African Dwarf Frog
|Scientific Name||Hymenochirus curtipes|
|Minimum Water Size||10+ gallons (37.85+ liters)|
|Ease Of Care||Beginner|
|Average Lifespan||2 years|
|Approximate Adult Size||2.5 inches (6.35 centimeters)|
|Water Parameters||72-82 degrees Fahrenheit (22.22-27.78 degrees Celsius), 6.8-7.8 pH, KH 5-8|
The African Dwarf Frog is an amphibian that is very unique in its own ways. It's a true aquatic species, and must stay within water at all times to live otherwise their skin will dry out. This frog is a very friendly and social amphibian to keep in any freshwater community tank, and does best when housed in an aquarium with their species only. Living in various parts of Africa in streams, rivers, and shallow ponds these frogs have adapted to not being able to see their food but rather smell it within the water column. Sadly, due to this trait they are very slow eaters and can take a few minutes to hours to find any food that is placed inside of their tank. A tightly-fitting cover is required as these frogs will swim or jump to the surface to breathe directly from the air, as they do not have gills and cannot breathe directly from the water itself. These frogs are mostly active at night, and that is when you will see or hear their movements more than ever. Plants are recommended for this frogs as well as having various decorations for them to hide in during the day. African Dwarf Frogs all can have various different body colors, ranging from an albino white, to tan, grey, and even a dark brown based upon what they have eaten and the color genes they have.
Many people will believe for their frogs to be dead as they will rest with their legs and arms stretched outward for hours while they rest, or they see them floating on the water's surface for hours on end. This is normal activity for these frogs and is common during the day when they are mostly resting or sleeping. If you viewed the tank during the night you would see them moving all around, looking for any leftover food or mates to breed with. Another common misconception is that the frogs will attack any fish that swim by them while they are awake. Sadly, these frogs are extremely slow to react and only have very small nails on their back feet to grab at food with. If your frog has more nails then just on their back feet, or if they have claws then you have accidentally been given these frog's sister the African Clawed Frog.
African Dwarf Frogs will breed readily in any aquarium as long as the conditions are right for them to want to spawn. Breeding will occur if the temperature is in the upper portion of what they like, as this signals the female that there is plenty of food ready for the newly tadpoles to eat once they have hatched from their egg. In many cases the breeding will occur during the night when the pair are more active, however if a male and female manage to swim near each other, this may happen during the day. The tinier male will clasp around the larger female's midsection in a mating ritual called amplecting, which is common in all frog like species. The pair will swim around the aquarium and do loops around the tank as the female releases eggs and the male fertilizes them at the same time. The eggs should be removed from the tank after the pair have finished mating as the frogs do not provide any parental care and will try to eat them thinking that it is food. The male will clasp around the female until he notices that she is no longer moving anymore, which is a sign that their mating has ended.
The tadpoles will only have a few hours worth of food on them once they hatch from the eggs, so making sure to feed very small and fine foods will be vital in raising them to adulthood. If enough care if given to the tadpoles, you will see them go through the various stages of life from their fish like state, to a hybrid state where they have a tail but are growing their legs, to lastly the full frog stage where the tail slowly disappears and they use their legs instead to move around.
African Dwarf Frogs will gladly accept any form of flake, pellet, frozen and or freeze dried food, live foods, and also any wafers if present. Since these frogs are mostly meat eaters they will accept other foods, however feeding high protein based foods and live foods is recommend. As mentioned before, these frogs will smell out their food and any excess uneaten food after an hour should be removed in order to not cause excess ammonia as it decays if the frogs never are able to find it.