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Thread: PONDS! FROGS, NEWTS, DRAGONFLIES - MAKE A POND EASILY

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    Heavenly Creature cricket's Avatar
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    PONDS! FROGS, NEWTS, DRAGONFLIES - MAKE A POND EASILY

    Ponds are such amazing and valuable habitat,under rated ,overlooked.We put an old plastic tarp in a hollow and forgot it.The following year it was full of tadpoles,so we made a better one,just clean stream water and a deeper hole.Today we thought to make a bigger better pond.The old one was 1.5 meters by 1 meter and about 2 feet deep.There were 35 assorted frogs in it!! This little pond must be IT for a big area.We very carefully saved some water and gently quietly put the frogs in the buckets and speed dug a bigger hole with proper brown pondliner to blend in.Cost about 6.00 for a 2mx2m liner.Put the old one in the hole,new one on top,weighted all round with big steady stones ,refilled and put frogs back in 4 hours.Make sure little voles etc and the frogs can get out with grippy graduated sides.The rewards will be amazing.Keep gaurded from little kids.
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    Excellent. Hours of entertainment, cricket.

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    Comfortably Numb Rick69's Avatar
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    I always put a branch or a small pile of stones in mine in case the sides are too slippery for creatures to climb up.
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    Heavenly Creature cricket's Avatar
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    We had a little garden pond years ago and set it up so we could lie on our bellys and watch them.We found out that frogs do actually fight with each other
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    they push each other in,strangle each other and wallop each other,they croak usually but let out a shrill loud squeak when scared ,they blink when they swallow.We used to go to Wigpool common in Forest of Dean and spend many an hour watching the enormous dragon flies up there.So amazing peering in and around a pond.

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    Originally Posted by Miss_bee
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    Excellent. Hours of entertainment, cricket.

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    that really made me laugh, frogs strangling each other!

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    Radiant Being wurzel's Avatar
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    I built a pond about 9 years ago, it is around 12ft x 8ft (at widest) and 2ft at deepest point, figure of eight type shape, in the first year Swallows would skim over it but later on the vegetation got too big for them to get a good swoop down then back up before hitting the house lol, we have had dragonflies emerging and a frog or two now and again but never tadpoles. Last year the water level started dropping by about a foot over a couple of days, so I was constantly topping up with a hosepipe so not very wildlife friendly with all that tap water. I have a few Gunnera plants around it and one had it's roots in the water which grew very big, I had hoped it was this drinking all that water but alas it turned out to be a cheap liner that is the problem, it is kind of like a cheap tarp type of material so now I need to invest in a good one. I'm going to re-plant the stuff a bit further away from the edge this time and put in a more bird/mammal friendly slope at one point, going to keep the pump and put a little waterfall thing on it and put up a wrought iron fence that I wombled around it as we have a couple of toddlers in the family now, also hoping it will deter the Herons as they have had a few of my fish away already and there are some whopping Koi in there now.
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    Heavenly Creature cricket's Avatar
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    Honestly.When fighting over space,females or food,they grip each other round the neck and push each other under.Seems an age old inter species thing.
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    Originally Posted by Miss_bee
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    that really made me laugh, frogs strangling each other!

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    Yeah, I've heard that frogs are pretty hard-core. They sometimes kill the females by all trying to mate with her at once.
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    They're loud as well, aren't they? A frog once got into the lounge at work and was squealing. I was a bit scared!

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    Heavenly Creature cricket's Avatar
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    It was only because it was terrified.They dont as a rule scream before they go for your throat.
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    Originally Posted by Miss_bee
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    They're loud as well, aren't they? A frog once got into the lounge at work and was squealing. I was a bit scared!
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    Will they come back every year, cricket? Or is it just once? I'm no David Attenborough.
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    Transcending Red Dragon's Avatar
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    We love our garden pool and, unfortunately, so do the herons. We think the only fish that are still in there are some mutated black ones (evolution in action??) that even the heron can't see against the black of the liner.

    As to frogs, well some years we have none or maybe 3 or 4 and other years I've given up counting at 80. They are a lot of fun but bl**dy noisy when they all tune up at the same time...

