Backyard Pond

Discussion of backyard pond, frogs, goldfish and plants.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Frogs Never Stop

What a sight yesterday morning when I went out to feed the fish. These 3 frogs decided a dishpan we just set up to propagate some water plants was a great place to lay some eggs and they got right to it. The pan was so new, the water was still crystal clear. We'll see how the young ones do in such a small space.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Predator Drops His Dinner

It is bad enough to have various predators (cats, hawks, owls and snakes) eating our innocent fish, frogs and tadpoles. But today I found a 5 inch long goldfish on the side of the pond. He had been there for some time as the insects had already found him. I really don't think he jumped out of the pond because I've seen our fish splash on the surface when eating but never seen them completely leave the water. Yesterday I found some of our floating plants dragged onto the side of the pond. I hope which ever predator only got plants and went away discouraged.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

One Year Anniversary of Pond Blog

One year ago was my first post to my pond blog. It's been interesting logging the many pond and wildlife happenings that have occurred. This first picture shows the first pond picture from October 2004 and the 2nd shows the transformation to a lush green setting now. I've certainly learned a lot about ponds, animals and plants but the more I learn, the more I realize how much there is to learn and how complex this small ecosystem really is. Finally another large batch of tadpoles in the last picture today. I have heard there has been a decrease in the number of frogs so I am happy to say I am doing my small part to increase the population at least in my corner of the world.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Testing New Filter PondMaster 1000

I have been pondering a complete cleaning of the large pond this fall but I was scared the fish wouldn't last that long with the acculation of debris in the pond. I bought a PondMaster 1000 filter that I attached in front of the pump on the bottom of the pond. I have had it running about 10 days and I think the pond is noticible clearer. This filter catches debris from the water before it is pumped into the large waterfall filter. I have been cleaning the PondMaster 1000 daily to remove as much junk as possible and it seems to be working. The plan I am considering for the major cleaning is to buy a 150 gallon Rubbermaid Stock tank and set it up as a holding pond for all the fish, frogs, plants and other wildlife. I'll put a fountain and aerator in the tank for the fish. Then the fun begins, draining the large pond and capturing the wildlife as the water recedes. Once drained clean out all the junk and put it back together, refill it and let it sit for a day before adding the wildlife. As part of this I am considering redesigning the filter system to better handle the waste load from so many fish. I haven't figured out a new design but I'm thinking about it.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

WOW! Look At Those Legs

As usual, I was wandering around with my camera and there they were. Three frogs hanging out in the small pond. Just enjoying the day - today was a beautiful day sunny temp in the low 80's - a big relief from the recent heat wave. The frogs were patient enough but bored of my intrusion and then I got a great picture of legs fully extended. I can't imagine clicking the shutter at just the right time to get this picture.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Eggs are Tadpoles and a Month Makes a Huge Difference

The frog eggs I posted yesterday are tiny tadpoles today. They aren't very active but if you bother them they will move around. Two days from being an egg to swimming on your own is pretty fast. The two pictures here show a slower transition as the Elephant Ears grow. The first is the planter on June 24th and the second is the planter 5 weeks later. It is a beautiful difference and a reward for the work of digging up the bulbs last November and replanting them in the spring. I am still planning to leave the bulbs in the ground over winter but I may chicken out as I hate to lose the beautiful display.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Frogs Lay Eggs Everywhere

Yesterday afternoon our heat wave was reduced by several large thunderstorms. The frogs loved it and last night they layed eggs in just about every container holding water. The frogs did leave our dogs waterbowl alone. The two pictures show two different kinds of frog eggs. It is hard to see in the pictures but the eggs look very different in person. By late today, the eggs had already begun to morph with the black ones growing larger and the eggs over the gravel elongating. I hope they like warm water because even though the heat wave has "broken", today our temperature was in the low 90's. The water temperature of the large pond has gotten as high as 88 degrees so we are keeping an eye out for poached fish.

Speaking of fish, last week we divided a number of our potted pond plants and when we do that we disturb the gunk on the bottom of the pond. The fish then go into a frenzy eating all the good stuff that is stirred up. In this picture you see a bunch of fish swimming around the aerator to gobble up the goodies.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Frogs in the Buckets

A couple of months ago we added a half dozen 20 gallon buckets to grow additional plants and grow our baby fish. After the baby fish were moved to the small pond, a couple of green frogs decided to make a bucket their home. I guess the frogs are pretty teritorial as I only see one per bucket. I haven't ever seen a frog fight but somehow they seem to know which bucket is already taken and so they move to a vacant bucket to set up home. Here are two different frogs in two different buckets.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Frogs of the Smal Pond

After being the birthplace of so many frogs this year, a bunch of frogs still call it home. In the past couple of weeks, we have seen at least 6 good sized frogs hanging around in the small pond. Here are 3 of them and a one of our goldfish that was born this year.