African Dwarf Frog Egg & Baby Care 101 [Beginner’s Guide]

If you suddenly discover African dwarf frog eggs in the tank, you may become surprised. Also, this awkward situation might leave you with a puzzle about how to take care of African dwarf eggs properly. Besides, some African dwarf frog owners plan to make their frogs breed and raise the tadpoles.

So, if you are interested in African dwarf frog egg care, you should go through this article. In this article, I shall discuss the details of African dwarf frog egg care, required items, conditions, etc.

In this article, you’ll get a complete care guide from the phase of African dwarf frog eggs to baby African dwarf frogs. So, let’s check out this article without any further ado.

How Often Do African Dwarf Frogs Lay Eggs?

These depend on the proper parameters of water and tank conditions. Generally, African dwarf frogs mate frequently throughout the year.

In a year, African dwarf frogs lay around four or five egg clutches. In each clutch, there remains approximately  500 to 2000 eggs. So, in total, African dwarf frogs lay approximately 7000-8000 eggs throughout a year.

Although spring is their breeding season in the wild, African dwarf frogs can lay eggs throughout the year in captivity. The only concerning thing about their breeding is the appropriate condition of the tank.

What Do I Do If My African Dwarf Frog Lays Eggs?

If you want to save the African dwarf frog eggs, you should take essential steps to raise them. However, the mortality rate of African dwarf tadpoles is almost 80%.

Besides, if you are able to keep the African dwarf frog tadpoles alive after hatching, they will accompany you for more than five years. For details, you can check out how long African dwarf frogs live.

Hence, your very first concern should be keeping the African dwarf frog eggs with proper care. Thus, I’ve portrayed a complete guide of what to do when your African dwarf frog lays eggs.

Step One: Preparing The Tank

Raising African dwarf frog eggs and tadpoles is super easy. Once you set up a proper environment, the eggs will take care of themselves. On the other hand, a tank without the right conditions can harm the African dwarf frog eggs.

1. Plastic Or Glass Tank With A Lid

Firstly, you need to buy a plastic or glass tank with a lid for African dwarf frog eggs. You should buy a tank of 10 gallons to raise the eggs. The thumb rule of tank size is providing at least 1 liter of water for every 3-5 African dwarf frog eggs.

However, it is also okay if you choose a larger tank than this. It will be easier to maintain the proper water parameters if the water volume is much.

2. Set Up The Bottom Of The Tank

You must ensure that the tank should not get too deep. Hence, you have to set up the bottom of the tank.

So, you can set up the bottom of the tank with rocks, dirt, stones, etc. These will help the tadpoles a perfect space for hiding themselves while hatching. If you can not afford them, you can keep branches, weeds, etc.

Besides, these bottom setup items tend to grow algae and bacteria that become delicious foods for tadpoles.

3. Fill The Tank With Water

In the case of filling the tank with water, rainwater and pond water should be the preferable options. You must be aware that the rainwater has the right balance of pH. Besides, the African dwarf frog eggs require higher pH in water than the adult ones.

Moreover, African dwarf frogs start breeding when they come in touch with rainwater in nature.

On the other hand, you might want to fill up the tank with tank water. But, the chemicals and toxins in tap water will kill the African dwarf frog eggs.

However, if you can not manage rainwater or pond water, you can use distilled or spring water to raise the ADF eggs.

4. Substrate And Décor

Although the owners keep substrate and décor for the tank of adult African dwarf frogs, I recommend not to use them while raising eggs. You should keep the tank simple until the eggs turn into tadpoles.

Otherwise, the African dwarf frog tadpoles can get stuck inside the substrate or décor. Also, you should avoid keeping live plants if there are only eggs in the tank. Once the African dwarf frog eggs hatch into tadpoles, you can start keeping these items.

5. Appropriate Temperature Of The Tank

If you want to ensure the proper development of African dwarf frog eggs, you must keep an ideal temperature of the tank water. Generally, frog eggs require a bit higher temperature than adult frogs.

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Although adult African dwarf frogs need 68-78 degrees Fahrenheit, their eggs need 80 degrees Fahrenheit. You should keep the water temperature steady.

Hence, you might need to add an aquarium heater.

