It is nearly impossible to house a Betta with other fish of any sort. They are extremely territorial, especially toward members of their same species. However, they also tend to be quite aggressive toward other species. They are solitary fish and will attempt to chase most other fish away.
But since the fish are stuck in an aquarium, this usually ends up with the Betta fish terrorizing the other fish until one of them dies. For this reason, Betta fish are often recommended to be kept by themselves, especially the males.
However, Bettas are sometimes okay with tank mates that don’t look like other fish at all, like African Dwarf Frogs. This doesn’t always work out, though. Some Betta fish are simply going to attack anything that moves. Some are a bit more docile and will get along fine with fish that obviously aren’t other male Bettas.
In this article, we walk you through everything that you need to know about housing these two species together.
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How Do You Feed Bettas and African Dwarf Frogs?
The only time that things can get complicated with a Betta and African Dwarf Frog in the tank is during feeding time. African Dwarf Frogs tend to be aggressive when they are eating. If the Betta decides to go after their food, then the Frog may become aggressive and harm the Betta.
Betta fish also tend to be aggressive eaters. Therefore, they will often go after just about anything that seems to be food. This can lead to fights if you don’t start feeding time correctly.
To make things more difficult, African Dwarf Frogs usually eat slowly. They can go hungry if other fish are in the tank snagging their food. They need their own dedicated space to eat.
Luckily, there is an easy solution. Betta fish often like to stay near the top of the tank and eat floating pellets. African Dwarf Frogs prefer sinking pellets. Therefore, if you start feeding them on different sides of the tank and feed them different pellets, they may stay out of each other’s way long enough for everyone to finish eating.
This is far from a guarantee, though. Sometimes, the Betta will see the Frog eating and decide to swim over and steal some of that food. This is especially true when the Betta gets done eating much sooner than the Frog (which they likely will).
An alternative and better solution is to catch the Betta in some sort of floating container. The little plastic containers that they often come in at pet stores can usually do the trick. You can feed the Betta while they remain trapped in this container at the surface and feed the Frog at the same time. Since the Betta cannot leave the container, the Frog will be able to eat their fill.
Betta Fish and African Dwarf Frog Tank Parameters
When you’re housing two different species in a tank, it is extra important that the water parameters are suited to both species. Sometimes, this means walking a fine line. Luckily, it is quite easy to keep both the Betta and Frog happy in the tank.
Both the Frog and the Betta will need a tank temperature of around 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit. You will need a heater to accomplish this in most cases, unless your home just tends to stay warm. Some fish keepers in tropical places do not need a heater, but everyone else probably will.
Both of these creatures also prefer shallow tanks. The Betta and Frog will spend their time underwater, but they both require fresh air for oxygen. The African Dwarf Frog will swim up to the top regularly to get fresh air, while the Betta will spend most of their time swimming at the top of the tank. They prefer to lay on the leaves of tall plants while sleeping to stay close to the surface.
A long, short tank is best for this situation. Be sure that it is shallower than 12 inches, counting the substrate. If your tank is too tall, you can add enough substrate to ensure that there are only about 9-10 inches between the floor and the top. Otherwise, your Frog may be unable to reach the top in time.
You won’t need a huge tank for either of these animals. 10 gallons is generally plenty. However, you may want a 15-gallon tank just to be on the safe side. Usually, the more room that you provide to a Betta, the better it will be.
Setting Up a Betta Fish and African Dwarf Frog Tank
Setting up a tank for these two species isn’t difficult because they tend to like the same things. However, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind.
You want to re-create the shallow, plant-filled environment that both of these animals are native to. Use real or silk plants, as plastic plants can harm your Betta’s fins. Both these species will feel safest if they have plenty of plant cover to hide in.
You can also provide caves and similar structures for your Frog to hide in. The Betta usually won’t use these structures because they like to hang around at the top of the tank. Instead, they prefer floating plants to hide behind. Therefore, aim to have both in your aquarium for the best setup.
We also recommend placing floating leaves and other items near the top of the tank. Your Frog may decide to sit on these, and the Betta will enjoy resting on these. Suction-cup leaves that stick to the side of a tank specifically for Bettas to sleep on are available. Many of these will also be suitable for your Frog. Be sure to add more than one, so they aren’t fighting over them.
Can a Dwarf Frog Live Alone With a Betta Fish?
Dwarf Frogs are a social species. They need interaction to thrive. Sadly, the Betta fish will not fulfill this interaction need. If anything, a solitary Betta will simply try to chase the Dwarf Frog away if they get too close.
For this reason, we highly recommend that you purchase multiple African Dwarf Frogs. This way, when one of the Frogs dies, you aren’t suddenly scrambling to find a new one.
Increase the tank size as necessary. Bigger is usually better, but you will need to add at least one extra gallon per Frog. The minimum is 10 gallons, so count up from there. If you want an extra-roomy tank due to an aggressive Betta fish, start at 15 gallons instead.
Related Read: 10 Best African Dwarf Frog Tank Mates
Will Betta Fish and African Dwarf Frogs Fight?
While these Frogs are often the best options for Betta fish, that doesn’t mean it will always work out. Some Betta fish are simply too aggressive to get along with Frogs (or any other tank mate).
When you introduce your Betta and Frog, it is important to keep an eye on them. If they are showing signs of aggression, you should take action. Aggression won’t go away with time, especially if the Betta is the aggressor. Often, this simply means that the Betta cannot handle other animals in their tank.
You can remove one of the species to a different tank or buy a tank divider. Either way, this is a sign that they need to be kept separate.
Bettas and African Dwarf Frogs can sometimes get along with each other. Betta fish are sometimes okay with animals that don’t look like fish, including these Frogs. They also require similar tank parameters, which often means that they’ll be easier to keep together.
That said, it doesn’t always work out as you’d expect. In some cases, the Betta won’t be willing to accept another creature in their tank. They will attempt to chase the Frog away, which will often lead to one of them dying (typically, the Frog).
You’ll need to watch the pair carefully and provide plenty of plants for coverage. Sometimes, though, the Betta fish and African Dwarf Frog make great tank mates.
Featured Image Credit: MANU PARADY, Shutterstock