ADF community tank feeding successes- anyone? - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-31-2017, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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Question ADF community tank feeding successes- anyone?

My daughter and I would love to add a couple ADF to our betta community tank. I keep reading how tough they are to feed in communities. I've done a fair share of reading and am confident we can meet the other care requirements (soft sand substrate, driftwood near the top, appropriate height tank, lots of hiding spots and live plants, etc.) I'm willing to do frozen food, to train the frogs for, say, a month toward a good solution...if I could think of one. But I'm not willing to target feed for 10+ minutes a day long-term.

On the plus side: We somehow lucked out with a chill betta (to date, we're always watching for stalking and such), ignores snails and other fish (small, nonaggressive) and even ignores the ~50-ish cherry shrimp.

The minus: I can't even feed the shrimp sinking algae pellets because the betta will just shove them out of the way and eat it. He's not aggressive, but he's **such** a pig. I currently feed the betta one one side (New Life betta pellets) while simultaneously feeding the fish on the other (flake food), unless it's a frozen food day.

So...how to do this? We can't put food in a tray and train the frogs to eat from it because the betta will hog it.
Ideas:
?the 'small glass cup with fishing line attached method- put food in, lower, train frogs to go into it-- somehow maybe the betta won't go in it if it's just the right size?
?put the betta/or frogs in a breeder box for a few minutes and feed the frogs every other day
? just throw frozen ?daphnia, bloodworms, what? into the tank and everyone will eat them [and make sure the frogs get some?]
?other successful experiences anyone can share

Thanks!!
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-01-2017, 09:33 AM
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Planting tongs are probably the easiest for feeding ADF. It allows for target feeding and also helps "tame" the ADF. I also fed from my fingers but some people are allergic to bloodworms so you have to check that out.

As I'm sure you've read in my other posts, since I've gone to strictly frozen I've had no problems with anyone over eating. I have a good source for healthy ADF if you're intersted.

Enjoy!

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-01-2017, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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Planting tongs are probably the easiest for feeding ADF. It allows for target feeding and also helps "tame" the ADF. I also fed from my fingers but some people are allergic to bloodworms so you have to check that out.

As I'm sure you've read in my other posts, since I've gone to strictly frozen I've had no problems with anyone over eating. I have a good source for healthy ADF if you're intersted.

Enjoy!
Thanks for the info!- of course, this will get your more questions- apologies, I'm not sure that I've read all your other posts, but I have read some->
- I've read that the 'tadpole bites' type of food should be the staple of the diet rather than, say, bloodworms as it's complete. What frozen food do you use? Do you supplement?
- How long daily does it take you to feed with tongs, is it like a 2 min task or like a 15 minute task? Do you feed every other day? Did you have to train the betta not to go for it?
- Sure, I'd love an idea for a source

Thanks. We're more-than-is-reasonable excited about the prospect of these new additions :)
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-01-2017, 05:18 PM
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I buy all of my ADF from fishonlinerus on eBay. His email is [email protected]. I've had two of his for four years!

Feeding takes a couple of minutes; usually the Betta don't go for the tongs. I feed a wide variety of frozen: Bloodworms, Brine and Mysis Shrimp, Daphnia, Krill, Cyclops and "Mini Bloodworms" which are actually mosquito larvae. I also give the ADF those frog bites, too. I've not had one Betta that liked them. I do feed every day. You can also use a clear plastic tube (like those on a vacuum). Just place it on a dish or saucer and drop the food down the tube. Lift the tube when the ADF are near. It won't take long for the ADF to figure out the tube means a food drop.

You don't need anything near the top for them. Just be careful that you don't have any decor that doesn't have a top outlet. ADF aren't the brightest bulbs in the package and their instinct is to go upwards. If the top of a piece of decor is solid they've been known to drown.

Get a minimum of three to see more natural behavior. The more you have the less shy they are.

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-01-2017, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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Great ideas, thanks!
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-01-2017, 05:35 PM
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Forgot to add: I had six in my 10 gallon community with no issues.

My 60-Year Aquarium and 53-Year Betta Addictions
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-04-2017, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
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Just an update: (I often read old posts when I have the same question trying to figure out 'so how did it go?!' - so for what it's worth-) Added two ADF last night. Spent much of the day looking for them, unsuccessfully. I knew at least one was alive because occasionally s/he'd shoot up to the top, then magically disappear. The betta - who has never shown an interest in the fish or the shrimp- has shown a surprising amount of interest. A couple of times I was able to find one because the betta was following it around. Not flaring or aggressive-seeming, not even stalking-seeming (no nipping I've seen, the webbing on all of the frogs' feet still looks perfect etc.), but I'm watching it closely (have 5g backup).

Also, the frogs have shown no notice of or interaction with each-other, and were across the tank from each-other when I finally found both (see below). I imagine I'd need a bigger group for any social behavior (I was hoping to get 3).

Feeding: I got frozen bloodworms. I won't have the HBH tadpole bites for a couple weeks due to shipping, so hope they'll be OK on frozen blood worms & brine shrimp/daphnia until then?

