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7 Great Plants for African Dwarf Frogs (With Pictures)

Lindsey Stanton Profile Picture

By Lindsey Stanton

african dwarf frog swimming

Using live plants in your African dwarf frog tank does come with quite a list of advantages, with one of the main advantages being that they help to maintain good water quality. There are lots of plants out there to choose from, which can make life a bit harder.

So, what are some of the best plants for African dwarf frogs? Let’s find out.

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Do African Dwarf Frogs Need Live Plants?

African dwarf frogs don’t need live plants to survive since they don’t eat them. The frogs are strictly carnivorous.

However, with that being said, there are a number of advantages that come with using live plants for your African dwarf frog tank. So, what are these advantages?

  • African dwarf frogs live in environments that have live plants. If nothing else, putting live plants in the tank is going to make them feel like they’re in their natural habitat.
  • Live plants are also beneficial because they help to absorb a lot of toxins in the water which your filter might have missed. Live plants can go a long way in terms of water filtration.
  • Live plants also create oxygen, and yes, African dwarf frogs need oxygen to breathe.
  • African dwarf frogs can be quite shy, and they often like to hide under leaves or within the foliage.
two african dwarf frogs
Image Credit: Dan Olsen, Shutterstock

Do African Dwarf Frogs Like to Hide?

Yes, African dwarf frogs are a bit skittish, they like their quiet, and they like their privacy too, or in other words, they do like to hide. For this reason, having live plants that provide good cover from above and from the rest of the tank is recommended.

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The 7 Top Plants for African Dwarf Frogs

Here we have a list of the favorite plants that African dwarf frogs really seem to like, so let’s take a closer look.

1. Duckweed

Credit: Sorakrai Tangnoi, Shutterstock

Duckweed is a floating plant that African dwarf frogs really seem to like, with one reason being that it is a floating plant that helps provide some cover from above. The green and round leaves are similar to lily pads, but they’re a bit smaller and cannot really support the weight of an African dwarf frog, but they do still provide great cover from above.

You might also like this plant because there is no need to worry about substrate or rooting, as it is a floating plant. Simply put a few pieces of it on the surface of the water, and it will do the rest.

Moreover, it grows very quickly, it’s very hard to kill, and keeping it under control is very easy too. With decent water quality, some good light, and the right temperature, duckweed will thrive.

2. Java Moss

java moss
Credit: IvanaStevanoski, Shutterstock

Java moss is another great plant for African dwarf frogs. One reason it is so great is that it can survive on virtually any substrate. You can root this stuff on sand or gravel, and you can even tie it to rocks or driftwood. It grows at a moderate pace and will slowly spread out to form a beautiful and thick carpet.

This green and spindly moss not only looks nice, but it provides a really dense forest of cover which African dwarf frogs will love, plus it’s also a great place to find and eat little critters.

It is a really hardy plant since it can survive in bad water quality, low lighting, and more, yet it also does a fantastic job when it comes to water filtration. It’s easy to care for, and your African dwarf frogs will love it.

3. Java Fern

jave fern
Credit: chonlasub woravichan, Shutterstock

When it comes to easy-to-care-for plants that your African dwarf frogs will love, the java fern is definitely at the top of the list. Your frogs will love this stuff because it features fairly broad and long leaves, and lots of them, which provide great cover from above and the rest of the tank too.

One reason you may like the java fern is that it does a wondrous job at water filtration, as it is one of the better-known filtration plants.

Moreover, the java fern does not require any substrate and actually doesn’t do well when buried in sand or gravel. Instead, it makes for the perfect plant for a bare-bottom tank and can be tied to rocks and driftwood. In terms of lighting requirements and water conditions, this plant is not very picky.

4. Amazon Sword Plant

Amazon sword plant with tetra fish swimming
Image credit: Cheng Wei, Shutterstock

Yet another great plant for African dwarf frogs is the Amazon Sword. It is known for having thick, long, and green leaves, which help provide your frogs with some cover from above. This is a fairly fast-growing plant, so it gets larger quite quickly and helps to create its own little ecosystem. The long leaves flow with the current of the water, making it quite mesmerizing to look at.

When it comes to the roots, the plant does best when rooted in fine aquarium gravel, although it can also handle sand if need be, although not as well as gravel. It has very strong roots that help prevent it from being uprooted. It’s a good plant because it multiplies quickly, it can survive in varying water conditions and temperatures, and it doesn’t need much light either.

It’s also known for being great at producing oxygen and for water filtration capabilities.

5. Moss Balls

aquarium moss balls
Image Credit: Reggi3jr, Shutterstock

Moss balls are another great addition to any African dwarf frog tank because they will catch a lot of food that is flowing around in the water, making them perfect for foraging.

They don’t produce the best hiding spots for frogs, but a small frog could still get some cover under it. The great part about moss balls is that they are also known for their epic water filtration capabilities, not to mention that they also produce a good deal of oxygen. Moreover,  you can place them anywhere in the tank, and they come in a range of sizes. It does not matter what kind of substrate you have in the tank because the moss balls are not rooted.

Also, Marino moss balls can survive in a variety of water conditions and parameters, and they aren’t too picky about lighting either.

6. Dwarf Anubias

Dwarf Anubias
Image Credit: Ilja Lahmanov, Shutterstock

The dwarf anubias is another plant that African dwarf frogs will appreciate having in their aquarium. Although it does not get that large, it has beautiful green leaves that not only look nice but are also large enough to provide your frogs with a bit of cover from above.

This is a great plant for small tanks because it has a fairly slow growth rate, and it doesn’t get that big, making it a good plant for the foreground, midground, and background alike. It’s also very easy to keep under control through some simple trimming.

The anubias nana does best in a soft substrate such as sand or soil, but it can also survive just fine in small-grain gravel. It’s an easy plant to care for, as it is not picky about lighting. A little light goes a long way with this small plant, and it does fine in a variety of temperatures and water parameters.

7. Anacharis

Image Credit: neconion, Shutterstock

The final plant on our list today, one which is also ideal for African dwarf frog tanks, is Anacharis. This plant features long stems, up to 8 inches long, and a single plant can have up to 20 stems. They get quite large, have rounded green leaves, and they do grow quickly. For this reason, Anacharis makes for a perfect background plant.

If you let it grow unfettered, it will create a dense bush, which is great because not only does it provide frogs with good cover from above, but it also makes for a good place to forage for food.

Anacharis can be planted in both sand and gravel, and it can even be left as a floating plant. Anacharis can survive in warm and cold water, it can handle somewhat poor water quality, and it only needs a moderate amount of lighting.

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Do African Dwarf Frogs Eat Plants?

No, African dwarf frogs should not eat your plants. The creatures love eating insects, larvae, small fish, and other sources of protein. They tend not to eat plants since they are not a part of their diet.

Can I Use Fake Plants with My African Dwarf Frogs?

Technically speaking, sure, you can use fake plants in your frog tank. They are certainly easier to care for, as they really don’t require any care at all, they will also provide your frogs with a bit of cover.

However, fake plants don’t filter the water, and they don’t produce any oxygen either, not to mention that they just don’t look as nice as real plants.

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In Summary

The bottom line is that you should definitely add live plants to your African dwarf frog tank. We would recommend choosing two or three of your favorites and going from there. Adding plants to the mix will keep your frogs happy, and they will look nice too.

Featured Image Credit: Dan Olsen, Shutterstock

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