Do African Dwarf Frogs Need Land

Last Updated on January 29, 2021 by cmoarz

So you’re looking to set up an aquarium habitat for some African dwarf frogs, But the question is, what kind of environment do they need? Do African Dwarf Frogs need land in their habitats?

The answer is no, African dwarf frogs do not need land or any solid structure above the water. In fact, It’s counterproductive. Even though these frogs have lungs and breathe air, They can not stand to be on land for more than 10 to 20 minutes at a time without risking death from drying out.

This puts them into a category where they are entirely aquatic species. With that said, they still need access to the surface in order to breathe the air they so desperately need.

So when setting up their environment, it’s important to leave enough headspace in the aquarium for the frogs to swim to the surface and take a breath.

You should also make sure access to the surface of the water is unobstructed. Obstructing the surface and making it difficult for the frogs to make a b-line to the surface for air is a critical design failure and will end up causing your African dwarf frogs to drown.

This includes pouting the surface with too many decorative obstacles or other plant matter (such as Lilly pads). Not only does it make it hard to get to the surface, but if it gives something the frog can use to climb out of the water, it can be deadly.

African dwarf frogs live planted aquariums, and you should consider setting up their habitat with this in mind. However, it’s important to cull back overgrowth for the same reasons as outlined above.

Some underwater plants to consider for your African dwarf frog should be able to survive and grow in 70f water as well as be somewhat strong and won’t fall apart easily (such as what wisteria would do). These include plants like sword plants, water sprites, anubias, hornwort, anacharis, Brazilian pennywort, dark red ludwigia, java moss, etc.

Frogs love thick undergrowth to hide away and chill in, but it shouldn’t be too sensitive and weak or the frogs are likely to accidentally tear it to shreds. Keep in mind some of these plants tend to grow very quickly and you will need to keep on top of the pruning to avoid overgrowth and accidentally causing issues for your frogs.


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!