Bettas and African Dwarf Frogs: Can they live together?

Many people share the opinion that Bettas are rather difficult to take care of and that they are demanding and delicate, but is that the case?

The beauty, splendor and enjoyment they reflect are in many cases more than enough to get into the game with these wonderful creatures. In order to create a complete atmosphere for their pets, many owners decide to introduce a tank mate. This is the issue that needs to be discussed because Bettas are famous for their aggressive nature. 

Bettas and African Dwarf frogs can coexist and they can even make perfect tank mates.

African dwarf frog

Water Conditions for Bettas and African Dwarf frogs

Until you only satisfy the needs of your Betta it is easy, but once you have decided to introduce another tank mate the rules change. Now you have to make their small world function for both kinds and you have to pay attention to their requirements. 

Setting the tank is essential for your pets. The water temperature for the African Dwarf frog needs to be between 75 and 80 degrees F and for Bettas between 76 and 82 so you can easily adjust the ideal middle to suit both. The PH of the water for African Dwarf frogs is 7 while for Bettas should be between 6,5 and 7,5 so again 7 is ideal middle. With these parameters set you can house these two together. 

It is also important that the tank isn’t too high for African Dwarf frogs. They are generally underwater but since they have lungs and not gills, they do come to the surface from time to time for air. They are not great swimmers so you need to provide a tank of optimal heights, so about 12 inches is preferable. If you have a higher tank, you can adjust extra substrate or rocks or other ornaments to help the frogs reach the surface when needed. Gravel is our best recommendation for African Dwarf frogs because pebbles or marbles can get a frog’s leg caught in it. 

When it comes to the amount of water 1 gallon is needed for a frog so it is best if you choose a 10 gallons tank and bigger if possible. This way you will present enough space for each kind to swim freely.

Since both species like similar environments, you should try to set the tank to be similar to life in the wild.  Bettas like paddies and river basins and African Dwarf frogs like ponds, creeks and shallow rivers so provide them with lots of hiding places and also add floating leaves near the surface.

It is very important to provide a proper lid or your frog will most certainly jump out of the tank.  After 20 minutes out of the water, the African dwarf frog starts dehydrating and will die.

Do they get along with Bettas?

This kind of frogs are nocturnal creatures which means that they are active mostly at night while Bettas tend to rest and sleep during the night. Most of their time they swim around with occasional coming to the surface for air.

In most cases, problems between them and Bettas rarely occur but you have to be attentive and keep an eye to see how they will react to each other. Bettas, especially males can be bullies, but African Dwarf frogs are extremely aggressive too. Keep an eye on them to check if they are getting along and if problems show up take action. When we say action, it means separating them. if you have a quarantine tank that could be a good temporary option but if not think of other possibilities. The best option is however a tank divider, they are not expensive and easy to solve the problem.

What about nutrition?

African Dwarf frogs come from a group of omnivores like Bettas and they share the same diet. They adore food that contains high meat content but you also need to provide them with a varied diet so that they stay healthy.

The number of meals is a bit different than with Bettas. While Bettas need two meals a day, African Dwarf frogs need just one meal a day until they are mature and then every second day. This is a problem that you have to deal with when they share a tank but it can be solved. Bettas eat two meals a day and you can fast it once a week. Since Bettas are fast eaters, you can offer it as much as it can eat within a minute or two and use surface food. That way your Betta will learn to eat when food is served. African Dwarf frogs eat slower and it takes them up to 15 minutes to finish the meal. They also eat mostly bottom food and they have poor eyesight so they do not always see the food you present. 

These things can help you with feeding issues but if problems come up you will need to separate them. 

If in some cases your frog does not eat well then you can use tweezers to feed it directly or you can trap your Betta in a net while the food sinks to the bottom. 

The best is to use a varied food in pellet form and we recommend frozen or live fish fry, brine shrimp, krill, mosquito larvae, and bloodworms.

How to choose an African Dwarf frog?

African Dwarf frogs are nice pets to keep because they are easy to take care of. If you go for it you need to pay attention to several things because choosing the right specimen is crucial for the harmony of your tank. 

If you want to choose a healthy African dwarf frog you should know what to look for. The color of a frog varies and it can be olive-grey to olive-brown with rough skin and sprinkling spots on the back. It can change the lightness and darkness of the skin depending on the surrounding so the way it looks helps it blend in. Their eyes are small and they have weak vision. They are small and do not grow more than 3 inches.

How many African Dwarf frogs can I keep with my Betta?

Since you are introducing a frog to a Betta as a tank mate it is not going to be alone. However, the African Dwarf frog is not going to be happy only with a Betta as a tank mate. You need at least two frogs so that they don`t get lonely or bored. 

Do not forget that you need a gallon of water for each so a 10 gallons tank will serve well for two frogs and a Betta. That way they will have enough space to swim freely. 

Final thoughts

To sum up, Bettas and African Dwarf frogs can live together. They can be great tank mates. They are compatible when it comes to water requirements and nutrition.  If you choose to keep them together pay attention to this:

  • Provide a tank that is big enough, recommendable size is 10 gallons and more
  • If you notice aggressive behavior have an extra tank ready in case you have to separate them or buy a tank divider
  • Provide a lot of hiding places carefully arranging the tank
  • Provide a balanced diet so that both fish needs are satisfied 
  • Make a schedule of feeding because they Bettas eat two meals every day and a frog should be fed every second day
  • Keep the water parameters within the range so that it suits both kinds
  • Choose healthy specimens  

Having all this in mind you are well informed and ready to try keeping Bettas and African Dwarf frogs together and enjoy yourself. 

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