Tadpole Equipment For Breeding Healthy Tadpoles
Raising tadpoles can be fun and educational especially for small children who will love to watch as the Tadpoles change into frogs right before their eyes! Breeding tadpoles is very different from other kinds of pets or even fish. When you have fish in a tank they will forever remain a fish and will not turn into something else over the course of time. That’s the fun of raising Tadpoles, watching them change from one form to another!
Before you can bring your Tadpoles home, you need to set up what will be their home for the next few weeks/months. So first thing first, where are they going to live?
The first step in Tadpole care is finding a suitably sized container to house them depending on how many Tadpoles you choose to raise. A garden pond or a child’s swimming/paddling pool would be ideal for a large number of tadpoles but a smaller aquarium would be best if you are planning on raising a few. A good rule to follow is one Tadpole per litre of water. Though your choices are many, the single most important factor is that the container be free of any chemicals or cleaning products as this will be poisonous to the baby frogs. Avoid metal containers or ones that are coated with either porcelain or enamel. You can use a common glass aquarium, but it might be heavier to move for cleaning. Shorter and wider containers are usually better than long and taller as they tend to be better for oxygen. Containers with removable lids and door openings are very handy and of course you will want the sides to be clear enough that you can watch the Tadpoles develop. If you have collected your tadpoles from a stream you may want to use an aerator but if you found them in a stagnant pool of water, for example a garden container you could likely do without aeration.
After filling the container with water, you can add aquatic plants to provide your little Tadpoles with oxygen, food (algae) and places to hide. To help the plants survive it’s important to give them a little bit of sun each day – but no more than a couple of hours. Your Tadpoles will also benefit from a little sun as it helps them get their vitamin D which aids in processing calcium. The remainder of the time keep your Tadpoles in partial shade. You can add sand or aquarium gravel to the bottom of your tank but this isn’t necessary in the initial stages and may make your tank harder to clean. As your Tadpoles grow larger and start to develop legs you will need to add either large rocks or a gravel beach to provide a place for them to leave the water.
Tadpoles have gills just like fish and they need clean water to thrive. Rainwater is best and is relatively easy to collect by putting out clean buckets or using a rain barrel. It’s a very easy task if you live in England but maybe not so easy in other parts of the world where it doesn’t rain quite so much! You can use clean, fresh tap water but avoid doing so if your home has copper water pipes. You will need to add fresh water regularly (taking care not to overfill your container) make sure you don’t overfeed your Tadpoles as uneaten food will dirty your water. The water doesn’t need to be crystal clear but you should be able to easily see the bottom of the container. You can purchase an ammonia test kit either online or from a pet shop to monitor the water to make sure it’s safe for your Tadpoles. Some of the food you feed your Tadpoles will change the colour of the water so you might want to take that into consideration as well. You can use an aquarium net to remove any debris, just be careful not to scoop out the little guys!
It is highly recommended that the water is changed frequently (ie once a week) and be careful not to overfeed as this could contribute to dirty water. To clean the tank you will need to collect the Tadpoles in a small bag and once the tank is clean and refilled, place the Tadpoles (still in the bag) back into the water, allowing them acclimatise to the new water. After about an hour you can remove them from the bag and let the Tadpoles swim freely in fresh water.