Day 40 - The development of the tadpoles is overall going swimmingly, three have really begun to advance developmentally, you cannot only see the back limbs growing but the stubs of their front limbs. The next two weeks should really be a sight to behold for them as they continue their metamorphosis. The rest are beginning to grow their back legs, which are still too tiny to pick up in photos. The larger tadpoles, however, have fairly visible back legs growing in that are in my opinion, the cutest little things to see flapping about as they swim and occasionally kick to build up the muscles.
On a more culinary note, I've decided to test the new feeding schedule for the tadpoles starting today. In the past week or so, the feedings have gone from 22 ml to 29 ml of tadpole suspension, tadpole powder mixed with water. While the tadpoles seemed to appreciate the increased food, the increased amount of powder littering the bottom of the tank was hard to ignore. Clearly, a large amount of the food wasn't being consumed in time before it settled at the bottom, forcing the tadpoles to suck it up from there.
I've now decided to try a different feeding schedule, rather than feeding the tadpoles all of the suspension at once, perhaps it would be more efficient to give them two smaller, spaced out meals instead, I thought. Today, I started by feeding the tadpoles 15 ml first and then another 15 ml approximately 2 hours later. While it's too early to tell if there will be a significant impact, I feel that the initial results are promising, compared to yesterday's water change, there seemed to be a significant reduction in the amount of tadpole powder that had settled to the bottom of the tank. While requiring slightly more attention, I feel this will allow for more efficient feeding, which will result in not only more well-fed tadpoles but will also better maintain water quality, since excess food ..
Day 39 - The tadpoles are certainly beginning to show their smarts. Every day, the tadpoles go up to the side of the tank facing me and swim around waiting for food at the same feeding time every day. I'm considering splitting up the feedings to twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon, while increasing the feeding to 22 ml per feeding. To start, however, I think I'll split the schedule to two 15 ml feedings twice a day to see how the tadpoles react (I also need to find an empty milk gallon to figure out how much tadpole suspension (tadpole powder mixed into water) is in the jug. I've been eyeballing it so far but will need to accurately know if I have enough left to cover increasing the feedings - the sooner I know if I'll have to order more tadpole powder, the better.
Another issue has popped up that you may not be aware of unless you've actively maintained an aquarium before. Many foods for aquatic animals contain oils, whether for preservation or nutrition depends on the food. Xenopus.com's frog food, which I believe contains the same ingredients as the tadpole powder, includes fish oil. Due to a lack of surface agitation to prevent the oil from clumping, an oily film built up on the water's surface. Thankfully this is an extremely easy fix, just put on a pair of rubber gloves and run a clean paper towel over the surface to remove the film. I also tried using one of the sections of window screen I previously cut a when I first put the tadpoles into the 20 gallon tank and found similar results if folded. I'll have to keep testing to confirm, it does offer the benefit of being reusable. I'll have ample opportunity to try it out tomorrow since I ran out of paper towels yesterday (had to use one of the thick paper napkins I had on hand for today).
Day 33 - Tadpoles are still growing on schedule and all are looking healthy, even Squiggly and the other developmentally stunted tadpole, whom I shall now refer to as Strangelove due to its surprising regaining of mobility (as well as for the sake of brevity), seem to be growing. One particularly pleasant side effect of the tadpoles growing larger is that they have become even stronger swimmers, which allows them to swim away from the gravel vac if they get too close, I haven't had a tadpole try to swim up the gravel vac in at least four days. African Clawed Frogs are naturally strong swimmers, which is one of the things that makes adults such escape risks, these little can jump much higher than you'd assume. Always make sure you have a cover for your tank, more than once I've heard a frog bounce off the lid while young and flighty.
Also as a side note, I should hopefully be able to get some better video footage now that I've figured out how to use my GoPro. Despite having the thing for nearly two months, I only just realized the Hero 5 had a touchscreen after youtuber, Ronn Rider, showed it in a video. In order to save money, I bought the camera off of eBay and it came with no instructions. None of the guides I looked up mentioned a touchscreen and, in fact, several mentioned the only way to change the settings as being to download the terrible phone application. As a result of this, I've been stuck with the default settings (obviously I'll be experimenting quite a bit now that I know how to change them!) I will say two things in my defense. Firstly, the screen smudges so incredibly easily that I thought it was a regular LCD display and spent most of my time trying to avoid touching it. Secondly, I haven't owned a non-phone camera since the 90s and the only other person with a digital camera in my immediate family is my mother, who bought her's before everything had a touchscreen slap..
Day 30 - As the tadpoles reach the close of their first month, I cannot help but marvel at how much they have grown, from tiny eggs that could fit between the teeth of a comb to free swimming tadpoles well over an inch long. And there's still so much more to come! Currently, most of the tadpoles are at NF stage 54, with the most advanced around stage 55. The tadpoles won't transform from froglets to juvenile frogs until stage 66, in around 28 (some will of course take a bit longer to develop). This means that we're only about half way through our little journey before the tadpoles will be heading out to hopefully find wonderful owners that will take care of them for years to come.
