it is as simple as dropping the food in the tank. Although the first week or so, you will naturally be concerned if your ADF doesnt appear to be eating, so a turkey baster could come in handy if it makes you feel better to see your ADF eat in front of you. Be warned, in the first day or two your ADF may not eat as he or she settles in.

I want to provide a little bit of ground cover so the ADF can escape. Maybe something like a small cave, or a number of fake plants. I need to know, is it common for bettas to injure ADFs on purpose? It all depends on the Betta. Some Bettas just have nastier personalities than others. It isnt very common though, as almost every ADF I have ever had, has been housed with a male betta (crowntail or veiltail), and I have NEVER had issues. An ADF doesnt look like another Betta, and isnt something easy to stalk like a shrimp is. Bella is a meanie herself. When Bella feels threatened, or as if someone is too close to her space, she will stand up on her back legs, huntch forward and stare them down. If they dont get the hint, Bella will jump on top of them to get them to retreat (she did this to a young 4 inch black ghost knife that had to hang out in her tank for a couple of hours due to a compatability issue in the BGKs regular tank).

Yes, ADFs NEED a cave and plants to be happy. A cave or one of those simple $8 ancient bridge decors Petsmart sells works great. Bella likes to go under the bridge, and then float herself up and hide like spiderman. Plants are helpful as it gives the ADF not only a secure feeling, but a place to explore and a place to push off to get to the top for air (they breathe air outside of the tank, but are fully aquatic and must be kept in water at all times).

My betta likes to hunt Ghost Shrimp, but I was hoping that he would not mind the frogs. Is there a proper way to test? No way that I am aware of except to just try it and see. A great option is putting the betta in last so that the ADF has had a chance to set up its own territory. I have a backup tank ready that I can use if they don't get along. I guess I could set aside an hour to watch their interactions if anyone thought that would be nesacary. I do not want to be irresponsibe with the frog or betta, though. If I could get some opinions on that, that would be great.

I am also wondering if ADFs should live in groups, and how many ADFs to keep in 1 habitat (say, a 5g tank with a betta in it). I think I have heard that they are somewhat social and will do better in a small group of maybe 2 or 3? In a 5 gallon tank with a betta, one ADF is best. ADFs can do just fine solo. However, they are more active in a group of 2-3 or more...and with the level of activity and antics they have when more than one is together, a 10 gallon is best. Keep in mind a tank should not be very deep, as they must be able to make it to the top of the tank to breath. Also keep in mind that if you see your ADF just floating around, or hiding somewhere new and odd, its normal, its part of their charm.

All and all, what do you guys think?

I think the final choice is up to you, however, it should be just fine with a betta and an ADF together in a 5 gal. Without knowing water parameters, filtration, and such, I will not advice anything else in the 5 gal like mine, as mine is overstocked, and mine will be upgraded in May to a 10 or 15 gallon. :) Oh, one more thing on ADFs, IF they lose a foot or limb, it WILL grow back, slowly. Another reason the calcium frog food is so important, it makes limbs stronger and healthier and helps aid in their replacement if ever lost. Keep me posted and let me know what you decide to do. If you have any ADF questions at all, feel free to shoot me a PM anytime, as I am on TFK at least once a day (usually more!).


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Old 04-10-2011, 04:30 PM   #3 
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Thank you SO much for all the helpful information! I really appreciate it!

I will be sure to put a link on this thread to a new thread with pictures when/if I get a Dwarf Frog.
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Old 04-10-2011, 08:17 PM   #4 
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Originally Posted by small fry View Post
Thank you SO much for all the helpful information! I really appreciate it!

I will be sure to put a link on this thread to a new thread with pictures when/if I get a Dwarf Frog.
No problem, you are very welcome!

Looking forward to pics!!!

Oh, another ADF thought...they arent recommended to cycle a tank with, however they are very hardy and adaptable, but do require a tropical temp.
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Old 04-10-2011, 10:41 PM   #5 
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Originally Posted by LasColinasCichlids View Post
\
Oh, another ADF thought...they arent recommended to cycle a tank with, however they are very hardy and adaptable, but do require a tropical temp.
Don't worry, the ADF will be moving in with Tony, my favorite fish. That little ADF will be more than spoiled.

I can't wait! We may be going to Petsmart tomorrow! I think I saw one there last time for about $1.50. It did look just a little bit skinny, but maybe that is because I am so used to researching clawed frogs.

This is a really silly story; I went to look up what continent African Dwarf frogs came from. When I saw the answer (they come from Africa), I was so mad at myself for temporarily forgetting.
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Old 04-10-2011, 11:03 PM   #6 
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Don't worry, the ADF will be moving in with Tony, my favorite fish. That little ADF will be more than spoiled.

I can't wait! We may be going to Petsmart tomorrow! I think I saw one there last time for about $1.50. It did look just a little bit skinny, but maybe that is because I am so used to researching clawed frogs.

