Guppies and African Dwarf Frog – Can You Keep them Together?

Guppies and African Dwarf Frog

Guppies and African Dwarf Frog

Guppies and African Dwarf Frogs (ADFs) are both aquatic animals that are kept in the tank. Both are small in size, share a common wild habitat and are peaceful.

Even though one is an amphibian and the other fish, these little tank animals can coexist peacefully in the same environment. This answers your question as to whether you can keep them together.

Let’s find out how this is possible.

Caring for Guppies and African Dwarf Frog

Both guppies and dwarf frogs are easy to care for and are ideal pet for beginners. But let’s see what are the specific needs of each species:




  • Experience Level: Easy to take care of
  • Appearance: Small-sized fish
  • Size: Females can grow to 1.4 inches, and males up to 1.2 inches
  • Water Conditions: pH of 6.8 to 7.8
  • Temperature:72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Tank Region: Occupy most of the tank
  • Tank: From 5-gallon tank onwards
  • Food: Freeze-dried foods, bloodworms, brine, fish pellets, and flakes
  • Lifespan: Can live up to 3 years in captivity
African Dwarf Frog

African Dwarf Frog

African Dwarf Frog

  • Experience Level: Easy to care for, less demanding and very hardy
  • Appearance: Small-sized frogs
  • Size: Both females and males grow to a size of 1.5 inches or 3.8 cm
  • Water Conditions: pH of 6.5 to 7.5
  • Temperature:72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Tank Region: Bottom swimmer but comes to the water surface to breathe air
  • Tank: At least 5 gallons or 20 liters, 10 gallons or larger tank is recommended.
  • Food: Consumes sinking fish flakes and pellets, live and frozen foods
  • Lifespan: Can live up to 5 years (average) in captivity

Housing Guppies and African Dwarf Frogs Together

When putting together guppies and African dwarf frogs, you need to take in consideration couple of things such as tank size, lighting, substrate, decoration, equipment and also plants.

Tank Size

Guppies grow to a size of 1.4 inches for females and 1.2 inches for males, while African Dwarf Frogs grow to 1.5 inches in size when in captivity. This should tell you that the two aquatic animals will thrive best in a large tank.

The tank should have enough space to allow guppies to swim around and at the same time accommodate the African Dwarf Frogs comfortably. Guppies are known to occupy all regions in the tank and they will need enough space to hide, reproduce and school.

On the other hand, African Dwarf Frogs prefer spending most of their time at the bottom of the tank. But they occasionally swim to the surface to breathe in some air before diving to the bottom of the tank.

In this case, it is recommended that you house your guppies and African Dwarf Frogs in a tank with a capacity of at least 2.5 gallons for only two animals. Bigger aquariums obviously are ideal for larger populations.


For African Dwarf Frogs light is optional although guppies will require some amount of light during the day. The light plays a crucial role in helping these fish know when it is time to be active or asleep.

When providing the light for these animals, ensure that it stays on for 10 to 12 hours each day. Anything longer than this will promote growth and spread of algae in the aquarium.


Any type of substrate can work well for these frogs and guppies. It doesn’t matter whether you are using gravel, sand or bare-bottom provided that all other tank conditions are perfect.

But if you are using sand and gravel, it is advisable to add a small fish to eat the food that might have sunk deeper into the substrate. Or you can have more guppies in the tank to help keep the substrate clean by eating food particles in the substrate.

Aquarium Decoration

African Dwarf Frogs are nocturnal by nature. So, you need to provide them with adequate hiding places in the tank where they can take a rest during the day.

Also, your guppies will need their own hiding places when they are swimming around or when they feel threatened by other tank mates. For instance, you may provide one or several terra cotta pots to serve as ideal places to hide.

Besides, this pot looks amazing and can add some aesthetic value to your tank when placed at a strategic place in a planted tank. A good decor gives your aquarium animals a better environment to move around and rest especially during the night.


You can use standard equipment in a tropical tank where your guppies and African Dwarf Frogs are dwelling. Given that these are tropical aquatic animals, the temperature around them needs to be warmer.

So, you are required to supply them with a heater to maintain water temperature throughout. In addition,  you will need to place a thermometer at one corner to monitor tank water temperatures.

A light filter will be helpful as well. The work of the filter will be to keep the tank water clean for the survival of your fish and frogs.

