African dwarf frogs live their entire lives underwater, but need to rise to the surface to breathe air because they have lungs and not gills. These frogs are small in size and do not weigh more than a few grams. They vary in color, for the most part ranging from olive green to brown with black spots. The average life expectancy of these frogs is five years, but they can live as long as 20 years; they can grow to 6.35 centimeters (2.5 inches) long. When young, African dwarf frogs can be mistaken and sold as African clawed frogs, African frogs of the genus Xenopus, which are larger and more aggressive than the dwarf.
African Dwarf Frogs Tank Set up:
The water level should be about 5 to 7 cm lower than the upper tank rim, as the animals have to come to the surface for breathing. With this minimum distance to the rim you can avoid that the frogs get too close to the cover and thus to the light, and further you can minimize the risk that the frogs escape from the tank. They can climb short distances on plain glass due to adhesive forces.
As these frogs have a pretty delicate skin prone to fungal infections you should make absolutely sure that there are no sharp edges within the tank. You should also abstain from using sharp gravel for the animals’ sake, sand is far better for them.
African dwarf frogs prefer tanks with a rather slight water flow, if there’s too much current they have a hard time when surfacing. The tank temperature should be between 24 to 25 °C (75 to 77 °F), this makes a heater almost indispensable at least during the autumn and winter months.
Due to their small size African Dwarf frogs need comparatively small tanks; the following data only applies to dedicated tanks. When densely planted and providing enough shelter even a 25 l tank (6.5 g) could hold three to four frogs. However, not only the volume of the tank is decisive; more important is that the ground area meets the animals’ high urge to move.
Thus a 25 l tank with the dimensions 40x25x25 cm is totally apt, whereas e.g. a tank providing the volume rather through its height that through its width would be clearly unsuitable (e.g. a hexagonal tank holding 25 l).
- 25L: up to 4 frogs
- 45L: up to a maximum of 7 frogs
- 54L: 8 to 10 frogs
When stocking an African dwarf frog tank you should pay further attention to having at least an equal number of males and females; even more preferable is having a minimum of two females to one male. Even a group of many females in relation to the numbers of males poses no problems – however, the reverse relation is not recommendable. The males should not be in the majority, as these little frogs are sexually very active. If there are more males than females the females will be totally stressed out.