Why Did My African Dwarf Frog Die?

Many hobbyists pick African Dwarf Frogs for their freshwater tanks because they are lively and dynamic critters that can be quite entertaining to watch.

They also demand only a moderate level of care and get along well with their tank mates.

This freshwater frog belongs to the Hymenochirus family and coexists peacefully alongside non-predatory aquatic creatures, making it popular among both novice and experienced aquarists.

But, despite its ease of care and resilience, some aquarium owners report that their African Dwarf Frogs die unexpectedly for no apparent cause.

Obviously, when one of your tank dwellers dies, there is something wrong with it.

Below, we’ll go over the possible reasons for your African Dwarf Frog dying and how to prevent it!

Reasons Why Your African Dwarf Frog Died

African Dwarf Frogs spend most of their time in the wild at the bottoms of river beds and ponds. Their olive green to the muddy brown base color and black dots help them blend in with their surroundings.

When in peak condition, an African Dwarf Frog will swim down to the bottom and quickly back up to the surface to take a breath. If you observe anything unusual, your frog pet may be in poor health.

Here are the most typical reasons to help you figure out why your African Dwarf Frog is dying.

1. Poor Water Quality

Because African Dwarf Frogs are aquatic species, their health is heavily influenced by water quality. And, when they are unhappy with the water quality in your aquarium, they’ll try to escape.

Unfortunately, your African Dwarf Frog will not survive outside of water for long.

Being in a dry environment puts it at risk of severe dehydration and death. It must be continually in contact with water, which is why you must return it to the aquarium as soon as you see it escape.

Even if you offer enough water to thrive for your African Dwarf Frog, it may attempt to escape because you did not properly acclimate it to the tank.

Suddenly moving your pet frog to your home tank does not give it a chance to adjust properly, causing it to die from stress or from attempting to escape the tank.

2. High Nitrate And Ammonia Levels

The most common causes of African Dwarf Frog death are high nitrate and ammonia levels. Dying from high ammonia and nitrate levels usually begins with a decrease in appetite.

As you may be aware, these frogs typically eat whenever they get the chance.

The presence of pale skin is the next indication. Yes, your African Dwarf Frog will shed regularly, however, the darker skin should return shortly once the shedding process is complete.

If the pale skin persists after shedding, then you should worry about the frog’s health.

If aquarium conditions remain the same, your African Dwarf Frog will float idly.

These frogs actually float from time to time while breathing and relaxing. However, if its appetite decreases, its skin goes pale, and it floats unusually, you should be prepared to let it go.

3. Stress And Diseases

Aside from manageable elements such as water quality and tank chemical levels, other factors such as stress and sickness will have an impact on the health of your African Dwarf Frog.

Aggressive and large tank mates, for example, will cause your pet frog a great deal of stress because it will be unable to compete for food.

You should also be aware of diseases that could affect your African Dwarf Frog. They are especially vulnerable to fungal infections, which frequently manifest as cottony patches on their skin.

You should also be aware of red leg syndrome, which occurs when an African dwarf frog tank is not properly cycled.

How To Keep Your African Dwarf Frog From Dying

With good care, African Dwarf Frogs may stay with you for up to five years, yet every live creature must confront death. To ensure that your pet frog can survive as long as it can, you should do the things below.

Pick A Healthy Frog Only

These frogs often have to travel quite a way before arriving at your local pet store, so they may not always be in peak condition when you get them.

Even so, you should be aware that having a healthy African Dwarf Frog will help you avoid a host of issues in the future.

Aside from doing a visual inspection, try to speak with someone in the pet store’s aquarium department to find out if the frogs have been screened for the chytrid fungus.

If they are unable to provide you with a clear answer, you should probably go somewhere else.

Keep Them In Water

Don’t be swayed by the adorable look of an African Dwarf Frog! Even if they are not poisonous, the diseases they carry have the potential to spread to humans.

Furthermore, their skins are supposed to be in constant contact with water, therefore simply removing them from the tank for 15 minutes could lead to serious dehydration.

Check Water Conditions

Because ammonia and nitrite spikes can instantly kill these frogs, it is critical to have a suitable filtering system and cycle your aquarium properly.

More significantly, because these frogs’ natural habitats are shallow rivers and ponds, you should never use a deep tank setup.

Be Aware Of Potential Diseases

Because these guys are susceptible to fungal and bacterial diseases, any injury could be fatal. If you fear your frogs passed away from an illness, you must restart your cycle before adding a fresh batch of African Dwarf Frogs.

The Takeaway

If you want something unique yet not difficult to care for, an African Dwarf Frog is the perfect addition to your freshwater tank.

You only need to make sure the tank is full of plants and large enough for it to explore, as well as that it is fed enough larvae.

Yes, certain conditions can limit the lifespan of your African Dwarf Frog, but they are usually not difficult to manage.

Whenever you see the frog display unusual behavior, don’t panic and check if something is wrong with the aquarium parameters!


Passionate fishkeeper. Nature lover. Creative thinker. Music junkie. Adventurer.

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