African Dwarf Frogs Coming Up For Air? [Meaning Explained]

As a new owner, you might be surprised by noticing your African dwarf frog coming up for air. Sometimes, the beginners get worried about thinking it is an unusual behavior of their dwarf frog. Hence, a common curiosity may hover around your mind- why my African Dwarf Frogs are coming up for air?

Although African Dwarf Frogs are fully aquatic, these frogs do not have gills to breathe underwater. Because of having lungs, African dwarf frogs breathe air. So, these dwarf frogs often come up to the surface to breathe. However, African Dwarf Frogs will also come up for air if there is any incoordination in their tank.

In this article, you will get to know about the reasons behind dwarf frogs’ coming up for air, duration, and other related information. So, you should miss this article if you want to get enlightened more.

Why Does My African Dwarf Frog Keep Going Up For Air?

Firstly, there is nothing to worry about the act of African Dwarf Frogs’ going up for air. It is natural for these frogs to come up for air from water.

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You might be amazed to know that these fully aquatic frogs have completely developed lungs. As a result, the respiratory organs of African Dwarf Frogs are not capable of helping them breathe underwater. Hence, although these frogs can not thrive without water, they must come up from the water to breathe.

Besides, there can be other reasons behind this. Because of being freshwater amphibians, African Dwarf Frogs are susceptible to the presence of ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, chlorine, etc. Also, the tank water can contain toxins due to rotten leaves, decaying materials, leftover foods, etc.

When the water parameters exceed the ideal range, these aquatic frogs do not get comfortable in those water. So, African Dwarf Frogs try to escape from the tank by coming up to the surface.

Also, African Dwarf Frogs tend to go up for air when these frogs get stressed. Incompatible tank mates, vibrations and noise of filter, strong water current, etc. work as the stress-factors for African Dwarf Frogs. So, these are other reasons for dwarf frogs’ coming to the surface.

In addition, coming up to the surface is a noticeable sign of the attack of Chytrid fungus on your African Dwarf Frogs.

If you want to know details about African Dwarf Frog health issues, you can check out here these 12 African Dwarf Frog health problems and treatments.

How Often Do African Dwarf Frogs Have To Come Up For Air?

African Dwarf Frogs can survive holding their breath for around 15 minutes underwater. So, these dwarf frogs come up for air every 10-15 minutes.

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In case you are curious to know why African Dwarf frogs jump out of the water, you should check out this article.

Can African Dwarf Frogs Live In Air?

Since African Dwarf Frogs come up for air, people wonder whether these frogs can live in the air. But, the answer is a no.

African Dwarf Frogs can’t thrive in dry conditions. So, these frogs get dehydrated easily in the air because of the lacking of moisture.

The experienced owners confirmed that African Dwarf Frogs will die if you keep them without water for more than a few minutes. For this reason, these aquatic frogs can’t live in the air. Click here to get enlightened about 10 more causes of the African Dwarf Frog’s death.

How Long Can African Dwarf Frogs Hold Their Breath Underwater?

The experts have noticed that dwarf frogs can submerge underwater for around 10-17 minutes. Since African Dwarf Frogs come up to breathe every 15 minutes on average, this must be the duration of their ability to hold their breath.

In a word, African dwarf frogs can hold their breath for up to 15 minutes.

Do African Dwarf Frogs Need An Air Pump?

African Dwarf Frogs do not require any air pump to help them breathe. Such is because these frogs come up to the air to gulp down air on their own.

But, the air pump produces bubbles that can make your dwarf frogs happy. Also, bubbles of the air pump will encourage them to play.

Although African dwarf frogs do not need an air pump, these frogs require a filter. Click here to know details of it.

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Why Is My African Dwarf Frog Not Coming Up For Air?

You might have become assured by now that coming up for air is a usual activity for African Dwarf Frogs.

So, if your dwarf frogs do not come up for air, there must be something wrong. If the tank surface is completely covered with plants, your dwarf frog may struggle to come up for air.

Besides, it gets too hard for African Dwarf Frogs to come up to breathe when the water level of the tank is deep. Also, your frog may be sick or infected with diseases. If your dwarf frog is sick, it may become lethargic to come up for air.

Final Words

I hope you have become assured by this article that there is nothing to worry about your dwarf frog’s coming up for air. Make sure to provide all conveniences for your African Dwarf Frog to come up to the surface to breathe.

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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