Do African Dwarf Frogs Need A Heater? | Aquascape Addiction

Do African Dwarf Frogs Need A Heater?

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A helpful guide on the temperature requirements for African dwarf frogs, whether they actually need a heater and what the best options are and why

Do African Dwarf Frogs Need A Heater?

African dwarf frogs are some really neat creatures to have at home. Now, they are really cool animals, but they do also need to be well cared for. These are pretty fragile animals and they demand some pretty specific conditions, with temperature being at the forefront. So, do African dwarf frogs need heaters?

The simple answer here is that yes, African dwarf frogs do need heaters. Once again, unless you live somewhere super warm, you will need a heater for these little guys. Remember, they come from Africa, a continent that is generally very hot.

temperature for african dwarf frogs

What Temperature Do African Dwarf Frogs Need?

African dwarf frogs require the temperature to be at least 75 degrees Fahrenheit, or about 24 Celsius but this is the bare minimum.

They prefer to live in temperatures of 26 Celsius, or about 79 degrees Fahrenheit.

Can African Dwarf Frogs Live Without A Heater?

Once again, an African Dwarf frog is best kept in fairly warm conditions, and only if you live in a tropical climate will you be able to maintain that warm temperature in the tank.

Ok, so if the temperature drops a couple degrees below the minimum, the frogs probably won’t die straight away, but they won’t be happy or healthy either.

If these frogs get too cold, they will more or less shut down. They will stop eating more or less, their metabolisms will shut down, and then their internal organs will start to go too.

If an African dwarf frog is too cold for too long, it will die. It might take a while, but at the end of it all, it won’t survive.

Should I Get An In-line or Submersible Heater?

Something that you will need to decide is whether to get an inline heater or a submersible heater. There is a pretty big difference between the two.

In-line Heater

Inline heaters function by being connected directly to your aquarium filter. The heater is connected to the out flow tube of the filter. The water passes right from the filter into the heater, and then to the tank.

Some people really like inline aquarium heaters because they are hidden from view, and therefore result in a nice looking aquarium. However, they can also be much harder to maintain than normal aquarium heaters.

On the other hand once again, these heaters are not in the aquarium, so there’s no chance of an animal bumping into it.

What is important to note is that these are external heaters which are attached to external canister filters.

These are ideal for large setups that use external filtration. However, for something like an African dwarf frog tank, it is usually not used, unless you are looking to heat up a whole lot of water.

Submersible Heater

The far better option for an African dwarf frog tank is the submersible heater. These are small and independent heating units, usually in the shape of a tube.

They are submerged in the water and use a heating element to heat water. The only thing these are connected to is a power source.

These tend to be best for smaller and more basic setups. Yes, they do take up some space in the tank, but they are generally so small that this is negligible.

There is also the fact that submersible heaters tend to be far most cost effective too, plus they require less maintenance than inline heating units. Simply put, for an African dwarf frog tank, it’s a submersible heater that you want.

What Size Heater Do I Need?

Well, as a rule of thumb, you are going to need about 5 watts of power for every gallon of water you have in the tank.

Therefore, a 10 gallon tank for African dwarf frogs would require a 50 watt heater, and a 20 gallon tank would need a 100 watt heater.

Therefore, what you need to do is calculate how much water you have in the African dwarf frog tank and then go from there.

Best Heaters For African Dwarf Frogs

Here we have what are considered to be the 3 best heaters for African dwarf frogs. Each of these heaters comes with its own benefits and advantages, so let’s take a closer look.

1. Aqueon Adjustable Aquarium Heater

This particular heater comes in a variety of sizes including 50 watts, 100 watts, 150 watts, 200 watts, and 300 watts. The 50 watt model would be ideal for tanks up to 20 gallons, whereas the 300 watt heater would be ideal for tanks up to 100 gallons.

The Aqueon 100528680 Adjustable Aquarium Heater is made out of shatter resistant quartz, so it can take a few bumps without fear of breaking.

This particular aquarium heater is adjustable from 68 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit, which is perfect for frogs, and yes, it is quite accurate too.

This is a fully submersible heater, but it is quite small and slim, so it won’t take up much room in the tank. Also, for safety, it comes with an automatic shut off to prevent overheating from occurring.

All you have to do is stick it into the interior of your tank using the suction cups, and this can be done vertically or horizontally.


  • Simple and straightforward.
  • Adjustable.
  • Shatter resistant.
  • Quite accurate.
  • Easy to mount.
  • Doesn’t take up much space.
  • Various sizes.


  • Overall durability is limited.

Check the current price at Amazon

2. Eheim Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater

This particular aquarium heater comes in even more power options than the last one. This includes 25, 50, 75, 125, 150, 200, 250, and 300 watts. For an average African dwarf frog tank, depending on the size of the tank and amount of water, one of the smaller versions should do just fine.

This is also a fully submersible heater, and once again, it is quite slim and small, which means that it won’t take up too much space in the tank. It comes complete with suction cups for easy mounting, and yes, mounting can be done vertically or horizontally.

The Eheim Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater does have a temperature range of 65 to 93 degrees Fahrenheit, more than versatile enough for African dwarf frogs.

What’s really cool here is that this thing comes with a built in thermostat, and will actually recalibrate itself depending on the water temperature.

The Eheim Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater is made with shatter resistant glass, which also happens to be shock resistant, although we would not recommend putting this to the test.

Moreover, it also comes complete with an auto shut off feature to ensure that it does not run dry.


  • Adjustable.
  • Many sizes.
  • Self regulation.
  • Shatter and shock resistant.
  • Easy to mount.
  • Space friendly.
  • Auto shut off.


  • Heating element doesn’t last too long

Check the current price at Amazon

3. Tetra HT Submersible Aquarium Heater

If you need a really small and simple heater for your frogs, this Tetra HT Submersible Aquarium Heater might be a good option to consider. Now, this thing only comes in 2 sizes, which are 10 and 50 watts.

No, it’s not a big or powerful heater, but it should do the trick for a small African dwarf frog tank. The 50 watt model is fine for tanks up to 30 gallons.

It may not be very large or powerful, but then again, the advantage here is that it does not take up much space.

Yes, it is a fully submersible heater, and it comes complete with suction cups for easy mounting, plus it can be mounted horizontally or vertically ,whichever way you see fit.

The Tetra HT Submersible Aquarium Heater is designed to maintain the water temperature at a steady 78 degrees, which should be fine for frogs.

This is a self-regulating thermostat heater which automatically adjusts itself based on the water temperature.


  • easy to use.
  • mounts vertically and horizontally.
  • very space friendly.
  • regulates itself.
  • fine for small tanks.


  • not auto shut off.
  • does not come in larger sizes.

Check the current price at Amazon

Should I Get A Thermometer For My African Dwarf Frog Tank?

Yes, absolutely should you get a thermometer for your African dwarf frog tank. The reason for this is because most aquarium heaters do not actually come with a thermostat, at least not one that tells you how warm the water is.

Once again, African dwarf frogs do require their environment to be quite warm, and sure a heater will do just that, but you also need to be able to monitor the temperature.

A good aquarium thermometer, preferably a digital one, will allow you to monitor the temperature with ease. Remember, it’s all bout keeping your frogs happy and healthy.


The bottom line is that you do want to get a nice little aquarium heater for your African dwarf frogs.

These animals can get very ill if they are too cold. They do need the air temperature and the water to be quite warm, and unless you love somewhere exceedingly warm, maintaining the ideal temperature for African dwarf frogs is just not doable.

It doesn’t have to be a big or fancy heater, but it does need to get the job done.