How to Raise Leopard Frog Tadpoles

Leopard frog tadpoles can be raised in captivity.
Leopard frog tadpoles can be raised in captivity. (Image: Leopard frog image by antoine perroud from

Leopard frogs are also known as meadow frogs, and there are 14 different species that fall into the genus. Leopard frogs have prominent spotting over a green body, and they have a pattern that is similar to the cheetah rather than leopard. Like all frogs, leopard frogs begin as tadpoles upon hatching, a legless, aquatic form that develops into a frog over a period of time. Leopard frog tadpoles can be caught or purchased and raised to adulthood.

Things You'll Need

  • Glass container or aquarium
  • Wire mesh
  • Plant matter
  • Habitat water
  • Water conditioner
  • Tadpole food

Acquiring Wild Tadpoles

Capture wild tadpoles in a pond or stream using a long dipping net. Make sure that you are able to identify the species of the tadpoles so that you can provide them with the proper care.

Collect water from the tadpole habitat. This water will have the right characteristics for the tadpoles to thrive in, including plant matter and other things that they can eat.

Fill the glass container halfway with the pond or stream water and release the tadpoles inside.

Store-Bought Tadpoles

Purchase leopard frog tadpoles from a reputable pet store or aquatics dealer. They should be able to tell you the estimated age of the tadpoles and can provide you with more information on tadpole care.

Prepare the container for the tadpoles using regular tap water and a water-conditioner product. Administer the product based on manufacturer recommendations to condition the water for aquatic life.

Float the bag the tadpoles came in inside the container so that they can become accustomed to the water temperature. Release them and the water in the glass container after one to two hours.

Tadpole Care

Cover the glass container with wire mesh to prevent the tadpoles from escaping. As tadpoles grow and develop, they will become adept at escaping if there is not proper lid protection.

Feed tadpoles regularly and make sure that adequate water is provided. Regular tap water will not suffice, as it contains minerals and chemicals that can harm the tadpoles. Feed small plant pieces from the wild tadpoles' habitat, or boiled spinach or lettuce will suffice. Commercial tadpole foods are also available from most pet stores.

Move tadpoles into a larger container with the same water and feeding set-up as before as they begin to grow. As they grow, they will require more space to swim. As they go through metamorphosis, they will require different food because frogs eat live insects rather than plant foods.

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  • Caroline Tanaka, DVM; Veterinarian; Austin, Texas
  • "Leopard Frogs"; Doug Wechsler; 2003
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