Sunday, December 6, 2009

So...About the Tadpoles

It's not my fault, guys. I swear. It's not my fault.

I didn't buy the tadpoles. Well, I did buy the tadpoles, but I didn't buy the tadpole habitat that necessitated my buying the tadpoles.

It's Dagobah.

See, someone gave the thing to Sam for his birthday. To their credit, they called before they showed up with it to ask if it was okay. Unfortunately, (1) Alex answered the phone and (2) they called an hour before the party when we were all distracted and impressionable.

The only reason we're keeping it is for you people, you know. To entertain you with the stories of my distress.

Well, that and the scientific value of letting my kids learn about tadpoles and frogs, which, it turns out, are the same thing. Huh.

I was even kind of okay with them until you guys started commenting on my other post about maggots and mealworms and tadpoles that never turn into frogs. And I started to think more about the crickets I was going to have to feed those tadpoles when if they turned into frogs.

And then I started to get nervous and remembered how I used to work for a pet supply store where the only animals we sold were crickets and how I used to live in fear that someone would ask for a bag of crickets while I was the only one at the register because it's completely unprofessional to scream and jump around when someone says, "I'd like five crickets, please," but have you ever tried to select five crickets from a terrarium full of the little monsters and I think it's on it on me?...oh my God, I THINK THERE ARE CRICKETS ON ME!*

Leticia from TechSavvyMama did warn me not to put them in with fish suggest that I feed them to fish, which is a great idea until the tadpoles are gone and then I have to find something to eat the fish. And I think that frogs might eat fish, although I'm not sure, so I could get frogs (ah, the irony), but then who's going to eat the frogs? So I followed that thought through all the animals I'd need to its logical conclusion and who's going to eat the crocodile, Leticia? Did you think about who's going to eat the crocodile?

But then sometimes because of the contours of the tadpole habitat, it's hard to see the little guys (named Yoda and Skywalker, by the way) and I start to get hopeful and think, "Are they dead? Can I cancel my crocodile order?" and then they calmly swim into view.

I do have to say that they're kinda cute.

And, yes, I do understand that tadpole photography is
even nerdier than gerbil photography.

A few minutes ago I found the two of them cuddled together in the shallow water on the shores of Dagobah. I tried to take a photo, but it seems that tadpoles are easily spooked.

And if one day they get less cute, it turns out they are incredibly easy to kill, and the irresponsible instruction sheet even tells you how to do it. Evidently, these guys need to live in distilled spring water or bad things happen.

God forbid they ever try to live in a pond.

I'm sure there will be more on the tadpoles because, well, because how could there not be? But right now I have to go inspect their mini-Dagobah because you're not supposed to feed them if they still have food in their tank, so I didn't feed them for a couple of days and then it occurred to me that the bits on the bottom of the tank was probably tadpole poop instead of bits of food and my poor little guys were probably starving.

So now I have to figure out how to walk the fine line between starving tadpoles and overfeeding them as well as contemplate how to clean their tank of all the tadpole poop. Or excess food.

It might be an all-nighter, people.

* I know I've used this joke before, but it's sort of the regular state of terror in which I live. I'm sure you'll see it again.


  1. Don't be silly. WE eat the crocodiles.

  2. We did tadpoles in my first grade class. They stayed tadpoles for a REALLY long time. Then someone told me to feed them a lot and they turned into frogs practically overnight. (Then they escaped and climbed up the classroom wall. But I live in Florida and these were locally caught tadpoles that became tree frogs with sticky pads for feet.)

  3. This was a chortle-out-loud while reading to the husband post. He especially liked the Dagobah environment.

  4. Lettuce, you can feed them lettuce. or pick up some aquatic plants from your local garden (good luck now that it's winter). I thought about getting this for Einey - she's asked a few times. And then releasing the frogs into the pond during the summer. She already wanted to bring the pond frogs in for the winter! Are they the ugly white frogs? Those are the one's that bother me.

    After having lizards forever, feeding them live crickets really doesn't phase me!

  5. I love that they called you an hour before the party to ask if it was okay. What would they have done if you'd had the gall to say no?

  6. You had me at "Dagobah." Very funny post.

    And it's nice to find other parents out there reluctant to introduce into their homes slimy creatures that need to be fed - other than the human ones, of course.

  7. Yeah, we went the tadpole frog route too. One turned into a frog, the other didn't. The frog made a ton of poop and the water stunk really bad. Crickets escaped and were all over our house for a few days before they died. Then the frog had the audacity to die on Christmas last year. Nevertheless, a good experiment, just hope they die soon cuz the frogs are a pain to take care of and again, stinky.

  8. They're not exactly the same, but we do have guppies over in these parts, so give us a buzz if you have questions about the water thing. (You basically have to dechlorinate the water with special drops, to take out the chemicals that we silly people put in there to take out the bad chemicals.)

    Cause clearly I can make it all sound easy.

  9. Um.
    Those tadpoles are cute.

    This can't end well...can it?

  10. Um...I hadn't gotten so far as to think about who would eat the crocodile. Perhaps a handbag or shoe company would pay you handsomely for the skin thus allowing you to get something for the 100,000 visitors to Stimeyland. Just sayin'.

  11. I feed mine reptile sticks. The fine print says they are okay for frogs.
    Frogs most definitely WILL eat fish, ahem.
    I had a tadpole die by jumping out of it's little enclosure and drying up and sticking to the kitchen floor while I was at work.
    But remember - over 10 years. I hardly ever clean the tank or the filter, I put straight tap water in the aquarium, um ... these things are not so easy to kill.

    Question: Do you know if they're African water frogs?

  12. Here's another tip... be sure there is a rock, or some other platform that is out of water, in their habitat. Because when they turn into frogs, they'll need to hop up on something to get air, and if there is nothing to hop up on, they will drown! This happened to my tadpole when I was in the second grade, and I am STILL TRAUMATIZED! (RIP, Lindsay the Tadpole!)


Thanks for commenting! May you be visited by unicorns and kittens.