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African Dwarf Frog

African Dwarf Frog

hymenochirus curtipes

African Dwarf Frogs originated in the rivers and streams of central Africa. These fully aquatic amphibians never need to leave the water. African Dwarf Frogs can be kept with community fish. Their colors can range from olive green to brownish green.

African Dwarf Frog

African Dwarf Frog Facts

Average Adult Size 1 1/4 inches long
Average Life Span up to 5 years with proper care
Diet omnivore
Minimum Aquarium Size: 10+ gallons
Water Temperature: 72-82°F


A well-balanced African Dwarf Frog diet consists of:

  • Bloodworms, brine shrimp and mysis shrimp (frozen).
  • Sinking fish food pellets.


Things to remember when feeding your African Dwarf Frog:

  • Feed one to two times a day.
  • Thaw frozen food beforefeeding.


  • Keep in an appropriately sized aquarium; provide plenty of hiding places and a secure lid to prevent escape.
  • Stable water quality and parameters are critical to the health of aquatic life. If you are unsure of your water quality, Petco provides free water testing.
  • Use of copper-based medications is toxic to dwarf frogs.


  • Brown, mottled rough looking skin.
  • Back feet have three "claws."
  • Spends most of the day on the bottom of the tank, but swims to the surface to breathe air.

Habitat Maintenance

  • Daily: check filter, water temperature and other equipment.
  • Weekly: check water quality at least once a week.
  • Monthly: change 10-25% of the total volume of water every 2-4 weeks, or as needed.

Introduce new inhabitants to the aquarium gradually.


  • Can be kept with relatively docile fish that will not attempt to eat them, such as community tetras or loaches. Check Petco's Freshwater Compatibility Care Sheet for more information regarding your specific species.
  • Can be kept with other African dwarf frogs of both sexes.


Signs of a Healthy African Dwarf Frog

  • Swims actively
  • Hides often
  • Eats vigorously
  • Clear eyes and smooth skin
  • Remains in the bottom half of the aquarium

Avoid overcrowded conditions; they are a major cause of stress and disease. Maintain good water quality with regular water changes and adequate filtration.

Red Flags

  • loss of appetite
  • hazy or cloudy eyes
  • does not swim away from capture
  • floating on the top of the aquarium
  • bloating
  • weight loss
  • signs of disease

Common Health Issues

Health Issue Symptoms or Causes Suggested Action
Health Issue Bacterial infection Symptoms or Causes Cloudy eyes, open sores, and/or reddening of the skin. Suggested Action Improve water quality and consult your aquatic veterinarian for treatment; seek veterinary advice.
Health Issue Fungal infection Symptoms or Causes White cottony growth and/or discoloration of the eyes. Suggested Action Quarantine frog immediately; seek veterinary advice.


Ask an associate about Petco's selection of books on African Dwarf Frogs and the variety of Petco Brand products available for the care and happiness of your new pet. All Petco Brand products carry a 100% money-back guarantee.

Because all aquatic life are potential carriers of infectious diseases, such as Salmonella, always wash your hands before and after handling your aquatic life and/or habitat contents to help prevent the potential spread of diseases.

Pregnant women, children under the age of 5 and people with weakened immune systems should contact their physician before purchasing and/or caring for aquatic life and should consider not having aquatic life as a pet.

Go to the Centers for Disease Control at for more information about aquatic life and disease.

This care sheet can cover the needs of other species.

Note:The information on this Care Sheet is not a substitute for veterinary care. If you need additional information, please refer to the sources on the following page or contact your veterinarian as appropriate.

Developed with and approved by a qualified veterinarian.

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