African Dwarf Frogs With Shrimp Or Snails? (Safety Advice)

If you are a pet lover, you would want to keep as many species as possible, but, with minimum cost. This may mean housing compatible pets in one tank to minimize housing costs. Therefore, whether you can keep your frogs with shrimp or not, I understand it is a matter of concern that requires your attention.

So, can you keep African dwarf frogs with shrimp? Generally, it is risky to keep a shrimp with small predators like the African dwarf frog. This is because such a pairing may easily end up in tragedy. Your frog might decide to feed on the tasty shrimp, especially the baby shrimp. However, by considering the important factors, these two pets can coexist in one tank.

It is vitally important to understand the ins and outs of keeping African dwarf frogs with shrimp, as knowing whether the dwarf frogs will eat the shrimp will help decide whether they can co-exist.

When choosing a tank mate for your frogs, you would want one that will peacefully coexist with your pet without harming each other. Read on as I help you understand whether you can house a shrimp and an African dwarf frog in the same tank and the likelihood of a tragedy in such cases.

While there is a possibility of a tragedy when hosting the shrimp and the African dwarf frog in one cage, these two pets can still thrive. This is possible if you put a reasonably sized shrimp such as the ghost shrimps.

This pair is particularly compatible if you do not want to deal with removing substrates from your sink every now and then. Besides the improvement in water quality resulting from this pairing, there are no risks of disease transmission or sensitivity from chemicals used in tanks inhabited by other creatures like fish.

When looking for a companion for your African dwarf frog, size and aggressiveness are the top considerations. The African dwarf frog is small and will do well with a smaller or equal size tank mate. However, if you get your frog a bigger mate, you risk it being harassed or eaten by the bigger counterpart.

Thus, as a general rule, the tank mate should not be too small unless it is a feeder, as the frog will gobble it up. Also, it should not be too big, as it may eat your frog. You should also avoid aggressive mates. An aggressive mate, regardless of its size, could harm your frog by constantly nipping or harassing it. This may result in severe injury or stress, which could eventually cause death.

Shrimps are scavengers; therefore, they will eat the foods that settle on the substrate, which you may miss during vacuuming. Since frogs are poor eaters given their slow metabolism, shrimps help eliminate the substrate on the water by eating the food before it starts decomposing.

This way, they prevent excess ammonia from getting into the water. In addition, they digest the food thoroughly, resulting in a lower bioload. This is beneficial to the water quality, and you will not need to clean the tank more frequently than you would without the shrimps.

While shrimps are good in maintaining the water quality, they can be a disadvantage if you keep many of them in your tank. This is because frogs are slow eaters and have poor eyesight. Therefore, having many shrimps in your tank will deprive your frogs of food, and you may need to feed the frogs individually, as the shrimps may steal all their food before they get a chance to eat.

Alternatively, you can opt to populate your tank with plants densely. This way, all the inhabitants will benefit from the security and conditions that the plants will provide, and there will be a balance in the food supply.

Given the above benefits, ghost shrimps are a better fit for your frogs. They are also affordable since they are primarily available as feeders in pet stores for aquatic reptiles and fish. Due to their low price, some pet shops end up not caring for them well. Thus, if you want ghost shrimp for your frog tank, it is advisable to buy them from a pet shop that sells them as pets rather than feeders.

It is also worth noting that your African dwarf frog will feast on your shrimp if it gets a hold of it; therefore, buying a larger shrimp is advisable to reduce the chances of your frog turning it into food. The shrimp should also not be too big as it can scavenge your frog.

The bamboo shrimp is another shrimp species you can keep with your African dwarf frog. This shrimp is bigger than the African dwarf frog, and while this may seem like a risk, it is always unwilling to try to eat its tank mates. Hence, a bamboo shrimp is a safe companion for your frog. Unfortunately, bamboo shrimps have a shorter lifespan of one to two years, after which you may need a replacement.

Will African Dwarf Frogs Eat Shrimp?

If you want to keep both an African dwarf frog and shrimp as pets in one tank, it is worth understanding whether the two are compatible. This means knowing whether your African frog will eat your shrimp.

Generally, your African frog will eat your shrimp if you put them in a common tank. However, there are exceptions to this. For instance, an African dwarf frog will eat the ghost shrimp if given an opportunity. However, this does not happen in the wild, as these creatures rarely come in contact with each other. Also, the frog might have a tough time catching the shrimp, but it is certain that if it catches it, it will swallow it.

One of the reasons why an African dwarf frog may not catch a ghost shrimp is its visual confirmation. It may be difficult for the frog to see the shrimp, leave alone catching it. Secondly, some ghost shrimps may be too big for the African dwarf frogs. Since frogs do not have teeth, they swallow their prey whole, making it impossible to swallow bigger prey. Other food options for the frogs include brine shrimps in both fresh and frozen forms.

