African dwarf frog molts (2023)

Today's article is about a very common species that is widely purchased by indoor aquarium owners. More specifically, we are going to talk about the African dwarf frog and why it moults.

Also, I'll tell youAs oftenthe African dwarf frog sheds its skin and whether or not to remove the shed skin from the tank. But first, let's see what are the four most common reasons for this.african dwarf frogstime.

Reasons Why African Dwarf Frogs Shed Their Skin

As stated, there are 4 main reasons why your frog will shed its skin. I'll start with the usual, which is most likely to be found in any aquarium, regardless of its composition:

1. They shed their skin as they grow.

Shedding as they grow is normal behavior seen in any specimen of the species.african dwarf frog. It usually happens when the frog is young and grows faster.

But even when fully grown, the frog can shed its skin once a month. This is perfectly normal, so don't be nervous. When the molting process is complete, the frog may begin to eat the excess skin. This is also mostly normal.

This is done so your frog can replenish the important nutrients in the skin that were lost during the shedding process.

How can you know that the removal process occurs naturally?

(Video) molting process in african dwarf frog

In most cases, the streak will appear whitish before hair loss occurs. If this condition passes after molting, you can be sure that your frog's health is not out of the ordinary. However, if the whitish condition persists, the skin detachment has another reason:

2. Hair loss due to fungal infection

This is the second most common reason why your frog sheds its skin. In fact, this could be the reason for skin peeling if the whitish condition does not go away after all the peeling is done.

African dwarf frogs are quite susceptible to fungal and other infections.Diseasesthat could result from these infections. Typically, a fungal infection appears as scaly or spongy patches or sores on the frog's skin.

If the skin falls off due to a fungal infection, your frog will shed its skin in pieces or patches. This is fundamentally different from the natural shedding of skin that occurs in one piece (like taking off a suit).

A very common fungus that threatens frogs is the chytrid fungus. How can you tell if your frog has it? A common symptom may appear as flapping movements in the tank when the frog tries to get out of the tank.

How can this disease be treated to keep the frogs in the tank healthy? A great solution for such fungal infections is methylene blue, which usually clears up fungal infections. Also, it is good to know that amphibians are safe if you treat them with this substance.

If you notice a fungal infection in your tank, it's best to separate the frogs that are showing symptoms so the others don't get infected as well. And to make sure you're doing everything right, call an exotic animal vet who will tell you exactly what to do next.

(Video) African Dwarf Frog Shedding

3. Moving due to bad water conditions

Another common reason for frog molting is poor water conditions in a water tank. What does that mean? Conditions in an aquarium encompass a variety of things.

For example,African dwarf frogs are very delicate animals.. Because of this, you really have to be careful what you put in your tank. For example, do not put sharp objects in the aquarium, as they can easily cut or hurt it.

Those things could be broken pottery that would look nice in your aquarium but could be dangerous to your frogs. Also, sharp-edged gravel is another reason to stay away.

Water conditions also include other aspects. For example, pay attention to the cleanliness of your water. The temperature of the water is also very important to keep it under control. Typically, a temperature of 75 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit is adequate for such frogs (but you can increase it to as high as 82 degrees).

If your aquarium is in a location that doesn't get a lot of sunlight, be sure to use aquarium lighting to create regular day and night hours. Also, do not overfeed or underfeed your frogs. This could lead to other problems, not just flaking skin.

4. Elimination due to changes in water parameters

Sudden changes in water parameters can also lead to shedding of the skin.african dwarf frogs, like other species, does not respond well to sudden changes in water parameters. Such changes can lead to certain problems, among which skin peeling is a common problem.

For this reason, you need to pay close attention to the parameters of the water in the tank. I already mentioned some of these parameters when I talked about the water conditions. However, these were when the water parameters were bad.

(Video) African Dwarf Frog Molting

The same goes for abrupt parameter changes when they are already perfectly configured. If certain changes occur, even major ones, your frogs will be affected and the result could easily be flaking skin.

