Sunday, 29 March 2015

Birthday Presents...

It was my birthday on Friday, and the majority of my presents were wildlife related, obviously!

 I received a fish tank, with a filter and some oxygenating plants. I also got a Bushnell trail camera which has a colour playback and setup screen. I sold my old ProStalk trail camera to the Biology Department at my school, and I will be helping them use it for there various wildlife related clubs. I got a tawny owl paper weight along with a matching notebook. I've already nearly filled it up with loads of ideas for my patch! 

I was most excited about using my new trail camera, but I was also looking forward to studying and monitoring fresh water species in my new tank.

Whilst checking everything in my wildlife garden I noticed a HUGE clump of frogspawn. I knew that frogs were around, but I had never had frogspawn in the pond before so I was really excited. I did quite a bit of research about the life cycle of frogs, working out how long till the frogspawn would become tadpoles…..and then frogs. 

Although Wikipedia is not always reliable, it is usually quite trustworthy and useful for things like this.

I decided to take this opportunity to study these creatures, so I moved a smaller clump into my new tank. I used rainwater to fill the tank, as this is more healthy for the wildlife. I then collected pond plants and some large boulders to fill the tank, creating a natural look habitat. I used a LED light instead of a normal filament bulb so that the light would not heat up the water, as I wanted the water temperature to represent natural conditions.

I'm actually very pleased with the outcome. I have been using my macro lens to do some unclose shots of the frogspawn and other wildlife which I transferred from my pond. After the frogs are developed I will be returning them back into the wildlife garden, where they will hopefully live their life in peace. 

I calculated that (although it may not look like it), there is roughly 290 individual eggs within the clump, using the volume equation. I then calculated that the lump takes up only 4% of the whole tank space, so there is plenty of room for other wildlife, such as snails, fish and insects.

I'm hoping to take a photo of the eggs everyday, watching them develop into the tadpoles which will soon be happily swimming round the tank. I have nutrient rich fish food, and specially made liquid which keeps the water clean and does not harm the wildlife. I also made sure to position the pump filter in the right position, giving a water flow around the tank, representing a stream or calm river.

Also, if anyone has any idea of what these snails are doing, let me know! My initial though is that they were mating, but I'm not sure….

As you can see, I can use the tank to get some really good up-close of the frogspawn, lets just hope the conditions are right for the tadpoles to develop.