What kind of tadpoles did you send me? How do I care for them? why did my tadpoles die?

We do not track the type of tadpole that are sent in each shipment. Species identity should be indicated on the bag label. 

Why did my tadpoles die and how can I care for my new shipment?

Most often when you have complete loss of a shipment soon after arrival and transfer to a new tank, it is due to toxic materials in the water. Did you use treated tap water? If so, there may be contaminants in your tap water that are not suitable for tadpole survival. We are seeing this more and more. If tap water is used, water conditioner must be used, but there are some sanitizing chemicals in some tap water supplies that the water conditioner does not remove.

To avoid this problem, we recommend using bottled natural spring water for tadpoles. Deer Park and Poland Spring are nationally distributed brands that we have used with tadpoles successfully. Collected rainwater is also an option many customers choose.

Beyond what is discussed on our care guide for tadpoles found here: https://www.carolina.com/teacher-resources/Interactive/living-organism-care-guide-tadpole/tr10550.tr, we can offer the following advice.

Tadpoles have a very low survival rate, even in the wild. You can improve your chances of success with them by taking some additional steps.

Small Tadpoles need at least 1 quart of water per tadpole for optimal development(bullfrog tadpoles need 1 gallon per tadpole). Surface area of the container is more important than depth. We use baby pools here with bubblers but any shallow container of an appropriate volume for the number of tadpoles you have will work fine. Some appropriate containers would be plastic storage boxes or shoe boxes. Depth should be anywhere from 3-6 inches depending on the type of tadpoles you have. 

Optimizing the surface area to volume ratio in housing improves oxygen turnover in the water, which helps the tadpoles be more active and helps you avoid problems with bacteria buildup. With a smaller container, you will need to be diligent about your water changes to ensure that water quality remains at the very highest level.

Water needs to be changed when it becomes fouled. Indications that a water change is needed are cloudy appearance, unpleasant odor, tadpoles lingering at the top of the container, and waste settling to the bottom.

As far as food goes, they really don’t eat very much and when they do eat, it can be hard to detect. You can offer the tadpole bites as well as parboiled greens to see if they prefer one food over the other.

Of course, if you are doing most of these things, you will still lose some, but having the best possible water quality, will improve your chances of success with some.