However, the African dwarf frog eggs can thrive in lower temperatures. But, this will slow down their growth. On the other hand, higher temperature increases the risks of fungal growth over the eggs.

Thus, you must keep the frog eggs within the ideal temperature.

6. Water Parameters Of The Tank

Like temperature, African dwarf frog eggs require a higher pH level compared to adult African dwarf frogs. The pH level of water should range between 7.5-8.

Before introducing the eggs to the new tank, you should check out the pH of the water with pH test strips. If the pH is lower than the ideal range, you should add one teaspoon of baking soda per five gallons of water.

7. Filtration

Some African dwarf frog owners suggest not to add any filter as the vibration of the filter can put stress on eggs. On the other hand, some owners gave positive opinions about using filters.

After all, you need to prevent the deadly ammonia to build up in the water column.

Besides, there are risks of sucking the tiny tadpoles into the filter tubing. So, you can manually change the tank water regularly to keep the accurate water parameter.

Hence, you should chance 10% of water at least twice a day. Make sure that the tank water remains fresh and clean.

8. Ready For The ADF Eggs

After completing all of these steps, the tank is ready to welcome the African dwarf frog eggs. Now, you can go for collecting or separating the eggs and move them into this tank.

Step Two: Separating The African Dwarf Frog Eggs

The very first thing to do is to separate the African dwarf frog eggs. After spawning, you can notice African dwarf frog eggs floating on the water surface of the tank.

When you notice the eggs floating, you should check for more eggs for the next 2-3 days. Usually, frogs tend to spawn at night. So, do not forget to search for new eggs every morning of the breeding phase.

Since the African dwarf eggs are insanely sticky, you may find them adhering with the walls or plants of the tank. Although you can separate the eggs by using nets or scooping. But, using nets to move the eggs can risk their life.

Hence, you can gently scoop the eggs to move into a tank by using a cup.

Step Three: Pouring The Eggs Out

While doing step two, you must ensure not to break the eggs. Then, you should place the containers or cups full of eggs gently into the water side of the prepared tank. Be careful to pour out the eggs in such a way so that the eggs can float over the water surface.

Step Four: Hatching Eggs

The African dwarf frogs hatch their eggs pretty fast. But, all conditions of the tank have to be appropriate for the successful hatching of tadpoles.

Generally, it takes only two days to start hatching the African dwarf frog eggs. So, you will find the newly born tadpoles within 2-7 days after the eggs are laid.

You should keep the tank under sunlight for at least one hour per day until the eggs turn into tadpoles. Such is because this warmth keeps a vital role in the quick hatching of African dwarf frog eggs.

Step Five: Observe The Young Tadpoles

They have adhesive glands which help them remain glued to the surface of the tank.

Before the beginning of metamorphosis, the eggs seem tiny, jelly-like substances. You’ll notice the hind legs from the African dwarf frog eggs after around ten days.

Their gills will be visible outside of their heads only after a few days of hatching. At first, the new tadpoles seem like tiny fish. But, they start growing fast.

Also, they start moving the hind legs after around 19 days. Besides, their front legs become visible after 24-25 days.

Moreover, their tails become absorbed within one month.

Step Six: Notice Them Swimming Freely

African dwarf frog tadpoles start swimming freely only after 7-10 days of hatching. Otherwise, it can take a maximum of 4 weeks to swim. In this stage, the African dwarf frog tadpoles start eating algae and other tiny plants. When the African dwarf frog tadpoles live off the egg sacs, they are ready to swim freely.

Step Seven: Notice The Changes Of ADF Tadpoles

After the sprouting of hind legs, there start changes in the body of African dwarf frog tadpoles. Gradually, the gills of these tadpoles become disappeared. Besides, you’ll notice their tails to become vanished soon.

Step Eight: You Have Froglets!

Once they lose their tails, they become froglets. It can take around 12 weeks for tadpoles to become froglets. Around 12 weeks after hatching, the adult tadpoles look like tiny frogs. So, now you have your froglets!

How Do I Know If My African Dwarf Frog Is Pregnant?

When you cohabit male and female African dwarf frogs in the same tank, you might be confused by thinking about whether your dwarf frog is bloated or pregnant. But, it will be pretty easy to tell if your African dwarf frog may be pregnant or not.

