How do I quickly de-chlorinate water for bullfrog tadpoles?

Pixxie

Arachnosquire
Joined
Oct 13, 2011
Messages
61
I wasn't expecting to come home today with bullfrog tadpoles, but I did, and every website I've read on their care warns not to put them in tap water without first dechlorinating it. The quickest way I've read about is to leave the tapwater out by the sun for a day, the tadpoles are in a betta container so I can't do that or I'd have to leave them in this small space until tomorrow night. Is there anyway I can quickly dechorinate tap water for my two bullfrog tadpoles?

Also, does anyone have any tips or tricks for keeping these guys alive and healthy?
 

Hobo

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Staff member
Joined
Jul 27, 2009
Messages
2,206
You can use dechlorinators for fish.
Otherwise you'll just have to leave the water out for a day.
 

Entomancer

Arachnobaron
Joined
Oct 29, 2010
Messages
351
No, don't ever use a fish dechlorinator for frogs.

Most of the time it shouldn't make a difference, but some brands of fish dechlorinators contain a chemical that, while beneficial to fish, will make it difficult for frogs to shed. I did this with a White's tree frog once and it died because it couldn't shed properly, and so it also couldn't breathe as well, and then a bacterial infection got onto the messed up skin and that was that.

The quickest way to do it is to add a dechlorinator such as reptisafe, which is relatively cheap and does not contain some of the same ingredients as fish dechlorinators do.

If you don't want to buy dechlorinators, go get a big 55 gallon plastic trash can from a hardware store, fill it with water, and set it outside. It shouldn't take long for the chlorine to come out (although chloramine won't, and heavy metals won't either - conditioner is still safer for this sort of thing, depending on your city's tap water quality) and you should have a decent water source for your frogs.
 

The Snark

Dumpster Fire of the Gods
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
8,073
No, don't ever use a fish dechlorinator for frogs.

Most of the time it shouldn't make a difference, but some brands of fish dechlorinators contain a chemical that, while beneficial to fish, will make it difficult for frogs to shed. I did this with a White's tree frog once and it died because it couldn't shed properly, and so it also couldn't breathe as well, and then a bacterial infection got onto the messed up skin and that was that.

The quickest way to do it is to add a dechlorinator such as reptisafe, which is relatively cheap and does not contain some of the same ingredients as fish dechlorinators do.

If you don't want to buy dechlorinators, go get a big 55 gallon plastic trash can from a hardware store, fill it with water, and set it outside. It shouldn't take long for the chlorine to come out (although chloramine won't, and heavy metals won't either - conditioner is still safer for this sort of thing, depending on your city's tap water quality) and you should have a decent water source for your frogs.
Unfortunately aeration, like leaving the water in a trash can, has it's own hazards. The chlorine will interact with plastics. PVC making more cloramine and ABS creating a cyanide compound. Best methods are precipitators like reptisafe or better, a filter designed for chlorine removal like the 'water polisher'. Heating or agitating the water with some alum or other flocculant then siphoning off the water leaving the precipitated sludge is also effective but more labor intensive.

One method I saw a lab used for spawning was a washing machine. The water was agitated for a minute then ran through a slow flow catchment tank. Their catchment tank being a 6 foot length of 4 inch PVC pipe with an internal flow separator. This was clean enough for the very fussy rainbow trout.
 

Robotponys

Arachnoknight
Joined
Nov 26, 2011
Messages
172
Use several shallow pans and it the chlorine will evaporate faster. It doesn't get rid of chloramine (i think) so you should probably get a frog safe dechlorinator from the petstore. Post pics? I've never seen a bullfrog, or bullfrog tadpole.
 

Pixxie

Arachnosquire
Joined
Oct 13, 2011
Messages
61
Well, while you guys were responding, I remembered that theres a stream across the road from where I live. Its got nice clear water and plenty of life so I figured it would be okay to use. I just had to remove the algae. The tadpoles are acclimating to the water right now. Thanks for the replies though, this will help in the future because I really don't want to have to do that again. I had to climb down a hill of rocks (many unstable) and then back up with 2 buckets of water twice. That was my work out for the week. Thanks for your replies, I'll use reptisafe in the future.

