What Do Tadpoles Eat: 15 New Best Foods To Serve Them

You have tadpoles in your aquarium.

Looking for the right food to serve tadpoles? Want to know what tadpoles eat?

When to serve them? How many times to serve them food in your tadpole aquarium?

Don’t worry, We got everything covered.  here we listed the 15 best food to serve your tadpole pet.

So we’re instructed from childhood about the fundamentals behind the life cycle of a frog. If you’ve ever unbroken them as pets you’ll understand that it’s far tougher than it’s to grow tadpoles.

Before a frog is developed it spends several weeks growing. It’s a tadpole’s job to go looking for food to urge enough energy to grow.

When frogs lay their eggs in creeks, ponds, and different waterways. 

The eggs don’t hatch into little frogs – once they hatch, they are tadpoles.

These unattached frog larvae have gills like fish and long tails rather than legs.

They’re going to bear metamorphosis over time and can find with lungs rather than gills. And 4 legs to hop around on.

Their diet can modify as they start to eat like adult frogs.

Yet, when they are tadpoles, they eat alternative foods.

What Do Tadpoles Eat?

While getting food from stores is convenient, there’s plenty you can use to feed them within your home.

You can find many recipes online for homemade fish foods. Or adding uncooked green vegetables into the tank will be popular.

As they get older, the size of the food can increase.

So you can start introducing larvae and dead insects to their diet.

If these new foods go uneaten then they might not be ready, try again the following week.

Start introducing these foods when they’re around 3 or 4 weeks old.

They can vary in size depending on the species, so it’s better to use age to judge when changing their diet.

Switching up their food keeps feeding times interesting.

While giving them all the nutrients they need.

Protein is an important resource for growth.

So, it is particularly important for tadpoles. Because they are growing throughout their lifespan.
From hatching to metamorphosis.

Easy ways to do this are through bloodworms and aphids, but any small insects will do.

Don’t add any meats into the tank that they wouldn’t come across because it will be hard for them to digest.

Protein is most important while they develop legs (5-9 weeks).

One hour after feeding them, check the tank again to see if all the food has been eaten. If not, scoop the leftovers out to prevent them from decaying and polluting the water.

Below we listed foods that you can feed your tadpoles in the aquarium:

Algae Wafers

tadpoles eating algae

Tadpoles start eating algae and plant matter in the early stages.

Algae wafers can be a very nutritious addition to the diet of tadpoles.

Most tadpoles can eat algae wafers, which you can buy at your local pet store.

The easiest way to get algae is to go out to some pond or stream.

Find some leaf or rock with algae growing on it, bring it home, and place it with the tadpoles.

Aquatic plants like duckweed or milfoil can also be good additions.

If that is not possible for you, leafy greens that have been boiled until it’s very soft will also work.

Feed them a very small piece of leaves at a time.

See how long it takes for them to eat it. And also remember to remove old rotten food from the water.

And also it depends on the type of tadpoles species.

If you don’t know what species your tadpoles belong to, do observe them to see if they are eating what you are giving them. And if they are not eating avoid that as soon as possible. 


blood worms for tadpoles

Bloodworms are a kind of pretty good part of a diet for tadpoles.

Bloodworms are also not ideal for every day, as they are a bit fatty.

It depends on the species. The American Toad eats a variety of insects in the wild but in captivity, it’s easiest to feed them:

As for what toads eat in the wild, it depends on the species and the regions they inhabit.

If you’re asking this because you’ve caught a toad and you’re wondering what to feed it, use the list above. 

In the wild, Tadpoles will eat anything that moves and that they can fit into their mouths.

They eat plenty of aquatic insect nymphs, larvae, and pupae. If they come across aquatic worms (such as bloodworms), they will eagerly feast upon those as well.

Boiled Eggs

boiled egg for tadpoles

Hard-boiled egg yolks are another excellent and digestible source of nutrients for tadpoles.

Crumble the yolk into small pieces and place it in the tadpole tank during feeding times.

It’s the cheapest source of protein.

As eggs contain high amounts of protein it also helps tadpoles to grow healthy.

It also increases testosterone hormone which is helpful to increase growth in muscle and in the same way it helps tadpoles.

An egg is a complete source of protein that has all the essential amino acids in it.

For tadpoles, egg yolks are super quick in digestibility, which is they can digest very quickly and fast.

Small Fish

small fish for tadpoles

When small tadpoles prefer to eat algae and some other plant matter.

As soon as they grow and transform into adult frogs.

They move onto plant leaves/stems and later on they can manage small insects.

The most common foods they’ll come across are vegetation, dead insects, water striders, and sometimes small fish.

