FAQ by Season
Q:I would love to have a backyard pond. How do I start?
A: The best ponds with the happiest owners begin with careful, thorough planning from the start. Find reliable sources of information such as a good book (Ortho's "All About Building Waterfalls, Ponds and Streams is excellent) or even better a good Pond Supply Store. Any good supplier knows that providing reliable, practical information is the key to a successful, happy customer. These sources can provide answers to questions such as: What type of pond do I want? Where is the best location? Can I install it myself? How much maintenance is involved? Watergardening in general is a very easy hobby. It can become very difficult and frustrating without the proper information.
Q: How do I know if my pond needs to be completely drained and cleaned, and how early in the season can this be accomplished?
A: This decision should be based on the amount of accumulated bottom debris and the ability to remove it. If there is substantial build-up that cannot be removed, practically with a net or vacuuming devicethen a complete cleaning may be best. Professionals will clean ponds nearly all year, as long as ice is not present, since they are experienced in fish care. Homeowners are best advised to wait until the ice completely disappears and is unlikely to return for extended periods. March and April are ideal in the Mid-Atlantic region since fish and plants are still mostly dormant. This is also an ideal time to transplant hardy plants as needed. Remember that well maintained ponds may not require a draining and cleaning annually.
Q: I know that lotus can only be transplanted in early spring. How is this accomplished?
A: Lotus can only be sucsessfully transplanted in the months of March or April in nearly all areas of the U.S. while they are in a dormant tuber state. Once the plant begins to actively grow narrower "running" roots, transplant sucsess rate is about 10%. F.Y.I.; If the lotus has only grown one season in a proper sized container and/or it has never flowered then do not transplant it. In general the amount of additional tubers in the container will be equal to the number of flowers produced the previous summer. When the pond thaws or the weather allows, inspect the lotus container for new growth tips that will be emerging from the soil. Remember through the entire process that these "tips" are fragile and must remain undamaged. Transplanting will work anytime from when tips become visible to the point when new floating leaves begin to rise vertically above the surface. Begin by removing the soil from the container while keeping it intact as possible.An extra set of hands is helpful, otherwise cut away the container. Gently rinse soil off the tubers (root system). Identify viable tubers by following tips back to the thicker, firm "tuber" section. Continue your fingers back to next the next section, seperated by a "pinched" point, then cut here, using care not to break or damage any part, particlarly the growth 'tip(s)". Replant the tuber into a proper size container of heavy topsoil or Aquatic Planting Media. Create an impression into the soil and set the tuber as close to the same position and depth as originally removed. Gently pack the soil/media over it, cover the soil with a thin layer of gravel and slowly set in the water with 2 to 6" of calm water over the soil. Make certain the plant is getting full, warm sun and wait several weeks allowing some floating leaves to appear before beginning fertilization.Unplanted tubers may last a few weeks if floated in cool clean water.
Q: When should I begin (resume) fish feeding?
A: When the water temperature has stabilized at 50F.Keep a reliable pond thermometer accessible (in the water) and begin checking as spring approaches, normally late Febuary- early March in the Mid-Atlantic region. As the water temp. nears 50F begin checking daily in the morning. Once the reading is 50F or above for three consectutive days feeding may start (resume). Always feed sparingly, especially at this time of year and for best results use a high quality, lower protien pond fish food. These foods are easier for the fish to digest when thier systems are slower due to colder water. Resume using higher protien foods when water temperatures exceed 65F, normally mid-May here at Lilypons. Never resume fish feeding in the spring until you have restarted your pump/ filtration system, preferably a few weeks prior to resumption of feeding. It is important to start your pump as early as possible to "recharge" the nitrifying bacteria colonies that are virtually dormant in water temps below 50F. These bacteria break-down organic wastes, (including fish waste) and are vital to ensure Water Quality. The bacteria are slow to become fully functional in the pond taking up to 4 to 6 weeks to fully "recharge". Use of Lilypons' Ponsparkle is highly recommended as it will cut this time in half. Use it regularly whenever the pump is running to keep your pond healthy and clear.
Q: My hardy waterlilies did not bloom as well last summer as they did the first season. Is there something I did wrong?
