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Printed From: Reptiles and Amphibians of the UK
Category: General
Forum Name: Wildlife Gardening
Forum Description: For discussion about wildlife (especially amphibian and reptile) gardening
Printed Date: 02 Apr 2020 at 11:15pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 11.06 -

Topic: Pond
Posted By: Iminei
Subject: Pond
Date Posted: 11 Jul 2014 at 5:09pm
Hi guys
Just a quickie and hoping for a quick response too...

Our pond is suffering with all this hot dry weather and now mainly comprises the planting (mostly Thug Irises) and mud....

Should I fill it up with tap water (only type available I'm afraid) or not
inhabitants (that I'm aware of) mostly newts and a few frogs.
This is a fish free pond!

I await your responses...........Smile

Posted By: will
Date Posted: 11 Jul 2014 at 6:06pm
personally I would leave it alone, unless you can see lots of newtpoles yet to metamorphose. The frog tadpoles should have safely made it out of the pond by now.  It might be a good idea to keep some water in there, to maintain the basic 'soup' of invertebrates, but I wouldn't add a huge amount of tap water because of the algal bloom that you might get as a result.

Posted By: Iminei
Date Posted: 11 Jul 2014 at 7:50pm
algal bloom

Exactly why I posted on here....just worried that the newts/frogs won't be / happy / able to survive.

We haven't had tadpoles for a while now as the newts tend to eat them all Unhappy
I have no idea what newts we have or at what stage but I know there were a lot.

I do have a water conditioner for ponds...would that help any??? (I bought it for my aquarium as the shop had run out of the aquarium stuff but understand its basically the same thing in more concentrated quantities) or is that just for fish?? 

Awaiting instruction for tomorrow......

Posted By: will
Date Posted: 11 Jul 2014 at 9:59pm
like everything with ponds, it's a question of balance.  So I would add some water, but not enough to fill the pond up, if it is really in danger of drying up; personally I would not add water conditioner as I don't know what effect this will have on the wildlife.  you can check if you have newt larvae by netting or looking for them by torchlight at night, when they are easier to see.

Posted By: Iminei
Date Posted: 12 Jul 2014 at 6:46am
Its really difficult to see anything in my pond bar the thug Irises....Is there a dwarf Iris you can get????

My oh and I have been seriously thinking of doing a complete re-jig of it for some years now, but early in the year it is always so cold to be mucking about with water....

Now we hear that the best time is October??!! which would be an altogether more pleasant proposition so who knows it might get done this year.

I do try and hack the thug Irises back every year...last time I did it I took away 2/3 rds...but as ever...they're back!!!

So in general the opinion is that the pond drying up a bit won't harm the newts and frogs??? but not so much as to start going hard / cracking etc???

I do have a water butt or two at the bottom of the garden so might throw 100 litres (4 containers worth) in there today just to keep the swampy mud still soft......

Did someone say there will be some rain in Dorset tonight???

Posted By: will
Date Posted: 12 Jul 2014 at 9:58am
I have flag iris too, so I know what you mean.  I would add your rainwater for the time being and see if you get more rain.  You can start cleaning out the pond in August, when most of the newt larvae will have metamorphosed; put piles of weed next to the pond so any late developers can crawl back(I am assuming you don't have great crested newts, of course!)

Posted By: Iminei
Date Posted: 12 Jul 2014 at 6:58pm
I am assuming you don't have great crested newts, of course!

Sadly not tho' I did once have whatever my avatar is...a neonatal newt or something!!!

I used to spy it flashing across the pond (when we could see the water) and I 
we can't have fish (cos' that's just what it looked like all pale and glittery flittery under the water darting back and forth!)
and then one day clearing debris I found him in my net! Photo

Posted By: will
Date Posted: 12 Jul 2014 at 7:37pm
blimey!  now that's interesting - I assumed it was an axolotl from the internet, rather than a newt 'in the net'..

if this  is a neotenous smooth newt, then you should definitely keep your pond topped up or it will die!  can you post us a bigger photo of it so we can have a closer look?  or maybe try to catch it again?!

Posted By: Iminei
Date Posted: 13 Jul 2014 at 10:59am
I tried to post a pic but failed miserably, can get as far as previewing it but as for posting cigar
...also this was in 2009 or somewhen so I think he finally made it into long trousers. sorry!

Posted By: Iminei
Date Posted: 13 Jul 2014 at 11:00am

You could try looking in my picasa...??!

Posted By: will
Date Posted: 13 Jul 2014 at 2:45pm
that's really interesting - could be worth a nighttime torchlight survey of the pond just to check it / any others are no longer there.  Always fascinating to see neotenous smooth newts in a normal garden pond, pretty rare!

Posted By: Iminei
Date Posted: 13 Jul 2014 at 5:49pm
Well Im in Deepest Darkest Dorset if you fancy coming round....hahahahaha
You'd see the bats too after 9.30 tonight!

Posted By: will
Date Posted: 13 Jul 2014 at 6:24pm
thanks for the offer - much as I wish I lived in the country's best wildlife county, I'm up in Hertfordshire so I'll have to rely on you posting a pic if you do find one!

Posted By: Iminei
Date Posted: 13 Jul 2014 at 7:04pm

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