Tadpoles are social creatures and some will even interact and school like fish do. After about 6 weeks, you’ll begin to notice tiny little legs start to sprout. The tadpoles we send normally have legs starting but some don’t. You’ll begin to notice the head gets more distinct and the body elongates. Their diet usually consists now of dead tiny insects unless you chose to feed them. Their arms begin to bulge and eventually pop out, elbow first. After about 9 weeks, the tadpole begins to look like a tiny frog with a long tail and is almost full grown. It takes approximately 6-12 weeks for a tadpole to develop into a frog. The temperature has a lot to do with it. During cold spells it may take a bit longer or even be suspended till the temperatures go up. So don’t panic they will become frogs soon. Normally at about 12 weeks it looks like a tiny frog with a stub tail.
When a tadpole begins to develop his legs, they will need some sort of perch so they can get out of the water. Floating water lily leaves and branches are ideal for this, but you can also create ledges using stones. You don’t have to feed tadpoles or frogs because they will fend for themselves. But if you choose to here are some suggestions. I found that if I feed them when they were tadpoles they became friendly and a couple of mine will eat out of my hand.
Tadpoles – Love Lettuce. You boil the lettuce for 10-15 minutes and drain it. Chop it up and they lay it on a tray to freeze it or put it in ice cube trays. Give them one cube every couple of days and that should be enough. When they first get their legs they aren’t big enough to eat crickets so if you want to feed them start off with small insects or bloodworms (live is best). If you can’t get them from you yard you can purchase them at a local pet store that carries fish. You can take a jar lid and put warm water in it and lay a bunch of wiggly worms in it and the frogs will find them. Or put them directly in the water. Aphids are also a good food source. Another item that you can feed your tadpoles are dog biscuits….no they won’t bark….just crumble them up and the tadpoles will eat the crumbs.
FULL GROWN FROG
By about 14 weeks depending on what the frog eats and on the water supply and temperature, the frog will have completed the full growth cycle. He will begin to grow as you watch.
Usually frogs will be content to stay around your pond but if there is a water source nearby…..don’t be surprised if they decide to venture to it. But usually will return. This happens alot of times when it rains. I have some frogs that never leave and some that do….not knowing if the ones that appear one day are the same ones that left…….
What I found surprising is that you can actually hold some of them. If you raise them from a tadpole and visit them regularly they will get accustomed to you and become your pet. Its harder to do if they are a frog when you get them. I start out by feeding them lettuce when they are tadpoles because when they are little insects and bloodworms are too big for them yet. Then I introduce the worms and insects.
They will soon become your friend and its fun watching them grow. Another interesting, nature watching process that gives you more enjoyment out of your pond.
Check out our frogs and tadpoles here.