tadpoles - arrival | daily care | development | morph | stage two | guarantee

frogs - arrival | daily care | feeding | habitat | health | growth | longevity | guarantee

Tadpole Rearing Instructions - Quick Overview

Use bottled spring water or well water to grow tadpoles. NEVER use tap water. Make sure the 'source' of the spring appears on the bottled spring water. Fill the Habitat with water. Feed one spoon of Stage One Food every day. Change 1/2 of the water once a week. STOP feeding Stage One Food when the front arms emerge. START feeding Stage TWO Food when your tadpole has about a 1/4 inch tail and looks very much like a frog.

Spring Water

Spring water labels can be confusing. There are many locally distributed inexpensive spring water brands available, usually in gallon containers. These are all just fine for your tadpole and usually cost less than .99 a gallon. Please look for the name of the spring 'origin' on the label. Usually it says something like Source - Bear Mountain Springs, Uphigh Pennsylvania....or something to that effect. Do not use 'purified' water.... this is just tap water that has gone through a purification system (usually reverse osmosis). Spring Water is a much better alternative for your tadpole. By the way, if you happen to have well water or live near a real spring, lake, or river... that water will do fine.

Daily Feeding

Feed your tadpole one level spoon of food per day. It is important to feed daily, especially when you first receive your tadpole, to insure that the eco-system becomes established. After about 2 weeks, however, do not become too upset if you miss a day. The eco-system has established and there is enough food for your tadpole even if you miss a day.

You can help your tadpole by... believe it or not... observing it's 'poop.' Growafrog tadpoles are always eating and therefore always 'pooping' ( OK, almost always ). If the water looks very clean and you do not see any 'poop' in the vent directly between your tadpole's back legs... then go ahead and add an extra spoon or two of Stage One Food to refresh the ecosystem.

Poop is good !

Grow-a-Frog Eco-system

Your tadpole feeds by filtering the water it lives in. It does not eat 'meals' such as your frog (and you). It eats all the time. Every time your Growafrog tadpole opens it's mouth, it is filtering dissolved microscopic particles out of the water. This is why it is so important to establish the tadpole Eco-system. Stage One tadpole food is made of two parts. One part dissolves instantly 'for immediate consumption.' The other part ( the one that sinks ) in combination with Nutri Sand forms a growth media for live food ! This way you can feed your tadpole once a day but food is growing ( and your tadpole is eating ) 24/7..

Environmental Cues

Your tadpole responds to environmental cues such as the beginning of 'rainy season.'

You can mimic the onset of rainy season in your home by adding even a small amount of water daily to compensate for the effects of evaporation and 'trick' your tadpole into sensing 'rain.'

This is very easy to do. Just pour in spring water.

Your remarkable Growafrog tadpole has the ability to survive in dry or rainy weather. In dry weather it stays a tadpole far, far longer. This built in survival mechanism allows your tadpole to survive as a tadpole in dry weather and hastens metamorphosis to the aquatic frog stage when ponds are filling up with water.

Stage One Food Formula

Stage One Tadpole Food is made of two parts - one of which does not dissolve. The portion of Stage One Food which dissolves provides immediate food for your tadpole. The undissolved portion is a growth media for microscopic, live food.

If you observe that your tadpole does not eat all of the Stage One Food, you are correct. Stage One Food is designed so that only the portion which dissolves is actually 'eaten' by your tadpole.

Habitat Color

The color of the water in your tadpole's habitat is approximately the color of lake water. Most of the time it stays a light brown color. Any greenish growth comes from algae, which is a plant and therefore needs light to grow. If your tadpole's habitat receives some ambient light it will turn a bit more greenish.


Add a little water - daily if necessary. You might be 'surprised' at how much water evaporates daily. Adding just small amounts of water will refresh the ecosystem and keep your tadpole morphing !

Excess Poop !

Change a portion of the water. A little cloudiness in the water is benficial and necessary for your tadpole to survive. Having said that, if there is lots of 'poop' on the bottom of the habitat go ahead and do a partial water change. You may need to empty 1/2 or even 3/4 of the water and refill with well or spring water. If the habitat is especially dirty 'then pour out some more of the dirty water and refill again.' .

Live Heartbeat

Growafrog tadpoles have transparent or 'see-thru skin.' Almost miraculously, you can see your tadpole's live heart beat !! If you look very closely, you can actually see the blood being pumped thru the heart.

Just pick up the tadpole's habitat and hold it above your eyes... so you are now looking at the 'bottom' of the tadpole. The easily seen large, silver colored structure is the gut. Look towards the mouth, and you will see a smaller, but still easily visible gold colored object - your tadpole's heart. You can see the blood being pumped through the heart with you naked eye... although it is so fascinating you may want to use a magnifying glass for a closer look.

