Attracting Wildlife Back to a Garden Pond — Totseans

Attracting Wildlife Back to a Garden Pond

edited June 2012 in Life
There's a pond in my garden which used to be full with wildlife. I dunno where it all came from, but it was just always like it. There were frogs, newts, insects and all kinds of stuff living in there, but a couple of years ago a big snake came along and ate EVERYTHING :mad: Now it's empty, and nothing lives in there anymore.

Any ideas as to how I can attract wildlife back to the pond and get it back to how it used to be? I was thinking about just chucking a few frogs in there to see if it kick started anything, but that seems too easy to be true.

Ideas?

Comments

  • edited July 2011
    Has anything like new developments cut off access to your back yard from a creek or forest?
  • edited July 2011
    There haven't been many new developments around here which would directly affect wildlife in my garden, I don't THINK. Behind my house is a large field (currently containing rapeseed (teehee)) which I think is where most of the animals must have came from in the first place, but access to our garden has been left untouched. You can literally walk right into the field from the end of my back yard.

    Unfortunately, there aren't really any creeks or forests around here. There are small wooded areas, one being in the field behind my house actually. There's a small boggy pond in there, but I don't suppose anything would live there as it's mainly used for dumping grounds when people can't be bothered to take their refrigerators elsewhere.

    hmmmmmmm.
  • CaptainFalconCaptainFalcon Regular
    edited July 2011
    Leave some food out, you dildo
  • jewnosejewnose Regular
    edited July 2011
    Leave it to CaptainFaggot to make the dumbest post in a thread.

    trx100, if your property isn't directly hooked up with a forest or anything, it's going to take some time for the wildlife to come back. They will come back though, as water is a premium to wild animals and they have a way of finding that yummy scummy pond water. Just give it time and don't go messing around with the vegetation around the pond except to keep it in check.

    If you see any more snakes, kill those assholes. They're the only animal I hate. That will take care of a good chunk of your problem.
  • CaptainFalconCaptainFalcon Regular
    edited July 2011
    jewnose wrote: »
    Leave it to CaptainFaggot to make the dumbest post in a thread.

    trx100, if your property isn't directly hooked up with a forest or anything, it's going to take some time for the wildlife to come back. They will come back though, as water is a premium to wild animals and they have a way of finding that yummy scummy pond water. Just give it time and don't go messing around with the vegetation around the pond except to keep it in check.

    If you see any more snakes, kill those assholes. They're the only animal I hate. That will take care of a good chunk of your problem.

    fuck you, bitch

    leave out some food
  • edited July 2011
    I think one of the problems is probably the fact that the vegetation around the pond is a little patchy. I was thinking of getting some more plants and stuff to go there, as well as some odd bits of wood and things which animals seem to like hiding under. Do you think that this might help out as well? I feel that I need to fix it up before I can leave it alone.

    As for food, there's plenty of stuff in the garden for other animals to eat. Frogs enjoy snails and stuff, and there's a load of those slithering around out there :thumbsup: I think maybe I'll put some more vegetation around the pond and give it some time.
  • buddhabuddha Regular
    edited July 2011
    So you have a small pond in your yard.

    People are dumping shit (refrigerators and stuff) nearby.

    Frogs and shit like that are the first things to go when a place starts getting polluted, even if everything looks clean to you, a little freon leaking into the ground in the area would be enough to wipe them out.

    Remove all the trash, drain the pond, remove the dirt around the pond, refill and wait.
  • edited July 2011
    Will something right on the other side of a field affect the wildlife in my garden? That dumping area has existed since I can remember, and it's never really affected the amount of wildlife in my back yard in the past. At least, I haven't noticed it being of any direct effect. There used to be a lot of frogs around here but they've dramatically declined in numbers. I'd quite like to get some in my pond, have them breed and start it all off again :thumbsup:
  • buddhabuddha Regular
    edited July 2011
    trx100 wrote: »
    Will something right on the other side of a field affect the wildlife in my garden? That dumping area has existed since I can remember, and it's never really affected the amount of wildlife in my back yard in the past. At least, I haven't noticed it being of any direct effect. There used to be a lot of frogs around here but they've dramatically declined in numbers. I'd quite like to get some in my pond, have them breed and start it all off again :thumbsup:

    It is possible. Has anything else changed with the pond? Water coming in or out? Maybe you sprayed something near it? Weed killer, bug spray? Just a million reasons it could happen. Try catching some tadpoles and frogs and throw them in, see what happens.

    Got a pic of the pond and shit? And the area around it?
  • edited July 2011
    There's a small hole in the pond liner so over the course of time, water drains out and is eventually replaced by rain water. Would this have any affect? It's safe to say it's a very slow process though, so I dunno. Nothing has been sprayed in the garden at all, and there's nothing which would really contaminate the water or upset the area around the pond.

