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Disappearing tadpoles

If you have recently topped your pond up with chlorinated tap water via hose and this coincides with the dissapearance of the tadpoles. This could be a reason. Regrettably this happened to me and as newly developed  tadpoles live near the surface  tap water sprayed in or introduced near the surface could be the link.


  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    Hello and welcome. I very much doubt that your tap water affected the tadpoles unless you replaced a very large amount of the pond water or the new water was extremely cold.

    Tadpoles are subject to many enemies and are eaten in huge numbers. They could also have been affected by changes in temperature if the water became very warm or very cold. A shallow pond can have significant changes of temperature in a short time.

    Are you sure they are gone? Although the tiny ones stay near the surface, at a certain point they all go a lot deeper. 

    I hope you find some survivors but I don't think you should blame yourself if you don't.
  • purplerallimpurplerallim Posts: 5,228
    You do realise that at some point the large tadpoles will eat the smaller ones, ensuring their survival by cutting down the competition. 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,998
    And then the newts will eat the rest … 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    On the other hand, every year we have dozens of baby toads striking out across our garden. You may be lucky.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,998
    There’s always a few that manage to hide and survive … 🐸 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Joyce GoldenlilyJoyce Goldenlily Posts: 2,697
    For the last 2 years I have watched for frogspawn in my pond but seen nothing. Then suddenly there have been hundreds of tadpoles swimming around. I assume the spawn must have been laid under the extensive pond weed. I have lots of frogs, toads and newts in the garden so would feel really sad if I lost them.
    When I walk my dog around the local village green I have to walk with great care when the froglets leave the water, they are thick on the path. Once you get your eye in, they are everywhere, it is really difficult not to tread on at least some. There are several large clay pits, close to the Green, which are obviously popular breeding grounds.
  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 2,594
    We have over the years been given spawn from friends. We watch and see the tadpoles developing and often see very small froglets. Then nothing.
    However we have a trail cam in our small orchard and were delighted to see 2 frogs hopping through the area of the camera.
    But still no spawn but we do have newts and grass snakes
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    My experience is that newts eat all the frog spawn but they don't touch the toad spawn.
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 8,750
    I found these interesting numbers Approximately 2% of frog eggs become tadpoles, 0.8% of tadpoles become froglets, and 0.1% of froglets become mature frogs capable of reproduction.
    That translated to approximately 2 eggs in 10 million actually becoming adult frogs.  Even if you do the calculation based on tadpoles, the survival rate to adult frog is 0.08% or less than 1 in 1000.
    Probably worrying rather than interesting to any tadpole reading this.
  • Joyce GoldenlilyJoyce Goldenlily Posts: 2,697
    If every egg survived to maturity we would sink below a carpet of frogs and toads, like we would disappear under a carpet of food waste if rats etc. didn't eat a lot of it.

    I usually apologise to any frog or toad if I disturb them in my undergowth, having given me a fright as they move under my unsuspecting hands. I also apologise to ladybirds and put them back, however, I squidge the gorgeous lily beetles I find on my plants with great satisfaction!
    No accounting for job satisfaction.
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