Sticky - Tadpole care and feeding

Eggs, Tadpoles, Froglets
Natures Gems
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Sticky - Tadpole care and feeding

Postby Natures Gems » Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:38 pm

i thought i would post a "tadpole care for beginners" type of post for anyone that may need it. i lose very few tadpoles and feel maybe a few beginners could benefit from the info and welcome everyone to also contribute and suggest helpful hints.

i use bottled water to make my tadpole water. i take a 5 gallon bucket and even though the water is bottled i boil it. just a habit i have. i add the water to the bucket which has some oak leaves. it's important the source of the oak leaves is an area where no pesticides are used.

other people have their own preferences such as Indian almond leaves or blackwater extract added to the water.i let that bucket sit in the same exact area as my tadpoles so the temps are as close as possible to the water they are in already to try to avoid any temperature shock.i usually leave the water sit 24 hours or so to cool to room temperature which is about 74-75 in my tadpole room. the water should look like a very weak tea color not a dark brown color.

for my tadpole cups i use one tadpole cup (16 oz.) for each tadpole. i fill it half way at first to make it easier for the tadpole to reach the surface to feed.i put a single small oak leaf in the water for comfort for the tadpole
i usually make a few gallons of the tadpole water and i do partial water changes every 4 days or so. about 1/4 of the water sometimes more. this is also a personal choice on my part. I've heard people do it once a week ,i even remember someone saying they didn't do it at all. i can't see that myself so i choose to do it the way i do to prevent water issues. i used to keep fish and i know the importance of water changes to keep water quality as high as possible.

i feed 4 times a week and rotate between the following foods each week. i use a very fine powder mix that is 50/50 spirulina and chlorella 2 days of the week, a food called sera micron one time per week and tetracolor fish food flakes one time per week. care has to be taken with the fish food flakes because it can pollute water quickly. tadpoles will do fine without that. i have tried the tadpole bites on and off and it also just seems to cloud water and remain with a lot uneaten. again this is my own experience. i know a lot of people use it. feeding 4 times a week is not necessary, some people feed much less often.

after tadpoles are swimming strongly from bottom of the cup to surface,during water changes i make sure when i add water that i fill about 3/4 full. that seems to be perfect for me it seems to help keep the water cleaner and then 1/4 change seems to be fine after that.

again everyone has different tadpole care techniques. i hope to hear what others are doing here also and between all of us hopefully help some beginners to make tadpole care more successful. remember there are a lot of other issues involved for tadpoles to survive such as the health of the adult frogs as well as the correct supplementation and care of the adults before they even lay eggs but if everything seems to be fine and tadpoles are still being lost maybe some pointers from different members may help anyone that is just getting tadpoles succeed and get a high percentage of tadpoles to reach froglet stage. its great when you see that first tiny froglet. i hope that the guys in this 5-10 years share anything they may be doing concerning their tadpole care. the more info out there the better for the hobby to ensure a constant supply of healthy well cared for dart frogs. everyone, please join in and contribute any specifics that have worked well for yourselves.

I hope this helps anyone having issues with tadpoles or are about to start a tadpole care regimen.

Regards,

Tom

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Re: tadpole care and feeding geared toward beginners

Postby Stu&Shaz » Wed Aug 24, 2011 7:20 pm

very interesting post Tom,we are in our first season so this has been a fascinating read,and wonderfully written too. we are starting to formulate a method,not only using single cups but also a multiple rearing system too. It is way to early for me to speculate on how well this will all work out,initial stages look good.We also use oakleaves,but with filtered rainwater. Our diet consists not only of fish flake but also cycloops EEZE, and live wild grub bloodworm and mosquito/ midge larvae. Are adults also recieve a fair smattering of wild food. time will tell if all this amounts to sucess.But we are on the way ,recently experiancing the joy of our very first tadpol turning into our very first dartfroglet.Thankyou for your insight very greatful for your time
regards
Stu

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Re: tadpole care and feeding geared toward beginners

Postby Natures Gems » Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:17 am

you are quite welcome. one of the most improtant things will be to make sure of the partial water changes for water quality throughout the tadpole stage. good luck, keep us posted on your progress.

tom

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Re: tadpole care and feeding geared toward beginners

Postby Stu&Shaz » Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:23 am

Natures Gems wrote:you are quite welcome. one of the most improtant things will be to make sure of the partial water changes for water quality throughout the tadpole stage. good luck, keep us posted on your progress.

tom

Thanks Tom thats a great tip,will definitely impliment that one!! You can see abit more detail on our room thread on here in the pics section.Ah mate you made me smile: I thought i took a hell of alongtime reserching before i got frogs,i never thought i would talk to someone who took longer,fairplay to you sir. Again thanks for such a great post,not only from me but for alot of other novices
regards
Stu

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Re: tadpole care and feeding geared toward beginners

Postby Philsuma » Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:53 pm

Are you guys proponents of full / complete water changes ?