    I'll get you a picture when I can. Pretty sure I wasted the battery on my camera the other day :facepalm: It's basically a small, circular pond which is dug into the floor. It's surrounded by some nice rocks (lots of holes and gaps in there for creatures to hide in) and there's a flowerbed behind it all with some plants and stuff growing in it. Like I said earlier, it's a bit patchy and I plan on getting some more stuff to plant in there. I'm thinking a load of greenery and stuff.
  • buddhabuddha Regular
    edited July 2011
    trx100 wrote: »
    There's a small hole in the pond liner so over the course of time, water drains out and is eventually replaced by rain water. Would this have any affect? It's safe to say it's a very slow process though, so I dunno. Nothing has been sprayed in the garden at all, and there's nothing which would really contaminate the water or upset the area around the pond.

    I'll get you a picture when I can. Pretty sure I wasted the battery on my camera the other day :facepalm: It's basically a small, circular pond which is dug into the floor. It's surrounded by some nice rocks (lots of holes and gaps in there for creatures to hide in) and there's a flowerbed behind it all with some plants and stuff growing in it. Like I said earlier, it's a bit patchy and I plan on getting some more stuff to plant in there. I'm thinking a load of greenery and stuff.

    There has to be something.

    As far as planting more stuff in there, don't plant more than 50% of the ponds area, also a variety of plants at different depths is best. You also need to ID the plants that are in there, if something like hyacinth is growing in there it could suck all the oxygen out of the water.

    Ever think about adding an oxygenator to the pond? Sounds like you pretty much have a stagnant hole of water.
  • edited July 2011
    An oxygenator like you'd find in a fish tank? That could work, but we don't have any electricity running out there and there's pretty much no chance of getting any installed. Is there any other way of getting some oxygen into the water? Possibly adding a few plants or something?
  • buddhabuddha Regular
    edited July 2011
    trx100 wrote: »
    An oxygenator like you'd find in a fish tank? That could work, but we don't have any electricity running out there and there's pretty much no chance of getting any installed. Is there any other way of getting some oxygen into the water? Possibly adding a few plants or something?

    Yes like a fish tank. Get a small solar panel to run it during the day, you need to keep the pond clean also, take out any dead plant stuff from the bottom. Without actually being there and testing the water and what not it is kind of hard to say.

    Start with these suggestions and work from there.
  • buddhabuddha Regular
    edited July 2011
    oops, as far as adding plants go there are a couple depending on your climate, but the oxygen they produce during the day they tend to use up at night.

    edit: try common waterweed (Elodea) and hornwort (Ceratophyllum)
  • jewnosejewnose Regular
    edited July 2011
    Yeah, contamination can spread over a wide area once it gets into the ground water. That's why you should never dump anything toxic out onto the ground, no matter how far away from water it might be. Once that shit gets underground, it takes no time at all for it to find a pond, stream, lake, etc.

    Good call, Buddha, on the vegetation.

    Clean up the area and love nature. It will give the love back.
  • SpiffSpiff Regular
    edited July 2011
    Did you ever get rid of the original snake?
  • dr rockerdr rocker Regular
    edited July 2011
    Your answer is probably the OSR field. It more than likely gets drenched in insecticides, fungicides and herbicides several times a year, little to no organic matter added to it and is probably used at other times for wheat or barley - these get loaded with the above too. You probably get some spray drift onto the garden.

    I would clean up any crap in the area, add some fallen timber from a wood and a mulch of leafmould taken from a wood at least 4" deep. Once it had setled down I would add some frogspawn to the pond - if you put adult frogs in the pond chances are they will just piss off somewhere else but the frogs from spawn will want to live there.

    Got any pics of the area, could suggest some natural plants if I can see soil / topography / other plants growing in the area?
  • edited July 2011
    The snake left a couple of years ago after it had eaten everything from the pond area. Plus, I lifted up an old wooden door which was propped up against our compost heap and I think I might have accidentally destroyed it's home. Anyway, it moved on and I haven't seen it since.

    I didn't think about the field! Shit. Thanks for the heads up Dr Rocker, maybe when it's sprayed again this year I can do my best to shield the garden from getting sprayed too. Although it all goes into the ground anyway, but there's no harm in trying, right?

    I will go and collect some fallen timber and a "mulch of leafmould" (I'll have to Google that one) soon. There's a small woodland not too far away with plenty of downed trees.