When it comes to performing a weekly water change, you will need a gravel vacuum and bucket to help you carry out this task.

Other equipment of importance include a test kit for checking water quality and water conditioner to remove any harmful substance in the tank.

Aquarium Plants

Aquatic Plants

Aquatic Plants

Both guppies and African dwarf frogs love planted aquariums. They feel much safer in aquariums with live aquatic plants. While none of them will eat or damage aquatic plants, you have a wide range of options to choose from.

For an aquarium in which you keep dwarf frog and guppies I recommend keeping the following plants:

  • Amazon Swords
  • Amazon Frogbit
  • Java Fern
  • Anubias
  • Elodea
  • Marimo Moss Ball
  • Bacopa

All these plants are easy maintenance and are beginner friendly. Do not require extra fertilization or CO2.

If you want to find out more about floating plants or aquatic plants for beginners, I recommend checking out my linked articles.

Behavior of Guppies and African Dwarf Frogs

Guppies and African Dwarf Frogs are quite interesting animals to observe. These aquatic creatures lead active lives despite belonging to different classifications in the animal kingdom.

Below are the common behaviors you might want to know about them:

Guppies will spend most of their time swimming from one corner of the tank to another. On the other hand, African Dwarf Frogs would take much of their time relaxing at the bottom of the tank.

Sometimes they (frogs) come to the surface to breathe and get back to their usual regions within the tank. They do so by darting up the surface and then crashing back down in a split second after taking in enough air.

At night you will find the frogs in a ‘Zen position’, a term used to describe their floating behavior at the surface without moving. You may think they are lifeless, but they’re only relaxing. For the guppies, you will find them hiding among numerous aquarium plants while taking a nap.

During the mating season, male guppies will be seen chasing their female partners all over the tank while displaying their vibrant colors. But the situation is different with African Dwarf Frogs such that they resort to making quiet buzzing sounds. The males use the sound to attract and entice females to mate.

Feeding Guppies and African Dwarf Frogs

Guppies and African Dwarf Frogs share almost the same diet although the latter is a carnivore. Just like guppies, they should also be fed a balanced diet that will give them all essential nutrients.

Here are examples of the best diet for your guppies and African Dwarf Frogs:

  • Mosquito larvae
  • Brine shrimp-frozen, live or freeze-dried
  • Bloodworms-frozen, live or freeze-fried
  • Krill-frozen, live or freeze-fried
  • Earthworms
  • Fish flakes and pellets

The two aquatic tank mates are small in size and should not be given more food they cannot finish at the required time. As you know, excess food will go to waste and lower water quality in the tank.

Also, overfeeding frogs can make them obese, thus leading to a number of health complications. So, a small portion of food per day is recommended to keep them healthy.

Other Tank Mates

When looking for other tank mates to share an aquarium environment with your guppies and African Dwarf Frogs, there are factors to consider. First, the tank mates should have some similarities with the two creatures that are, guppies and African Dwarf Frogs.

Starting with temperament, guppies and African Dwarf Frogs are peaceful animals and would most likely need peaceful tank mates as well. For that reason, any small fish that is peaceful and colorful can become an ideal tank mate.

Fish like green terror, parrot, betta fish, and Jack Dempsey are not the best choice. But you can add a few glowlight tetras, neon tetra, dwarf gourami, molly, platy and harlequin rasbora to the fish tank to join your guppies and African Dwarf Frogs as tank mates.

You can also go the extra mile and look for other none fish animals that are compatible with these gentle creatures. Animals such as ramshorn snails and mystery snails are a good match for guppies and Dwarf African Frogs when kept in the same tank.

Apart from that, several species of shrimp such as ghost shrimp, bamboo shrimp, and cherry shrimp are also good examples of compatible tank mates (You need to be careful with some species of shrimp because your frog might eat them).

But you can do more research to find out if other fish species can make good tank mates with these aquatic creatures. You might end up finding more species of aquarium fish that can coexist with each other peacefully.

Final Thought

African Dwarf Frogs are a good choice of tank mates with guppies. The two aquatic animals share a lot in common, especially the tank conditions/habitat, behavior, and diet. It is possible to keep them together in the same tank environment along with other small fish species that share similar traits with them.

Featured Image: Flickr

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