Frogs: their adorable mannerisms, laid-back personalities, and incredible diversity make them popular pets.
Most frogs stay pretty small – with a few exceptions! Although they are small, they still need spacious vivariums. Perhaps you have a 5-gallon aquarium laying around and are wondering what you could put in it.
Maybe you’ve always wanted to enter the magical world of frog ownership, but are limited on space.
Are there any frogs that can live in a 5 gallon tank?
There aren’t many frogs that can live in a 5 gallon tank for their entire lives. Most frogs need more room to climb, hop, or socialize. The only frogs that can live out their lives in a 5 gallon tank are African dwarf frogs, although this is the minimum, a 10-gallon tank would be better.
Understanding Frog Tank Size
There aren’t many frogs that can live in a 5 gallon tank. While a lot of pet frogs are pretty small, they still need space to move around! Most frogs need tanks that have capacities of 10-15 gallons, and that’s the minimum!
Yes, most pet frogs will physically fit in a 5-gallon aquarium. However, this does not mean that this is what’s best for them!
You could fit in a closet, but you wouldn’t want to live there, would you?
While some frogs can be kept in a 5 gallon tank as juveniles, this is not an ideal choice for a long-term home. Frogs need space to move around. Treefrogs and dart frogs need height to climb, and terrestrial frogs and toads need large horizontal area to hop, dig, and stretch their legs!
Furthermore, a lot of frogs do well when kept in pairs or groups. A 5-gallon aquarium isn’t big enough to house multiple frogs of most species. While it may be tempting to put a single, thumbnail dart frog into a 5 gallon tank, you should consider the frog’s activity level and social well-being.
In addition to the obvious space issue, a 5-gallon tank is too small to establish a proper heat gradient. Frogs, like other ectotherms, cannot regulate their body temperature like mammals and birds can. They have to rely on their environment to make themselves warmer or cooler.
Arboreal and terrestrial frogs require a temperature gradient, with a warm side and a cool side, so that they can choose where they want to be and regulate their own body temperature. This requires some distance between the warm and cool sides of the vivarium, and so a 5 gallon tank is too tiny!
In most cases, a 10-gallon tank (or larger) is better for the frog’s long-term health and happiness!
However, there are some frogs that can live in a 5 gallon tank happily for their entire lives.
Frogs That Can Live In A 5 Gallon Tank
As you can see, our list of frogs that can live in a 5 gallon tank isn’t long at all! In fact, there’s only one species on it. African Dwarf frogs are the only pet frogs that can live in a 5 gallon tank for their entire lives.
African Dwarf Frogs
African dwarf frogs are the only frogs that can live in a 5 gallon tank. They are popular pets for frog keepers of all ages and experience levels, and their adorable, flattened faces capture the hearts of everyone they encounter. In their beady little eyes lie the secrets of the universe and of everything within.
These fully aquatic frogs are grey in color and reach a maximum length of 2.5 inches (6.3 cm) at the very largest, with females getting larger than males.
A peaceful species, African dwarf frogs love the company of friends, and can even be kept with small, nonaggressive fish!
Keeping a group of African dwarf frogs enables them to exhibit natural social behaviors. If you have a male frog, you may get to hear him sing! However, they aren’t loud – their calls resemble a quiet buzzing sound.
ADFs are nonterritorial, so you don’t need to worry about the sex of your frogs. Whether you keep all males, all females, or some of each, your frogs likely won’t fight. Their small size and docile nature make African dwarf frogs the only pet frogs that can live in a 5 gallon tank.
Even though your frogs are unlikely to harm each other, you shouldn’t overstock your tank. More frogs lead to more waste, which then causes poor water quality that can cause all kinds of health problems for your frogs!
A 5-gallon aquarium can house 2 African dwarf frogs. Five gallons is the minimum tank size for these frogs, and if you have the ability to get a larger tank, you absolutely should!
If you keep 2 frogs in your 5 gallon tank, your tank is fully stocked. If you want to keep fish with your African dwarf frogs (or more frogs!), you should get a 10 gallon tank or larger.
Regardless of the total capacity of the tank, it shouldn’t be deeper than 24 inches (61 cm). While they are fully aquatic, ADFs still need to get to the surface to breathe. If the surface is too far away, the frogs might struggle to get air or even drown!
Frequently Asked Questions
African dwarf frogs are the only pet frogs that can live in a 5 gallon tank for the long-term. Looking for more information about frog tank size? Check out our frequently asked questions below!
Can I Keep A Pacman Frog In A 5 Gallon Tank?
Young Pacman frogs are another example of frogs that can live in a 5 gallon tank– but only temporarily! While Pacman frogs are ambush predators, aren’t active, and don’t need a ton of space, they can get up to 7 inches (17.8 cm) long. A 5 gallon tank, as you can imagine, would be far too small for an adult Pacman!
Adult Pacman frogs need at least 10 gallons, but bigger is always better! While they aren’t very active, it’s good to give your pet more space to move around, stretch its legs, and dig more holes. More space gives your frog more options!
While juvenile Pacman frogs can live in a 5 gallon tank, it is recommended to buy their adult-sized habitat upfront so that you don’t have to worry about them outgrowing their tank.
It’s always good to have room to grow!
Can A Dwarf Frog Live In A 5 Gallon Tank?
Yes! African dwarf frogs can live in a 5-gallon tank. As we have discussed, they are the only frogs that can live in a 5 gallon tank!
This is the minimum size, and you should definitely get a larger tank if possible, but a pair of ADFs can live comfortably in a tank this size.
How Many Frogs Can Live In A 5 Gallon Tank?
Two African dwarf frogs is the maximum number of frogs that can live in a 5 gallon tank.
Don’t keep more than 2 ADFs in your 5-gallon aquarium. The additional waste from the extra frogs will wreak havoc on your water quality, which will negatively impact your frogs’ health.
For other pet frog species, the answer is 0 frogs. Most other pet frogs need tank that is at least 10-15 gallons in capacity in order for them to thrive!
If you have limited space and are interested in owning frogs, African dwarf frogs might be the best choice for you! They are the only pet frogs that can live in a 5 gallon tank.
Most frogs require more than 5 gallons to thrive due to their spacial needs, social well-being, and requirement of a temperature gradient.
Never keep a frog in an enclosure that is too small; it isn’t fair to them!
Always do plenty of research on the species that you intend to keep and ensure you can meet its care requirements before getting your amphibious friend!