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Had a Tadpole pass away - Help me figure out why?
** I guess the image below may be graphic for some folks, so I apologize**

So I came home to find one of my many tads floating in an odd position. I put my finger in the water to get him to move, but quickly noticed he was not alive.

It appears to have an open wound coming out of his side (possibly from after death). It almost looks like his intestines might be coming ot of this hole / wound.
The part where his fronts were developing look extremely bloated to me also.

Additional Info:

D. tinc 'Leucomelas'

Tad is a few months old, others from the same batch are developing normal, without any noticeable issues that I can tell.

Water is distilled, with tannins from leaf litter. I have done small 1/4 water changes once a week with distilled water. Only had them for 2 weeks.

Feeding a high protein fish flak food, and sinking cichlid pellets (also high protein)

Water and ambient temps are about 74-76, possible lower at night but I doubt by much.

Tads are kept in 4 ounce cups, inside a tote to maintain temp.


Questions are welcomed.

[Image: DtblQ.jpg]
Some possibilities from from my experience... Try switching out the distilled water for spring water. Distilled water is too clean and is void of many trace minerals IMO. Also, it looks like there is too much uneaten food in the bottom of the cup, possibly raising the ammonia level. I raise my Leuc and Tinc tads in 32 oz. deli cups about half full. I only use the smaller cups for Thumb tads. Also to consider is sometimes they just pass for no apparent reason.
I guess an ammonia spike is possible, that food was actually placed in last night though. Hard to say. I can test the water with my FW test kit. Didn't think of doing that. I can also look into larger containers. The breeder I bought from keeps all of his tads in the 4 ounce cups.

Spring water huh? I didn't know tads needed trace minerals. I would have thought that the water in their natural habitats had little or no dissolved solids...

Thanks for the tips. I'll look into making some changes.

Any other thoughts anyone?
My guess is a developmental issue. While I have never seen anything that looked like that pic....the back legs formed and the body, just looks...."wrong" and odd. It looks like the tad just didn't grow, or morph properly.

I personally:

1. Raise all tadpoles separately in small cups. This allows for better control and management over communal raising. I think you are using this method already, but it bears repeating.

2. Use tap, well water or spring water over R.O or distilled. I would NEVER use "ultra pure" water even after trying to add elements and minerals back to it. People get caught up in trying to use the purest of the pure water and it just leaches things out of the tadpole or inhibits it's growth. I've talked with numerous breeders that favour hard water chock full of minerals and elements.

3. Use Indian almond leaves for tadpole tea, and not North American oak leaves or other leaf litter. The aquarium / fish people swear by the tannins produced by the Indian almond leaf over all others, and that alone convinces me of its superiority over other leaves. It's easy to buy on eBay and not at all expensive. Leave a medium sized slice of the used (for tea)leaf in each cup. Tadpoles graze on it and enjoy the biofilm the collects on it, and use it for security - scoot under it.

4. I never do water changes per se...I only turkey baste out some detritus / waste every few days or so.

Just my opinions and how I do....

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
also....bottom line on eggs and tads...there will always be a mortality percentage at every stage of development. Do not try to rack your brain and stress over the odd loss....only become concerned if it continues to happen or if you have high percentage of similar occurrences.

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
Thanks guys, this is basically along the lines of what I was thinking. Im glad there is a slight margin I can improve on (with the type of water and leaves)... Its just nice to know I didn't make some asinine mistake and off a Tad by being negligent.

Yeah I'm raising separate and the 1/4 water change really is just me turkey bastin' out the poos and replacing the water that comes with it.

Im going to order some more Indian almond leaves next week! I use them for breeding my Apistogramma cichlids.
I ordered my Indian Almond leaves from Joshsfrogs. They were really big and $2.50 for 5 leaves.
Just wanted to add this....

I do not think there is anything conclusive here , as to the cause of death. Regardless of the water and tannins.....I still believe that the tadpole could very well have been "destined" for demise. I really don't think it was keeper error. Stuff happens....some frogs don't make it for inexplicable reasons.

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".

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