If you’re thinking about having an aquarium with some freshwater mates living in harmony, then the African Dwarf Frog makes an excellent choice! These aquatic frogs are one of the most well-liked species of freshwater frogs amongst breeders and hobbyists.

This species of frog has a calm nature and requires low effort to maintain. However, you have to absolutely ensure all the things they require. They might have a short list of necessities, but they don’t do well at all with any shortcomings.

Before making a purchase, you should definitely set up the aquarium to meet the needs of the African Dwarf Frogs. In this article, I’ll discuss what to keep in mind while preparing the tank and how to set it up.

What do African Dwarf Frogs need in their tank?

To begin with, you need to consider the size and dimensions of the tank itself. When choosing the tank, you also need to be considerate of the needs of the African Dwarf Frogs.

What do African Dwarf Frogs need in their tank
Image Credit: Frogfather, Instagram

1. A Tank (With Optional Substrate) And A Lid

In terms of housing a number of frogs, you need a tank that is at least 10 gallons in size. I would advise selecting a tank with a shallower depth and a longer width. This is due to the fact that these aquatic amphibians prefer to spend the majority of their time underwater, but occasionally they must surface to breathe. A 10 gallon tank is generally inexpensive.

If you want to include substrate in the aquarium, you should choose a 20-gallon tank. More water is always beneficial to your frog’s health as well. Also, having more water will help you maintain better water quality.

You will also need a cover that seals the top completely, otherwise your frogs may occasionally jump out of the water. You can choose either plastic or see-through glass if you want to monitor your frogs from above.

2. Live Plants And Decors (Hiding Spots)

Frogs usually need spots to hide. There are many cheap aquarium decorations that provide them with lurking spots. Some live plants can be used as an alternative as well.

Read Also: Why is my African Dwarf Frog hiding?

3. Lighting And Heating

These frogs require light and darkness regularly to maintain their circadian cycle. Therefore, you also need to introduce some lighting. You can buy cheap LED lights and install them in the aquarium.

A must have item for the aquarium would be a heater. Unless you have the room temperature at an average of 80°F ,which, realistically, no one does, you need to install the heater.

4. Filter And Water Test Kit

In order to check the quality of the water, you also need a water test kit. This is not a must if you change the water regularly. Adding a filter can also solve this problem. If you’re using a filter, go for a sponge filter instead of a traditional one, as your baby tadpoles or eggs may get sucked into it.

Additional Read: African Dwarf Frog Water Parameters

Now that you know what to buy, how should you actually set up the tank? Let’s find out.

setting up an African Dwarf Frog Tank: [Step By Step Guide]

Setting up an African Dwarf Frog Tank
Image Credit: Pumilio, Instagram

Here’s a step-by-step guide for you on how to set up a functional tank for your African Dwarf Frogs:

Step 1 – Adding Substrate

First of all, you need to find the perfect place for your household. The first thing you need to put inside the aquarium is the substrate. You can go with any substrate of your choice. However, make sure that the size of your substrate is big enough so that the frogs don’t swallow them.

Step 2 – Installing Heater and Thermometer

Now it’s time to install the heater into the aquarium. Just put it where you want inside the tank and connect it to the power. You might want to hide them underneath some fake plants in order to enhance the look of your aquarium. Installing a thermometer is recommended as it will help you monitor the temperature of the tank.

Step 3 – Install Filtration System

It’s time to bring in the filtration. Make sure you purchase a sponge filter, as their pumping is not too strong and your tadpoles or eggs won’t get sucked in. Place the filter in the corner of the aquarium that is opposite to the heater’s location.

Step 4 – Introduce Décor

Decorating your aquarium can be the most fun you’re going to have while setting it up. Let your imagination run wild and go at it as you see fit. Just remember to provide lots of hiding spaces for your frogs in order to make them feel more comfortable inside the tank.

Step 5 – Filling up Water and Cycling

Once you’ve completed all the steps above, you may fill the tank with water. It’s important to note that you must not fill up the tank with water completely. Leave some open space at the top of the tank. African Dwarf Frogs tend to swim to the water’s surface occasionally in order to breathe in air.

After pouring in the water, run the filter for a few cycles. This will improve the water quality significantly.

Step 6 – Lights, Lid and Live Plants

As I’ve mentioned before, you need to install some lighting in the aquarium. Attach the lights at the top of the aquarium. If you are considering any live plants, such as money plants, it’s now time to get them into the aquarium.

Afterwards, put the lid on the top to seal the aquarium and prevent your frogs from escaping.

Step 7 – Finishing Up

Your aquarium is almost ready. Now you just need to start the thermometer, bring the water temperature up to 80°F, and turn all the other electronics on.

Afterwards, let the aquarium stay like this for 24 hours. Your aquarium should now be good to go! Bring in the frogs to the aquarium and have fun!

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Do African Dwarf Frogs need a cycled tank?

Absolutely. These frogs are pretty fragile and can die easily if the water is not cycled. You will also need to change the water ever so often and clean the tank from time to time.

How many African Dwarf Frogs should be together?

These frogs are social. Therefore, you can keep up to five of them in the tank. Be sure they have ample space and are not overcrowded.

Will African Dwarf Frogs jump out of the Tank?

Indeed. These frogs are adept jumpers. In the wild, they jump out of the water and land back on it. You should therefore install a lid so that they don’t jump out and run wild in your room.

Wrapping up

As long as you meet the basic setup requirements, you can let your imagination run wild when it comes to embellishing the aquarium. Then you can introduce other mates for your pet frogs in the tank. If you’re interested, here’s an article on the best African Dwarf Frogs Tank Mates.

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