View Full Version : Constructing Frog Pond - Any suggestions on making frog pond.
13-04-2004, 09:42 PM
Since my posts on cane toads and my problems with various bugs eating my organic vegies, I have been considering making a pond in the close vacinity of my veg gardens to encourage frogs and other beneficial creatures. Don't know much about this and would appreciate some good tips e.g
- styles of construction (size, materials, raised from ground?, depth)
- what to put in it to stop mosquitoes (fish?)
- How to get the frogs started (I do have the odd little green frog in my small gully/creek - about 50 metres from the gardens - though I suspect these are few and far between and have significant competition from the numerous cane toads
- how close need it be to gardens (my layout does not really suit the pond being in the middle, so would need to be on one side of the series of beds
- anything else I should know
PS. I don't want this project ot be big. Prefer to start small - maybe some sort of recepticle like a half large plastic drum???
Have too much else to do around the place without starting something big.
14-04-2004, 07:45 AM
Veggie boy - I seem to remember that raised edges are supposed to work well in giving habitat to frogs and at the same time disadvantaging the cane toad. may be that the frogs, having spawned in the pond can jump high over the edge, whereas toads have more of a horizontal leap and would just keep hitting the sides... but this is just speculation on my part. If this is true, your idea of a cutoff 55 gallon drum would work well. You could dig your hole and set the drum in there with the edge protruding at whatever the anti-toad height is supposed to be... You could use some of the excavated dirt to build up around the outside to hide the drum. maybe some rocks and plants to finish it off.
I have cut the tops of plastic drums and the problem I've had is that without the "top ring" to hold the drum in shape it has collapsed and gone all pear shaped. A metal drum would avoid this problem, but then you'd have rust to contend with and you'd have to smooth the rough edge I guess. You could just cut the inside of the top of your plastic drum out, but then you'd have a very deep pond (which in itself isn't necessarily bad thing, as far as I know) and you'd have to dig quite a shaft to sink it...
Bathtubs make good ponds, with a bit of plumbing you can direct the water where you want...
let us know what you come up with, eh?
14-04-2004, 03:34 PM
I am a bit more fortunate by having quite a few Tree Frogs all around my property. I will share what i know and has been successful for me.
I don't have any ponds yet have over 20 on my front deck and around my back door. Mine live in the down pipes and in the water tanks. I am sure i wouldnt have as many in the front if i didnt provide ceramic water dishes for the dry periods.(we have had only 2mm of rain in 6 weeks now). The frogs get used to whats there. At first i would pick up some of the really brown frogs(the dehydrated ones) and sit them in the water dish. Now they go in there by themselves and live in the large pots near the dishes.
Northey Street City Farm have a couple of frog ponds there that discourage Cane toads setting up shop and dead easy to build and cheap. As has been said toads can only jump a certain height, whereas tree frogs can climb and jump higher. We have an old bath tub under a Loquat tree out the bag but no frogs as there are a few small fish in there that eat the eggs.... there are frog egg friendly fish that you can find though.
The deal with the water is to keep the temperature under 26C or better in some shade as toads need the water to be the right termperature to breed and frogs like a sheltered relatively cool situation as they sleep mostly during the day.
I just love to think what the cute little critters are doing to the bug population in my garden.... i call em my night crew that clock in when the good bugs go to sleep and the bad bugs come out to play.
Hope this helps a bit....
15-04-2004, 09:59 AM
Whatever habitat you decide to create (I did iris in a bog garden.) just remember one thing - remember not to build it outside your bedroom window... (Ask me how I know.)
15-04-2004, 10:36 AM
The quickest way I've found to make a pond is to dig a hole and put a double layer lining of plastic in it. It needs to be shaded because otherwise the black plastic will make the water get too hot, but I've made one and put some little fish from the dam in it, and under the shade of some giant zucchini leaves most of the fish survived the heatwaves we had earlier in the year. The heat did accelerate the growth of algae etc, so just recently we replaced it with a large terra-cotta bowl about 80 cm wide and 40 deep, cheap from Bunnings. The other good thing to do is to get one of those little solar garden lamps, which are pretty useless as far as light for us goes, but enough to draw some moths and other insects which then provide a feast for the frogs.
On another subject, Rob, I'd like to hear more about your bog garden, as we have a boggy patch above a dam, and it's in a prominent position down the hill from our front verandah. I've thought for a while that some sort of water garden would be nice, but haven't got a clear idea of it yet. BTW, it's nice to see you talked of Irises - one thing that I think seems to be missing in permaculture is the esthtics of gardening. Beautiful flowering plants that please the eye (and perhaps the nose) should not be ruled out as being non-functional since non-food producing. To be hard-line about everything we put in providing food, or doing something like encouraging friends or discouraging non-friends IN ORDER TO favour food production, seems to me to reduce the richness of our relationship with the natural world around us. Beauty for its own sake has a place in our world, and will be 'giving value' at different levels in our universe. (Of course, we should still bear in mind a plant's compatibility with the climate and local environment, and go for those plants which are self-maintaining as much as poss.)
That's my 6-penceworth for this morning,
16-04-2004, 11:53 AM
There was a big patch of sticky clay soil outside our bedroom window... I dug a big hole in it and filled it with water. Despite being on a slope, the water just didn't go away, so I figured it would be a good bog garden area. I filled the hole with a soil/manure mixture and planted Lousiana iris in it. The spouse built me a bridge/walkway over it and now the iris's are so thick you can't see a bit of ground/water in there. I know there are frogs in there. I also planted arum lillies. Yes, I know they can be an environmental pest, but I don't chuck weeds or excess plants about. Anyway, the iris's out competed them, and although they are still in there and are alive, they are stunted and have never flowered. The iris's are a picture in full flower.
This bog garden is not very big, and I wish I had made it much bigger. Our problem is no flat ground. If I did it again I would make it much bigger and line it.
17-04-2004, 12:40 AM
I have a lovely photo which I could email to anyone interested, of my friend's bathtub pond. There's so much stuff in there that the tadpoles have plenty of protection from flying preditors.
My own pond is made from a lovely old concrete laundry trough. It was here when we moved in as the previous owners were very environmentally conscious (spelling?) and had set up quite a few lovely things in the garden. I don't have any pics of that one though.
Most of the books I have read suggest building a pond out of an old tyre which is a great way to recycle, especially if you can get quite a big one.
A few people I know have had trouble with pond liners getting holes in them and leaking. Then you need to dismantle the whole thing just to repair it. The secret is to lay a smooth base with packing sand or the like so you don't get any jagged items pressing against the liner.
I think it's also a good idea to line the base of your pond with washed river sand at least 2 inches thick all over, before adding your rocks and logs etc that way your pond liner is protected in case anything falls or gets thrown into your pond.
By the way, can anyone suggest where to get tadpole friendly fish suitable for Melbourne climate and what breeds should I be asking for? I saw mentioned on Gardening Aust last week rainbow fish. Are they suitable for Melbourne and will they eat tadpoles?
14-05-2004, 07:00 PM
i may be too late but if you want to keep it simple an old bath tub works just fine.
i like robs response lol, under the bedroom window lol even though i love frogs reckon them singin in the middle of the night could change the feeling, good fun hey rob?
len enjoying his frogs naturally.
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