How Long Do African Dwarf Frogs Live?

How Long Do African Dwarf Frogs Live

Every pet frog lover certainly desires such a frog that will accompany them for a long time. So, before buying an African dwarf frog, you might be thinking- how long do African dwarf frogs live? Hence, you are not alone who is keen to know the longevity of an African dwarf frog.

If you provide proper care and facilities, a captive African dwarf Frog can survive up to 5 years. Some of them can manage to live longer. However, some pet African dwarf frogs might die earlier due to diseases or mismanagement in care. On the other hand, there are records of living for 20 years of an African dwarf frog.

If you get to know the depending factors, you can ensure the longevity of your pet African dwarf frog. Hence, in this article, I have shed some light on the related queries of an African dwarf frog’s lifespan.

So, I urge you to go through this article to get enlightened more about this topic.

Lifespan Of African Dwarf Frog: What Is The Average Lifespan Of An African Dwarf Frog?

The average lifespan of an African dwarf frog is up to 5 years. Usually, the wild African dwarf frogs can survive around 4-7 years or more. On the other hand, the African dwarf frog in captivity can survive around 10-15 years.

The lifespan of an African dwarf frog varies according to its habitat. Usually, these frogs tend to live longer in captivity than in the wild.

Such is because wildlife is harsh for these animals. On the other hand, proper care and lack of predators help African dwarf frogs live longer in captivity.

What Is The Oldest African Dwarf Frog?

Although the average life expectancy of an African dwarf frog is five years old, this species of frog can survive nearly a decade. So, you might get a little surprised when you know the oldest African dwarf frog.

The oldest African dwarf frog is an X. laevis. This African dwarf frog holds the record of the highest longevity by living for 30.3 years in captivity.

Lifespan Of African Dwarf Frogs According To Species

Your chosen African dwarf frog can be included within any of four types of species. There are four types of species of these frogs.

These are- Hymenochirus boettgeri, Hymenochirus curtipes, Hymenochirus feae, Hymenochirus boulengiri. Also, African dwarf frogs have their cousin frogs which are pretty similar to them.

However, I have noticed that there are slight differences in the average lifespan among these species. Hence, I have made the following chart to get a tight grip on the lifespan of African dwarf frogs. Let’s check this out.

See also  Why My African Dwarf Frog Has Bump On Back?
Common Name   Scientific Name Lifespan
Zaire Dwarf Clawed FrogHymenochirus boettgeri8-15 years
Yahoo Dwarf African FrogHymenochirus boettgeriAround 10 years
Eastern Dwarf Clawed FrogHymenochirus boulengiri5-10 years
Western Dwarf Clawed FrogHymenochirus curtipes5-20 years
African Clawed FrogsXenopus laevisUp to 15 years in the wild, 25-30 years in captivity
Gaboon Dwarf Clawed FrogHymenochirus FeaeUp to five years

Which African Dwarf Frogs Live Longer: Male Or Female?

The answer to this question is pretty complex. Such is because experienced owners could not tell us whether male African dwarf frogs live longer or female ones.

After researching a while, I’ve found out that there is no depending factor of sex of the African dwarf frogs on their longevity. The average lifespan of these frogs is five years for both male and female African dwarf frogs.

Your pet male or female African dwarf frog can live longer with proper upbringing and care. So, if you want to buy such an African dwarf frog who will live longer, the sex of this frog should not be a concern. Both males and females alike can survive from 5-15 years.

Are African Dwarf Frogs Hard To Keep-Alive?

African dwarf frogs are not hard to keep alive.

Besides, these frogs are popular with frog lovers due to their fewer requirements. Such is because they are low-maintenance frogs.

Interestingly, African dwarf frogs are fully aquatic frogs. Thus, these frogs do not need to maintain several conditions like semi-aquatic or land-dwelling frogs.

