I've had a pond project under way for a while
The main pond is now nearing completion (it's even got water in it now!) So here's a photo - not very good as it was so sunny!!
It's on a slope that was so uneven we couldn't use it and it was too lumpy to mow
Now there is a place to sit alongside the pond - and by the paved bit the pond wall is just the right height to sit on. Then there are steps and a path leading round to the far side where the water will be above waist level - perfect for looking in to at close quarters :)
The facing for the blocks used for the wall is 80% sand form a seam of sand running through our land (the rest of course is heavy clay LOL) This has given it a lovely natural finish that blends in with the surroundings.
I've been planting up water lilies today - and have a couple of lotus too. There is a hole near the veggie patch that is now lined but I have to work on before filling it. I also reused an small preformed shape to make a pond in a meadow area, That's ready to fill, but unfortunately nearly filling the main pond has run the well dry - so now I have to wait for rain before I can fill any more
None forecast in the next week :(
Though that's nice for the people here on holiday...
I'm hoping you'll post the lovely photo of your pond project here too please Potagere?
Had two ponds for a while now, one for fish and one for wildlife. Had my first frog spawn in the wildlife pond this year. Last year the frogs were trying to get into the fishpond (raised), by climbing a nearby Canary Island Date Palm. A slightly bizarre sight as it occurred during a thunderstorm, and I had partaken of several glasses of the amber nectar!
I was thrilled to see the first frog in my pond last evening - actually saw it swimming around - and it was the true European Tree frog ;o))
We're lucky that we only seem to have these little gems here, whereas down in the valley and a lot of other friends have the raucous Pond and Pool frogs, they really make a din! Unlike the very well behaved Common frog...
I am very pleased that in the pond I lined the year before last in the chicken run there are now lots of either newt or salamander larvae. I'm keeping an eye on them in the hope of finding out which they are. Does anyone out there know how to tell the difference please?There are also droves of excitedly mating Broad-bodied chasers. They are dragonflies that specialise in shallow and transitory ponds, so I am hoping to get other species in the new one, which is a metre deep.
Still chuckling over your amber nectar induced vision prophet ;o))
It will look great when it's finished Philomel! Do you have any piccies of your tree frogs? I spotted a couple of Broad Bodies Chasers the other day flitting about around a large puddle near a natural pond.
Here's one of the striped (common) european tree frog. We also have the stripeless (just SW France and Iberian peninsular) and apparently they don't normally occur at the same site. Ours must be confused lol.
The striped are cuter in my opinion - slightly smaller and their feet don't fit ;o))
LOL prophet, they really do make a racket. They have found their way int parts of southern england - so the natives there may be a bit tetchy through lack of sleep *grin*
I went to record bats on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent, and could have thought they were some exotic bird species (it was on an RSPB reserve). Could hardly hear the bat detectors for the sound of amorous frogs!
Yes, I'm very lucky Baa :)
The weather is just fantastic - too hot to do anything this afternoon.
I got some large water cotainers in place and filled from the well yesterday, so now I feel much happier about looking after all the plants etc.
I just love water and miss the rain when it doesn't happen (mad person). It rains more here than in Kent, but the sun is much stronger and the daylight hours longer between any showers.
Yes, they really are delightful little things - unless you're a light sleeper. They shout quite loudly every evening. I think of it as one of the magic ingredients of the warm days and evenings her - like the cicadas chirruping
What cute little frogs, I took a photo of one in Menorca - to prove I had seen it. We were in a restaurant at the time.
I've got two ponds too, and the one with fish in gets even more frog spawn than the wildlife one. It is like frog spawn soup when they start, and then the fish gather round the edges to feast when they start to hatch. There are still hundreds of tadpoles so I think they are either too large to eat, or the fish are fed up with them.
The frogs are still making the occasional croaking noises, mainly in the evenings. They sound like little motor bikes.
The weirdest sound I heard was in Poland when we were on a birding holiday and there must have been hundreds of Fire bellied toads making the most eerie noise rather like the wind in telephone wires, but much louder.
My pond is covered in duck weed just now. It has just appeared from nowhere. I suppose a bird could have brought some on its legs. I've not put any new plants in for ages so I've not introduced it. I keep scooping it out, but it is a nuisance as it clogs the pump up.
The fish don't seem to mind it so long as I keep a bit clear for them to feed.
What a superb photo Pat! Such a telling silhouette
I'd love to hear those toads! Found one in Romania to look at, but haven't heard their chorus - we were there in September.
Interesting that your frogs prefer to be in with the fish...
Love the pond, beautiful views in the background too.
We have an abundance of frogs and toads here, but they don't seem to be too noisy.But yours are so cute, i just love the one with huge feet, a bit like clowns shoes...I can't understand how people don't like them.My daughter for one, she shrieks whenever one leaps near her.