A: All waterlilies require calm (no rippling or splashing) warm (70F minimum) water, 18 to 24 inches deep in as much direct sunlight as possible to thrive and flower freely. Proper fertilization is important as well, using tablets such as Lilytabs. Aside from these things, periodic root division/transplanting is critical. Waterlilies, and most aquatic plants grow very quickly and soon outgrow thier containers in terms of space and nutrient content. This leads to a noticeable decrease in flowers, leaf size, and "bunched, crowded" leaves. Dividing/transplanting involves removing the plant's rhizome (root system) and cutting, trimming to one large crown or offshoot and replanting in all new fresh soil.The proper soil for waterlilies and most aquatic plants is simply a heavy "topsoil" with a good clay content, so it makes a ball when packed in your hand. The light organic materials most gardeners like to use with well-drained soils simply will not work with pond plants since these materials will "float" into the water. If this soil type is unavailable then Aquatic Planting Media makes a good alternative. Almost all hardy plants will require this every two to three seasons, while some will benefit from annual transplanting. Frequency depends on the type of plant, container size, and climate. The best time for this task is as early in the spring as possible to give the plants a few weeks to recover from the shock, before normal blooming begins. Lilypons provides this service on-site (within our service areas), or with plants brought to our Adamstown, MD. store.
Q: Why is my clear pond water turning green?
A: This is the start of suspended algae growing in your pond. This is a natural occurence in nearly all ponds in the spring, except those ponds equipped with a U. V. Light filter. Ponds without these types of filters will clear eventually (within 4-6 weeks) if properly stocked and/or otherwise properly filtered. These ponds are described as "balanced", and every pond owner should strive for this. The key to understanding and controlling excessive algae growth in ponds is understanding the Nitrogen Cycle. This is the basic biological, naturally occurring process of fish waste, and other organic wastes in the pond being converted into a compound called nitrate that is used by plants (particularly algae) as a food source. The full completion of this cycle is important to keep pond water free of ammonia and/or nitrites, compounds that are harmful, even deadly to fish. Various types of bacteria, known as nitrosomas and nitro-bacters grow on surfaces of the pond and are the key components of the Nitrogen Cycle. A healthy population of these is critical to fish health. Filters described as "biological" are full of materials with lots of surface area to promote and sustain these microbes. The use of a quality "bacterial boosting" product is highly reccomended.Lilypons "Ponsparkle" will jump start the development of the bacteria in the spring, cutting normal development time in half and will sustain them at peak performance when used throughout the entire year, even in winter.Nitrates, the final by-product of the nitrogen cycle is harmless to fish, though it must be controlled since it, along with sunlight is a main contributor to algae growth. Certain types of pond plants are extremely good at absorbing these nitrates, particularly Submerged Plants. The proper stocking rates for these plants is 1 bunch per 1-2 sq ft of pond surface, ie; a 50 sq ft pond will require 50 bunches or (2) 16" dia. containers with 25 bunches planted in each. NOTE: Large koi may quickly devour these types of plants.Another important component to a "balanced" pond is surface-covering plants. Use waterlilies, since they are the most beautiful type to cover 50-70% (more for smaller ponds, less for larger ones) of the waters surface to block the penetration of U.V. (sunlight) into the water. FYI: one waterlily covers approx 10 sq ft of surface area. Add some snails and/or tadpoles to "scavenge" excess debris, plant waste and algae and this will complete stocking for "balanced" easy to maintain pond. In summary, if the pond is properly stocked and bottom debris is minimal all that is required for early spring "green water" is patience. Allow the plants to fully grow out and they will slowly "out-compete" the algae for food and light.
Q: Do I need a filter for my pond?
A: If you have, or plan on having more than a minimal amount of fish, the answer is a definite yes! If fish are not part of the plan than it is possible to be successful without a filter. The fact is most pond owners, regardless of their specific situation, are happier with a filter. When properly fitted and maintained a good filtration system will provide clearer, cleaner, and healthier water with minimal attention. The three main types of pond filtration, mechanical, (including skimmers); biological; and U.V. light. Each has its benefits and some units provide all three in a relatively compact package. Serious fishkeepers will generally appreciate systems with seperate components, maximizing the benefits of each type! Most filters are installed "out of pond" and must be hidden in the surrounding landscape or otherwise out of site, though some models operate hidden "in pond" underwater. Filters outside of the pond can be pressurized, allowing water to be pumped above the filter to return via a waterfall. Non-pressurized or "gravity return" filters do not allow returning water above the actual filter. Pond filters are sold for a certain pond size (in total gallons of water), and each has a suggested/ maximum flowrate (amount or GPH) of water passing through the filter. This makes selection easier, though the main considerations should be the "fish load" (total biomass of fish/per volume of water), the amount of direct sunlight, the amount of plants, and the desired flowrate for waterfall or other water return feature. Ponds with bigger fish loads, more sunlight, fewer plants and larger flowrates will require larger filters than those rated for thier pond size. Always consult with an expert supplier, such as Lilypons before deciding on the right filter(s).
