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A few weeks ago our garden pond was full of frogs, resulting in quite a lot of frogspawn.  Over the past two days I have discovered two dead frogs, and the spawn is disintegrating.  The water has a slight film on the top of it.  What might this be due to, and how do I sort out the problem?



we have an oily greyish film now and again, it is from the dratted pigeons bathing in it! It clears within a day. But as have no frogs yet can't say whether it would affect them but seriously doubt it? Have you got something elsewhere which could be washing off into the pond?

Might be worth while investing in  a ph taesting kit and diesase testing kit available from most aquactic centres to se if you have a problem. It is a poor year for frogs, i dont know why but have heard a lot of people commentin on both lack of frogs and spawn

Wildlife friendly

Do you have ducks in the area? We have had a pair of Mallards visit early in the morning, they leave a dusty film on the surface of the pond. It clears after a shower but returns if the ducks do.

If the frogs laid their eggs a few weeks ago your spawn will be hatching. If there is no sign of tiny tadpoles and the spawn looks like it has been disturbed, look for newts, they eat tadpoles.

I created a garden pond two years ago and it has now become stagnant and foul smelling, despite having quite a few water plants in it. It is around 2m in diameter and 1m deep at the maximum. I endeavour to remove any leaves which fall in. Would it be advisable to install an aereation pump and if so what sort would you recommend please?


A pond will only become foul smelling because plant or animal material is decomposing in it.  Adding a pump at this stage will probably not solve the problem.

I would be inclined to drain it completely, give it a thorough clean and start again.  A well balanced pond shouldn't need any additional aeration, but the reality is that most of us over stock the pond with fish, I know I did, so some assistance may be needed in hot weather.

Many thanks for this. I've never had any fish in it, only some frog spawn and more likely leaves from the nearby tree. I'll take your advice and drain it. 

I have a small pond and have managed to keep it clear. I have blanket weed like everyone does, but I keep clearing it out regularly.

Something you mentioned that I found interesting and which may be part of your problem is leaves. It's better to keep the pond clear of leaves as they alter the nutrient balance of the water and can cause problems in the long run. Just a thought for when you have drained it out and started over with it.

Jane Buckingham
Leave some of the sediment in the bottom though as this harbours microbes and small insects which benefit the health of the pond

Many thanks for this. I'm also going to try an aerator.

I used to have a pond over run with mating frogs, a few inevitably ended up suffocating in the frenzied crush, yep they mate each other to death. if a couple of dead frog rot and the pond is quite small it becomes polluted, the oxygen depletes resulting in stagnant water and useless spawn. Some frogs even mate with a deceased one 

New member here (joined today, 19th May 2014). Reason for joining is that I just spotted a rather large (around 3 foot long) grass snake swiming in my garden pond. Having seen off the evil heron, I don't know whether to be overjoyed at this increasingly rare reptile choosing to make its home in our pond, or alarmed by the prospect of all my lovely fish being picked off 1 by 1.

Tips please as to what the hell I should do. (I am phobic about snakes, and our pet Weimaraner seems to be similarly tentative).


All native UK amphibians and reptiles are protected by law, and that includes disturbance of their habitat.

Oaktrees Gardening Services have been reported to the Moderators for unauthorised advertising and for suggesting illegal action. 


Shelts hello and welcome

Lucky you - we used to have a grass snake visit our pond - it would catch the occasional newt - we didn't have fish so I have no idea what the risk would be to them, but grass snakes are protected by law and that means that their habitat is also protected from disturbance, so I suggest you just enjoy it and be justifiably pleased that you live in an area that provides them with the right habitat.  Ours would appear once or twice about this time of year and then we'd not see it again until the following year. 

As I'm sure you know they're totally harmless to you and your Weimeraner 


Who is this idiot?

I's defiantly (sic) get rid of oaktrees garden destruction services


Dove...........thank you.........that's probably how I should have phrased it..........but didn't.............having had the pleasure of Grass Snakes in previous gardens, I'd give my eye teeth to have them now


Me too Philippa - although if he stretched out he'd probably reach right across our little pond here - we had 3 ponds, a stream, hay meadows and huge old manure heaps at the smallholding - perfect grass snake country. 

As for Oaktrees Gardening Services, I've a damn good mind to report them to Trading Standards 

Dove.............they just really p...s me off...............put the word "Gardening" into their company title and people think they are for real.............and will believe them !!!!

It just makes me so cross.........sorry........rant over...........well, til the next stupid ad anyway.

Actually..........Trading Standards...........what could you get them under ?............Unfit to Trade ?  Illegal advice ?  I suppose if they were frying them and offering them as deep fried Chicken scales you may have a chance.



Well, if they're advocating carrying out illegal acts they're certainly not fit to trade, but  .................... I suppose DEFRA would be the ones with the big guns 

Thanks all. I have been "Googling" and am a bit reassured...