I always only topped off water and never did a full change.

Now, I do recommend suctioning detritus with a turkey baster from the bottom of the cup. I feel that takes care of most of the "bad water" problems right there.

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Re: tadpole care and feeding geared toward beginners

Postby Stu&Shaz » Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:34 pm

Philsuma wrote:Are you guys proponents of full / complete water changes ?

I always only topped off water and never did a full change.

Now, I do recommend suctioning detritus with a turkey baster from the bottom of the cup. I feel that takes care of most of the "bad water" problems right there.

Yes Phil,i do a complete water change every other day,we also only have abit of water at first. Gradually increasing the amount,i have agonised over partial changes, sucking out the waste as you say. Its tricky because with the tads water in the wild ,the changes would be dependent on the amount of rainfall.So i went for what i thought to be the safest option.so far if i get a tad past say 3/4 days tops then its still alive...SO FAR!! (We have around 30 in the water now) My principal difference while using cups/ glasses with Tom's method is we add a bit of elodea/canadian pondweed we call it,which i have been keeping in our green house,becuase of the high light levels there is lots of algea growing on it,after our and Glen's discussions on this i barely feed in the first week ,the tads graze the algae,then i bring in the other grub,which is now mainly blood worms,but earlier consisted of more mossi larvea and of course the bought products. Our first tad before i knew or worried too much about over feeding,grew on his live food at an astonishing rate,and morphed strong it appears to this novice,by day 5 ootw,he could jump 8/10"..amazing. Provided that the wild grub is secured in as safe away as possible (of course there are risks),i have a feeling it might surpass,what we can buy.But you know me mate always thinking abit leftfield. In ten yrs i'll know this answer but now,its learn think,try possibly fail possibly do well,but constantly evaluate,like all of us find that elusive method that gives each individual his results. I totally understand your and Tom's methods and the logic behind them,
regards
Stu

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Re: Tadpole care and feeding, geared toward beginners

Postby Philsuma » Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:41 pm

I always considered a full water change to be a shock to the animals system.

I don't think there's any precedent for it in nature - flood ? Hurricane ?

again...no right or wrong with this. It's a personal husbandry issue and I don't think anyone has any conclusive evidence of either way being superiour.

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Re: tadpole care and feeding geared toward beginners

Postby Natures Gems » Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:05 pm

Philsuma wrote:Are you guys proponents of full / complete water changes ?

I always only topped off water and never did a full change.

Now, I do recommend suctioning detritus with a turkey baster from the bottom of the cup. I feel that takes care of most of the "bad water" problems right there.


phil,

i do partial water changes approximately 1/4/ to 1/2 . it usually works fine for me. i use the turkey baster method myself to get most "waste" out of the water and then a bit more. i feel safer that way than complete water changes. the chance of shock even at a minimal temp difference is greater with complete changes. even if keeping tads at different shelf heights the water temp can vary a degree so i don't want to compound the issue with the fresh water maybe being off a degree also, so 1/4 to half seems perfect for me. it gets trickier with the higher volume water changes, similar to fish keeping. as long as the water is clean after using a baster i usually use the baster a few more full tubes. it usually equals no more than half the water. sometimes the bigger tads, creating more waste require a larger change for me but i usually try to keep away from complete changes myself. it works great for me. but again just my own experiences.i'm happy with the results.

tom

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Re: Tadpole care and feeding, geared toward beginners

Postby Stu&Shaz » Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:28 pm

Philsuma wrote:I always considered a full water change to be a shock to the animals system.

I don't think there's any precedent for it in nature - flood ? Hurricane ?

again...no right or wrong with this. It's a personal husbandry issue and I don't think anyone has any conclusive evidence of either way being superiour.

absolutly,one of the reasons i'm questing elswhere for other methods,not only the actual change of water shocking the animal but also the physical stress side,bothers me Phil. As i have never been to a rainforrest only seen pics on tv i have no idea how strong those torrential rains are and how much they would flush a tad "pond". As you say its so much a personal husbandry issue, one that although it is working i'm not totally comfortable with it.
My friend in holland contacted me today,he is now going over to communal rearing in big trays,he says that he is getting much bigger stronger and more viable tadpols/froglets rearing this way, there are so many ways as your say of doing this,similar i think to the pictures of the japanese guy's tad rearing a saw here,if space wasn't an issue for me i would love to try this.
Stu

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Re: Tadpole care and feeding, geared toward beginners

Postby Natures Gems » Thu Aug 25, 2011 6:08 pm

Stu&Shaz wrote:
Philsuma wrote:I always considered a full water change to be a shock to the animals system.

