Adding Bullfrogs To Your Pond
If you would like to add some ambience to your backyard pond or water garden, just add some bullfrog tadpoles. It won't be long before you hear the mating chorus from bullfrogs throughout the spring and summer months. Bullfrogs perched on a rock at the edge of a pond or lazily sitting on a lily pad are always enjoyable to see! These voracious eaters will often cannibalize tadpoles or young frogs, so It is important that you create the right environment to attract butterflies, bees, dragonflies, slugs, snails, and the like to your water garden feature. Bullfrogs will only eat live prey, so you must attract these insects to your pond or water garden.
Add Pollinating Plants To Your Water Garden Feature
By adding plants that attract pollinators like Milkweed, Pickerel Rush, Aquatic Mint, Lemon Bacopa and heavy blooming waterlilies like Razzberry Waterlily, Ruby Star Waterlily and Sunny Pink Waterlily, you will attract the beneficial insects to your pond that will provide a steady diet for your bullfrogs. In our pond, often add a dozen or two nightcrawlers or red wigglers to the bog area around our pond each month. The worms that are not consumed by the bullfrogs are great for aerating the soil.
The North American Bullfrog
The North American Bullfrog is the largest species in the United States, and can grow to a length of about eight inches and weighing in at one and a half pounds at maturity. They are cold blooded and survive weather in all fifty states. In optimum conditions, the North American Bullfrog can live up to eight or nine years. Depending on the climate and conditions, bullfrog tadpoles can stay in the tadpole stage for up to a year.
The North American Bullfrog is best left outdoors. They should not be handled as they can be carriers of salmonella and the oils from our skin can harm them.
Feeding Your Tadpoles
It is important to provide the bullfrog tadpoles with an environment that provides food as well as cover for them while in the tadpole stage. Tadpoles are vegetarians, we recommend Vallisneria and Hornwort as they provide nutrient rich food as well as cover for the young tadpoles. Vallisneria and Hornwort are oxygenating plants that are grown in containers using heavy loam soil and completely submerged beneath the surface of the water. Tadpoles will also munch on mosquito larvae and algae found in the pond.
We are often asked how many tadpoles should be added to a large pond or lake. There is no perfect answer as each pond may have different conditions. Vegetation is important as a food source and as cover for tadpoles. Pollinating plants that will attract insects is another factor that must be considered. Predation is another factor, if your pond is stocked with Bass or Pike, they will definitely hit on the tadpoles in the water.
Raising Bullfrogs Commercially
It is important to check with your state and local agencies about growing bullfrogs commercially. You will have to make an initial investment to set up the ideal conditions for your bullfrog tadpoles and bullfrogs. The most successful operations are those that provide optimal outdoor living conditions for bullfrogs.
Whether you are adding a few tadpoles to your backyard pond or setting up a full scale operation, clean water, vegetation and a live food source are key!