You can gather tadpoles from a pond and raise them indoors to watch them turn into froglets. This is not only interesting but also gives the tiny frogs a head start in life. Because amphibians worldwide are under a variety of threats, including habitat destruction, pollution and infections, you could be helping local wildlife in a very practical way. Raising tadpoles also makes a simple science project.
Place a layer of gravel, sand or mud across the bottom of a fish tank.
Stack up rocks on one side until they are close to the top of the tank. This provides a landing area for the froglets later on.
Fill the tank with water, leaving some of the rocks above the surface. You can use pond, rain or tap water. If you use tap water, let it to stand in a bucket for a day to dechlorinate.
Add aquatic plants, ideally from the same pond you plan to take the tadpoles from.
Allow the tank to settle for a day or longer.
Scoop up tadpoles or frogspawn with a plastic container. Handling or netting tadpoles damages them.
Release the tadpoles into your tank.
Exchange up to a third of the tank water for pond water every couple of days to feed the tadpoles. You can also feed them lettuce, algae or pondweed when they are small and, when they are bigger, small water creatures or pieces of meat. Tadpoles often become more carnivorous as they grow. However you feed the tadpoles, change part of the water about once a week to keep the tank clean.
Scoop up the frogs once the tadpoles have metamorphosed and release them close to where you caught the tadpoles.
Take photographs of your tadpoles as they grow for a record.
If you got the tadpoles from a pet supplier, do not release the little frogs unless you are certain they are a native species. Introduced species can be a serious problem for local wildlife. Instead, keep the frogs in a terrarium, sell them back to the supplier or contact animal services for advice.
Things you need
- Gravel, sand or mud
- Fish tank
- Aquatic plants
- Plastic container
- Meaty food