Do African Dwarf Frogs Need A Filter? (EXPLAINED!!)

African dwarf frogs are widespread in the pet industry. Because they require less upkeep than other amphibians, many owners often wonder if they need a filtration system. So, do African dwarf frogs need a filter?

Yes, African dwarf frogs generally need good filtration. Like most fish species, they are vulnerable to dirty water and could die quickly in such an environment. A good filter keeps the water clean and removes toxic buildup. 

In this article, we will look at why a filter system is a must for an African dwarf frog aquarium. We will also examine some of the best options available. 

Do African Dwarf Frogs Need A Filter

Can African dwarf frogs live without a filter?

No, they can’t. Your African dwarf frogs won’t survive for long if you don’t have a proper filtration system in the aquarium. 

Besides moving the water around, filters remove the waste (urine and feces) released by the frogs. Without filtration, these waste products will start to decay after some time. During this time, it releases toxins (ammonia) into the water, which can kill the frogs. A filter stops this from happening by sieving out the debris and deadly ammonia, making the water safe for the frog. 

So, if you want your frogs to live long, make sure there’s adequate filtration in the tank. It doesn’t have to be a biological filter. You can also use a lot of plant life. 

Benefits of using a filter for African dwarf frog

Filtration is a crucial element of any aquarium, especially if it’s for African dwarf frogs. 

When setting up the tank, selecting a high-quality filter is essential because excretions from the fish and frogs can contaminate the water. This garbage emits lethal ammonia as it starts to decay. There’s also a chance of debris and dirt building up in the water. 

A filter gets rid of these elements from the water before they have a chance to settle and do damage to your pets. 

Without a filter, it will be more difficult to maintain the cleanliness of the water and you would have to do more frequent water changes to remove the toxins in the water.

When selecting a filter for your African dwarf frogs, you need to consider their swimming abilities. African dwarf frogs are not the best swimmers, so a low-flow filter works best for them. This eliminates the risk of the frogs getting sucked into the filter device. 

Talking about the best filter for African dwarf frogs, there are three options I strongly recommend based on experience. These include: 

Zoo med canister filter

This canister filter from Zoo med is simple, small, and perfect for tanks and terrariums with up to 15 gallons of capacity. It scarcely occupies any space outside the tank. All hoses and connectors needed for installing the filter are provided. 

The filter comes with removable parts, making maintenance and media change much easier. The transparent body makes it easy to know when it’s due for a media change. 

Despite its small size, the filter is very powerful. It utilizes mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration to maintain the cleanliness of the water in the tank at all times. More importantly, it doesn’t have a high flow rate, which makes it ideal for your African dwarf frogs and other tiny frogs and fishes. 

Sunsun canister filter

This canister filter is designed to be compact and won’t take up a lot of room outside the frog tank. It is very easy to set up and maintain and comes complete with all of the tubes and components required to set it up. 

Changing and cleaning the media is also simple as the unit is very easy to dismantle. 

The filter can process over 100 gallons of water each hour and is designed for aquariums with up to 20 gallons of capacity, which is more than enough for a frog tank. It can perform both biological and chemical filtration, however, the necessary media is not supplied. 

You may experience noise from the unit but that shouldn’t be a big deal given how robust the filter is.  

Finnex compact canister filter

My third recommendation is Finnex PX-360. It is a bit bigger than the other options and can accommodate tanks up to 25 gallons in size. It can process up to 95 gallons per hour and has an adjustable flow rate, making it perfect for tanks with African dwarf frogs.

Some of the items supplied with the unit include a spray bar, a filter hanger, and a filter input strainer. No tubing is included. 

It is worth mentioning that this is a hybrid filter. You can hang it on the side of the aquarium as it doesn’t take up much room.

It also performs mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration, so the quality of water it produces is very good. Some filter media are included with the unit. However, it’s worth mentioning that it can be a bit noisy. 

How to choose a filter for an African dwarf frog

Just like every other aquatic animal, there are factors you need to consider before choosing any aquarium equipment for frogs. In the case of filters, the most important one is water flow.

African dwarf frogs are not the best swimmers. So, it’s best to go with a low-flow filter that is efficient but without the risk of the frog getting sucked into the filter.

How long can African dwarf frogs live without a filter?

Under normal living conditions, African dwarf frogs can live up to 5 years on average. With proper care, they can live much longer, up to 15-20 years.

Without a filter, the waste in the aquarium would continue to build up until it becomes so toxic that it kills the frogs. This can take up to 7 hours or less. So, it’s never a good idea to leave your aquarium without a good filter media. 

Even as humans, we see the same process play out. Imagine going short of oxygen and inhaling a lot of toxic gas, such as carbon monoxide or hydrogen sulfide for several minutes. What do you think will happen?

Do African dwarf frogs need a heater?

Yes, they do. African dwarf frogs are tropical creatures and prefer water that is between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 27 Celsius). So, unless you reside in an area that is warm, you will need a heater to keep the aquarium at a frog-tastic temperature. 

Conclusion: Do African dwarf frogs need a filter?

To conclude, you should get a filter for your African dwarf frogs to keep them alive. A good filter will aerate the water and remove particles and toxins that could harm your dwarf frogs.

Using a filter also eliminates the need for frequent water changes. Besides using a regular, you could also use other filtration options such as plant life or activated charcoal.

Let me know if you have any more questions about using a filter for your African dwarf frog. Until then, happy filtering! 


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