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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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Discussion Starter #3
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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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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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited by Moderator)
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?
 

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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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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
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.
 

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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. :dunno:

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.
 

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Having similar issues at the minute myself, actually. Just got an ADF on Saturday but I'm not sure he's eaten anything and the betta is getting too much. I have always feed my betta bloodworms with tongs, so they already know to look out for it and he's too quick for me to get anywhere near the bottom of the tank without him nabbing it (it's only a 5.5g). Also having a lot of trouble even locating the frog. I've a fair amount of plants and a decent sized piece of spider wood, all of which provide very effective cover.
That might be a blessing, though; Sagat's not as aggressive as Tong Po but neither are most piranha. TP will kill or be killed by anything that goes into his tank, for sure; Sagat's always seemed very calm by comparison.

Sagat's been stalking and flaring at the frog, though. I saw him try to bite at the frog's leg when it was poking out of a plant but the frog is unharmed; still got the full webbing and moving normally. I only saw the frog twice briefly for all of yesterday, though and I was sitting next to the tank most of the day.
I do have something to try, though; got a spring-loaded 'tube within a tube' device, so you can put stuff in the interior tube and then when you press a button, it's released. The betta hasn't seen it before, so hopefully he'll keep his distance but it's finding the frog in the first place that's the current challenge. He surfaces now and then for air, but that's a split-second jumping out of the middle of an anubias bush or something then away into the undergrowth again...
 

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I figured it out!!! I use pipettes instead of tongs. I used to use tongs but feeding other frozen foods is easier with pipettes. Wish I knew how to make a head-slap!

Pipettes allow you to drop one piece of food at a time. Last night I dropped Krill in Esmeralda's mouth and while she chewed I did the same for Clayton. Also, because your hands are right there, the Betta doesn't get close.

To feed the Betta (which I do first) I barely hold the end of the pipette under water and the Betta pull the food from it or if it's something not long enough for them to pull I squirt the food on the opposite side of the tank. Then I feed the ADF and other critters while the Betta is eating or chasing the dropped food. Hope this makes sense.

10pcs 5ml Disposable Plastic Graduated Dropper Transfer Pipettes US Seller | eBay

They're also great for dosing ferts, Prime, etc., if you get the 5 ml size.
 

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Having similar issues at the minute myself, actually. Just got an ADF on Saturday but I'm not sure he's eaten anything and the betta is getting too much. I have always feed my betta bloodworms with tongs, so they already know to look out for it and he's too quick for me to get anywhere near the bottom of the tank without him nabbing it (it's only a 5.5g). Also having a lot of trouble even locating the frog. I've a fair amount of plants and a decent sized piece of spider wood, all of which provide very effective cover.
That might be a blessing, though; Sagat's not as aggressive as Tong Po but neither are most piranha. TP will kill or be killed by anything that goes into his tank, for sure; Sagat's always seemed very calm by comparison.

Sagat's been stalking and flaring at the frog, though. I saw him try to bite at the frog's leg when it was poking out of a plant but the frog is unharmed; still got the full webbing and moving normally. I only saw the frog twice briefly for all of yesterday, though and I was sitting next to the tank most of the day.
I do have something to try, though; got a spring-loaded 'tube within a tube' device, so you can put stuff in the interior tube and then when you press a button, it's released. The betta hasn't seen it before, so hopefully he'll keep his distance but it's finding the frog in the first place that's the current challenge. He surfaces now and then for air, but that's a split-second jumping out of the middle of an anubias bush or something then away into the undergrowth again...
Unless you have at least three ADF you won't see them much. They require others of their kind for confidence because they are so shy.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Having similar issues at the minute myself, actually. Just got an ADF on Saturday but I'm not sure he's eaten anything and the betta is getting too much.

Sagat's been stalking and flaring at the frog, though. I saw him try to bite at the frog's leg when it was poking out of a plant but the frog is unharmed; still got the full webbing and moving normally. I only saw the frog twice briefly for all of yesterday, though and I was sitting next to the tank most of the day.
I do have something to try, though; got a spring-loaded 'tube within a tube' device, so you can put stuff in the interior tube and then when you press a button, it's released. The betta hasn't seen it before, so hopefully he'll keep his distance but it's finding the frog in the first place that's the current challenge. He surfaces now and then for air, but that's a split-second jumping out of the middle of an anubias bush or something then away into the undergrowth again...
Keep me posted and let me know what you find that works!

Re flaring and stalking: Hm. One of the frogs nips at the betta if he ever gets too close, so he keeps his distance and flies off if a frog comes toward him. He's just a chill betta, though, I've never seen him flare, stalk, or bite at anything in the tank.

