Jun 29, 2012

Frog Hatchery Project COMPLETE!!!

Here is the complete outline of our 3 month journey hatching frogs! 

As part of our continued biology study work we are now HATCHING Frog Embryos. We ordered a kit from Home Science Tools and we have been very happy with it so far. The kit arrived in about 10 days and then the frog embryos arrived about 2 weeks after we sent the order in for them. Now we are just waiting and keeping our fingers crossed that some of the will hatch. Our embryos are going to be leopard frogs and we are looking forward to this new adventure!!!

Here are some resources and websites we are using - 

Observations and photos - 

3/21/12 - THEY ARRIVED!!!

3/23/12 - Four of the six embryos started to hatch and wiggle there ways out of their sac. The fifth is looking like it is starting to unfurl, but the sixth has showed no sign of change.

3/25/12 - The four tadpoles started swimming around a bit today. They remain at the bottom and near the sacks, but they are definitely swimming. We will have to feed them in a day or two. The fifth and sixth have had no change so it does not look as though they are going to make it.

3/26/12 - As most of them are swimming around it was time to feed the tadpoles the powder mixture today and discovered that the 5th is squirming around a bit. The 6th embryo's outer sac is separating, but the black speck still has no change.

3/28/12 - Tadpoles are doing well. The five that hatched are swimming and we have decided to remove the unhatched tadpole when the first water change today.
Here is a picture of our malformed little guy and one of the correctly formed for comparison, as well as our unhatched embryo -

4/1/12 - The froglets are still doing well. The five are all looking really healthy and the one we were concerned about has caught up with the others and its tail has straightened out.  

4/4/12 - Three of the froglets are bigger almost twice as big as the other two.

4/10/12 - They are zipping along. 

4/11/12 - Today we poured the froglets and 1/2 of the water into a bowl in order to empty the rest of the water out of the tank to clean out the rest of the debris and waste. 

4/14/12 - watching for limbs but nothing yet - 

5/11/12 - haven't updated in a while as they really haven't had much of a change other than there size lately. The largest is now about 3 inches and little one is only 1.5 inches, so there is quite a size difference. Since we will have to eventually create a terrarium for the critters we decided to upgrade to a 10 gallon tank today, but only put about 3.5 gallons of water in it. This gives them plenty of space to swim around and grow but will not become overwhelming to change the water. It should also be ample space so that the littlest will not get eaten or taken over by the larger.

5/13/12 - So we have determined that the problem with our littlest froglet - Ozzi - is that it's organs are not centered within the body. In the picture below you can see the red mass of organs is shifted to the left side of it's body.

I am not really sure what the outcome will be, but we are keeping a close eye on this little one.

5/16/12 - Legs have sprouted

5/31/12 - I awoke this morning to discover two things - one sad, one happy. Little Ozzy did not make it, this morning he was found on the bottom of the tank, barely moving and I felt it was time to end his suffering. He will be missed. Charlie, on the other hand has sprouted his front legs, so we have added the floating piece of wood to the tank. I think he will need to be moved to another tank soon. The second largest - still unnamed at this point - definitely has his hind legs sprouting and the twins are holding stable.

The second largest - still unnamed at this point - definitely has his hind legs sprouting and the twins are holding stable. This continues to be one of the most educational and interesting projects yet. I must do in all home ed households!

6/3/12 -Charlie was found upon the piece of wood this morning.

 So KM went out and gathered some greens and dirt from the yard to create a terrarium for our little friend.

We used the smaller tank for now and once the next froggy finishes morphing we will have to swap things around again, but for now we hope Charlie will be happy. 

6/19/12 - 
Charlie in his terrarium.
 Not too much has changed over the last few weeks. Charlie is doing great in his new habitat and seems to really like the pinhead crickets from our local pet store, but is not so crazy about the meal worms. Bertie seems to be on the cusp of metamorphism and should have his front legs at anytime now. Number 3 is doing well, he is substantially smaller than Bertie which is difficult to tell because of the angle of the shot below. 3 does have rear legs coming in, so it appears he is just morphing at an even slower rate. Number 4 is still tiny and although he has stopped floating upside down - possibly caused from a bacterial infection - he doesn't seem to be growing very much.   
Once Bertie has his front legs and perches on the piece of wood we will be turning the 10 gallon tank into a terrarium for the two frogs and will move 3 & 4 into the two smaller tanks. The one drawback to the kit that we got was that didn't realize at the time that we would need to upgrade the facilities to be able to keep the frog's long term. If I had known that at the time, I may have just gotten the eggs and food and not the whole kit, as the tank is not even big enough to keep one frog for more than a month or two.

Number 3 above & Bertie below
Number 4

6/20 - Number 4 took a turn for the worse. He suddenly was not moving very much and then I noticed Number 3 was poking at him a lot and he wasn't swimming away, so I felt that it was time to take him out of the tank. When CJ got home, later that day, I mentioned we should probably think about switch the tanks because Bert looked like his middle was getting a bit more defined and I needed CJ to help me so we should really probably do it over the next few days while he was home. So we went that night to get the glass and aquarium sealant to make the tank into a terrarium. 

6/21 -  CJ was looking at Bert and noticing the changes in his mouth. He went to the store to pick up a few things and when he came back Bert's front legs had sprouted out. I moved Bert and Frank - previously known as Number 3 - into the smaller tanks to get the 10 gallon prepped. I put the piece of wood into the container that Bert was in so that he could get up and rest when he was ready.

Bert relaxing!!!
6/22 - TO MY SHOCK Bert was on the wood!!! Charlie had swam around for 3 or 4 days before he got up on the wood, but Bert was ready to go. However our tank was not ready yet as the sealant takes 48 hours to fully dry.

6/23 - I noticed that Bert's tail was swiftly resorbing and he would need to eat soon, so I decided to make a temporary home for him and Charlie in the tote that we use when KM catches snakes in the backyard ----

6/24 - I tested the seal and there is a slight leak on one side so I am going to have to pick up some more sealant, but luckily Bert and Charlie seem to be liking their temporary home ---

6/26/12 - The terrarium is holding water with no problem and Charlie and Bertie are LOVING IT!!! Charlie likes to perch on the rock and grab any crickets that happen to pass by - there is quite a belly on that one! Bertie can often be found burrowed in a corner or under the fern. Unfortunately Frank didn't make the transition, I am not sure if the water ratio was not accurate or if we should have waited until his front legs emerged to make  the switch, but sadly he was found floating the next morning.

Well our frog hatchery project is complete. We started out with six eggs and ended up with two healthy frogs. This has been one of the most incredible projects we have ever done. There really is no better way to understand natural selection, evolution, life cycle and responsibility than to just DO IT!!! You can read it in a book over and over, but until you see it and experience it first hand you don't really get it!

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