African dwarf frogs can not be pregnant as they are not livebearers. But, there are several signs that your pet dwarf frog is carrying eggs.

Firstly, you need to ensure that the African dwarf frog is female. If your female dwarf frog carries eggs, its abdomen will appear swollen with eggs. So, your pet African dwarf frog will get bulky and bigger.

But, a sick African dwarf frog, suffering from dropsy, gets swollen too. That’s why you have to notice the shape of the swollen abdomen of your swollen African dwarf frogs.

When your African dwarf frog is bloated like a balloon, it may be dropsy. In such a case, the sick African dwarf frog has a smoothly round abdomen. Also, the sick frog will show other signs of dropsy like loss of appetite, lethargy, etc. You may notice changes in skin color or shed in the sick African dwarf frogs.

On the other hand, the abdomen of a pregnant African dwarf frog looks like a pouch of marbles. You can also comprehend the shape of small eggs from the outside look of their abdomen. If the signs get matched, your female African dwarf frog must be pregnant.

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Unfertilized African Dwarf Frog Eggs

You might know that African dwarf frogs lay around 500-2000 eggs in each clutch. Among these large numbers of eggs, not all African dwarf frog eggs will be fertilized. You’ll notice differences in the look and shape between fertilized and unfertilized African dwarf frog eggs.

While the fertilized African dwarf frog eggs look transparent with black dots, the unfertilized African dwarf frog eggs look cloudy. These unfertilized dwarf frog eggs will not develop like fertilized eggs.

According to several studies, unfertilized African dwarf frog eggs die by apoptosis. You should remove the unfertilized African dwarf frog eggs

How Long Do African Dwarf Frog Eggs Take To Hatch?

After laying eggs, the African dwarf frog eggs do not take much time to hatch. These eggs take only 2-7 days to emerge into tadpoles.

In this period, the African dwarf frog eggs get fertilized when the male African dwarf frogs release sperm over them. When the dwarf frog eggs get fertilized, these eggs may take around 48 hours to hatch.

Where Do African Dwarf Frogs Lay Their Eggs?

Generally, the female African dwarf frogs lay eggs at the top of their tank. You may see the African dwarf frog’s eggs floating over the surface of the tank water.

How Long After African Dwarf Frogs Mate Do They Lay Eggs?

African dwarf frogs tend to mate frequently.  These aquatic frogs mate so frequently that these frogs can lay over 8000 eggs in a year. Every 2-3 months, African dwarf frogs release clutches of eggs.

How Many Eggs Do African Dwarf Frogs Lay?

The number of laid eggs depends on your pet African dwarf frogs. Generally, these dwarf frogs release around 500-2000 eggs in a single spawning. Although African dwarf frogs lay too many eggs, not all of them survive or get hatched.

Every 3-4 months, the female African dwarf frogs become ready to spawn. So, these fully aquatic frogs release a total of around 8000 eggs in a year.

How Often Do African Dwarf Frogs Lay Eggs?

As African dwarf frogs mate several times in a year, these frogs lay eggs frequently. So, African dwarf frogs lay eggs in every 3-4 months.

What Do African Dwarf Frog Eggs Look Like?

African dwarf frog eggs look like tiny black dots in their naked eyes. Also, the eggs have jelly-sticky substances around them. You’ll see them floating on the surface of the water.

On the other hand, some eggs may sink to the bottom of the aquarium. These are unfertilized eggs that may look cloudy or white.

How To Tell If African Dwarf Frog Eggs Are Fertile?

The fertile African dwarf frog eggs remain half brown or half white. The eggs look transparent with a black or brown substance in the middle. Besides, it’ll be covered with a jelly-like sticky substance, and the middle point of the eggs will remain black. The entire clutches of eggs may seem like any water-jelly matter.

Will African Dwarf Frogs Eat Their Eggs?

Do you think that the parent African dwarf frogs take care of their offspring? Then, you are wrong.

African dwarf frogs do not show any parental affection towards their offspring. On the contrary, they often eat their eggs and tadpoles. The reason behind such cruelty is their poor eyesight.