    As for frogspawn - where do you get that from?
  • edited July 2011
    Frogspawn are tadpoles, and frog eggs, just get one of those little nets from a pet store and go hunting anywhere you see frogs. Definitely a good call on the grasses, you might want to scoop out any algae you see forming too, a little is good, but a lot can choke out other plants and animals.
  • PacoPaco me administrator
    edited July 2011
    1. Buy some frogs and shit from a pet store.
    2. Release them into the pond.
    3. Feed those bitches.
    4. ????
    5. Profit.
  • edited July 2011
    How exactly do I feed frogs? I understand that they eat... Snails? I can't remember, but I can leave stuff out around the pond area for them to munch on.
  • CaptainFalconCaptainFalcon Regular
    edited July 2011
    If Kermit is to be believed, they love flies... Make them slurp your cock
  • dr rockerdr rocker Regular
    edited July 2011
    trx100 wrote: »
    T "mulch of leafmould" (I'll have to Google that one) soon.

    Leafmould is just rotted leaves. A mulch is any matter that you put on the ground to keep moisture in, provide nutrients and organic matter to improve stucture. Think of it as natures finest compost.

    As for the frogspawn, C/O got it bang on.
  • edited July 2011
    Can I make my own leafmold using discarded leaves which I find around the garden? If I gather them up and chuck a load around the pond area and give it plenty of water, they will start to rot - right? Or am I better off gathering some from the forest?
  • MooseKnuckleMooseKnuckle Regular
    edited July 2011
    buy an alligator, that'd be a fun pet.
  • skunkskunk Regular
    edited July 2011
    trx, you can gather leaves from wherever it shouldn't matter as long as its not contaminated with heavy metals or pesticides.
  • dr rockerdr rocker Regular
    edited July 2011
    You are better off collecting stuff that is already rotted. Leave take 1-2 years to break down, and got down to <10% of the original volume. The local authority street sweepers in my area sweep them up and bag them in the Autumn and leave them at the side of the road for one of their trucks to collect. I get there first.
  • edited July 2011
    I think a photo diary of your work making a habitable environment would be really cool, you could update it now and then with pics of the bugs and critters that slowly populate the pool. Think of it as a 'sim' in real life, you are the pool god, and it will thrive or die due to your efforts. The pesticides from that field seem to be the biggest hurdle, without that buggy little link in the food chain, it will be hard to sustain.

    C/O
    "playing god is fun"
  • edited July 2011
    The field is only sprayed once or twice a year, and my garden is still full of bugs. I'm really not sure how much of an impact it has on my garden as I don't think the pesticides travel that far, but who knows. I like the idea of a photo diary :D I might start today.
  • jewnosejewnose Regular
    edited July 2011
    Awesome idea on the photo diary, C/O. I hope you get to do that, trx, because I'd like to see your progress.
  • dr rockerdr rocker Regular
    edited July 2011
    trx100 wrote: »
    The field is only sprayed once or twice a year, and my garden is still full of bugs. I'm really not sure how much of an impact it has on my garden as I don't think the pesticides travel that far, but who knows. I like the idea of a photo diary :D I might start today.

    Depending on conditons during spraying, they can travel 3 miles, but 1/2 mile in any volume is more usual.
  • CaptainFalconCaptainFalcon Regular
    edited July 2011
    I agree with buying froggies :)
  • MeloncholyMeloncholy Regular
    edited July 2011
    People yammering on about pesticides and pollutants are barking up the wrong tree. It's an artificial pond with a pond liner. A liner that stops water leaking out, and thus contaminated water leaking in.

    How small a pond are we talking? If it's back garden thing, sort of hot tub size then it probably won't draw in wildlife, so you'll have artificially inseminate it (:fap:?). Buy/ dig up some of Canadian pondweed. It will colonise and oxygenate the pond. Is there a public park with a pond or lake nearby? If so, pay it a visit on a dewey morning in the late spring and there should be loads of frogs out on the bank, and balls of them shagging in the shallows. Comeback in June and fill a freezer bag or two with frogspawn and transfer it to your pond. Go with a net and scoop out shit loads of mites, boatmen, larvae etc -they should thrive once you ahve the pondweed established. Once the Canadian pondweed is established you will need to either remove some of it manually (but you will have to do this every year) or buy some grass carp to keep it in check, otherwise it will completely swamp the pond.
  • skunkskunk Regular
    edited July 2011
    Yes because aerosols aren't carried by the wind or anything.
  • MeloncholyMeloncholy Regular
    edited July 2011
    skunk wrote: »
    Yes because aerosols aren't carried by the wind or anything.

    I find it hard to believe that low intesity (twice a year) ground spraying is having such an effect. It's a small garden pond with no adjacent corresponding habitat - critters aren't going to find their way into such a pond on their own. Besides, the pond was populated and vegetated to begin with so it should have had a decent buffering capacity against low level pollution anyway. If trx succesfully repopulates it and everything dies after the field is sprayed then I will happily eat my words.
  • jewnosejewnose Regular
    edited July 2011
    Obviously you aren't really a melon or you'd know that you're wrong about this.
    critters aren't going to find their way into such a pond on their owd

    Wow. Just wow.
  • MeloncholyMeloncholy Regular
    edited July 2011
    jewnose wrote: »
    Obviously you aren't really a melon or you'd know that you're wrong about this.

