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FAQs About Amphibian Reproduction, Rearing

Related Articles: Amphibians, Turtles

Related FAQs: Amphibians 1, Amphibians 2, Frogs Other Than African and Clawed, African Dwarf Frogs, African Clawed Frogs, Newts & Salamanders, Rubber Eels/Caecilians, Amphibian Identification, Amphibian Behavior, Amphibian Compatibility, Amphibian Selection, Amphibian Systems, Amphibian Feeding, Amphibian Disease, Turtles


Salamander young fdg., care      2/1/12
Hi I'm Blake.
<Hello Blake.>
A few days ago i was at my friends house and we were in the woods and we found some salamander/newt larvae in a pond.
I decided to take some home. I put them into a 10 gallon tank. There's an aeration system and some live plants in there and about 5 inches of water.
<You will also need a biological filter. Without this, these animals will soon die. Also get a nitrite test kit. If you can't do either of these things, return them -- these animals are doomed without at least a minimum level of basic care.>
The thing is what should i feed them?
<Small live foods; daphnia, for example. But nothing at all until the biological filter has been running at least two weeks.>
They are really tiny and only have front legs and gills. They are about an inch long.
Thank you!
<No problems. Cheers, Neale.>

And one other thing, How can i tell that type of newt/ salamander they are?
<Consult a book on local amphibians. No idea where you live, so can't suggest anything. Here in England, the most common newt seems to be the Palmate Newt. Elsewhere, you'll need to do your own research.>
Or do i just have to wait?
<Could well be. Cheers, Neale.>
Re Salamander young ID     2/1/12

I live in Columbia Illinois. Monroe county.
<Well there you go. You'll need to find a local naturalist or herpetologist who can help you out. And when you do, don't forget to say 'thank you'!
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Re: Re: re:     2/1/12

Believe me i wont.
Thank you for everything! You guys are great help!
<Most welcome. Have fun with your Newts! Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Re: Re: Re: re: Salamanders... What WWM is not     2/2/12
I will!
But can they live 2 weeks without food?
<Yes. It's more important you get the biological filter up and running for a week at least before you start feeding. And for the first 3-4 weeks of the biological filter running, feed only very small amounts every couple days.>
Or do they just eat the stuff of the bottom in the gravel?
<No, they don't "scavenge". They really do need small live foods, and as they get bigger, then appropriate wet-frozen foods such as brine shrimp and bloodworms. Adults will eat earthworms and the like. Generally, wild-caught Newts and Salamanders don't take freeze-dried, flake or pellet foods.
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: re:    2/2/12

Thank you!
I'm going to get the filter tonight and do you have to buy the blood worms or brine shrimp online? Or can you buy them at pet stores?
<Wet-frozen bloodworms and brine shrimp are sold in pet stores. Because they're frozen, they aren't easy to send by post. Do understand freeze-dried foods are very different, they're stored at room temperature,
but probably won't be eaten by wild Newts. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Re: Re: Re: re: Salamanders...  02/08/12

They all died :(
<Too bad. Do please review my previous e-mails about the need for a mature biological filter and a live-food diet of appropriate size. Newts rarely die for no reason! Starvation, environmental stress are the likely issues here. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: re: tadpoles     2/9/12

I think it was bcuz the food was not live.
<Indeed. I think what we're interested here in WWM is less discussion and more correction. So next time you keep Newts, remember what I said, and keep them accordingly. Maybe get a tank cycled ahead of time, kept mature
by adding a few large pond snails, and so having a ready aquarium for them when you next find some tadpoles.
Cheers, Neale.>
 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: re:    2/9/12

I think it was bcuz the food was not live.
<Indeed. I think what we're interested here in WWM is less discussion and more correction. So next time you keep Newts, remember what I said, and keep them accordingly. Maybe get a tank cycled ahead of time, kept mature
by adding a few large pond snails, and so having a ready aquarium for them when you next find some tadpoles.
Cheers, Neale.>

