Top 20 Best Pet Frogs For Beginners

Frogs can be a great, low maintenance pet for owners with limited time. They are an amazing choice for someone who enjoys caring for and watching an interesting pet.

Some beginners think that frogs can be hard to keep, but this is not always true.

Frogs are becoming increasingly popular alternatives to fish and lizards. They are an incredibly diverse group with a variety of sizes, colors and behaviors. There are pet frogs for every type of owner!

Picking the perfect species for a beginner can be hard, especially if you have not owned one before. Each species has its own traits, rewards and care needs.

Our following guide will help you to understand and choose the perfect pet frog.

Best Types of Pet Frogs for Beginners

Pet Frogs

When looking for the best frog there are a couple of things you will need to decide.

How much space you have to dedicate to your new amphibian is a major factor. Different species require different amounts of space. If you want an army of frogs then you will need even more space.

How long you want to keep a pet is also an important decision. Some frogs can live for over 20 years, so look carefully at their lifespan too.

Below we have ranked 20 best frogs for beginners based on initial cost, tank set up, care needs, diet and hardiness. We hope this will help you to easily pick the one right for you.

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Rank Species Price (USD) Size Lifespan Care
1 Chubby $20 7 to 8 cm 10 years Easy
2 Pixie $25 10 to 15 cm 20 years Easy
3 White’s Tree $40 5 to 11 cm 16 years Easy
4 Gray Tree $20 3 to 6 cm 7-9 years Easy
5 White Lipped Tree $20 11 to 14 cm 10 years Easy
6 African Clawed $30 5 to 12 cm 15 years Easy
7 Cranwell’s Horned $40 10 to 13 cm 6-7 years Moderate
8 Ornate Horned $20 13 to 15 cm 6-7 years Moderate
9 American Green Tree $15 6 cm 5-8 years Moderate
10 Red Eyed Tree $40 3 to 7 cm 12 years Moderate
11 Panama Golden $15 2.5 to 5 cm 9 years Moderate
12 Bumblebee Dart $70 3 to 5 cm 10-15 years Moderate
13 Dyeing Dart $60 3 to 5 cm 7-9 years Moderate
14 Green and Black Dart $45 3 to 5 cm 8 years Moderate
15 Painted Mantella $80 5 cm 5-10 years Moderate
16 Rain $50 5 to 6 cm 4-15 years Moderate
17 Budgett $80 10 to 13 cm 15 years Moderate
18 American Bullfrog $20 9 to 15 cm 7-9 years Difficult
19 Tomato $25 6 to 9 cm 6-8 years Difficult
20 Amazon Milk $50 7 to 10 cm 25 years Difficult

20. Amazon Milk Frog

Amazon Milk Frog

The amazon milk frog (Trachycephalus resinifictrix) is a relatively large frog species that comes from the rainforests of South America. Their skin is patterned in beautiful brown and blue grey splotches. When threatened they can secrete a milky toxin from their skin, but this behavior is rarely seen in pet specimens.

Their unique looks and long lifespan make them a great option for beginners who are willing to put in a little bit of extra time. When cared for properly they can reach up to 25 years of age.

These pets can be housed in groups which makes them great for beginners looking to care for multiple pets. Two adults require about 30 gallons of space.

Amazon milk frogs are an arboreal species so their tank will need lots of vertical space as well as branches that they can climb on. A tank temperature between 76° and 82°F with humidity levels between 60% and 80% should keep them healthy.

  • Care: Difficult
  • Size: 7 to 10 cm
  • Lifespan: 25 years
  • Price: $50

19. Tomato Frog

Tomato Frog

The tomato frog (Dyscophus guineti) is named after its orange to red color and round body. They often have black spotting along their sides making them look like a giant Tomato! They are a medium sized species found in Madagascar.

Tomato frogs are a terrestrial species that spend most of their time on the ground or hiding. When they feel threatened they can release a mucus-like substance that acts like an irritant. Despite this, tomatoes are a hardy pet frog that can live between 6 and 8 years with minimal care.

A pet tomato will need a deep loose substrate to dig in and plenty of places to hide. Tank temperatures between 72 and 83°F with humidity around 70% should be maintained. Keeping moss in the enclosure can help to maintain humidity.

Tomato frogs are insectivores and so mostly eat crickets, mealworms, and dubia roaches.

  • Care: Difficult
  • Size: 6 to 9 cm
  • Lifespan: 6 to 8 years
  • Price: $25

18. American Bullfrog

American Bullfrog

The American bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus) is a large frog species found throughout the United States of America. They range from dark green to brown and are usually found buried around ponds, rivers and streams.

