Tadpole Tanks Adapted from: Science Wizardry for Kids Materials needed: 1 2-liter clear soda bottle (rinsed very well) Sand Stones or sticks Water plants, including pond scum Water (tadpoles prefer the water they came from, but tap water left standing for at least 2 days will do) Directions: 1. Have an adult cut the top off the 2-liter bottle just below the bend. 2. Place about 1 inch of sand on the bottom of the bottle. 3. Fill about 1/3 full with water. 4. Place sticks at a slant or pile stones so that they create a high area out of the water. 5. Add water plants and pond scum. 6. Add tadpoles. Finding tadpoles: Tadpoles can be found in the late spring and summer months in lakes, ponds and ditches. To catch a few tadpoles for the tank You will need: A small net A clean jar with lid Directions: 1. Fill the jar nearly full with water. 2. Use the net to carefully root among the leaves and plants in the water. 3. Look for tadpoles among your catch. 4. Carefully place the tadpoles in the jar by turning the net inside out over the mouth of the jar. 5. Place a lid on the jar. 6. Take the tadpoles home. 7. At home, pour out a small amount of water from the jar. (This water can be poured directly into your tadpole tank) 8. Add an equal amount of water from the tadpole tank into the jar. 9. Let it stand for several minutes, then repeat until the temperature in the jar is equal to the temperature in the tank 10. Add the tadpoles to your tadpole tank. *If the area you collected tadpoles was close enough, it is best to use the same water the tadpoles came from to fill the tank. Taking Care of the tadpoles Feeding: Early in the life of a tadpole, they will eat pond scum and other aquatic plants. As they grow, you may need to add to their diet in the form of small bits of fresh lettuce or spinach, bits of hard-boiled egg yolks, or soft-bodied insects, such as flies or mosquitoes. Keep the portions very small. Too much food = water pollution. Polluted water is very harmful to tadpoles. Tank care: Change a small amount of the water in the tadpole tank every few days. Add pond scum and aquatic plants as needed. You may need to add a small air stone with a pump if algae grows quickly to increase the water circulation. Be sure the stones or sticks stay above the waterline. As the tadpole develops into a “froglet” it has to breath air and will need to climb out of the water. You can watch the tadpole grow in stages. Depending on the kind of tadpoles you have, it may be a few days to a few months to a few years before final transformation. Stage 1: Small body with a long, flat tail. Stage 2: Back legs appear and grow. Stage 3: Front legs appear and grow. Stage 4: Tail becomes smaller and smaller. The tadpole is now a froglet and is ready to breathe air and return to his natural environment. Release the froglet near the area you found him.