eRodent > The Garden Pond Page > April 2002.

April 2002 and Frog Spawn Watch.

Please be patient if this page takes a little while to load as I have put fairly high quality photographs on it.

Photos of the frogspawn and tadpoles in their first 3 weeks can be found on the March page. Also, this year I am doing a project on the spawn in the pond on the March 2004 page.

It's April now and the weather has warmed up no end. There isn't a great deal going on with the pond plants. The bullrushes and irises are coming back now but it's going to take a while before we see water lillies I should think. Due to the warm few days all of the frogspawn is hatched but most of the tadpoles are nowhere to be seen. We're also developing a bit of a blanket weed problem - although the water is still really clear. I'm going to leave it for a bit to see if it goes when the pond starts to cover with lillies. Bumble bees and butterflies had appeared in the garden by the start of April.

All of the adult fish have made it through the winter as well as a large number of the fish fry so I guess we're going to get a bit over stocked if we aren't careful. I shall keep and eye on it and try to get new homes for some of the fish if there are too many. The photo below shows the pond on the 3rd April - I would expect it to change quite a bit over the month.

The pond in early April

The tadpoles have pretty much looked the same for the last couple of weeks but today (3 weeks and 3 days) I have noticed that their shape has started to change and they have what looks like the start of leg buds. In this photo you can also see the tadpoles mouth well - they have a very fierce looking set of teeth! I replaced the water again on Saturday and released half of the remaining tadpoles into the pond. It was easier this time as the Water Butt water had warmed up to the same temperature as the tank, which has been in the porch for a while. They are still voraciously eating flaked fish food and the pond weed in the tank.

Tadpole at 3 1/2 weeks

The tadpoles continued to get bigger for the next 2 1/2 weeks. I was a bit busy for a week or so and so first noticed that most of them had legs in various stages of development at 6 weeks old. Both of these pictures were taken on the same day but the second tadpole has more developed legs. One or two of the tadpoles still only have leg buds.

Tadpole at 6 weeks

The photo below was taken on a different set of tadpoles (those from 2005) and I have added it here to show and intermediate stage of leg development.

Tadpole at 6 weeks

In the pond, the tadpoles that I gave a head start to are a lot bigger than the ones that hatched in the pond. They are all still quite a lot smaller than the ones in the tank. I have placed a rock in the tank and I will have to keep a close eye on them for when they turn into frogs and hop out.

Tadpole at 6 weeks

A week later and the tadpoles have got good strong back legs that they are now using to push themselves away from things. You can see the lumps at the side of this tadpole where the front legs are developing. Also notice that it is starting to get a more froggy shape.

Tadpole at 7 weeks

Technically this picture, taken a few days after the previous one, is in May but I haven't put the May page up yet. The tadpole on the left is now really a baby frog although he only has one front leg that has burst out. With the sign of the first front leg I made sure that they had a rock to climb out on and I have put a lid on the tank! Notice that the tadpole on the right hasn't developed nearly as far. It makes a good comparison of the shape change that occurs about the time that the tadpoles develop front legs.

Tadpole at 7 1/2 weeks

This is an interesting photo showing the rasping mouth parts of a tadpole.

Tadpole at 7 weeks

Finally on the 5th May we have a froglet. The frogspawn was laid on 10th March and it took 8 weeks to get to this stage. At this point project frogspawn came to an end as I am unsure what froglets eat and I didn't want to risk starving or drowning them. All of them went back into the pond today.

Tadpole at 8 weeks

In the pond the tadpoles that hatched naturally are only at about the same stage that the indoor ones were at a fortnight. There is a wide range of different stages of development as I have been putting out half the indoor tadpoles every so often as they have grown. Hopefully I have increased their chances of survival and the froglets can hide in the rocks around the pond. Quite a few of them will get picked off by birds especially magpies but then if they all survived we'd be overrun with frogs!

The lilly leaves are just starting to come up now and all of the marginals except one appear to have survived the winter. The frogbit is also starting to come back. There is quite a bit of blanket weed in the pond but I am hoping that it will die back when the lillys start to cover the surface.

There is one last picture of baby frogs at the bottom of the June page. Also, this year I am doing a project on the spawn in the pond on the March 2004 page.

Do you like this page? Is it useful? Please email me and let me know. I would like to hear from other people who are mad enough to raise frog spawn in their spare bedroom!! I get a lot of spam so put something about tadpoles in the title so I can spot people's emails!!
I reduced the quality of these photos so that they are quick to download but if you would like good quality copies please feel free to ask.

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