I first tried just leaving a huge pile of them in one spot, hoping the smell would draw the frogs, because I'd spent like **15 minutes straight** (it's only a 20g!) looking for them unsuccessfully. Then I found one- and s/he had no trouble or hesitation grabbing a couple worms off the planting tweezers- same with the second once I found him/her (hanging right underneath the sponge filter). And the other fish didn't notice the tongs or try to steal the worms.

So feeding might just be fast and easy- once I learn how to find them, and they learn to come to the tongs. (Meanwhile the betta is bloated from eating the worms that dropped off into the sand. I'll be more careful next time.) Phew!

Sexing: My daughter really wants to know the sex. <<snip>> They both have a white patch behind the arm...but one looks 'fat' female. Dunno. Do you know of/have any better pics?

Last edited by RussellTheShihTzu; 02-05-2017 at 01:26 PM. Reason: Linking to another forum. BF Rule #14.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-05-2017, 01:33 PM
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The fewer in the group the more they hide as they are very social critters. They are also new which is going to make them even more shy than normal. In a 20 I'd go for six. Do you have a terra cotta pot or something similar for them to use as a hide?

I'd keep some thawed bloodworms in a pill bottle in the fridge and when you see one out grab the tongs, tap the tank and offer. If you have a lid they will soon learn the lifting of the lid means food. BTW, I use a pipette to tap the tank but a plastic straw will work. Alternatively, you can tap the tank and if they appear offer the bloodworms. But give them a few days to adjust to new surroundings.

Mature males are much smaller than females. The difference is like Laurel and Hardy. Even if you have a pair they won't successfully reproduce because they eat their eggs and so will anyone else. I've had Esmeralda and Clayton for nearly four years with no offspring.

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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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I'd keep some thawed bloodworms in a pill bottle in the fridge and when you see one out grab the tongs, tap the tank and offer. If you have a lid they will soon learn the lifting of the lid means food. BTW, I use a pipette to tap the tank but a plastic straw will work. .
Help! How in the world do you feed them pellets when in a community tank? Very specifically, please? I apologize in advance for the overly specific post and greatly, very much indeed, appreciate your input:

I am of course now enamored with these frogs and determined to make this work. I believe it's possible...

And you were quite right! They certainly know the opening of the lid means food and are quite happy to come to the front of the tank quickly, now. No more frog hunting :) But...

At this point I'm spending about 20 minutes a day trying to feed my fish & frogs. And I"m not sure that my frogs are getting enough food. And I have never seen my betta's stomach so full, **holy cow** it's downright scary how much he's eating. He hasn't eaten a betta pellet since frog day 1 :\ So clearly I need a different way to feed the frogs (preferably that allows me to fast the betta tomorrow because wow I've never seen him poop like this).

1. Bloodworms (frozen, thawed with tank water)
* The frogs will readily take a bloodworm, one by one if I'm grabbing it in the tongs from one end and they can grab it from the other (if I put on more than one, the rest just fall to the bottom, which means the betta gets them). So I could just feed them ?3 ?5 ?7 bloodworms daily. The only catch is that I have to keep them on opposite sides of the tank while trying to feed them from the tongs, or the one guy attacks the other.

But they need the more 'complete' food of the (HBH Frog & Tadpole) pellets, too, not just bloodworms, right?

*I tried shooting the bloodworms toward them with a syringe. They might catch one, if they're lucky. The not-caught attempts fall to the ground and...betta food.

2. Pellets
They're happy enough to eat them, they accept them fine. But I can't get the pellets into their mouths.
*If I time it just perfectly, they will eat a pellet chunk of just the right size (whole is too big) while it's falling down, after I've let it go from the tongs/syringe (because when it's in the tongs they can't get to it, they just attack the tongs). But that means the rest of the pieces of pellet that they miss are not caught = more food for the betta.

* Letting a soaked pellet fall to the substrate. They literally walk right over it. (more betta food) They also won't eat bloodworms off of the substrate.

* I haven't tried the 'put in a plate and drop it down with a tube when they're near' method yet. I'll try that tomorrow. I'm asking these questions first, because I sense my learning curve on that will again mean an overfed betta.

Last edited by MadtownD; 02-11-2017 at 09:04 PM.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 10:09 PM
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ADF are nearly blind and depend totally on their sense of smell to find their food. That's why they walk over it if it's not dropped directly into their mouths. Mine do grab the bloodworms at the same time but the one that loses hangs around. One thing you can do is get a breeding box or some sort of plastic container big enough to hold the Betta. Submerge so the rim is barely below the water line. Use the tongs or a pipette to lead your Betta into the container; lift the container and clip to the side of the tank while you feed the ADF.

I've never had a problem with my Betta overeating when they're with ADF so I'm at a loss to tell you what to do. None of my Betta would touch the Frog and Tadpole Bites, either. Maybe I've not had problems because I feed only frozen with the occasional Betta pellet so frozen isn't anything special? I don't know.

Wish I could be of more help but maybe someone who's had similar problems will check in and give you another idea.

BTW, I'm sure I've said but I feed the ADF Bloodworms, "Mini" Bloodworms (mosquito larvae), Krill, Mysis and Brine Shrimp.

My 60-Year Aquarium and 53-Year Betta Addictions
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