American bullfrogs are a semi-aquatic species that make better pets than fish! They need a tank setup with both deep water and land areas with loose substrate. This may be a little bit more difficult than other frog tank setups, but it is easy to maintain once set up.

A 20-gallon tank is recommended with air temperatures of 77 to 84° F with a water temperature of around 75°F.

While their tank setup can be a little tricky, they are extremely hardy and low maintenance. With proper care they live between 7 and 9 years and eat a diet of earthworms, crickets and mealworms.

  • Care: Difficult
  • Size: 9 to 15 cm
  • Lifespan: 7 to 9 years
  • Price: $20

17. Budgett’s Frog

Budget’s Frog

The budgett’s frog is a semi-aquatic species found in South America. They are one of the biggest pet frogs at 10 to 13 cm and are mostly found in grays and browns.

Budgett’s frogs are a large, hardy and active beginner species. They are very easy to maintain once you have setup their tank.

Similar to the American Bullfrog, budgett’s are best housed individually in a tank that has both water and land areas. Water should be deep enough for them to totally submerge. The ground area should be filled with a loose substrate and kept between 77 and 84°F.

Budgett’s frogs in the wild will eat just about anything. As pets you can feed them a mix of insects and fish. To avoid being bit do not feed them by hand, instead use a feeding dish. For the same reason you should also avoid handling them.

  • Care: Moderate
  • Size: 10 to 13 cm
  • Lifespan: 15 years
  • Price: $80

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16. Desert Rain Frog

Desert Rain Frog

The desert rain frog (Breviceps macrops) is a small species from South Africa that is just becoming a popular pet frog. With a rounded body in dull colors and a squeak like vocalization they are quickly gaining attention.

These frogs are easy when kept alone so it is recommended that beginners house just one. They are naturally social and can be housed in small groups by someone who has kept amphibians or reptiles before. Just make sure to have 10-gallons of tank space for each individual.

Desert rains are a unique and hardy pet. They are vocal amphibians that live a nocturnal life.

  • Care: Moderate
  • Size: 5 to 6 cm
  • Lifespan: 4 to 15 years
  • Price: $50

15. Painted Mantella

Painted Mantella

Painted mantilla (Mantellidae madagascariensis) are a small and beautiful tree frog from Madagascar. They are black with spots of green or blue on their sides.

Painted mantilla are a strong pet that can live for between 5 and 10 years with the right care. These frogs are best kept as large social groups, so they make a great choice for a beginner that wants an army of frogs!

For three adults start with a 30-gallon long glass tank and add about 10 gallons of space for every adult added. The tank should have places to climb and to hide and a temperature gradient of 68 to 78°F.

Housing painted mantilla can be more hands on than other species, especially with a humidity of 80%. They also need multiple shallow pools in their tank.

  • Care: Moderate
  • Size: 5 cm
  • Lifespan: 5 to 10 years
  • Price: $80

14. Green and Black Dart Frog

Green and Black Dart Frog

The green and black dart frog (Dendrobates auratus) is one of the most popular species of poison dart frog to keep as pets. Many keepers love their green to blue coloring, black spotting and their vocal nature. They are a vibrant and vocal species to care for.

Green and black darts are fairly small and are naturally found in central America and northwest South America on the ground and in trees.

These frogs do well when housed in groups and should be kept with live plants. Keeping live plants can make tank upkeep a little bit more difficult for beginners.

Green and black darts are a beautiful and hardy frog that can be found in most pet stores. They should be fed a diet of crickets, fruit flies, meal worms and earth worms to keep them from being poisonous.

  • Care: Moderate
  • Size: 3 to 5 cm
  • Lifespan: 8 years
  • Price: $45

13. Dyeing Dart Frog

Dyeing Dart Frog

Dyeing dart frogs (Dendrobates tinctorius) are a type of poison dart frog found in South America. They are a vocal, small and vibrant species that come in bright blue and yellow. With blue bodies and yellow striping they make an eye catching pet.

Males are especially known to be quite vocal and do well in groups. A 20-gallon tall tank is recommended for a small group of three males. Vertical space is best for these frogs as they enjoy climbing. Tank temperatures of 70 to 78°F and a humidity of around 75% should be maintained.

Dyeing darts should not be handled, but they are very hardy and require little care. They are insectivores like Leopard Geckos and should be fed a mix of fruit flies and pinhead crickets.