African Dwarf Frog TADPOLES!!!  Need help...pretty please?? - 02/09/2007 Hey there ya��ll, <Christa>     My name is Christa, and I have a total of three (3) ADF��s��two (2) in one tank all by themselves (And Fishy Furniture of course) and the other one is in our 20 gallon tank with a few fish and a pleco.  The reason for my request for information is this��     It was time for a partial water change in Waldo and Newbie��s tank. (the two ADF��s that live together)  I know that I have a male and a female, because I have seen them mate before.  However��I got these two little cuties when they were the size of a small peanut, and since the males do not reach sexual maturity until after the 6 month mark, I didn��t have any tadpoles that produced from their frolicking.       Well��later on that night, after I did the water change, I noticed they were mating.  I didn��t really pay it any mind, since there has been no ��luck�� in the past.  (Boy was I wrong!!)  The next morning when I woke, I walked downstairs to turn all the tanks on and feed everyone, and low-and-behold, there were hundreds of little eggs throughout the floating grasses at the top of the water and clinging to all sides of the hexagon-shaped tank. <Neat>     I discussed maybe raising them, with my boyfriend. (who is more the nature-type than myself�� just being honest.  I��m a City-Girl.)  He asked me a very good question�� ��What in the world did I intend to do with all the baby frogs?��  So, I spoke with a local Fish and Supply store here in our neighborhood and asked if they would be interested in taking them off my hands (most of them anyways�� I would like to keep a few) when they are a little older and much to my surprise, he said he would love too. <Oh yes... are good sellers> So the journey has begun!!  Yeah!!  I can��t wait to watch this.  I��ve never seen anything like this before.  Again����City Girl��.    So the little-guy��s have hatched, and are swimming around with itty-bitty tails.  It only took about 3 days!!  I have received many ideas as to what to feed them, such as lightly steamed zucchini, lightly crumpled lettuce that has been sitting in room temp water for 4-6 days, someone even said regular old fish flakes.   <Mmm, yes... and perhaps a bit of "cultured" algae... "Nori, Kombu"... from Asian food stores or the area in your food stores...> I am open for anymore suggestions.  I also understand that they need fresh water and just how important this is to their survival. <A good idea to make quite frequent small change-outs... ten percent every few days...>     To The Point     Your web site has been rather helpful in raising my ADF��s.  However, I can��t seem to get an answer to a few questions I have on raising these teeny-tiny tadpoles.  And I mean Teeny-Tiny!!  I have these little fellas (tadpoles) in a 2.5 gallon hexagon shaped tank with a filter that suctions from the bottom, and there��s a clear cylinder in the back with bubbles that rise from the bottom.  I really don��t know what kind of filtration systems it is called, so I tried my best to describe it.  My questions are these�� <Best to use a "sponge" or foam filter here... See Eheim or Jungle Laboratories sites re...> 1.       Should I turn the filter off?  They are going for one heck-of-a roller coaster ride when they are swept around by the rising bubbles. <Yes... I would switch to the filtration method mentioned above... or an "open" (top off) box filter with just Dacron filter media...> 2.       How often should I feed them?  You can��t really tell with their tummies.  They don��t have any yet. <Daily... I would keep food present most all the time> 3.       How warm should I have the temperature set at?  It is at 78 degrees right now. <This is fine... put the term "Hymenochirus culture" in your search tools...> 4.       Should I leave the light on all night?  Someone told me that they thrive on the micro-organisms that grow in the water and this promotes the growth?  True or False?? <Mmm... do need, use "infusoria" but I would turn the light off regularly> 5.       What should I really be feeding them?  The suggestions I��ve gotten sound a little weird. <See, weed through the above search...> 6.   How often do I need to do a partial water change for these little guys? <Often... as stated above> So, that��s about it.  Thanks for keeping this web site up and operational.  It has been a great source of valuable and extremely hard to find elsewhere information.    New Tadpole Mommy    Manassas, VA <I do wish we had more on this species, the whole Order, much MUCH for other groups... In time... And congratulations on your efforts. Bob Fenner>

Dwarf Frog Tadpoles and Eggs  I'm hoping you can help me, my dwarf frogs have been laying eggs for months, this time I actually have tadpoles swimming around in the aquarium. I'm fearful that the big ones will eat the tadpoles but I'm not sure which ones I should transfer into a new home and what to do. <It is a good idea to move the adults and any other livestock other than the tadpoles, and raise them where they are currently> I'm not prepared because I didn't think the eggs would actually do anything and by switching the big ones to a different tank I'm afraid I might shock them. Also what do the tadpoles need to eat? <Do start preparing water to change that which is in the system (best to store it in a clean (no soap residue) container for a week or more... I would also add a sponge filter or two here... good for these animals who can be messy, and not a problem in terms of "sucking them up". You can feed them on a number of foods... blanched zucchini, fish flake foods, pellets... just take care to NOT overfeed. Bob Fenner> HELP!!!!  Is there anything I can do and if so what.

Re: Your Dwarf Frogs Robert: Sorry to bother you again but now I think I have another problem. My female frog the professional egg layer looks as if she is going to blow up. Since I last e-mailed you she has laid two more batches of eggs. I did remove the adults from the one aquarium to another but that was prior to the two additional batches. The male appears to be fine and thin but I swear if I stuck her with a pin right now she would fly to the moon. Is there anything I can do or is this usual?  <Hmm, likely not unusual... seasonal... hopefully not egg-bound> I'm afraid she might die if I don't try and help her. Sorry to be such a pest but I've had these guys for five years and I've become quite attached. <I understand... most of what I might suggest is worse than waiting/seeing. Bob Fenner> Thanks Lea

Raising Tadpoles Kind Sirs, <Hi! Ananda here tonight...Bob must've guessed I tried raising tadpoles when I was a kid in northern Minnesota!> Over the Easter break, the children and myself came across some frog eggs in the mountain run-off in the in-laws back yard. We decided to bring some eggs home to hatch them. I did this as a child and had much success with it, but I had the availability to change the water daily from the creek by the house.   <I never had luck with tadpoles when I was a kid...then again, we didn't have a creek by the house, either.> I set up a 10 gal tank, bare bottom, (for easy maintenance), some rocks and fired up an old whisper filter and added charcoal. The eggs have been developing into small tadpoles and they have begun twitching inside the egg occasionally. We've read that the next stage the tadpoles will emerge from the egg and stick to the jelly enclosing the egg sack. <So far so good...maybe....> Then comes feeding time. First question, some recommend gold fish flakes, can marine flakes be substituted? Would vita-chem, Selcon and or DT's be worth adding? <Maybe some vita-chem, but I'd skip the expensive Selcon and DT's phytoplankton.> I've read that you can boil lettuce and then freeze, better way to go? Romaine? The article did mention something about tadpole food, I was going to check the LFS. Or if you know of anything better? <I did a Google search on "tadpole food" and found all sorts of stuff.> The article also recommended feeding only twice a week and performing water changes about 2 hours after feeding to reduce waste. <Sounds like a good idea.> Any other recommendations? <In all honesty, I would not recommend this project unless you plan to keep the frogs long-term, in a pond at your house. You have not indicated that you know what species of frog your tadpoles will develop into. Some species take two years to go from egg to frog. Without the benefits of growing up in their native habitat, with all the assorted bugs and critters in the water there, the frogs will likely not have the same immunities that their wild cousins will, and are more likely to succumb to disease once they are released. You will also have taught the frogs that they will be fed; in the wild, they will not know how to hunt...or, for that matter, how to escape from the creatures that hunt them. There is also the fact that they may introduce some disease that is accidentally transferred from one of your other tanks. We keep telling people that they should never release a fish that has been in an aquarium into the wild. I believe the same holds true of frogs.> and/or articles to research? As the tadpoles progress into froglets the plan is to reduce the water, remove the whisper, only use a air filter (?) And provide rocks so they can get out of the water. The long term goal is to release the frogs back at the mountain where they came from when ready and do it again next year. Thanks for your help...looking forward to Reef Inverts at the end of the month. <As are we all... heads up, though -- the book has acquired even more pages than planned, so the schedule is not carved in stone.  --Ananda> As you can tell, I found something to busy myself with. DaveK

Raising Tadpoles Revisited Thanks Ananda, <Hi again, and you're welcome...> Happy to say I've found a pond interested in the tadpoles once they are further along. <Yay!! Local species may well do better in ponds than some of the commercially-available ones.> They hatched over the weekend (around 15 tadpoles) and seem to be doing well. There's a local creek nearby and I decided to go with changing 1 gallon of water every two days with creek water, and a 1 gallon RO water change (aerated) the alternating days. <Sounds good. Do check the pH of the creek and adjust the RO water to the same pH!> From what I can find the young tadpoles need to filter the water and since the 10 gal wasn't a established tank figured I'd better go to a source. <Plus it should have stuff in the water that should be beneficial for the tadpoles...> Can understand not releasing tank animals into the wild just wasn't thinking ahead at the time. <That's always a danger in this hobby...glad it worked out this time.> Thanks for your help, DaveK <You're welcome. --Ananda>

Frog Spawn Hello again, Thank you Don for your help a little while ago, you majorly calmed me down, and everything is AWESOME. I had acquired fish from a friend and a tank on Christmas. refer to "Suddenly Stocked Tank", WWM FAQs.) Well everything is going great, have done 6 water changes since I got the fish. All my levels are looking great (I think those established bio-wheels really helped). I got some ghost shrimp today, just to clean a little. Well my question is, I have noticed clear sacks with yellow dots in them in the bottom of one of my plants, kind of weaved through it. Quite a lot of it probably 50-80 little yellow dots(1mm) all in a single sack. And than there's like yellow brownish flecks and pieces of what look like clear egg sack all over my plant leaves. My plants are fake. Well I don't know who laid them, could it have been my Plecos? My Plecos are almost a year old and 1 is 9" and the other 6", one is obviously smaller, are they male and female? Or one is it that the one is more aggressive and gets all the food (which routinely happens, I put algae wafers in his\her little spot so he\she can eat)? How do you tell the difference? Is that what their egg looks like and where they lay them? I also have a 4" gourami, 1" orange tetra, 1" clown loach, a frog (who seems to be in the eggs a lot), 6" black ghost knife (he's my buddy now, I got him frozen bloodworms and feed them to him on the end of a skewer). I don't think anything else could have laid them. I plan on getting 2 fire green tetras in a week, I finally found a place that will BUY my Plecos. I'm quite happy, after I have been trying to give them away. What should I do with the eggs? I'm not really too concerned about propagating, but something small in my tank might serve as a nice snack for my black ghost knife. Or the frog. Or anything. What do you think? Again thank you for all your help in my beginning worries. And the rest of the WWM staff for the amazing website you guys keep up. James <First thought was snail eggs. Very common. They are laid in a jelly like mass. But on re-reading the part about "weaving though" the plant leaves I now think they may be frog eggs. I never kept frogs, but do recall that some species lay long strings of eggs in a protective jelly. Snail eggs would be in a single round clump. Either way I would remove them. If they're frog eggs they will be infertile without a male and will decay. If they're snail eggs you're looking at a population explosion. Your gourami and tetra would both lay single eggs, not in a mass. I don't think Clown Loaches have ever been breed in captivity and would need to be much larger. (BTW, will grow slow, but can hit 8" to a foot. Be aware) Plecos are cave breeders. They would spawn in a protected area that the male would be defending. So that leaves the frog and snails. To sex your plecs look at the trailing edges of the fins and gill covers. Mature males will have frilly tassels decorating these areas. Also, when viewed from above the male will appear thinner and more tapered than the female. The larger fish may be getting mature enough to sex. At 6" the smaller is still to young. And another BTW, they may eat the ghost shrimp. Don>       Teratogens and Salamanders Hello Mr. (Dr?) Fenner - <Just Bob please> I came across your article "Treating Tap/Source-water for Marine Aquarium Use" while trying to track down chloramine test kits.  I found your article very interesting.  I work with tiger salamander larvae - which are obviously freshwater! - <Yes... Ambystoma tigrinum?> but many of the things you mention are applicable to amphibian larvae as well.  I was wondering if we could chat on the phone so I could get your advise/opinions on some of the aquarium chemicals I have use/ plan to use. I realize you don't want to be seen as promoting one brand or another but I'd like to avoid any pitfalls you or your colleagues have encountered. <Better to just hash out on the Net.> I can be reached at the number below; alternatively I would be happy to pick up the $ if you send me a number and time to call.  Thanks in advance for your time. Danna Schock <Do you have specific questions, concerns? For the sake of sharing with others who might use this information, let's try keying this out. Bob Fenner>

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