To keep your frogs healthy, you should always keep an eye on the water values. It is best to look at them every day if possible to ensure the best conditions for your dwarf frogs.

Now that you know the 4 most common reasons why frogs shed their skin, you should also know how often they do it.

How often do African dwarf frogs shed?

African dwarf frogs shed regularly if the cause is natural. However, there is no exact time when this happens. Some specimens shed once or twice a month, others less frequently.

Unless the cause is a natural growth, your skin may shed much more often than usual. Therefore, you must keep them in a healthy environment and feed them regularly, but without overfeeding them. If you notice signs of a possible disease in the tank, take the infected frogs and place them in a separate tank to protect the others.

Now you may be wondering what to do with the shed skin they leave behind.

Should you remove shed skin from the aquarium?

Earlier in this article I mentioned something about this: if the shedding of the skin occurs naturally, you probably shouldn't remove the skin from the tank. That's because your frog can eat the excess skin to replenish the nutrients used during the molting process.

(Video) African dwarf frog molting

There is a problem with this approach: you cannot know for sure whether or not the frog will eat the skin. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't. To make sure you're doing it right, simply leave the shed skin in the tank for a day or two, giving your frog plenty of time to eat it if he wants to.

If the skin is still there after 2 days, you can probably remove it from the tank. If the shedding of the skin does not occur naturally and is caused by a fungal infection, remove it from the tank. It is best if your frog does not consume it, as the shed skin will become infected and this can lead to other health problems.


In this article, we have talked extensively about skin shedding in the African pygmy frog. Let's quickly recap what you discovered today:

First, I told you about the four most common reasons that lead to dandruff in this species. As you can see from above, skin shedding can be a natural step in a frog's life.

However, there could be other reasons for you to move. Unless the cause is natural, you want to make sure your frog lives in a healthy environment. If there appears to be a fungal infection on the frog's skin, separate the infected frog from the others and use methylene blue to treat the infection. Or if it is not enough, contact a specialized veterinarian.

You should also always keep an eye on the water values. If there are sudden changes in the temperature or composition of the water, your frog may start molting again. It is best if you check these levels regularly, once or twice a day.

If you do everything according to the rules, your frog will only shed when it is naturally necessary (for example, during growth).

(Video) African Dwarf Frog molting/sheds his skin

Main photo:Flickr


Why is my frogs skin peeling? ›

Like most animals, the outer skin layer of amphibians is shed (sloughed) on a regular basis—as often as daily to every couple of weeks. However, unlike mammals, amphibians shed (and often eat) the entire outer skin layer in one piece.

How do I know if my frog is shedding? ›

Symptoms of Oncoming Sheds

There is one obvious sign that it's about to shed and this is in its body position. Before shedding, a frog will get into a squeezed or crouched position. It will further stretch to pull out the skin.

Why is my African dwarf frog turning white? ›

Fungal Infections

Lots of harmful fungi affect African dwarf frogs. The signs of a fungal infection typically include small white cottony patches all over your frog's skin, or one white spot that grows larger, a lack of appetite and wrinkly and poor-looking skin that might come off in tatters when he sheds.

Why is my African dwarf frog round? ›

Your African dwarf frog may look like a balloon that will just float away if given the opportunity, but they are not filled with air. The reason why your frog is so bloated is due to all the fluid that has built up inside its little body.

How do I know if my African Dwarf frog is happy? ›

African Dwarf Frogs in Glowing Health

If your frog is in optimal health, he should swim a lot. He should possess a strong interest in eating. His eyes should also have an alert and clean look to them. His skin should also have a good appearance, free of conspicuous lumps or wounds.

How do I know if my African Dwarf frog has chytrid? ›

Diagnosis. The chytrid fungus only invades the stratum corneum and stratum granulosum, and therefore the skin is the only organ required for diagnosis. The fungus is most often found in the stratum corneum on the belly of the frog rather than the back of the frog.

