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How to Care for African Dwarf Frogs

This article is about how to care for African Dwarf Frogs!


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    Set up a tank for your African Dwarf Frogs. They can live peacefully with some types of fish and snails that live in water.
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    If you intend to have an unfiltered tank like a goldfish bowl, 1–2 gallons (3.8–7.6 L) per frog is ideal so you will not need to change the tanks water every couple of days. Otherwise, you need to have some method of filtering to avoid toxic ammonia from the frogs waste to build up. African Dwarf frogs do not need a lot of space. In nature, these frogs evolved in very shallow small pools of rainforest swamp-water. They do not school like fish, preferring instead a safe, quiet, predator-free world with plenty of places along the bottom to hide. As long as there is an effective filtering system, any size shallow tank will do. Also, make sure the tank has no gaps in the top as many frogs have escaped and sadly died.
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    A filter is a must. In nature, African Dwarf Frogs live in water depths shallower than 7-8" deep. Deeper water depths can add stress to African Dwarf Frogs who live on the bottom, yet must swim to the surface to breathe. While African Dwarf Frogs can co-exist with tropical fish in an aquarium, in doing so, always set up your tank for the needs of fish, not frogs in mind. African Dwarf Frogs can tolerate water conditions that can be toxic to fish.
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    Use gravel or sand as a substrate, 1 inch thick (2 cm), or enough so when you push down with your finger you cannot feel the bottom.
    • If you use rocks or pebbles, be absolutely sure that the rocks aren't too big. African Dwarfs can easily get trapped under a rock and suffocate. However, do include some structure along the bottom of the tank, some nook or cranny, where the frog can hide. African Dwarf Frogs are sensitive to vibrations & movement, and will often seek the security of a confined space in an instinctive quest to avoid predators. Simply be sure the frogs cannot get trapped. On the other hand , make sure the gravel is not too small because African dwarf frogs may accidentally swallow some gravel and could potentially die.
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    Use live or frozen food, such as bloodworms, and brine shrimp. You can also feed them commercial frog pellets. Variety is healthy. Do not feed freeze dried food because it may cause bloating. Be sure to remove any uneaten food after ten minutes. You may also feed them sinking pellets if its a must, but be sure to put them on a plate first so they are easily found
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    Cleaning the frog's tank once a week will ensure health. Do partial water changes weekly to stabilize the ph and remove any nitrites/ nitrates. Remove about twenty percent of the water and replace with de chlorinated tap water .
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    Provide hiding places such as small terracotta pots, logs, plants and moss. Household mugs also make a good hiding spot for your frogs.
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    Use real or fake plants. Make sure that the fake plants are silk, not plastic. Hard plastic plants will scratch and cut their bodies. If you would like real plants make sure you meet the requirements of those as well.
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    Water should be around 70-75 F. Use mini water heaters if necessary with caution. Monitor water temperatures closely if you use any heater.
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    Young African Dwarf Frogs prefer to be housed in groups. Older mature frogs prefer a solitary existence except during breeding season. Males housed together won't fight; however, males and females may breed. Female Frogs are the more dominant of the species, more aggressive & hungrier during breeding time.
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    African dwarf frogs (ADFs) are often mistaken for African clawed frogs (ACFs), but the two are very different from each other. ACFs grow to be much, much bigger than ADFs, possibly reaching the size of a softball in adulthood. ACFs will eat almost any fish (or frog) that they can fit in their mouths, so they should not be kept with ADFs. ACFs can carry diseases that are fatal to ADFs. ACFs have no webbing on their front feet, so they have long claws (if you see small black claws on an ADFs back feet, don't be worried; they are supposed to have these). ACFs can also be good pets, but be sure to research them and accommodate their needs in a separate place from fish and ADFs.


  • Have two African dwarf frogs to keep each other company ( optional but recommended )
  • Also, be sure that the aquarium you are using isn't too deep, or else the frogs won't be able to swim to the top to get air, and they may drown.
  • African dwarf frogs love blood worms.
  • If they are in a bowl ( which is not recommended ) add a plate to act as the lid.


  • The African Dwarf Frog has a large array of animals that it can live with safely, but there are a few it cannot live with, such as crayfish, cichlids - fish like damselfish or surfperch, turtles, and in rare cases, goldfish. Most animals are fine, but the select few can be extremely violent or simply bigger and may attempt to eat the frog. Remember, in nature, African Dwarf frogs are food for fish, birds, snakes, and mostly any animal larger than them. Instinctively, African Dwarf Frogs will consider anything larger than them as a threat, and anything smaller than them as potentially frog food.
  • Remember that African Dwarf Frogs have Salmonella so never handle the frog outside of the tank.

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Categories: Frogs