They start opening their mouth wide and prefer to eat their other pond mates. They first start to eat small fish in their respective places.

Also read:

Fish Food Flakes

fish food flakes for tadpoles

As they love to eat small fish. Fish food flakes will be an awesome diet for your tadpoles.

Fish food flakes will be great in your aquarium if you wish to keep more than a hundred tadpoles.

Flakes are easy to digest and can be served with egg yolks in the aquarium. Both are enriched with protein.

Will help tadpoles to grow fast and healthy.

Fish Food Pellets

fish food pellets for tadpoles

Fish food pellets are a good source of food for tadpoles. They are tiny in size and easily digestible.

Overfeeding fish food pellets to your tadpoles can quickly shorten their lifespan.

If you feed fish pellets, two to three pellets twice a day should do the trick. Pellets can be bought in either a floating or sinking variety.

Overfeeding of pellets would also lead to contamination of the water. So, remember not to do that mistake.

The owner who feeds fish flakes tends to think 2-3 flakes are not enough for tadpoles but, that’s where the owner is wrong.

But trust me, this is what they need.


fuits for tadpoles

Looking for fruits that you can feed your tadpoles?

Well, green grapes will work better for you. Because they are small and round in size.

You can easily break them into pieces or simply just scramble with your finger and feed the tadpoles.

Banana is also a great option for you to feed tadpoles. They are easily breakable and digestible.

It is enriched with protein and helps tadpoles to grow healthy.

Here are other fruits you can feed tadpoles: Carrots, Cucumber, Small pieces of Apples, etc.

Fruit Flies

fruit flies for tadpoles

Confused? From where you will get fruit flies? Do not worry. We will help you out.

Well, fruit flies are not easy to catch and are not easily found.
Fruits flies are recommended as the best source of food for tadpoles.

It is prepared to feed tadpoles. They need to be made into flakes to make them easy to eat for tadpoles.

As flies contain a sharp part that tadpoles find hard to eat and they can injure their mouth.

So the owner needs to take care of that too.

Below is a video on how to prepare fruit flies for feeding tadpoles.


Aphids for tadpoles

Aphids are small insects you can find in your garden. They live in the leaves of plants.

They are mostly found on fruit and vegetable crops. And some other flowering plants like chrysanthemums or roses, on trees, and in some bushes.

You have to be very careful while catching Aphids. Because they are very harmful.

They can transmit dozens of viruses from a diseased plant to a healthy one in a few seconds, especially through the winged generation.

Whenever you want to catch or remove Aphids do these things:

  • Remove aphids by hand by spraying water or knocking them into a bucket of soapy water.
  • Control with natural or organic sprays like a soap-and-water mixture, neem oil, or essential oils.
  • Employ natural predators like ladybugs, green lacewings, and birds.

In many cases, they want to feed their tadpoles. They try out the first method.

Green Vegetables

green vegetables for tadpoles

Broccoli, pea, green beans, zucchini, spinach, broccoli, green pepper, and lettuce will be best to serve the Tadpole well.

These vegetables can be fed both as fresh and as boiled.

Do chop these veggies into small pieces and feed them twice a day.

Small pieces of these green vegetables can also be served to the Tadpoles.


meal worms for tadpoles

Mealworms are the best diet for tadpoles in any aquarium. Naturally when tadpoles grow in a pond or any other place.

They look for worms like creatures and crave them.

Worms are a great source of protein for tadpoles.

There are many kinds of worm creatures you can feed to your tadpoles.

They almost prefer to eat every type of worm. When they start developing their mouth.

Insect/Mosquito Larvae

insect-mosquito larvae for tadpoles

Mosquito larvae are loved by tadpoles. As they are born in the wild they love to eat wild things.

The water they are born in already consists of algae and mosquito larvae which in the future lead to born mosquitoes.

They start eating mosquito larvae with algae. They are the source of their growth and help them to grow healthy.

The mosquito larvae can be found in the ponds or at the place where the same water is stored for many days.

We highly recommend every tadpole owner feed them mosquito larvae!


crickets insects for tadpoles

When tadpoles turn into frogs they start eating a lot of the insects, arachnids, and other small animals that we consider pests.

So it is better to feed them cricket-like insects in their early stage as soon as they form their mouths.

Research says that they play an important role in consuming insects and are an important food source for birds, snakes, and other animals throughout the food web.

Homemade Fish Food

homemade fish food for tadpoles

As you read earlier how good are small fish for tadpoles and are high protein sources.

It is very good to feed them homemade fish food too.

So, next time when you cook small fish food.

