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    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
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    #1

    Jun 24, 2013, 12:51 PM
    Raising tadpoles
    We went to a national park the other day, and my daughter caught two little tadpoles. She has them in a little bug catcher tank, with a lid. We ended up bringing them home, thought it would be very neat to see them grow into frogs.

    Well, now that we have them, I'm researching what they eat, if I can put them in a bigger tank, etc. etc.

    I've found a few sites, all say to feed them lettuce. One site said fish food is okay, which I have, so that would definitely be easier than boiling lettuce every day.

    The site also said to used distilled water for their tank (right now they're in the water from the lake we caught them in).

    Has anyone every raised tadpoles? If so, what did you do? Any advice on how to keep these little critters?

    Oh, before anyone asks, we plan to bring them back to the park when they're grown, not that the park needs more frogs, you can't take a step without seeing a frog jumping in the grass. :)
    busymomma2013's Avatar
    busymomma2013 Posts: 282, Reputation: 20
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    #2

    Jun 24, 2013, 01:13 PM
    Never raised tadpoles before.

    I do not agree with taking wildlife out of their habitat.

    I think they should be taken back to their original habitat.

    Sorry.
    odinn7's Avatar
    odinn7 Posts: 7,691, Reputation: 1547
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    #3

    Jun 24, 2013, 01:21 PM
    Tadpoles aren't too difficult to raise. Fish food worked for me. Distilled water? LOL! Like that's what they grow up in when in the wild? No. I used regular tap water that was cleared of any chlorine or other nasty items.

    Problem though... if you let them grow in captivity and then release them, they may not do too well on their own.
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #4

    Jun 24, 2013, 01:25 PM
    I think I put a tadpole or two in my fish tank as a kid - can't remember?
    I think I did see them grow little legs.
    I suppose they need a rock to climb out on eventually.
    You can wilt lettuce in one second with hot tap water.
    Distilled water is probably in place of a filter and bubbles, and prevents bacteria?
    odinn7's Avatar
    odinn7 Posts: 7,691, Reputation: 1547
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    #5

    Jun 24, 2013, 01:33 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by joypulv View Post
    Distilled water is probably in place of a filter and bubbles, and prevents bacteria?
    You are probably correct.I had a low cost pump and filter that worked well and kept the water circulating.
    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
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    #6

    Jun 24, 2013, 01:48 PM
    Thanks everyone.

    We're prepared to keep them if putting them back would mean certain death. Actually, they'd have a much better and longer life here with us. Their life span in the park would be until the beginning of September, maybe until the end depending on the weather. At my house they'll live a lot longer.

    I do have a 10 gallon tank that I can transfer them to once they're bigger. Right now they're the size of a baby fly. The frogs in that area are tiny when full grown, not even as big as the first joint of your pinky finger.

    We ended up with two because we went to the dock instead of the beach to catch them. Had we gone to the beach one swipe with just a glass would have caught over a hundred.

    We saw the park patrol when we were leaving, they gave us some tips on how to care for them, but they couldn't stay and talk for too long, so I just wanted to make sure we're caring for them properly.

    Busymomma, normally I agree. I would never take a wild animal out of its natural habitat, but these are tadpoles, not a baby rabbit, or a baby deer. We won't be taking them back until they're grown, and we may not even do it then. It's two tadpoles, they will be cared for, and they'll have a better chance growing to frogs in my house than they would in the lake where there are fish and other animals that would eat them. I'm seriously not going to be concerned about taking home two tadpoles so that my kids can see the miraculous cycle of a tadpole growing to a frog.

    Of course you have a right to your opinion, but I would like to point out, I didn't ask if it was okay to take two tadpoles home, I didn't ask if anyone thought it was wrong, I asked how to care for them properly. :)
    odinn7's Avatar
    odinn7 Posts: 7,691, Reputation: 1547
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    #7

    Jun 24, 2013, 01:55 PM
    Are you sure they die for winter? I always thought that as well but I have a family of frogs that lives at the end of my driveway where there is constant run-off from the hill. Every summer they are there and every summer they have grown. I figure that they must do some sort of hibernating.

