Raising Tadpoles

raising some tadpoles that I rescued from my ditch

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I didn't have the opportunity to raise tadpoles till around 2018 due to not having standing water usually lasting for more than a day or two at most. This is my most recent round of raising tadpoles, I tried earlier this year to raise one from an egg, but apparently it wasn't actually a tadpole egg.

I've never raised tadpoles this young before, so hopefully things will still go well for the most part as they have in the past.  For feed, I'll be using what I've used in previous classes, some crushed box turtle food.  When they're almost ready to leave the water I'll transfer them into an animal container.  I've got what I think are some tadpole eggs this time in another jar, hopefully they will hatch.

The tadpoles are likely green tree frog tadpoles (all the previous classes, turned out to be green tree frogs.)

  • All still going well

    mcu_nerda day ago 0 comments

    Not too much to report.  Everyone appears to still be doing well and continue to grow, still at a considerably slower pace than the older members. They're all still fairly calm compared to how the older members were.

  • Yup, I'm really thinking these are very likely not Eastern Spadefoot tadpoles

    mcu_nerd5 days ago 0 comments

    The rest of the class seems to be in no rush to grow up, and that's fine by me.  The younger members are now around the age the older ones which were getting their front legs out, and I see little to nothing indicating back legs are forming yet.  These guys might be Green Tree Frog tadpoles.  

    The 4th Amigo decided to wear a leaf hat(and a short video clip of it):

    I also did some more videos. I knocked down the FPS to 30, allowing more light per frame.  Video is a bit less smooth but you can see the tadpoles better.

    First clip is of the 4th Amigo.  If you watch closely you can see small particles going into his mouth so while it appears that he's just doing nothing, he's apparently eating. Second clip is some of the other class members.

  • Happenings with the younger class members

    mcu_nerd07/06/2020 at 20:12 0 comments

    The ones other than the 4th Amigo, have been split into two jars, with 3 in one jar, and 2 in another to give them more space. Weren't there 6 in that jar originally? Yes, but sadly one of them passed away during the weekend.  It's not the first time I've had that happen.  I've noticed that all of the younger class members don't constantly eat, they're often just relaxing so that makes me think that unlike the older members that graduated, these aren't Eastern Spadefoot toads.  I also made some more romaine lettuce mush this morning.

    First photo is that of the Fourth Amigo. The second is that of on of the others.

  • The end and also the beginning (graduation of the older class members)

    mcu_nerd07/05/2020 at 03:01 0 comments

    We had quite the celebration.  We cooked some good hot dogs on the grill and after dusk everyone celebrated the graduation with fireworks, totally not because it happened to be the 4th of July.  

    We even had a guest of honor (that was the guest of honor whether he wanted to be or not.)

    On a more serious note I knew after they got their front legs out, the day would be soon upon me.  It's both a happy and a sad day. Sad to have to let them go after raising them from tiny tadpoles to froglets; they felt like members of the family.  Happy that they made it to the point that they can take care of themselves. I of course knew from the start that they would be returning to great outdoors to start the next chapter of their lives.  My objective was to give them a chance to survive and grow as the ditch they were rescued from would have dried up (and it did) long before they could get to the stage that they could survive without it. I'll pray that they may be safe and prosper. 

    I would have liked to keep one or two of them for a bit longer and watch them grow, but I'm not sure what exactly they would like that would be small enough for them to eat, but also not easily escape the containers.  If anyone has any advice on what to feed them as froglets, I would be most appreciative as I could give it a try when the younger members that are still tadpoles become froglets. From my reading, when they enter the froglet stage for the first few days, they mostly consume their trails for nourishment. 

    Some notes and observations:

    They may not be green tree frogs, but they can still climb pretty well. The ones that had containers to themselves (The Lone Ranger and Bubbles) were a bit larger than the Three Amigos that were all in one container.  

    They grew from tiny tadpoles to froglets in around two weeks.

    They really seemed to like the Romaine Lettuce mush. When they got older, they also really took to the crushed turtle food.

    They did fine without me having to blow bubbles in the containers to additional oxygen.

    Anyways, time for some photos and videos of them:

    The Lone Ranger:

    The Three Amigos(excluding the 4th Amigo):


    Video showing first each of the Three Amigos (minus the 4th Amigo), then The Lone Ranger, and finally Bubbles:

    Bubbles jumps out.