  • Care: Moderate
  • Size: 3 to 5 cm
  • Lifespan: 7 to 9 years
  • Price: $60

12. Bumblebee Dart Frog

Bumblebee Dart Frog

The Bumblebee Dart Frog (Dendrobates leucomelas) is a small but beautiful rainforest frog that catches any beginner’s eye. They are a small species covered in black and yellow banding and measure between 3 and 5cm.

These pet frogs will be active during daylight hours which makes them fun and easy to watch. They will spend most of their time climbing and are completely harmless.

Bumblebee darts are insectivores that eat lots of fruit flies and pinhead crickets. They are visual hunters and will need to be fed live prey. Handling insects will be necessary for any beginner who wants to keep this species.

These dart frogs are a delicate species that have a tricky tank setup. Live plants and shallow water sources are needed to create a rainforest like atmosphere between 74 and 84°F with a humidity level of 90%.

  • Care: Moderate
  • Size: 3 to 5 cm
  • Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
  • Price: $70

11. Panama Golden Frog

Panama Golden Frog

The Panama golden frog (Atelopus zeteki) is a tree frog that is found in Panama. They are easy to spot because of their bright yellow body and black spots along their back.

Panama goldens are becoming increasingly difficult to find in the wild, while becoming increasingly popular in the pet trade. Beginners love them as they are easy to keep healthy and have simple care needs. With good care they can live about 9 years.

These frogs do best when housed in groups, an adult pair will need at least a 15-gallon tank. Setup should be similar to their native range with shallow water pools and live plants. They should also be fed fruit flies, crickets, and termites to prevent the poisonous skin they have in the wild.

  • Care: Moderate
  • Size: 2.5 to 5 cm
  • Lifespan: 9 years
  • Price: $15

10. Red Eyed Tree Frog

Red Eyed Tree Frog

The red eyed tree frog (Agalychnis callidryas) is one of the most iconic pet frogs! They are loved for their bright green coloring and distinctive large red eyes. These frogs are found in neotropical zones of central and South America and grow between 3 and 7 cm.

Red eyed tree frogs are an arboreal species and will spend most of their day in the trees. When housing them their tank should have plenty of vertical space and places to climb and hide. Temperatures between 75 and 84°F are best with a humidity between 80% and 100%.

These classic frogs are hardy and simple to keep. They are insectivores and eat crickets which can be found in most pet stores. With good care this species can live up to 12 years as pets.

  • Care: Moderate
  • Size: 3 to 7 cm
  • Lifespan: 12 years
  • Price: $40

9. American Green Tree Frog

American Green Tree Frog

The American Green Tree (Hyla cinerea) is a bright green species that is usually found in the southeastern United States. These frogs can live for between 5 to 8 years when taken care of properly and should be fed a diet of crickets and fruit flies.

American green tree frogs are great for beginners who do not have lots of time, but would still like to handle their pet occasionally.

To house an American Green Tree you need a 10-gallon tank with lots of vertical space. Plenty of places to hide and climb should be included in their tank and you should keep it between 77 and 80°F with humidity levels around 70%.

  • Care: Moderate
  • Size: 6 cm
  • Lifespan: 5 to 8 years
  • Price: $15

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8. Ornate Horned Frog

Ornate Horned Frog

The ornate horned frog (Ceratophrys ornata) is a large pet frog that is found in the rainforests of South America. This South American species is one of the more colorful types of horned frog, with bright greens and reds and raised horns above their eyes.

Ornate horned species are terrestrial frogs that spend most of their time buried. They will require a 10-gallon tank with loose soil like substrate and moss. It is also best that they are housed alone because of food aggression.

Horned frogs tend to be aggressive eaters and should not be fed by hand. Aside from food aggression they are well behaved and rarely fall sick.

  • Care: Moderate
  • Size: 13 to 15 cm
  • Lifespan: 6 to 7 years
  • Price: $20

7. Cranwell’s Horned Frog

Cranwell’s Horned Frog

Cranwell’s Horned Frogs (Ceratophrys cranwelli) are another giant type of pet frog. They are usually found in shades of brown or dark green with horns over their eyes and can reach 13 cm in size.

Cranwell’s are a hardy species that rarely fall ill with the right care. They need a minimalistic 15-gallon tank and are easy to keep healthy when they are fed a mix of crickets, locusts and earthworms. First time keepers should know that they are aggressive eaters and should not be hand fed!

These frogs will spend most of their time buried and should not be handled.

