Can African Dwarf Frogs Live out of The Water?

Last Updated on July 12, 2021 by cmoarz

African dwarf frogs can only survive 20 minutes on land. You do not need to provide any land for your afd to crawl out onto. It could even harm them. They still require oxygen from the surface which they get by poking their heads out of the water.

African dwarf frogs need air to live, So you might be thinking they can also be out of the water for an extended period of time and maybe even live out of the water.

Actually, this is wrong. Not only do African dwarfs not need land to stand on, but It can also be a detriment to their health.

ADF’s have very delicate skin and are fully aquatic creatures. Any full-body air exposure can cause harm by drying them out, sometimes in as little as 20 minutes in a low humidity environment.

Worried about your African dwarf frog floating?

At night, and sometimes during the day, you may see your ADF floating at the water’s surface. This is normal behavior and can also be seen in other species of frogs, toads, and salamanders.

This is how ADFs idle around and when they are generally in a lazy mood or sleeping.

It’s definitely not them trying to escape the water or in some way asking you to provide a piece of land or decoration they can stand on.

Do African dwarf frogs also sleep underwater?

Yes, sometimes your dwarf frog will even sleep underwater, but usually not for very long. African dwarf frogs stay underwater for up to 15-20 minutes at a time without suffering any health problems and before needing to come up for air.

Usually, when an ADF sleeps, they will float idly at the surface, sometimes on their back and sometimes on their belly. This is so they can continue to breathe.

In conclusion

It’s best to avoid adding anything to the tank the frog can use to get up out of the water or use it as a platform to jump out of the tank as that would surely mean death from skin dry out.


Owner of and also owner of actual Aquarium Gravel believe it or not! ;). Setting up beautiful aquarium sceneries and habitats since I was very young. Enjoy!