What Do Tadpoles Eat? Top 7 Foods For Tadpoles

You must know what do tadpoles eat before the adult life of tadpoles starts! Animals that form one creature to another are very fascinating. Like that even Tadpoles further develop into an adult frog. You can see them always busy in some activities, and they swim in the entire aquarium. Tadpoles tend to reject foods sometimes. Today in my article, I will help you out in choosing the best foods for feeding these tiny creatures. All these best foods appear to be delicious as well as very nutritious to the Tadpoles. Continue reading to know more about what do tadpoles eat in detail.

What Do Tadpoles Eat?

Let us now see what do tadpoles eat in the water. Below I have mentioned the list of food items you can use for feeding them.

  1. Aquatic Plants And Algae
  2. Fruits And Vegetables
  3. Herbivorous Meals
  4. Omnivorous Meals
  5. Fish Flakes
  6. High Protein Foods
  7. Calcium Elements

You have now understood the type of food the Tadpoles like to eat. But do you know what benefits they get from these food items? Each of the above-mentioned items is an excellent source of various vitamins and minerals. You can continue reading more about what do tadpoles eat in detail.

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Top 7 Foods For Tadpoles

You will get several food options available for them in the market. But all the foods are not equally nutritious for them. Here, we will study what do tadpoles like to eat in detail.

  • Aquatic Plants And Algae

Aquatic plants are considered as one of the primary sources of meals for Tadpoles. But you need to be very selective at the time of choosing the aquatic plants. Tadpoles will consume these aquatic plants very fast.

  • Hornwort and Cryptocoryne can help Tadpoles to grow healthy.
  • You can also try to keep Java Moss and Java Fern in your tank. This will be a nice place to hide these Tadpoles.
  • The fast-growing plants like Duckweed and Sagittaria Subulata will also be good for them as they eat more often.
  • Tadpoles also love to scrape and eat the algae from the bottom of the aquarium. Remember that more than one layer of algae in the aquarium base is not needed.

All these above green leaves will supply them with vitamin A, C, K, and minerals. They also leave certain fibers which are also good for the growth of the Tadpoles.

  • Fruits And Vegetables

Sometimes tadpoles don’t get enough nutrients required for their growth. In that case, you can feed them some fruits and vegetables. Below I have picked out some vegetables you can use to feed tadpoles.

  • Vegetables such as broccoli, pea, green beans, zucchini, spinach, green pepper, and lettuce will serve the Tadpole well. You can chop these veggies in small pieces and feed them twice a day. Frozen vegetables can also be used for feeding Tadpoles.
  • Leafy vegetables such as lettuce leaves, spinach leaves, and kale can be supplied fresh and boiled. You need to boil them at least for 5 minutes or until they become soft to consume.
  • Even small pieces of fruits can be served to the Tadpoles. You can also crush boiled fruits and feed them.

From these boiled foods, tadpoles will get essential vitamins (A, B, C, and K). The multivitamins in fruits will later break-in carbohydrates and sleep the tadpoles healthy. These leaves provide them essential nutrients to their body.

  • Herbivorous Meals

Sometimes, outside extra meals are much needed for Tadpoles because the aquatic plants and algae cannot provide everything they need. Below I have mentioned certain food items you can use for feeding them.

  • You can feed Spirulina meals for the better health of Tadpoles.
  • You can try Flakes or algae wafers, algae discs, and seaweed meal to see the visible growth of the tadpoles.
  • Along with this, instant foods like Tropical Algae Wafers for Bottom Feeding Herbivorous Fish, Tropical Flakes, and Eco pond Tadpole Food for the Tadpoles can also be used.
  • Even Lucky Reptile Quappo Food is also a popular instant food for the Tadpoles.

Thus, Tadpoles will get Thiamine and Biotin from this packaged food. While algae wafers and discs will supply protein to the Tadpoles. All these meals supply energy to the Tadpoles so that they can continue their playful activities for the whole day.

  • Omnivorous Meals

Even omnivorous meals are excellent for the Tadpoles. Omnivorous meals will make the internal buildup of the Tadpoles stronger. I have some suggestions for omnivorous meals for you. Let’s have a look at these food items.