Q: How do I choose the proper pump for my pond?
A: Look for advice on this from trusted pond retailers (such as Lilypons). Before you seek them be prepared to provide some information so they can help make the correct decision. 1. The specific application: ie; filter/skimmer, waterfall, decorative fountain/statuary, or a combination. Each item has its own desired flowrate. 2. Entire volume of water in the pond(s). There are formulas for determining this. 3. The desired distance, vertically and horizontally from the placement of the pump (in the pond) to the discharge point. If you are replacing an existing pump be prepared to provide any available info about the existing pump and tubing/piping size. If possible taking the pump itself to the retailer may be best.Always check the power consumption (wattage use) of a chosen pump and the warranty. Many models are extremely energy efficient. Typically more expensive to purchase they may save many energy dollars over the course of time. See "How to Choose a Pump" for more details.
Q: This spring my pond has an excessive amount of the stringy, hair-like algae. What can be done to eliminate it and to prevent it in the future?
A: The broader, general answers to this question can be found on the Algae Control information page.
The more specific answer would be to physically remove as much as possible using items such as the Algae Brush, Algae Twister, or an Algae Removal Kit. A complete Pond Cleaning may be performed, though not absolutely necessary unless their is an excessive build-up of bottom debris. Otherwise remove as much as possible and/or treat with a safe algaecide such as Algaefix to kill any remaining algae. At the same time apply a Barley Product and a good bacterial product such as Ponsparkle. These natural, easy to use, relatively inexpensive items combined with good stocking, and maintenance practices are your best long term defense against excessive algae. Year-round use of them is strongly recommended by Lilypons for all re-circulating ponds.
Q: Will my fish reproduce, and if so what effect will the extra fish have on my pond?
A: Goldfish varieties will breed readily as long as they are 4-5" or larger, and there is at least one male fish. (Most goldfish/koi populations are 1 in 20 male/female.) Koi are less likely to breed in an artificial pond though it is certainly possible if the fish are at least 10-12" long. Koi cannot interbreed with goldfish, though different goldfish types will cross. Mature (and sometimes immature) fish will begin showing signs of spawning behavior as the water temps near 58-62F. Aggressive chasing, bumping and other movements may be observed. This can be a stressful time for the fish, though with good water quality they typically recover quickly. Adding All-in-One and/or Ponsalt may be helpful. Sucsess in spawning will vary greatly, dependent on many factors. As a natural population control adult fish will consume thier own eggs and tiny fry, sometimes eliminating them entirely. If desired, some of this can be avoided by using a "spawning mat" placed in the pond and checked daily for eggs during the spawn season. Fish will drop thier eggs anywhere in a pond but are drawn to fiberous materials when present. If eggs are found the mat can be transfered to a pre-designed rearing pool or container allowing the eggs to hatch unharmed. Watching the life cycle of fish is one of the great joys of pondkeeping but when a seemingly vast amount of new tiny fish appear an unprepared pond owner may wonder....what will happen? Unless the pond is huge and the fish load is small most of these small fish will not make it due to consumption by larger animals or simply being out-competed for food/space. FYI, the best food to feed the newly hatched fry is Flake Food since it is easily crumbled into a fine powder. Allow nature to take its course and the pond will naturally find a balance in the fish population. If you do wish to remove any excess fish plan ahead for a destination for them such as a friend's pond and never put them into any natural waterway without first contacting the proper state agency. Remember the only practical way to remove fish from your pond is by draining most of the water.
Q: I'm planning a new pond with nearly vertical sides, since this deters birds and other wading, fish eating predators. Where do I put my bog or "shallow water" plants that prefer less depth than the lilies?
A: It is definitely a good idea to make "fishing"difficult for wading birds/animals if you want to protect your fish. Nearly vertical walls down to an 18-24" depth as well as a small deeper area up to 48" (remember to check local codes regarding allowable water feature depth), is a good start in accomplishing this. Many products are available to assist in keeping out unwanted visitors as well. Realistic decoys are effective if moved regularly, Koi Kastles provide a hiding place, and the Yard Gard Electronic Pest Repeller is probably the most effective. It deters critters with powerful ultrasound waves and will protect up to 4,000 square feet. Secured netting over the pond is probably the only foolproof method of proctecting outdoor pond fish, though certainly should be a "last resort" due to the undesireable aestetic effect, (all netting is at least minimally visible).