Do scramble it into small pieces and feed your tadpoles.

As soon as they grow as frogs from tadpoles they used to start eating small kinds of fish in their ponds.

So, for them, it’s not a big deal.

Frozen Foods

frozen food for tadpoles

Frozen Foods are also a much-preferred meal for tadpoles.

Everyone used to buy frozen food and loved to eat them. Nothing is complicated here.

You just have to scramble it with your finger and put it into the aquarium.

And the rest work tadpoles will do it.

Well, It’s a great source of food for them. As it does not keep them hungry, Easy to digest.

It just gets mixed up with the water as soon as you dip in the aquarium of tadpoles.

And then you will see a group of tadpoles run to eat frozen food.

Here is a video for you to watch how a grown-up tadpole eats the food.

What Is a Tadpole’s First Meal?

In an early stage, Baby tadpoles will love to eat small worms, flies, and as well as mosquito larvae.

What Are Tadpoles?

The name tadpole comes from the English word tad for a toad and poll for the head. 

A tadpole is a small creature that lives in water and goes through various stages to become an adult frog. 

tadpoles life cycle

It is a frog larva that has a long tail and internal gills. 

These are amphibians and can live on both land and water but the larvae are found in the water. 

They range in size from one-eighth of an inch to 3 inches. 

Tadpoles were raised by Many people as pets in their aquariums.

Raising a tadpole in your house is a great idea if you are a pet lover. 

You need a small aquarium, some small rocks, and a good amount of leafy underwater plants.

The simple way is to find frog eggs and place them in the aquarium and wait for them to hatch and produce tadpoles. 

They are sensitive creatures who need special care like any other baby. 

Here is a video for you to watch how a tadpole grows into an adult frog.

How Often Do You Need To Feed Tadpoles?

You need to feed daily to your tadpole’s pet. 

Tadpoles continue to eat until there is nothing left in the aquarium. 

So it is best to feed them twice a day. 

There is no such kind of timetable to feed tadpoles. 

Do not place too much food in the aquarium which will lead to making the water dirty. 

So keep the water clean for the better growth of your pets.

If the tadpoles did not get enough food to eat, they will start consuming to eat others to survive. So count them and if you see fewer tadpoles it means that they need more food.

When Do Do Tadpoles Start To Eat?

In just 2-3 days after hatching, tadpoles start swimming in their respective place.

This is where they are looking to eat.

When In the wild, in their pond, they find algae and aquatic plants.

At first, they only eat what is tender to eat.

Sometimes they also prefer half-rotten plants.
Later they will tackle harder plants. They will even become carnivores as soon as they become habitual.

Do I Need To Feed Tadpoles?

Yes, It is necessary to feed tadpoles when you are keeping them as a pet in your aquarium.

Because when you keep them with you. They won’t get satisfied if you don’t feed them proper food at the right time.

Since they are growing they will always be searching for and craving food. Feeding tadpoles regularly help them stay healthy and will help them to grow organically.

It helps to develop their body as they later transform from tadpoles to a frog.

Can Tadpoles Eat Fish Food?

No. It is not safe for tadpoles to eat fish food. Remember never to feed fish flakes, chicken pellets, meat products, or any kind of turtle foods.

Tadpoles are vegetarian and they prefer only bloodworms occasionally for proteins. 

Can Tadpoles Eat Bread Crumbs?

Yes, you can feed bread crumbs to tadpoles but not when they are just born. It requires time to open their mouth as they take many weeks to transform into adult frogs.

Once they can completely open their mouth. You can feed them bread crumbs into very tiny pieces.

Can I Put Tadpoles In Tap Water?

No, don’t use tap water because it contains chemicals that will lead to harmful tadpoles.

Water from a natural source will be much better. Since it is old stored and it also contains mosquito larva which will serve as another food source for tadpoles.

Remember to make sure that the temperature is as similar to the water from the natural source you will be getting for your tadpoles.

Will Tadpoles Eat Each Other?

Well, they are not that type of creatures but, when hungry a tadpole can get snippy and end up eating each other when they crave heavily.

Research says that tiny creatures are not ruthless, they only eat their pond mates when resources are finished.

Do Tadpoles Eat Mosquito Larvae?

Yes, tadpoles do eat mosquito larvae.

They are highly present in every natural water source and these tadpoles are mainly preferred to grow there.

Mosquito present in the water is another source of food for tadpoles. They are enriched with high protein and help tadpoles to stay healthy.

We recommend whenever you think of keeping tadpoles as a pet in your aquarium do use a natural water source. 

