Updated: Sep 8, 2018
What were frogs doing in our fountain? Well, the evidence left behind revealed they had recently mated and needed a suitable place for their young.
A froggy orchestra began every evening after the sun set this past summer. Their loud croaks could be heard in every direction outside of the house. Not even the closed windows and doors could silence the nightly songs. Several heavy rains had left puddles all around the yard.and there were more frogs this season than any previous year.
Bubby and I had recently constructed our new fountain and were getting ready to pour peroxide inside to help prevent algae build-up when we noticed eggs and tadpoles inside. There were several hundred recently hatched tadpoles (polliwogs) and more eggs than we could count. We looked at each other in disbelief and wondered how to best resolve the issue. We had to make a decision, either leave them in the fountain or put them in an aquarium or larger container until they completed metamorphosis. We decided to transfer them into a large tote that was bigger than the fountain. I purchased fish food flakes and fed them every day. (Left picture: tiny frog and tadpole )
New tadpoles increased in number daily and a week after our initial discovery all the eggs had hatched. I learned that algae was their primary food source. This made the rapidly growing algae inside the container a great relief. We still decided to supplement their diets with fish food due to their large population. Another week had passed and we began to notice that the number of tadpoles seemed to decline as days went on. They were well protected so we did not suspect any predators. I read that they could possibly eat each other in the event of over crowding.
They are herbivorous and not typically carnivorous in the tadpole stage. We decided it was time for a larger home and transferred them to an even larger container. After 2 months of varying growth cycles there were approximately 200 tadpoles and froglets remaining. By month 3 they had all matured and hopped away. The adult frogs appeared to be 3 different sizes/ species. Several of them were so tiny that they were smaller than my fingernail and I have small hands (ring size 4).
FROG FACTS-During the froglet stage pictured above the young frogs stop eating while their bodies absorb their tails.-Some adult frogs hibernate underground while others enter a state of decreased physical activity known as torpor.-Frogs can lay up to 4000 eggs at one time-Certain frog species can be heard up to a mile away-It takes 6 weeks to 8 months for tadpoles to develop into adults