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very slow growing tadpoles

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chubsta View Drop Down
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    Posted: 18 Jul 2017 at 4:27pm
After the devastation of what appeared to be an air-borne pollutant that killed 90% of my tadpoles this Spring i was very pleased to see that quite a few survived.

However, I have not seen any froglets at all in my garden yet, there are only a handful of tadpoles with rear legs, and the vast majority are still pretty small.

My recollection as to growth rates is pretty poor but surely i they should have left the pond already? The weather here in the South East corner has been consistently dry and very very warm (apparently we are now classed as Semi-desert due to our particular climate) for the last few months so surely they should have matured much quicker than they have?

What state are everyone else tadpoles in at this point?
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will View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2017 at 9:22am
I always have a few stragglers that get to the hind limb stage and then seem to give up, but the vast majority are long gone (Hertfordshire).  Maybe overcrowding has slowed things down? (even though you lost 90% at the start I guess that would still leave plenty?)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2017 at 2:10pm
We had a few survivors of our pesticide disaster, around 40-50 and all grew to a good size and are long gone. 

I buy cubes of freeze dried tubifex and feed them to ensure they do not need to start on each other and food availability is never a problem. 

I did many home visits in the past where people were concerned about tadpole growth. In most cases there was no visible food supply for the tadpoles, hence the stunted growth. I also did a couple of call outs involving concerns over unusually  large tadpoles. In both cases they were common frogs but the tiny ponds they were in had huge populations of tubifex Smile

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chubsta View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chubsta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2017 at 7:28pm
Still plenty of tadpoles with no legs, and the pond is heaving with weed at the moment so can't see food being an issue to them. Very odd...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Aug 2017 at 11:24am
They switch to being carnivorous. Weed provided algae as food early in their life, then they want meat! 

It could be there is a lack of readily available protein in the pond. Hence why we feed ours tubifex cubes.

Try it anyway, we get massive fat tadpoles feeding them a few cubes each day, in fact as much as they will eat. I think the larger size gives them a better chance as froglets too.

It is normal that some tadpoles always are stragglers and smaller and some scientific evidence to suggest this is actually caused as a direct influence by the larger tadpoles. With an unlimited  protein supply though the small ones soon catch up. Wink


Edited by GemmaJF - 11 Aug 2017 at 11:26am
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chubsta View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chubsta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 2017 at 5:39pm
Didn't realise they were meat eaters, that would perhaps be an issue as the pond was cleared earlier in the year so is perhaps lacking in life. Of course, now it is heaving with snails and shrimps but i am not really seeing much in the way of what i would call the freshwater equivalent of plankton, although i did see a very odd red ball about the size of a pinhead making its way quickly across the pond this afternoon, no idea what that was.

However, I did notice a lack of tadpoles coming up for air today, and when sorting out some stuff for hogs in the 'wild area' at the top of the garden I saw half a dozen tiny froglets so at least some have made it!

Very pleased with the ponds progress, not much to look at and certainly not a patch on Gemma's but the weed has suddenly started growing very well, about 10 different species i think and there are plenty of dragon flies and damsel flies seeming to lay eggs, the snails too are absolutely everywhere, the water is crystal clear and the duckweed hasn't come back. Not too bad when i think what a disaster it was this time last year, basically just a stagnant puddle...

Is there anything i can stock to encourage the organisms that tadpoles would eat, would be nice to have a bit of a head start on next year?


Edited by chubsta - 13 Aug 2017 at 5:40pm
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GemmaJF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 2017 at 8:34pm
I would make a guess that key natural sources of protein other than each other for tadpoles are Daphnia and Tubifex worms. Ponds can really vary with the amounts they carry of these species from year to year for so many reasons that it would be difficult to artificially ensure good populations of either. Hence why I just bung in the freeze dried cubes each day.

A candidate for your red pinhead would be a red water mite

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