Do African Dwarf Frogs Bury Themselves?

If you’re looking for an addition to your aquarium that isn’t a fish or a shrimp, you can consider African Dwarf Frogs. Since frogs are quite busy and active, they are fun to have as pets. They also do not require sensitive care and can easily get along with other creatures inside the tank so they are quite popular as aquatic frogs. 

However, you may notice some strange behaviors sometimes. You may be asking, do African Dwarf Frogs bury themselves? Actually, yes. African Dwarf Frogs enjoy hiding, even if it means burying themselves under the substrate or the gravel.

In this article, we’ll talk about this in more detail.

What are African Dwarf Frogs?

African Dwarf Frogs, also known as Dwarf Clawed Frogs, are originally from Nigeria, Cameroon, and the Congo river basin. They are quite peaceful by nature and also small as they only grow to about 3 inches at most.

However, unlike other species of frogs, this species spends most of its time underwater. These amphibians, though, have fully-developed lungs so they can be found mostly in shallow water and ponds in the wild.

The African dwarf frogs are also nocturnal animals. So if you want to make a hobby out of watching their usual quirks and activities, it’s best to do it once the sun goes down.

There are also special screenings when males are trying to attract females. They are very vocal in their mating as they make buzzing sounds to court.

Do African Dwarf Frogs burrow?

African Dwarf Frogs technically do not burrow. They do, however, tend to bury themselves under the gravel or hide themselves behind the decorations inside the tank, which some may misconstrue as burrowing.

Where do African Dwarf Frogs hide?

African Dwarf Frogs hide really well. If your tank has decorations like a sunk ship or a castle front or plants whether live or plastic, even rocks, and sand, you may find the African Dwarf Frogs hiding under or at the back.

Since African Dwarf Frogs like to bury themselves under the sand or gravel at the bottom of the aquarium, some prefer to put sand inside the tank as they think the frogs can just digest it due to its small size.

To not take risks, you can choose to put gravel in your tanks that should be in sizes too large for the frogs to accidentally eat in case they mistake it for food and with a smoothness that is gentle to the frog’s skin.

The same goes for the plants. Their leaves should be big enough that the frogs don’t accidentally eat them in their forage for food. You also need to make sure you have secured the plants in place as the African dwarf frogs might dislodge them while trying to dig for a hiding place. 

While most frogs don’t just jump out of the water out of the blue, just to be sure, get plants that don’t have leaves that are outside the water that the frogs can use as a vantage jumping point or a lounging area.

Why do African dwarf frogs hide?

Source: FrogPets

African Dwarf Frogs are very docile in nature and take time to acclimatize to their environment and community of water creatures. That’s why African Dwarf Frogs easily get shy and embarrassed especially when they are transferred to a new environment. So to take their time to get used to unfamiliarity and avoid the unknown, they go beneath rocks or behind the foliage.

They can also be hiding because they feel threatened. To hide from potential predators, they have the natural ability to camouflage to their surroundings. Other times, they swim to their preferred hiding place to stay out of their predator’s sight.

How long can African dwarf frogs stay underwater?

As mentioned previously, African dwarf frogs mostly stay underwater and are mostly naturally aquatic. However, the reason they mostly stay in shallow waters is that African dwarf frogs actually have a fully-developed set of lungs that can breathe air.

African Dwarf Frogs swim above water to take a breath and then swim back down to continue their underwater life and exploration, which is quite fun to watch. They can hold their breath for a total of 15 minutes each time.

While African Dwarf Frogs love their quirky underwater life and will take extended periods of time underwater, they actually also love to float. With their arms spread out and merely floating on the water’s surface, it is easy to mistake their relaxation for their death.

Do African dwarf frogs sleep underwater?

African dwarf frogs, as previously mentioned, are amphibians that are almost fully aquatic. However, because they have a full set of lungs, they usually sleep floating above water with their pointed snouts out of the water and their eyes wide open.

It is important to note that African dwarf frogs do not and cannot stay out of the water for more than 15 minutes. This is because the skin of African Dwarf Frogs is very sensitive and not for dry environments. This is why they only thrive in areas with high moisture and humidity and shed their skin quite often.

African dwarf frogs are never-needy, ever-lovely jewels whose shine reflects on you. So if you find watching your pets as a good de-stressing activity for you, the active lifestyle of the African dwarf frogs may suit you.

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