Is it normal for my African Dwarf frog to shed? ›

African dwarf frogs typically shed their skin two to three times a month. Before they shed their skin, their bodies will appear whitish. African dwarf frogs shed their skin for various reasons. The main reason is because of their natural growing process.

Should you wet a frog? ›

They need to keep their skin moist to be able to breathe through their skin, so if their skin dries out they are not able to absorb oxygen.

What do African dwarf frogs like in their tank? ›

Water Parameters for African Dwarf Frogs

They prefer soft to moderately hard water. These frogs are sensitive to ammonia and nitrite, so they will do best in an established and well cycled aquarium with a filter.

How often should I change my African dwarf frogs water? ›

Frogs, however, do not like a lot of current so it's important to choose something that isn't very high powered. Water changes are a must, when keeping Dwarf African Frogs so a 15-20 percent water change at least twice per week is required to keep the level of gases in the water optimal.

How often should African dwarf frogs be fed? ›

How Often to Feed Your ADF. For adult African dwarf frogs, it is best to feed them every other day or slightly less. For young dwarf frogs, feeding them 4 to 6 times a week should be enough. Also, remember to remove the uneaten food in the tank.

What color should an African Dwarf frog be? ›

The colors of the African Dwarf frog ranges from a pale olive green to a brownish green. Because of their size, they can easily be kept in a large community tank with other aquarium fish. With proper care, the African dwarf frogs may even live up to 5 years. Its favorite diet consists of brine shrimps and bloodworms.

Why is my African Dwarf Frog hugging my other one? ›

Many people will express worry for their frogs when they see them hugging each other and not moving for up to a day and a half. This is a normal behavior for the frogs and indicates that they are mating. Female African Dwarf Frogs are wider, whereas the males are skinnier.

How do I keep my African Dwarf Frog happy? ›

Give your frogs 8 to 12 hours of light a day to simulate their natural environment. An automatic timer can help monitor the light. African dwarf frogs like their water tropical: 68 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit (20-26 Celsius). An aquarium heater will keep their water at that frog-tastic temperature.

What does a female African Dwarf Frog look like? ›

Sexing African Dwarf Frogs

The females are often 30 – 40% larger than males when fully mature. They have also pear-shaped bodies because their abdomens fill with eggs as they reach the mating stage. Females have a small little tail in between the legs. Males have a red/whitish bump near their armpit.

How long can African dwarf frogs stay out of water? ›

ADFs can't survive for very long in the open air. If they are out of the water for more then 15 or 20 minutes, they will dehydrate and die. That's why it's so important that African dwarf frog habitats be fully-covered with an aquarium lid or a similar cover that contains no holes.

Why does my African Dwarf frog keep floating to the top? ›

All African dwarf frogs will float at the surface, especially at night, this is nothing to worry about. You only have to worry if they are trying to ESCAPE the water, that is a sign of chytrid.

What does a sick frog look like? ›

Care Advice for Sick Frogs with suspected Chytrid

Unusual posture or behaviour (e.g., sitting out by day); Swollen thighs; Reddening or ulceration of the belly and/or toes; and/or. Discolouration of the upper body surface and/or irregular sloughing.

What kills chytrid fungus? ›

The chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is very sensitive to temperatures above 32°C. At 37°C the fungus is killed within four hours and at 47°C within 30 minutes (Young et al. 2007).

What are chytrid symptoms? ›

Symptoms of infection in adult amphibians include reddening of the skin, excessive shedding of skin, skin ulceration (especially at the tips of the toes), abnormal posture, apparent “seizures” or unusual behaviours such as nocturnal species being active during the day.

Do African dwarf frogs need a friend? ›

These frogs like to live in social groups, so don't just get one. Having more than one at a time is really not any extra work, and you'll have happier, healthier frogs. These frogs can be in a tank with fish but avoid putting them in with aggressive fish.

Do African dwarf frogs sleep a lot? ›

African dwarf frogs spend most of their time near the bottom of the water, where they feel safe from predators. Most frogs sleep up to 12 hours a day, provided no threat of predators is present. These frogs are suggested to be kept in a group of two or more due to their social nature.

