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What does a pond need for a good ecosystem

I'm looking at the school wildlife pond, it was last cleared out 2 years ago.  They put some frogspawn in it this year and I've been told it has turned to mush.  I'm not sure there are any aerating plants in there, have just spotted some algae.  

What do we need in a pond so that an ecosystem can survive in without purchasing a pump.  The pond will need to look after itself pretty much.  

Will go and inspect it further tomorrow, but here are a couple of photo's, will try and get more tomorrow.







  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Derbyshire but with a Nottinghamshire postcode. Posts: 16,457

    Has it frozen, or has it just hatched out?  Frogspawn goes thinner and more slimy when the tadpoles have emerged. They then eat it.

  • Peanuts3Peanuts3 Posts: 759

    I haven't managed to get in to look at it yet, but the school caretaker said it turned to mush and no sign of life. 

  • mollismollis Posts: 150

    Have you got any marginal plants where wildlife take cover and get in and out of the pond. Oxygenating weed  is a must, it spreads really well once you introduce it. I had a small pond for years, no pumps, just lots of the oxygenating weed and other plants and I had frogs, newts etc. The area seems very open, has this just been cut down, or does it have grasses etc growing up around the pond? Also if there is a lot of debris at the bottom of the pond, scoop it out with nets and leave on the side of the pond for a day or two to let any little creatures back into the pond.i

  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    Fresh frog spawn looks like a rather tight well defined lump. As the eggs develop they do go to look mushy, and very quickly. A frost will kill any exposed frog spawn, and that goes white and breaks down very quickly, under the water there will still be developing eggs which if left alone will hatch into tadpoles. The tadpoles will feed on the dead spawn, tadpoles are cannibals.

    I'd be patient, it's not pretty I grant you, but leave it. It's nature behaving the way it should behave and nature can be ugly at times.

    They wont take too long to hatch, just watch and get the kids too look at as well.

    It's all a good natural history lesson for them.

    Mollis has got it right with the oxygenating plants and marginals, and the debris/pond life.

    Even in a neglected pond there will be resident wildlife.

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Derbyshire but with a Nottinghamshire postcode. Posts: 16,457

    My pond is very neglected,the liner needs replacing so it is a foot lower than it should be. It's full of life,  Including frogs, toads, common newts,dragonfly larvae and  a pair of mallards.  Birds use the shallow end for bathing, foxes drink from it,the heron fishes in it. Don't worry too much about the pond. So long as you have some oxygenating weed in, and take out dead leaves in autumn, all you need to do is watch.

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,907

    I never had a pump in my pond and it was fine in all weathers Peanut. image

    It looks like there's a lot of trees around so leaves will be an issue in autumn as fidget says. Net it at that time and it will stop a lot of debris building up. As the others have said, clear the worst of rubbish out then beg, borrow and steal some shade loving plants to surround it and give wildlife some shelter, put a few oxygenators in the bottom and then let it happen. A slope of gravel and some larger rocks/pebbles to let birds and animals in and out is necessary. You can add marginals and other pond plants later if you want them.

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Help I am new to gardening and I have been given a small plastic pond I want to bring wildlife into my new garden but was told I need a pump and filter or I will end up with smelly stagnant water? I do not want to go to the expense of all this as I am on a tight budget (my garden is starting from scratch) the pond is for wildlife only and not for fish and fountains so do I really need to buy all the electrical stuff the pond will be near to my patio area so also don't want smelly water can any one help as I am a complete novice and don't even no where to start image

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,845

    Pumps aren't for wildlife ponds.

    Oxygenating plants are what you need. Keep the leaves out in autumn. Ponds are only smelly when you stir them up

  • Thanks nutcutlet I take it that I plant oxygenating plants and then leave it till autumn to clear it of any leaves? its quite small so should I not put in too many plants and I understand I should put something on the ledge for frogs to get in and outimage

  • Peanuts3Peanuts3 Posts: 759

    thank you for the feedback, I had a close look today, you are right a lot of leaves in there, half full of leaves.  scooped some out and lots of wiggly things in there so left it on the side so they can crawl back in.  Looks like we have some leaf clearing to do, and time to go and ask some aquatic company for some donations maybe ... wish me luck. 

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