Soon I’ll be posting some fun summer science camp ideas for you to do at home! But today we have some good news: our little tadpoles are all grown up! A few still have small tails, but they’re climbing onto rocks and leaves, so we’re taking them back to their pond to set them free.
We lost 2 tadpoles to voracious water bugs (vicious things that looked like ticks and sneaked in with some pond water vegetation) but most of them survived to froghood.
The kids and I have been keeping an eye on a local pond, and this week we were rewarded with the sight of tadpoles dotting the sand at the bottom like a swarm of commas. We pulled out a butterfly net, scooped up a bucket of pond water, and gently snagged a few of the frogs-to-be. Some tiny plants, baby fish, snails and a waterbug hitched a ride as well.
At home, we put our pollywogs in a bigger container (rinsed well with distilled water,) added more pond water and put some rocks in our tadpole habitat to make our visitors feel at home. A few times a week, we’ll siphon out some of the old water and add more pond water to keep our tadpoles healthy as they grow and change. When they’re almost frogs, we’ll lower the water level and be sure there are plenty of rocks for them to hop onto when metamorphosis is complete.
I’ll post a video of our tadpoles every so often so you can see how they’re changing. Eventually, we’ll release our frogs, along with the other plants and critters in our habitat, back into the pond where we found them!
Can you find some tadpoles of your own? If you do, be sure to keep them in pond/lake water and change it frequently. Chlorinated water will kill them! We’re feeding our tadpoles frog pellets and a little fish food, but I suspect they’re mostly eating algae in the pond water.