The brine shrimps are the most common food for the frogs and are naturally present in saltwater, such as the Salt Lake in Utah and other saltwater lakes isolated from the ocean. They are also sold fresh and frozen in pet stores, and you can purchase them as feeders for your frogs. They are half an inch in size and make good treats for your frog.

If you choose to collect them yourself for your frogs, use a syringe to capture them, and you can add them to the tank for your frogs to eat. You can also use the same method to add frozen shrimps to your tank only that you will not capture them.

When adding frozen shrimps to the tank, avoid adding them in excess, as the leftovers will decompose and dirtify the tank. If your frogs do not eat the live shrimps, they can continue swimming in the tank until their next meal.

Can African Dwarf Frogs Live With Snails?

When considering a tank mate for your African dwarf frog, you will also want one that does not disturb your frog’s peace and still offer benefits such as cleaning the tank. This is why most frog owners are interested in knowing whether they can house their frog and snail together.

A snail is a good addition and companion to an African dwarf frog tank. This is because of their peaceful nature and cleaning role. Also, given their hard external shells, it is difficult for a frog to feed on them, making them less susceptible to the attacks by the frogs. Also, these snails cannot harm the frogs in any way, given their docile nature.

A snail will instead feed on leftover and algae, contributing to the cleanliness of the tank. Most snail species breed well in tanks resulting in huge populations, which may not be ideal when hosting your frogs and snails together. Thus, for a proper balance, you may consider the Nerite and Mystery snails.

The nerite snails are algae-eating snails; hence, a good addition to your tank. Also, these snails do not breed in freshwater, and you do not have to worry about having an uncontrolled population.

They are available in a variety of patterns and colors, adding beauty to your aquarium. Unfortunately, these snails lay sticky eggs, which stick on rocks and other tank décor. This can be unsightly, but you can remove them when you clean the tank, as they can only hatch in brackish water.

The mystery snails are not only good tank mates but also cute to add to your tank. These beautiful snails have long antennae that whip around as they swim around the tank. They also feed on the algae and leftover food at the bottom of the tank; hence, good cleaning agents.

Unlike the nerite snails, mystery snails can reproduce in a home aquarium. However, this is possible if you have a male and female in the tank. Thus, if you want to prevent unwanted babies, it is best to keep one gender of the snails. Like nerite snails, they also lay their eggs in water, and you can remove them before they hatch.

Do African Dwarf Frogs Feed on Snails?

A frog will hunt for live prey such as slugs, termites, spiders, and worms in the wild. Whether an African dwarf frog in captivity can eat snails or not is a matter of concern, given that snails too are better companions for your frog. The last thing you would want is to wake up and find all your snails in the tank are gone, thanks to your frogs.

Like other frogs, an African dwarf frog will eat anything that fits in its mouth. Since most of the snails are big to fit in their mouth, it will not feed on them. However, they can feed on small snails. These snails are good sources of proteins; hence, a good snack for your frog. In fact, your frog will eat these frogs given an opportunity even when full. These frogs will also eat snail eggs if they get a chance, as they can swallow them easily, given their small size.

The African dwarf frog will not touch the larger snails in the tank. They also detest the hard shell of adult snails. This explains why they eat the baby snail in most cases, as the shell is a hindrance, even though the snail can fit in their mouth.

This case is different from the wild, where a frog will eat anything that moves, including those larger than them. Thus, it is advisable to feed your pet on what it can handle to prevent choking in captivity. As a general rule, avoid feeding your African dwarf frog on prey larger than the width between its mouth.

If you wish to breed snails, you should consider the species that your frog can feed on before releasing them into the tank, unless you want to add them as feeders. Otherwise, set up a breeding tank and remove all the snail eggs once laid to a safe tank. This way, you will continue breeding your snails and still enjoy the benefits that a snail brings into the tank when put together with the African dwarf frog.

Wrap Up

The African dwarf frog is small in size and a sluggish feeder. This makes owners look for other tank mates to feed on the algae and leftover food to prevent accumulation in the tank. Compatible tank mates include shrimps and snails. However, when housing shrimps with your snail, consider their sizes, as larger frogs can eat the smaller shrimps and vice versa.

Equally, you should consider the size when housing your frog with snails. This is because snails are docile and defenseless, and, if small, will be eaten by your frog. Also, you should consider other species above others.

For instance, the nerite and mystery snails are the best to keep, as they will not breed as much as other breeds in a home aquarium. Finally, whichever tank mate you choose for your frog, you should always monitor your frog’s diet to ensure they are feeding well.

Bal Kang

Bal Kang is an owner of several pets including reptiles, cats and dogs. An avid writer, who loves to share her insights into caring for pets.

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