Is it bad to touch a frog with dry hands? ›

Human hands have natural salts and oils that can irritate a frog's skin, so handling the animals with dry hands can cause severe problems for them, even death, said Devin Edmonds of Madison, Wis. Edmonds is the author of “Frogs and Toads,” a handbook for pet owners released in March by TFH Publications Inc.

Do frogs like being petted? ›

Frogs are also not fond of being picked up or held. They make excellent pets for kids who want to care for a pet, not cuddle with one.

How often should frogs be misted? ›

Mist a few times daily or when you notice the humidity drops below 80%, mist until your vivarium is consistently maintaining a humidity level over 80%. Once your humidity is within the parameters for your dart frogs, you will want to keep a regular misting schedule.

Is sand or gravel better for African dwarf frogs? ›

Sand or Gravel

Some people prefer sand as they think the frog will just pass it after its ingestion due to its small size. Others prefer gravel as its larger size and weight prevent the frog from accidentally swallowing it, with the added benefit of its smoothness that's quite gentle on the frog's fragile skin.

Can African dwarf frogs eat fish flakes? ›

Underwater dwarf frogs are not much harder to feed than aquarium fish. You can use any meat-containing flake food, like brine shrimp flakes, as a dietary staple. Additionally, you can feed live or frozen foods like blood-worms and brine shrimp as the occasional treat.

How many gallons do 2 African dwarf frogs need? ›

African dwarf frogs, also known as dwarf clawed frogs, need to be kept in aquaria that provide at least 2 gallons of water per frog.

Can African dwarf frogs eat algae wafers? ›

African miniature frogs, better known as African dwarf frogs, are unlike most of your aquarium inhabitants as far as feeding goes. They don't eat flakes or algae wafers, but they love fresh and frozen food, and they don't mind pellets either.

How many African dwarf frogs should you have? ›

The African Dwarf Frog can be kept in a relatively small aquarium, each frog needs about three to five gallons. These are social animals and do best in groups of three or four. A small group would be perfect in a 15-gallon or 20-gallon tank.

How do you tell if a dwarf frog is male or female? ›

African Dwarf Frog

Lift the frogs up and look for signs of a white bump on the back of each front leg. This subdermal gland indicates a male. During mating it should be easier to spot the difference: the male is the frog clinging to the back of the female.

What do I do if my African dwarf frog lays eggs? ›

They're more like the Manson family than the Brady Bunch. So, the most important thing to do is to separate the eggs and parents. You'll need to collect the eggs and move them to a suitable enclosure to raise them. Most of the eggs will be floating on the surface of the tank and can be gently scooped up with a jar.

Do African dwarf frogs need a bubbler? ›

Frogs have lungs and breathe air from above the water, so they don't absolutely need aeration in the tank. A standard aquarium air pump and an air stone will help make your frogs healthier and happier, though.

What is the best African Dwarf frog food? ›

Best African Dwarf Frog Food Buyer's Guide
  1. Omega One Frog & Tadpole Pellets. ...
  2. JurassiDiet Newt and Aquatic Frog Formula Sinking Pellets. ...
  3. Invert Aquatics Frog Bites Sinking Pellets.

Do female dwarf frogs sing? ›

Singing. While they won't win a Grammy award any time soon, African dwarf frogs put on quite a musical show in your tank, and it often goes down at night. Males sing in attempt to attract a mate. Sometimes females answer back, but it's mostly the males with the lead vocals.

How often should I clean my African dwarf frog tank? ›

Keep checking the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels every day for a few weeks until you're sure that the tank is stable, and at least twice a week thereafter, doing partial water changes weekly, or more often if needed, to keep the ammonia and nitrites at zero and the nitrates under 20 ppm.

What filter is best for African dwarf frogs? ›

So when selecting a filter for an African dwarf frog tank, you don't want too high a flow rate. ADFs don't do well in strong currents. One filter you should consider is the Zoo Med Turtle Clean 15 External Canister Filter.

