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Think I'll keep a nice little thread going with updates, it's a fun project
I've had them here for almost a week now. I'm going to guess that they are about 2 weeks old. That might be estimating a little high, but I'm not real sure how old they were when the kids got them. They couldn't have been more than a week old though. So we'll go with 2 weeks. I am about 95% sure they're American Toads. But I won't be able to tell until they fully morph. Tadpoles are tricky unless they have a very distinct coloration. Most tadpoles don't though, and they don't even remotely resemble what they will look like once they morph either. American toads have all sorts of colors from a light gray to a dark brown. A few have a greenish tint to them-but they very well may be an environmental side effect and not so much an actual characteristic. I know the toads the kids have caught on the farm have mostly been a very dark gray or brown. So that's a really good possibility here.
Surprisingly we haven't lost a single one. Anyone who's ever raised live tadpoles will tell you, it's common to lose a few here and there, usually within the first couple days of changing their environment. Most tadpoles are pretty strong lil things, but it can still shock their system. These guys are all doing fantastic. At last count there were 39 in the tank. I probably missed some though, they don't exactly hold still, lol. They love to hide too. (that hideous yellow is the kitchen counter, where the tank sits, not the bottom of the actual tank, lol)
We redid their home for them, to make it more tad and froglet friendly. The rocks that were in the bottom of the original tiny tank I had them in, are in their home now.(aquarium rock). They love to burrow into it and they seemed to prefer it to the substrate that we had in there. One end has some big rocks they can hide under and on. When they start forming more buds I'll add more rocks and expand that area so they can get out of the water.
We tossed a couple dandelions in there for them. They'll help promote algae that the tads need to grow. But for the time being, they seem to just like playing in/on them, lol. There are a couple really teeny lil guys that can actually squeeze into the hole in the dandelion stems.
No growth or anything like that yet. I suspect it will be a good couple more weeks before we see any legs forming or measurable growth. But we do have some with mounds, they're really hard to see so I can't get a pic.
Today the kids worked on some life cycle stuff. I think we'll draw this project out for most of the summer. Since we're pretty much done with school for the year.(other than math and LA which get done daily, but very minimal work). After these guys all transform we're going to keep a few and release the others back out. Good rule of thumb is no more than 2 froglets per gallon in your tank. It's a 10 gallon so the most we *could keep is 20. But we won't keep that many, that's too much. Especially once they mature and the boys start with their singing, lol.(they take 2-3 years to mature).
These are just a couple pics of part of their setup, took them yesterday.
Last edited by Frackel; June 15th, 2011 at 07:57 PM.
I can't believe none died when they were moved! I had a whole batch that died in high school. (Not completely my fault, though.)
You're seriously making me reconsider my unwillingness to grow (and release) various types of animals (like the Apologia books suggest). It seems like more fun than I remember it being as a kid... but then I'm still very girl-ish when it comes to live animals. I'm mostly a tomboy, but sometimes I'm all girl!
When I got home from my mom's on Monday I realized some of our little friends were starting to grow legs Very exciting.
They grew much faster than I thought they would.
Today the kids and I moved some of the ones with 3 and 4 legs to another tank. Actually it's just a plastic container with water and rocks, lol. They'll stay in here until they all get legs and can be safely put in the same tank(frogs eat tadpoles, hence the need to move them). We transferred about 7 or so with legs into the other tank. There are some tads who have 1 or 2 legs still in the other tank though. They're still safe being in there.
I took some pics of the few we have who have all 4 legs though We're very excited. They are SOOOO tiny and teeny, smaller than a pea. We named the ittiest one, George. don't know why, but that's his name(and it's quite likely he is a boy too, boys are smaller than girls). I'm still pretty sure they're American Toads, but at this size, I really can't tell. I tried to get some decent up close pics, but lil suckers are fast, lol. Within a couple of weeks all of our tads should be pretty well morphed. Then we'll turn their home into a terrarium and let them all grow and get bigger before releasing some out into the wild this fall.
Anyway, here's the pics
I'm so happy the kids brought them home. Such a fun project, and relatively easy to maintain too. Plus the kids were having fun looking up different frogs, toads and their tadpoles to see if they could identify them.
I can't stop looking at the lil things. I need to get some sort of size comparison in there, lol. They are SO dang small, but adorable, lol. I honestly expected the tads to grow a bit more before beginning to morph, but I guess not.
Watching them hop is hilarious. Because they're so tiny, they can't hop super well. Won't be long before they can, but I figure by the time they get hopping down pat we'll be moving them all into a terrarium where they'll have more room. Right now that container I have them in is covered in breathable fabric(to keep them in, and the cats out).
Leo put fish flakes in there last night, you can see some of it in the pics. I forgot to remind him they don't need food. Once they grow in their legs, they use their tail for nourishment. So we had to take most of that out which was awfully fun, lol.
The one pic the kids say makes him look like lizard, because he still has most of his tail(that's George btw).
One nice thing about them is the boys won't even begin to sing for a couple years. So having them in the house won't be an issue(they can get super loud, it's a shrill long chirp type sound). So we can safely keep them inside until they get big enough to set them free. Eventually we'll only keep maybe 4, at most. That's assuming I can sex them and get at least two girls and two boys. But I can't sex them until they get much older. It's nearly impossible, well for me since my vision is horrid, when they're really small. The only good indicator is a boy and girl side by side. A girl is much larger-and rounder. Boys, even the large ones, are much,much skinnier.
These aren't the best, lol. Leo was taking the pics. But they turned out cute. There are a good 8 or so that are full froglets now with no tail or such a small one we can't see it well without a magnifying glass. The rest all have either 2 or 3 legs, there's 1 or 2 that have no legs but are starting to get them. These are just pics of a few of the less shy frogs. They hide a lot at this point, lol.
This one is a bad pic, but you can see the one on the back wall of the tank, lol, he was climbing for freedom. They only get an inch or two up, if even, and fall, lol.
And in this one, the lil guy that was climbing in #3, is running away still, just moving very very slowly, lol