Category: Insects

Pond Overhaul

A couple of weeks ago the Frog Pond and surrounding garden underwent a massive salvage operation. I wish I had taken some “Before and After” type shots but let’s just say the whole pond and surrounds were buried in grass and weeds.

Pink Rotala had suffocated everything and advanced into garden. The Water Lilies had climbed out of their pots and roots had struck well into the mass of vegetation and debris in the bottom. Although a sad sight to behold, the water quality was excellent and I spied some Crinia tadpoles in the few gaps where I could see water!

Everything had to come out including the pond so that the grass and weeds could be eradicated, overgrown thick clumps of Mondo Grass removed and the pond reseated. The pond had sunk a bit over the years so I was able to position it a little higher giving us a better view and ensuring it would be protected from run off from the yard in heavy rain.

Above are photos of the pond I took today. There is a thick layer of leaves behind  and plenty of protection for the frogs in between rocks and logs. The local population of Crinia moved back in very quickly and are calling from the pond area day and night. There is frog spawn in the water clinging to my water lily stems and pots and today I have seen the first hatchlings.

A complete overhaul like this always seems to have a few problems. My problem is Mosquito Larvae. Wrigglers! Lots of them.

I rarely have a mossie problem in an established pond when all organisms are in balance. Dragon & Damsel Fly Nymphs will eat the wrigglers (they eat the baby tadpoles too). So off to the pet shop went I to purchase a couple of White Cloud Mountain Minnows. These little fish survive well in outdoor ponds but breed easily and adults will eat baby tadpoles/eggs. I usually only buy 2 or 3 and hope they are all the same sex. I often remove them if I can once the mosquito problem is in check.

Small native fish such as Pacific Blue Eye are usually recommended but I have never been able to acquire them until this weekend. The pond now has 3 happy Blue Eyes. I hope they are very hungry! As the number of wrigglers is very high I have been netting them several times a day to reduce numbers and stop them hatching.

I believe water movement will discourage a mosquito from laying eggs. I have not explored this yet as I have no power source close by. Perhaps a solar option would work…