    As for taking from the wild... I'm a criminal. I removed a Desert Blonde tarantula from the desert of Arizona when I went out to visit my mother back in 2006. I caught it and shipped it back to my home. It's against the law to do that. Do I feel bad? Not really. I saved her from having to look for food, being flooded during April, being dried out the other 11 months. I saved her from being attacked by a snake or stomped on by some a-hole that maybe would see her. She's still alive and doing well... that is how I justified what I did in her case.
    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
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    #8

    Jun 24, 2013, 02:00 PM
    I'm actually not sure how long they live. I just assumed that they died in fall because it's really too cold for a frog to survive in Canada during the winter. I'll have to see if I can find the frog species it is, and see how long they live. The park has a website, I'm sure they'll have info on the site about these frogs. There are literally millions of them. Most get run over since the roads are right next to the forest land, that's if they're luck enough to avoid getting eaten by the many animals there that would love a tasty frog dinner.

    Bottom line, it's 2 tadpoles, not 2000. If it hadn't been okay, the park patrol (who can give citations in the park to anyone doing anything illegal) wouldn't have told me how to care for them, and told Syd to have fun watching them grow. It's not like I was taking a baby fox home with me.
    odinn7's Avatar
    odinn7 Posts: 7,691, Reputation: 1547
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    #9

    Jun 24, 2013, 02:03 PM
    My spider abduction was illegal, that I know. Tadpoles I don't think are really protected anywhere. I run over hundreds of frogs every year. In late July through August they are all over the roads and you can't avoid them.
    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
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    #10

    Jun 24, 2013, 02:06 PM
    So the park has two species of frog, the wood frog:

    Google Image Result for http://www.nps.gov/dena/naturescience/images/fbxslxzr.jpg

    And the boreal chorus frog:

    Google Image Result for http://www.herpnet.net/Iowa-Herpetology/images/stories/amphibians/frogs_toads/Pseudacris_Chorus_Frog/Pseudacris_Chorus_frog.jpg

    I'm fairly sure it's a wood frog, those are the ones we see all over the park when we go. I've never seen one that looks like the boreal chorus frog.
    hauntinghelper's Avatar
    hauntinghelper Posts: 2,854, Reputation: 290
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    #11

    Jun 24, 2013, 02:06 PM
    Odinn made a great point about the Chlorine in the water though. Amphibians, especially, are sensitive to a lot more than other animals because of their skin membrane. Just don't let the water become stagnate. I'm curious... how big are the tadpoles?
    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
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    #12

    Jun 24, 2013, 02:09 PM
    So the park has two species of frog, the wood frog:

    Google Image Result for http://www.nps.gov/dena/naturescience/images/fbxslxzr.jpg

    And the boreal chorus frog:

    Google Image Result for http://www.herpnet.net/Iowa-Herpetology/images/stories/amphibians/frogs_toads/Pseudacris_Chorus_Frog/Pseudacris_Chorus_frog.jpg

    I'm fairly sure it's a wood frog, those are the ones we see all over the park when we go. I've never seen one that looks like the boreal chorus frog.
    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
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    #13

    Jun 24, 2013, 02:12 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by hauntinghelper View Post
    Odinn made a great point about the Chlorine in the water though. Amphibians, especially, are sensitive to a lot more than other animals because of their skin membrane. Just don't let the water become stagnate. I'm curious...how big are the tadpoles?
    Thanks hauntinghelper. I have cholorine drops for my aquarium, would that be safe to use for the water the tadpoles will be in? Right now they're still in the water from the lake we got them from.