Since there is no "shelf" or shallow area bog plants must be set on an object(s). The best items for this are standard size regular clay bricks. Most other options have drawbacks such as heavy blocks or large cumbersome crates. There have even been some products created specifically for this purpose though our research has shown them to be hard to assemble, unstable, or too costly. Bricks are fairly lightweight, easy to hide (use the dark or smoke colored ones), fully adjustable/stackable to work at any depth even on unlevel surfaces, create a stable, fully supportive base, and they allow the pondowner to easily move these plants around to create new visual images. Regardless of what type of support is used remember to keep the shallow plants away from the pond edge so they cannot allow acess to wading animals. Always consider that some non-water animals, even pets may inadvertandly fall in and will need some "escape point" formed at the pond edge.
Q: I have noticed how beautiful Tropical Waterlilies are, though why would I spend $30 to $40 on a plant that only lasts one season outdooors?
A: It is true that Tropical Lilies begin to go dormant in water temps below 70F and will perish entirely left in water below 55F. This means most ponds in the U.S. cannot be stocked with Tropical Lilies until after Memorial Day. These plants can be removed in the fall and overwintered indoors, though most homeowners will not have the facilities needed so they become pond "annuals". The rewards make the expense worthwhile! Consider these facts: Over the course of a season Tropicals almost always produce far more flowers than thier Hardy cousins. There are varieties that produce the same colors as all the hardies, often the colors are more vibrant overall. Several varieties produce incredible blue, even purple colors, not available in any of the hardy types. Like hardies they make nice cut flowers with a more noticeable fragrance. While Hardy Waterlilies start to cease flowering around Labor Day, Tropicals continue to bloom, and may produce flowers well into November if warm fall weather persists. This greatly increases the waterlily season! Finally most pond-owners will appreciate having an "annual" waterlily so they can try a different variety each season to keep a "fresh look" in their ponds.
Add a truly "exotic flair" to your pond with a "Night-Blooming" Tropical Waterlily. The flowers of these plants open at dusk, remain open all night, then close mid-morning the following day. Each flower lasts 3-4 days (nights) just as all other waterlilies. Combined with day-blooming varieties they can provide 24 constant hours of color in the pond!
Q: Lately I've noticed my fish "gasping" at the surface and/or staying near the waterfall. Is this a sign of trouble?
A: Typically this is a sign of less than desirable dissolved oxygen levels in the water. This is generally a result of inadequate aeration in relationship to the fish load. These ponds may appear fine until warmer water (75F and up) causes a rise in the metabolic rate of all living things creating a strong tax on the oxygen supply, depleting the overall level and affecting the fish. Dissolved oxygen is produced by plants during daylight hours so D.O. levels increase naturally starting at daybreak, but after sunset these same plants reverse this process and begin absorbing oxygen. This means the ponds D.O. level is lowest at daybreak and fish are most likely to show the "gasping" behavior at this time. This also means that plants provide no true additional aeration since they simply "give and take" over 24 hrs. The only way D.O. can be increased is by increasing the amount of water surface to air contact. Begin by assuring any floating leaf plants in the pond cover no more than 70% of the overall surface, leaving at least 30% open. Next address ways to enhance/increase water movement and/or surface agitation. An outdoor air pump with a submerged airstone is an ideal way to move deeper water to the surface, perfect for ponds with a skimmer/ waterfall system. Another idea to add D.O. and visual interest is to install a fountain or a decorative, piped statuary aka "a spitter".
Q: I built and stocked my pond in spring following Lilypons advice. The water was fairly clear for a period but soon became green and now late summer it remains green. How do I clear it and keep it that way?
