How To Know If My African Dwarf Frog Is Happy? [10 Signs]

When you bring any living under your captivity, your main concern should be keeping your pet healthy and happy. It may be a tricky job when your pet is fully aquatic. So, the African dwarf frog owners often ask around the frog forums- how to know if my African dwarf frog is happy?

If your African dwarf frog is happy in captivity, its activity will be spontaneous. For example- your dwarf frog will swim actively, eat regularly, interact with other tank mates, etc. Besides, you can notice good signs of physical fitness in your happy frogs. Such as clear eyes, unharmed skin, etc.

In this article, I’ve explained 10 signs that tell your African dwarf frog is happy, how you can make these frogs happy, and other related information. So, let’s check out this write-up if you are concerned about the happiness of your African dwarf frog.

10 Signs Of African Dwarf Frogs Being Happy

It’s hard to find out whether your African dwarf frog is happy or not. After conducting some research, I’ve found some telltale signs of this.

Here, I’ve shed light on these 10 signs from which you can tell the state of your African dwarf frog.

1. Swimming Actively

If you make a list of incredibly active animals, the African dwarf frog will secure one of the top positions on the list. Since African dwarf frogs are fully aquatic, these frogs tend to swim all day long. These frogs do not remain idle.

If your frog doesn’t remain stressed, your frog will not float in one place for a long time. Swimming actively is a prominent sign that your African dwarf frog is happy.

You might notice one of their interesting behaviors named burbling. However, frog enthusiasts keep African dwarf frogs to enjoy their activity from the aquarium. You’ll enjoy lots of playful activities with African dwarf frogs when these frogs remain happy.

2. Come Up To The Surface To Breathe

Although African dwarf frogs are fully aquatic, these frogs do not have any gills to breathe underwater. So, it’s normal behavior for all healthy African dwarf frogs to come up to the surface.

Other possible reasons behind this behavior are explained in this write-up. These frogs tend to breathe oxygen from the air.

If your African dwarf frog is happy, it’ll come up to the surface every 10-15 seconds. On the other hand, a distressed dwarf frog may feel weak to come up to breathe oxygen.

You might know that African dwarf frogs are pretty great jumpers. So, trying to jump out is a common behavior of a happy African dwarf frog.

But, it may not be true always. When the water quality gets poor, your stressed frog may want to leave the water. During that time, it becomes hard for your dwarf frog to come up for air.

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

3. Spending Maximum Time At The Tank Bottom

If you don’t know yet, African dwarf frogs are bottom dwellers. So, these frogs tend to stay at the bottom of the tank for a maximum of the time. Although African dwarf frogs are active swimmers, these frogs tend to stick to the substrate.

If your dwarf frog spends most of the time at the bottom of the tank, your African dwarf frog must be happy. On the other hand, it may be dropsy or bloating when your dwarf frog floats at the top of the tank.

4. Swimming Away While Handling Them

It’s pretty natural for African dwarf frogs to escape away when anybody tries to hold them. These frogs consider it as a predation. So, a happy and healthy African dwarf frog will not let it be readily captured.

On the contrary, your African dwarf frog doesn’t swim away quickly when the frog is stressed or weak. It’s a sign that your dwarf frog isn’t happy.

Check out this article to know if you can hold African dwarf frogs.

5. Clear Eyes And Smooth Skin

You might have noticed that the experts suggest checking out the condition of your eyes before buying a pet. The state of eyes can tell you whether your pet frog is happy or not.

If your African dwarf frog is happy, your frog will have clear eyes. Their eyes become cloudy whenever these frogs fall sick.

Another thing to check is the skin of your frog. Your African dwarf frog will have smooth skin when it is happy. There will not be any patches or marks on the skin. Also, the skin of your happy dwarf frog will remain unharmed.

If you notice the discolored skin of your dwarf frog, it may be a sign of an underlying problem. Besides, fuzzy patches of skin do not state the happy condition of your dwarf frog.

You may be worried if you see fuzzy feet in your African dwarf frog. To know details about this topic, you should take a look at this article.

6. Finish Their Foods Quickly

African dwarf frogs have a voracious appetite. Moreover, frog enthusiasts often remain satisfied with owning a dwarf frog because of having no hassles in their diet. After all, these frogs aren’t picky eaters. It’s a good sign of their being healthy and happy.

On the contrary, your African dwarf frog will not finish their foods quickly if it is not happy. Your unhealthy or sick frog may lose their appetite. So, you should check whether your African dwarf frog tries to grab the food immediately or not.

7. Shedding Skin In One Piece

As a part of their growth, African dwarf frogs tend to shed their skin regularly. Generally, these aquatic frogs shed their skin 2-3 times a month. If your African dwarf frog is happy and healthy, it’ll shed its skin in one piece.

Despite the reason for growth, African dwarf frogs may shed their skin for various reasons. Such as fungal infection, bad water parameters, high levels of toxins in water, etc. When your dwarf frog sheds their skin for any of these reasons, the shed skin will come into several pieces.

Moreover, the skin of dwarf frogs appears whitish before shedding. After the process of shedding, their skin turns back to normal. It is a clear sign of a happy African dwarf frog.

8. Interactive With Tank Mates And Owners

The African dwarf frogs are highly energetic and social. Due to having a docile temperament, these frogs do not bother their tank mates. Moreover, African dwarf frogs love to be kept in a peaceful community. You can take a look at this article to find out 25 suitable tank mates for African dwarf frogs.