I was sat on the patio yesterday evening just listening to the birds singing ( I still can't identify them) there was one singing it's socks off.Magic.Hard to believe that it'll soon be midsummers day.
My pond is definately getting a bit overgrown and needs thinning out a bit.I also have been fighting a battle with duck weed.
Here's the latest visitor - the broad-bodied chaser. He's really taken to the pickerel weed (Pontederea cordata) that a friend helped me rescue from a pond that's going to be filled in (the owners have a toddler and a new baby on the way)
Anyway the dragonfly thinks it's perfect for a lookout point.
That's an excellent photo Hilary, they never stay still long enough for me to get a good pic. My pond has lots of red bodied and azure damsel flies this week and is still covered in duck weed. I'll try to get a good photo tomorrow, there are lots of marginals coming into flower. The Japanese irises, candelabra primula, Mimulus are out now along with the Golden club - a strange little plant. The bog bean has just finished.
I may have mentioned before, but the local cats keep rubbing their faces on the bog bean so I looked up its medicinal properties and it is a sedative among other things. They also like the Valerian and Nepeta which also have sedative properties. I wonder if they have an aroma that cats identify. Obviously the cat mint smells minty, but there may be another scent which we don't notice. I haven't noticed the cats being particularly relaxed, but they do go all drooley and roll about when they are sampling these plants.
Thanks Pat, I was very lucky that he was drowsy in the sun
I look forward to seeing your pond :)
that's really interesting about the bog bean and valerian.
Our cats ignore the 2 different types of nepeta I have and haven't shown any interest in the valerian either. Perhaps they feel sleepy enough already LOL
Incredible photo there, I love the dragon flys and othet pond insects, I could happily spend hours just sitting and watching them...(who wouldn't when housework is the alternative!!)
I can't grow catmint, it gets chomped as soon as it's planted, All the cats in the neighbourhood seem to line up for a much. I 've even bought quite large plants, and still it gets eaten to the ground, never to be seen again..I'm going to see if I can get some seeds of the huge catmint (temporarliy forgotton name of ) and when it's well established try that. Knowing my luck, probably find a tiger there munching it
I didn't manage to get a photo of the damsel flies, but here is a bit of the pond. This is the one with golden orfe, goldfish and tench in that the frogs like best. It was dug out in 2000 and gradually constructed and planted up over a couple of years, so isn't all that old. It is amazing how fast aquatic plants spread. The irises need thinning as they have nearly grown across the pond, but they do look beautiful when they are all flowering. They have just started to open this week.
The water lilies are the pink ones with deep bronze leaves - quite a small variety which I think were called Sunset.
...and then Mr and Mrs toad dropped in. Mrs toad fancied a bit of sailing like the tree frog. She may look small in the photo, but you can get more of a feeling of scale when you think of the little tree frog perching at the top of one of those 'lettuce' leaves!!
My pond has masses of damsel flies this week, both the red bodied and the azure but I've not seen any dragon flies recently.
We used to have lots of toads in the garden, but I haven't seen any for years, and there is never any toad spawn in the pond. When I was small our resident toad lived in a large clump of variegated grass in a shady corner of the garden. I could always find him there in summer and he hibernated in the ashes in the base of the coldframe in winter.
We didn't even have a pond then so he would have had quite a trek across the road and up a steep banking to the nearest one.
I had a traumatic accident this morning while mowing the lawn, I accidentally mowed a frog and he was so badly injured - won't go into detail - that I had to finish him off. I will in future check the longer bits of grass round the edges near the little pond before getting the mower out.
Thats horrible Pat, I remember hubby lighting a bonfire once, and after a couple of minutes a frog crawled out from under it looking very shrivelled, I felt physically sick, I hate to see animals hurt.
And once using the electric hedge trimmers I cut a slow worm in half, I had no idea they climbed up hedges, this was right at the top.
Especially this time of the year with the little froglets in the grass, I go tramping around first hoping that they'll all dive for cover before he comes along with the mower.
I love to watch the dragon flies, especially the really big ones that seem to dive-bomb you, making a lot of noise when they fly.
As we went out the front door last night there was a huge frog sat right on our front door steps in the sun, goodness knows what he was doing there, he almost got squashed, only that my daighter saw him at the last moment and jumped the last two steps, to avoid him, almost going flying over the low wall to the drive...
How has your pond turned out? I noticed you had another thread about a leaky duck pond did you manage to fix it and have your ducks tried out your new pond yet?
I've been trying to thin out the vegetation in my pond today. I have only taken out one Japanese iris, but it had gone half way across the pond so the pond looks huge again. There were a few cross looking frogs on the path as I left all the plants on the edge for any pond life to escape before it goes in the compost heap.
