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inherited a jar of tadpoles

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SarahGG View Drop Down
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    Posted: 11 Jun 2003 at 2:37pm

It's not actually a jar - rather a small plastic bucket submerged in the ground & partly shaded by plants. I "inheritated" it from the previous owners of the house I've just moved into. I found this little bucket in the garden - full of approx. 12 (? poss. more) tadpoles. The people living here previously had young kids so I'm guessing they might have collected the spawn from elsewhere & brought it home.

The tadpoles are looking fat & very lively, some have tiny back legs. The water is greenish & slightly murky, has a large stone in it (presumably for emergent froglets!), is topped up with rainwater every time it rains & sheltered from direct sun so it's not a bad set-up (??)

Should I feed them? If so, what & how much? Should I transport them to a more suitable habitat? Just leave them alone? I guess they don't stand an enormous chance of adding significantly to the common frog population, but I'd rather not have them die in my back garden just because of my own ignorance!

Thanks,

Sarah

p.s. I'm in Bristol. We seem to have loads of frogs here, even right in the city centre. In spring I often see frogs (or are they toads?) mating with abandon in the middle of the pavements. In the previous house I lived in we were constantly visited by common frogs in the garden throughout the summer.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alan Hyde Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jun 2003 at 4:11pm

hi Sarah

 

My only concern is the bucket. As they develop further the frogs may not be able to climb out ,then they will drown as the become exhausted.

If pos' transfer the taddies to a flatter container and place some rocks up against the edge so the can climb out. A good idea is to put the container next to some bushy plant growth so they can escape and hide straight away . Oh Yeah, and use the same water they are already in.

Good luck

Alan

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SarahGG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 2003 at 12:33pm

Thanks Alan.

The bucket is completely submerged in the ground and water level is at ground level. There is a stone placed at the edge of the bucket (in the water) that sticks out of the water for easy exit. This seems to meet requirements, but I will be keeping an eye out & will take action if there seems to be a problem.

Question about food:

My boyfriend insists tadpoles need to be fed bacon (didn't I ever do this when keeping tadpoles in jars at school, he asks? No, I didn't!). I can't believe bacon is suitable tadpole food, but sure enough on picking some dead leaves out this morning from what I generously think of as the miniature pond I found what I thought to be a large leaf only to discover it was a piece of bacon fat gone green with algae!! The previous owners had obviously heard about tadpoles and bacon too. Please advise. Should I continue them on this diet? Or buy fish food? Or get some kind of water insect for them from a pet shop/aquarian?? Or do nothing & let them feed on whatever they can find (each other?)? Sorry if this is now becoming ridiculous for the sake of a dozen tads.

(thought: I might contact the previous owners and find out if the tads were spawned there or moved by human hand. If the latter perhaps I should return them to origin?).

Sarah

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 2003 at 12:49pm

Hi Sarah,

This issue came up earlier in the year about feeding taddies, here's a summary.

If the taddies are growing well there is no need to add any food at all.

They do better without protein in the early stages of development. If supplements are needed go for defrosted frozen spinach (they love it)

Some protein can be given as well as the spinach once the back legs are developed, my suggestion would be chopped up earthworms though fish pellets are popular.

Alans point about the shear sides of the container is important. At froglet stage frogs are poor swimmers and drown very easily. A rock may not be enough.

I would go for a large shallow container like a cat litter tray and build one side up with some soil to give a gentle slope and allow very easy exit.

Hope that helps

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alan Hyde Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 2003 at 12:50pm

Hello Sarah,

This sounds good, at least they should be able to climb out . The other reasons I mentioned a wider flatter containers is for warmth . Your tad's sound as if they're doing fine , so no worries but, If the pool is wider and shallower the tad's can bask , get warmer , and will develop faster.

Many years ago I used to feed captive tadpoles ham and bacon . It's true what your boyfriend says , they will eat this and do ok. However , these days I prefer to feed our tadpoles flaked fish food, and as David bird mentioned on another thread Spinich (Though I've not tried the later myself yet).

Take care, and please keep us informed ,

Alan.

PS In no way do I feel it is ridiculous . I do all I can to make sure as many of our tadpoles make it to frogs .

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alan Hyde Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 2003 at 12:52pm
Ah Hi Gemma! Typing at the same time again
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 2003 at 12:53pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SarahGG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jun 2003 at 1:22pm
Hi again,

I located the previous thread in which tadpole care was discussed: this was v. interesting, thanks for the tip.

Just wanted to give an update on how the tadpoles are doing. I stopped feeding them bacon as there are now quite a few little insecty larvaey things living in the "pond" with them & plenty of algae, & I didn't want them turning into froglets prematurely.

I only got around to doing this yesterday, but I have now transferred them as suggested to a shallow container with stones, mud & a stone gravel "beach" at one end. They certainly seem to enjoy basking in the shallows.

Question:
The new container is metal (large old roasting tin) - is this OK? I didn't think of this in advance but I am now concerned it may become too hot. It is 2/3 shaded by overgrowth, & has mud/stones etc. as mentioned, which i hope will help regulate the temperature. I hope it's OK as I don't think the tads will appreciate being moved again.

Another question/observation:
Before I tranferred them yesterday, I spotted a frogpole hopping/slithering around on the ground just outside the bucket that was their old home (it was this that pricked my conscience & made me finally do the tranferral!). The frogpole had 4 perfectly formed tiny legs & a frog-like angular shape to its nose & colouring, but it was still a very tiny thing & retained a complete tail - I was surprised to see it hopping about on land at such an early stage of metamorphosis although it seemed reasonably "at home". As a kid we had a pond inhabited by frogs & I used to watch them develop every summer - I don't remember seeing them on land until they were froglets with a stump of a tail at most but perhaps this is because I wasn't as observant as I now like to think! I popped the frogpole into the new shallow "pond" once I'd made it habitable, & there it seemed happy to stay (there are several at the same stage of development). Why was it on land? Is this normal, or do you think this one may accidentally have jumped/slipped out of the bucket, or escaped from a hungry bird, & then found itself unable to get back into the bucket? Or do they start living an amphibious life quite early on & become fully land-dwelling only once fully frog-formed? They are really fascinating creatures!

Sarah
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jun 2003 at 4:30pm
Hi Sarah, the tail is absorbed remarkably quickly, so yes you do sometimes see frogpoles hopping about in the margins, within as a little as 24 hours it will be absorbed to just the more familiar stump.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SarahGG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jul 2003 at 5:52pm
Hi,
Thanks Gemma for the info.
Final update: happy news! small froglets spotted yesterday after the rain, popping under the boundaries at the margins of the garden! They were looking impossibly tiny, perfect & vulnerable - I wish them lots of luck, they're going to need it with all the concrete & blackbirds in this part of the city centre. Am thinking of establishing a weeny pond in case any survive & come back to spawn next year, but is a long shot I fear.
Thanks all for your help & advice, glad I could do my best for them.
SarahGG x
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