Caring for Tadpoles
Learn how to care for tapoles. Step-by-step instrutions to raising a tadpole.
While in early stages a frog is called a tadpole. With a circular body and a long tail the tadpole resembles a fish. Within a few weeks it begins to grow its back legs, and its gills morph into lungs. Not long after a tadpoles back legs sprout, its front legs will begin to grow, and its body will slowly thin out forming the shape of a frog. A tadpole, after it gets all four of its legs, will begin absorbing its tail, having changed completely into a frog.
What you'll need to raise a tadpole:
- Some sort of container with a lid and air holes
- A small fish net
- Bottled spring water
- Source of land: rocks, wood, ect…
- Lettuce or plain-dry dog food
Tadpoles come accustom to living in captivity rather easily. You can catch or buy a tadpole and it will still have a healthy, happy life.
How to feed your tadpole:
Frogs are unable to eat insects this early in their life, so we have to replace insects with lettuce or plain-dry dog food. Don't worry; your tadpole will be perfectly happy eating this.
Feeding your tadpole using lettuce - Lettuce is the easiest way to feed your tadpole. If you use lettuce you'll have to peel a small piece of lettuce off of the head and let it float in the water, repeat this when gone.
Feeding your tadpole using dry dog food - when using dry dog food you have to allow a piece to soak in water until squishy. Your tadpole will pick off of the soaking dog food until it's gone. After the dog food has been completely eaten, add another piece.
Changing tank water - You should change the water in your tadpole's container twice every week. This will help your tadpole make it to adulthood. When empting water out of the container you should:
- Fill a jar about ¼ of the way full (use the same water from your tadpoles original container.)
- Use your fish net to remove the tadpole from original container. Now gently place it in the jar that you have just prepared.
- Remover all old water from container and fill it up with new clean water. Try to make the new water about the same temp as the old water.
- After you have finished pure your tadpole into a zipper-baggie (make about half full with water and the other half air), zip the baggie, and allow it to float in the containers water for about 15 minutes.
- After the 15 minutes are over, pure your tadpole (along with the water in the zipper-baggie) back into the container.
Stages of a tadpole's life and how to care for it:
If you buy/find your tadpole while it's still at an early age, you won't need to worry about any land source, right now. While still in a young age the tadpole lives in water breathing through gills - this stage will last until the back legs sprout. If you're not sure how old the tadpole is then it would be best to keep a land source in the water at all times, but make sure you leave enough room for it to swim. There have been a couple cases where a tadpole gets all four legs during night, and they end up drowning because no land source had been provided.
After weeks have passed your tadpole should now have tiny back legs - this is the sign that he'll be getting his lungs soon.
You should add some source of land when your tadpole's legs are easily visible to you; this means your tadpole's lungs are almost completely developed. Your tadpole should be taking frequent breaths out of the water by this time. You should make sure the water level in your container is about 3-4" high, it'll be easier for your tadpole to breathe. This would be the best time to place land source in the container if you haven't already done so.
About a week or two, after the tadpole's back legs have developed, the tadpole's front legs will, literally, pop out. The lungs will be fully developed after its front legs are out.
Now that your frog has all four legs it will start absorbing its tail - this process will take about 3 or 4 days, your frog won't have much of an appetite during this time.
Congratulations! You have successfully raised a tadpole all the way to adulthood, and now the fun begins. If you decide to keep your frog during adulthood you'll need: a bigger tank, more land, and a lot more swimming space.
Feeding and caring for you frog:
Feeding - frogs will eat: crickets, grasshoppers, worms, maggots, gnats, flies, ants, and a lot more. Add a couple bugs to the frogs tank every couple of days. Crickets and grasshoppers will last a little longer in the tank before your frog eats all of them.
Caring - The care of a frog's not much different from how it was during the tadpole stage of life. You should change the water out of the tank 2 or 3 times every week.
I wish you the best of luck with your new pet frog.