African dwarf frogs see everything almost blur. Thus, they do not recognize their tadpoles or eggs. As a result, these frogs end up gobbling their eggs.

Hence, you have to remain alert to know when your African dwarf frogs are going to lay eggs. Once they lay eggs, you must remove the eggs immediately on a safe container.

After knowing about the infanticide of African dwarf frogs, you might start considering these frogs greedy. Hence, you can click here to clear up your confusion about whether African dwarf frogs are aggressive or not.

How Long Do African Dwarf Frogs Stay Tadpoles?

African dwarf frogs pass their tadpole phase for around two weeks after hatching.

In this time, the black dots like African dwarf frog eggs develop their gills, legs, and so on. Within two weeks, the tadpoles become ready to enter into the adult phase of the frog life.

Raising Tadpoles: How Do You Take Care Of African Dwarf Frog Tadpoles?

After hatching, the African dwarf frog eggs turn into tadpoles. A small number of eggs succeed in transforming into tadpoles. So, you must provide all requirements to raise the African dwarf frog tadpoles.

Let’s see how you can take care of African dwarf frog tadpoles.

1. Housing The Tadpoles

When your tadpoles start swimming freely, these adult tadpoles are ready to transfer into a new tank. However, you should keep only 5-10 tadpoles per liter of water.

So, you must not overcrowd the tank with tadpoles. It will reduce the water quality too.

You should house the tadpoles in such a tank of adequate space. Also, do not forget to buy such a tank with a tank lid too. So, this will prevent them from hopping out of the tank when they become older.

2. Tank Management

You can half fill the tank with big rocks, small weeds, and plants. Besides, place the tank in such a way that the tadpoles can come in touch with sunlight. But, make sure that the water should not become too hot.

As African dwarf frog tadpoles spend their entire time in the water, the temperature of the water keeps a vital role in their survival. According to the researchers, the ideal temperature range should be between 18-25 degrees Celsius or 65-77 degrees Fahrenheit.

You should not keep the tank under direct sunlight or any artificial bright light for a long time. If the temperature goes too cold or hot, your pet African dwarf frog tadpoles may fall into stress.

Hence, such an imbalance of water temperature can make your African dwarf frog tadpoles keep dying.

3. Feeding The Tadpoles

African dwarf frog tadpoles require frequent feeding than adult African dwarf frogs. It is essential for their development or growth. Hence, you should feed African dwarf frog tadpoles at least one time a day.

You can start feeding the tadpoles once they start swimming. According to their age, there are conditions of overfeeding certain foods.

What Do You Feed African Dwarf Frog Tadpoles?

The diet of African dwarf frog tadpoles is pretty different than the adult ones. In the earlier stage of tadpoles, they remain herbivorous. Later, they become omnivorous.

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Usually, after hatching, the new tadpoles do not eat anything for 24-48 hours. Later, they start eating the algae. When the tadpoles finish eating all algae, you can provide other foods.

In the case of newly born tadpoles, you can feed the ground goldfish food, powdered eggs, etc. Moreover, you can boil the romaine lettuce and spinach.

Cut them into small pieces and feed them to the African dwarf frog tadpoles. Besides, the tadpoles can eat cat food chunks too.  

Also, you can provide them with tadpole food pallets. For this, I recommend you to go for Zoo Med Aquatic Tadpole Food.  

When Should You Switch Feeding Adult Food To African Dwarf Tadpoles?

After developing hind legs, you can start feeding the African dwarf frog tadpoles like the adult frog diet. In this phase, these adult tadpoles look for meats. Thus, you can go for shrimps, daphnia, tender meat, bloodworms, liver, blackworms, etc.

4. Changing Water Regularly

The African dwarf frog eggs and tadpoles are pretty sensitive to water quality.

Also, African dwarf frog tadpoles naturally produce nitrogenous wastages in the water of the tank. Also, the decomposed plant materials add ammonia to the tank water. Hence, you need to change the tank water regularly.

Otherwise, if you do not filter or change the water regularly, the water will become toxic to African dwarf frogs. Eventually, these frogs will die.

You should keep the water or tadpole tank clean and fresh. Hence, you can manually change the water. For this, you have to change 10% of the water twice a day. Take a bowl and scoop out three-fourth of the water. Then, you should slowly add the new freshwater.

