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African Dwarf Frog: Care, Lifespan, Tank Mates & Setup

African Dwarf Frog: Care, Lifespan, Tank Mates & Setup

Some of the most popular tank additions are African Dwarf Frogs. These little frogs are completely aquatic, so you don’t have to worry about a half aquatic and half aquarium terrain. Indeed, African Dwarf Frogs will die outside the water.

The frogs are scavengers at the bottom and are a fantastic choice for children or to control your fry population. If you have too many fry guppies in a tank, add some African Dwarf Frogs and they’re going to eat guppy fry to ease people. But if you don’t use them to control a guppy population, it can be harder to feed these frogs.

African dwarf frog is a very small frog, the length of the adult species does not exceed 3.5-4 cm. At the age of 12 months, African dwarf frog becomes reproductive and its lifespan may be about 5 years or more.

The frog is very graceful: at its end, it has a long body, thin limbs, sharp snout with nostrils, and it looks really tiny. Hymenochirus is colored in dark gray or brown. There are some black spots scattered over her body and not so many of them are on her abdomen colored with light.

An important note to add is African Dwarf Frogs ‘ common behavior that usually involves owners. When they see them hugging each other and not moving for up to a day and a half, many people will express concern for their frogs. For the frogs, this is normal behavior and shows that they are mating.

Female African Dwarf Frogs are larger, while males are more skinny. There’s no need to panic if you see a smaller frog hugging a bigger frog. The frogs simply make calls to nature. If you want to help raise a few tadpoles, you should be sure that you have the room to do that. Any fish with the frogs in the tank can also pose a threat.

Where do African Dwarf Frogs live in the wild?

Usually, the frogs dwell with slowly flowing rivers, bogs, and puddles in shadowy lowlands. These frogs are all the time living in water and are not going out to dry land. They rise to the surface of the water to breathe some fresh air, though.

They are different from other Pipidae family representatives because they have pre-feed webbing. The frog got its Latin name because of this: the word Hymenochirus can be translated as’ webbed feet’ or’ leather feet.’

Feeding the African Dwarf Frog

Every type of live fish food (daphnia, tubifex, etc.) will do with Hymenochirus. The womb can be given once or twice a week because it does not contain a lot of vital and irrespective of their protein content.

As any amphibian reacted to movement, these frogs are not willing to eat immobile food. However, some aquarium professionals are only able to feed the frog with frozen or artificial food. But at all stages of his life, Hymenochirus is a genuine predator.

These frogs don’t chew their food, they squeeze the food and swallow it gradually. African dwarf frog has neither teeth nor tongue, so it needs food that is small enough to eat at once or to be melted by frog by molten movements.

African dwarf frog should be fed once in a couple of days. If these frogs live in a community tank alongside other fishes, you must monitor how they feed and ensure that they are not hungry. Fish are far faster than the frog since when she moves, she sees and catches her prey.

Because of the peculiarities of the location of the frog’s eyes (they are on opposite sides of their head and very far from each other) and that’s why their vision is directed at the front.

For this reason, seeing something near or directly in front of the frog is very difficult for the frog. So, they use their smell and feel of touch to find food frogs.

Very often on the bottom of the tank, you can see them groping after food and they miss it a lot of times! Sometimes the frog may take three to five minutes to search for food until it finds there is some food in a tank.

African Dwarf Frog Breeding

There are no fundamental differences in African dwarf frog breeding compared to most tank fish breeding processes. Induced by increasing the water temperature to 26-28 ° C, increasing the level of light (as the photoperiod increases) and renovating the tank water.

The water level should not be less than 20 cm in a spawning tank, which is provided for by frog’s pairing. The pair of frogs swim if the waters are vertical–a behavior unique to a lot of the tongue frogs. The frogs are jelly-like and float on the surface of the water. In general, the frog sets 50-200 eggs (up to 500).

African Dwarf Frog Breeding

It is better to remove the frog pair from the laying tank after the spawning is finished. In 1-2 days, the eggs have a 3 mm long hatch of black frog larva. They will remain in the tank system for several days or hover on the layer of water surface leaves and tank walls.

Once you start swimming the frog larva and you should start feeding them. Compared to tank fish juveniles there are no differences in feeding frog larva.

How do you tell a male from a female?

The first step is to ensure that you have both male and female African nanny frogs. To do this, check the following characteristics for your frogs. Male ADFs in length and bulk are smaller than female. Also, behind their axes, they have a white or rosé gland.

Males call-out to attract the women last, but not least. On the other hand, women are somewhat longer and of overall size. In comparison to the smarter males, they are often described as “chubby.”

Keeping African Dwarf Frogs in Fish Tank

Although African Dwarf Frogs frequently live in small vases in children’s bedrooms, the environment is far from optimal. Frogs like plenty of space, in particular, Dwarf Africans, so at least 5 Gallons per frog is recommended.

