View Full Version : Need Help from anyone that has Raised tadpoles to toads/frogs

03-21-2016, 10:47 AM
yesterday my 4 kids and I happened upon a very small puddle on a granite outcrop that had hundreds of tadpoles in it. With this week's upcoming weather forecast, I determined the ultimate rate of success for the tadpoles in that small puddle were quite low. It is highly atypical for me to intervene with nature, however, this time I felt that it would be a reasonable opportunity to try to raise tadpoles in captivity. We brought about 15 home. I set up a 2.5g tank with well rinsed play sand, a piece of drift wood and abundant christmas moss from my planted tank, and tap water treated with prime. I drip acclimated the tadpoles in a separate container for 6 hours. I then moved them over to the holding tank. They acclimated very well. They seem to be foraging to eat and their behavior seems on par with normal movements and behavior I saw in the tiny puddle. All in all, day one has gone really well. I am concerned about keeping them fed and keeping the water quality up. It is my understanding they like stagnant water. I started a sponge filter in my 75G planted tank in efforts to get it primed with beneficial bacteria to place in to a 10G tank to move them in to later should I need to. I also considered grabbing some mulm from nearby creek as a possible food source. Also, I put mason jars of water in the backyard to begin fostering mosquito larvae to feed them once they bump up their food source. I really don't want to bring them home and flat out be responsible for killing them ;). My oldest son is a huge amphibian and reptile fan. It would be a great experience for him if I can get this right.

questions: what to feed? Water quality?


03-21-2016, 12:51 PM
First question is how large are the tadpoles and do you know what type? My daughter found a tiny tadpole in a swimming pool once and brought it home. Is was in a pool with chlorine and salt in it and the tadpole seem to have done ok but I am not sure if he would have survived long term. He had probably just hatched. We manage to raise it to adulthood and it turned out to be a Spring Peeper and I have raised ADFs before. But a bull frog or larger species would be harder to raise especially in a small tank. Green water is a good way to start. Micro worms, banana worms, vinegar eels and later on grindal worms would also work well. The grindal worms once the tadpoles morphed into frogs or got larger. I raise my AFDs on these. But when they were really small what worked best was keeping them in a small tank with a couple of apple snails and feeding the snails really well. Their poop contained micro organisms that newly hatched tadpole will eat. You can also boil or microwave some lettuce, put it in a glass jar, fill it with tank water and set that container in direct sunlight to start some green water.
All the other things I can think of you are already doing. If they are a type of tree frogs, peepers etc. or other land frogs you need to make sure that when they start to morph you will lower the water to make some of the driftwood reach above the water line so they can climb onto the wood. But be sure you have a tight fitting lid on the tank as they will escape otherwise. Once they have reached that stage you can release them into the woods.
I did not use a filter but an airstone to keep the water from getting a slimy film on top. In nature wind will do that but inside a house you need an airstone for air exchange.
BTW your colony of blue bees is still doing good and keeping a steady number going. I recently added some blue velvets to their tank and since then had some really odd looking shrimp show up. I am not sure if they are a cross breed as it is considered very unlikely that they will cross breed. I was also told that even if they would the off spring would be infertile, but one of the pale blue females with red splotches is berried. I can wait to see what the kids turn out to look like. I just love experiments.

03-21-2016, 02:24 PM
I seem to remember trying this when I was a kid and tadpoles ate flake and sinking pellets just fine.

03-22-2016, 11:41 AM
Last time I rescued tadpoles, my basement was full of jumping baby frogs a few months later... I just put the tadpoles in a 20L with plants and small fish (endlers, cardinal tetras etc)... did not feed anything special.

03-24-2016, 08:26 AM
Thanks for the info and your time to reply! So far it is going quite well. I added more pond snails after reading above about the apple snails. I added more moss to keep those tiny bits of mulm-ish food in ample supply. I'm thinking I may set up the 10g this weekend with the sponge filter I'm seasoning in my 75g. When they start needing air and some land it will be easier to accommodate that in a larger tank.

Do you think crushed algae tab powder is a decent food source or is it just going to foul the water?

03-24-2016, 08:28 AM
VERY COOL about the blue bees. That makes me so happy. :) I'm setting up my 15g shrimp tank again soon. I'll check with you first to see what you might have available when the time comes.