    My cover is blown :eek:
    Wow. Just wow.

    Hey, fuck you. I'm alowed a spelling mistake every now then. Even if the one in question does make me sound like a three year old.
  • jewnosejewnose Regular
    edited July 2011
    I'm not talking about the spelling mistake. I'm talking about the fact that you don't believe that a wild animal is going to seek out a source of water. The spelling mistake was just the cherry on the sundae. Or the fly on the pile of shit. Whichever you prefer.
  • MeloncholyMeloncholy Regular
    edited July 2011
    The kind of wildlife that lives in a small garden pond will not drop out of the sky. Whatever larger animals he wants to eventually attract will be dependant on the resident population of plants and animals from the lower trophic levels. Aquatic plants, larvae, nepomorpha etc won't colonise unless a corrdor links the metapopulation.
  • edited July 2011
    I havent seen the word 'habitat' thrown around enough in this thread.

    The wildlife you're talking about need to be protected from birds and etc - these things in nature are usually hollow logs, long reeds, etc.

    Understanding the invertebrate life in the pond is important as well, check the Ph levels and the like to make sure there will be a food supply for the frogs/etc.

    Im sure there's a local wildlife agency that will have fact sheets for you.

    Do you have any pics?
  • dr rockerdr rocker Regular
    edited July 2011
    Meloncholy wrote: »
    The kind of wildlife that lives in a small garden pond will not drop out of the sky. Whatever larger animals he wants to eventually attract will be dependant on the resident population of plants and animals from the lower trophic levels. Aquatic plants, larvae, nepomorpha etc won't colonise unless a corrdor links the metapopulation.

    You will find that they will. You would be amazed at the number of pond plants that have evolved to attach themselves to the legs of birds to be taken to waters new. Same with invertibrates and its not uncommon for fish eggs to go from one body of water to another and populations of fish to develop.

    I took from his posts that his garden backed onto a field - their would normally be some kind of boundry - a hedge, a fence or a wall, probably overgrown on at least one side if its an arable farm with the land set aside scheme and wildlife stewardship grants for letting wild grasses and flowers grow at the edge - that should have acted as coridor enough.

    Ultimatly, the pond may have been part of a bigger ecosystem that has suffered some setback.
  • edited August 2011
    For the past few weeks, I've done nothing but tidy up the area around the pond, keep the surrounding plants watered and I also moved a few things around, adding a couple of old rotting logs in there too. I've been a bit worried about the pond as it looks a bit... odd? There's grass growing in amongst the reeds and there's some algae in there too - what should I do about this?

    Something must have gone right though, because there are a few tiny frogs in there now!
  • skunkskunk Regular
    edited August 2011
    Algae is a sign of a healthy pond, I wouldn't be removing anything at this point.
  • edited August 2011
    What about the grass which is amongst the reeds?
  • skunkskunk Regular
    edited August 2011
    Leave the grass as well, it'll create additional wildlife habitat.
  • edited August 2011
    skunk wrote: »
    Algae is a sign of a healthy pond, I wouldn't be removing anything at this point.

    Algae can drain all the oxygen from a pond if you let it grow out of control. Much like salvinia can provide habitat for fish but chokes rivers if its not kept in check.

    If you have a heavy nutrient load and mucho sunlight during the day you can get an algal bloom which will start fucking your shit.
  • edited June 2012
    Since posting this thread, a lot has happened with the pond. We basically cleared the whole thing out - the plants growing in it were out of control, the water was stagnant and black, there was no sign of life. We decided to put a new liner into the pond so that's stopped the leaking. It also means that we removed all that awful water from before, and now the water inside is clean once again! There are plants in the water too, but not too many like before - they're at varying depths as well :D Since we did all this, the water seems to be harboring a lot of little wiggly things which I guess frogs enjoy eating because there are also a couple of frogs seen in and around the pond. I was out there 5 minutes ago and saw a frog sitting happily on a lilypad, so I guess we must be doing something right.

    Thanks for all the help with this thread, it's been just what we needed to get the pond back up and running ;)
  • edited June 2012
    Seeing as Dr Rocker has returned, I might as well bump this and just ask something further - how do I actually MAINTAIN this pond so that wildlife actually wants to move in? So far I've just been removing dead leaves with a net, and making sure the flowerbed around the outside of the pond is well stocked up with plenty of undergrowth and places for animals to hide :thumbsup: I even ripped the roof off of an old wooden bird table and put that amongst the plants (in a "bald patch", I didn't actually put it on top of anything) as a place for animals to hide under but god knows if it will actually work :D

    So yeah maintenance. How do?
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