African Dwarf Frog Lifespan – How Long do They Live For?

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The African Dwarf Frog is a commonly bought aquarium species among fish keeping enthusiasts. If you plan on buying one or two specimens yourself, you might be asking yourself what is the lifespan of these animals?

This article comes to help you in this regard. You’ll learn what the lifespan of such frogs is, how you can improve its life expectancy and if males or females live longer (among other subjects).

First of all, you’re probably eager to know how long these animals live in most cases. Let’s answer that right away: usually, African Dwarf Frogs will live up to 5 years, in normal conditions, if nothing unexpected happens, like an infection or some sort of disease.

Beside their lifespan, there are many other interesting and fun facts about African dwarf frogs, which I covered in the linked article.

But the question still remains: can you improve their longevity? Or is it possible at all? Let’s find out!

How to Improve African Dwarf Frog Longevity?

To improve your frog’s longevity, you can do at least 4 things. I will talk about each of these 4 aspects in particular, so you’ll know what to do exactly.

But keep in mind one thing: you must apply all of these steps in order to improve the lifespan of your frogs. If you put in practice only 1 or 2, there could be some results. However, for the best outcome, apply all of them together. Let’s start with the first one:

1. Buy your African Dwarf Frog from a Trusted Source

This is the first step you need to take, to ensure your frog will live a happy and long life in your aquarium. Why? Simply because there are lots of places where you can purchase an African Dwarf Frog, and not all of these markets are reliable.

If you make a poor choice, you might buy a frog that comes with a disease in the package as well. This is a bundle you don’t need to have. Also, you need one with good genetics, to ensure a longer lifespan.  So, what can you do to ensure such a good purchase?

First of all, do extensive research. Look for multiple different animal markets online and offline, and see what other people have to say about those shops. If the reviews are somewhat negative, move on to another shop. You don’t want to take any risks, because a healthy frog is what you want to purchase, to ensure a long lifespan.

Also, keep an eye on how they usually handle purchases other people make. If there are problems regarding certain documents, it’s best if you don’t take any chances.

Keep in mind: a trusted source is vital to make sure your frog will live a long and healthy life in your aquarium.

2. Feed Quality and Variety of Food

The next step after you bought your frog from a trusted source is to feed it properly. What does this mean? To start off, you need quality food all the time. If you want your African Dwarf Frog to live long and healthy, you have to pay attention to its diet.

What does quality food include? You can feed all the following to your frog:

  • Bloodworms
  • Brine shrimp
  • Mysis shrimp – frozen if possible
  • Sinking fish food pellets – yes, these work very well for frogs too

However, quality food is not everything if you don’t feed your frog regularly. What does a good feeding schedule look like? To ensure a long lifespan for your frog, you should feed it once, or two times (at max) a day.

Also, keep in mind to feed it only a quantity that is easy to be consumed. Overfeeding is a common problem, that results in all sorts of problems. When you feed your frog, the quantity you put in the tank, should be easily eaten in a relatively short period of time.

As you can see from above, you feed your frogs multiple different kinds of food. This is essential, because different food items contain different nutrients that your frog needs to stay healthy. Make sure you feed it a variety of food, not just one item all the time. This way, your frog will look as healthy as it can get.

3. Quality Water Conditions & Stable Parameters

This is the 3rd step you need to take, to make sure your frog’s lifespan is improved. Quality water conditions are a must, no matter what species you have in your tank, so frogs are no exceptions. What are the best water conditions for African Dwarf Frogs?

For start, make sure to keep the water temperature at 72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit, because this is what their natural habitat feels like. Also, make sure to create day and night cycles, if your aquarium is out of direct sunlight.

To do this, you can use fish tank lights, to create day-like atmosphere, and cover the tank to create a night-like feeling. The tank must also be at least 10 gallons in volume, to ensure enough space for your frogs to live.

The water parameters must be stable at all times. If you happen to notice sudden changes in the water parameters, your frogs will too. Such sudden changes can lead to problems, skin shedding for example. It’s best if you keep an eye on all the parameters, to keep them in check. 

The aspects are among the most important things you can do to improve your frogs life expectancy. But there is a 4th step you can do:

4. Reduce Stress in Your Aquarium

To improve longevity, it’s important to reduce any stress factors in your tank. If your frogs get stressed out, certain diseases might surface and threaten them. What can you do to prevent this?

The best and most efficient way to reduce stress in your aquarium, is to have good tank mates along your frogs, that don’t do any harm to them. What could these tank mates be? Here are some of the best tank mates, that already work well in many aquariums:

Also, you can add other species as well, not only peaceful fish. For instance, the Cherry Shrimp is a good companion, that will live well together with frogs. The Bamboo and Ghost shrimps are also great additions to a community tank that includes African Dwarf Frogs.

Avoid large fish that are aggressive. Cichlids are especially to be avoided, due to their larger size and aggressive behavior. They could even prey on your frogs, so don’t put such fish in your tank.

Something else you can do to keep your frogs out of stress, is to place your aquarium in a peaceful area. Don’t make loud noises when you’re around your tank. Also, make sure other won’t bother them either.

Male or Female African Dwarf Frogs Live Longer?

The answer to this question is: it depends. On what you might ask? Basically, on their health state. Usually, males and females live alike. As I said, 5 years is to be expected, but this number can be improved a lot, by applying the steps I told you about right above.

Males and females alike can live up to even 20 years, if cared for properly. However, this is quite rare, but not impossible.

Do African Dwarf Frogs Live Less in Aquarium?

The answer is no, they don’t. Actually, if cared for well, your frogs will live even longer in captivity. Like I said above, they can live up to 20 years long, but only in perfect conditions. That is why they live longer in well-set up aquariums, then in the wild.

Also, in a perfect aquarium environment, there won’t be any natural enemies put alongside your frogs. So, they won’t get eaten prematurely, like they would in the wild.

Do African Dwarf Frogs Live Longer with a Filter?

Any aquarium needs a water filter. It doesn’t matter if you have or not frogs inside it. So, the question is if your frogs will really live longer if you use a quality water filter?

The answer is yes. If you use a quality water filter that will get rid of all the floating debris and chemical residues, your frogs will surely live longer. After all, this way you’ll prevent all sorts of diseases in the tank, before they could even surface.

And just like any other tank mate, African Dwarf Frogs also need clean water to thrive in. An efficient water filter will result in cleaner and healthier waters, and positively impact your frogs.


All in all, African Dwarf Frogs can easily live up to 5 years (on average). However, if you care for them as described above, this number can be raised significantly. Do everything in your power, so your frogs will thrive in the aquarium.

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, aquarium fish breeder and founder of this website. I’ve been keeping fish, since I was a kid. On this blog, I share a lot of information about the aquarium hobby and various fish species that I like. Please leave a comment if you have any question.
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