Why is my African dwarf frogs skin peeling? ›

African dwarf frogs typically shed their skin two to three times a month. Before they shed their skin, their bodies will appear whitish. African dwarf frogs shed their skin for various reasons. The main reason is because of their natural growing process.

How often does a frog shed its skin? ›

Did You Know? Frogs will shed their skin as often as daily or every couple of weeks, which they will consume for its nutritional value.

What is chytrid in African dwarf frogs? ›

Chytrid is an infectious disease impacting amphibians worldwide. This potentially lethal skin disease is caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which has been detected on hundreds of species of amphibians in 35+ countries.

How do I know if my frog is healthy? ›

Most pet frogs and salamanders, if initially healthy, tend to be hardy and relatively long-lived.
To recognize illness in frogs, toads, newts, or salamanders, look for the following signs:
  1. Inactivity or unusual behaviors. ...
  2. Gradual or sudden weight loss. ...
  3. Body/abdominal bloat. ...
  4. Skin blotches.
May 31, 2012

What are the signs of bacterial infection in frog? ›

Symptoms and Types
  • Weight loss.
  • Skin ulcers.
  • Mucus or pus-like nasal discharge.
  • Small gray lumps in the skin or elsewhere in the body (e.g., the liver, kidneys, spleen, and lungs)

What happens if a frog's skin dries out? ›

Frogs can also breathe through their skin. They need to keep their skin moist to be able to breathe through their skin, so if their skin dries out they are not able to absorb oxygen. They use their skin to absorb oxygen when underwater, but if there is not enough oxygen in the water, they will drown.

Why are my African dwarf frogs Hugging? ›

Many people will express worry for their frogs when they see them hugging each other and not moving for up to a day and a half. This is a normal behavior for the frogs and indicates that they are mating. Female African Dwarf Frogs are wider, whereas the males are skinnier.

Do frogs need to keep their skin wet? ›

Like a giant lung, the thin, moist skin allows gases to pass through, helping the frog to breathe. To keep the skin working well, frogs must stay clean and moist. They produce sticky mucus to prevent drying. Most frogs shed the outer layer of skin by twisting and stretching—they often eat the dead skin as it comes off.

Do frogs shed their skin once a week? ›

American toads, while still growing, shed their external skin every couple of weeks or so. Older frogs lose their skin around four times yearly. The skin peels off in one piece, and is collected under the tongue, where it is then gulped down.

Why do frogs wipe their face? ›

Several species of arboreal frogs secrete lipids from cutaneous glands and wipe these secretions over the body surfaces to reduce evaporative water losses. Following wiping, frogs become immobile in water-conserving postures, and some have suggested they are torpid.

Do frogs lose water through their skin? ›

Most frogs are thought to lose water freely by cutaneous evaporation.

What do African Dwarf Frogs like in their tank? ›

Water Parameters for African Dwarf Frogs

They prefer soft to moderately hard water. These frogs are sensitive to ammonia and nitrite, so they will do best in an established and well cycled aquarium with a filter.

How often do you feed African Dwarf Frogs? ›

You should feed the frogs as much as they would happily eat: at least 3 times per week. When frogs are young (less than a year old), we recommend feeding them daily but as they get older, once every two days is more than sufficient.

What substrate is best for African Dwarf Frogs? ›

TLDR – Top Picks For African Dwarf Frog Substrate

For a planted tank, Seachem Flourite is definitely the best. It won't change the pH and doesn't need to be replaced every few years. If you want gravel in your tank, the CaribSea Sri Lanka Gravel is the best choice because it has no coatings; it's completely natural.


1. African Dwarf Frog Care, Advice And Information
2. AFRICAN DWARF FROGS 11: Froggie Molt
3. AFRICAN DWARF FROGS 17: October 29 Feeding and Molting Massacre
4. Frogs molting
5. This is how dwarf frogs SHED SKIN! Take it ALL OFF!
(Frogtastic Home Aquarium)
6. An African Dwarf Frog Attacking a Dwarf Crayfish


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