African Clawed Frog

An African Clawed Frog in captivity

The African Clawed Frog is an aquatic frog native to the rainforests of Africa. They are easy to keep, and are good beginner's pets. They come in many color morphs, and are readily available in the pet trade.



African Clawed Frogs are not like most frogs; they need a strictly aquatic set-up. An aquarium is a good enclosure type for these frogs. A good substrate to use is gravel. To make the aquarium look more naturalistic, use polished stones, river rock or mix in sand with the gravel. The water level should be at least 8" tall. Filtration should be considered, but make sure to use a gentle filtration system. If the filter is too rough, it will increase the frogs stress. If filtration is not an option, change the water every week. The water must be de-chlorinated. Rocks, wood and artificial plants can be used as decor. Live plants will be dug up and destroyed. A hiding place, (e.g., pvc pipe) is not required but reduces stress. The temperature of the water should range from 68-77 F. When re-decorating or cleaning their tank, scoop the frog into a fish net and transport it to a box with damp moss or foam to provide moisture. If placed in a bag, it is possible for the frog to tear it to pieces.


African Clawed Frogs will eat many different kinds of foods. Make sure to add variety to its diet. Earthworms can be held underwater until the frog snatches and eats it. The frog will quickly plunge into deeper water to fondle it around in its hands before eating it. African Clawed Frogs will also eat small fish, waxworms and fish or turtle food pellets. Only feed as much as these frogs will eat in a 10-minute sitting.

Warning: African Clawed Frogs are very prone to overfeeding.


These aquatic frogs are very slippery due to protective slime. If they need to be transported, use a fish net instead of hands (see Habitat). Otherwise, don't handle at all.


Female frogs are larger and more rounded. They also have three visible flaps of skin near the cloaca. To begin the process of mating, spray the water's surface or add around 2 or 3 inches of water to the aquarium. 10,000 eggs can be layed per season, or about 1,000 per spawning. Adult frogs will eat the eggs, so remove the eggs immediantly. These should be kept in a shallow container of water until they hatch a few days later. Then the tadpoles will need microscopic organisms to feed on. Specialty fish fry foods and larvea foods are commonly available.