African Dwarf Frog Mating Behavior

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Today, we’ll talk about African Dwarf Frog mating behavior. Previously, we covered how to set up a tank for new African Dwarf Frogs. However, if you own some of these frogs for some time now, there’s a high chance they will enter mating period.

This article will cover all there is to know about the African Dwarf Frog’s mating behavior. You’ll find out at what age these animals begin mating, how long it takes to have baby frogs, what are the optimal water parameters during mating and many other things. But first, let’s see how African Dwarf Frogs breed:

How do African Dwarf Frogs Breed?

How do African Dwarf Frogs Breed?

How do African Dwarf Frogs Breed? (sourceCC BY-SA 4.0)

To create the perfect condition for your dwarf frogs to breed, you need to gradually lower the water level in your tank, until your reach about 7 centimeters.

This process should take about 4 weeks; so keep this mind. The process as you can see takes quite some time, however, this is not yet the mating period. You only prepare the ground for it.

You’re not yet done. When the water reached 7 centimeters, you need to fill the tank again pretty quickly. Use warm water, so you’ll heat the tank again, while the new water is added. This temperature should be kept for at least 2 weeks from this point.

When the steps mentioned above were completed, your frogs should be ready for mating. Now, let’s find out how this happens exactly:

The process is called amplexus. During this process, the male frog grasps the female around the abdomen. Amplexus usually occurs at night, after the male finished singing, which took 1 or 2 nights in a row.

While the amplexus is happening, the female will swim in the tank, releasing new eggs, and the male fertilizes these by releasing sperm into the water.

This process could last for several hours. How can you tell they finished? When the female is done releasing the eggs, she will signal the male to release her, by going motionless. She’ll stay motionless for several minutes, which is totally normal. After the male has released her, they go back to their normal routine.

This is how the breeding process occurs at African Dwarf Frogs. But at what age does it occur?

At What Age do Dwarf Frogs Breed?

To know exactly when is the time to create the perfect conditions for mating, you should know what is the right age among frogs for beginning breeding. Basically, we’re asking what is the right time when they reached sexual maturity?

Usually, most African Dwarf Frogs will begin mating when they reached 9 to 12 months in their lifetime. There isn’t an exact number, like 9 months for sure, because it depends mostly on the frogs at hand.

However, there are certain signs that you can look for, to find out if they truly see to become sexually active. The most prominent one is the male’s behavior. Usually, when it sees to begin mating, it will start singing.

This can be so loud at times, that you’ll hear it outside the aquarium as well. It sounds like a strong humming or buzzing. If the singing doesn’t stop for a day or two, it’s a pretty clear sign that your male frog wants to begin mating with another female in the tank.

How Long it Takes to Have Baby Frogs?

The mating will take several hours; the amplexus process itself. When the eggs were released, and the males fertilized them, it should take about 48 hours for them to start hatching. This is an approximate number, so don’t worry if it happens a little sooner or later than that.

Sometimes, it even takes up to a week for the eggs to start hatching. This is not very common, but sometimes it happens, so don’t worry if you don’t see any sign of movement too soon.

When the eggs were laid, and the male finished fertilizing all of them, this is what you should do to ensure the hatching will take place normally:

Siphon all the eggs into a separate aquarium. Why? At times, your frogs, or other tank mates, might try to eat the eggs, or at least a portion of them. To prevent this from happening, it’s best if you move all the eggs to another tank.

Another method would be to move your frogs, but since you probably have other tank mates in the aquarium, it’s easier to only move the eggs, than the whole aquarium’s community.

That’s all! If you did everything as described right above, your newly laid eggs will surely hatch in no-time.

How Often Do African Dwarf Frogs Lay Eggs?

In most cases, an African Dwarf Frogs will lay around 7000 to 8000 eggs throughout the span of a year. That is quite a lot, yes. However, that isn’t done a single time.

Usually, these frogs will mate several times a year, and lay anywhere from 500 to 2000 eggs at one spawning. Depending on the amount of eggs they lay, the number of mating periods could be higher or lower. That is because they rarely lay more than 8000 eggs a year.

A normal spawning usually produces around 750 to 800 eggs. But this is an approximate number, as you can tell, since they could even lay 2000 at a time. It really depends on the frogs you personally own.

Water Parameters for Hatching Frog Eggs

I mentioned above that newly laid eggs should be moved to another tank, to prevent your frogs or other tank mates from eating them. How should this tank’s water parameter be, to ensure a normal hatching?

For start, make sure your hatching tank is at least 10 gallons in volume. This is needed, because  hundreds of eggs could hatch, and the newly born tadpoles will need space to swim around.

The water should also have certain qualities. Make sure you add water that follows the below-written parameters:

  • pH level of 7.5 to 8.0. if the pH level is too low, add 1 teaspoon of baking soda for every 5 gallon of water that’s inside the hatching tank.
  • Keep the temperature at 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s best to use a water heater for this process, to ensure the needed temperature, for the eggs to hatch normally.

Besides these 2 properties, make sure the water is clean, for it to be a healthy environment for your new tadpoles. If the newly born tadpoles are all in the new tank swimming around, you should know how to care for them. Let’s see!

Caring for Baby African Dwarf Frogs

Baby African Dwarf Frogs

Baby African Dwarf Frogs

Before you start alarming yourself, know that baby frogs have an 80% mortality ratio. This is affected by many factors, even if you created the perfect conditions that I described above at the previous subtitle.

So, what can you do to make sure a large portion will survive? Here’s some advice:

Feed them regularly, every single day, liquid fry food or powder fish food. This is the first type of food you can give them, when they were only just born. When the hind legs were fully developed, you can start giving them frozen Daphnia and Cyclops.

Also, when the front legs were fully developed too, offer them some frozen Artemia and mosquito larvae. And when the tail is fully gone, you can start feeding them a normal adult frog diet. This diet includes the following food items:

Another aspect you must know when raising tadpoles, is to not use a water filter at the time. These baby frogs are so small, that they will easily get sucked into the tubing system of the filter. You don’t want that to happen.

Because of this, make sure to manually change about 10% of the aquarium’s water every day, to remove waste and other particles that you don’t need. This way, the tank will stay clean, even so there isn’t a filter installed.

While you care for all tadpoles, you’ll notice changes on their body, as I mentioned above. After about 10 days from hatching, the hind legs will be visible. After 19 days from hatching, all the tadpoles should be able to move their hind legs easily.

In 25 days after hatching, the front legs will form, and in 30 days the tail will mostly be gone. Usually, a tadpole becomes a normal frog in 4 to 8 weeks.


This article came to help you, if you want to know how African Dwarf Frogs breed. You learned pretty much all there is about their mating process, and what you need to do, for it to happen naturally.

Also, I gave you specific advice on how to care for newly born tadpoles, to ensure their survival. If you do everything like described above, you’ll surely go through the frogs mating period without any issues.

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.
Questions and Answers

My frogs were latched on for nearly two days , then they parted but no eggs , can you tell me why

    If your frogs are young, it might take them a few attempts until they lay eggs. If they show sings of breeding, sooner or later they will lay eggs, so don’t worry.

I love hearing my frogs sing! The first time I heard it I couldn’t believe it was coming from them till I googled it lol!
Now they have tried mating several times..and no eggs…last night I saw the strangest frogs were indulging in a threesome!
Yes two males squeezing on one female..I don’t thing she liked it. She kept Darting up towards the submersible light..angling herself so that it was the males who’s heads bonked into the light..until one fell off. She then was suddenly calm again and just floated with the winning male lol

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