So, you need not arrange any extra setups to keep an African dwarf frog as a pet. However, a little care and fulfilling basic needs are sufficient to keep your African dwarf frog alive.

If you want to know more about the care guide of African dwarf frogs, you should click here.

How Long Can African Dwarf Frogs Go Without Food?

African dwarf frogs can survive a few days without any food. These frogs can go without food for 3-4 days.

People often leave their pet dwarf frogs without any sources of food and come back home to find the pet dead. So, you can not make them starve for a long period.

In such cases, you should feed your African dwarf frog well before leaving it without food. These frogs can store up the fats and use this for later.

How Long Can African Dwarf Frogs Hold Their Breath?

Although African dwarf frogs are fully aquatic, these frogs do not have gills. They have lungs to breathe. Since these frogs have lungs to breathe, they often come up to the water surface to breathe air.

The researchers found out that African dwarf frogs can hold their breath for 15 minutes long.

Hence, African dwarf frogs can not stay underwater the entire time.

How To Improve The Lifespan Of My African Dwarf Frog?

All frog owners try their best to keep their frogs alive as much time as possible. A few steps and proper ways to care can make this possible. If you want your African dwarf frog to accompany you for a long time, you should check out the following ways to improve the lifespan.

1. Choose Healthy Frogs

The very first step is to select a healthy African dwarf frog before buying. You can check out if your chosen frog has clear eyes or not. Besides, a healthy African dwarf frog can swim pretty well. Also, you should notice the skin too.

See also  African Dwarf Frog Growth Rate: How Fast Do They Grow?

2. Quarantine New Additions

When you buy a new African dwarf frog, it can be sick too. So, when you keep the newly arrived frog with other frogs, there are chances to spread the diseases. Hence, you need to keep the new additions separately and observe their health issues.

Moreover, if you notice any sign of illness in any of your African dwarf frogs, you should quarantine the frog too.

3. Setting-up The Tank Properly

Proper setup of the tank includes choosing an accurate substrate, plants, hideouts, etc. While choosing a tank, you must keep in mind that each African dwarf frog requires at least 5-gallon space. Make sure that the tank size is not too big or too small for your pet frog.

Besides, you should keep such a hideout for your frog with no sharp ends. Also, you can keep plants to improve the water quality. If you do not want to go for rooted plants, you can keep floated plants. These plants do not need special lights.

Do not forget to fit an aquarium light or plant light. Moreover, you should keep water test supplies as you need to check the water parameters regularly.

4. Adding A Tank Cover

As African dwarf frog tends to jump often, you must keep a tank lid or tank cover. If your frog does not get back in the water after jumping out of the tank, it will not be able to breathe.

Besides, there are chances of getting hurt by falling on the floor. So, by adding a tank cover, you can save your African dwarf frog from dying.

5. Adjusting An Aquarium Filter: Do African Dwarf Frogs Need A Filter In The Tank?

African dwarf frogs need a filter in the tank to thrive peacefully. By adjusting an aquarium filter, the tank water can go through biological filtration daily.

There remain friendly bacteria colonies in the filter. So, these bacteria digest the wastages of the African dwarf frogs and their tank mates.

You can choose sponge filter, canister filter, hang on back filter, and so on. Since African dwarf frogs are not good swimmers, you can choose a low flow filter.

However, you should keep in mind the tank size and the flow rate of the filter. Also, you need to check out the vibration and noise of your chosen filter.

You can also check out the Zoo Med Canister Filter, Sunsun Canister Filter, or Aqua Clear Filter. These are some of the most recommended and popular filtering options for aquariums.

6. Change The Water Regularly

When the nitrate level goes higher, you must change the water. It is highly needed to let your African dwarf frog live a few more years longer. So, you should change a 15-20% water twice a month.

7. Aeration

Aeration helps your African dwarf frog keep healthy and happy. Such is because aeration systems promote good bacteria. As a result, these bacteria will aid in creating an oxygen-rich environment in the tank.