  • Zoo Med Aquatic Frog & Tadpole Food is the most popular one. It contains brown rice, dried yeast, white gluten, and various protein and calcium elements.
  • Cobalt Aquatics 34291 Frog & Tadpole Minis will be a great option for them.
  • You can also try AQUARIAN Complete Nutrition, Frogs & Tadpole instant flakes.

Tadpoles will get Thiamine from these omnivorous fish meals. It will help the Tadpoles to have an appetite for animal proteins.

  • Fish Flakes

As a fish lover, you must have heard about fish food flakes. These are very high protein meals for the Tadpoles that help in fast and healthy growth. Below I have recommended some fish flakes brands for you, make sure you have a look at them.

  • Aquatics 34291 Frog and Tadpole Minis
  • AQUARIAN Complete Nutrition, Frog & Tadpole Instant Flakes.

You can easily find fish flakes in any pet store. These instant fish flakes contain Vitamins, Thiamine, and Lecithin which promote a healthy life to the Tadpole. Along with that, these items supply energy due to the presence of carb, minerals, and fibers in them.

  • High Protein Foods

High protein foods help a lot in the evolution of tiny Tadpoles to mini frogs. You can try to feed live and dead insects. Even homemade fish food can also be considered.

  • Dead insects such as dead flies, shrimps, fruit flies, dead insects, live bugs will be good choices of food for them.
  • Among the live foods like Aphids, fish food pellets, Black worms, bloodworm, frozen fish, brine shrimp, and insect larvae can be fed.
  • Sometimes even frozen insects can also prefer to feeding them.
  • You can also go for Mealworms, small fish (both dead and alive), and Crickets in their diet.
  • Hard-boiled egg yolk can also be used. You simply need to crumble the yolk and spread it evenly on the tank surface.

These foods supply protein, calcium, iodine, and iron to the Tadpoles. Because of which the bones of the Tadpoles become stronger. Here, egg-yolk, dead flies, and insects are rich in proteins. It also helps in their digestion process.

  • Calcium Elements

Like every living being, even Tadpoles need calcium-rich foods for their growth. Here, calcium will help in the overall development of the Tadpoles. You can simply add a few drops of liquid calcium to the aquarium. Even a cuttlebone can be placed in your aquarium so that the level of calcium remains steady.

Foods For Tadpoles In Aquarium

Fish keepers are always in search of the healthiest food for their aquarium Tadpoles. So, do you want to know what do tadpoles eat in the aquarium? You have arrived at the right place! Below I have mentioned the list of items you can feed the Tadpoles in your aquarium.

  • Herbivorous And Omnivorous Meals
  • You can try Flakes or algae wafers.
  • Algae Discs
  • Seaweed Meal
  • Tropical Algae Wafers for Bottom Feeding Herbivorous Fish
  • Tropical Flakes
  • Eco pond Tadpole Food
  • Vegetables and fruits
  • Small chunks of boiled foods

Food For Tadpoles In Captivity

Tadpoles after escaping the egg slowly transform over a season. Raising the Tadpoles in captivity sometimes gets tricky. You can continue reading to know what do tadpoles eat in captivity.

Below is the list of food items you can feed your tadpoles.

  • Algae Wafers
  • Aphids
  • Boiled Eggs
  • Crickets
  • Bloodworms
  • Fish Food Flakes
  • Fish Food Pellets
  • Frozen Foods
  • Fruits
  • Green Leafy Vegetables
  • Homemade Fish Food
  • Insect Larva
  • Mealworms
  • Live And Dead Food

Foods For Bullfrog Tadpoles

You must be surprised to know that bullfrogs remain at the tadpole stage for up to 2 years. A longer tadpole stage means a better chance of survival. But do you know what do bullfrog tadpoles eat? Below I have mentioned some food items you can feed them.

  • Algae
  • Aquatic plants
  • Invertebrates
  • Fresh-boiled spinach
  • Dried rabbit food pellets
  • Hard-boiled egg yolks

Foods For Baby Tadpoles

Individuals must carefully select the meals for the early stage of tadpoles. Baby tadpoles younger than a week-old like to stay in one place only. If you are interested to know what do baby tadpoles eat, continue to read.

