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Thread: African Clawed Frog Tadpole Stages of Development

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    Default African Clawed Frog Tadpole Stages of Development

    From the day the eggs are laid, to the day where they absorb the last bit of their tail.
    Morphing process can take any where from 8 weeks to 14 weeks.
    Each batch is different - depending on genetics and environment factors, you may find yourself with tadpoles morphing at 6 weeks, or 18 weeks!
    The average is around 12 weeks.

    Every tadpole will morph at it's own rate!

    Stage 1 - Eggs Laid.
    The tadpoles will develop in the eggs for 24-72 hours.
    You will see the egg turn into a "c" shape if the egg has been fertilized and is viable.
    If the egg develops mold or looks fuzzy then it was not fertilized and should be removed before the mold spreads to nearby developing tadpoles and before it begins to rot and fouls the water.



    Stage 2 - Clingers.
    The tadpoles now resemble small silver tear drops and will cling to surfaces in the tank - decor, walls, plants etc.
    They will stay in this stage for 24-48 hours. They are not yet able to swim and will at most flutter to another surface if they feel disturbed. They are not feeding at this stage.



    Stage 3 - Free Swimming.
    The tadpoles no longer cling to surfaces and have built up the strength to swim. They will be in a heads down position with the tail raised above their heads. They are now able to feed.
    Feed a small amount of powdered food 2-3 times a day. Tadpoles are filter feeders and will not hunt micro-organisms in the water like other species of tadpole. The best type of food is HBH or Zoomed frog/tadpole bites or Reptomin sticks ground up with a mortar and pestle. (What they will be eating whole as adults).
    Another great food to supplement feedings with, if you can stomach it, is to take earthworms (best to do bait store bought or raise your own, not catch them wild as you don't know of any pesticides/chemicals they may have come in contact with) - take a few worms and put them in a blender with a cup of water, making a worm broth. Can also be done with frozen bloodworms but do this sparingly. Always plan your worm broth feedings a couple hours before your water changes, this will give the tadpoles sufficient time to filter feed their fill and you can remove the worms from the water before they begin to foul it.
    * It is common for about 30% of tadpoles to not survive. Remove any passed tadpoles as soon as you see them so they do not foul the water. Do not consider this a personal failure - on average only about 60-70% of tadpoles become froglets.




    Stage 4 - Growth, whiskers.
    The whiskers develop to help them interact with their environment. The internal organs can be seen developing - heart, brain, lungs, stomach are all visible at this stage.






    Stage 5 - Growth, back legs bud.
    This is a huge turning point for the tadpole!
    Slightly increase feedings to reflect the extra energy they are using to being their morphing process.




    Stage 6 - Back legs fully develop.
    You will see them learning how to use their legs, kicking themselves around the tank in short bursts. They will still primarily use their tails to move around while they build up their leg muscles.




    Stage 7- Front arms emerge.
    Soon after this the tadpole will begin to absorb their tail.
    Remember that tadpoles morph at their own rate and some may behind/ahead of their siblings. Be prepared with another tank to separate fully morphed froglets from their tadpole siblings as they will have different dietary requirements and you don't need a froglet to mistake a sibling's limb for food!




    Stage 8- Condensing to froglet body shape.
    The wide tadpole body begins to slim down to become more frog shaped. It is about to begin the process of absorbing their tail.



    Stage 9- Tail Absorption.
    When you see some tadpoles entering this stage, reduce feeding. They do not eat while absorbing their tail - they will absorb nutrients from their tail and not seek out food in the environment. They will also begin to absorb their gills and start going to the surface for gulps of air. By the end of this stage the tail will be absorbed and they will strictly be air breathers at the surface.




    Stage 10- Froglet!
    Congratulations! You now have a froglet! Remember that froglets need to be removed from their tadpole siblings.
    Feed the froglet 2x a day, a couple HBH or Zoomed tadpole Bites or the smallest Reptomin you can find (you may have to break it into bite size pieces).
    72 Gallon Bow - ACF and GF tank.
    26 Gallon Bow - ACF tank.

    20 Gallon Long - ACF tank.


    "If there were an invisible cat in that chair, the chair would look empty. But the chair does look empty; therefore there is an invisible cat in it." C.S. Lewis, Four Loves, 1958

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