Some owners use filters mistakenly to change the water. But, I recommend you not use any filter while raising the African dwarf frog tadpoles. Since these tadpoles are pretty tiny, they may get vacuumed inside the filter tubing.

5. Managing Water Quality

You must provide such safe water for your African dwarf frog tadpoles. Otherwise, improper water parameters can be responsible for your tadpoles’ early death.

When you add water to the African dwarf frog tank, you must choose relatively hard water. Besides, you must remain concerned about the water parameters of temperature, pH, GH, KH, etc.

Here is a chart of ideal water parameters for African dwarf frog tadpoles.

GH (water hardness)5-20
NitrateLess than 20 ppm
Temperature20-28 degrees Celcius

Make sure that you are not keeping the tadpoles in tap water. It will kill your African dwarf frog tadpoles. So, I recommend you use only bottled distilled water. Also, you must remember that chlorine in water can kill the African dwarf frog tadpoles.

Besides, you should ensure that the water is warm. Around 80-82 degrees Fahrenheit is an ideal range of temperature for African dwarf frog tadpoles. No wonder this warmth will help them thrive in the tank.

So, when you are going to change the water, you should keep the new water near the tank beforehand. After 2-3 hours, the new water will become as warm as the water of the tank water.

Besides, the leftover foods of the tadpoles pollute the tank water and decrease the water quality. Hence, you can add small snails to the tank. These snails will eat the leftover foods of tadpoles.

As a result, the leftover foods or wastages will not increase the amount of ammonia in the water.

6. Keeping A Tank Lid Or Cover

African dwarf frogs tend to jump out of the tank whenever the tank has no cover or lid. The same thing goes for the adult tadpoles or the froglets as well.

As these frogs are immensely delicate, they will get hurt because of falling from a great height. Moreover, they can not survive without water being fully aquatic.

So, if you do not return these frogs to water immediately, they will die. Eventually, jumping out of the tank can be a pathetic reason why your African dwarf frog tadpoles keep dying.

7. Transporting The Tiny African Dwarf Frogs

After hatching, African dwarf frogs may need around 14 weeks to grow up into tiny frogs. The growth of the front legs is a remarkable sign of their growth. When you notice that the tadpoles can consume lean meat, it depicts their adulthood of tadpole phase.

Once the tails are fully absorbed, they turn into tiny, baby African dwarf frogs. Then, you can shift them into another tank. Otherwise, you can keep them in the same tank. But, the requirements and conditions of the tank have to be according to the adult African dwarf frogs.

If you come to this stage, congratulations! It means that you have kept the African dwarf frog eggs surviving by taking the best care of them. For raising these frogs, you should check out this article to know how to take care of African dwarf frogs as pets.

How To Get Rid Of African Dwarf Frog Eggs?

Many African dwarf frog owners do not want additional African dwarf frog babies. Hence, many of you may look for ways to get rid of African dwarf frog eggs. Let’s check out the following suggestions.

1. Keeping Male And Female Frogs Separately

If you do not want any new guests in your tank, you should not cohabit male and female African dwarf frogs together. The female African dwarf frogs will not lay any eggs when these frogs can not mate. As a result, it can’t be possible for female African dwarf frogs to lay eggs when there are no male dwarf frogs in the tank.

2. Removing The Eggs

Another thing that can save you from having unwanted African dwarf frog babies is to remove the eggs. You have to notice when the female African dwarf frogs release eggs. Then, you should remove the eggs before the male African dwarf frogs discharge sperm to make the eggs fertilized.

Final Words

The journey of taking care of African dwarf frog eggs starts from separating the eggs to raising them into baby African dwarf frogs. All of the phases are pretty interesting to notice, including hatching, metamorphosis, tadpole, froglets, etc. I hope you got a crystal clear idea of African dwarf frog eggs care for the beginners in this article.

Muntaseer Rahman

About Author

Hello, I’m Muntaseer Rahman, the owner of I’m passionate about aquarium pets like shrimps, snails, crabs, and crayfish. I’ve created this website to share my expertise and help you provide better care for these amazing pets.


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