Collecting and Keeping Tadpoles

Keeping tadpoles can be a fun nature project. You can collect your own from a pond, slow-moving stream, or lake. If the place you are collecting your tadpoles from is located on public land, such as a park, check the laws for your area on collecting wildlife.

Keep in mind that not all tadpoles are frogs; some are toads or salamanders. Dipping tadpoles out of a pool is like getting a surprise grab bag. If you prefer not to collect your own tadpoles from the wild or it’s just not possible for you, many pet stores sell tadpoles. You can also get a frog hatchery kit from a science supplier.

Tadpoles can be kept in a small aquarium. It is best, but not necessary, to have an aerator and filter. The water should be changed occasionally, using non-chlorinated water. Place a rock or two in the aquarium, making sure that the rock is large enough to stick out of the water.

Feed your tadpoles cooked spinach. You can cook the spinach and freeze it. Feed the tadpoles a small amount every day. When the little bits of spinach hit the water, they will thaw. Be sure to remove any uneaten food after a few hours.

How long the tadpoles will take to turn into frogs varies considerably depending on the species of frog. Bullfrogs can take two years, whereas little species can go through the process in a couple of months.

Once the tadpoles turn into frogs, it is advisable to return them to the location where you found them. It is very difficult to feed young frogs in captivity.