    ...and here's a snap of part of the pool on a good year. Sorry about the blurring but I can't get all these critters to stay still at the same time.



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    Dragon- and Damsel-flies in abundance in the Summer with the big green and black striped Dragonflies, which we call helicopters, making a much appreciated appearance.

    Newts and the occasional toad in the marshy corner.

    Birds love the pool all year around as there are enough strong plants to support their weight so they can bathe or drink but it is even better in the Winter to watch them skate around on the ice to get to the area that we keep ice free. They even bathe when the temperature is well below freezing. The odd fox also appears for a Winter drink.
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    Heavenly Creature cricket's Avatar
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    Ive had leaks due to mammal claws before,maybe badgers in after frogs or something fell in.Fortunately no fish in it.What do you use that is good for masking the liner between water and lip and maybe allowing plants a grip?

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    Originally Posted by wurzel
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    I built a pond about 9 years ago, it is around 12ft x 8ft (at widest) and 2ft at deepest point, figure of eight type shape, in the first year Swallows would skim over it but later on the vegetation got too big for them to get a good swoop down then back up before hitting the house lol, we have had dragonflies emerging and a frog or two now and again but never tadpoles. Last year the water level started dropping by about a foot over a couple of days, so I was constantly topping up with a hosepipe so not very wildlife friendly with all that tap water. I have a few Gunnera plants around it and one had it's roots in the water which grew very big, I had hoped it was this drinking all that water but alas it turned out to be a cheap liner that is the problem, it is kind of like a cheap tarp type of material so now I need to invest in a good one. I'm going to re-plant the stuff a bit further away from the edge this time and put in a more bird/mammal friendly slope at one point, going to keep the pump and put a little waterfall thing on it and put up a wrought iron fence that I wombled around it as we have a couple of toddlers in the family now, also hoping it will deter the Herons as they have had a few of my fish away already and there are some whopping Koi in there now.

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    Comfortably Numb Rick69's Avatar
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    Not got any fish in mine so nothing to eat the wildlife. Also it means that i dont need the pump which should avoid killing a lot of stuff. Had a few water boatmen in there, few pond skaters, some other larvae, and the pigeon that comes every day to the bird table takes a bath and has a drink out of it, but sadly no frog spawn as yet. We had one frog late last year living under the stones behind the pond so fingers crossed for this year!
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    Heavenly Creature cricket's Avatar
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    WOW
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    Originally Posted by Red Dragon
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    We love our garden pool and, unfortunately, so do the herons. We think the only fish that are still in there are some mutated black ones (evolution in action??) that even the heron can't see against the black of the liner.

    As to frogs, well some years we have none or maybe 3 or 4 and other years I've given up counting at 80. They are a lot of fun but bl**dy noisy when they all tune up at the same time...

    ...and here's a snap of part of the pool on a good year. Sorry about the blurring but I can't get all these critters to stay still at the same time.



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    Dragon- and Damsel-flies in abundance in the Summer with the big green and black striped Dragonflies, which we call helicopters, making a much appreciated appearance.

    Newts and the occasional toad in the marshy corner.

    Birds love the pool all year around as there are enough strong plants to support their weight so they can bathe or drink but it is even better in the Winter to watch them skate around on the ice to get to the area that we keep ice free. They even bathe when the temperature is well below freezing. The odd fox also appears for a Winter drink.

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    Radiant Being wurzel's Avatar
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    At the moment I have blanket weed in abundance, it is a pain as it clogs up the pump, but the other day just after I had fed the fish I saw a Robin half hovering and half standing on a patch of the weed taking the fish pellets
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    Comfortably Numb Rick69's Avatar
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    That reminds me wurzel we have a robin who is now a daily visitor to the garden who also likes a drink, a splash and a ferret around in the plants round the edge ..
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    Heavenly Creature cricket's Avatar
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    Im not either,its just trial and error and try to think froggy thoughts.There is a blackish one that doesnt seem scared of us after 3 years of meeting him round and about.Of the 35 frogs we saw today I only recognised 4 from 2 years ago.I geuss its climate,disease,preferred habitat.If someone made a better pond nearby they may leg it.In our garden years ago in the Forest there were 9 that seemed permanent fixtures, even taking a worm from our hands.I will try and upload some photos.Putting photos on this site I find difficult as it keeps saying they are too big.

