Monday, June 6, 2011

Hanging Out With the Tadpoles

In the afternoon, many of the tadpoles gather in the shallow end of their habitat.  Sometimes (as below) they are only partially submerged. 
Here they are swimming up to the crowd and jostling for position.
We're finally using this fantastic habitat that Adam's mom gave us years ago.
If you look closely below, you should be able to see dark eyes on the side of some tadpole heads.  Dimples on top are nostrils.  Note, too, the tiny beginning of back legs.
We experienced an unfortunate die-off this week.  Even though we were changing out 1/2-2/3 of the water every day, I think waste built up to a toxic level.  The habitat smelled like a stagnant pond by the time Marianna and I took note of the dead bodies littering the pebbles on the bottom of the tank.  They blended right in.
We journeyed to the creek to clean house.  The girls helped me scoop every tadpole into a bowl of fresh creek water.  Then I dumped the bad water, pebbles, dead bodies, etc., and gave the habitat a good rinsing.  Back home we settled them in with the boring clear plastic floor.  Now it's easy to monitor any build up of waste or dead bodies (hopefully not!).

I'm supervising a 90% water change each morning now.  We swirl before scooping to stir up leftover food (they eat goldfish flakes at this stage) and tadpole waste, ensuring that we're ablet to get most of it out of the tank.  We then add our pitchers of precious creek water and spend more time watching the little critters shimmy and jostle and lounge and nibble. 

I would not have suspected that I'd enjoy the tadpoles so much.  Then again, I often comment about my sometimes simple enthusiasms with, "Homeschooler--easily amused!"  That's totally me.   :- )  If you doubt it, just review my caterpillar excitement.

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