Can Angelfish And African Dwarf Frogs Live Together?

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One of the first questions aquarists have after adding an African Dwarf Frog to their tank is what fish can live alongside it.

With angelfish being quite popular, many wonder if they can cohabit with African Dwarf Frogs, under appropriate conditions.

But is this pairing really feasible? Could the frog be a threat to the fragile angelfish? And how about the specific water conditions each species needs?

In this article, I’ll address all these queries and more, ensuring you have all the essential details. Let’s dive in.

Can I Keep Angelfish and African Dwarf Frogs Together in the Same Tank?

Yes, Angelfish and African Dwarf Frogs can be kept together with careful planning. However, their cohabitation requires specific conditions to ensure both species thrive.

  • Water Parameters: Angelfish and African Dwarf Frogs need slightly acidic to neutral water, but sensitivity to changes can cause stress.
  • Feeding Habits: Angelfish might outcompete the frogs for food; different feeding strategies are necessary for both to eat well.
  • Behavioral Differences: Angelfish can be territorial, potentially viewing the slower frogs as intruders, leading to possible aggression.
  • Tank Size and Setup: A large tank with hiding spots is crucial to accommodate both species and reduce potential territorial disputes.

Also Read: Angelfish Tank Mates

Angelfish vs. African Dwarf Frogs: Behavior

The first factor worth considering is the Angelfish’s and African Dwarf Frogs’ natural behavior. Here is what you should know:

Angelfish: Natural Behavior

Angelfish, originating from South American rivers, are known for their unique social and territorial behaviors.

In the wild, they often form hierarchies and can be quite assertive in defending their territory.

  • Social Structure: Angelfish establish complex social hierarchies, often seen in groups where dominant individuals control access to resources.
  • Territorial Nature: They are protective of their space, especially during breeding, and may become aggressive towards intruders or smaller tank mates.
  • Feeding Behavior: In their natural habitat, angelfish are opportunistic feeders, eating a variety of small invertebrates and plant matter.

African Dwarf Frogs: Natural Behavior

African Dwarf Frogs, native to Sub-Saharan Africa, exhibit behaviors typical of aquatic amphibians.

They are generally peaceful, spending much of their time foraging for food or resting.

  • Nocturnal Activity: These frogs are more active during the night, searching for food and exploring their environment.
  • Social Interaction: They are not territorial and often seen interacting gently with each other, preferring a community setting.
  • Bottom Dwelling: African Dwarf Frogs spend most of their time at the bottom of the tank, scavenging for food and resting among plants or decorations.

Ideal Parameters for Angelfish and African Dwarf Frogs

This table compares the ideal water parameters for both Angelfish and African Dwarf Frogs, and suggests a middle ground for a shared tank.

ParameterAngelfishAfrican Dwarf FrogsBoth Types
Temperature76°F – 82°F72°F – 78°F74°F – 80°F
pH Level6.8 – 7.86.5 – 7.56.7 – 7.6
Water Hardness3 – 8 dGH5 – 10 dGH4 – 9 dGH

Angelfish: Ideal Parameters

Angelfish require specific water conditions to thrive, similar to their natural South American river habitats.

Ideal parameters include a specific range of temperature, pH, and water hardness.

  • Temperature Range: Prefer temperatures between 76°F to 82°F, mirroring the warm tropical waters of their origin.
  • pH Level: Angelfish thrive in slightly acidic to neutral water, with a pH range of 6.8 to 7.8.
  • Water Hardness: Soft to moderately hard water is ideal, generally between 3 and 8 dGH (degrees of General Hardness).

African Dwarf Frogs: Ideal Parameters

African Dwarf Frogs, being aquatic amphibians, have distinct water parameter requirements that ensure their health and well-being.

  • Temperature Range: These frogs do best in slightly cooler water, ideally between 72°F and 78°F.
  • pH Level: A pH range of 6.5 to 7.5 is suitable for African Dwarf Frogs, ensuring they are comfortable.
  • Water Hardness: They prefer soft to moderately hard water, similar to angelfish, with a range of 5 to 10 dGH.

Angelfish vs. African Dwarf Frogs: Tank Setup

This table outlines the specific needs for tank setup for Angelfish and African Dwarf Frogs, along with recommendations for a tank containing both.

