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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.




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

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. 

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

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.



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.


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

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.

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


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 out

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. 

Hi again can any one tell me how many oxygenated plants I need to buy for my small plastic wildlife pond its 120cm long 85cm wide and 35cm deep with 2 small shelves.  

Two or three would be the ideal number little bee. They will grow in the coming months so you will have to keep an eye on them and if necessary thin them out if they become too invasive.

I have now g??t my pond in with 3 oxygenated plants on the bottom & 4 marginals on the 2 shelves the water looks really dirty can any tell me if this settles or will it always be that colour?


Thanks Edd not sure what that word was either lol & thanks for advice I am going out tomorrow to get some more plants that I can plant around the edge as the new border its in has no plants in it yet any advice what the best ones to get are I definitely would like some sort of grass like plant & are bog plants good?
Thanks dovefromabove & for link they look fantastic & just what I'm looking for I think they will look great at the back & will contrast with my garden wall.

A week to the very day has passed since our pond was filled with water ...... and a pond skater has found it