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My African Dwarf Frog Disappeared!

Over the last three years, African dwarf frogs have seen a huge spike in their popularity as pets with a large number of people in both North America and Europe getting a tank to keep African dwarf frogs in.

Although African dwarf frogs are considered easier to keep as pets than some of the other popular amphibians, they do have a couple of quirks in their personality that results in questions from the community about their new pets.

One of the most common questions by far that we see month in, month out from people in the community is about their African dwarf frog disappearing.

The majority of people don’t seem to understand just how good of an escape artist adult African dwarf frogs actually are and many people new to owning them make some easy to avoid mistakes that can prevent them from escaping their tank.

In addition to that, there are also a number of other potential risks and hazards in most tanks that can result in your African dwarf frog disappearing.

With so many people reaching out each month due to their pet African dwarf frog disappearing, we have decided to publish our own article in the hope of helping our readers either find their missing frog or to prevent it happening again in the future.

We have broken the article down into specific sections to try and make it as easy as possible for our readers to navigate too and our table of contents below should allow you to skip to specific sections as required.

My African Dwarf Frog Disappeared!

It is common for African dwarf frogs to disappear due to African dwarf frog being surprisingly good escape artists as well as their small size making them easy pray for some of their larger tank mates.

You also have to factor in that the small size of African dwarf frogs allows them to easily hide in areas of their tank that people new to owning them may not initially think of checking.

The most common cause of an African dwarf frog disappearing is definitely the frog escaping the tank due to its water levels being too high.

Although the majority of people keep their African dwarf frogs in a 5 gallon aquarium, we actually recommend that you try to go with a cheap 10 gallon aquarium if possible.

This gives the frog more space to swim in while also making it easier to lower the surface level of the water to reduce the chances of your African dwarf frog from escaping.

You should ALWAYS be using an aquarium with a lid for your African dwarf frogs too. This just adds this additional layer of protection to help prevent your pet African dwarf frog from being able to escape and potentially wonder off and disappear.

Unlike many other types of frogs, African dwarf frogs can start to dry out within minutes of being out of the water causing serious health issues surprisingly quickly if they do escape their tanks.

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Where Is My African Dwarf Frog?

In addition to being great escape artists, African dwarf frogs are also great at hiding due to their small size and supple bodies.

This makes it very easy for your African dwarf frog to hide in aquarium decorations that you may initially think that they are able to fit in. Sometimes, your African dwarf frog can end up getting stuck inside of these decorations and be unable to get to the surface to breathe too.

If you have a planted tank be it live or fake plants, African dwarf frogs also love to hide amongst the various plants in your tank too and depending on their size, it can be hard to find your frog in a heavily planted tank.

This is why it can often seem as though your African dwarf frog has managed to disappear when in actual fact, it is just hiding amongst the plants in your tank.

If you have other features in the tank you keep your African dwarf frogs in then they can also take to hiding in or behind them too. Large rocks is another common thing that you will commonly find your African dwarf frog hiding behind when they initially seem to have disappeared.

Although rare, some African dwarf frogs will also dig and burrow into the substrate, often under rocks in your tank to create their own little hiding place too.

Do African Dwarf Frogs Escape?

African dwarf frogs are great at escaping their tanks and will commonly be able to get out of an aquarium that does not have a lid on it that has its water surface level far too high.

If you like to aquascape your tanks and use plants or rocks that breach the surface of the water then your African dwarf frog can also use them to escape to freedom too.

Unfortunately, this is very common, especially for people who are brand new to keeping African dwarf frogs as they are often not aware at just how good African dwarf frogs are at escaping their tanks.

Once your African dwarf frog is out of its water its body will start to dry out within minutes with its essential organs quickly starting to dry out just after that.

If your African dwarf frog does manage to escape its tank, it can be common for it to, unfortunately, be found dead close to the tank due to it drying out so quickly.

Thankfully though, most of the time when people think that their African dwarf frog has disappeared, it will often be found safe and well just hiding somewhere in its tank totally oblivious to the fact that you have been worried about it.

Will African Dwarf Frog Jump Out Of Tank?

African dwarf frogs will try to jump out of their tank with the most common reason being due to the frog wanting to explore and search for new food sources or a mate for breeding.

Other common causes of a African dwarf frog jumping out of their tank can include the chytrid disease that is caused by a fungal infection or large tank mates trying to eat your frog.

Depending on your tank setup, the larger tank mates of your African dwarf frog may try to eat it.

This does tend to be rare but multiple fish of a similar size to your African dwarf frog are often able to turn it into a food source and eat the full frog including its bones in some situations making it look like your frog has disappeared when it has actually been eaten.

Thankfully, chytrid is rare in North America and Europe so with the majority of our readers living in these locations, it is unlikely that you will have problems with it.

We do have some readers in South America, Asia, and Africa where chytrid can be more common so this may be a potential thread to your African dwarf frog and a potential reason that it may try to jump out of its tank too.


That brings our article going over how your African dwarf frog disappeared to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you better understand the potential risks that can cause your African dwarf frog to disappear in your tank. Thankfully though, as we mentioned above, the majority of the time that your African dwarf frog will go missing, it is just hiding somewhere in its tank and will be safe and sound.