Frogs are social animals, however, which makes the tank requirements at least 25 gallons. They are kept in groups of at least 3. If the African Dwarf Frogs in groups are maintained, the chances of breeding will be increased and their levels of stress will be minimized.

You need to make sure that the pieces of gravel and substrate are not small enough to be ingested by the frog during lunging to their food. Dwarf Frogs are generally bottom-feeding materials and are often swallowed by small rocks and stones as small as possible.

These small stones will usually get stuck and will inevitably cause death because of such a small intestinal tract. A further safeguard is the enormous number of African dwarfs.

African Dwarf Frogs need constant contact with water, and it would more than likely be fatal to spend anything more than 15 minutes off the water. Make sure that your aquarium is completely closed if you are interested to keep DAF.

If you can somehow expose a broadleaf near the surface, don’t be surprised to see your frogs relaxing on it, catching a few breaths of air.

For filtration, either a sponge filter, a little filter hanging in the back or a canister filter are recommended. Filtration is not required but highly recommended.

Best Water Conditions for the African Dwarf Frog

For all amphibians, especially aquatic frogs such as African Dwarf Frog, high water quality is important. The fact that amphibians have semi-permeable skin is so important. Everything in contact with your skin can be absorbed.

For example, take water; oxygen is absorbed by your skin in the water. The frog can remain underwater for a long time. Toxins will be absorbed in the water, as you can imagine.

Therefore, dechlorinated and toxin-free water is important to use. Amphibians also enjoy the water with neutral pH levels and natural minerals.

Many people use external filters for ADFs to filter the water. They help filter the water in order to provide your pet with a better environment. But this topic appears to be controversial.

The question is whether or not it is harmful or at least extremely irritating to the pads to the constant noise output created by the water filter. I’m not going to try and convince you anyway. I’m going to offer you instead of two solutions.

Use one if you’re interested in a water filter. If not, the water will have to be cleaned more regularly. In any case, partial water changes must be made if necessary. Before using it, ensure that the water is clean and at the right temperature!

african dwarf frog

African Dwarf Frog Tank Mates

African Dwarf Frogs usually live with any fish bigger than them in peace. Recall that they are carnivores and will eat small fried if any of the other fish give birth if they are in a community tank. With the exception of common Plecos, Frogs functions well with algae eating fish and the lowest dwellers.

We have no problem keeping them aggressive with fish, such as bedding or cichlid, while there is more aggressive fish attacking African Dwarf Frogs and sometimes the other way around.

If you give the frogs lots of shelters, they should be good with almost all the fish. We don’t recommend that you keep things safe on Plecos, Catfish, Bettas or Cichlids. But you should keep things safe.

African Dwarf Frogs can often mistake the fins of fish for food because of their lack of eyesight, and they will aggressively lock up and drag the fish around.

We would suggest avoiding fish that have long flowing fins if you don’t want a bunch of injured fish to swim around your tank.

African Dwarf Frogs and Bettas

When you want to introduce a new creature into a fish, it’s always nerve-wracking. This is particularly true if it’s a frog. One of the most popular tank frogs is the African dwarf frog.

They are fun little creatures who are good at beta fish. Betta fish and dwarf frogs won’t create havoc for everyone in my experience.

Every creature has its own business in mind. The fact that the frog is almost blind is also an important reason why African dwarf frogs do good with betta fish.

I bet you didn’t know! I bet you didn’t know! The frog is smelling around. You’re smelling your food. Beta fish will not interfere with the frog, but the opposite may happen. In the beginning, Bettas can bother the frog.

But the betta fish will be bored after a while, and move on to other stuff. How many frogs can live with beta fish is the ideal number?

Dwarf frogs of Africa like other frogs to live together. If you want to keep one in your tank, you should try to get two frogs. The company of each other will enjoy both frogs. The addition of frogs means that your plate is filled with more things.

Betta fish and African dwarf frog are uncommon to fight. Bullfrogs in Africa are almost blind. They don’t see that well and they’re confident in their smell. Betta fish know their environment and can in many cases mess with frogs.

So they can pocket the frog and see what’s up with it. The African dwarf frog’s personality is not loud or smooth. They are a quiet animal that as far as possible prevents confrontation. Betta fish, on the other hand, maybe a mischievous dwarf frog neighbor, but they won’t fight them as you think.

Can a betta fish live with an African Dwarf Frog?

Yes. Bettas are a good tank mate choice for the little frogs. Many times, they will ignore each other so there won’t be any aggressive fights happening between the two. They also look cool together in the same tank!

What can African Dwarf Frogs eat?

African dwarf frogs can be fed with live fish food like bloodworms. They enjoy live food and its often better to feed them that way to keep them healthy and strong.