    Some more of one of the Three Amigos and Bubbles:

    It's not over yet though!

    We still have the younger members (including the 4th Amigo) that are still tadpoles. 

  • A little more of the Three Amigos (minus the 4th) before graduation

    mcu_nerd07/04/2020 at 20:07 0 comments

  • I think I may have figured out what they are

    mcu_nerd07/04/2020 at 13:49 0 comments

    After a bit of Googling, I believe they are Eastern Spadefoot toads.  If you compare the pattern on the back of one of the Three Amigos shown below to the image on this page, they seem to match up.   It's hard to get a good photo of the froglets that really shows this. Upon further reading, the Eastern Spadefoot toad tadpole stage lasts from 2-4 weeks which matches up with these fellas.  I've also read they tend to lay in temporary bodies of water after heavy rainfall which also lines up.  

    Side note: I wish HaD would increase the image file size limit.

  • Looks like my tadpole/froglets aren't Green Tree Frogs

    mcu_nerd07/04/2020 at 03:44 0 comments

    I looked up photos of past classes and compared them to this current class.  The current crop appears to be very much not Green Tree frogs.  From what I can tell for the older members (now all froglets) they have matching colors/markings/size so I'm pretty sure they're all the same species.  While some of them have gotten on their rocks, they haven't so far been climbing on the container walls.  The first photo is a froglet from a previous class in 2018. The second is from the current class(The Lone Ranger.)

    Yup they're different for sure. Now I just have to find out what species they are.

  • Moving day!

    mcu_nerd07/03/2020 at 16:44 0 comments

    As now all of the big kids have entered the froglet stage, I've transferred most of them into containers with shallower water and a rock to climb on. The Three Amigos also got put in an animal carrier with some water and a rock called Pinecone rock, named after the first tadpole I raised (and it was used by him.) The Fourth Amigo has the jar all to himself now.  The Lone Ranger got his own jar with a rock.

    A few things to note:

    As soon as their front legs come out, they apparently stop eating for the time being and their tails start to be consumed for nourishment.

    For jars, it's a good idea to cover the top and poke some holes. I find coffee filter paper works great.

    Anyways, on to the obligatory photos and videos, the first photo below is that of The Lone Ranger. The second is of one of the Three Amigos.  The last photo is that of the past and future staring at one another.

  • The front legs appearing marathon, Bubbles gets front legs

    mcu_nerd07/02/2020 at 20:13 0 comments

    Since all of the other big kids were getting theirs Bubbles wanted his, and got them.  I also checked again on the Three Amigos (plus One) jar and the last of the order member got his front legs as well.

  • Three Amigos (plus One) froglet stage

    mcu_nerd07/02/2020 at 17:23 0 comments

    Two out of the free older Three Amigos have their front legs out.  The Lone Ranger (just named the one in the vase) also has his front legs out.

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kristina panos wrote 06/30/2020 at 21:05 point

I've never raised tadpoles, so this is amazing to watch!

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mcu_nerd wrote 06/30/2020 at 21:33 point

Glad that you're enjoying it :)  When I first started to document it here, I wasn't sure if people would be interested. 

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Craig wrote 06/30/2020 at 00:56 point

About 55 years ago my brother decided to raise tadpoles --- in the baptismal at our church.  Once the tadpoles were discovered, it took the minister a very short amount of time to narrow it down who put them there.  Funny, but i don't remember what happened to them after that.  Probably just back into the irrigation ditch.

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mcu_nerd wrote 06/30/2020 at 18:39 point

Baptized tadpoles.  I bet your parents didn't let your brother forget about that for a while!

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Dan Maloney wrote 06/19/2020 at 23:22 point

I did that once when my kids were little! They had so much fun collecting the tadpoles and watching them grow in a shallow tub on the porch. Someone suggested frozen chopping lettuce was a good food for them, and they seemed to like it. Have fun!

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mcu_nerd wrote 06/30/2020 at 21:47 point

I used romaine lettuce and used  a mortar and pestle to make it into a mush.  People driving by probably thought I was nuts when they saw me at the ditch by the road with a net.

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