Thursday, May 1, 2008

$100 Tadpoles

Yesterday, Baby Monkey and I went to the greenhouse. Miss Nancy took him to show him the tadpoles that were swimming around in her pool. Baby monkey went to the truck and came back to us with his soccer water jug. He begged for tadpoles to take home. I caved in and we had a bowl of baby frogs on your front porch all night.

This morning I went with Mamala to the quilt store. On the way back I asked to stop at the water garden store in Mesquite. Well, three fan tailed goldfish, five mosquito fish or Gambusia affinis, a bag of something called water grass, a plastic half whiskey barrel, a little pump, and a shaker of fish food later I now have the equipment to raise these tadpoles in a way tadpoles were never supposed to be raised. If you spoil a tadpole will it leave when it becomes a frog? This happens to every parent. There is no such thing as a free puppy. Apparently, in my world there is no such thing as a free tadpole.

I was assured that the goldfish would not eat the tadpoles and that the mosquito fish would eat the mosquitoes. I was also educated in the use of water plants for oxygen in the water vs. the need for a pump or fountain to move the water. I was told that in my half whiskey barrel, the water grass would take care of everything. I bought the little pump anyway. I’m glad I did. I like the way the water moves.

I brought all the stuff home and went to get Baby Monkey from school. We set up the whole system together. The pictures above are the boys putting their fish in the newly set up water garden. They named them. Let me see if you can figure out which fish belongs to which Monkey. There is Ketchup, Yang, and Ozzy Osbourne. Any guesses? Anyone?

To top off the experience, Baby Monkey and Teenage Monkey got into an argument and Teenage Monkey held the door closed so Baby Monkey could not get inside. I was outside with Baby Monkey. I yelled at Teenage Monkey and told Baby Monkey to move out of my way so I could open the door and put the fear of Mom into Teenage Monkey. Baby Monkey tripped and fell in the new water garden. It only took thirty minutes for one of them to fall in it. I think that might be a new record.

Guess what? I now want all the water plants they have at the water garden store. This is going to be bad, very very bad.
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  1. That is so great, $100 tadpoles. Isn't it the truth. You get something and it takes several trips to the garden center to take care of them. And the boys sound typical too. I have two grown sons who are so close but have had their moments. I understand.

  2. Ah, ha-ha!
    You've been wrangled into the wonderful world of pond stuff! Good job, Monkeys.
    Just wait - soon enough you'll be digging a great big hole in your backyard. lol. Not a bad thing!
    Oh, and about those plants - good thing you bought the pump. Yes, those plants will oxygenate the water during the day while they are photosynthesizing, but at night they take oxygen OUT of the water. I'm betting that less than 1% of the water garden centers share this info, or even know it, for that matter.
    Good Monkeys! Tell the parents you need a big hole and fish called 'nishikigoi'.

  3. Go for it and get a pond - they arent that expensive but they do take some patience as you have to let them have time to settle

  4. Haaaa!!!! How could you trick me like this?!! I had just taken a big mouthful of coffee when I got to the part about Baby Monkey falling into the water garden and I thought I was going to need CPR!!! Oh, lord. What a classic! I have two landscaped aquariums and three barrel water gardens, so I know how "free" can quickly translate into bazillion dollars, and of course, you always want more! Check out Arizona Aquatic Gardens on Google for an incredible selection of water plants, shrimp, and accessories. (Sigh. Not that I'm trying to bankrupt you, but it would be some payback for making me choke like that.) I've found that keeping the fish population modest and the plant population high gives me balanced water gardens without pumps. See what works for you, and enjoy yourself! (And remind Baby Monkey that it isn't really a pool...)

  5. I can relate! The kids sure have gotten me into some big projects. Looks like a great learning experience.

    On the bright side, at least OFB didn't spit the coffee out and break the computer!

    Names, hmm... Ketchup is the goldfish, Ozzy is the frog and Yang is the mosquito fish.

  6. LOVE the water garden. I want one! You are going to be in trouble when my husband find out where I found this idea!

  7. Hi Anna, good to know they are typical. I often wonder if I have spawned mutants.

    Hi Tina and patientgardener, Manly Man threatened unplug the computer and stop my blogging if I took y'all advise and dug a hole in the ground. Still, I really really like those plants. He will give in, I just have to get him to the water garden store and show him the cool stuff.

  8. ofb, oops, I guess I need to put the coffee spitting warning back up. We took it off of the new banner. Thanks for the Arizona Aquatics name. I know I will be checking that out soon. For me, this is really about gardening and not about fish. The fish are pretty, but what I really want are the plants. Again, thanks for the information, I don't want a stinky fish mess. Although that might make good liquid fertilizer.

  9. Hi Cinj, I think every mom can relate. Kids are expensive, but fun.

    Hi Shala, Thanks for stopping by. I am already in trouble at my house for brining home more "pets" Tell me, can you really consider a fish a pet? You can't pet it.

  10. Love water gardens! We had some tadpoles once, but none of them lived, or rather if they did, they didn't stick around - LOL!

    We've had "free rabbits" "free iguanas" "free turtles" and my favorite "free anoles" none of which in any way whatsoever are truly free.

  11. Hi Sherry, yep pretty much every animal we have was either cheep(feedstore bunnies) or free. I think I have spent a minor fortune on these foundlings. Love them though. You know what, we can't find the tadpoles now. I wonder what happened.

  12. Ha-Ha-ing my way through this post and comments. Thanks for the laughs. I have four grown children (2 girls, 2 boys) and loved every minute of it as they grew. At one point I threatened to turn all their pet-critters loose and let them eat each other.

  13. Hi Barbee, About the time the little one fell in, I either had to laugh or cry. I would rather laugh. Unfortunatley, I think the tadpoles did eat each other.

  14. "I don't want a stinky fish mess. Although that might make good liquid fertilizer."....great idea! My tub gardens are smelling a bit foul since I decided to let them thaw and "re-start" themselves. Now I know what to do with the water when I drain it to start over! :) Your "free" pets are like the "free" cats I got from my son: after the brushes, toys, treats, and the "good" cat food there comes the vet indeed.

  15. Hi lisa, agreed on the fishy fertilizer and also on the millions of dollars is cost to get a "free" pet.