Gills and Lungs

Your Grow-a-Frog tadpole is quite unique. Ordinary tadpoles have gills. During the tadpole stage they 'breathe' like a fish, by passing oxygenated water through their gills and absorbing the oxygen. Frogs, of course, have lungs and breathe air... just like you do. Grow-a-Frog tadpoles, on the other hand, have both gills and lungs in the tadpole stage. This is why you see your tadpole come to the surface and 'take a gulp of air.' This is truly a remarkable adaptation to it's environment.


Metamorphosis is a time of dramatic change. Tadpoles move around and 'swim' using their tail as a 'propeller.' During metamorphosis, they grow legs and arms, then lose their tail completely. Growafrog tadpoles have 'tentacles' that allow them to sense food, foreign objects and movements in the water. Growafrog frogs have something called 'lateral lines' that accomplish much the same thing. They look a lot like 'stitching' in the back of your frog...kind of like someone took a needle and thread and sewed it together.

Growafrog Tadpoles breathe with gills and lungs. Growafrog Frogs do not have gills. They breathe air with their lungs... just as you do when you are in a swimming pool. Growafrog tadpoles are 'filter feeders.' They eat all the time by filtering suspended food particles from the water. Growafrog frogs are 'meal time eaters.' They eat or snack only when they are hungry...kind of like you !

Aquatic Habitat

Grow-a-Frogs are not common frogs, so they do not behave in ordinary ways. Normally, metamorphosis is the time when frogs 'hop out of water and onto land.' They live a marshy existence, and go back to the water to mate and lay eggs. Grow-a-Frogs never leave the water, so they do not need to or 'want' to go on land. Indeed, if they do leave the water, they could not survive very long unless they remain very, very moist.


Grow-a-Frogs should remain at the same temperature during metamorphosis as during other stages.... around 68 - 72 degrees or 'normal home temperature.' Please do NOT place a thermometer in the habitat and measure it 3 times a day (unless you are doing some kind of observation or experiment). It is absolutely not necessary. Your tadpole will adjust to any fluctuations.

Temperature tends to affect the rate of metamorphosis. Your tadpole will morph faster at 72 degrees. We highly recommend that you do NOT use 'aquarium heaters.' Your frog is a frog NOT a fish and the morphing tadpoles and frogs tend to swim near snd sometimes touch the heaters. This is harmful as your morphing tadpoles and post morph frog can burn themselves on the heater elements in much the same way that you could burn yourself on a stove.

If you wish to 'speed up' the morph by increasing the temperature in winter... our suggestion is to keep your tadpole's habitat 'in the zone' of a heater. Keep your tadpole's habitat within the normal range of a space heater , radiator or heat vent. Do NOT place your tadpole's habitat ON any heater...ever. The temperature will get far too hot. If the area of the heat source feels 'comfortable' to you then it is 'comfortable' for your tadpole and it will hasten metamorphosis.

Dietary Change

During metamorphosis there is a period of time when your Growafrog does not eat at all. All of it's nutritional requirements comes from the re-absorption of the tail, which provides the necessary nutrition for the morph. Remarkable, indeed.

Stop feeding your tadpole Stage One Tadpole Food after the front arms emerge. Do not feed at all from the time the front arms emerge until the tail is just 1/4 inch long. Start feeding your froglet Stage Two Frog Food after the tail is almost gone and your Growafrog is a very small frog with a short 1/4 tail. Continue to feed Stage Two Frog Food after the tail is completely gone. Please remember to do a 1/4 water change with Spring Water weekly during metamorphosis, too. Partial water changes are very important.

Growth rate variance

Like people, some Growafrogs grow faster than others. There are 'fast morph'ers' and 'slow morph'ers.' Growth rate has nothing to do with the health of your tadpole... it just takes longer for them to change. It is not at all unusual for one to completely morph, and another to have hardly grown front limbs.

Metamorphosis Rate

The average time that it takes to complete the morph is about five weeks. The morph begins when the back legs emerge, and ends when the tad becomes a frog. Many factors influence growth rate, but the major ones are temperature and genetics. At lower temperatures, (below 68 degrees) metamorphosis may 2 months or more. There seem to be some tads that are 'genetically programmed' to morph fast. Some grow quickly at even lower temperatures.

Tail Absorption

Your tadpole is undergoing dramatic changes during metamorphosis. Your Growafrog's digestive tract is changing, too... as the filter feeding tadpole becomes a 'solid food' eating frog. During metamorphosis, when it is neither tadpole nor frog, your Growafrog does not eat. It gets all the nutrition it needs by using enzymes to decompose the tail...which it uses as a source of energy or 'food.'

