African dwarf frog eggs are very delicate; they require warm water and a slightly higher pH than adult African dwarf frogs. Adult African dwarf frogs are very prolific egg layers, laying up to 8,000 eggs each year, but they are not parental animals. These frogs will eat their eggs, if you don't remove them from the aquarium quickly.
Breeding African Dwarf Frogs
African dwarf frogs become sexually active between 9 months and 12 months of age. Female African dwarf frogs will lay several clutches of 500 to 2,000 eggs throughout the year.
They will lay eggs throughout the aquarium. The eggs may float on the water surface or they may sink. The sticky jelly surrounding eggs causes them to stick to rocks, decor and aquarium walls.
Hatching the Eggs
Siphon the eggs into a separate hatching aquarium as soon as they are laid. The hatching aquarium should be at least 10 gallons.
The hatching aquarium should have pH of 7.5 and 8.0. Tap water has average pH between 6.6 and 7.4, so test the hatching aquarium water with pH test strips before adding the eggs. If the pH is too low, add 1 teaspoon of baking soda per 5 gallons of water.
Use an underwater aquarium heater to maintain the water temperature at 80 degrees Fahrenheit, which is slightly warmer than the 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit an adult African dwarf frog habitat should be.
Have the hatching aquarium set up before the eggs are laid so you can have the water pH and temperature stabilized.
Typically, African dwarfeggs will hatch about 48 hours after being laid, but they may take up to a week.
African dwarf frog tadpoles are delicate; they have an 80 percent mortality rate, affected by many factors:
- Hatchlings are tiny, hatching at about 0.14 inch long.
- Dropsy -- a common sign is body swelling.
- Fungal infections -- common signs includes white thread or white, cottonlike patches on the skin.
- Bacterial infections -- common signs are lethargy and reluctance to eat.
- Low oxygen levels in the water.
Feed newly hatched tadpoles a daily diet of liquid fry food or powder/flake fish food. When the hind legs are fully developed, begin to offer frozen Cyclops and daphnia. When the front legs are fully developed, offer frozen Artemia and mosquito larvae. Once the tail has been completely absorbed, you can begin feeding an adult frog diet, which can include brine shrimp, bloodworms, small fish and commercial pellets.
Do not use an aquarium filter when raising newly hatched African dwarf frogs. These tadpoles are so small that the filter will easily suck them into the filter tubing, so manually change about 10 percent of the water at least twice a day to remove waste and keep the water clean.
Daily water changes help reduce fungal and bacterial infections, as well as maintain low stress levels. Daily water changes will also help maintain the dissolved oxygen level in the water.
After 10 days, the hind legs will become visible. After 19 days, tadpoles will be able to move their hind legs. After 24 to 25 days, the front legs will begin to form, and after 30 days, the tail will have mostly absorbed. It takes four to eight weeks for a tadpole to become a frog.
Tadpoles grow at different rates -- remove tadpoles at advanced stages of metamorphosis to prevent cannibalism. Place them in a separate tadpole habitat similar to the hatchling habitat.
- Aqua Fish: A Guide on Raising African Dwarf Frogs
- Ward's Science: Dwarf African Clawed Frog
- Aqua Hobby: Adjusting pH in the Freshwater Aquarium
- AlGone: How to adjust the pH in your aquarium
- Smithsonian National Zoological Park: African Clawed Frog
- Pipidae: Feeding African Dwarf Clawed Frog Tadpoles
- Pipidae: Developement of African Dwarf Clawed Frog tadpoles