Monday, May 23, 2011

The Great Tadpole Experiment of 2011 & Basic Tadpole Care

2 weeks ago, we went hiking here and we brought home tadpoles.
The kids were beyond excited.
I've never raised tadpoles and did not find it very promising that one of our 5 tadpoles did not last the ride home.  
The kids however, being eternal optimists, were sure the others would live.
Aaron came home and feared the worst (i think he thought i was cruel for taking these little guys away from their home and killing one already.  it's all in the name of science.  come on. get a grip.) 
So he and William made a quick trip to the fish store that is, randomly, right down the road from our house, to get supplies.  (more on those later)
He wanted the rest of them to live.

After 2 weeks, we've still got 3.
And they are the source of some great entertainment.
First thing in the morning we do a tadpole check.

We have to change the water every other day.
When Aaron told me this bit of news I was not too excited.
After all, one of the reasons we don't have a dog is that I deal with enough poop every day in my life.
I don't want to deal with any more poop.
Tadpoles poop a lot.
(those big black things are not their poop--they don't poop that much--those are the rocks from their aquarium.  all that other floating stuff is poo.  lovely)

 But it turns out changing the water isn't that bad.
And the tadpoles are happiest right after they get clean water.
That's when we get to watch them eat.
They eat lettuce.  

William, especially, loves to help me clean their home and feed them.
It's not surprising since he'd rather play with a worm all day than touch a dog.
I think he likes very small pets.  

And, given my current state, I must admit that watching these little guys swim around makes me giggle.
Watching William watch them really makes me giggle because I think of this story.
If you haven't read William's Fish Story, read it here, right now.
It will make you smile, maybe even laugh, and will be a great start to your Monday.

Despite the poop and the little bit of extra work on my part, I am glad we're raising these little frogs.
I love for my kids to learn in real life.
If these guys actually make it to froghood, it will be a biology experiment the kids won't soon forget.
And, if it is any indication of how attached I've actually become to the tadpoles, I'm actually worried about their care when I go to the hospital to have the baby.
Is Aaron going to have to come home just to change tadpole water?

Wishing you a happy start to your week, from the tadpoles and us.
Love from,

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Basics of Tadpole Care  (what we know so far)

1.  Tadpoles like clean water.  Change water every other day.
2.  You must de-chlorinate the water before you put them in it.  Even the smallest big of chlorine will kill them.  The fastest, easiest way to do this is with drops from the fish or pet store.  Just a few drops will rid the water of chlorine almost instantly.
3.  You must adjust the tadpoles to the new water temperature before you place them directly in the clean water.  To do this, you put some of the old, dirty water and the tadpoles in a small plastic bag.  Set the bag in the  clean water, making sure it does not tip over.  Leave the bag in the water for about 30 mins.  Then carefully place the tadpoles in the new water, trying to keep as much of the dirty water out of the tank as possible.
4.  Tadpoles like to eat lettuce.  All the research I did said this and we've found it to be true.
I boiled a few leaves of lettuce (it's too hard for them to eat it fresh) and then froze it.  Each time we clean their water, we break off a few, tiny pieces of frozen lettuce and drop them in the water.
The tadpoles go to town.

That's it so far.  If any of them make it to the next stage in their journey, I'll let you know what we learn about caring for them then.

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