In the spring some of our lakes are full of tadpoles and the kids love to keep them and watch them turn to frogs. Its a good lesson for them to learn about nature but at the same time we need to make sure the tadpoles have a good place to live. You cannot just leave them in a bucket and home for the best. Here’s our guide to building a good safe tadpole home to keep them safe and then release them back as small frogs.
DIY tadpole home
What you’ll need
- A large tub
- Some fine gravel or fish tank gravel
- Some grass, ripped up including the roots (Which the tadpoles like to eat)
- Some larger stones or bricks
- A spot that gets some sun but is not in direct sunlight for long periods (they don’t like this!)
- Water from where you are getting the tadpoles from – to fill at least half the container you’ll have them in, ideally enough to fill the container if it won’t effect the pond you’re taking them from.
Here’s how it will look
Step by step guide
Step 1 – Add the gravel
This doesn’t need to be deep, just enough to cover the bottom like a natural pond would be, some of the grass you add may grow in this if its deep enough – which is a good thing!
Step 2 – Add the larger stones
In the picture below you’ll see we used some hold house bricks that we had. The key here is to prop them up so that when the tadpoles turn to frogs they will have a way to get out of the water. As shown here –
Step 3 – Add the water
If you can’t get all the water from the lake then the best option is to add rain water from a water butt if you have one. If not then add tap water and leave it out side with everything in it for a few days before adding the tadpoles.
Step 4 – Add the tadpoles
Make sure you have permission to take them and only take a few as you don’t need loads. When you add them to the water add fresh weeds/ grass (including the roots) to give them something to eat. They should not need any additional food other than occasional rooted grass or weeds. You can feed them ground fish food but mine didn’t need anything other than the grass and weeds.
Step 5 – Return the frogs!
This may happen over a few weeks that they turn in to frogs but its very important to return them to the water they came from.