  • Care: Moderate
  • Size: 10 to 13 cm
  • Lifespan: 6 to 7 years
  • Price: $40

6. African Clawed Frog

African Clawed Frog

The African Clawed Frog (Xenopus laevis) is a fully aquatic freshwater species. That means caring for them becomes very similar to caring for a pet fish. As an aquatic frog this species should not be handled.

When housing African claws each individual requires about 5-gallons of water kept at 68°F. These frogs should be fed a mix of small fish, arthropods and freshwater snails. With good care they can live up to 15 years and are simple to care for.

African Clawed Frogs are usually found in variations of gray and brown and can be anywhere between 5 and 12cm, depending on if they are male or female. Females are naturally much larger than males.

  • Care: Easy
  • Size: 5 to 12 cm
  • Lifespan: 15 years
  • Price: $30

5. White Lipped Tree Frog

White Lipped Tree Frog

The white lipped tree frog (Litoria infrafrenata) is a large species from Papua New Guinea. They are found in various shades of green with a distinctive white stripe that goes along their bottom lip. Interestingly they are also the only type of frog that has a horizontal pupil.

White lipped tree species are social and do best housed in pairs or groups. A pair of adults can be housed comfortably in a 30-gallon tall tank. Temperatures between 80 and 86°F with humidity between 55% and 70% should be maintained.

Many beginners love white lipped tree frogs because they are very tolerant of loud outside noises and are easy to keep healthy.

  • Care: Easy
  • Size: 11 to 14 cm
  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Price: $20

4. Gray Tree Frog

Gray Tree Frog
Gray tree frogs are beautiful, interesting and easy to care for.

Gray tree frogs (Hyla versicolor) are found in green, gray and brown with small splotching along their backs and a white patch below their eyes. It is common to find them in the eastern United States and south East Canada.

These frogs are small and easy to keep. They also climb and hop making them fun to watch. If you are looking for a vocal pet, you will want to choose males.

Gray trees are nocturnal and semi-arboreal. They will be most active during the evening and will eat a variety of live insects such as crickets and fruit flies.

  • Care: Easy
  • Size: 3 to 6 cm
  • Lifespan: 7 to 9 years
  • Price: $20

3. White’s Tree Frog

White’s Tree Frog

The White’s tree frog (Ranoidea caerulea) is a medium-sized frog from Australia and Indonesia. They are usually found in shades of dull green or gray with an almost white stomach. These frogs have become popular for their hardiness and classic look.

Two to three adults can happily live in a 20-gallon terrarium. This tank should provide space to climb and perch and have a temperature gradient between 70 and 95°F. With the proper care many live an average of 16 years, especially when kept in pairs.

  • Care: Easy
  • Size: 5 to 11 cm
  • Lifespan: 16 years
  • Price: $40

2. Pixie Frog

Pixie Frog

The pixie frog (Pyxicephalus adspersus) is also known as the African bullfrog. They are a large species native to sub-Saharan Africa that come in shades of dull green and olive. In the wild they will spend most of their time buried under the ground.

Pixie frogs are extremely hardy and are easy to keep. As a pet they should be fed a diet of earthworms, crickets and super worms. They can be aggressive so you should avoid handling one.

A 15 gallon tank provides enough space for an adult pixie. A loose substrate is important for them to safely dig and a deep water dish should also be in their tank. They are not a social species and should always be housed alone.

  • Care: Easy
  • Size: 10 to 15 cm
  • Lifespan: 20 years
  • Price: $25

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1. Chubby Frog

Chubby Frog

The chubby frog (Kaloula pulchra) is native to south east Asia and averages between 7 and 8cm. In the wild they are usually found with brown and dark green striping down a rounded body. The chubby species may be dull in color, but they are large, fun to watch and easy to care for.

Chubby frogs are also often called the Asian Painted Bullfrog. They tend to live for around 10 years and are known for rarely getting sick when taken care of properly.

These frogs often hide during the day, but begin to show activity in the early evening as they eat crickets, flies, and earthworms. A 15 gallon glass tank can safely house two adults. Just make sure their tank has a loose peat soil as it retains moisture and allows their burrowing behavior.

  • Care: Easy
  • Size: 7 to 8 cm
  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Price: $20

About Nigel Robert

Nigel Robert Nigel is a lifelong reptile lover and has kept pet lizards since childhood. His first was a pet Leo which was shortly followed by a Beardie named, Rocky. For the last 10 years he has kept over 20 different species but his favorite is his Banana Ball Python, Monty.

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