Here are some pics of the tadpoles, the biggest ones we caught were twice as bulky as these ones:

tad1.jpg
tad2.jpg
 

Hobo

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Staff member
Joined
Jul 27, 2009
Messages
2,206
No, don't ever use a fish dechlorinator for frogs.

Most of the time it shouldn't make a difference, but some brands of fish dechlorinators contain a chemical that, while beneficial to fish, will make it difficult for frogs to shed. I did this with a White's tree frog once and it died because it couldn't shed properly, and so it also couldn't breathe as well, and then a bacterial infection got onto the messed up skin and that was that.

The quickest way to do it is to add a dechlorinator such as reptisafe, which is relatively cheap and does not contain some of the same ingredients as fish dechlorinators do.

If you don't want to buy dechlorinators, go get a big 55 gallon plastic trash can from a hardware store, fill it with water, and set it outside. It shouldn't take long for the chlorine to come out (although chloramine won't, and heavy metals won't either - conditioner is still safer for this sort of thing, depending on your city's tap water quality) and you should have a decent water source for your frogs.
Do you know specifically which chemical that is?
 

Eagercannibals

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jul 1, 2011
Messages
23
Well, while you guys were responding, I remembered that theres a stream across the road from where I live. Its got nice clear water and plenty of life so I figured it would be okay to use. I just had to remove the algae.
Why remove the algae? The tadpoles will eat the algae. You can also give them other forms of fish food. You don't have to leave the tap water out it the sun for the chlorine to evaporate, it will gradually evaporate either way. I wouldn't use a fish dechlorinator, filtered water would be best. If you really don't have anything to filter the water, just leave it aside and for now use the buckets of water you collected and get a filter for the tank. I raised American and Southern toad tadpoles, I used sand and vegetation from the lake I collected them from and allowed the algae grow. Turns out I had some other critters in there too, a mini ecosystem with dragon flies and snails.
 

Pixxie

Arachnosquire
Joined
Oct 13, 2011
Messages
61
Why remove the algae? The tadpoles will eat the algae. You can also give them other forms of fish food. You don't have to leave the tap water out it the sun for the chlorine to evaporate, it will gradually evaporate either way. I wouldn't use a fish dechlorinator, filtered water would be best. If you really don't have anything to filter the water, just leave it aside and for now use the buckets of water you collected and get a filter for the tank. I raised American and Southern toad tadpoles, I used sand and vegetation from the lake I collected them from and allowed the algae grow. Turns out I had some other critters in there too, a mini ecosystem with dragon flies and snails.
Oh I didn't know that. Woops. I'll go get some tomorrow and let it grow in there. Does it ablsolutely have to be by the sun for the algae to grow? Did you ever have to change the water or will it be okay with a really good filter?
 

Eagercannibals

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jul 1, 2011
Messages
23
Oh I didn't know that. Woops. I'll go get some tomorrow and let it grow in there. Does it ablsolutely have to be by the sun for the algae to grow? Did you ever have to change the water or will it be okay with a really good filter?
I never had to change the water. I had a good filter (tadpoles aren't too terribly messy either) and the snails and vegetation kept things in balance, the water stayed clear. I only added water and cleaned the filter occasionally.

IMG_7595.JPG IMG_7142.JPG IMG_7273.JPG IMG_7550.JPG
 

Entomancer

Arachnobaron
Joined
Oct 29, 2010
Messages
351
Do you know specifically which chemical that is?
I wish I did.

All I can tell you is that I used API's 16 oz. size water conditioner for some fishtank water, and I had leftovers so I used it for my white's treefrog. Afterwards, I noticed he was acting lethargic, and his skin had this patchy, shiny look to it. I got worried and starting trying to deduce what was going on, and I eventually came to the thought that it was the water conditioner (this was, unfortunately, already after he was beyond saving. RIP, Sage. ;__;), since I usually used reptisafe for my amphibians and not the API stuff.