I keep thinking about getting a couple of ducks but wonder if they would make a complete mess of the pond. Would they spoil it for the fish and do they trample everything down with their big feet? They had them at the farm where I did the seed saving course and they said they hardly ever saw any slugs since they got the ducks, which is my main reason for getting some.
How easy is it to control where they go? Do you clip their wings? Would little fences keep them off seedlings etc.?
I ought to be asking Baa I suppose with Beetle and all.
Our pond has been very overgrown this summer, had a job to see the waters surface at all, let alone any life in there.So I did my pond out a couple of weeks ago Pat too, or rather gave instructions to my daughter as I stood and supervised. Talk about hysterical...she doesn't do dirt!!...or smelly things...and detests frogs...
As she was pulling out this carex that had grown huge, this in turn pulled out an iris that had grown into it also..and along with this came the water lily too...she was pulling with all her might trying to drag out this one never ending mass of plants from the pond...and of course with it came hundreds of frogs...she was too scared to drop the lot back in the pond in case it splashed her..and was trying to dodge this frenzy of leaping frogs... I couldn't move for laughing...
But now it's sorted looks much bettre, and the fish are happily (or I'm assuming they're happy) swimming around like mad.
All manner of creatures crawled out from the plants, and hopefully back into the pond again.
That is quite a difference Sue. I can just imagine your daughter having a panic. I had a similar problem with everything being tangled in the next plant and they weigh a ton when you try to move them. I've tried to move another one but had to leave it half out of the pond as it is attached to so much other stuff. I'm going to get a knife and cut them apart and try not to puncture the liner.
I like your decking platform - I've been thinking about putting my seat back next to the pond as it is so relaxing just to sit by water and watch the fish and insects and listen to the frogs croaking to one another. They sound like little motorbikes when they all start up.
Wow...how do you keep your fish? I've lost count of those I've bought and lost, presumably to herons, or possibly gulls seeing as I went out one day to find a huge gull dragging himself out of my pond!!..
I have three left, and one of those is named Dennis, after Dennis Healey ,as it looks as if it has huge eyebrows!
the pond is now completely covered in duck weed, but I'm leaving it at the mo for a bit of cover for the remaining fish.
I do use the deck a lot, as does my cat...the pond goes right under it, so it also gives the fish some cover .
We do lose a few to the heron, but I usually stretch some pea netting over the shallow bits in winter when there isn't as much cover for them and the heron doesn't like that.
What a great name for a goldfish - Dennis - I can't imagine a fish with eyebrows.
Some of my fish are about 30 years old as they are what the children won at fairs when they were small. Others have been adopted from friends who no longer wanted them. They also breed every year, but not many survive. There are some little black ones from last year. We also have a very large old tench which is about 15 inches long. You just see a mouth appear from under a lily pad and the food disappears as if down a vacuum cleaner. There are also three young golden orfe which are the offspring of the very large ones that died when the thunderstorm made the pump cut out last year.
A very sad picture - all those beautiful fish. I lost seven golden orfe and a golden rud and some of the largest goldfish all because of a power failure in hot weather. It just shows how much they depend on oxygenated water when they are large. They seem to grow to fit the conditions in the pond and then if something changes the larges or oldest die off and then the small ones take their place.
Wow those are big fish! Do they stay outside during winter??? Doesn't the pond freeze? Mine are so tiny compared to those ... but ofcourse they have to stay inside in a small aquarium during most of the year and it would be a bit too tight for comfort if they were that size ;-)
Pat, i bet you were gutted about your fish, it's heartbreaking when that happens.We also lost some golden orfe once, big ones, and the guy at the fish shop (swimming ones, not eating ones...) said that it was beacuase of the thundery weather.
Dinly little fish there rannveig, and isn't your water crystal clear, how do you manage that? I can't think the last time I saw the bottom of my pond.
I'm sad every time I think about losing those beautiful fish, but at least their three babies survived.
The thunderstorm depletes the pond of oxygen as well as it being warm weather and the pond pump stopping, so pretty catastrophic.
Your fish are sweet little things Rann but they do grow to fit the space.
The pond does freeze, but I leave the pump running all winter and the waterfall keeps a small area ice free. I just have to make sure the waterfall doesn't freeze when it is extremely cold. I have a small pond heater which floats on the water and just keeps an air hole clear so the fish can still get oxygen, but I haven't used it for a couple of years. I reckon with the cost of electricity that just running the pump is sufficient.
My pond water stays clear most of the year as I try to keep at least one third covered by plants. The duck weed nearly covered the whole surface for a while this year - it looked more like a lawn, but I kept scooping it out and it seems to have settled down again.
