Jon Cranfield

More pond myths…..

In Garden pond, Observations, the big pond thaw survey 2011, the garden pond blog on December 3, 2010 at 4:56 pm

A national charity has this advice for garden pond owners in relation to iced over ponds

‘prolonged freezing stops gases from moving in and out of the pond, leaving the water susceptible to a buildup of toxic gases and chemicals released as animal and plant matter continues to decompose. This can seriously damage the pond ecosystem, affecting a number of animals (not least frogs, which can die of so-called ‘winterkill’). To avoid this, remember to make holes in the ice during frosty weather’

You can do this by leaving a pan of hot water on the ice surface to melt a circular hole. Alternatively leave a ball floating in the water the previous day, and remove this once the pond has iced over.’

Dealing with nutrients the following advice is given for dealing with algae blooms

‘If your pond lacks water fleas then (with permission) consider asking a nearby pond owner for a small amount of silt and water, but be very careful not to transfer any plant fragments with it (see page 12).’

This is interesting advice as previously it has been stated that frog spawn should not be swapped

‘advise that you do not donate your frogspawn to other gardeners, or collect frogspawn to deposit in your own garden pond. The advice is given to help national efforts to stop the spread of invasive pond plants, animals and amphibian disease. In nearly all cases, amphibians will turn up of their own accord, often breeding in the first pond year’

So it is not okay to introduce frog spawn but it is okay to introduce water and silt which would possibly have the same potential to spread amphibian diseases like Rana virus and Chytrid fungus

People have considered the problem of introducing frog spawn to new ponds – the conclusion was that over limited distances it is probably beneficial for frog populations to have new genes introduced into new populations – this would have to be within gardens and not into the countryside

more to follow…..

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