Raising Tadpoles


Why Xenopus?
Water Systems
The Frogs
Sexing Frogs
Testes Isolation
In Vitro Ferts
Oocyte Surgery
Colony Returns
Recycling Frogs
Natural Mating
Raising Tadpoles
Health & Disease


Web Xlaevis

Updated 1/25/2006

Tadpole Care

If you have performed an in vitro fertilization and have de-jellied the eggs, you should keep them in 0.1xMMR plus gentamycin until they reach about stage 35 to make sure they remain healthy.  From there, transfer them to a 15 to 25 gallon tank filled with frog water.

If you have set up a natural fertilization in a 15 to 25 gallon tank, remove the male and female after no less than 12 hours.  You will be able to confirm fertilization if you see the eggs have activated.  The embryos can remain in the tank and develop from there.

Once you have swimming tadpoles, add an air stone and put it on a very gentle flow.  Also if you add a water heater and heat to 24C, they will develop much more rapidly.

Do not feed the tadpoles until they reach stage 37/38, as they are still feeding off their own yolk, and you will just cloud the water and suffocate them.   Feed twice a week with tadpole powder.  They should clear the water in about 2 hours.  Remember not to over feed your animals, especially with the tadpoles.

You will find a great diversity in the rate of development.   You will have froglets, metamorphosing frogs, and small tadpoles in the same batch.   This is completely normal.  you should, however, separate out the froglets from the smaller ones as they tend to eat their smaller siblings.

When the froglets are just starting to emerge and have absorbed their tails (stage 65 to 66) add some pelleted food in the water for them to eat, and cut back on the amount of tadpole powder.

Do not change the water until they are mostly froglets and large tadpoles at around stage 55.  Crack the valve and let the water out slowly so the animals do not get trapped on the drain.  Only change 25% of the water at a time   as they can die if you shock them with a large water change at once.

When you have all froglets, remove the heater and air stone.   Keep them at a density of a gallon per frog, even at this size, as they will grow much more rapidly.  Feed them pelleted food or meal three times a week or daily for maximum growth.  Change 50% of the water at least three hours after feeding, again just cracking the drain so you do not harm the animals.

They should reach sexual maturity within a year and a half.  If you feed meal gel you can get them to maturity within 9 months to a year.

View the stages:
Normal Table of Xenopus laevis Development
Thanks to: Centre de Biologie du Developpment, Toulouse, France.

Purchase the book:
Normal Table of Xenopus laevis - the best Xenopus developmental book.


Back ] Next ]