Tadpole to Frog Kit Instructions

Welcome To Live Frog Growing Kit

WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD — Small parts. Not for children under 3 years
Congratulations: You are about to watch part of the incredible life cycle of a leopard frog! Expect the change from tadpole to frog to take approximately 12-16 weeks. The resulting frogs can live 5 years or more in captivity.

Changing from Tadpole to Froglet to Frog

Expect the change from tadpole to frog to take approximately 12-16 weeks. This change is called ‘metamorphosis.’ First, back legs will emerge from the tadpole. Gradually the tadpole will develop lungs and you’ll see some changes to the tadpole’s head like elevated eyes and a wider mouth. When the tadpole’s front legs develop it will stop feeding on tadpole food and its tail will begin to shrink. At this time it will start climbing partially out of the water. A tadpole that has front and back legs but still has a tail is called a “froglet.” A froglet may stop eating tadpole food but not be ready to eat adult frog food yet. The froglet will get its nourishment from its tail as the tail is absorbed into its body. When the tail totally disappears it is now considered an adult frog and ready for it’s first frog meal.

Important: If the tadpole is slow to develop- feed more often; change the water more often; and/or place the habitat in a warmer area. Tadpole growth is directly related to the number of complete water changes you do.

When Your Tadpole Arrives

Your tadpole is a leopard frog tadpole. It looks like a little fish and lives entirely in the water.
These tadpoles need 1 gallon of water each so if you are providing your own habitat make sure it is large enough for your tadpole. If you ordered our complete kit with a habitat then you have the correct size. To prepare your habitat fill it around ¾ full of warm (not hot) tap water. Read the instructions on the water treatment so you add the correct amount. Add the water treatment solution into the water and stir. This step is very important because water can contain chemicals that are dangerous to tadpoles.
Before putting the tadpole in the habitat, let the treated water sit for at least 2 hours. This allows the water to become the same temperature as the water in the tadpole’s transport bag. After 2 hours, you can open the bag the tadpole came in and pour the entire contents into the habitat. Don’t be worried if there is no movement at first, it can take up to a day before the tadpole explores the habitat.

Important: Keep your habitat at room temperature (65 to 78 degrees F) and out of direct sunlight. Do not shake or tap on the habitat, as this is stressful for the tadpole.

Caring for Your Tadpole

FEEDING: The tadpole may not eat the 1st day in the habitat as it adjusts to its new home. The tadpole eats the tadpole food included with the kit. We have included all the food the tadpole will need. Tadpoles are vegetarians and in the wild they eat bits of algae and plants. Our tadpole food is great for them and will not decay or foul water as quickly as leafy foods. As it grows, the tadpole will need to eat more food. Start by feeding it one pellet of food, which should last about 3 days. You will need to increase the frequency you give the tadpole a food pellet as it grows. It is important not to overfeed the tadpole because left over food will decay and having dirty water will harm the tadpole. If you run out of food or misplace it, tadpoles love goldfish food from the local pet store.

CLEANING THE HABITAT: Clean water is very important to the tadpole –most problems tadpoles have are caused by water that is not clean. Once a week, or more often if the water looks cloudy, change the habitat water. To do this, first wash your hands and rinse them well to make sure you have no soap or lotion on your hands that can get into the habitat when you remove the water. If you have our supply bag, there is a cup included or you can use your own cup. Use the cup to remove all but around 3 inches of water from the habitat. Then, scoop the tadpole into the cup with some water (about ½ cup full is OK) and set in a safe place. Pour out the rest of the dirty water from the habitat and rinse the habitat in the sink with warm water. Do not use soap or other cleaners in your habitat. Now refill the habitat with warm (not hot) tap water and add the water treatment solution. Let this treated water sit for 2 hours so it becomes the same temperature as the water in the cup with the tadpole in it. After 2 hours, you can pour the entire contents of the cup into the habitat.

Important: Never use soap or other cleaners in your habitat. The residue can hurt tadpoles and frogs.

ADDING A ROCK OR BRANCH: When you see the tadpole has developed front legs as well as back legs, you will need to provide a way for it to rest outside of the water on dry ‘land’.
Without a resting spot it is forced to swim continually and it can drown now that it has developed lungs. Use the cup to remove all but about 3 inches of water from your habitat. Find either a rock or floating piece of wood that is large enough that it will stick out of the water and be dry on top. Rinse any excess dirt off of the rock or wood before placing in the habitat. Place the rock or wood so the new froglet has easy access to the dry ‘land’ and make sure the sides are not too high or steep for it to climb up on it. The rock or wood can take up as much as half of the habitat space. The other half should be water.

Caring for Your Frog

FEEDING: Sometimes a frog won’t eat for the first week so don’t worry. Frogs eat living insects and worms. They will not eat dead insects because they hunt based on movement of the prey. You can feed your frog crickets, mealworms or earthworms from the pet shop. Or you can collect your own insects like moths, sowbugs, flies or caterpillars. Only feed 1 or 2 at a time on the dry ‘land’ part of the habitat. Remove any dead insects from the habitat before adding more.

CLEARING THE HABITAT: Frogs need clean water just like the tadpole did. Continue to do a water change at least once a week like you did when it was a tadpole. When your frog is too big to stay in the cup during water changes, you will want to find an escape-proof small container for it to stay in during the water change.

ABOUT YOUR LEOPARD FROG: Frogs can live 5 years or more in captivity. An adult leopard frog can grow to 4 to 6 inches, but it takes years for them to get that big. Female leopard frogs are usually slightly larger than males, but it’s not really possible to tell which you have. Leopard frogs will not mate in your habitat because they do not mate until they are 5 years old and like special conditions not offered in your habitat.


No. A tadpole’s skin is fragile and is easily damaged if handled improperly. A frog is delicate and may escape or be injured during handling.


Please do not release the frog outside. Your frog may not know how to survive in the wild because it has not learned to hunt on its own. Some suggestions: find a friend or neighbor who would like a pet frog, or donate it to a school for a wildlife display, or give it to a local pet shop who can possibly find it a home.

Frog Growing Kit Facts:

Q: Do you give a Guarantee?
A: Yes. We guarantee your tadpole will arrive alive. After it arrives we can no longer guarantee it as most problems with tadpoles come from improper water care.
Q: How long before I get my tadpole?
A: If your kit came with a certificate for a tadpole, mail, fax, or email it to us per the instructions. Allow 2 weeks for it to arrive.
Q: Can I order tadpoles during the winter?
A: We ship tadpoles year-round but only order your tadpole if it is above 40 degrees in your area.
Q: How many tadpoles can I put in my habitat?
A: Only 1 tadpole per gallon of water.
Q: My tadpole isn’t moving. Is it dead?
A: Probably not, it can take up to a day before the tadpole explores the habitat.
Q: How long does it take the tadpole to become a frog?
A: Approximately 12-16 weeks with weekly complete water changes.
Q: My tadpoles were doing fine and then next day they are dead. What happened?
A: This is usually a water problem. If you accidentally introduced hand lotion or soap into the habitat during a water change, or forgot to add the water treatment to tap water, or overfed and have dirty water for too long then it will harm your tadpoles.
Q: Do I need a heater, filter or gravel in my habitat?
A: No – room temperature water is best, filters may take away the tadpole’s food and gravel makes water changes very hard and isn’t necessary.
Q: Can I put a new tadpole in my habitat with a frog?
A: No, the frog may consider the tadpole to be food.
Q: What if I run out of tadpole food or water treatment solution?
A: Your local pet shop carries these – tadpoles like goldfish food and you can use any water treatment made for fish tanks that removes chlorine and neutralizes metals.