Also, for anyone curious as to how Squiggly swims compared to the other special needs tadpole, you can see the attached (admittedly very poor quality) video. In all the excitement about the improved conditions of one of our malformed tadpoles (thinking on it, perhaps this one was actually stricken by a stroke? Not common but possible, particularly given the recovery.) I completely forgot to mention the other issue with the main tank where I keep my adults yesterday, which is the filter.
One issue with filters that arises from time to time is maintenance and I don't just mean the monthly cleaning that you should do. Over time, parts will breakdown, whether because they, reached the end of their life cycle, such as with the various filter media contained within or have suffered wear and tear due to being one of the few moving parts. Fluval is one of my favorite brands to use due in no small part to the large aftermarket parts market. Many fluvals within a filter series will use the same or similar parts, allowing for third party vendors to make fewer types of replacements. This gives them the ability to free up inventory space and incentivizes them due to the increased demand per part.
Over the past two days,..
Day 14 - Watching the tadpoles' continue to develop is quite interesting, they've become much more active overall. While initially after feeding, the tadpoles like to press their faces into the sides of the tank and let the food come to them, they go back to swimming a few minutes later (once the food's less concentrated on the sides of the tank).
I feed them in the afternoon and clean at night, by the time morning comes around, you can see half of them swimming along the bottom to try and get whatever food has accumulated. They also tend to swim faster in between feedings, no doubt to try and pass more water over their mouths as they filter feed. There's no need for them to swim fast when there's plenty of food in the water. Remember, it's always better to err on the side of caution and underfeed if you aren't sure how much to feed them. My tadpoles have no issue clearing 15ml of the tadpole suspension (tadpole powder + water) but there's also 82 of them so you may want to take that into account when you are feeding your own.
I've also begun taking out 1.5 gallons (5.678 L) from the tank instead of the original 1.2 (4.543 L) in order to compensate for the current overstocked state of the tank and the growing size of the tadpoles. My top for the 20 gallon (75.708 L) arrives tomorrow and I'll be cleaning that tank out either then or the next day in preparation for the move, which I'm planning to happen in around a week or so depending on either tank parameters or their growth stage (currently Nieuwkoop and Faber stage 49 (http://www.xenbase.org/anatomy/alldev.do)). As soon as they start growing legs, they're going in the 20, although there's still a few stages left before it's time for leg day.
Day 13 - One thing that any person who cares for African Clawed Frogs will tell is that they're surprisingly intelligent (in addition to their wide variety of personalities). My frog Thomas was always inquisitive, any time I put something new in the tank for them to figure out (such as a new resting place) he'd be the first to figure it out and the others would follow his example. Black Eyes was always a bit of a social recluse and Jesus was mellow. Of my two currently remaining, Scout's a bit jumpy, and Tiny is the most sociable, she'll sit in your hand if you put it in the water - waiting for you to give her food, of course!
You can see personality differences in the tadpoles already, some startle easily while others will swim right up to you. With 82 of them in the tank it's of course impossible to track long term personality changes, though given the the dramatic difference between Tiny's extreme shyness when I first got her 6 years ago (to the point that I had to bring food to the place she was hiding to get her to eat, she just refused to grow for the first few months) and the extroversion she shows now, I know whoever buys them will get to see plenty of social development.
The tadpoles seem to have a few "Thomases" in their midst. A few days ago, I noticed a few tadpoles liked to scrape along the sides to eat the tadpole powder that's stuck to the walls of the tank as if they were in a cafeteria; a day later, there were a few more doing it and now almost everyone does it! As soon as I start putting the food in, they started planting their faces on the glass waiting for the food to come to them, they really love to congregate in the corners for some reason.tadpoles don't utilize schooling behavior, so I imagine it's just the result of an aquatic traffic jam as they travel in opposite directions.
For info on the other days go here:
Day 5 - We have our first swimmers! They're about a day early for me to be ready for them thanks to my 5 gallon disappearing. In the meantime, I'll be giving them a little bit of tadpole food to hold them over for the time being. Today, they began responding to light and late yesterday, I noticed they've began to swim in a straight line (as opposed to swimming in circles like falling maple seed pods).
Yesterday, I began daily 30% water changes to keep the water clean. I recommend using a cup to avoid taking out/putting in too much water at once (even slight disturbances can send the tadpoles flying while they're this small).
One issue I'm encountering has to due with my tap water being an African Clawed Frog (AFC) owner's worse case scenario while still being safe for human consumption. My water has 0.5 ppm ammonia straight out of the tap. On top of that, it has 0 general (GH) and carbonate (KH) hardness. AFCs require hard water to thrive and like all aquarium pets, ammonia burns them; their tadpoles are even more sensitive to water conditions.
What does a silly looking stuffed lion from Sweden have to say about scientific progress? Quite a lot actually!
Daily science posts at: https://www.minds.com/RibbitingScience
What does a silly looking stuffed lion from Sweden have to say about scientific progress?
Quite a lot actually!
Daily science posts at: https://www.minds.com/RibbitingScience
Edgar's Account: https://www.minds.com/EdgarAhrent
Created 10 months, 1 week ago.
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