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Tadpoles in my fountain (Northern FL)

This is a discussion on Tadpoles in my fountain (Northern FL) within the General Discussion and Identification forums, part of the Anura: Frogs & Toads category; A few days ago I was going through our courtyard, happened to look into our fountain and saw these little ...

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Old 16th July 2011   #1 (permalink)
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Default Tadpoles in my fountain (Northern FL)

A few days ago I was going through our courtyard, happened to look into our fountain and saw these little black seeds suspended in the fountain. I thought it was weird but I soon forgot. Later on my boyfriend said "Did you see the frog eggs in the fountain?" and I realized that's what the black things were, lol. Yesterday the tadpoles all hatched and now there's gotta be a few hundred in there. There are also some tadpoles that are significantly larger in my pond, I don't know if they're older 'poles of the same species or a different type, but I have pics of those too.

I have some pictures so maybe you guys could help me identify them and together we can figure out a strategy on how best to help them so as many survive as possible. Anything that eats mosquitoes is a friend of mine (plus they're so cute). There's not a lot in the fountain that they can eat and they're too small to really start eating any bugs that might fall in or that I could catch for them, so I sprinkled a few Hikari Micro Pellets in there and they seem to be eating them. Should I boil water and use it to do small water changes every so often, or would that do more harm than good (I would cool it off before using =P)?

Anyway, on to the pics:

The larger tadpoles:
Click the image to open in full size.

The little guys:
Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

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Old 16th July 2011   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tadpoles in my fountain (Northern FL)

I think one needs to see the mouth of the tadpole to be able to correctly tell you which species this may be, but I might be wrong.

I am no frog/toad expert. But they look like they are having fun!
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Old 16th July 2011   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tadpoles in my fountain (Northern FL)

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Originally Posted by lexmiller View Post
I think one needs to see the mouth of the tadpole to be able to correctly tell you which species this may be, but I might be wrong.

I am no frog/toad expert. But they look like they are having fun!
I saw what I think were their mouths when I looked real close without my glasses, they seem to be just a straight line under their eyes. They do look like they're having fun! I've been going out there all day to watch them. So cute! I think they might be tree frog tadpoles.
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Old 16th July 2011   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tadpoles in my fountain (Northern FL)

Those look like good ol' American Toad tadpoles.

They aren't going to be muching on too many mosquitoes or live insects at this point in their life as they are vegetarians. They're extremely hardy little critters (that's why you can find american toads everywhere, including cities where nearly all other amphibians have been extirpated) and generally can survive just fine on their own nearly anywhere. Of course, in such large numbers in such a small area, you can always help them out. Here's some quick things to do-

Food: you can either boil greenery in the microwave, or better yet, freeze it. Spinach and leafy things are best, then romaine, and iceburg is easily the worst. If it's not organic (which is expnsive) soak it in the sink with a tiny bit of lemon juice and soap for twenty minutes before freezing or boiling it. Be sure to rinse the soap off.

Housing: The fountain is OK, if not ideal. It has enough veggie matter inherently to keep them going for awhile, although it looks like it lacks algae, which seems to be what they really love. You might want to get some chicken wire to cover it up with, as any crow will have a field day eating all those bite sized morsels. As to water changes, they're not as messy as fish or newts so water changes can be less frequent. Don't boil the water, that isn't going to do anything since it's already potable. You can leave it sitting out in a container in the fridge for a few days to let the chlorine get out and that should be fine.


If you have any other questions just post em', I've been looking after frogs and tadpoles for most of my life, in anything from aquariums to giant buckets.

And for god's sakes get that cigarette butt out of there. They probably don't like that.
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Old 16th July 2011   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tadpoles in my fountain (Northern FL)

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Originally Posted by Crippster View Post
Those look like good ol' American Toad tadpoles.

They aren't going to be muching on too many mosquitoes or live insects at this point in their life as they are vegetarians. They're extremely hardy little critters (that's why you can find american toads everywhere, including cities where nearly all other amphibians have been extirpated) and generally can survive just fine on their own nearly anywhere. Of course, in such large numbers in such a small area, you can always help them out. Here's some quick things to do-

Food: you can either boil greenery in the microwave, or better yet, freeze it. Spinach and leafy things are best, then romaine, and iceburg is easily the worst. If it's not organic (which is expnsive) soak it in the sink with a tiny bit of lemon juice and soap for twenty minutes before freezing or boiling it. Be sure to rinse the soap off.

Housing: The fountain is OK, if not ideal. It has enough veggie matter inherently to keep them going for awhile, although it looks like it lacks algae, which seems to be what they really love. You might want to get some chicken wire to cover it up with, as any crow will have a field day eating all those bite sized morsels. As to water changes, they're not as messy as fish or newts so water changes can be less frequent. Don't boil the water, that isn't going to do anything since it's already potable. You can leave it sitting out in a container in the fridge for a few days to let the chlorine get out and that should be fine.


If you have any other questions just post em', I've been looking after frogs and tadpoles for most of my life, in anything from aquariums to giant buckets.

And for god's sakes get that cigarette butt out of there. They probably don't like that.

Lol, yeah thanks. I didn't even notice that until my friend pointed it out, it's gone. This fountain in general doesn't get used, usually they just vacuum the water out but we've had a lot of rain.

Thank you for all of the info. If it's not a big deal then I'll just use dechlorinator to get rid of the chlorine and chloramines. I always have plenty of leafy greens on hand for my tortoise and my fish, so no problems there. Also have algae wafers but they do have fish meal in them, so I'll assume those are no good? I love toads, I hope that's what they are, it'll be fun to have them around. Good to know that they're vegetarians, I was worried about them eating each other.
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Old 17th July 2011   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tadpoles in my fountain (Northern FL)

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Lol, yeah thanks. I didn't even notice that until my friend pointed it out, it's gone. This fountain in general doesn't get used, usually they just vacuum the water out but we've had a lot of rain.