I started going around to frog forums and searching for other people with similar problems, and I found a couple of threads (iirc, they were on talktothefrog.org and/or frog-forum.net if you want to find them) where people were cautioning the use of fish water conditioners, because they had similar problems as I did (although it was the conditioners, and *not* the dechlorinators; the conditioners have things that are meant to help fish health, and the dechlorinators just help remove chlorine/chloramines) where an ingredient in the conditioner made their frogs sick because it caused problems with their skin.

This was last year already, and I didn't look up which chemical may have done it, so I don't have anything more precise than that. I didn't mean to jump on you when I said that about water conditioners, I just remembered how awful I felt when I realized I might have caused my frog's death.

Other brands of water conditioner might not have the same issue, but I sure as hell don't want to kill someone's frog with bad advice. I'm not 100% sure if all fish *dechlorinators* can also remove chloramine, but if anyone can find one that does that without any of the other ingredients, that might be a useful replacement for the conditioner.

Oh, and Snark brought up a good point about plastic and water...I forgot about the compounds that can form with certain types of plastic. I don't know what kinds of plastics are used by the people who produce those, but I know that marine aquarists use them sometimes for conditioning live rock and other materials for their aquariums (and the US has developed some stricter rules for what goes into plastics these days) so there must be a brand/type of plastic that is safe. I wouldn't use older ones though. Not unless the plastics type number is stamped on the bottom so that one can check for what type it is.


I never had to change the water. I had a good filter (tadpoles aren't too terribly messy either) and the snails and vegetation kept things in balance, the water stayed clear. I only added water and cleaned the filter occasionally.
Wow! Nice tank! This would also work well for froglets or for adults of some of the smaller chorus frogs; I could imagine (maybe with a few more emergent plants, like pothos) some Pseudacris crucifer living in here quite happily (depending on how big the tanks is).
 

Galapoheros

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 4, 2005
Messages
8,991
Next time you might try the inexpensive gallon jugs of spring water at grocery stores, but you just don't know who is even old enough to drive on these forums lol.
 

The Snark

Dumpster Fire of the Gods
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
8,073
Chemical safe for fish but hazardous to amphibians. From working in a trout farm once I'm going to venture a guess. Trout stress very easily and are one of the hardest fish to keep. They won't gain weight if the water is above 49 F or so or the Ph is below 7.2. However, as nearly all freshwater fish they are somewhat alkali tolerant. We were treating the water with calcium carbonate to raise the Ph. I noted that frogs that got into the calcium carbonate slurry developed a whitish color to their skin and appeared lethargic. This led me to believe amphibians can be much more sensitive to alkali than fish.
I suspect the dechlorination solution for fish contains an alkali, possibly even calcium or sodium hydroxide. Just enough to 'sweeten' the water but presenting a hazard to amphibians.

When in doubt when storing liquids in plastic containers, your safe bet is always stabilized nitrile or polyethelene (preferably HDPE) as used in labs. Common household plastics like trash containers last a few months then become brittle and crack. IE, not stable and capable of releasing chemical components.
 
Last edited:

Louise E. Rothstein

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
430
Lead-free glass does not leach.
Glass does tend to be heavy...and breakable.
However,tempered glass might be less breakable.

Would tempered glass work?

Anybody try either?

How about stainless steel?
Would that be safe?
 

Niffarious

Arachnoknight
Joined
Apr 28, 2012
Messages
170
I would think that the chemical is whatever is used to stimulate the fish's slime coat. There are several dechlorinators that have this, and advertise as such. I NEVER use these, even for fish. Anything inducing their slime coat production must be irritating to the animals at the very least. I have always used basic dechlorinators with nothing else in them... used them with tadpoles of sensitive species, and never once had a problem.
 
Top