How to Set Up a Tank for an African Dwarf Frog

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African Dwarf frogs are small frogs about a couple of inches in length. They are native to the tropical areas of central Africa. African Dwarf frogs are completely aquatic frogs that occasionally rise to the surface to breathe air. They therefore do not require land above water. They also do not require much maintenance, which makes them a good pet choice for inexperienced amphibian enthusiasts.

Things You'll Need

  • 10- to 20-gallon tank
  • Gravel
  • Aquatic plants
  • Tank heater
  • Tank filter

Set Up

  • Acquire a fish tank between 10 and 20 gallons in size and not more than a few feet deep. Deep tanks pose a threat to these frogs because of their inability to swim great stretches at a time. Clean the tank thoroughly with warm water and soap. Rinse well. Do not use bleach or any kind of bleach product as this is harmful to the African Dwarf frog.

  • Pour a natural, soft gravel that's free of dyes along the bottom of the tank until it is about 2 inches deep. This will provide ample digging room as the African Dwarf frog loves to dig and burrow.

  • Plant several aquatic plants deep in the tank around the back and side walls. Leave some open space near the front of the tank for frog observation. Use real plants such as the Anubias family plants or substitute fake plants that have a soft, silky texture.

  • Decorate the tank with clean rocks and pieces of natural wood. Build places to hide, while ensuring that the structures are all sturdy and not stacked high. African Dwarf frogs can cause structures to fall over on top of them as they dig.

  • Fill the tank with non-chlorinated water and install a tank heater so it is not near the plants. Set the heater to maintain a temperature between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Add a filter if you do not want to clean the tank on a weekly basis. Make sure the filter is either close enough or far enough away from the glass that the frogs will not get trapped behind it. A space of either less than 2 mm or more than 5 mm from the glass will ensure safety.

  • Install a new mesh screen top to keep the frogs from climbing or jumping out. Periodically check to make sure the top is secured tightly.

  • Run the tank set up for at least 24 hours before introducing the African Dwarf frog. This will allow time for the water to settle and the tank temperature to level off.

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