AspectAngelfishAfrican Dwarf FrogsBoth Types
Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate0 ppm ammonia & nitrite, <20 ppm nitrate0 ppm ammonia & nitrite, <20 ppm nitrate0 ppm ammonia & nitrite, <20 ppm nitrate
Tank SizeMin. 20 gallonsMin. 10 gallonsMin. 30 gallons
FoliageDense, live or silkSoft-leaved plantsMixed, suitable for both
DecorationsDriftwood, cavesSmooth rocks, small cavesVariety of structures
FilterCanister or hang-on-back filterGentle filter with sponge coverHigh-quality filter for larger volume
Heater76°F – 82°F72°F – 78°F74°F – 80°F
SubstrateSoft, fine substrateFine gravel or large river rocksSuitable for both species
PumpModerate air pumpSmall air pump with air stoneBalanced for oxygenation
LightingModerate lightingSoft lightingBalanced for both

Angelfish: Tank Setup

Angelfish require a well-planned aquarium setup that caters to their size and behavior, focusing on stable water conditions and an environment that allows them to exhibit natural behaviors.

  • Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate: Maintain ammonia and nitrite levels at 0 ppm; nitrates should be less than 20 ppm, using weekly 10-15% water changes to control levels.
  • Tank Size: A minimum of 20 gallons is needed for a single Angelfish, with 10 additional gallons for each extra fish to prevent overcrowding.
  • Foliage: Dense foliage with plants like Amazon Sword and Java Fern provides hiding spots and reduces stress for Angelfish.
  • Decorations: Include structures like driftwood and rock caves to offer territorial markers and hiding places for Angelfish.
  • Filter: A canister or hang-on-back filter that cycles the tank’s volume 3-4 times per hour ensures a clean environment for Angelfish.
  • Heater: Use a heater to maintain a stable temperature between 76°F and 82°F, critical for Angelfish health.
  • Substrate: Soft, fine substrate like sand or fine gravel is preferred, mimicking the natural riverbed and protecting Angelfish fins.
  • Pump: A moderate air pump provides gentle water circulation, promoting oxygenation without creating strong currents that stress Angelfish.
  • Lighting: Moderate lighting, mimicking natural daylight cycles, is ideal for Angelfish, supporting plant life and displaying their vibrant colors.

African Dwarf Frogs: Tank Setup

African Dwarf Frogs need a tank setup that supports their aquatic lifestyle, focusing on easy access to the surface for breathing and a safe, clean environment.

  • Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate: Keep ammonia and nitrite at 0 ppm; nitrates should be below 20 ppm, achieved with regular 10-15% water changes weekly.
  • Tank Size: A minimum of 10 gallons is recommended for African Dwarf Frogs, providing enough space for swimming and exploring.
  • Foliage: Soft-leaved plants like Anubias or Java Moss offer hiding places and a natural feel, important for frog well-being.
  • Decorations: Smooth rocks and hiding spots like small caves or tubes provide enrichment and hiding spots for the frogs.
  • Filter: A gentle filter with a sponge cover on the intake prevents frogs from getting sucked in and maintains clean water.
  • Heater: Maintain a temperature range of 72°F to 78°F using a submersible aquarium heater for African Dwarf Frogs’ comfort.
  • Substrate: Fine gravel or large river rocks are ideal, preventing the frogs from accidentally ingesting substrate during feeding.
  • Pump: A small air pump with an air stone provides gentle water movement, aiding in oxygenation for the frogs.
  • Lighting: Soft lighting is preferred, mimicking a subdued natural environment, and beneficial for African Dwarf Frogs’ health.

The Dietary Requirements of Angelfish and African Dwarf Frogs

This table compares the dietary needs of Angelfish and African Dwarf Frogs, with a column dedicated to managing their diet in a shared tank.

RequirementAngelfishAfrican Dwarf FrogsBoth Types
Food TypesFlakes, pellets, live/frozen foodsSinking pellets, frozen foodsVaried for each, appropriate types
QuantitySmall amounts 2-3 times/daySmall amounts 1-2 times/dayAdjusted to each species’ needs
Feeding ScheduleConsistent daily timesOnce or twice daily, preferably eveningSeparate feeding times for each

Angelfish: Ideal Dietary Requirements

Angelfish, being omnivorous, require a balanced diet that includes both plant and animal matter to maintain their health and vibrant colors.

Their diet should mimic what they would naturally consume in the wild, focusing on variety and nutritional value.

  • Food Types: Incorporate a mix of flakes, pellets, frozen or live foods like bloodworms and brine shrimp to provide a varied diet.
  • Quantity: Feed adult Angelfish small amounts 2-3 times a day, ensuring they can consume it within three minutes to prevent overfeeding.
  • Feeding Schedule: Consistency is key; feeding at the same times each day helps regulate their metabolism and reduces stress.

