African Dwarf Clawed Frogs

Communities and stocking density

There is no information contained in literature that gives guidance about the stocking density for African Dwarf Clawed Frogs' tanks. However, the following guidelines for fish are often published. Fish aquariums are considered to be:

  • heavily stocked with one litre of water to one cm of fish (0.67 gallon UK water to one inch of fish),
  • moderately stocked with 2 litres of water to one cm of fish (0.33 gallon UK water to one inch of fish) and
  • lightly stocked with 5 litres of water to one cm of fish (0.13 gallon UK water to one inch of fish).

Algae eating fishes are not included in this calculation. This rule is an unspecified one. However, for ADCFs the area of the bottom of the tank is more important than the volume of the tank. In my experience I can offer you the following data for the stocking density for African Dwarf Clawed Frog tanks (without fish) that are appropriate when the points under tank setup are considered. These calculations consider the faeces, water quality and social stress for the animals.

  • 12l tank (3 gallons): in my opinion inadequate for ADCFs, but a maximum of two frogs
  • 25l tank (6 gallons): four frogs
  • 40l tank (11 gallons): six or seven frogs
  • 54l tank (14 gallons): eight or ten frogs
  • 100l tank (26 gallons): 14 or 18 frogs

Communities with fish have some advantages. Small catfish (Corydoras) and a lot of other small and gentle-natured fish can make keeping ADCFs easier. They consume uneaten food so you do not have to remove it. (A tank containing colourful fish will also bring more understanding from your partner if he or she does not share your interest in frogs.)
African Dwarf Clawed Frogs can eat very small fish like baby guppies or neons. they co-exist peacefully with fishes longer than 1.5 cm (0.75 inch).
Algeae eating fish, e.g. Otocinclus affinis, in my opinion are not necessary. If water condtions are okay you will not have problems with algae. Please don't use Otocinclus. They are wild caught and quite sensitive to changes in water conditions. Crossocheilus siamensis needs tanks at least 100 cms (40 inches) long.
One disadvantage on keeping ADCFs together with fishes is that the frogs' breeding behaviour is negatively affected and the females may not be inclined to lay eggs. If you want to keep fish in a community tank with ADCFs you should pay serious attention to the following points:

  • water temperature: 24C - 30C (75F - 86F)
  • no strong water current
  • the fish must be bigger than the frogs' mouths and the fishes' mouths must be smaller than the ADCFs
  • no aggressive fishes

In my tanks I keep ADCFs only with Central African fishes. It is a speciality of mine.

More information about communities of African Dwarf Clawed Frogs with other animals is available on this website under 'FAQs'.

content of Martin Truckenbrodt (Martin)

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