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Thread: Grey Tree Frog tadpoles (I hope!) and some questions

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    Default Grey Tree Frog tadpoles (I hope!) and some questions

    A couple of weeks ago when I was filling my pool the local frog community decided to descend in force! So the next day as I was skimming off all of the eggs I thought, "I bet the kids would enjoy watching some tadpoles turn into frogs..." So I took a handful of eggs and dropped them in a mason jar with some water not really expecting much.

    Two days later I had tadpoles. Luckily I've been keeping aquariums for years so I had pretty much everything I needed. I set up the tadpoles in a 5.5 gallon tank with a sponge filter and a ton of java moss and started researching the types of frogs in my area to figure out what I had. My state's department of game and inland fisheries lists 28 species of frog/toad known to live in my state, of those only 13 have been observed in my county. I was able to further eliminate everything that requires a permanent large body of water (bullfrogs for instance) since the nearest water is a creek you can jump over 1/4 mile from the house, that left 8 possibilities. I eliminated 1 more because it lays eggs in strings not clumps, and two more whose tadpoles have dorsal rather than lateral eyes and another one that does not have a visible intestinal coil. That left only three possibilities (well, two really) either a Grey Tree frog (or the similar Cope's Grey), or an Upland Chorus Frog. Unfortunately the easiest identifying attribute for both of these tadpoles (red tails for the Grey, and a black tail tip for the Chorus) only develop in the presence of predators which obviously they don't have in my current setup. Still, based on the pictures I've seen online I suspect that what I have is a Grey Tree Frog. It also helps that I have seen several adult Grey Tree Frogs on my property this spring, so I know they are around.

    I'd be interested to hear from anyone with experience raising these guys if they think my identification is accurate or not. Hopefully I attached the pictures correctly.

    They love feeding on the java moss (or more accurately the algae that grows on it's surface) and I've been supplementing that with spirulina algae pellets. I've also offered them some sinking aquatic frog pellets, but they just ignore those. They are developing quickly though so the spirulina + java moss/algae seem to be sufficient.

    I've also started cultures of Hydei fruit flies and bean beetles to have for them once they turn into froglets. That also hasn't been much of a challenge since it is similar to raising live food for my aquariums (and is actually where the surplus fruit flies are going for now). I'd like to avoid crickets and I'd be interested in the opinions of other owners on if that is possible or not. Raising crickets is a pain - I tried it once about a decade ago, they stink, they escape, they are annoyingly loud. I just don't want them. I'm happy to raise the flies and the beetles, and am considering also raising isopods, worms, and spring tails. Will this be enough variety to maintain a few Grey Tree Frogs or am I going to have to deal with crickets?

    Anyway, happy to hear opinions and suggestions. I'll also probably be posting my progress in a separate thread as I convert my 56 gallon tall aquarium (24hx30wx18d) into a palludarium to house these guys in the future.
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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Grey Tree Frog tadpoles (I hope!) and some questions

    Well, I'm much more confident in my identification today. Last night we had a big thunderstorm that really soaked everything. After the rain stopped last night the frogs were out again in force and I noticed dozens of them all around the pool. Went outside with a flashlight and the little guys let me walk right up to them, pick them up, ID them, and put them back. Amazingly tame little guys, they don't make any attempt at all to jump away and seem perfectly content to sit in my hand until I put them back where they were.

    Anyway, there must have been at least 30 Grey Treefrogs around my pool and they seemed to be the only species there. Probably more in the yard. I knew we had them on the property because I had seen two or three of them this spring, but I had no idea we had so many!

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    Default Re: Grey Tree Frog tadpoles (I hope!) and some questions

    The first one got front legs at some point last night! The other 8 still don't have them, but I can tell a few are ready to pop out soon. I set up a second 5 gallon tank next to the first and put it on a slant so the floor is half water half dry and transferred this guy over.

    Question: according to the Gray Tree Frog Care and Breeding Guide posted here in this forum this little guy won't be eating anymore until the tail is gone. At what point should I start adding fruit flies to his tank? Just wait until the tail is completely gone, or sooner than that? And how long does tail absorption take? I was expecting his back to get a brighter green about this time...it's definitely greener than it was, but it's more of an olive color than bright green. Will it brighten up in a day or two, or is there a lot of variation in these frogs?

    Thanks!
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    Default Re: Grey Tree Frog tadpoles (I hope!) and some questions

    Well, since no one ever answered any of the questions I asked I guess I'll go ahead and answer them now in case someone finds this thread in the future and has a similar situation.

    First off, yes they are gray tree frogs.

    And yes, there is a huge amount of variation in how green the tadpoles get when they get all four legs. Some turn bright green right away, others stay completely gray.

    Tail absorption varies quite a bit from frog to frog, but generally seems to take in the 3-4 day range. Once the fins of the tail disappear the frog is pretty much ready to come out of the water so if all that is left of the tail is the central line and the frog isn't making any attempt to get to land you may want to push him up to the edge of the water line so he gets some air and maybe gets the idea to get out. I lost one frog to drowning because he never made any attempt at all to get out of the water. After that I watched them more closely and "encouraged" any that didn't seem to be getting out on their own when the time came.

    Sinking spirulina pellets sold at any pet store are perfect food for the tadpole stage and don't really foul the water much if they don't get eaten right away. Hydei fruit flies are perfect for the newly formed frogs and very easy to culture.

    As for an alternative to crickets I decided to go with green banana roaches. They stay relatively small for a roach, have soft bodies, and don't look gross. Plus they won't make a ton of noise or smell horrible like crickets would and any escapees will die in a day or two since the local environment is not suitable for them. Seems like the perfect feeder to me. It'll be a while before I need them but I went ahead and ordered everything I need to set up a colony anyway so they'll be ready when the time comes.
    Last edited by dfreas; 16 Hours Ago at 08:05 AM. Reason: spelling

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