Build a Native Frog Pond

An attractive frog pond not only adds glitter to your courtyard but also helps you to stay away from pests.

Frogs will swallow insects hovering near your home while the colourful flowers of the water plants will help to build up a cosy home for the amphibians.

A Perfect Frog Pond You can Build Yourself

Many houses in Australia have a frog pond located just in the middle of a colourful garden. The pond can be decked up with flowering water plants that can at once change the appeal of your garden. As households in Australia are often attacked by insects, a frog pond can be just what you need. The frogs love the ambience of the ponds and feast on pests that would otherwise wreak havoc in your house.

However, make sure you pick the right spot for the pond and construct the pond as per proper rules. Once done, just create a perfect ambience for the plants and place the frogs and tadpoles in the environment they’d love to live.

Choosing the Right Spot

Your house must have a spacious backyard. The ideal spot should be away from your house as well as your neighbour’s house. The isolated pond should however, be visible from your living room at least so that you can see the lovely flowers beautifying the pond. You can consider:

  • Planting tall trees near it so that the pond is partly shady. The trees, such as Bleeding Heart, pine, or oleander are the ideal ones
  • Placing a low-lit garden lamp to keep your pond visible even at night. Light also helps to attract insects near the pond for the frogs to feast on them
  • Placing rocks, planks, water-plants in and outside the pond to allow the frogs to hop, rest, and hide.

Constructing the Pond

The depth of the pond should be at least 30 cm. There must a fence around it. There must be an area which has dense plantations with sedges. You may place a beach umbrella or a sail cloth to make the area cozy and shaded.
Now, consider how to construct various parts of the pond, such as the hole should have sides which gently slope to the bottom. The bottom of the pond should be flat nevertheless so that planter pots can be placed.

Cozying up the Bed

Underlayer must be placed as it protects the liner from sharp edges, abrasions, etc. Generally, layer of wet sand, newspaper sheets, or old tarpaulin is used to create the underlayer.

Pond liner must be a flexible sheet that is generally black in colour. Although polyethylene – a building material – is sometimes used, it deteriorates fast. So, the ideal option is to use heavy duty pond liner that is big enough to cover 40 cm all around the pond. Make sure rain water does not percolate to the pond.

Working on the Pond Edge

The pond edge should be 10 cm above the water level. The earth mound should be strong so that it does not break. You should place rock slabs on top of the liner on the mound. Make sure that the frogs have space to come out of the water if they want.

Planting Flowering Water Plants

Almost all water plants don’t require additional help and can grow on their own. They are resistant to pests as well. Swampy green water plants, such as Azolla, Water Lillies, or Duck weeds look good on a freshly prepared frog pond. Here’s how you can deck up your frog pond:

  • Plant water lilies in sunny areas so that frogs can rest under the leaves. The plant also keeps birds and algal blooms at bay.
  • Keep sprouting plants in the pond, especially near the rocky bed. It will take nutrients from the water itself and purify the water of the pond.
  • Allow dead leaves to rest on the pond as this is a natural way to provide nutrients to the pond.
  • Pluck out excess aquatic plants on the pots or rocky sides.
  • Drop some ‘spreading’ water plants, such as Tassell Rush, Knobby Club Rush on the edges of the pond. Tadpoles and frogs can rest or hide in this area. The plants look beautiful too.

Managing the Pond Water

Water: The pond water must be circulated regularly with a pump so that it can be filtered before being put back to the pond. If you find suspended algae, you should reduce sunlight and place more water lilies near it. Don’t use tap water for filling the pond as tadpoles will get killed. You can get water from aquarium shops.

Fishes: There must be adequate fish in the pond to keep mosquito larvae at bay. However, you must use certain species of pond fish which don’t eat older tadpoles, such as White Cloud Mountain Minnow. Don’t get goldfish as they eat tadpoles of all ages.

Protecting Tadpoles: You must place fishes in the pond that don’t eat big tadpoles. Make sure you keep the spawn in a container separately till the tadpoles are about 15mm long. Once, the tadpoles are of that length, they can be dropped in the frog pond. A nylon fly screen placed on the frog pond will keep the predatory birds from feasting on the tadpoles.

Getting Tadpoles: Here are some rules to get tadpoles:

  • Tadpoles should be purchased from certified shops.
  • Make sure the frogs don’t have chytrid fungus as they can wipe out an entire race.
  • Get frogs that available naturally in your area.
  • Don’t pick frogs that are available in the wild.
  • Keep ammonia or fertilizers away from the tadpoles and frogs.

… And, watch them grow to healthy frogs in your frog pond.

If you are still facing problems in setting up or maintaining a frog pond, contact us for free advice.