How to Successfully Keep Your New Tadpole
Aqualand’s inside info on the larvae of various Anurans
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Exactly 307 tadpoles vying to get into the picture.
Cost. Never expensive. Most goldfish farms want to get rid of these potential fish eaters, so they ship them out at a low price. The bullfrog tadpoles cost a bit more, but tadpoles cost less than 90% of the fishes on the market. When these tadpoles grow into bullfrogs, they eat fish – lots of fish.
Food. In the wild, these guys eat algae, plant leaves, and anything else they find on the bottom. In captivity, tadpoles eat the same thing (if they have to) but prefer fish food – a much more nutritious menu. Oddly enough, they do best in planted aquaria. They enjoy chewing on plant leaves a little bit but much prefer fish food. Tadpoles grow much faster in captivity than in the wild.
Good Competers. Tadpoles can smell food in the water. They quickly learn to swim to the top and skim food off the surface. They turn over and swim belly-up to reach the floating flakes.
Good Mixers. Tadpoles get along with anything except predatory fishes, such as oscars. Nippy fish can torture them but most dislike their taste. They try them once and spit them right back out. The tadpole does not always survive this taste test.
Toad Tadpoles: You find these little black tadpoles -- Toad Tadpoles -- most often in shallow, temporary pools – even a tire track in a dirt road. Full-grown toad tadpoles max out at about one inch. Since they stay tadpoles only six weeks, you will never see them for sale. Female toads in captivity will spew out thousands of eggs.
Bullfrog Tadpoles. Bullfrog tadpoles grow twice the size of regular frog tadpoles and take at least two years to change into frogs. They morph quicker in your tank than in the wild. You feed them better and keep them warm all winter.
Water. Aged tap water works fine. Add NovAqua to remove the chlorine and any heavy metals. Dropping them straight into your aquarium with your fish works fine. Tadpoles grow best when uncrowded.
Breeding. Most North American anurans (toads and frogs) hibernate during the winter. They breed in communal ponds shortly after the spring thaw. Males attract females by singing the Budweiser song. Females lay their eggs in a protective jelly-like mass.
Metamorphosis. Everyone enjoys watching tadpoles develop their legs, absorb their tails, grow great big eyes (and great big mouths) and turn into frogs. How long does this take? They’re on their own schedule. You cannot watch the process too often. Unfortunately, frogs are harder to keep than tadpoles. They eat only live prey (and most will eat your fishes). Most frogs kept in regular aquaria sooner or later tire of swimming and drown. They need something to crawl out on -- anything.
Other Comments. On the average, frog tadpoles make an interesting addition to most aquaria and terraria. They will not harm other creatures and add variety to any community tank. LA.
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