Tadpoles and a Water Filter
Tadpoles are messy. Really, really messy. It's not their fault. It's just that they eat a lot of food in order to grow arms and legs. That means they poop a lot. If you don't filter their water, this can make the water dirty quickly.
The solution is a water filter, like this Fluval 2.
A water filter sucks the water in on one end. It uses a variety of filtering devices, like charcoal or physical barriers, to block the gunk and poop from going through. Then it sends the clean water out the other end.
You clean those filters regularly, and replace them on a schedule, so that the filters are always fairly clean and able to do their job properly.
You definitely want to look into having a water filter on your tadpole tank. When they're tiny and only eating a small amount, you can get by with just a small filter. As the tadpoles grow larger and sprout arms and legs, they will be making far more of a mess in the tank. You'll want to have a filter that's up to the job.
Yes, you can also do water swaps - but you need to be careful about the amount of water you change out. The tadpoles naturally create a good balance of chemicals in their water and if you suddenly jar them with fresh water with a different set of chemicals, it can create system shock for their bodies. The same goes if the new water is too much different in temperature from the old water.
Even with a filter, you probably want to sweep a small net through the water every day or two and pick out any larger items. That will help ensure the filter doesn't get clogged up with the larger pieces.
You'll also want to use a gravel vacuum occasionally. All the poop tends to settle down into the gravel, which is far better than it floating around free in the tank. Still, it means that you want to occasionally clean that out.
Here are the two filters we find work well:
Fluval 2 Water Filter
Whisper Micro Filter
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