The Frog Project - Part 1

This year we are doing a project on frogs, the heart of which is the classic tank full of tadpoles.

Setting Up

We were lucky since we already had a small tank for earth worms from last year and we have an established pond in the back garden from which to take water, weed and algae. A neighbor who owns some boggy land agreed to donate some frogspawn when it appeared.

March 2nd to 6th - Frogspawn

photo of frogspawn photo of frogspawn photo of frogspawn

Above is the frogspawn as it arrive on March 2nd then on the 5th and 6th.

March 7th to 11th - Basic Tadpoles

photo of tadpoles photo of tadpoles photo of tadpoles

The tadpoles started to hatch on March 7th which we'll call Day 1, were fully out on Day 2 and and showing clear external gills on Day 4. Once they were hatched we started doing a partial water change twice a week. If you use tap water be sure to use some water conditioner, I don't know for sure that this is important, but it's the rule for goldfish, and we always left any new water in a container near the tank for about a day so that the temperature could equalise.

March 20th to April 4th - Classic Tadpoles

photo of tadpoles photo of tadpoles photo of tadpoles

By Day 14 the external gills had vanished on most of them, and by day 22 most were looking fat and like the standard image of a tadpole. By this point the initial algae could no longer keep up with their appetites and we had to start collecting more from the pond to feed them. The buildup of droppings started to become an issue, solved very neatly with a plastic turkey baster (be careful not to throw out any tadpoles by accident). The image of the single tadpole on Day 30 shows the spiracle through which it breaths.

Equipment

photo of tadpole tanks

In this photo you can see our tadpoles in the big tank, the wonderful turkey baster and a plastic cup of tadpole droppings (aren't you glad I left that in?). The smaller tank that we originally used is shown occupied by tadpoles from the local nursery school. Nobody was going to be going in over the two week holiday and they were due to turn carnivorous during that time so we offered to look after them. We also had a tiny little fish net for catching tadpoles and a garden cane for collecting algae aka blanket weed, from the garden pond.

Resources

We've been using these three books:

Borrowed "FROG - Life Story" from the library, a great one aimed at kids with lots of photos and illustrations. If you only use one book this is ideal.

Also borrowed DK's "AMPHIBIAN" from the library. This one covers all types of amphibian with gorgeous colour photos and Audrey was facinated by it.

I'm including this because we already had it and the stickers have been useful for the lap book.

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