One morning, you are looking at your aquarium. Suddenly you realize that your African dwarf frog is hiding in the tiny space between the filter and the aquarium wall. This has got you worried and has almost ruined your day.
Should you be worried, though?
African dwarf frogs are small, aquatic frogs that are naturally shy, so hiding is something they like to do very often. This is a completely natural behavior and one that should really not bother you.
In this article, I will try to describe why your frog is behaving like this.
African Dwarf Frog hiding behind filter: 6 Possible Reasons
This species of frog loves to hide in dark spaces, and it might think that the space behind the filter is just the right spot. It is sometimes their natural behavior. However, there might be other reasons behind this as well.
Let’s examine some of the potential explanations for this:
1. Natural Instinct
Hiding is something most frogs do by instinct. A lot of land dwelling frogs tend to dig underground, and aquatic frogs love to hide in dark underwater spots, such as between the leaves of live plants.
The space behind the aquarium filter may be just perfect for African dwarf frogs in captivity to hide. If you don’t like them sitting there, then you can provide them with some aquarium decorations, such as a small bowl, a cylindrical log, or fake plants, so that they have more options to choose from.
2. Comfort and Isolation
Your African dwarf frog’s hiding behavior could also be caused by a sense of loneliness. This species of frog is very social, and in my other articles, I have recommended buying at least a pair of them so that they don’t feel lonely.
Because of this isolated feeling, your frog may be hugging the filter. If you see your frog doing so, maybe it’s time to introduce him to new friends!
3. Unfamiliar Environment
If you just bought your frog, it’s perfectly normal for it to need some time to get used to its new environment. It might be scared and feel safe hiding behind the filter.
So, all you need to do in such a case is give it some time! Your frog will eventually get used to its new surroundings and come out of hiding.
4. Non-hygienic Tank Conditions
Sometimes, if the water in the aquarium is contaminated, your African dwarf frog will be looking for fresh water. This species of frog is sensitive to contamination and will easily get uncomfortable in a dirty tank.
The only place in the whole tank where there is clean water under such circumstances is directly behind the filter. So, if you see your frog hanging around there, it can mean that there is something wrong with the water quality and you need to fix it as soon as possible.
5. Fear of Potential Predators
These amphibians get scared pretty easily. Their poor vision is the main reason behind this.
In the wild, they are usually hiding from potential predators, such as birds, snakes, and other large fish. Under captivity, you can never tell exactly what scares them. It could be you, one of your other indoor pets, something else in the home, or even another one of your household members.
Because of their bad eyesight, they can mistake almost anything for a predator.
As soon as they get scared, they switch to their defensive instincts and go hiding.
Finally, if you see your frog floating in the space behind the filter, it can sadly mean that it has passed away.
These frogs’ bodies float up to the surface once they are dead, and for some reason, the body might have floated up just behind the filter.
Before you jump to conclusions, look for signs of life.
What should I do if my African Dwarf Frog is hiding behind Filter?
It is important to know that these frogs are hiding by their own choice, and you probably should not remove them from there. It is better to leave the frog by itself and give it some time to adjust. These frogs are quite fragile, and therefore, you can injure them unintentionally while trying to move them.
The only thing you should do at this time is check for signs of vitality. After examining, if you can come to the conclusion that your frog has passed away, then carefully remove the corpse, as it will contaminate the whole water in the tank.
It is indeed normal for these nocturnal frogs to go into hiding during the day. The fact that they chose to hide behind the water filter usually means that they find the spot safe, and you should not be concerned.
Just to be safe, examine the water quality. As they are sensitive to contamination, behind the filter may be the only place to get fresh water, and that’s why they’re hanging around there!