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Pet profile: African dwarf frogs

Maria Mora is a freelance writer and single mom fueled by coffee, questionable time management skills, toaster oven waffles and the color orange. She lives in Florida with her two young sons. If you see her on Twitter, tell her to stop p...

Low maintenance pets for kids

Looking for a pet that needs minimal care? Try African dwarf frogs.
Arican Dwarf Frog
Photo credit: James Gathany/CDC

When it comes to beginner-friendly pets, it doesn't get much easier than caring for and feeding an African dwarf frog. Though they have a cuddle factor of zero, they're surprisingly cute little amphibians. Learn more about these perfect pets for kids.

African dwarf frog appearance

African dwarf frogs are very small aquatic frogs that live fully submerged in water all the time. They can grow a little over two inches long and may have a spotted, brown appearance. These frogs are fairly shy and often hover in the water holding very still. When active, they dart around the tank and swim quickly. Once they become accustomed to their surroundings, some African dwarf frogs give a very soft chirping or singing sound. African dwarf frogs have webbed feet and tiny fingers that help them move in the water.

African dwarf frog habitats

African dwarf frogs need around a gallon of water to live in. If you have a large freshwater tank, the frogs should not be introduced to a big or aggressive fish population. They're generally OK around docile fish like tetras, but they're happiest when kept with another frog in a low-key habitat. Aggressive fish may injure the frogs or steal their food. Wild Creations carries frog habitats that fully sustain two African dwarf frogs without requiring filtration. These frogs need shelter, such as a tiny fish house or rock formation, to hide under to reduce stress.

Feeding African dwarf frogs

Because they're scavengers, African dwarf frogs will eat a variety of foods, from brine shrimp to bloodworms. If you're new to feeding aquatic pets and don't want to deal with messy foods, stick to a dry food pellet that can be easily placed in the tank. It'll sink to the bottom and your frog will find it. Pellet food made specifically for African dwarf frogs provide the best mix of nutrients for these amphibians. African dwarf frogs only need to be fed every other day or every three days. Don't overfeed African dwarf frogs. Observe your frogs eating to make sure that one frog isn't eating all of the food.

African dwarf frogs and kids

These tiny frogs make excellent pets for children who are learning how to care for and feed a pet. Because the tank generally requires very little maintenance, the day-to-day tasks are easy for children to handle. Supervise feeding and handle all the tank cleaning yourself to avoid contaminating the frog's water or damaging the frog's fragile body. Because these pets can live for around five years, they're good for kids who may be sensitive about fish and short life expectancies. Small tanks can easily be kept in a child's room, but they should be kept out of reach of direct sunlight, which will speed up algae growth in the tank.

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