See also  25 African Dwarf Frog Tank Mates: Compatibility and Care Tips

If your African dwarf frog is happy, your frog will remain jolly and interactive with its tank mates. When your dwarf frog is stressed, this social creature may try to avoid all kinds of accompanying.

Another sign of a happy African dwarf frog is its interaction with the owner. It’s a wonder that these aquatic frogs can be responsive to the gestures of their owners.

If the owner teaches the frog to take food from their hands, a happy frog will immediately take the food. Check out if your dwarf frog show sluggish behavior. When these frogs stop interacting with their owners, these frogs may not be happy and healthy.

9. Hides Often

A good sign of a healthy African dwarf frog is its tendency to hide often. Since these frogs are nocturnal, they do not remain much active during the daytime. During the day, your African dwarf frogs tend to sleep in hiding spots.

Moreover, it’s an instinctual behavior of dwarf frogs to go to the hideouts often. It’s a way to adapt to the environment hiding out from possible predation. If your African dwarf frog shows such behavior, your frog may be happy.

10. Humming Or Buzzing

You might be surprised to hear the buzzing sound around the aquarium of your African dwarf frog. Your doubt is right. The humming sound comes from your African dwarf frog. It’s a notable sign that your African dwarf frog is happy.

Sometimes, these frogs start singing because of having a good mood. You can identify this happy state of your frog when the mating period of your frog is yet to come.

Otherwise, a male African dwarf frog makes mating calls to attract the females. It happens in the mating season. No wonder the mating calls are a good sign of your frogs being active and happy. So, the humming or buzzing sound of your dwarf frog is another natural ritual.

Do African Dwarf Frogs Sing When They’re Happy?

The short answer is yes. African dwarf frogs make a humming sound that resonates like singing. Sometimes, their singing becomes too loud that the owners can hear it outside their tank. Not to mention, African dwarf frogs sing like this whenever these frogs are happy.

How Do I Make My Dwarf Frogs Happy?

There are a few ways that keep your African dwarf frogs happy. If you want to make your dwarf frogs cheerful, you should go through the following list.

1. Large Space

Since African dwarf frogs are fully aquatic, these frogs tend to stay underwater all day long. Besides, these frogs remain too active. Your African dwarf frog can roam and swim around freely when you provide them with a large space.

If you keep your African dwarf frog in an overcrowded or congested tank, your frog will become stressed. To make your frog happy, you must ensure providing a larger room for your frog.

Sometimes, many new owners ask whether they can keep their dwarf frog in a 1-gallon tank. This article has explained all pros and cons of keeping your dwarf frog in such a small place.

2. Air Bubbles

You might have noticed that your dwarf frog comes up to the surface to breathe oxygen every 10-15 seconds. So, these frogs do not require any aeration system.

But, a small trick of making your African dwarf frog happy is keeping an air stone and air pump. Your African dwarf frogs will love to play with those air bubbles.

See also  Why My African Dwarf Frog Has Fuzzy Foot?

3. Proper Lighting

Because of being low maintenance pets, your African dwarf frogs do not need any special lighting. You might be aware of the fact that African dwarf frogs are nocturnal. To give them the affirmation of day and night time, you should adjust the proper lighting system in their tank.

If your dwarf frogs can differentiate between night and daytime, their activity level will be higher at night time. Also, your frogs will take rest during day time. So, to make your African dwarf frogs happy, you should help these frogs be more active. 

4. Use A Tank Heater

To keep your dwarf frog lively and happy, you can keep a tank heater. The warmth stimulates the behavior of your aquatic frogs. If the tank environment is cold, your African dwarf frog will become sluggish and weak. You can also set up the frog aquarium in a warm place.

5. Weekly Treats

Like humans, your pet African dwarf frog deserves some feast. Weekly treats can make your African dwarf frog instantly happy and more lively. As their treats, you can choose brine shrimp, thawed bloodworms, Tubifex worms, live black worms, etc.

If you are keen to know interesting facts about their diet, you can check this article: African dwarf frog diet and feeding guide.

6. No Strong Water Current

Although African dwarf frogs are aquatic, these frogs aren’t good swimmers. When you keep a filtration system with a strong water current, it may stress out your frog. To make your dwarf frog live happily, you should ensure that there isn’t any strong water current in the tank.

7. Keep Décor Items

The last way of keeping your dwarf frog happy is to keep décor items in the tank. These décor items will help your dwarf frog hide often. Moreover, these frogs can play and take a rest with the help of this stuff.

Can You Play With A Dwarf Frog?

You can play with your African dwarf frog by applying various tricks. But, you shouldn’t handle your dwarf frogs while playing with them. Due to having sensitive and porous skin, the experts recommend not touching African dwarf frogs.

If you want to play with your dwarf frog, you should teach them to follow your instructions. For this, you have to keep some patience.

You can feed your African dwarf frog with the help of a stick or turkey buster. Keep the food on the tip of the turkey buster. Make 2-3 taps on the wall of the tank lightly before feeding your frog.

After a certain period, your African dwarf frog will be accustomed to taking the food by hearing the tap. You can also teach your African dwarf frog to jump when you signal them. Sometimes, the dwarf frog owners play with their frogs by a string tied with live food.

While moving the string, your African dwarf frog will try to catch the food. You should let your dwarf frog have the treat. After a while, you can repeat the same process. In this way, you can also play with these fully aquatic frogs.

Final Words

I hope this article helped you know about the signs of a happy African dwarf frog. Make sure to keep the requirements and conditions fulfilled. If your dwarf frog remains healthy, it’ll be happy on its own.

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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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