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All About Raising Tadpoles


If you have a backyard pond you may be considering adding fish or frogs to the water. Having these creatures splashing around in your pond can be a delight to watch and listen to. Like any animal, they will need a place that will keep them safe and provide them with the nourishment they need. If you decide you want to add tadpoles to your pond, you will get the pleasure of watching them grow and develop throughout their lifecycle. Here is some knowledge you should have before adding these amphibians to your pond.

According to Frog Safe, Inc., tadpoles are pretty easy to care for as long as you have their habitat set up properly. They indicate that tadpoles require the following:

  • 6-12 weeks to develop. Your tadpoles won’t grow into frogs over night, so you’ll need patience as they grow.
  • Food and sufficient water for the entire time of their development.
  • Space to develop – a rough rule-of-thumb is no more than 2 tadpoles per liter of water.
  • Sufficient oxygen which can be in the form of a pond aerator or the right plants with some sunshine.

Tadpoles will need cool and fresh water. Tadpoles love to eat algae, so providing plants and other surfaces for algae to grow on in and around your water feature is ideal. You will want to keep water levels full in order to help maintain oxygen levels and the ideal temperatures, especially in the hotter months. HGTV Gardens recommends leaving tap water out for a few days to give the chlorine time to evaporate before adding it to your pond. If you don’t have that kind of time, a dechlorinator water treatment can be added. Be sure to add the water in the morning when the water won’t be too warm.

Provide some shade. Keep at least half of the surface of your pond nice and shaded with floating plants or trees planted nearby.

If your tadpoles are sharing the pond with koi or goldfish, make sure you aren’t overfeeding the fish. Too many nutrients, both from uneaten food and from fish excrement, contribute to excessive algae growth. While algae is a preferred snack for tadpoles, too much of it can have a negative impact.

If your tadpoles hatch during the cooler months, don’t be surprised if it takes them a little longer to develop. During colder periods it can take a little longer or development can even be suspended until the temperatures warm.

When tadpoles are about to develop legs, they will need some sort of resting place that is out of the water. Floating plants or branches are ideal. Depending on what type of frog you have, you may need a different kind of perch or ledge. tells us that young tree frogs can climb smooth vertical surfaces such as pond liners and glass, but the ground dwelling frogs will need a rough slope to provide some traction when it’s time for them to climb out of the water.

As long as you are ready to provide a safe and healthy environment for your tadpoles, you can expect to enjoy watching them turn into full-grown, happy frogs! Keep these tips in mind and never hesitate to reach out to your local water garden expert for help.