Choosing Your Tadpoles
You've decided you want to raise tadpoles. It's great fun to watch them grow and change! How do you choose the tadpoles you're going to raise? What do you have to consider in terms of when they become frogs?
By far the best solution is to gather up local eggs or tadpoles to begin this journey. You don't know what the future holds. You might get tired of your frog once they finish changing You might be a year into your project and have to move, and not be able to take the frog with you. Whatever the reason, you never want to release a "strange" frog or tadpole into your local environment. This is especially true if you get something like an African Clawed Frog. Unless you live in Africa, you wouldn't want to release this into the wild! It would cause havoc for all the local frogs. Even if you live in Tennessee in a Green Frog habitat, and you order Green Frog tadpoles, you could still end up receiving green frogs that came from Alaska. There will be enough differences between the two frog groups that releasing your Alaskan green frog could cause trouble in Tennessee.
So, rather than order a tadpole online that you then must keep forever as a pet, it's usually best to gather a few local eggs or tadpoles. Each state has its own regulations about how to do this. For example, Maryland says you can have up to 25 tadpoles of a given species at a time. In Virginia, you can only have five tadpoles of a given species.
Also, know what is endangered in your state. In Massachusetts, it would be illegal to possess a northern leopard frog of any age, since it is endangered. You're allowed to have up to 24 green frogs or bullfrogs.
So, in short, do a little research first. Know what's near you. Know how to identify anything that is endangered. Then gather a reasonable number of eggs or tadpoles from a local location. Make a note of that location so you can return any live adults there later on if you need to. You'll want to get enough that you have a few of them make it all the way through the process - keep in mind that often only 25% to 50% of eggs hatch at all. And many tadpoles don't make it through the process for a variety of reasons. On the other hand, you don't want to start with 100 eggs and both violate local laws and end up with a tank overflowing with frogs.
Moderation is the key!
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This step by step manual helps ensure that your little tadpoles grow up to be happy, healthy frogs. From choosing the tank to designing the menu, from checking the pH to adjusting the temperature, I'll ensure your cute, tiny balls of energy grow up into a joyful friend.
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