Welcome To Your Tadpole To Frog Kit Experience
You are about to witness the fascinating life cycle of a leopard frog! Expect the change from tadpole to frog to take about 12 to 16 weeks. Your fully grown leopard frog can live 5 years or more.
Your Tadpole To Frog Kit Consists Of
- Habitat selected by you
- 1 or 2 leopard frog tadpoles
- Tadpole Food
- Water treatment solution
- Water change cup
- Floating plastic plant
- Frog life cycle coloring page
- Free colorful background
You Will Need To Provide
- A rock or branch for when your tadpole becomes a froglet
- Live insects like crickets or worms as food for the adult leopard frog
The leopard frog tadpole looks like a little fish and lives entirely in water. Before your tadpole starts its journey, you need to prepare the habitat for your tadpole:
- Fill the habitat about three-fourth full of warm (not hot) tap water.
- Read the instructions on the water treatment solution to make sure you use the correct amount of water treatment solution.
- 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 cool down to match the temperature of water in the tadpole’s transport container.
- You can open the tadpole’s transport container after 2 hours and pour your tadpole along with the water inside the container into the habitat. Don’t be worried if there is no movement at first. It can take up to a day before the tadpole starts moving around and exploring the habitat.
- Place the floating plastic plant inside the habitat. Your tadpole will occasionally sit on the plant leaves or nibble at algae that sometimes grows on the leaves.
Important Note: Keep your tadpole habitat at room temperature (65°F to 78°F) and out of direct sunlight. Do not shake or tap on the habitat otherwise your tadpole might feel stressed.
Feeding Your Tadpole
Your tadpole may not eat the first day in the habitat as it adjusts to its new home. You can give the Tadpole Food included in the kit to your young swimmer. We’ve 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, your tadpole will start to eat in larger quantities. Start by feeding it one pellet of food, which should last about 3 days. You’ll need to increase the frequency you give the tadpole a food pellet as it grows. If you run out of food or misplace it, tadpoles love goldfish food from the local pet store.
Important Note: It’s important not to overfeed your tadpole because left over food will decay. Having dirty water in the habitat will harm the tadpole.
Cleaning The Habitat
A clean habitat with clean water is very important for your tadpole. Once a week, or more often if the water looks cloudy, change the water inside the habitat:
- Wash your hands and rinse them well to make sure you have no soap or lotion on your hands.
- Remove plants and décor items and rinse them with warm water in the sink.
- Use the water change cup to remove all but around 3 inches of water from the habitat.
- Scoop your tadpole into the cup with some water (about half cup) and set it 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.
- Refill the habitat with warm (not hot) tap water.
- Add the water treatment solution into the water and stir. Let this treated water sit for 2 hours so that it cools down to match the temperature of water in the water change cup with the tadpole in it.
- After 2 hours, pour your tadpole along with the water inside the cup into the habitat.
Important Note: If you eventually run out of water treatment solution, you can use any water conditioner used to prepare water for fish and available in the local pet stores. Never use soap, detergent or any other cleaners in your habitat. The residue from the cleaners can cause harm to tadpoles and frogs.
Changing From Tadpole To Froglet To Frog
Tadpoles transform into frogs by undergoing a process called metamorphosis. First the back legs will emerge from the tadpole. Gradually the tadpole will develop lungs and you will notice changes to your 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. During 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 might 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 completely disappears, the froglet will be considered as an adult frog and ready for its first frog meal.
Important Note: If your tadpole is slow to develop, feed more often, change the water more often and/or place the habitat in a warmer area. Your tadpole’s healthy growth is directly related to the number of complete water changes you do.
Adding A Rock Or Branch
When your tadpole has developed its 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:
- Use the water change 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 to stick out of the water and be dry on top.
- Rinse any excess dirt off of the rock or wood and place it in the habitat.
- Make sure the sides are not too high or steep for your froglet 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.
Important Note: Without a resting spot, your froglet will be forced to swim continually and now that it has developed lungs, it can drown.
Feeding Your Frog
Frogs eat living insects and worms. They will not eat dead insects because they hunt based on movement of prey. You can feed your frog crickets, mealworms or earthworms from the pet shop. You can also collect insects on your own, such as moths, sowbugs, flies or caterpillars. Only provide 1 or 2 live insects at a time on the dry land part of the habitat. Remove any dead, uneaten insects from the habitat before adding more.
Important Note: Sometimes a frog won’t eat for the first week so don’t worry if it happens.
Caring For Your Frog
Frogs need clean water just like the tadpoles. Continue to do a water change at least once a week. When your frog is too big to stay in the water change cup during water changes, you will want to find an escape-proof small container for it to stay inside.
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 is not really possible to tell which one you have. Leopard frogs will not mate inside your habitat.
Do not release your frog outside if you can no longer care for it. Your frog may not know how to survive in the wild because it has not learned to hunt on its own. Instead, 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 which can find a home for it.
Important Note: Do not handle your frog at any stage of its life cycle. 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.