Adventures in Frog Care (aka “The Princess and the Frog” in Real Life)

Once a week, my fellow lab members and I have the task of cleaning out the frog tanks. Although this is a simple chore everyone must do, it takes some time. For me however, it was quite an experience.

Cleaning the frog tanks involves draining the tanks, adding new water, and scrubbing the sides of the tank. The scrubbing is important to keep the levels of “bad” organisms out of the tanks, which would prevent the frogs from becoming ill or even dying. We also clean out the leftover food and debris from the tank while the water is low.

Before the lab implemented the new system, frog care involved manually pulling up the plug stoppers, replacing it with a metal drain, and cleaning the tank with an ethanol cleaned brush. The old water flushes on the floor and quick movement is necessary to prevent the frogs from escaping the tank during that brief period.

Of course, the first tank I cleaned, I wasn’t fast enough and a frog hopped out of the tank. A frog was on the loose and needed to be captured. This involved crawling on the wet floor to capture a frog. Some people may think to fun memories of their childhood, catching all types of amphibious animals, yet I was more of a “sit inside and read” type of child. There’s more than one reason why my friends compare me to Disney’s Tiana from “The Princess and the Frog”.

Although I like to try and put on a confident exterior, I like to have as little contact with the frogs as possible. Touching frogs was not what I wanted to do at any point of my life, but I had to get over the “only child syndrome” A.S.A.P. and catch the frog (it was caught, safe and unharmed).

The message from this story is that science involves a lot more than staining slides and analyzing data in the lab. It also involves care of the organisms used, which includes coming into close contact with that organism. This is something to keep in mind when determining a job in the future, (mainly to avoid any and all labs that work with spiders).