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Tadpoles are fun and interesting animals that will become frogs in a few weeks or months, depending upon the species. The metamorphosis takes place in stages: first the back legs come in; then the front legs come in, and the head starts to look more frog-like; then the tail slowly disappears. Once the change is complete, you have a new frog! Is a tadpole the right choice for your aquarium? Yes No Check "Yes" or "No" after reading the following statements: 1. I have room for an appropriate size aquarium. 2. This tadpole would be compatible with my other aquarium inhabitants. 3. I can commit to providing proper care for this tadpole. 4. A mature person will provide responsible and primary care for this tadpole. If you answered "Yes" to these statements, a tadpole may be the right choice for you! Continue reading about how to care for a tadpole and consult with a PETCO associate to learn more. PETCO is committed to responsible aquarium care. Average Size 2½ inches long Life Span (for frogs) Up to 5 years with proper care, depending upon species


Pelleted tadpole food or flaked fish food Steamed or lightly boiled dark green leafy vegetables may be fed occasionally


Needs to be supplied food, and will also scavenge Feed every day Remove any food that is not eaten in 10 minutes


Tadpoles should be kept in an appropriate sized aquarium with a secure cover to prevent escape A larger sized aquarium will be necessary when the tadpole becomes a frog A floating island should be provided so the tadpoles can get out of the water as they change Provide plenty of hiding places Water temperature should range from 60° F. to 75° F Stable water quality, water temperature, and pH levels are critical to the health of tadpoles. If you are unsure of your water quality or pH levels, PETCO provides free water testing.

Recommended Supplies

Appropriate size aquarium Water conditioner Water test kit Thermometer Heater Book about freshwater aquariums

Food pellets Décor Substrate Airstone Aquarium cover

Light Net Filter Air pump

© 2005, PETCO Animal Supplies, Inc. All rights reserved. (0912)

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Can eat a number of different things, dark green leafy vegetables, algae discs, and other types of commercial fish food Need hiding places Once legs grow in, will need access to land

Habitat Maintenance

Check filter, other equipment, and water temperature daily Check water quality at least once a week Change 10-25% of the total volume of water every two weeks, or as needed Introduce new fish to the aquarium gradually


Can be kept with large, relatively docile fish that will not attempt to eat them, such as community tetras or loaches Can be kept with other tadpoles of both sexes Some tadpoles will become cannibalistic if a significant size discrepancy develops between tadpoles in an aquarium; be certain to move small animals to a separate habitat if this occurs

Signs of a Healthy Tadpole Common Health Issues

· · ·

Swims actively · Hides often Eats vigorously · Clear eyes and smooth skin Remains in the bottom half of the aquarium Health Issue Symptoms or Causes Cloudy eyes, open sores, and/or reddening of the skin Red inflammation of the skin, or any other abnormal change in skin color Suggested Action Improve water quality and use appropriate antibacterial medicine; seek veterinary advice Quarantine frog immediately; see veterinary advice

Bacterial Infection

Fungal Infection

Signs of Illness

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Loss of appetite Does not swim away from capture

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Hazy or cloudy eyes Floating to the top of the aquarium

If you notice any of these signs, test water quality and improve as necessary

Preventing Common Health Issues Sources

Avoid crowded conditions; they are a major cause of stress and disease Maintain good water quality with regular water changes and adequate filtration The ASPCA Complete Guide to Pet Care by David L. Carroll The Simple Guide to Freshwater Aquariums by David E. Boruchowitz

Note: The information on this Care Sheet is not a substitute for veterinary care. If you need additional information, please refer to the above sources or contact your veterinarian as appropriate.

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SKU 632287 © 2005, PETCO Animal Supplies, Inc. All rights reserved. (0912)


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