Posted: 03/04/2012 at 16:59
Hi Kate - I have something of similar size which I was given along with some lilly roots etc that came with it. I've now got it near my larger pond for some water-loving plants (I was given it as a gift and the plants that came with it died first winter because they were actually not for our climate) and it has now "naturalised" with small duckweed etc, but although there is open water in it and I have seen a frog in it, the frogs have never spawned in it, but always do so in my full sized pond (made with a flexible liner about 8 foot x 6 foot and from a shelving "shore" running down to 4'6" foot deep in part. I dug it myself and when I reached a layer of easy to dig sand I got carried away with the depth! ) . The frogs breed in it every year, but the Toads though seem to spawn some years and not others in it for some reason, so you may actually just get your frogs back again with luck. As for plants, when starting my larger pond I was given about 3 simple plants from a wildlife pond in someone's garden and there were obviously loads of eggs and various creatures on the roots because my pond was populated within about a week with sticklebacks, beetles etc etc. If the water was clean when you emptied yours then it sounds as if the ecosystem was working fine so you could maybe try a "transplant" like mine from someone elses pond and have instant life in the pond? Which of course means food for the frogs too. Something maybe to also consider is if there is enough food around in the garden for the frogs? If it's a very tidy garden or is surrounded by very tidy "controlled" ones where there is no long grass or scrub for beetles and things to live in then perhaps the frogs have just moved to look for more food somewhere?
It's lovely to hear the frogs at mating time at night and to later see all the little "froglets" about once the tadpoles have grown, so I do hope you have luck and get your frogs back. Our frogs and toads need all the help they can get these days.