How to Care for & Feed Frogs & Tadpoles

Updated April 17, 2017

Raising tadpoles and frogs requires some skill, but with a bit of attention and care, you can create the environment for a strong and healthy amphibian. The average tadpole takes six to nine weeks to develop into a frog, though they can take as long as eight months if the water is cold. Development also depends on the type of frog your tadpole will become.

Use fresh and clean water in your tadpole or frog's home. If you are using tap water, let it stand for about 5 to 7 days to allow the chlorine to evaporate. You can also buy dechlorinating drops from pet stores that carry fish. Even if you use these drops, make sure you leave the water out for at least 12 hours. Small amounts of chlorine can be deadly to tadpoles and frogs.

Put your tadpole in the aquatic environment covered about three-quarters by shade. Make sure there are no oleanders or pine trees around, as the needles and leaves from these plants will kill tadpoles and are not healthy for frogs.

Feed your tadpoles lettuce. Boil the lettuce for 10 to 15 minutes and freeze it in an ice cube tray. Most ponds require about one frozen cube of lettuce every two days. Or you can give the tadpoles a pinch of frozen lettuce every two days if you have a small pond or an aquarium. If the water becomes dirty, decrease the amount of lettuce. Too much food with make the water dirty and not enough will make the tadpoles attack each other.

Give your tadpoles a perch to rest on, such as a lily pad. They will need this once they develop legs. In this in-between stage, your frog will not be big enough to eat crickets, and it will be too big to eat lettuce. Try feeding it small insects or bloodworms, which you can buy from fish-carrying pet stores. Once your frog is almost fully grown, feed it approximately one cricket per day, depending on the size of your frog.

Place a few Blue Eyes fish in the water if you have a larger outdoor pond that might become the breeding ground for mosquitoes. These fish don`t hurt frogs, but they eat mosquito larvae.

Things You'll Need

  • Aquarium
  • Fishbowl
  • Plastic garbage bin
  • Paddling pool or garden pool
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About the Author

Phillip Woolgar has been a reporter since 2008 in communities throughout western Canada. His work has appeared in Canadian national publications such as the "Globe and Mail" and the "Vancouver Sun." In 2009, he received second-place recognition in the Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association's Excellence in Arts and Culture writing category. Woolgar graduated from the Langara College Journalism Diploma program in 2008.