Thank you for all of the info. If it's not a big deal then I'll just use dechlorinator to get rid of the chlorine and chloramines. I always have plenty of leafy greens on hand for my tortoise and my fish, so no problems there. Also have algae wafers but they do have fish meal in them, so I'll assume those are no good? I love toads, I hope that's what they are, it'll be fun to have them around. Good to know that they're vegetarians, I was worried about them eating each other.


Any time, glad to help. The algae wafers are fine, but sort of a waste as they'd just ignore what they don't want, but it's kind of a waste as these guys are really low maintenance. Once they get a good way through metamorphosis they'll probably stop eating, but at this point they're more or less out of your hands.


Now I'm all worried that they'll come along and vacuum up all your little guys (I'm assuming you live in a complex or something?) ! I've seen people pump off the top of their pool lining depositing hundreds of tadpoles on the sidewalk.


Admittedly back in my younger days I didn't even do water changes (say, when I was 10 or so). I just topped up the water and kept the Algae levels up (I fed them algae directly from my local river) and never had any problems then. They're pretty hardy creatures.


I'm most concerned about the crow/bird issue however. Just keep them in mind.
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Old 17th July 2011   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tadpoles in my fountain (Northern FL)

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Any time, glad to help. The algae wafers are fine, but sort of a waste as they'd just ignore what they don't want, but it's kind of a waste as these guys are really low maintenance. Once they get a good way through metamorphosis they'll probably stop eating, but at this point they're more or less out of your hands.


Now I'm all worried that they'll come along and vacuum up all your little guys (I'm assuming you live in a complex or something?) ! I've seen people pump off the top of their pool lining depositing hundreds of tadpoles on the sidewalk.


Admittedly back in my younger days I didn't even do water changes (say, when I was 10 or so). I just topped up the water and kept the Algae levels up (I fed them algae directly from my local river) and never had any problems then. They're pretty hardy creatures.


I'm most concerned about the crow/bird issue however. Just keep them in mind.
I won't feed them the algae wafers then, it's not really a pick and choose thing, everything is blended up and then baked kinda like when they make kibble, so they would get stuff that they don't need from the wafers.

We live in a two family. My boyfriend's parents live in the other apartment. If I ask them not to vacuum it and as long as I keep it clean then they won't mess with it. The bigger concern would be spraying bug spray, hopefully they don't but I can't really stop them if they go out.

The fountain is in a covered, fenced courtyard. The only time I've ever seen crows in there was when one of their babies fell from a tree into my pond, they were freaking out but I got him to a safe place and once he dried off they left and I never saw them in there again. I don't think birds really like it in there because my boyfriend's mom's cat is quite the hunter and he usually hangs out around there. He even climbs up on top of the roof so there's no safe area for birds in that particular section of our yard. He'll be a problem when they turn into frogs or toads, but I'll probably be around so if I know a general time frame then I can usher them to a safer place.

Water changes feel safer to me plus as I mentioned it'll hopefully keep them from draining the fountain until the little guys grow up.
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Old 17th July 2011   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tadpoles in my fountain (Northern FL)

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Originally Posted by vanillaXtiffy View Post
I won't feed them the algae wafers then, it's not really a pick and choose thing, everything is blended up and then baked kinda like when they make kibble, so they would get stuff that they don't need from the wafers.

We live in a two family. My boyfriend's parents live in the other apartment. If I ask them not to vacuum it and as long as I keep it clean then they won't mess with it. The bigger concern would be spraying bug spray, hopefully they don't but I can't really stop them if they go out.

The fountain is in a covered, fenced courtyard. The only time I've ever seen crows in there was when one of their babies fell from a tree into my pond, they were freaking out but I got him to a safe place and once he dried off they left and I never saw them in there again. I don't think birds really like it in there because my boyfriend's mom's cat is quite the hunter and he usually hangs out around there. He even climbs up on top of the roof so there's no safe area for birds in that particular section of our yard. He'll be a problem when they turn into frogs or toads, but I'll probably be around so if I know a general time frame then I can usher them to a safer place.

Water changes feel safer to me plus as I mentioned it'll hopefully keep them from draining the fountain until the little guys grow up.

Oh by all means do water changes, they're good. I was just citing my ignorance as a child and how these guys dealt with it anyway.

It'd be easier to keep the cat away from them for a few hours while they disperse- but that's a few weeks to a few months away. You can keep posting pictures as they progress but I think you'll know when they're ready to head out. They'll stop eating what you provide for them and basically be finished metamorphosis.
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Old 17th July 2011   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tadpoles in my fountain (Northern FL)

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Oh by all means do water changes, they're good. I was just citing my ignorance as a child and how these guys dealt with it anyway.

It'd be easier to keep the cat away from them for a few hours while they disperse- but that's a few weeks to a few months away. You can keep posting pictures as they progress but I think you'll know when they're ready to head out. They'll stop eating what you provide for them and basically be finished metamorphosis.
Lol, if I want to keep all of my limbs, it'll be easier to move them to another area where they can find places to hide. That cat is VICIOUS. Usually when people say that I'm like yeah ok, because I'm pretty good with cats and I can get them to at least tolerate, if not like me, but if I even look at him the wrong way he goes after me. I've never been scared of a cat before, but I'm scared of him.

I too rarely did water changes when I was younger and didn't know better. Now after having some experience, I'm a big wc advocate. Dilution is the solution to pollution! xD
I will be updating with pics whenever there's a noticeable change in their growth. Hopefully as they grow it will be easier to get a species ID on them.
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