While many homeowners love to give attention to usual pets such as dogs and cats, some prefer raising amphibians at home. The experience can be memorable since raising a tadpole, for instance, allows you to witness the dramatic metamorphosis of a water creature to a land creature. Raising a tadpole can be both fascinating and fun. Here are some tips on how to get you started:
Create a suitable environment.
You can’t just raise tadpoles anywhere. Find a container such as a fishbowl, garden pond or aquarium. This container should have fresh water at all times. You can approach museums, wildlife agencies and frog groups to gather relevant information on the perfect breeding ground for your tadpole.
Fill the container only with clean and fresh water. If you will be using tap water, make sure to expose it to direct sunlight for five to seven days to remove chlorine. You can also buy de-chlorinating drops at your local pet stores. The container should have some sort of a shade so that the temperature is suitable for the tadpole.
Feed them properly.
Tadpoles are very easy to feed since they are vegetarians. They usually survive on algae, which grows naturally in self-sustaining pond ecosystems. You can also try feeding them a pinch of boiled lettuce every few days. To prepare the lettuce, rip the leaves into small bits and pieces and place them in a bowl. Cover them with boiling water and let cool.
As a supplement, you may want to feed them commercial fish food. Just make sure not to feed them excessively since they can grow way faster than you think. There should be no food after an hour since the pond can become foul so change the water frequently to maintain cleanliness.
Some tadpoles can develop into frogs in just six weeks while others remain in their tadpole stage for as long as eight months. Don’t worry and just be very patient since there are many factors involved such as food availability, tadpole density, breed, water temperature, among others. Studies also show that metamorphosis stops during the long cold months and will only start growing again in the warmer spring months.
If you think your frogs are developing legs, you can start building ledges to help them get out of the water. These ledges can be made of plastic or stones. When your newly-metamorphosed frogs have emerged from your container, allow them to find their way back by making sure that you have a frog-friendly garden with a landscape made of rocks, ground cover, mulch and logs.