I don't think there's any precedent for it in nature - flood ? Hurricane ?

again...no right or wrong with this. It's a personal husbandry issue and I don't think anyone has any conclusive evidence of either way being superiour.

absolutly,one of the reasons i'm questing elswhere for other methods,not only the actual change of water shocking the animal but also the physical stress side,bothers me Phil. As i have never been to a rainforrest only seen pics on tv i have no idea how strong those torrential rains are and how much they would flush a tad "pond". As you say its so much a personal husbandry issue, one that although it is working i'm not totally comfortable with it.
My friend in holland contacted me today,he is now going over to communal rearing in big trays,he says that he is getting much bigger stronger and more viable tadpols/froglets rearing this way, there are so many ways as your say of doing this,similar i think to the pictures of the japanese guy's tad rearing a saw here,if space wasn't an issue for me i would love to try this.
Stu


stu keep us informed on communal rearing. i would guess communal would stimualte competiiton for food and the strongest would survive but i wonder if the fatalities also go up due to possible cannibalism, etc. i'm curious about the loss percentage. i don't want to lose any individuals if possible so i always use individual cups.
again different husbandry for different people right?. thanks for the info stu.let us know if your friend has good results after switching to communal trays.

tom

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Re: Tadpole care and feeding, geared toward beginners

Postby Philsuma » Thu Aug 25, 2011 6:12 pm

Communal rearing - provide lots of barriers (leaves) and lots of protein. Foods high in protein seems to keep the tads from "alligatoring" each other.

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Re: Tadpole care and feeding, geared toward beginners

Postby Natures Gems » Thu Aug 25, 2011 6:16 pm

communal rearing sounds interesting. have other people on the forum tried it successfully? just curious. i like the individual cup method because i can really monitor the individual but i'm curious about the results and the thoughts from people that have tried it.

tom

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Re: Tadpole care and feeding, geared toward beginners

Postby Stu&Shaz » Sat Aug 27, 2011 5:34 pm

Hi Tom,my friend in holland is utilising a communal system,this is our prototype,mutiple system,not being padantic but as you can see we are kind of half way between the two forms...ie cups and communal,so the tadpols actually,are seggragated but,share the same larger body of water
Image
Image
The glass boxes have mesh bottoms
Image
and the water is filtered thus
Image
The T5 light over the top contains a biovital bulb as i believe uvb might be very important to our tads especially one species.
So i have less concearns over : pollution... and variations in water quality,and partial water changes don't need to be as fequent,as i have the aid of the filter,i also have the benefit of a larger body of water cooling/heating at a slower rate.... I have greater concearns over: disease risks spreading through the system,and possible effects of tads excreting growth inhibitors..
Oh just to digress for a second,i tried yours and Phils partial changes this morning,wanting to see how it worked,i prefer it to my complete method,i will utilse this unless our tad viability takes a sudden downward turn in the near future.
On the subject of desease risks,do you clean the turkey baster in any way between each tad?
Finally , at the time of our first tadpol,i made a decsision,to stand all tad glasses in a larger container,half filled with water,simply a plastic tupperware around3L,my thought was this will help to moderate temperature variations...especially cooling at night,i am fortunate that my room is quite stable for temperature ,but was trying to think of every little thing i could do to help my little tad make it to a froglet... :roll: yeah i know over cautious beginners. This was quite possibly a masterstroke,although i didn't realise till later on. We have just had a real hardcore heatwave,(well for us in the uk anyway),some of my friends,lost tadpols as their cups/glasses got too warm for the tads,just that little dodge might kave kept mine alive
regards
stu

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Re: Tadpole care and feeding, geared toward beginners

Postby Natures Gems » Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:20 am

very interesting. please keep us informed. its a very different way to raise tadpoles and seems like it will probably serve you well.

tom

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Re: tadpole care and feeding geared toward beginners

Postby Venutus1 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:17 pm

Stu&Shaz wrote:
Philsuma wrote:Are you guys proponents of full / complete water changes ?

I always only topped off water and never did a full change.

Now, I do recommend suctioning detritus with a turkey baster from the bottom of the cup. I feel that takes care of most of the "bad water" problems right there.