How To Keep Your Tadpoles Aquarium Clean

The tadpole bait should be changed once a week. Follow the steps below:

Collect enough water to replace 1/2 to 3/4 of the water in your tank and set it out near your tank for 2-3 hours before cleaning your tank.

So that the temperature of the water is similar.

Remove 1/2 to 3/4 of the water in the tank with a jug.

Be careful to fish out any tadpoles that may have been scooped up in the jug, while removing the old water.

Slowly add the freshwater to the tank.

Do Tadpoles Eat Algae?

Yes, Tadpoles do eat algae.

They don’t even eat but, they are loved by tadpoles. Algae is the mainstay of diet algae.

Especially when the tadpoles are small. When tadpoles are born they usually stay in one place and consume whatever algae they can find there.

And when they begin to transform and get a bit older, they start to swim. They continue to eat algae, and they’ll also begin to nibble on plant stems and leaves.

Bigger tadpoles can catch and eat live bugs and they also prefer to eat other pond mates.

Do feed Algae Wafers to your tadpoles if you keep them as a pet. They will stary love you.

Do Tadpoles Sleep?

Yes, tadpoles sleep when they only feel safe in the aquarium.

When you buy/fetch tadpoles from any natural water source.

Check if they’re moving and swimming in your aquarium bag.

If they’re not moving, they might be sleeping. Although they don’t sleep much.

But it doesn’t mean that if they are not moving they are sleeping. They might be dead too.

Here is the reason and how can you check that.

Living tadpole should swim around in the water. Check if its tail should always move.

If tadpoles don’t move their tail for 15 to 20 minutes. And it is floating somewhat in the water, it’s dead.

Most of the reasons tadpoles die are from Natural causes, Injuries, Contaminated food, Contaminated water, and other reasons.

FAQs [Frequently Asked Questions]

Can tadpoles eat apples?

Yes, tadpoles can eat apples and other kinds of fruits. Because food is digestible and easily breakable. Enriched with protein and help tadpoles to grow healthy.

Can tadpoles eat bananas?

Yes, tadpoles can eat bananas. You can feed bananas to tadpoles in small pieces. Since small pieces of banana are easily dissolved in the water they can digest them and eat properly.

Can tadpoles eat carrots?

No. tadpoles can’t eat carrots. They are hard food that is not breakable by tadpoles. Though you want your tadpoles to eat carrots then it’s better to cook them well so they are easily breakable for tadpoles.

Can tadpoles eat strawberries?

Yes, tadpoles can eat strawberries when they are cut into small pieces. This will work for sure.

Can tadpoles eat grapes?

Yes, tadpoles can eat grapes. Make sure to feed them into two pieces. Else tadpoles will find it difficult to eat grapes all alone.

Can tadpoles eat turtle food?

No, tadpoles won’t eat turtle food. Turtle eats meat products like dead fishes, Insects, etc. Tadpoles only eat vegetarian-type food. They hardly go for flake food or bloodworms when need proteins.

Can tadpoles eat green beans?

Yes, you can feed green beans to tadpoles. Just remember when feeding green beans, you break or scrunch them into two pieces and make sure to remove the outer skin.

Do tadpoles eat worms?

Yes, tadpoles do eat worms. When they are grown as adults, they can enjoy animal matter such as worms and other small insects in the water.

Can tadpoles eat cucumber?

Yes, tadpoles can eat cucumber. The easiest you can feed cucumber to tadpoles is by slicing the cucumber and removing the outside so it becomes for tadpoles to eat the soft layer.

Can tadpoles eat bread?

Yes, tadpoles can eat bread. Remember to crush the bread into pieces. Bread contains a good amount of nutritional value.

Do tadpoles eat algae?

Yes, tadpoles love to eat algae. The first food tadpoles start to eat is algae. They continue to eat algae till they are properly grown.

Can tadpoles eat broccoli?

Yes, tadpoles can eat broccoli. Break them into pieces and feed your tadpoles. They love to eat broccoli and other food like green peas, cucumber, cooked carrots, etc…

Do tadpoles eat mosquito larvae?

Yes, tadpoles do eat mosquito larvae.

Do tadpoles eat duckweed?

Yes, tadpoles do eat plants like duckweed. These are small structure plants and tadpoles that eat the algae present in the duckweed plant and they also eat the leaf of the duckweed plant.

Can tadpoles eat bloodworms?

Yes, tadpoles eat bloodworms. They start to eat bloodworms as soon as they grow as adults. They also eat other small dead fishes and insects in the tank or pond.

Do tadpoles eat each other?

Yes, tadpoles can eat each other when the stakes are high. Then can get snippy when hungry, and they end up eating each other.

End Of The Article

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