J, K, and Z

African Dwarf Frog

Overall satisfaction


Acquired: Other

Gender: N/A





Activity level






Easy to handle


Easy To feed


Easy to clean and maintain habitat


Easy to provide environmental needs


Easy to provide habitat


Hardy and Social


Roanoke, Virginia, United States

Posted May 28, 2015

All three of my boys were rescues in their own way. I knew J and K for several years prior to adopting them on for myself. They lived with my friend, the companions of her little brother and forgotten about almost right upon arriving there. When I met them the first time, I was confused at what I was even seeing. Their little three cup of water tank was just a plastic cube with what looked to be dirt in it. My friend informed me that there were frogs in there, but she didn't know if they were alive. Every now and then they would put food in but you couldn't see anything through the water. I immediately went and cleaned the tank and, much to my surprise, found both of them alive and active. I went to the friend's house again 2 years later and found them in the same state, the tank having not been cleaned since my last visit. Again, I cleaned the tank. I asked her why they wouldn't clean the tank and she said the person at the pet store said taking them out of the tank was too stressful so it was better not to clean the tank. He claimed their life expectancy was only a year, anyway...which was ridiculous. These two had lived over three years already in deplorable conditions. I told my friend I was taking custody of the frogs, to which she gave in. They were put into a ten gallon tank with a filter and water heater. They seemed very content, but point of this is that they are very easy to please with their environments. These two lived three years with close to 0 oxygen in their water and barely any food, all the while the 3 cup of water tank staying around 40 degrees Fahrenheit. No sand or filter. Horrible, but they survived it.

After this ordeal, I came to realize they are highly social animals. They would greet me at their tank walls whenever I came near, waiting for some live bloodworms or whatnot. I caught them teasing their neighbor, a betta, a few times, having learned they were protected and the very angry boy could not get to them. I eventually had to put up some decorative covering for the shared walls to keep my betta from harming himself.

Their food switched around several times, but they never seemed put off by it. They liked sinking pellets, floating pellets, live food, no food. Really the easiest guys to make happy.

Another proof of their durability; a friend and I were moving to Arkansas in the dead of summer. J and K shared a little pint ice cream container in the cup holder of a very virbraty car from Virginia to Arkansas and then back again a week later when things did not go as planned. No problem for them.

This species is very accepting of outsiders. Z came to us when someone came into our work with a baggy, complaining his son had come home with some thing and he did not want it in his house. That "thing" ended up being another Africa Dwarf Clawed frog male. I isolated him a week, treating him to be sure he carried nothing that could harm my pre-existing two, and then set him in. He was a fair bit younger than the two of them, still small and dark in color. Both my boys accepted him openly, J finding him a very interesting play mate. K was a bit more laid back in nature so he'd just watch in interest as the two spashed about.

K passed away rather suddenly a few weeks later, though nothing seemed to be wrong. He had to be at least seven at that point, so it could very well have been old age. While J seemed to lose his spirit for a few weeks over his brother's passing, Z insisted they play and helped the boy out of his funk. J lived another year or so, old age getting him, too, I suspect. Z died shortly after, and I have a hunch loneliness hit him, as he had lost his appetite and energy the same day J passed.

All in all, these are remarkable animals and I would greatly recommend them. However, they are not suitable for children. As hardy as they are, they deserve better than what they got in the hands of their first human, or was a little boy. His sister and mother should have stepped in, but he really should not have had them in the first place.

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