How To Feed African Dwarf Frog While on Vacation?

There is no settled answer to how you can feed your African dwarf frog while on vacation.

The answer will largely depend on how long the vacation will last, whether the African dwarf frog stays in a community tank and how efficiently any feeding machine you opt for will work.

Check out this article to find out.

How To Feed African Dwarf Frog

Depending on the duration of the vacation, here are some things to keep in mind.

1) Vacations of Less Than a Week

If the duration of your vacation is about 3-5 days or less, your frogs will do fine without any food as long as you feed them well before leaving for the vacation.

Ideally, African dwarf frogs should only be fed about once or twice a week. If you feed them more frequently, this will lead to obesity which is the start of many other health problems.

A few weeks before the trip, you can design a feeding schedule to get them used to the three to five days of getting no food. This will help your frogs adapt well to the timing so that when you go on the trip, they will stay put for the duration of your vacation without food.

2) Vacations of More Than a Week

If the duration of your trip will extend more than 5 days, perhaps up to a week, you will need a different approach. You may need to use an automatic feeder.

But the problem with automatic feeders is the risk of overfeeding, leading to uneaten food rotting in the tank. This can disrupt the water parameters and bring your pet under stress.

Another problem with automatic feeders is that if you use a community tank, there is a great chance your African dwarf frog may not get any food if the other occupants in the tank decide to eat what the feeder supplies. This will leave your African dwarf frogs starved and malnourished, which may lead to other health issues.

If you choose to use an automatic feeder, test it well enough to find any possible flaws in the arrangement weeks before the vacation. You want to test the feeder several times. Take note that you are to test the automatic feeder in a test tank for the first few times.

You can then try it with your tank to see how the biodiversity in your tank responds to it and how that response affects the availability of food for your African dwarf frogs. The goal is to see if the feed will get to your African dwarf frogs and how much of it gets to your pet before its tankmates have consumed them all up. This information will help you know how effective the automatic feeder will be.

You also want to watch for the feed choice that works best with the automatic feeder. Many experienced African dwarf frog keepers have opined that flakes work best with automatic feeders. You can try it with your automatic feeder during the test period to be sure before using it.

But you do not want to leave it there. Having a trusted friend check it every three or four days while you are on vacation is recommended.

If there is something he has to do with the feeder to increase its efficiency or if he has to add more feed to the automatic feeder, it would be wise to carry the friend along during the test stage to avoid costly mistakes while you are on the trip.

Your friend will also help you check if the tank mates are letting your African dwarf frog get some food. If the fish gobble them all up before your African dwarf frog has had a chance, your friend can help you feed your African dwarf frog on the spot with a pair of tweezers to ensure that they get the nutrition they need.


Feeding is not the only main concern you must worry about when leaving your aquatic critters for a vacation. Water parameters also matter. Performing a water change at least every 3-4 days is equally important to ensure that your African dwarf frogs do not encounter any health issues.

If the vacation is less than 5 days, you can perform a 15-20% water change before leaving. They will do just fine until you return. But if the vacation will take more than a week, it would be best to have your sitter or friend learn how to do the water change so that the right water parameters can be maintained while you are on your vacation.

Can I Leave Black Live Worms in the Gravel Instead of Using an Automatic Feeder?

This is an ingenious move, and many African dwarf frog owners do this. Although it is a less common source of nutrition, it is often preferred because they can live and bury themselves in the tank with their African dwarf frogs. This means there is a constant supply of food in the tank.

This is a good move in terms of feeding while on vacation, but it also comes with a couple of downsides. The first is that the live black worms will burrow into your gravel substrate, which may lead to clogged under-gravel filters.

This strategy will only work with tanks that use under-gravel filters.

Another problem with this strategy is that your African dwarf frogs are likely to overfeed themselves. This is a problem because all that protein will lead to obesity which will gradually shorten your pets’ lifespans, among other ugly consequences.

So, if your vacation will take more than a week and you are looking forward to preventing serious health issues, it would be best to find a sitter. Show that sitter what to do, how to do it, and when.

What Should Your African Dwarf Frogs Eat While You Are on Vacation?

If you check forums to know what the best food options for African dwarf frogs are, you will find many options. But the truth is that while some of these options suggested by frog keepers may have worked for them, not all the options listed on forums are recommended for your African dwarf frogs.

For instance, although pellets may pass as a good feed option for your African dwarf frogs, a major downside of feeding pellets is that they dissolve quickly in the tank. Remember that your pets are not like fish that dart at and gobble food in an instant.

African dwarf frogs eat slowly. So feeding pellets are not recommended even though they may have worked for a few lucky African dwarf frog keepers. The pellets may dissolve before your frogs have had a chance at it. If you plan to use pellets in the automatic feeder while on vacation, you are strongly advised not to do so.

Another reason pellets are not recommended is that they mess up the water chemistry since they dissolve quickly. This means more pollution in your tank, apart from your frogs having less time to eat before the food dissolves in the water.

You are better off with other food choices, such as worms. You can use fresh and frozen worms. Some worms that make great feed choices include blood worms and black worms.

Other excellent food choices include daphnia and brine shrimp. If you choose to feed them bigger food choices such as earthworms and Mysis shrimp, it is strongly recommended that you cut the food to bits. These will work well for a short vacation.

But if you are going on a vacation that will last more than five days, it would be best to stick with flakes, especially if you use an automatic feeder.

If you scrap the automatic feeder altogether because your friend/sitter agrees to check and feed them every 3 days or so, you want to demonstrate how to cut the bigger food into bit sizes.


If you wish to feed a block of live worms before your short vacation, or you’d like your sitter to feed your frogs a block of frozen live worms, you must thaw and rinse the worms off in freshwater.

Do not dump the block of worms into the tank. Besides hygiene concerns, your frogs will be at risk of bloating and constipation. You want to shave off the portion to feed them, thaw the worms and rinse them off with fresh water before feeding your critters.

Have your sitter watch you do it to avoid health problems for your frogs.

Final Thoughts

If you keep a community tank, an automatic feeder will considerably sustain your biodiversity while you enjoy your vacation.

But if you keep an African-dwarf-frog-only tank, you may not need to use any automatic feeder. Your friend or sitter can always come in every three days to feed them and change the water.

If you are only feeding one or two African dwarf frogs, an automatic feeder is useless. You can not adjust it to feed that small population. You will end up overfeeding your critters.