Hello. I am raising 2 bull frog tadpoles I got from a friend's pond. They...

Asked November 11, 2019, 2:10 PM EST

Hello. I am raising 2 bull frog tadpoles I got from a friend's pond. They have been in a 8 x 8 glass container for approx 2 years. They eat and are active. I have been keeping the water clean from my pond water and feed them cucumber and boiled lettuce. They still haven't developed legs. A friend suggested my container was too small. Please advise. (The snails are doing just fine.) THANK YOU!

Franklin County Ohio

1 Response

Greetings Anonymous,

It's not unusual for bullfrog tadpoles to go two years before maturing. That said, if there is no sign of rear legs yet, yes, I would think that to be a bit unusual.

Tadpoles are pretty passive herbivores, so a small container isn't too problematic regarding behavior. However, adult bullfrogs are aggressive, territorial, and carnivorous, so they will certainly need more space as they metamorphose. I've read recommendations of a minimum 20-gallon aquarium for a single bullfrog + an additional 10 gallons for each additional individual. Whatever you decide about keeping the adults, do not release them to public waters of the state. Doing so risks introducing disease and wouldn't be legal. (The legal restriction wouldn't hold for private ponds, of course.)

The animals will likely like lettuce, but it's not very nutrient-rich. You could consider supplementing with a plant-based fish food, boiled spinach, etc. You could even consider moving to a larger aquarium stocked with some soft-stemmed, native aquatic plants (and any associated epiphytic algae).

I reviewed a few relevant web pages. Here are a couple that I liked:

I hope this helps.