How much cold can the fish take? I just have regular goldfish you buy at the pet store and thought they couldn't take temps. lower than 5°C. I was thinking of putting in a tube for warm runoff water under the pond to heat it during winter - my hubby thought it was too much trouble. Do kind of regret not putting it in though ... then I'd have a chance of growing waterlilies. I saw some koi fish for sale this summer for the first time - they're horribly expensive but they are pretty and much too big to keep in an aquarium during winter! Actually I think my pond would be too small for them anyway - they get really huge! The clarity of the water is no great achievment really - the pond was leaking this summer so I had to fill it up every couple of days until I finally fixed it - I let the water overflow a bit to get the water clean. I need a bigger pump - it clogs up too quickly.
Goldfish can withstand very cold water for a few weeks. I have never checked the temperature under the ice but I would think it was less than 5 degrees C. The recommended depth of the pond is about 60 cm so it doesn't freeze completely. They also need an air hole so they don't use up all the oxygen. You sometimes lose a few when it has been frozen over for a long time as they don't have enough reserves to keep them going until they can feed again, but usually they are quite resilliant. They can't digest food if the temperature drops much below 50 Farenheit (not sure what that is in centigrade without looking it up) so you sometimes lose some when the temperature drops suddenly as they have undigested food inside them which goes bad.
You are lucky to have hot water available which would be great if you could rig something up. What lucky goldfish - how would you regulate the temperature?
The new pump I bought has a mincer in it so it reduces the size of particles going through and doesn't clog up which is a big improvement on the old one which had to be un-blocked every week, especially when the duck weed got into it.
Whats normally used here for heating up driveways is just the runoff from the radiators - I'm not sure what the temp of that is but it's pretty warm. I read in some icelandic book that by putting similar pipes in the sand layer under the lining of the pond it could be kept frostfree during winter. We're hoping to be able to put in heat under the driveway someday - I'd really like to try that. The other option is to have a trickling of warm water run into the pond when it's cold - but then you need drainage for the overflow ... I'm really hoping that someday I'll manage to get some kind of heating done to keep it frostfree. In the meantime - my girls LOVE it when it freezes over - so they can "skate" on it! It's not very deep now because of my three year old - I filled up the deep end with gravel - when she gets older I can take it out and then I'll have more depth to put in the waterlily I dream of!
I checked your profile to make sure you were still active.
I just read this thread and you mention having a fish pond and a wildlife pond.
I am interested in only a small wildlife pond. Please may I ask what equipment you use if any like a filter, skimmer or pump and what kind of plants you are using?
I have had this small pond for about a year and a half with fish, but I just found a great home for them. I have frogs, etc.. and algae including string algae which I do not mind much. I have one clover plant. The sides of the black liner have a lot of algae on them.
Should I be cleaning out the entire pond ever? I have not. I have just been replacing evaporated water with tap water and the help of mother nature.
Thanks for any help... my little pump just died.
Karen in Austin, TX USA
The conditions you have are probably different to ours as you are in Texas, but I always keep a wildlife pond as natural as possible and let nature make of it what it will. I wouldn't worry about the pump dying - there are lots of creatures specially adapted to 'non-ideal' conditions, so you may be encouraging and helping them.
Yes, I try to stick to native plants in the wildlife pond, though go with what I can get if those aren't easy to find.
I also have the pond with fish near the house and the wildlife one further away because of the mosquitoes, but have found that here they don't seem too bad once the other creatures move in.
Lovely to talk :)
It's so interesting to hear what other people are doing on another continent - good luck with your pond. I'm sure it will continue to give you a lot of pleasure. I love water whatever form it takes...
You will need lots of oxygenating plants and if you keep at least one third of the pond surface covered with something like water lillies it should stop the water going green.
I've got a large pond with fish in that has a pump and filter and a smaller wildlife pond that is still. They both get lots of frogs in. I have noticed that damsel and dragon flies like to lay their eggs on the water irises. There is also water hornwort, starwort, Bog bean and water lillies. Then there is water mint which gets a bit invasive but is easy to pull out. Have you got any pond snails, as they eat algae and should clean your pond up. There are lots of marginal plants too. There are quite a few other things but I can't think of their names at the moment.
It is interesting to see what insects and other creatures just turn up in the pond. We are lucky not to have mosquitos here, but the midges can be quite keen.
Thank you Pat.
When I set up the pond I put two snails in and have not seen them since. That's a good idea though. I will get more snails.
Question. Do any with a wildlife pond ever completely empty it to clean it? I am thinking not.
Hi Karen, No I never clean it completely. If it gets a lot of leaves in autumn I fish them out with a net and the only other thing is to thin any plants out that are taking over. The best thing is to leave the pond completely alone for a while to let it get its own balance. The more you mess about with it the more likely you are to get problems.