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African Dwarf Frog And Betta: Do They Get Along? 

African Dwarf Frog And Betta

Aquarium enthusiasts enjoy creating various ecosystems in their tanks. African dwarf frogs (ADFs) and betta fish are some of the most popular combinations. You must, however, ensure that these two creatures are compatible, which requires understanding their behaviors and demands.

That said, African dwarf frog and betta: do they get along? Yes, they do. African dwarf frogs and bettas can coexist in the same aquarium under certain conditions. Success depends on factors such as the betta’s temperament and the tank setup. A larger tank, preferably 10 gallons or larger, provides a better environment for both species. 

Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about the coexistence of ADFs and Bettas.

Does The African Dwarf Frog And Betta Get Along?

Does The African Dwarf Frog And Betta Get Along

Yes, they do. Before diving into how a betta and ADF can coexist, let us look at an overview of both species. The African Dwarf Frog is a fascinating aquatic amphibian native to Central Africa. 

They are found in slow-moving, densely vegetated waters. These tiny creatures grow to a maximum size of about 2-3 inches.

Bettas, on the other hand, inhabit shallow waters and rice paddies in Southeast Asia. They are about the same size as ADFs when fully mature. Bettas are naturally territorial and often prefer living alone. 

They can coexist as long as the betta fish is not smaller than the ADF or it will be eaten. Also, consider the betta’s temperament, as they are more aggressive than ADFs. 

Here is a video showing an ADF and betta in the same tank.

Evaluating Compatibility

As a guideline, here are some tips to consider before housing an African dwarf frog and a betta fish.

1. Behavioral Considerations

Betta fish, particularly males, are well-known for their territorial behavior. They are solitary creatures that stake out territories in the wild to establish dominance and attract potential mates. 

When they perceive a threat or intrusion within their designated space, this territorial instinct often leads to aggression. 

On the other hand, ADFs are naturally social creatures that live in groups in their natural habitats. Their group dynamic gives them a sense of security. The cohabitation between an ADF and a betta hinges on the temperament of the Betta. 

Some Bettas may be more tolerant of tankmates, while others might assert their dominance more strongly. When introducing either species into a tank, gradual acclimatization is essential. Sudden introductions can disrupt established territories and cause stress responses.

African Dwarf Frog And Betta Behavioral Considerations

Pro tip: I recommend placing your betta in a tank that already contains African dwarf frogs. This helps prevent the betta from seeing the whole tank as its territory and may assume the frogs are a natural component of its new environment.

2. Feeding

Another reason a betta and an ADF can coexist is that they both have the same dietary requirements. Both of them are omnivores and their diet comprises live and frozen foods like bloodworms, daphnia, brine shrimp, and high-quality pellets. 

However, there are a couple of things that you need to consider to ensure both of your pet’s dietary needs are met. They include:

  • Eating Times

African dwarf frogs are known for being slow eaters. They take up to 15 minutes to finish a single meal. Also, they are partially blind, and it may take them time to spot the food in the tank. 

On the other hand, bettas tend to eat quickly and snatch up food before the ADF reaches it. This may bring conflict, especially when the betta tries to eat the ADF’s food. The ADF may become aggressive and fight the betta. 

However, the good thing is bettas are surface feeders due to their upturned mouths and ADFs are bottom feeders.  

African Dwarf Frog And Betta Feeding
  • Feeding Frequency

Another significant distinction between the two species is the frequency with which they feed.  ADFs are typically fed every two days. Overfeeding can cause health problems, so it’s critical to provide an adequate amount of food at each feeding.

Bettas, on the other hand, are fed twice a day. However, a one-day fast once a week is recommended to allow for complete digestion and to avoid overfeeding issues.

So, ensure you remove any uneaten food after feeding the betta. This prevents the ADF from overfeeding on the food left behind by the betta.


  • Use a tank divider during feeding times to create a temporary barrier between the betta and ADF. This ensures each species has access to its food without competition. 
  • Distract the betta fish with floating food on the surface. 
  • Introduce sinking pellets for the ADF. This gives the ADF a chance to locate and consume its food without interference.
  • You can utilize a small pipette or aquarium forceps to target and carefully deliver food directly to the ADF. 
  • If needed, catch the betta in a net temporarily during ADF feeding times. This allows the slow-eating ADF to have uninterrupted access to its food.

