Angelfish and Dwarf Frogs

In this post, we will know a little about the relationship between Angelfish and Dwarf Frogs and discuss if they can be set up in an aquarium together. We will also understand a little bit about their biology.

Angelfish and Dwarf Frogs

Angelfish are wonderful freshwater fish that is very popular in the aquarium hobby. Dwarf Frogs are also popular and the idea of keeping both is natural. However, the Angelfish may eat small frogs. For this reason, it is important to carefully choose which species you are going to raise together.


Angelfish are peaceful Cichlids. Although they are peaceful, they are omnivores. Which means they eat almost everything that fits in their mouth.

Angelfish are original from South America, more specifically from the Amazon River basin. Shallow, slow-moving well-vegetated water bodies are their habitats.

Dwarf Frogs


The Dwarf Frog or African Dwarf Frog (genus Hymenochirus) is an anuran amphibian of the Pipidae family. The Dwarf Frogs inhabit the equatorial region of Africa. They occupy areas from Nigeria to Cameroon and the entire Congo River basin. They are very small animals, with a graceful appearance and discrete colours. They live entirely underwater and rise to the surface to breathe. The lifespan is around 5 years and they can grow up to 3 inches long.

It is common for the African Dwarf Frog to be confused with the African Clawed Frog, of the genus Xenopus. This is mainly because both animals belong to the Pipidae family and are strictly aquatic. Still, they have little more in common than their taxonomic relationship and their life permanently underwater.

The most famous species of the genus Xenopus (Xenopus laevis) can reach up to 9 inches in length, while the African Dwarf Frog barely exceeds 3 inches. Furthermore, according to government agencies, the Xenopus laevis species is potentially invasive and therefore its possession is prohibited.

Because of this important consideration, all pet owners must be cautious enough and ask about the pet they are purchasing in advance. Remember: the genus that interests us today and is allowed to keep as a pet is Hymenochirus. In general, there are four species of this group that can be found for sale:

·      Hymenochirus boettgeri;

·      Hymenochirus Boulenger;.

·      Hymenochirus curtipes;

·      Hymenochirus feae.


Raising an African Dwarf Frog in an aquarium requires low effort and little attention. For the aquarium – due to the small size of this frog – each individual should have at least 3-5 gallons of water. However, as they are very sociable species, they should be raised in groups, in an aquarium with 10-15 gallons. Without a doubt, this container must have dense vegetation, abundant hiding places, aquatic plants, and shallow water.

As this is a tropical species, the ideal condition is that the water temperature remains stable between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. This can be guaranteed using a good heater. pH levels should be between 6.5 and 7.8.

In addition, the aquarium should have a filter, as the African Dwarf Frog generates waste in the same way as any fish. However, the filter should not produce very strong currents, as the animal can be dragged and suffer continuous stress.


The African Dwarf Frogs are omnivorous. However, they do best with an animal-protein based diet. Thus, small prey, which can be offered alive or frozen dried, should be on a diet basis. Mosquito larvae, flies, micro crickets, small fish, crustaceans, and worms are good options for this frog species. In the wild, they feed mainly on small fish and insect larvae.

They do not need to be fed every day, three or four times a week would be enough. Most of these frogs will remain in the bottom of the tank even during feeding periods. Thus, it is important to observe if they are eating.

The importance of water

Amphibians exchange gases and maintain their internal homeostasis through the skin, and for that reason proper skin development is essential. For this reason, the pH levels should be controle in neutral conditions and the water should be chlorine free. This chemical compound can damage the animal’s skin.

They spend most of their time underwater, only rising to the surface briefly to breathe.

Aquarium mates

The African Dwarf Frog is very docile and peaceful. However, they can see small fish and tiny invertebrates as prey. Thus, it is important to carefully think about tank mates.

Few fish species can live harmoniously with the African Dwarf Frogs, they are the Guppies, Corydoras, Loaches, and Tetras. Tiny fish could be eaten by the frogs and the frogs could be eaten by larger fish.

Large snails and some shrimp species can also be awesome tank mates to a Dwarf Frog. Just keep in mind to not introduce any small-enough species that could be devoured by the frogs.

Can Dwarf Frogs live with Angelfish?

The answer to this question depends on the individual temperament of your Angelfish. Although they require similar water and tank conditions, Dwarf Frogs and Angelfish may face some issues.

If the frogs are young and small, there is a big chance that the Angelfish will devour them. Thus, it is possible to introduce them while the Angelfish is still young, but not too small. Otherwise, the frog could eat them. This early introduction would be good to avoid any aggressive behaviour from the Angelfish towards the Dwarf Frogs.


In this post, we learnt a little about the relationship between Angelfish and Dwarf Frogs and discussed if they can be set up in an aquarium together. We also understood a little bit about their biology.

If you have any thoughts or doubts, feel free to drop us in a comment below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Angelfish and Dwarf Frogs

What fish can live with Dwarf Frogs?

As the Dwarf Frogs are very peaceful, they should be housed in peaceful communities. Some fish that can be great tank mates are guppies, mollies, and platies. Also, some danios, Corydoras and tetras. 

What are the conditions for an African Dwarf Frog tank?

To resemble their natural habitat it is important to keep in an African Dwarf Frog tank warmer water between 72 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit with pH levels 6.8 to 7.8. Additionally, they appreciate plants in a shallow water tank with lighting for 8-19 hours per day.

Can Dwarf Frogs live with Betta fish?

Yes, African Dwarf Frogs can live healthily with Betta fish. You must observe and learn the temperament of your Betta before introducing the Dwarf Frog, mainly because the Betta fish behaviour can vary a lot between individuals.

What do African Dwarf Frogs eat?

They are classified as omnivores. However, the idea is to provide them with plenty of meaty meals. Mosquito larvae, flies, micro crickets, small fish, crustaceans, and worms are good options. As some of these frogs can remain most of their time on the bottom of the aquarium, it is important to also offer sinking pellets formulated specifically for African Dwarf Frogs.

What size of aquarium do African Dwarf Frogs need?

The African Dwarf Frogs require between 3 and 5 gallons of water per individual. As they are social animals, the entire group would require at least a 20-gallon tank.

Can Angelfish live with African Dwarf Frogs?

This depends on the temperament of the Angelfish. Very active and aggressive Angelfish would probably stress the Dwarf Frog out. And also, if the Angelfish is too big, it could devour the frogs.


African Dwarf Frog Care Sheet.

Yang, A. 2020. African Dwarf Frog 101: Care, Food, Tank Setup & Lifespan.

Robert. 2019. African Dwarf Frog Care, Food, Tank & Guide.

Rosen, P. C., Schwalbe, C. R., Parizek, D. A., Holm, P. A., Lowe, C. H., & Schwalbe, C. R. (1997, November). Using managed waters for conservation of threatened frogs. In Proceedings of Symposium on Environmental, Economic, and Legal Issues Related to Rangeland Water Developments (pp. 180-202).