Representing amphibians this lesson, is the charismatic H. boettgeri. More commonly known as “African Dwarf Frogs”, these old-world freshwater-dwellers are characterized by their small size, reaching only 2 inches in length, spotted bodies, and by having webbed toes on both their front and back legs. This frog species spends most of its time submerged, infrequently surfacing to gulp air. This, however, does not mean they will not use their powerful hind quarters for jumping out of tanks without tight fitting lids. These amphibians are very sensitive to drying out, and cannot survive outside of the water for more than 10 to 15 minutes. Though they are not commonly heat-baskers, it is a good idea to have strong light, and projections and furnishing above the water line, and at least 2 inches of air at the top of the water is required. Exhibiting particularly soft and smooth skin, African Dwarf Frogs are vulnerable to sharp substrate. Silica sand is optimal with furnishings like smooth rocks, and driftwood. Floating plants are also appreciated, providing shady hiding refuges. Optimal “oddball” additions to many community tanks, these frogs are best kept alongside peaceful fish like small cories and loaches, pencilfish, and hatchetfish. African Dwarf Frogs, however are vulnerable to nippy tank dwellers, and should not be kept in tanks housing tetras, barbs, dwarf cichlids, or bettas. Carnivorous by nature, these frogs should be fed regular meals of live and frozen fare. Prone to overeating, it is a good idea to skip feedings once or twice a week. Your frogs should have gently curving bellies, and not look like inflated balls. When food is scarce, however, they may turn to cannibalism, which can be avoided by housing individuals of only comparable size. Sensitive to water conditions, these frogs are best kept in tanks of 10 gallons or more, with weekly ¼ water changes. Tank temperatures should consistently be around 77°F, and the tank will require a heater they cannot burn themselves on. This can be avoided by adding a plastic heater guard. Water chemistry should be maintained with a pH between 7.0 and 8.0, and hardness of 10 to 20 dH.