3. Tank Requirements

African dwarf frogs need a minimum of 1-2 gallons per frog. This does not mean you can utilize a larger tank. Since you’re considering housing ADFs with bettas, the smallest tank you can use is a 10-gallon one. 

If you have ample space in your home, you can go for a 20-gallon tank. Here is a general guideline if you have more than one ADF.

  • A 10-gallon tank for 1 betta fish and 2 ADFs
  • A 20-gallon tank for 1 male betta and 5 ADFs
  • A 30-gallon tank for 5 female bettas and 5 ADFs
  • For every additional ADF, consider upsizing by at least 2 gallons
African Dwarf Frog And Betta Tank Requirements

Another key tank consideration is depth. 

  • That said, the tank should not be taller than 12 inches. This allows ADFs to comfortably swim from the floor to the surface. 
  • Also, add substrate to the tank’s floor to reduce the distance. Therefore, the ideal tank height is 9-10 inches. This height is ideal for both the ADF and the fish as they both naturally live in shallow waters in the wild. 
  • For substrate, use gravel, which should be small enough to prevent the frogs from getting their legs caught and large enough to prevent accidental ingestion.
  • Also, to prevent more accidents, use a gentle sponge filter to prevent the frogs from getting stuck. 
  • Another important consideration is tank decor. A thickly planted aquarium gives plenty of cover for both the fish and the frog. 
  • Live plants improve water quality by absorbing nitrates and providing natural hiding places. 
  • Silk plants are a good alternative because they eliminate the risk of frogs being injured by rough edges on plastic plants. Also, for the frog, provide broad leaves or floating platforms near the water surface.

What Do You Do If the ADF and Betta Are Not Getting Along?

What Do You Do If the ADF and Betta Are Not Getting Along

At times, no matter how much you try to make both the betta and ADF comfortable, they might end up not liking each other. If this happens, here is what to do.

Dividing the Tank

You can use a tank divider to ensure that each species has its side of the tank. However, this is only applicable if you have a large enough tank, i.e., 20 gallons or greater. 

Consider the Gender Mix

Male Betta fish are known for their territorial behavior and may be more aggressive towards other fish, including ADFs. If compatibility issues persist, consider housing female Betta fish with your ADFs.

Move the Betta

If conflicts persist and compromise the well-being of either the ADFs or Betta fish, separating them into different tanks may become necessary. This prevents physical harm and allows each species to establish dominance in its tank.

Move the Betta

Reevaluate Tank Setup

Dense plants, caves, or decorations provide refuge for both ADFs and Betta fish, allowing them to retreat and avoid confrontations.  Adding hiding spots, plants, or decorations helps create territories and reduce aggression.


Here are some more related questions to help you understand how these two aquatic companions coexist.

Q1. What signs indicate that ADFs and Betta fish are not compatible?

Aggressive behavior from the betta includes fin-nipping or chasing the ADFs. If the ADFs are stressed, they may spend too much time hiding or show signs of malnutrition due to competition for food.

Q2. Is there a way to know whether a betta will be aggressive?

If your betta has not been aggressive with other tankmates, they may cohabit with the ADFs. Careful observation during the introduction phase reveals information about a betta’s temperament.

Q3. Do ADFs and bettas require the same water conditions?

Both species thrive in temperatures ranging from 75°F to 82°F (24°C to 28°C). However, ADFs are more sensitive to water quality and require well-maintained, clean water. Also, ADFs prefer calm waters, so avoid strong currents.


Fostering a sustainable coexistence of African Dwarf Frogs and Betta fish necessitates a thorough understanding of their distinct behaviors. The most important thing to remember when keeping these two species in the same tank is always to make sure your dwarf frogs have enough to eat.

Without supervision, the betta could consume all of the frog’s food. This causes conflict, and the frog becomes malnourished. If you have a very aggressive betta, he may not allow frogs in his domain as he perceives the whole tank as his territory.

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