A: Generally speaking, ponds that I have observed with "pea soup" green suspended algae in mid to late summer, are ponds with large fish loads, have lots of fish feeding, are under-stocked with plants, are under-filtered, and many times, show a combination of these things. Adding or increasing filter size is a good idea, unless you can decrease your fish population. Adding a properly sized/and installed U.V. Light assures clear water all the time. Even if your pressure filter or skimmer is outfitted with a UV light, it may not be adequate to totally clear the water. A separate single component light tends to provide more adequate UV filtration. Other strategies include applying Algaefix and/or Barley Straw. Algaefix is a chemical algaecide that is extremely effective and safe when used according to the label. Chemicals are rarely needed for ponds and in general should be avoided, but this product is perfect for temporarily clearing the water which will help "jump start" a UV light since the dark murky water makes it difficult for light penetration. Decomposing barley straw is scientifically proven to inhibit algae growth in most aerated pond environments. There are many products/methods for applying barley but all require patience since the straw must first breakdown and it is not very effective against existing algae. Hence the use of the Algaefix can kill the existing algae (without harming any other pond life). Each dose lasts several days so repeat doses may be applied until the barley takes effect. Always try to avoid overfeeding fish, since excess waste becomes nitrate, the nutrient that fuels algae growth.
Q: Won't a new pond increase the number of pesky mosquitoes that I already have in my yard?
A: Moving, recirculating water deters most egg-laying mosquitoes that prefer still, even stagnant water. Pond fish (any type) relish mosquito larvae and completely eliminate them from any size pond. Even pond owners that do not want fish can use Mosquito Dunks or similar products to safely, effectively, eliminate these pests from your pond or anywhere standing water exists. One approx 2" dia. pellet treats 100 sq. ft. of water surface for 30 days. Each pellet can be broken for smaller applications. These products utilize a non-chemical larvaecide that has low toxicity and is harmful only to mosquitoes.
Q: Why do my waterlilies have so many leaves turning yellow with some having visible damage?
A: As waterlilies grow they continuously produce new leaves, or pads at the center of the plant. As individual pads age the are "pushed" further out from the center and eventually turn yellow to brown. If left they will sink to the bottom and breakdown. These leaves with thier stems should be removed (weekly minimum) to help elimate a large part of the buildup of organic waste. Pruning/removing any pads visibly damaged by chewing insect larvae will be the best pest control practice, and frequent pruning should eliminate these pests. Regular, thorough pruning is the best most practical way for a pond owner to eliminate much of the organic waste, reducing nitrate production and thereby slowing algae growth. Pruning tools are available with 4 to 5 ft reaches or simply wade to reach, pinch and remove with your hands. Use "Gloves to stay dry in cold water. Always prune thoroughly removing any/all dead, decaying, or damaged foliage and spent flowers from all pond plants. Remember to keep lilies fertilized, at least 10" of water over the soil and away from moving and/or splashing water.
Q: Recently I've noticed red spots or marks on my fish. What should I do?
A: Do your best to research which disease or parasite may be affecting your fish. Some books have great descriptions with photos, and of course consult an expert whenever possible. Once this is determined you can decide on a plan of treatment. Sometimes it may be best to medicate the entire pond, or to isolate affected fish and treat in a seperate tank. Possibly treating without medication is best. Regardless, always treat with All-in-One and/or Ponsalt as a general stress reliever, try to continue regular feeding and substitute a medicated food until fish recover. If you decide to medicate the entire pond use a product like Broad Spectrum Disease Treatment which is a treatment that affects many fish ailments and more importantly has higher quality ingredients that do not impact the the "good bacteria" in the pond and/or filter. Along with researching look further for things that may have caused the fish stress prior to these problems. Check the filtration system; is it being properly maintained/cleaned?; is it large enough for the fish load that is increasing daily?; does the pond have good overall circulation? aeration?; are you overfeeding the fish? (1-2 times daily, what they can consume in 5 mins.); are the fish spawning?; is there a chance the pond was contaminated from an outside source? Fish typically stay healthy until some type of stress weakens thier immune system and makes them susceptible to the parasites or pathogens that are actually present in most pond enviroments. A good U.V. Filter may eliminate many of these microbes.
Q: How do I prepare my pond for winter?