So, you can keep an aquarium air stone or an air pump for aeration. Also, the African dwarf frogs love to play with the bubbles due to aeration systems.

8. Keeping The Water Parameters Right

If you genuinely want to prevent the early death of your African dwarf frog, you must keep the water parameters right. Hence, you should check the water daily. If you do not afford filters, you must change the partial water frequently.

See also  How Long Can African Dwarf Frogs Go Without Food?

9. Choosing Tank Mates Carefully: Do African Dwarf Frogs Need A Companion?

Being Social animals, African dwarf frog loves to live in groups. So, African dwarf frogs need a companion.

But, wrong tank mates put severe stress on your African dwarf frog. Hence, you should choose the tank mates carefully.

You can choose among fancy guppy, danios, platy, shrimp, snail, tetra fish, catfish, corydoras, minnow, etc.

But, you should make sure that the tank mates are not much bigger than your African dwarf frogs. Also, make sure that you are not keeping any aggressive tank mates with an African dwarf frog.

But, when you choose the wrong tank mates other than African dwarf frogs, your pet frogs may get nipped, injured, or eaten over.

Especially, aggressive or bigger fish gulps down and hurt the African dwarf frog while staying in the same tank. Now, you might understand why your African dwarf frogs keep dying.

In this way, you can ensure the long life of African dwarf frogs by saving them from the attack of the tank mates.

10. Not Overcrowding: How Many African Dwarf Frogs Can Live Together?

Depending on the size of the tank, you can keep 2-4 African dwarf frogs together as a group.

Tank Capacity Number Of Dwarf Frogs
5 gallon2 African Dwarf Frogs
10 gallon4-5 African Dwarf Frogs
20 gallon5-10 African Dwarf frogs

So, you can keep multiple African dwarf frogs together. But, there are also some restrictions on keeping a specific number of dwarf frogs together.

If you keep more African dwarf frogs than the tank size, this may put them under stress. Also, the water gets dirty too soon. So, all of these factors can result in the death of your pet frogs.

However, you might have confusion thinking whether African dwarf frogs are aggressive or not. But, keeping only dwarf frogs will not hurt each other since African dwarf frogs are not aggressive.

11. Proper Feeding

If you want to improve the lifespan of your African dwarf frog, you should maintain an ideal feeding guide. Make sure that you are not overfeeding your African dwarf frog. No wonder overfeeding shortens the lifespan of your pet frog.

Besides, you should cut the foods into small pieces as they do not have teeth to swallow. Also, you should avoid Tadpole minis and Cobalt frogs.

That is because these will only fatten up your frog. Otherwise, these two types of foods are of low quality.

12. Avoid Handling: Can African Dwarf Frogs Be Handled?

Because of fully aquatic, African dwarf frogs can not survive in dry conditions. Hence, if an African dwarf frog is out of water for more than 10 minutes, the frog will die.

You must not handle or hold your African dwarf frogs for any reason. Before buying this frog, you should know that African dwarf frogs are not such pets to cuddle or hold for a few moments.

These frogs are only meant to keep in an aquarium. Moreover, their bones are pretty fragile. There are chances of dislocating or breaking the bones while holding African dwarf frogs.

So, picking them up and handling them can cause your African dwarf frogs to keep dying.

13. Proper Cleaning And Maintenance

Another secret of improving the lifespan of African dwarf frogs is proper maintenance and cleaning. Make sure that no uneaten foods are left in the water. Besides, you can also sanitize the tank weekly.

Also, you should scrub the walls of the tank and all tank items to remove the algae. But, you must keep in mind not to leave any trace of detergent or soap in the tank.

Final Words

No pet lover wants to lose their pet. I hope this article helped you know detailed information about an African dwarf frog’s lifespan. If you ensure proper care, this pet frog will accompany you for a long time.

Sharing is caring!

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.


This site is owned and operated by Muntaseer Rahman. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies.