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2017... and so it begins

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chubsta View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chubsta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 2017 at 9:41pm
Quick question - given that i don't really have any weed to spare, what should i put in the trays with the frog spawn and should it be kept outside in a relatively shady spot, or inside a pretty dark shed or garages?
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Suzi View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Mar 2017 at 12:15am
From experience I wouldn't say you need to put it in the total shade at this time of year. If I had some spawn by February, which I don't so far, I would have it in buckets in a cold greenhouse. When it hatches, after a short time, I put it outside in trays which catch sun. However as the sun gets stronger you do need to make sure the shallow water is not getting overheated and de-oxygenated, so I move the trays so that they only get a few hours of sun at the most. I have duckweed in my ponds so some of that goes in the trays, but I'm not sure weed is that important if you are feeding them. I've never seen mine eating duckweed, but they might do. 
Others might offer different advice, but this works for me. Sadly one year I lost all my tadpoles as the water got too warm, so I'm careful now about positioning the trays.
Suz
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chubsta View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chubsta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Mar 2017 at 10:17am
Thanks - i have lots of partially shady spots which get the sun early in the morning but where it goes by about midday so may try them

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GemmaJF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Mar 2017 at 2:05pm
I do not add pond weed. 

Spawn goes in trays with pond or rain water. 

When the tadpoles hatch they drop to the bottom of the tray and look a bit dead for a while. Then they get active and swim up to the remaining egg jelly.  Give them time to eat all the jelly before worrying about feeding them anything else,  this is their first meal and over several days they will have eaten it all up.

At this stage chubsta, you could release them in the pond as soon as they have eaten all the jelly as they become free swimming and can start to find food for themselves in the pond. This would save you a lot of the effort in rearing them, yet at the same time solve the problem of the sinking spawn. 

If you want to rear them further, just because it can be fun this is my method.

Once the jelly is all eaten I then make up a liquid of boiled cabbage. Boil up the cabbage then liquidize it so you have it at a consistency that will pour easily.  start to add just a few drops of the cabbage food to the trays, just enough to colour the water. Only add more when the water clears. Too much and it will foul the water and it will need to be changed. Catching lots of tadpoles during a water change can be tedious. (guess how I know that??Wink).

I usually do the cabbage water as a batch and freeze it in ice cube trays. Then one can add an ice cube to the water and it will release the nutrients slowly.

The next steps really depend if you want to rear them up to a good size or not. If you do, when it gets to a stage where some are clearly larger than others, separate them to different trays. The little ones catch up once the bigger ones are taken out. 

At some point, the larger ones will switch from being vegetarian to carnivorous. What I do is buy freeze dried daphnia cubes (sold as fish food). Put just a tiny bit of one of these in the water and see if the tadpoles are interested, if not remove it. At some point some will show interest, soon after it will be like they go crazy for it! Then let them have a cube at a time and add more when it is all eaten up.




Edited by GemmaJF - 06 Mar 2017 at 2:14pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Mar 2017 at 3:03pm
Talking about this got me thinking about late frosts and hungry foxes. So I've decided to bring some of the spawn in from the cold. 

Tray filled with butt water:




Spawn I left in the pond:




I took the two most precarious clumps and also the bits from a broken up clump, most likely the male frogs broke it up climbing all over it:



I rear taddies indoors. I put the tray on the floor by our west facing bay window. It will not get much direct sunlight, but it can be very bright in there in the afternoon. It's a case I think that taddies benefit from sunlight but one can not let the water overheat in direct sunlight and deoxygenate as Suzi has said.

Nothing to do now but wait for them to hatch and eat all the jelly. Usually if they are indoors everything happens more quickly. Will be fun to see how much quicker they are than the ones still out in the cold. Will update as things begin to happen.



Edited by GemmaJF - 06 Mar 2017 at 3:14pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Mar 2017 at 5:02pm
Just to add a bit to this discussion...I can't avoid putting duckweed in with my spawn as it is all over the ponds, so scooping pond water to mix with rain water I'm bound to get some.
Yes I let mine scoff the jelly before decanting them into trays. I then feed them boiled lettuce leaves finely chopped. As the taddies get bigger there will be a feeding frenzy when you add it to the trays! Having overcrowded trays definitely slows down the growth rate of taddies. 
Whilst rearing them like this can be fun, it is quite a bit of work. I only do it as I have things in my ponds that would eat all the small taddies I could provide! When they are large I then return them to the pond and they do OK. 
Suz
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chubsta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Mar 2017 at 7:47pm
Cheers for the advice guys, didn't get a chance to do anything today but am back to work Wednesday so will crack on when i get home - so much frog action it would be a shame for it to all be in vain! If nothing else, the froglets give the hedgehogs a bit of variety in their diet :D
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Mar 2017 at 1:11pm
The indoor spawn is starting to hatch. Outside the embryos are still round and the spawn looks much the same as when it was laid.






Edited by GemmaJF - 10 Mar 2017 at 1:11pm
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chubsta View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chubsta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Mar 2017 at 2:58pm
Lovely to see them hatching! i have about 20 clumps in a large tray outside at the moment, seem to be getting a few clumps each day. What has surprised me is that it tends to be laid during the day, i always thought of it happening at night but there is at least as much activity in the pond during daylight as at night, frogs everywhere at the moment, including some beautiful red coloured ones that i will try to photo if i get the chance.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chubsta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Mar 2017 at 1:16pm
Beautiful day here in the South East, temperatures in the high-teens and clear blue skies, loads of butterflies, bees and hover-flies around the pond, and the frogs have been very busy - I now have plenty of spawn saved in the tray so will just let them get on with it in the pond, with the lack of predators in the pond since it was cleared out  this Winter there will hopefully be a good survival rate.






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