  • Algae
  • Aquatic plant stems and leaves
  • Fish Food Flakes

Foods For Tadpoles In Pond

You must be wondering what do tadpoles eat in ponds? Generally, the Tadpoles in their natural habitat eat whatever they come across. They become omnivorous from the second week of their birth.

We know that adult frogs lay eggs on the leaves. So, Tadpoles stick on the leaves and eat those leaves. They are highly capable of finding food.

Tadpoles learn to catch the small insects and fly that are easily found nearby ponds. Sometimes, they live on the algae only if they cannot find small animals or insects.

How To Take Care Of Tadpoles?

It is very important to take proper care of Tadpoles at their initial stage. Here are some tips for you to make them as comfortable as possible.

  • The Tadpoles in the aquarium must be fed every single day otherwise, they will starve to death.
  • Short and wide plastic containers, trays, aquariums are suitable for Tadpoles.
  • You need to have soil at the bottom, water plants, and protruding rocks in this equipment.
  • Make sure you keep the container away from the direct sun rays.
  • Ensure that no chemicals are sprayed near the containers.
  • Make sure that they are protected from predators such as cats or rats.
  • It is best to rinse and freeze the food before feeding them.
  • Make sure you change the water when it becomes cloudy.

Different Food Stages Of Tadpoles

By now you have understood what do tadpoles eat in detail. Let us see the different food stages of tadpoles.

  • Stage 1: At the initial stage, they like to eat aquatic plants and algae.
  • Stage 2: During this stage, you can feed plants, algae, vegetables, and herbivorous meals on alternate days.
  • Stage 3: At this stage, herbivorous meals, leafy vegetables can be fed.
  • Stage 4: Tadpoles need instant flakes, omnivorous meals, boiled vegetables for their growth.
  • Stage 5: You can include egg yolk, dead insects, fruits, boiled veggies in their diet.
  • Stage 6: As they are adults now, you must include live foods at this stage.


Do I Need To Feed Tadpoles?

No, it is not necessary to feed tadpoles unless the pond is very new. Ponds provide enough food for tadpoles without adding any extra supplement to their diet.

Can You Keep Tadpoles As Pets?

Yes, you can keep tadpoles as pets. They are very easy to raise as they do not require much space.

How Do You Raise Tadpoles At Home?

To raise tadpoles at the home you need to follow these instructions.

  • First, wash and place the rocks in your aquarium.
  • Then fill it with tap water.
  • Add some water conditioner to make the water safe for tadpoles.
  • Add some aquarium plants to your aquarium.
  • Finally, add tadpoles to your aquarium.

When Should I Feed My Tadpoles?

You should start feeding your tadpoles after 2 or 3 weeks.

Do Tadpoles Eat Mosquito Larvae?

Yes, tadpoles do feed on mosquito larvae. They should be kept outside so that you attract more mosquitoes to lay their larva.

Can Tadpoles Eat Cucumber?

Yes, tadpoles can eat cucumber. You just need to remove the outer layer of the cucumber and slice it into small pieces.

What Do Tadpoles Eat Naturally?

Tadpoles eat their own eggs, algae, the leaves and roots of aquatic plants, insect larvae and dark leafy greens. Generally, you should feed pet tadpoles boiled and chopped vegetables such as cabbage, baby spinach, or cucumbers once a day.

What Do Tadpoles Eat In A Pond?

Newly hatched tadpoles are herbivorous and feed on the algae that grows on plants or on rocks in the pond, particularly those exposed to the sun. In the latter stages of their development they become omnivorous, feeding on decaying matter in the pond and tiny creatures such as water fleas (Daphnia).

Why Are My Tadpoles Not Turning Into Frogs?

If a tadpole lacks the gene which produces the growth hormone thyroxine they will be unable to metamorphose into froglets or toadlets. This is nothing to worry about since it is a natural mutation and only occurs in a very small number of tadpoles.


Thus, from my above article, you have learned all about what do tadpoles eat. A Tadpole is the first stage of a frog’s life cycle. In my above article, I have mentioned down the list of food items they love to eat. Tadpoles are aquatic creatures who live on algae. Live foods will give strength to them to cope up with their physical changes these vitamins of green veggies will always keep them active. While fresh fruits will make them energetic and give them a stronger digestion power. You can now easily feed tadpoles by understanding what do tadpoles eat.

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