    They're really tiny. I'd say around 4 milimeters including the tail.
    hauntinghelper's Avatar
    hauntinghelper Posts: 2,854, Reputation: 290
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    #14

    Jun 24, 2013, 03:19 PM
    The drops should work just fine. I'd take care of the water first before they are added to it though. In all reality they would probably do just fine in tap water... but I like to play it safe and little guys like that have a special place in my heart :)

    Being that size they are very likely either wood frog or American toad tadpoles.
    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
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    #15

    Jun 24, 2013, 04:27 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by hauntinghelper View Post
    The drops should work just fine. I'd take care of the water first before they are added to it though. In all reality they would probably do just fine in tap water....but I like to play it safe and little guys like that have a special place in my heart :)

    Being that size they are very likely either wood frog or American toad tadpoles.
    Our tap water has a lot of chlorine added, that's why I was thinking about buying bottled water. But I can add the drops, wait a day or two. Right now they seem to be very happy in their little environment with their original water. They're swimming around like crazy. I fed them a bit of fish flakes, and it's gone so I guess they must have chowed down. There are a few other things in the water, very very small bugs of some sort.

    I did read on one site that if you pour tap water into the tank and leave it in the sun for 5 or 6 days, the chlorine evaporates. Is that just a myth?

    We've been going to this national park since I was a child, and every year my dad helped me catch tadpoles and bring them home. But he cared for them, so I really have no idea how he went about it. They always did very well. My dad had a separate aquarium for the frogs, it was quite the setup.

    Silly question. Once they're full grown what do they eat? Flies?

    My kids are so excited about this. My daughter studied frogs in science this year, so it's still all in her head, and she can't wait to see them grow up.

    Oh, they have names. Tad and George.
    ma0641's Avatar
    ma0641 Posts: 15,681, Reputation: 1012
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    #16

    Jun 24, 2013, 06:11 PM
    Think about the comment "they die in winter". And they procreate by?? Do some migrate to warmer climes? Do southern frogs come north to help fill in the gap of dead northern frogs? Of course they live, they just hibernate in the water and mud. I have seen frogs, fish and turtles frozen in ice, still alive. Ice never gets below 32 so it is colder outside the water. Google "amphibian hibernation".
    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
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    #17

    Jun 24, 2013, 06:14 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by ma0641 View Post
    Think about the comment "they die in winter". And they procreate by??? Do some migrate to warmer climes? Do southern frogs come north to help fill in the gap of dead northern frogs?? Of course they live, they just hibernate in the water and mud. I have seen frogs, fish and turtles frozen in ice, still alive. Ice never gets below 32 so it is colder outside the water. Google "amphibian hibernation".
    Thanks ma, after I posted that, I looked up what sort of frogs they have in the park I got them from, and found out more info. They do indeed hibernate in the winter.

    Either way, I'm not going to beat myself up because I took 2 tadpoles from the millions in the water. That's why I posted what I did, to clarify to the person that posted that I should return them, that I shouldn't have taken them, that they're not going to have a bad life living with me. :)
    teacherjenn4's Avatar
    teacherjenn4 Posts: 3,995, Reputation: 468
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    #18

    Jun 24, 2013, 06:23 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Alty View Post
    Thanks ma, after I posted that, I looked up what sort of frogs they have in the park I got them from, and found out more info. They do indeed hibernate in the winter.

    Either way, I'm not going to beat myself up because I took 2 tadpoles from the millions in the water. That's why I posted what I did, to clarify to the person that posted that I should return them, that I shouldn't have taken them, that they're not going to have a bad life living with me. :)
    I wouldn't stress, Alty. We used to do it all of the time. We have a river across the road near our house. Some years, we put them back, others we took them to school. I figure many starve or are run over by cars. They will have a great life with you. :)
    odinn7's Avatar
    odinn7 Posts: 7,691, Reputation: 1547
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    #19

    Jun 24, 2013, 06:43 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Alty View Post

    I did read on one site that if you pour tap water into the tank and leave it in the sun for 5 or 6 days, the chlorine evaporates. Is that just a myth?

    Silly question. Once they're full grown what do they eat? Flies?
    Chlorine will usually be gone within 24 hours if you leave it in an open container.

    Full grown they will eat meal worms and probably crickets.
    ma0641's Avatar
    ma0641 Posts: 15,681, Reputation: 1012
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    #20

    Jun 24, 2013, 07:09 PM
    Enjoy them, watch them change, let them out in the yard and they will be fine eating earthworms, insects and spiders. Sleep well mon ami.

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