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Tropical Fish Compatibility – African Clawed Frogs


There are a number of aquatic frogs that are available in many pet stores.  Some of them are listed as African Clawed Frogs (Xenopus laevis) and sold as a different type of animal for the home aquarium.  But the question really is answered by this very complete website devoted to the African Clawed Frog:

Can you keep African Clawed Frogs with other Fish?

African Clawed Frogs are aggressive predators. They will consume or attempt to consume all other tank mates (including themselves sometimes! Adult frogs will eat froglets)

Most small fish such as tetras, barbs and live bearers are easy snacks for frogs. You will quickly notice your fish disappearing if you try to house them together. If you love fish and love frogs then keep them separate.

Some fish such as cichlids (and any other aggressive type) can attack and kill frogs. They will bite off their limbs and terrorize the frog, they should never be kept together.

African clawed frog. Image by Philip James on Flickr, used under the Creative Commons license

African clawed frog. Image by Philip James on Flickr, used under the Creative Commons license

Sometimes fish and frogs can get along OK. Some species of tetras can be kept with frogs because they are so fast that they are able to stay away from the frogs. I have had one black skirt tetra (Marley, my roommate’s fish) in my frog tank for three years now, he hasn’t even a bite out of his fin. I am amazed that he hasn’t been eaten, so there are always exceptions.

If you are looking to add a frog to your home aquarium, consult a knowledgeable fish store and see if the types of fish you are keeping will be compatible with an aquatic frog. In most areas of the world, the frog is higher up the food chain than most fish, which makes most of the inhabitants of your aquarium a conveniently trapped snack.

If you want my advice, and you want to keep fish happily in your aquarium, no matter what size, an aquatic clawed frog is not for you.  Some of the African dwarf frog species (Hymenochirus boettgeri) may be OK as this article at Allaboutfrogs.org mentions:

Dwarf African frog. Image by psyte on Flickr, used under the Creative Commons license

Dwarf African frog. Image by psyte on Flickr, used under the Creative Commons license

Mixing with Fish:

  • Also, do not mix these guys with aggressive fish such as the Tiger barb fish or they will become lunchmeat! African dwarf frogs should only be in tanks with peaceful community fish, such as a single Beta Fish, Coolie Loaches or Coolie Fish, Goldfish, Tetras, and even Bala Sharks. Most important though, if you start mixing the communities, is to watch for overcrowding. It is the number one cause for fish diseases, because it messes up the pH levels of the tank, and will eventually impact the health of your frogs as well.
About

Steve Pond, of Tropical Fish Aquarist, has kept fish both personally and professionally for over 50 years.  He writes regularly on the wide range of current topics that are important to people who keep tropical fish tanks as a passion and a hobby.

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About blueram

Steve Pond, of Tropical Fish Aquarist, has kept fish both personally and professionally for over 50 years.  He writes regularly on the wide range of current topics that are important to people who keep tropical fish tanks as a passion and a hobby.

View all posts by blueram →

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