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Freshwater Amphibians

Freshwater Amphibians

includes dwarf african frogs, albino clawed frog and firebelly newt species, and tadpoles

These fully aquatic Amphibians never need to leave the water. African Dwarf Frogs can be kept with community fish. Tadpoles will eventually transform into a terrestrial frog, depending on species; check the terrestrial frog care sheet for proper frog care.

Freshwater Amphibians

Freshwater Amphibians Facts

average adult size: depends on species
average life span: depends on species
diet: omnivore
minimum aquarium size: 10+ gallons
water temperature: 72-82°F


A well-balanced Freshwater Amphibian diet consists of:

  • Bloodworms and brine shrimp (live or frozen).
  • Sinking fish food pellets.
  • Tadpoles require algae wafers and sinking pellets.


Things to remember when feeding your Freshwater Amphibian:

  • Feed once a day.
  • Thaw frozen food before feeding.


  • Keep in an appropriate size aquarium; provide plenty of hiding places and a secure lid to prevent jumping.
  • Stable water quality, water temperature, and pH levels are critical to the health of the aquatic life. If you are unsure of your water quality or pH levels, Petco provides free water testing.


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.


Check Petco’s freshwater compatibility care sheet for species specific information.


signs of a healthy animal

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

Red Flags

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

If you notice any of these signs, contact your veterinarian.

Common Health Issues

Health Issue Symptoms or Causes Suggested Action
Health Issue Bacterial infection Symptoms or CausesCloudy eyes, open sores, and/or reddening of the skin. Suggested ActionImprove water quality and consult your aquatic veterinarian for treatment; seek veterinary advice.
Health IssueFungal Infection Symptoms or CausesRed inflammation of the skin, or any other abnormal change in skin color. Suggested ActionQuarantine frog immediately; seek veterinary advice.


Ask an associate about Petco’s selection of books on Freshwater Amphibians 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.