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    Originally Posted by Miss_bee
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    Will they come back every year, cricket? Or is it just once? I'm no David Attenborough.
    we had a blackbird that ate tadpoles from near the edge.Hed flip them out and eat them.
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    Radiant Being wurzel's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by cricket
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    Ive had leaks due to mammal claws before,maybe badgers in after frogs or something fell in.Fortunately no fish in it.What do you use that is good for masking the liner between water and lip and maybe allowing plants a grip?
    I landscaped the edges with various rocks and slate etc and planted shrubs, conifers, ferns and stuff in and around them, but over the year some grew too big and out of control, so this time I'll have flat stone at the immediate edge with more thought to what is planted next to them and larger stuff a few feet back, I've split the Gunnera into about 8 separate roots now. At one point probably where there is a shelf I'll stack it with cobbles so safe for birds etc to drink and bathe .
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    Radiant Being wurzel's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Rick69
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    That reminds me wurzel we have a robin who is now a daily visitor to the garden who also likes a drink, a splash and a ferret around in the plants round the edge ..
    It is great to see them using the pond innit, Robins, Blackbirds, Wrens, Wagtails and Goldfinches seem to be the most common here one we even had a pair of Reed Buntings visit for a minute or two.
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    Comfortably Numb Rick69's Avatar
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    We have a regular pair of blackbirds that nest in the tree in the garden but ive never seen them use the pond. Theres also a sparrowhawk thats a semi regular visitor, i suspect because of the bird food we put out and the large amount of birds it attracts that congregate on the nearby flat garage roof
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    Don`t forget a few nice big thistles,i had Gold Finches in my garden swinging about of them getting the seeds.

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    Shed Junkie alices wonderland's Avatar
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    Extending garden ponds with adjacent dew ponds will enhance both flora and fauna species. Often garden ponds in the UK are maintained by rainfall and a overflow point within the pond design. Rarely does the garden pond dry out or loose surfac water even in summer. A dew pond is totally reliant on local rainfall. No garden hose or guttering run off. It's purpose is to come and go with the climate and rainfall. There are a multitude of marginal plants that can not sustain life if located in too (deep) wet a area or too dry an area constantly. There are a group of plants which like our seasons, adapt at times of the year (periods of flowering/seeding etc) to average condition found in wetland margins. Those plants can tolerate being submerged during winter early spring when expected rainfall is higher for longer. But will only flower when temperatures rise, water levels drop etc. The same goes for many insects and invertebrates. Access to water for breeding, spawning or stages of aquatic /semi aquatic lifecycles. All these factors can be considered within the pond habitat. Some dew ponds after silting up over the years can freeze solid in the worst of UK winters. This could kill off a lot of invertebrates, so bear this in mind if your introducing fish or digging out a new pond.
    If you have a pond that leaks, you could consider this to become a dew pond and create a new lined pond attached to the original pond (now dew pond) allowing the dew pond to morph into its new role by not weeding out, dropping the overflow level to just a few inches below ground Soil level. Then only relying on rain water to maintain water levels.
    Many of the aquatic plants can be transplanted to the new pond and along with a few muddy buckets of water including many more species of flora and fauna.

    If at anytime you remove weeds/plants from a pond when cleaning/clearing out. Leave the weeds/plants at the side of the pond for a few days, so any insects can get back to the pond if possible.
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    Divine Light gomphus's Avatar
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    Saw the first couple of frogs of the season in my pond yesterday late afternoon. Walking down the gravel path to top up the bird feeders noticed one dive below the surface while another just sat there looking at me. Tonight is going to be mild with some rain later so I expect there'll be plenty of froggie action. When I first built the pond (not that large) I counted about 90 frogs but the last couple of years there have been 20-30 on any one day in the mating period.

    Problem I have now ids that there is now a very good population of smooth newts + these polish off most of the frog tadpoles so low recruitment for the new generation,
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