Frog pond help!

I have a small frog pond that is overrun by algae and leaves. I cleared out all leaves in the area, but the pond is chock-full of them. I was going to do a complete reset, but I saw all sorts of wildlife in it and even a frog! What should I do?
I can post more pictures soon if required

4 Likes

Watching the post and curious about the answer myself… I always dream of having some sort of small pond or container pond but haven’t figured out the logistics behind it yet… including limiting algae growth. Is there a kind of native snail that can eat out the algae?

1 Like

Apologies for the old and broken internal link for barley straw - have updated to
https://njaes.rutgers.edu/fs1171/

Treat pond algae with barley straw. It sounds unlikely but

https://eefalsebay.blogspot.com/2016/04/cape-storm-and-year-of-gardening.html

We have only needed to do it once. The pond has settled and we currently have maybe 3 species of frog singing to us.

4 Likes

Thanks for the help, I forgot to mention there was a crack in the liner that we just found out was caused by a tree root that’s near-impossible to dig up - but when we redo the pond in the future, we’ll use your advice! I’m sure the algae won’t go anywhere…

1 Like

Yes, barley straw will definitely help control algae. You can even buy the extract in a bottle, and it’s safe for fish so probably safe for other wild life too. On the other hand, the wildlife that’s there (including the frog) has moved in to an environment that they are probably already happy with so I wouldn’t feel a need to change it too dramatically. Algae is usually only an aesthetic problem unless if gets too extreme.

In the long term, getting plants growing is the best action. They will begin to out-compete the algae and it will slowly disappear. Spring is always the prime time for algae growth, but as the light continues to grow into summer, the plants will thrive and the algae should reduce naturally.

I have a goldfish pond of about 1000 litres in our urban garden. We recently found we had frogs and it’s great to see them. The pond has a cat fence so the frogs are safe so long as they stay within the pond itself.

3 Likes

My polite two pots of dwarf papyrus are now a reed bed where the frogs live. Also have eelgrass growing on the bottom. Just an occasional wisp of green algae to twirl out now.

1 Like

I haven’t seen the picture so I don’t know if they are filamentous algae or “pea soup” unicellular algae. If the latter, add some Daphnia from a nearby pool and they will clear the water.

2 Likes

I’m in the process of creating a “dragonfly pond” along a neighborhood alley that has drainage issues. The main thing I worried about was the water body getting “ugly” with algae, but if all it takes is some good plant choices I can maybe manage that. ;)

Frogs will be welcome too- anything that preys on the mosquitoes that lurk for dogwalkers…

3 Likes

You could go to a nearby lake or pond and collect a few local organisms that eat algae(certain species of amphipods, snails, other aquatic invertebrates, small fish). Goldfish will absolutely demolish algae and mosquito larvae(in my experience), but they tend to eat basically everything so maybe not the best choice.

I recommend native fish as a better option, goldfish can get extremely destructive to an ecosystem when out of control.

1 Like

If you want it to be a “frog pond” don’t add fish of any kind, unless you only want bullfrogs, green frogs, and toads (for eastern North America). I have no idea what the specifics of your situation and pond are, but it could just be a seasonal issue or maybe too many nutrients running into it (lawn fertilizer, cattle upstream, etc.). Snails can be quick fix for filamentous algae, but generally, I wouldn’t worry about it. If this lasts for months or all year, then you may really want to consider changes to make.

1 Like

You don’t want any fish at all because they would compete with tadpoles for food?

Predatory fish will eat the tadpoles = no more frogs.

2 Likes

:open_mouth: So that’s why tadpoles tend to live in temporary, small, and fish free puddles!

2 Likes

Most frogs will not even lay eggs in ponds if there are fish. Same with many insects, the adults will not colonize or lay eggs there. Mosquitofish have this reputation of being great at mosquito control, and they certainly eat larvae, but their mere presence in a pond can reduce mosquito oviposition by >90%, precluding predation

4 Likes

Come to think of it, tadpoles also eat algae! In aquariums and ponds, algae is typically caused by an imbalance in water quality(too many nutrients are often the culprit). Smaller amounts of algae are good, but large amounts can be problematic.

2 Likes