How to purchase tadpoles for a school project
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Amphibians are some of the most unique creatures in the animal kingdom. The life cycle of an amphibian, which proceeds from egg to tadpole to adult, is utterly unique among animal organisms.
The development of amphibians is also compelling evidence for the aquatic origin of animal life, as the amphibian's life cycle progresses from a fishlike tadpole to a terrestrial creature. It is relatively easy to obtain amphibians for use in a science fair project, as they are available online as well as at pet stores. Proper care must be taken to ensure that tadpoles have sufficient food and a hospitable environment.
Visit malls and other shopping centres to get an idea of how many pet and aquarium stores are in your area. If you can find a store that specialises in amphibians, purchase from that store. Stores that do not specialise in amphibians are less likely to have employees who know how to care for tadpoles properly, so if it is possible, go with stores that are devoted to frogs and other amphibians.
Visit the pet shops in your area, and speak with the employees about their selection of tadpoles. Ask the employees what they feed the tadpoles, and how often they change the water in the tadpole aquarium. Tadpoles should be fed flake fish food or crushed algae tablets. Their water should be de-chlorinated. Buy only from stores that feed and hydrate their tadpoles properly.
Shop for tadpoles online if you cannot find any suitable tadpoles in a store. It is better to purchase tadpoles from an online source than from an unreliable in-store source. If the employees at stores in your area can't tell you the conditions in which they keep their tadpoles, go with an online source that specialises in tadpoles. Sites like Aquarium Fish and Nature's Gift Store specialise in tadpoles, and have many live specimens for sale. They are shipped promptly, and rarely run into trouble on the way to their new owners.
Look over all the sources you have spoken with, in-store and online. Ask yourself which provider seemed the most knowledgeable, and which had the best reputation. Always order from the most credible vendor, not the cheapest vendor. Tadpoles that have been mishandled are unlikely to develop into full grown frogs.
Place an order for as many tadpoles as you require. If you are ordering online, place an order through PayPal or a credit card. If you are ordering in-store, place your order at the front counter. Depending on pet ownership laws in your state, you may need to fill out a form to acquire ownership of tadpoles. Commercial trade of tadpoles and frogs is heavily regulated, for example, in New South Wales, Australia.