Forum home Wildlife gardening

Bought house with garden pond - need help

I have a small (ish) pond in the front garden. It has at least 3 small koi carp, and I saw a frog today. A Neighbour told me the pond comes alive in spring with a frog chorus!
the pond looks to have a fair bit of algae but also plants and water lilies and some types of vegetation under the water by the look of it. It doesn’t smell. I have no idea how to care for it or stop stagnation. Don’t even know how deep it is! 
I want to keep it, keep it maintained and fish, frogs and whatever else healthy. No idea of what to do. Help!


  • nick615nick615 Posts: 1,481
    Await further advice, but my one caveat would be to watch out for what might be LOADS of frogspawn.  It rather depends on your 'larg(ish)' definition.  The spawn can take over.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,819
    There isn't much to do with ponds at this time of year, so don't worry too much @lynwzeKhtb1:)
    If it's been looked after previously, it should be fine. If you can post photos that will always help with advice too - the icon that looks like a hill is the one for that. If you can keep pix to around 1MB or less they load better.
    It sounds a decent size if it has all those koi and plenty of plants. The depth is also irrelevant if they're all surviving. Algae will tend to be there if there's a lot of nutrition, or the water is warm, so your general conditions and climate are factors. Spring is when you tend to get that, more than just now, but again - a photo will help   :)
    You may find that the fish eat a lot of the spawn.
    If you have a lot of trees or other planting nearby, netting in autumn is useful as that helps to prevent too much falling in, but if you can leave gaps around the edges, that allows wildlife of all kinds to access the pond, assuming there's a slope somewhere for that.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Bee witchedBee witched Posts: 1,295
    Hi @lynwzeKhtb1,

    And welcome to the forum.

    I think one of the forum members, @Pete.8 , has a pond with fish, so if he's looking in he might be able to help you with any specific queries.

    Bee x
    Gardener and beekeeper in beautiful Scottish Borders  

    A single bee creates just one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime
  • Logan4Logan4 Posts: 2,590
    Hi and welcome to the forums
    I watch this guy on YouTube, he's got a lot of videos about ponds and wildlife. You can't have fish and a wildlife pond because they will eat the frogspawn.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,819
    It's perfectly possible to have fish and wildlife together - if the pond is big enough to sustain both  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Thanks to all for this really helpful advice. Will post some pics when I have moved in properly. It does have frogs AND fish and I will leave well alone for now. But after spring, I will do some bits of care - old leaves etc. i will make sure I give anything in the debris chance to go back in before I move said debris. 
    Might look at a fountain to keep oxygen up. For now frogs and fish seem ok. 
    Thanks again, will have a load more questions soon!
  • On related question, there are THREE ponds in total, but the others are smaller, a bit chucked together, and totally in the way having been built right by the greenhouse and in the middle of a patch of garden.
    How can I remove without killing the wildlife? And can I move anything living to the front garden pond, or will that kill the eco balance? 
    I need the space for growing veg. 
    It all sounds very posh but I should stress this is a city garden and not at all posh. I just love the idea of having a haven here. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,819
    edited December 2022
    You can certainly move fish etc, but it's difficult to move everything from a pond successfully to another one. A lot of the 'life' is in the medium on the bottom. I created a larger pond here last year, having had a very small one in situ. No fish though. I just moved everything into trugs/containers and put it all into the new pond when I'd finished  :)

    If you don't want all 3 ponds though, just move what you can. That's how it is with all gardens - it has to suit you, regardless of what the previous owners did  :)

    There's absolutely no need for a fountain in a wildlife pond, and moving water isn't great for water lilies. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Ah ok, scrap the fountain 
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,292
    I have 2 ponds - one small wildlife pond 6ft x 3ft and a fish pond 12ft x 8ft with waterfall. Both are ~2ft deep.
    The w/l pond is full of plants and all sorts of bugs and creatures. No frogs, but plenty of newts.
    The fish pond now just has 1 huge koi in it and a waterlily, and one or more toads living around the header pool.
    Bear in mind that koi are unable to digest food when the water temperature falls below about 10C so it just rots inside them - which is not good.
    That said, I have fed them throughout the winter previously (in my ignorance) without apparent problems. But it may also be the reason I only now have one koi!
    I re-start feeding around March/April depending on temps.
    Below 10c they sort-of hibernate.
    To check the depth, just put a bamboo cane in then you can see how far up the water goes.

    If there's plenty of life in your pond then it's plainly well-balanced. So that's a great start.
    If there's still lots of algae in late Spring/Summer then you need more oxygenating plants. Once established, they will out-compete the algae for nutrients and starve it so there's less of it.

    But by the sound of it your pond sounds like it's in good shape - and if it 'aint broke...

    Large koi will eat frogspawn and tadpoles but smaller koi with just go for the tadpoles.
    I used to have masses of spawn in the fish pond years ago at a time when there were plenty of fish in it.
    Undoubtedly many tadpoles were eaten, but in early summer I'd watch loads of little froglets hoping across my lawn, so plenty survive too.

    If there are any specific questions or concerns you have, we'll do do our best to help :)

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
Sign In or Register to comment.