If live food is not an option, they can also eat normal fish food like daphnia. The carnivorous nature of the African Dwarf Frogs is typically small fish fries and insects in the wild.

In the home side aquarium, the main foods are shrimp, frozen bloodworms, small whites, and earthworms, and you must keep to a fleshy diet as much as you can.

Do African Dwarf Frogs need land?

It is not required. You can make a small plot of land in your aquarium at the surface, it does look cool, but the frogs spend their time mostly underwater, so that is not really a requirement.

Do African Dwarf Frogs need water conditioner?

African dwarf frogs are overall very easy to handle animals. However, clean, healthy water is one thing they need. Their quality of water is highly sensitive.

One of the main reasons for this is that before the frogs are introduced, water in tanks must be prepared for African sweet frogs (or any aquatic pet habitat). If you fill the tank with tap water and thrust the frogs in, in a few days or weeks, they almost certainly will die.

Do African Dwarf Frogs need an air pump?

African dwarf frogs usually get to the surface to draw air, but having a small air pump in your tank is not a bad option. To answer this shortly, it’s not required.

Should African Dwarf Frogs be kept in pairs?

Yes. African Dwarf frogs are social animals. They should be kept in pairs of at least 3. If you can’t find 3, go for 2, but never keep a dwarf frog alone. It will get lonely and sometimes this can lead to death.

Lighting and Heating of the Tank

Contrary to some exotic pets, African dwarf frogs, especially reptiles, need nothing special (and costly) lights like UVB lamps, heat lamps or basking lamps.

But they need regular “day” and “night” periods, and you must control their lighting, as your guardian. They should have at least eight hours of daylight every day and the rest of the 24-hour cycle should have darkness or subdued light.

No matter what kind of light you choose, you should think about using an aquarium light timer to turn it on and off each day when you select it.

You have a dual, day/night timer like this when you use a night light in your frog tank that activates the night light simultaneously when it turns off the daylight.

Many are sold to the reptile hobby since heat lamps are needed in the night for many reptiles. But they work equally well in every environment where you want the timekeeper to control lighting both day and night.

Don’t plug in the timed outlets with your heater, air pump or filter. Such devices should be kept 24 hours a day. Only the lights should be controlled by the timer.

Furthermore, resist the temptation of using non-aquarium timers to control the light in your frog tank without the timer being so removed from the tank it cannot be sprinkled with water. No timers for non-aquariums are designed to be resistant to slashes.

A few facts about the African Dwarf Frog

Dwarf frogs in Africa are fully water – based. Although, as adults, you spend your entire life under water, you have lung and air. (ADF tadpole has gills and can breathe underwater; but when adults, they lose their gills.)

ADFs in the open air can’t survive long. They will dehydrate and die if they have been out of the water for more than 15 or 20 minutes.

Therefore, African dwarf frog habitats are so important that they are fully covered with an aquarium cover or a similar cover that contains no trousers. If your frogs are hoping outside of the tank, and nobody’s there, they’re going to die.

Another thing that can be remembered about African dwarf frogs is that they need to be able to bathe air to the surface. Enter the water’s top and the aquarium hood insufficient space to breathe, preventing them from picking up and preventing air surfaces.

African dwarf frogs have four species. Hymenochirus boettgeri is usually sold in pet shops. They are native to Africa, as their common name implies. They live in nature in low, relatively quiet pools of fresh water or in shallow areas of sweet streams and rivers.

African frogs are loosely nocturnal in nature and in captivity. Given the choice, they would prefer to be fed in the night when they hunt and feed in the wild. But the preference is very loose.

They just fit in with the daylight program in captivity. In the morning they wake up. In order to see and remove food that is untaken, I recommend that you feed your frogs during the day.

ADFs are naturally omnivores and will eat almost any food they can get into their mouths, alive or dead. They are opportunistic feeders who are filled by food when they do, but who can (and should) go without eating between meals for a day or two?


Caring for African Dwarf Frogs is easy; for beginners, they are the best water frogs. Besides the daily feeding, the main aspect is its tank size, its water temperature and the quality of its water.

Given that these species spend their entire time in the water, attention must be paid to the quality of the water. Tap water with chlorine, like all amphibians, is noxious. Other sources of water could also be harmful, but do not let it stop you.

Julie Cantu

Thursday 23rd of January 2020

Hi! I love your page. So much great information! I have a mildly aggressive koi who tanks well with two Chinese algae eaters. I had a crawdad in there with them for almost 2 years but he just passed. Unknown why. Anyways, would an African dwarf frog be a potential tank mate? Lots of hiding spaces in my tank. My koi is 2years maybe 2.5 years old. He was too aggressive to my previous goldfish even though she was bigger and the koi was introduced to her as a baby. He was aggressive to her and she died of stress after I seperrated them. Or would it be better to have 2 African dwarf frogs in a delegate tank with guppies . I’d love your feedback !

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