A: A complete winterization includes the following. Thoroughly prune back all plant material to a few inches above the soil line. This can be done incrementally over time to enjoy the last of the plants beauty, but should be completed before ice appears. Tropical Plants should be removed for storage or disposal. Hardy plants can be left in place or lowered to the ponds deepest point. Do not cut or lower cattail varieties below the waterline, as these plants require foliage matter above the surface year round to transport oxygen to the root system. Thoroughly remove any leaves or other organic material by using a Pondovac or other vacuuming tool, and/or a good strong net and skimmer net. Add a de-icer to maintain an opening in the ice. Cover the pond with netting, such as Big Top Net Kits (more durable) or Basic Netting (more economical), to keep leaves out. Completely clean pump intakes, filter systems, drain WF tanks, etc. and shut down system for winter. Note: Some pondowners and serious fishkeepers keep the water re-circulating all winter convinced that this makes the enviroment less stressful for the fish. This may certainly be true. Regardless the best asurance of fish survival is keeping a hole in the ice cover to ensure exchange of gases (oxygen, and carbon dioxide). This may also be accomplished with an Air Pump/ Air Stone System. Begin feeding the fish a lower protien food when the water temps fall below 65F and discontinue feeding altogether when the temp stabilizes below 50F. (Check the temp daily each morning and a reading of 50F or lower 3 consecutive days means stop feeding until spring.) Continue to use a good bacterial product, particularly those with coldwater strains such as Ponsparkle, and keep Barley of some type in the pond year round. Reminder: All cool/ cold water pond chores are easier with gloves. Be sure to check out the Seasonal "Autumn" Care Page for more about winterizing your pond.
Q: Is it too late in the season to consider installing a pond?
A: The short answer is "no". Fall may actually be the ideal time to start since there is no "rush to complete" before the end of the season. This allows ample time for a homeowner to design, build, then take all winter to decide on a stocking/planting scheme. Proffesional pond builders are typically less busy and easier to schedule time with, as well. Ponds can usually be installed anytime as long as the ground is not deeply frozen. The only consideration is that ponds installed and filled in the fall normally require draining/cleaning in the spring prior to stocking.
Q: I just discovered that my de-icer is not working and my pond is completely frozen over with no warm weather in sight! What should I do?
A: Purchase or order, a new De-icer unit right away. Most can simply be placed on the ice and plugged in. If the ice is newly formed, the pond has been well maintainedand is fairly clean then the fish should not be at risk. If in doubt, or if your de-icer cannot be placed directly onto the ice, never break or forcefully crack surface ice! This can be harmful or even fatal to pond fish through damage to thier ability to hear vibrations in the water. Slowly pour boiling water over one point and gently "chip" the ice away to open a hole. Then next year be prepared for these types of scenarios by placing a rubber sports-type ball, inflated or not, on the water surface where accessible before ice appears. Now simply lift the ball out of any ice to temporarily allow exchange of gases at the surface, until the de-icer can be replaced.
Q: This has been a mild winter and my fish are frequently at the surface appearing to want food. I am certain they would eat, so why should they not be fed?
A: In these situations fish would likely consume small amounts of food. The problem is with the pond enviroment. Nitrifying bacteria that break down organic waste in the water are mostly dormant at water temperatures below 50F. and several weeks of warmer temps are needed to bring these bacterias out of thier dormant state. When fish food is added to the enviroment, digested or not, it will become organic waste. Without strong microbial breakdown these wastes simply increase ammonia and/or nitrite levels in the water. These compounds, even in low levels will quickly, negatively affect fish health by weakening thier immune systems. These factors make winter fish feeding risky at best. Ponds that have recirculating water all winter may be less prone to these problems, yet the potential is there. Use of a good "year-round" bacterial boosting product such as "Ponsparkle"offsets ammonia build-up from other organic wastes in the water. Ponds in far southern climates where water temps rarely fall below 50F may continue to be fed, sparingly, all winter with a low protien food such as Lilypons' "Three Season Food".
Q: Besides monitoring ice coverage, what other tasks should be performed regularly in the winter?
A: The water level in the pond should be checked and topped off as needed. Any accumulating snow on the ice should be safely removed as much as possible. Continue to apply a cold season bacterial product, such as Lilypons' "Ponsparkle",even if ice is present. Whenever possible use a net to remove any accumlated debris, such as leaves in the pond.
Q: My pond recently thawed from a late winter warm-up and I noticed a dead frog on the pond bottom. Did I do something wrong?
A: No, as long as the pond was not allowed to freeze over completely, ie: use of a de-icer, allowing exchange of gases at the surface this should allow hibernating frogs in the pond to survive the winter. Normally the burrow slighty into bottom debris or plant containers, remain nearly motionless and slowly absorb oxygen through thier skin. Even in cases of well overwintered ponds and complete fish survival some pond owners will experience dead frogs in the spring. One theory is during drought years frogs may not get enough insects in thier diet to provide nutrition through the winter. Regardless, dead frogs or any dead animals should be removed from the pond as soon as possible. Try to be certain the frog is truly dead before disturbing it since they are extremely lethargic and dull colored in the winter.
For more Frequently Asked Questions click here and here.
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