African Dwarf Frogs: Ideal Dietary Requirements

African Dwarf Frogs are carnivorous and require a diet rich in protein. Their food should be easy to consume underwater, as they are not adept at feeding at the water’s surface.

  • Food Types: Feed them sinking pellets, frozen foods like bloodworms or brine shrimp, tailored to their small mouth size.
  • Quantity: Offer small quantities that they can consume within 15 minutes; overfeeding can lead to water quality issues.
  • Feeding Schedule: Feed once or twice a day, preferably in the evening when they are more active, to align with their nocturnal habits.

How to Introduce Angelfish and African Dwarf Frogs to Each Other

Introducing Angelfish and African Dwarf Frogs together in an aquarium should be done cautiously and methodically to ensure a harmonious environment.

It’s important to create a space where both can coexist without stress or conflict.

  • Quarantine Period: Begin with a 2-4 week quarantine for each species to monitor health and prevent disease spread, using separate tanks.
  • Tank Size and Layout: Ensure a minimum of 20-gallon tank with ample hiding spaces like plants and caves to reduce Angelfish territoriality.
  • Introduce in Neutral Territory: Use a separate, neutral tank for initial introductions to prevent territorial disputes, gradually acclimating them to each other.
  • Monitor Feeding: Observe feeding closely, using sinking food for frogs and floating food for Angelfish to ensure both species feed adequately.
  • Gradual Introduction: Start by placing the frogs in a mesh breeder box within the Angelfish tank, allowing visual contact without physical interaction.

How to Prevent African Dwarf Frogs from Attacking Your Fish

African Dwarf Frogs are generally peaceful, but steps should be taken to prevent any potential aggressive behavior towards fish in a shared tank.

  • Adequate Feeding: Ensure frogs are well-fed with sinking pellets and frozen food, reducing the likelihood of mistaking small fish for food.
  • Proper Tank Size: A spacious tank, ideally 10 gallons or more, gives both frogs and fish enough room to avoid unwanted encounters.
  • Create Hiding Spaces: Provide plenty of hiding spots like plants and caves for the frogs, reducing stress and potential aggression.
  • Compatible Tank Mates: Choose fish that are too large to be eaten by the frogs, avoiding very small or slow-moving species.
  • Regular Health Checks: Regularly check frogs for signs of illness or stress, as these can trigger aggressive behavior.
  • Controlled Environment: Maintain stable water parameters and a clean tank to reduce stress on the frogs, lessening aggression.
  • Observation: Closely monitor interactions, especially during feeding times, to identify and address any signs of aggression early.

Also Read: Angelfish And Rainbow Fish

What Other Fish Can Live with African Dwarf Frogs?

African Dwarf Frogs can live with a variety of peaceful fish, provided the tank conditions meet the needs of all inhabitants.

  • Guppies: Small, peaceful, and active, guppies coexist well with frogs, preferring similar water conditions and being too quick for frogs to catch.
  • Tetras: Schooling fish like neon tetras are a good choice, fast and nimble enough to avoid frogs while sharing similar water parameters.
  • Mollies: Mollies are peaceful and adaptable, capable of thriving in the same water conditions as African Dwarf Frogs.
  • Platies: Platies, known for their peaceful nature, coexist well with frogs and are too large to be considered prey.
  • Betta Fish: While bettas can be territorial, they generally ignore the bottom-dwelling frogs if the tank is spacious enough.
  • Corydoras Catfish: These bottom-dwellers are peaceful and share the bottom space amicably with frogs, avoiding conflicts over territory.

Also Read: Can Angelfish And Betta Fish Live Together?

Corydoras Catfish


For quick readers, here’s a short summary:

  • Angelfish and African Dwarf Frogs can coexist in the same tank with proper planning, focusing on their different water, space, and dietary needs.
  • Angelfish are territorial and may view the slower, nocturnal African Dwarf Frogs as intruders, so a large tank with hiding spots is essential to prevent aggression.
  • Both species require slightly acidic to neutral water, but with different temperature and hardness preferences, necessitating a balanced approach in tank conditions.
  • Feeding strategies must be adapted to ensure both species are adequately fed, with angelfish requiring more frequent feeding compared to the predominantly carnivorous frogs.
  • Introducing these species to one another should be done cautiously, with separate quarantine periods and a neutral territory for initial meetings to minimize stress and aggression.