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Rescue Mission!

Discussion in 'Amphibian - General' started by ajvw, Aug 20, 2008.

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  1. ajvw

    ajvw Subscribed User

    We've got our late-summer drought going on here in Northern Virginia. The kids and I were in the back yard this past weekend and noticed how much the creek has dried up. It was down to one or two little puddles in the deepest spots. We checked the biggest puddle, where we always see tadpoles, frogs, newts and baby salamanders, and realized that if we didn't do something, those guys would dry up and die very soon!

    Now, last year I felt like an idiot hauling the hose down to fill that same puddle (we're on a well, and our water's not chlorinated), but I did it because I'm such a softie for critters. This year we're trying a different approach. We took a net and a bucket and we caught all we could. It took several trapping sessions, but we caught most of the little critters. Now we have them all in a 10-gallon tank on the counter, and it's just teeming with them!

    There must be 150 tadpoles in there, and they seem to be doing well. There are maybe a dozen baby salamanders and/or newts. I put the crayfish back (they survive fine out of water, and they burrow down in the mud) so they wouldn't eat anyone. As the tadpoles mature and get all their legs, they crawl up the sides of the tank. We've decided that once they can do that, they are ready to go back and try to make it on their own.

    I'm hoping we get some good rain in the next few weeks so these guys can go back to their real home, but in the meantime, they sure are fun to watch! (And I most certainly have a lid on the tank!)
  2. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Awww, that sounds like great fun!
  3. Frognut

    Frognut Subscribed User Premium Member

    Wow - that's a lot of critters in one tank. I only have one word of warning -- from someone who KNOWS!!

    Be careful as the critters start growing and you start finding yourself... um...attached. When those adorable little tadpoles start morphing into little froglets -- you will soon find yourself shopping for extra tanks and food and substrate and bowls and hidy-holes and asking questions about how to raise them and keep them healthy and you'll spend days on this site and start wandering around the pet stores drooling at all the cool stuff......

    And then you realize - you are HOOKED! Good Luck, its a great thing!.

    I started out rescuing tadpoles in the 'kiddie' pools I keep in my yard for my dogs. Now I have Clyde a Gray Tree Frog and 4 tadpoles still growing. (Somehow I managed to turn the remaining 40+ tadpoles over to a friend with a pond). (I already have 2 cats, 2 dogs (both rescued) and 2 mice(1 rescued from a Boy Scout Camp)

    I wish you all the best, and I'm glad I'm there are so many others out there that are willing to jump in and do what needs to be done to keep them alive.

    A fellow animal rescue nut -
  4. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Be sure to keep that water very clean, or you will find a mass death. Get a good filter and cover the intake up with some sponge so they can't get in.
  5. ajvw

    ajvw Subscribed User

    Thanks for the info, Liz. I guess I figured that since they had been living in a stagnant puddle, the water wouldn't need filtering. I have an airstone I can add, and I can do frequent (partial) water changes. Do you think that's enough, or should i go buy a filter, too?
  6. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    I would do daily, partial water changes, even if its just a few scoops out and a few scoops of fresh water in. That pool hadn't always been stagnant, and I bet it was a lot bigger than a 10 gallon tank. I wouldn't do an airstone.

    And put in something they can climb out onto once you see them getting legs. A little piece of drift wood, a rock, etc.

    What are you feeding them?
  7. ajvw

    ajvw Subscribed User

    They have a stick and some rocks to climb out onto. They are eating from the leaves, etc. that I scooped for them from the bottom of their creek puddle.

    I will do the daily partial water changes as you advise, and I think I will also split them into two tanks -- I have another 10-g in the garage I can unearth.

    Thanks very much for the advice! Cross your fingers for a couple good rainstorms -- that would be the best thing.
  8. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    You can also toss in some fish flakes every few days too if you have fish in your house already. :)
  9. ajvw

    ajvw Subscribed User

    No fish, but fish food left over. I will keep that in mind, thanks!
  10. ajvw

    ajvw Subscribed User

    UPDATE: We got glorious rain today, so most of the little rescuees were returned to the creek. A dozen or so tadpoles and probably half a dozen baby salamanders remain in the house for observation, but they are destined for freedom as well.
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