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Liz- most likely water scorpion, possibly water stick insect (both great signs of pond biodiversity) or alternatively great diving beetle larvae are my guesses from your description. If you can get a pick of them sent to I'll be able to properly identify.
We lost all our fish gradually over the autumn months (about 30), we thought initially due to lack of oxygen and cleared alot of plants out, however this didn't stop the decline. Now our pond seems to have a leak and has a reed which is taking over, pond, path and even into next door's garden, we feel we need to drain it to investgate and get rid of weed and restock with fish. When is the right time to drain a pond so as not to disturb wildlife too much, no frogs have appeared yet either?
can you advise me on a wildlife organisation who would clear my pond of wildlife as I want to close it down as I cannot manage it anymore it is in a poor state but I do know there are frogs in it as for anything else I don't know but I don't want to take a chance.
The only way to manage a pond is to do it and learn by experience. Be sure to understand however, before you begin that any size pond calls for a lot of input. I've had ponds now for nearly 50 years and I dug the present one 30 years years ago, filled the bottom with sand, lined it out with heavy duty plastic and then rendered it with a mortar mix to give me about a 4" (10cms) wall. Over this I then apply two coats of bitumen which makes it safe for fish and other pond life. It also means that the pond walls offer purchase to amphibians which need to get in and out. They're not slippery as is the case with plastic liners which offer very little hand or foot holds. I take the lily out of the pond every 3 years and literally chop it into several pieces, all of which I give away to other interested pond owners and I keep one piece which I weight down and replace in the pond. Do this in early winter - December is a good time. Don't worry, it will regrow and give you flowers in the summer. We have a lot of toads and newts mating in the water, so in February and March I clear away as much of the spawn as possible. It sounds heartless, but they're only eggs and regardless of this cull we still finish up with hundreds of tadpoles. I believe that most of these survive because of the cull. Here's another reason why it's important to clear away some of the spawn ... it is quite normal to find two or three dead female toads at the bottom of the pond or trapped in the weed. They are dead because the males will not get off their backs so they simply can't get to the surface to breathe ... that's nature, I guess. All this is helpful for the fish too as they seem, otherwise, to be stuck in a sort of gluepot. Once the spawn is removed they start swimming around much more as one would expect. We live close to the sea and the pond is near the house and I think it is an off-putting location for Herons and Herring gulls which do not trouble us. Blackback gulls however, are a different matter. They are fearful of nothing and started taking fish 2 years ago. I didn't want a net, so I made up a grid to fit over the pond using bamboo canes from a garden centre. I lashed them together with nylon cord, dropped it over the pond and trimmed the canes to fit. It looks quite neat, allows light to pass straight though to the water and it's easy to lift off and on unlike a net which is a bore when you need to access the pond. Reading through the problems and anxieties which have been expressed, it's my hope that some of this will prove helpful.
We have a very small pre-formed plastic pond which we would like to get rid of. There are frogs in this pond and I'm obviously keen to limit the upset to them in their eviction! I'd be grateful for advice on the best time of year to empty my pond so as to cause the frogs as little disturbance as possible. Also, what to do with the frogs - (will they re-home themselves!)


Reply to algae problems. I live in France and bought a product here a white powder, not cheap but you put in 3 scoops while the pump is running and then 1 scoop a week until the contents of the tub are used up and this is supposed to get rid of algae for nearly 3 years and is not harmful to the rest of the fish, pondlife and plants. it seems to be working.
Help! My pond is overflowing into the 'bog garden'! We have just created a pond by digging out the kids' old sandpit. It's approx. 3m x 2.5m. There is a central deep hole for water lilies etc, and shelves for marginals at each side. We made a ridge across the pond at one end so that there could be a strip of bog garden, then lined it with sand and a pvc liner. I've placed a few marginal plans on the shelves and filled the bog garden area with a couple of bags of aquatic compost then put bog garden plants in mesh baskets into that area. However, the ridge isn't high enough, so the pond water and bog garden flow into each other. I'm concerned that it will rot the plants that I've already put into the bog garden! Should I give up and let it be one pond and try to create a new bog garden by digging out a shallow section near the pond and lining it - I haven't cut the liner yet so this could be an option?
My pond is about 6' x 6'. A week ago the surface was covered with aereated bubbles and also what looked like an oil slick. Are there any suggestions as to what this could be? I did have three enormous clumps of spawn & now have lots of teeny tadpoles laying on the side of the liner under water with a few dashing about. Could these bubbles be the jelly from the spawn?
I think you will find that you have been visited by a Heron. Each time a Heron has got one of my fish there is a oily film on the water.
Hi, can anyone tell me the best time to empty a pond? My husband and I are getting rid of but want to disturb the wildlife as little as possible. Is there a period of time when the frogs etc go away?
Moving or removing ponds There is no ideal time to move ore remove ponds. What ever time of year you choose, you will be disturbing some wildlife. Things quieten down in winter though and dredgings can be collected in a bucket to be thrown back in when repairs or clearance is complete. Ideally, large ponds, ditches and stream banks can be cleared and repaired piece-meal, one section at a time.
I have a natural pond but as water table is now so low it is virtually empty of winter it can get really full. Also I have found loads of old bricks in bottom. Would it be a good idea to remove them? Never been this low before. ANy ideas on upkeep? Should I fill with a hose? Surely not good for chlorine etc to go into pond? help please.
I inherited a small pond with my house three years ago. It is in full sun and on a slight slope.I have been using barley straw bags to keep the water clear. It is now and the fish and waterlilies are thriving. I also have a regular frog visitor. This summer it seems to be losing water more quickly than the last two, we have had little rain. Is there any way I can tell if it is a leak or just condensation?
Reply to Kathryn Brock Fill the pond and if you have a leak it will go down significantly within a day or two. Even in the hottest weather ponds do not lose inches in this time.
I have just moved into a house with a small corner pond and it is thick with pond weed. There are a few fish in it that we have seen. I am thinking about completely emptying it and starting again. Is this a good idea? Any advice would be great.


Reply to Amy My personal advice would be, yes, start again, but this is mainly because I don't believe fish have a place in garden ponds. They either eat or out-compete native wildlife. If you decide to clear it, keep some of the weed and mud slops in buckets to inoculate the new water. Good luck
We have just repaired and re-stocked our large pond.Fish went in 3 days ago, but this morning have discovered a red residue in the waterfall pans and bottom of the pond. Fish still seem ok. Can anyone tell us what this could be?
Have a super pond, KOI getting on fine and breeding well, lots of frogs, loads oxygenating weed - no blanketweed BUT water green! despite correct filtration and sunken carbon de bois (charcoal) - any idea anyone?
Reply to Angie Pond colour varies throughout the year depending on the algal bloom of microscopic single-celled plants. Several suggestions spring to mind including inoculating with water from a pond containing Daphnia, the water flea, increasing the number of oxygenating water weeds like pondworts and...sorry but...remove the koi. Ornamental fish are often not very helpful in wildlife ponds. If the water is not too bad, just wait and see and it might change over the year as the intricate water ecology settles down. Good luck.