Re finding them: I wonder if they're concerned because of the betta? My two frogs have been very active and out and about since the second day they were in the tank, they just hid the first. Sounds like you have good hiding places for them. I'd like to get a a couple more for their comfort, but first I need to be sure I can feed them! This 'one at a time' feeding thing doesn't lend itself to four frogs.

Re feeding: Last night I put my betta in a mock 'breeder box' aka tupperware balanced on the rim of the tank, took a small jar, filled it with defrosted frozen bloodworms and pellets, and put it on the substrate and encourage one of the frogs into it. He sat there. And sat there... I don't think he quite got the idea to eat the food, yargh. But it might be something to try for yours so that he's protected from the betta while he eats?

I'll respond to the pipette idea below-
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I figured it out!!! I use pipettes instead of tongs. I used to use tongs but feeding other frozen foods is easier with pipettes. Wish I knew how to make a head-slap!

Pipettes allow you to drop one piece of food at a time. Last night I dropped Krill in Esmeralda's mouth and while she chewed I did the same for Clayton. Also, because your hands are right there, the Betta doesn't get close.

To feed the Betta (which I do first) I barely hold the end of the pipette under water and the Betta pull the food from it or if it's something not long enough for them to pull I squirt the food on the opposite side of the tank. Then I feed the ADF and other critters while the Betta is eating or chasing the dropped food. Hope this makes sense.

10pcs 5ml Disposable Plastic Graduated Dropper Transfer Pipettes US Seller | eBay

They're also great for dosing ferts, Prime, etc., if you get the 5 ml size.
Neat!! I used your link and bought some. Will try it. Thanks for the detailed description. I tried a syringe, but it wasn't like one worm at a time, might try that. Last night, I tried putting worms and bites in a clear jar last night while the betta was in a tupperware in the tank (balanced on the lid rim) and put a frog in there- but he didn't notice the food. It would be great if I could just stick food in a jar, stick the frogs in the jar, come back 15 minutes later and they'd be fed...but doesn't look promising.

Looking forward to trying the pipettes...
 

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I am so sorry! I can't believe it took me this long to remember the difference between using pipettes and tongs! :dunno:

Thank Esmeralda and Clayton because feeding them last evening reminded me. And I hope the pipettes work for you as well as they work for me.

Oh, and you can feed strictly frozen to ADF. You might try soaking the bites in a bit of garlic juice so they smell stronger. I use pill bottles for everything. The reason they go for your Betta's caudal is the ADF are so blind that any movement they consider food. :roll:
 

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Well, the spring-load tube thing worked well and I found out where he's been. Big bit of driftwood is actually kinda hollow and he can get under it. So, I waited until the fish was occupied with floating pellets and dropped some bloodworm with the tube near the 'entrance' to his hidey-hole. He came straight out and grabbed a piece. Then the fish noticed, made a beeline for it and ate the rest of the bloodworm, then burrowed the substrate out of the way and forced himself under the driftwood to chase the frog. Haven't seen the frog since, kinda worried he's either been hurt or he's now hiding deeper under the wood and won't be able to get out for air. Overall, not a good development. I think I'm going to take him back if things don't get much better by the end of the week; even if he's OK, I can't keep him running and hiding his whole life with the fish stealing his food the whole time.
 

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Unless you get more ADF he will have a sad life even if the Betta weren't in the tank. Sorry to be so blunt but that's the way of it. Even people who have an ADF-only tank are advised to keep no fewer than two or three. When you add tank mates that ups the ante.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well, the spring-load tube thing worked well and I found out where he's been. Big bit of driftwood is actually kinda hollow and he can get under it. So, I waited until the fish was occupied with floating pellets and dropped some bloodworm with the tube near the 'entrance' to his hidey-hole. He came straight out and grabbed a piece. Then the fish noticed, made a beeline for it and ate the rest of the bloodworm, then burrowed the substrate out of the way and forced himself under the driftwood to chase the frog. Haven't seen the frog since, kinda worried he's either been hurt or he's now hiding deeper under the wood and won't be able to get out for air. Overall, not a good development. I think I'm going to take him back if things don't get much better by the end of the week; even if he's OK, I can't keep him running and hiding his whole life with the fish stealing his food the whole time.
Hm. Hope things improve and the betta loses interest.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I am so sorry! I can't believe it took me this long to remember the difference between using pipettes and tongs! :dunno:

Thank Esmeralda and Clayton because feeding them last evening reminded me. And I hope the pipettes work for you as well as they work for me.

Oh, and you can feed strictly frozen to ADF. You might try soaking the bites in a bit of garlic juice so they smell stronger. I use pill bottles for everything. The reason they go for your Betta's caudal is the ADF are so blind that any movement they consider food. :roll:
I'm optimistic about the pipettes, thanks.

Last question, I swear! How long are frozen blood worms defrosted with a bit of tank water, kept in the frig in a covered (in my case, baby food jar) good for? 3 days? A week?
 
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