'Refresh the Habitat

Change up to 90 percent of the water. Also change a portion of the water ( 1/4 to 1/2 ) more frequently ...even daily if necessary. There are many factors which affect the rate at which your tadpole morphs. Temperature and genetics are certainly important factors. Usually though your tadpole is sensing 'dry' and not 'rainy' conditions. Accumulation of waste in the habitat can easily be removed by changing 90 percnt of the water. It may help to 'stir up the bottom with a disposable drinking straw to dislodge waste particles as you change the water.

Growafrog's first Stage Two Food nugget

Please feed one Stage Two Food nugget in the morning, and one in the evening, when 'the tail is almost gone and your Growafrog looks very much like a frog.

Please be alert for feeding as the morph happens quickly at this stage. You will be able to see daily changes. Do NOT wait until the tail is completely gone. Feed Stage Two Food when the tail is about 1/8 to 1/4 inch long. We also recommend a 1/4 partial water change with spring water after your froglets first feeding ( wait about 15 minutes or so ). This will help to keep the water clean even if your frog does not eat the first time you feed it.

Transferring to Stage Two

We highly recommend that you order Stage Two Food shortly after the front arms emerge. Metamorphosis hastens after the tadpole shtops feeding Stage One Tadpole Food and this will leave enough time for delivery.

Growafrog Kits now include a LARGER habitat so that you do NOT have to transfer your tadpole to a larger habitat after the front arms emerge. If you are familiar with Growafrog Kits from years gone by this is a significant 'upgrade' and makes your tadpoles's morph 'seamless.'

Whether you call the Gilly Hotline at 352 544 0333, order online, via fax or Postal Service - we always ship all Stage Two orders promptly.

Froglet Habitat

We offer several larger frog habitats including our Stage Two Single Tube Town, Stage Two Double Tube Town, BIG 'n Hoppy and Tube City Habitats. If you are considering getting your frog a freind these are great options as all Tube Towns include a free frog friend at no addtional cost at all ( By the way.. if you do NOT want to receive the frog friend simply write NO friend in the 'Special instructions or Comments' box which appears at the ecd of the online ordering process - or call 352 544 0333 to order. Also, an ordinary 10 gallon ( or larger ) aquarium makes an excellent habitat for Growafrogs. Many people have a 'spare' aquarium at home and if you happen to have one this is an excellent and inexpensive habitat. If you choose to use an aquarium we recommend that you keep it for Growafrogs only, no fish ( a snail is OK ). We suggest that you consider using Growafrog Shade Domes as a cover for all 10 gallon tanks as shade keeps your Growafrogs feeling safe and secure... and also to use Habitat Soil and perhaps our little Growafrog filter, too.

Larger Frog Habitat

Certainly. When the time eventually comes for a larger habitat 'you'll know' as your frog will seem like it needs a more spacious home. Tadventures, Tadpole Single Tube Town, and Tadpole Double Tube Town are designed for tadpoles and young froglets. The Tube Town Kits are especially useful as they include Tube Caps - which allow you to grow tadpoles and froglets in the same habitat. Tube Caps are also useful in separating smaller froglets from larger froglets because Growafrogs need to be compatible in size or they could actually EAT each other. If you have a Tadventure Kit we suggest that you separate the froglet from the tadpoles as soon as they morph.

As your froglets grow and become more compatible in size with each other we highly recommend that you place them into a larger habitat. An ordinary ten gallon aquarium ( or larger ) makes an excellent home for Growafrogs. Many people have a 'spare aquarium' at home and these make wonderful Growafrog habitats. We offer Grow-a-frog Shade Domes that fit any standard 10 gallon aquarium. You may easily 'retrofit' your 10 gallon tank to a Growafrog home by adding Shade Domes. Our Shade Domes provide cover so that your Grow-a-frog cannot get 'loose' as it jumps during low pressure atmospheric events such as thunderstorms. These beautiful Shade domes also keep your Growafrogs feeling 'protected' as your semi-nocturnal Growafrog prefers shade to direct light.

We also offer our beautiful kids-safe Plexiglass BIG 'n Hoppy and Tube City Habitats available in several vivid colors for your older frogs.

Staged Tadpole / Frog Kits for Education

We recognize that lesson plans need to be completed 'on time' and offer our Life Cycle Kit and Morph'in Tube Town Kits - which include tadpoles in advanced stages of development and newly morphed froglets.

This allows your students to see much of the morph in one class period, not weeks. Having said that, there is no substitute for direct observation of the entire tadpole to frog metamorphsis. We highly encourage you to allow your students to take the time to observe the 'miracle of metamorphosis' and grow the tads into frogs !

Tadpole Guarantees

We are very proud of the fact that we 'stand behind' all of our wonderful Growafrogs with our no nonsense guarantees. Your tadpole is, of course, guaranteed to arrive happy and healthy. Your tadpole is also guaranteed to undergo metamorphosis. If for any reason it does not, you are entitled to a tadpole or froglet ( whichever you prefer ) at no charge for the tadpole or froglet and just 6.95 shipping.