Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bubbles the tadpole; Insectlore's Frog Bog.

Several years ago we hiked down the road to visit our neighbors who live on the bank of the Greasy Creek. They had a huge metal container behind their shed that was filled with a few inches of water and a ton of tadpoles. We gathered them up and brought them home to observe. We watched them transform into frogs and then released them back into the creek. We documented the experience here. It was incredible to watch the tiny little tadpoles grow into froglets and then frogs.
Now, every summer, we take a hike down to the creek looking for tadpoles. This past summer we found only a few but still brought them home to raise. You can read my blog about them here. Tadpoles are very easy to keep and it's really a fun and educational experience for the kids to see the tadpoles change to frogs. We have always kept our tadpoles in a 10 gallon fish aquarium which works but is really too big for them and a pain to clean out.

A few weeks ago we had the opportunity to review Insectlore's Frog Bog kit. There was a bit of a mix up with shipping and we received our tadpole a few days before we received the actual frog bog. hee hee. It was all good though and when the habitat did arrive our little tadpole seemed quite happy in his new home.

The frog bog kit includes a hard plastic habitat with vented lid. It measures 13" long by 9" deep by 6" high. It also includes an aerator, a quiet pump, a syringe for water cleaning, and care instructions. The habitat is a really nice size and perfect for viewing our tadpole. The bottom of the Frog bog is slightly domed so the waste collects along the edges making it very easy to clean with the syringe (think turkey baster).

Maintenance is easy. A couple times a week we use the syringe to suck out the collected waste. When the water starts looking a bit cloudy you can remove about half of it and add fresh (room temperature) spring water.

The tadpole we received is huge!! The kids named him Bubbles, although i was really pushing for them to name him Ponyo. :) It is an American Bullfrog tadpole and is about 3 1/2" long. He looks almost magnified through the sides of the container so it really great for observing the changes he'll go through.

The only potential problem i see with this kit is that Bullfrogs can take a long time to transform. i had waited to do this review hoping to post a few pictures of our tadpole changing but so far he still looks the same. Bullfrog tadpoles can take 6 months to a year for full frog development. So, if your interested in teaching metamorphosis in a classroom or homeschool group you might want to check out the Frog Hatchery kit. which comes with Leopard frog tadpoles. They complete their development in around 3 months, and you will be able to see them change a little each week. You will want to pay attention to state restrictions and the dates that these are available to ship.

The Bullfrog tadpole is very cool to observe because of his huge size. You'll have to be a bit more patient watching him transform. The kids love to watch him, he's very active, and swims all over his frog bog. If your interested in raising tadpoles and learning about metamorphosis, but don't have access to tadpoles in the wild, i really recommend these kits! Insect lore has a huge selection of educational and fun frog items and both bullfrogs and leopard frogs are native to the US.

You can enhance your frog study with this Bullfrog lifecycle coloring page and The Frog Jumper activity. Here is a really fun Tadpole Puppet printable you can print up from Scholastic to show how tadpoles transform into frogs through metamorphosis. My kids love this!!

*Disclaimer* i was not paid to try out these products, i received this product to review from Insectlore in exchange for my opinion. Opinions posted on this blog are 100% mine. i would not recommend an item i didn't believe in. We Love insectlore!


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