This is a really silly story; I went to look up what continent African Dwarf frogs came from. When I saw the answer (they come from Africa), I was so mad at myself for temporarily forgetting.
Advice for picking out an ADF at Petsmart... you want an active one, watch them for a moment and make sure you see it swim to the top and such. Also look him/her over and make sure all legs and toes are there. Generally they are kind of skinny, the fatter they are sometimes means they have ate a live fish, like a danio or neon, lol. Also make sure there are no cuts or odd marks on it. And petsmart likes to keep their ADFs with mystery snails sometimes, and my advice is to ask for one that is NOT sitting under a pile of snails...even though they can get out from under them, a normal ADF that isnt going to allow that to happen. A healthy ADF will respond with a jump or jerk if something out of the ordinary touches them. My Bella even jumps if the filter current makes a leaf on a plant sway and touch her back swiftly. lol.

LOL at your where ADFs are from story!! I needed a good laugh, thank you!!! Dont feel bad, I think we all have those moments.
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Old 04-11-2011, 06:36 AM   #7 
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Thank you so much for the advice on ADF selection! I will choose carefully now that I know some good things to look for.

Tony still wasn't moved into the 5 gallon tank last night, because I was up until 10:30pm hauling 40lb. buckets of water back and forth to fill up my 55 gallon amazon tank (I last count at trip 11)! So that will give the ADF a chance to go first and adjust.

I will certainly try to get some pictures up after I get back. I cannot make any promises, because I have maybe 2 hours tops to setup everything (from about 10am to 11:55am). That may give me time to move the 5 gallon tank, move some other tanks, move Tony, and move all the fish and plants from the QT to the 55 gallon Amazon tank. I have alot of errends to run, which does, fortunately, include Petsmart.
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Old 04-11-2011, 04:01 PM   #8 
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Originally Posted by small fry View Post
Thank you so much for the advice on ADF selection! I will choose carefully now that I know some good things to look for.

Tony still wasn't moved into the 5 gallon tank last night, because I was up until 10:30pm hauling 40lb. buckets of water back and forth to fill up my 55 gallon amazon tank (I last count at trip 11)! So that will give the ADF a chance to go first and adjust.

I will certainly try to get some pictures up after I get back. I cannot make any promises, because I have maybe 2 hours tops to setup everything (from about 10am to 11:55am). That may give me time to move the 5 gallon tank, move some other tanks, move Tony, and move all the fish and plants from the QT to the 55 gallon Amazon tank. I have alot of errends to run, which does, fortunately, include Petsmart.
Right on!

I know what you mean about hauling water to and from. When I first got my 29 gallon tank, I didnt want to try and use the old 5 gallon bucket that had been sitting in the storage room on the patio holding car wash stuff like my hubby suggested, so I opted to use an empty one gallon jug of nursery water (from my nephew, I dont have kids)...so yes, one gallon at a time I filled the 29 gallon tank!! It took 2 hours to set the thing up completely and get running (that doesnt include the half hour it took for my husband to put together the aquarium stand). So I know what a pain it is, but yet we do it because its exciting!!! I cant wait to upgrade my 5 gal...debating between a 10 or 15 gallon. My best friend and I were laughing because I told her I was considering putting a 20 gal long in place of the 5 gal in the kitchen, she said she didnt know if my husband would be down with that...I looked at her and told her he knows I am upgrading to a 10 gal, he wont notice if its a 20 gal or a 10 gal! lol It was funny, guess you had to be there. But no, I wont be doing a 20 gal...he would notice as the living room tank is only 9 more gallons! lol.

Anyways...take your time, when you get a chance for pics, I will be here...but I do look forward to them.

Oh, sexing ADFs is pretty easy. Females have what look like tiny tails, while males have little white nodes behind their armpits. Behaviorally or size wise, there isnt much difference, as my Bella is female and it pretty tiny, while my BFFs ADF is also female but HUGE...of course her ADF likes to eat danios, lol.
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Old 04-11-2011, 05:30 PM   #9 
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Whew! I am tired! After 8 hours in a car today, and moving 10 fish and 1 aquatic amphibian I AM EXAUSTED! I still may have to go to scouts in less than an hour. BUSY BUSY! Anyway, I got a very cute, cute ADF at Petsmart today! I was going to pay $2, but they didn't have any (MD) ADF, so I had to an get (XL) ADF.

The ADF is little grey in color, the others were dark brown/grey, and some almost looked black. I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing. The one I picked (after staying longer at Petsmart than I should have) was the one that, after watching awhile, I noticed was the most active by far.

You guys couldn't see me stop typing, but Tony swam up to the ADF and looked at it curiously. No violence as far as I can tell.

Anyway, I am out of time again, so let me get some pictures up quickly...

The Tank (before I added abunch of Aponogeton)
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The African Dwarf Frog
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And that is all I have time for. More later I hope!

Thanks so much for your help, LasColinasCichlids!
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Old 04-11-2011, 05:42 PM   #10 
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You are more than welcome!!

Coloring is fine...ADFs come in colorations from olives to dark browns and blacks. The XL they sell is just an older ADF or fast growing ADF as they all max out around 2 inches in the body area. I cant tell by the pic if its male or female, but it is a very nice looking ADF!

Just a thought, you might consider adding a couple of flat smoothed surface rocks since you have sand. The ADF would appreciate the different texture.

I am glad the betta is good with the frog. If there hasnt been an issue thus far, there probably wont be.

You sure got that all taken care of and pics posted quick! That's pretty awesome! And the tank looks lovely!!
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