Yes Phil,i do a complete water change every other day,we also only have abit of water at first. Gradually increasing the amount,i have agonised over partial changes, sucking out the waste as you say. Its tricky because with the tads water in the wild ,the changes would be dependent on the amount of rainfall.So i went for what i thought to be the safest option.so far if i get a tad past say 3/4 days tops then its still alive...SO FAR!! (We have around 30 in the water now) My principal difference while using cups/ glasses with Tom's method is we add a bit of elodea/canadian pondweed we call it,which i have been keeping in our green house,becuase of the high light levels there is lots of algea growing on it,after our and Glen's discussions on this i barely feed in the first week ,the tads graze the algae,then i bring in the other grub,which is now mainly blood worms,but earlier consisted of more mossi larvea and of course the bought products. Our first tad before i knew or worried too much about over feeding,grew on his live food at an astonishing rate,and morphed strong it appears to this novice,by day 5 ootw,he could jump 8/10"..amazing. Provided that the wild grub is secured in as safe away as possible (of course there are risks),i have a feeling it might surpass,what we can buy.But you know me mate always thinking abit leftfield. In ten yrs i'll know this answer but now,its learn think,try possibly fail possibly do well,but constantly evaluate,like all of us find that elusive method that gives each individual his results. I totally understand your and Tom's methods and the logic behind them,
regards
Stu



Nice work on the glass cubes!

Cheers
Todd
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Re: Tadpole care and feeding, geared toward beginners

Postby Venutus1 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:27 pm

Stu&Shaz wrote:.....The T5 light over the top contains a biovital bulb as i believe uvb might be very important to our tads especially one species....regards stu


I have started using repti sun 5.0 over my variabilis tads at a distance of 12"-14".

interesting.

Nice glass cubes by the way!

Cheers
Todd
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Re: Tadpole care and feeding, geared toward beginners

Postby Stu&Shaz » Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:21 pm

Venutus1 wrote:
Stu&Shaz wrote:.....The T5 light over the top contains a biovital bulb as i believe uvb might be very important to our tads especially one species....regards stu


I have started using repti sun 5.0 over my variabilis tads at a distance of 12"-14".

interesting.

Nice glass cubes by the way!

Cheers
Todd

Wow so many Todd's i'm getting confused :wink: Hi Todd how long have you been using this and is it long enough to notice any difference,what made YOU go this route? This is lower than yours around 25cm say around 10" i guess,I also have it over the smaller tads and eggs,but a bit higher,i can't yet find the % uvb on these biovitals,they might just be a bit higher.I don't know whether its enough..or too much,but each tad has a big enough leaf that they can get away from it if they deem necessary,the sprig of elodea also give a bit of shade. The cubes seem to be working better than i expected,i thought the mesh was too small and i would have to remove some watse manually,not the caseno cleaning necessary whatsoever,just water changes,within 2 weeks i guess our first tad will morph that has been exposed to this system,ha ha our 2nd dart ever.I just hope he's as good as the first
regards
Stu

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Re: Tadpole care and feeding, geared toward beginners

Postby Venutus1 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:44 pm

Hi Stu, I did my first cube set up for variabilis tads a year ago and it worked good.
Mine is a bit more "organic" in nature.
I think the nest one I do (maybe in a 55 gal. tank or something ) I may go in a more sterile route. Less plants an gravel.

I have always been a huge UV fan... in low dose, over darts and I started to use it over tads jsut recently. the results are good so far, as a matter of fact, I may up it.

I will admit I have had issues using the undergravel filter, because, with a lot of organic material, (leaves and stuff), the water tends to acidify faster. I use 70% distilled - 30% tap with ketapang / indian almond leaf in it and blackwater tonic in low dose. Itt has such low buffering capacity, so I have to change every 2 days and buffer w/ 7.0 buffer. Otherwise it would be 6.6 or 6.4 pH in no time.
BTW, My tads do best with 6.8 - 7.1 pH I have found. develop best and color best.

Right now I have 16 variabilis in all stages of development.
Both N&S...so anyone reading this... don't be shy to e/m if you want to go on the waiting list. (arrkk ---sorry I am hawking in a thread.. again LOL shoot me :) )

Random thinking: They do get their water changed allot in nature. Since it rains every day.. don't you think?
Rain floods the micro pools & brom wells they are in daily!

I am in a rush because I am late for a dinner out,
so excuse the typos :o ... but I can elaborate more if needed in another post. :lol:

i am goin to post some picks now ... they should be self explanatory.
cheers.


PS I sell uv meters if anyone needs one :mrgreen:
Attachments
12 cube tank w lid and gravel.jpg
11 cube tank top view.jpg
10cube tank 10 gal.jpg
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Re: Tadpole care and feeding, geared toward beginners

Postby Venutus1 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:47 pm

Part II = Upgrading to 16 gal tank w/ UV
Attachments
17 screen uv holes.jpg
19 uv levels in growout tank 1.jpg
20 UV levels in grow out tank 2.jpg
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Re: Tadpole care and feeding, geared toward beginners

Postby Venutus1 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:49 pm

more pics, drilling holes for UV-- its easy!
Attachments
nice variabilis.jpg
14drillglass UV holes.jpg
16 screen uv holes in lid.jpg
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